SUPPORTER WEEK DAY 3 | Advocacy – You have a story to tell.
Right now, if you search U.S. Congressional records for any statements on the Lord’s Resistance Army, you’ll find something pretty interesting. Among a few resolutions, floor statements, and yes, the LRA bill, you’ll find an article written by a 17-year-old girl for her high school newspaper.
On July 6, 2011, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) submitted for the Congressional record an article written by one of his constituents, Jaclyn Licht, a rising high school senior and native of Cambridge, MA.
In her article entitled Student Activists Lobby To Protect LRA Disarmament Bill, Jaclyn recounts her experience participating in a local lobby meeting with Senator Kerry’s district office and she very poignantly reflects on the role that students have played in changing history.
Jaclyn, who had never attended a lobby meeting before, bravely decided to attend the meeting after receiving an email invitation from Resolve. Along with hundreds of other lobby meetings across the country, Jaclyn’s meeting was part of Resolve’s Start Something to Finish it Campaign (S2F), which launched in the spring of this year. It’s aim was to secure funding for the President’s LRA strategy in the 2012 foreign aid budget and the hard work of advocates like Jaclyn resulted in 52 members of Congress signing on to a letter calling for funding to be secured for the LRA strategy.
And now of course — thanks to Jaclyn — the S2F campaign also resulted in an official statement on the books from Senator John Kerry (who just happens to be Chair of the Senator Foreign Relations Committee.)
We had a chance to talk with Jaclyn about her experience and here’s a little of what she had to say:
Having your school newspaper article submitted to the Congressional record by your Senator is certainly an extraordinary achievement. But Jaclyn’s story is one of hundreds — perhaps thousands — of stories from across the country of advocates who were given the opportunity to tell their story to their representatives and they took it.
And somewhere, at some point, you too were confronted by the horrors being committed by the LRA against families in central Africa. Like Jaclyn, your story collided with the story of this injustice and you came away different. You came away with a new knowledge and a new desire to effect change.
You have a story to tell.
Through our advocacy campaigns, Resolve helps you harness the power of that story by giving you strategic opportunities to share it with you members of Congress and by providing any support you need to do it confidently. Because when you do, you ensure that unheard voices get heard and you influence how our leaders decide to respond to LRA violence. That’s what Jaclyn did, and that’s how stubborn senators budge and bills get passed.
So today, after learning Jaclyn’s story, please consider supporting Resolve’s work by becoming a Cosponsor. Your monthly donation enables us to orchestrate strategic campaigns and provide quality resources, so that people like you and Jaclyn can increasingly be a part of the story of ending Africa’s longest running war.
P.S. Please take a few minutes to read Jaclyn’s article and Sen. Kerry’s remarks about her HERE. You’ll be glad you did.