11 April 2012

A Day Without Dignity 2.0: Local Champions

Last year a quickly hatched idea between Saundra, Teddy and I lead to "A Day Without Dignity." It served as a sort of counter campaign to TOMS "One Day Without Shoes." Rather than have an awareness day that focuses on Westerners doing things for poor people in the developing world, the hope was to get people to think and talk about the dignity, innovation, power and resiliency inherent in every person. The day was a relative success with 70 blog posts written and a pair of videos produced.

Yesterday TOMS celebrated its One Day Without Shoes and Invisible Children is having its Cover the Night campaign in conjunction with Kony 2012. Both events are meant to raise awareness among young people to care about the issues for the respective organizations. However, the focus is on what foreigners can do for the people living in (insert country here).

Monday April 16 will be the re-boot, if you will, of A Day Without Dignity. We propose a day that illustrates what people living in poverty are already doing to change their own lives. We see development as a partnership, not a matter of what benevolent outsiders can do for the poor. Because of that, we decided on the theme Local Champions to feature the entrepreneurial spirit of every person.

Interested in participating? Here are some suggested writing topics:
  • Locally-led development projects and stories of local action working successfully to address local needs.
  • Advice on how to work as partners rather than as a savior.
  • Suggestions or examples on how to support and champion those who are innovating in their own communities.
  • Discussions on how to best represent the people we’re trying to help to our donors.
  • How to help without expecting to “Save the World”
You can also make videos and share pictures of local champions. Or offer up your blog for someone else to share their favorite local champion. I am offering up my blog to diaspora and people living in low and middle-income countries to share their stories. Talk about yourself, your community, or leaders/groups that inspire you. I will not put a limit on the number of submissions that I will accept and publish. 

Keep the post to around 500 words (I am flexible if more space is needed) and please do not use offensive language. You may email me at murph@aviewfromthecave.com with your submission. Include a short biography about yourself, if you want, to be included in the post.

We will also publish a curriculum that can be used in the future to encourage other events that support the dignity of all people. Like Failfaire, this is an open-sourced idea. You can use the information that we provide to host other events.

Finally, we are going to host a t-shirt design contest. Let's see if we can come up with a nice looking shirt that supports the dignity of every person. The winning entry will then be made into a t-shirt everyone can buy. All of the proceeds will go towards Villages In Action (trailer above), a local TED-like event founded by Teddy that is held in his home village in Uganda to showcase the capability and innovative spirit of Africans.

Send links to blogposts and articles to Saundra at Saundra[at]goodintents.org
Send curriculum suggestions/ideas to Tom at Murph[at]aviewfromthecave.com
Send t-shirt entries to TMS Ruge at Teddy[at]projectdiaspora.org