Thursday, May 13, 2010

Social Justice - is it sexy enough?

Taken in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

I came across a very disturbing photo slide show on the NY Times website today. It gives a visual depiction of the AIDS devastation in rural Uganda. I lived in Kampala for 3 months back in 1999, doing research on the economic impact of HIV/AIDS on the healthcare system there. It's so unfortunate that in more than 10 years, not much has changed. Actually, it's gotten worse.

With support from private donors, foundations, and government, one would think that the spread has been contained and that preventative services have helped to decrease the millions of hapless children and adults affected.

It's so shameful that we, as a human race - capable of accomplishing so much - can't seem to figure this thing out. Or what's more frightening - is that the majority of us in developed countries don't care to.

I wish that social justice work could become sexy overnight. For me, I personally think it is. It requires passion, zeal, attitude, and intelligence - all very sexy to me! It requires one foot in the field and another in the office - checking out your mission and then ensuring its success (with donors, media, government, community partners, and a whole boat load of other folks). I've been in philanthropy for about 5 years now, and I've witnessed some troubling scenarios - but I've also been a part of some revolutionary solutions.

For all the sexy folks who might come across this post, just think about getting involved in social justice as a career - women's rights, the environment, education, health/medical initiatives, civic engagement for immigrants, equality, wherever your sexy is....just think about how you can re-invigorate the work that's going on. It's in offices, in the's research, it's film, it's's probably a lot more interesting than what you might be doing now. consider a change for yourself. consider a change for the world.

ciao for now,

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