- April 10, 2012
- Advocates in Action
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Kony 2012 phenomenon has been the way in which young people across the globe are pushing adults to address the issue of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in central Africa. The Associated Press published a piece about this a couple of weeks ago, highlighting that several members of Congress increased their engagement on the issue after being confronted by their own children who asked them what they were doing to help bring Joseph Kony to justice and end LRA violence.
From politicians and parents to teachers and administrators, thousands of adults are now learning about LRA violence for the first time — or are being challenged to do something about it for the first time — because of their kids.
Right now, as young activists across the country continue to meet with their elected leaders, urging them to help bring Joseph Kony to justice and end LRA violence, our Resolve team has been receiving story after story from young activists — many of whom had never lobbied their members of Congress before — who are realizing the power they have to affect change in Washington. And along the way, it seems like many adults are realizing the same thing.
Which brings us to our next Kony 2012 story….
Meeting Brianne Blaisdell, a college student from Riverside, CA. Last week, Brianne led a lobby meeting with Congressman Ken Calvert (R-CA44), joined by a couple of special guests. As you’ll read below, she came away with some pretty fabulous reflections that made us smile. Check it out:
“The most awesome part of my lobby meeting was the fact that my dad took off an hour of work — on a really busy day — to come to the meeting. And not only did he come, he asked if he could speak to share his own personal reasons for caring about the issue . He took the floor for part of the meeting and was so eloquent and passionate, I couldn’t believe it. The staffer asked him some pretty tough questions and I expected him to re-direct them my way, but he answered them perfectly and with such confidence. It was so cool to see my dad step up like that. My mom also came to the meeting and started to tear up after we showed a video of testimonies from LRA-affected communities in central Africa to Representative Calvert. She kept bringing up those stories on the way home.
I’ve been a Resolve and Invisible Children supporter since I was a teenager. I always remember coming home and ranting to my family about what was going on with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in central Africa and what we can be doing about it. Now, it’s so amazing to see that this is no longer something that I believe in alone — it’s now something my whole family believes in.
I know lobby meetings sound scary. And I won’t lie and say I wasn’t nervous leading up to first meeting. I’ll admit, professionalism isn’t something that comes naturally to me as a 20-year-old college student with a casual style and ripped shoes. The idea was nerve-wracking. But once you’re in that meeting, you forget about the nervousness. It really becomes more of a conversation and the fear subsides. Trust me, if it’s possible for me, it’s possible for you too!
Lobby meetings really aren’t as frightening as they seem and the benefits are so unique and so rich. All I can say is that it’s worth it. I strongly recommend anyone who feels passionately about an issue to meet with their representative — or their representative’s staff — to discuss what’s important to them. No matter how afraid you are, the experience will leave you feeling confident, knowing you can take a stand for what is right, you can have your voice heard by Washington, and that you can accomplish difficult things.
Do it. So completely worth it.”
– Brianne Blaisdell (pictured above with her father in front of Rep. Calvert’s Riverside office)
We’re so thankful to Brianne, Mr. and Mrs. Blaisdell, and the thousands of other activists across the country who have given their voices and their time — and stepped out of their comfort zones — to move our leaders to help end LRA violence.
Inspired to take action yourself? Click here for 3 things you can do right now. Keep up the great work, advocates.
Stop at nothing.