Globalizing the Crisis Response

As Director of the Keep a Child Alive
College Program, and simply as a young woman who considers herself a
global citizen, I find myself subconsiously reconfiguring
headlines and reading articles in terms of the AIDS pandemic.  You can
imagine that the countless recent headlines of “world leaders coming
together to solve crisis” have me furious — knowing that leaders are CAPABLE of solving global crises, but prioritize immensely, for some, dishearteningly.

I am always looking for new, innovative ways to engage my generation in
MEANINGFUL AIDS work — that does NOT mean raising fists and shouting in
anger about poverty, but actually doing something to assist those living with HIV or prevent the disease from further spreading. With Keep a
Child Alive, I am privileged to coordinate a network of 227 campuses,
and growing everyday, in the work of fundraising for lifesaving
antiretroviral drugs that are delivered directly to those in most dire
need.

I think it is immensely important for students to realize where their
potential lies.  Most of the time, just shouting about an issue will make no progress – so why, when, how do we speak up effectively?  Some thoughts to consider, that I recently blogged about for a foreign policy course:

http://oldmole.typepad.com/us_foreign_policy_21/2008/10/globalizing-the.html

I choose one article in particular to sub-in AIDS for Finance, and conclude:

“I invite you to pick up a newspaper and try this exercise for
yourself.  Replace the crisis and you will see that our world
leadership is capable of coming together to take immediate and united
action.  The difference to me is not that our leaders don’t want to end
AIDS, it’s that there are no “jittery investors” who are pushing them
to do so.  We are all affected by the health of global populations and
like issues of climate change or education or human rights, we will not
see the negative effects of failures to invest until the long run, and
we therefore don’t identify ourselves as investors now.  Which means
politicians have no pressure to move in the direction of solving the
foreign crises that already surround us.  If we want an end to AIDS
that’s up to us as investors in global public health, citizens who want
to live in a healthy world.  It’s totally possible to achieve, but the
choice is ours!””

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