Sunday, December 12, 2010

Extending Food Resources

Jean-Marie Hill is a Hunger Justice Fellow – working with Bread for the World. She is also a resident of the OKC Metro and has been an advocate in advancing efforts in eupan.

She is a bright example of one of the vibrant ways we network with partners in advocacy that extend the good for the all!

After winning a selective fellowship with Bread for the World, Jean-Marie spent time this past summer in Washington DC. being equipped to lead advocacy efforts in OKC She worked with Capitol Hill policy makers, experienced organizers, and analysts to learn more about issues of hunger and poverty - in order to expand efforts at hunger awareness here in OKC. While in D.C., she worked to lobbying Congress and since returning to the OKC Metro - she has been working in community advocacy.

Jean-Marie was on the campus of Southern Nazarene University this past week sharing great news with us - regarding advocacy work she has engaged locally - and nationally.

Jean-Marie's advocacy was influential in helping to see that legislation gets passed in helping families - including key issues for children - with food. Read more HERE.

We celebrate with Jean-Marie her good work in the OKC Metro - and her work that has extended aid to hundreds of needy persons in Oklahoma!

While our efforts toward eupan are *not* partisan efforts - and while individual persons connected with the Eupan Global Initiative may have divergent views on the *best* ways to extend the good for all, we are thrilled to see efforts that advance good will, charity, kindness, and practical items of sustenance to those in need - even if it "takes an act of congress" to make it happen! =)

Toward eupan!

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What you can do for Sudan NOW

A great video -

And then this . . .

Call Secretary Clinton’s office. Tell her to immediately hire an ambassador-level diplomat for Darfur by calling 1-800-GENOCIDE – and get your friends and family to do the same. When you call 1-800-GENOCIDE, you’ll be given talking points then connected directly to Secretary Clinton’s office.

Why this call to action – why now?

* In the last 10 days alone, Sudan’s notorious “security service” has conducted a wave of arrests of human rights activists, civil society leaders, student activists, and journalists.
* The arrests, combined with reports in Darfur of aerial bombings of villages and water sources and a build up of armed forces, are disturbing reminders that without a high-level diplomat assigned to the region, Darfurians are tremendously vulnerable to human rights violations and attack.

Need more info? Go here - but know that the November 16 deadline has been extended to November 22nd.

* Find out more here:

All it takes is a phone call. It's *that* simple.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson,ph.d.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Opinion: Let's Work to Put 'Never Again' on Par With 'Never Forget' | The Jewish Exponent

A great short article by Mark Hanis, director of Genocide Intervention Network - about our need to do more in our efforts to prevent genocide.

I am hoping to get Mark to the OKC area in the forthcoming months. If you have connections that could help support that effort - that would be great! Feel free to email me personally at martymichelson (at) gmail (dot) com.

Opinion: Let's Work to Put 'Never Again' on Par With 'Never Forget' | The Jewish Exponent

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Opportunity for Civil Dicourse on Religion and Politics

Coming to Oklahoma City University - National Endowment for Humanities Chairman Coming to OCU

The chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities will visit Oklahoma City University to present a lecture at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27 in the Kerr McGee Auditorium in Meinders School of Business. The lecture is free to the public.

Jim Leach is on a nationwide tour with his presentation titled “Civility in a Fractured Society.” Through his tour, Leach is hoping to heal religious and political divisiveness by promoting respect for the cultural gifts of people around the world.

“Today civilization is on trial as radical elements in distant parts of the world stoke differences between and within faith systems,” Leach said in a speech earlier this year on the topic. “In response to violent acts of various parties and the dislocating consequences of the global recession, a divisive rhetoric of anger has been precipitated in recent years in the West as well as the East.

“If we don’t try to understand and respect others, how can we expect them to respect us, our values and way of life?”

Leach was nominated to his post by President Barack Obama in 2009 for a four-year term. He previously served 30 years representing southeastern Iowa in the U.S. House of Representatives where he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and founded and co-chaired the Congressional Humanities Caucus.

After leaving Congress in 2007, Leach joined the faculty at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, where he was the John L. Weinberg Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs until his confirmation as NEH chairman.

Leach holds eight honorary degrees and has received numerous awards, including the Sidney R. Yates Award for Distinguished Public Service to the Humanities from the National Humanities Alliance, the Woodrow Wilson Award from The Johns Hopkins University, the Adlai Stevenson Award from the United Nations Association, the Edgar Wayburn Award from the Sierra Club, the Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award, the Norman Borlaug Award for Public Service and the Wesley Award for Service to Humanity.
Leach was a three-sport athlete while in college and was elected into the Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater.

For more information about Leach and the National Endowment for the Humanities, visit

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson,ph.d.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

For Your Consideration and Application!

This past year has been meaningful and significant in many ways for me personally - but in large part I have grown, developed, learned, and been shaped as a Carl Wilkens Fellow through Genocide Intervention Network. I could enumerate numerous ways that I have grown through many opportunities opened up to me through this venue!

I want to encourage any persons interested in working toward eupan to consider their own opportunity to become a Carl Wilkens Fellow for 2011!

I wish I would have been more organized to have posted this information for your awareness earlier. But, alas, - it is not too late to apply!

Here is what you need to know:

The 2011 Fellowship application is live on Genocide Intervention Network’s website yesterday and will be due by Friday, November 5th. You may access the application

About the Fellowship

Launched in 2009, the Carl Wilkens Fellowship Program seeks to bridge the gap between thought and action in the anti-genocide movement. The Fellowship is selective, 12-month leadership development program that provides a diverse set of emerging citizen leaders with the tools and training to build sustained political will to end genocide.

In its first two years, the Carl Wilkens Fellowship has worked with thirty-eight (38) individuals from communities across the country and from a diversity of backgrounds - from retired corporate lawyers, to high school teachers and college professors, to computer programmers and communications specialists.

Through the Fellowship, each one of these individuals has committed to growing as a leader and taken it upon themselves to acquire the tools and resources to build sustained political will within their communities for the prevention and cessation of genocide.

Interested in More Information?

I encourage you to check out the Fellowship pages on our organization's website:

§ Overview

§ Program components:

§ Carl Wilkens Fellowship network:

§ Carl Wilkens Fellows – stories from the field:

What’s Next?
Your application!

If you are interested in applying but have questions you’d like answered before beginning the process, let me know. I’m happy to exchange substantive emails with you and/or to hop on to a phone call. I also encourage you to join one of the conference calls Jessica Reveri will be facilitating about the Fellowship between now and the November 5th deadline. Note that these are stand alone calls – no new/different information will be shared on any one.

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 (8AM ET & 8PM ET)

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 (8AM ET & 8PM ET)

Call-in information:
Number: (712)432-1601 & Code: 020909

Wishing you the best - toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October Advocacy Work - Derek Sparks

It was a great  to have Derek Sparks share his insight with numerous audiences over 2 days.

His past work in D.C. with Senator Coburn, and his current work with Congresswoman Mary Fallin - along with a host of other keen insights from his life and study, made him an excellent conversationalist on many issues.

He offered critical and solid information on issues regarding Muslim relationships, key issues for discerning southeast Asia, and insight into thinking about what it means to have a Christian perspective while being involved in politics.

Toward eupan!

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall Activism - Insight from Derek Sparks

We started work towards a Fall Event on Advocacy and Activism - toward peacemaking, with Derek Sparks. For a variety of great reasons, we are breaking up our work with Derek for now - and for a future opportunity into 2011!

While the following events are not "open to the public" as they are on-campus events at Southern Nazarene University. I am excited to report that Derek will be meeting with classes at SNU on September 29th and 30th. Events will include:

Reflecting on issues of human rights in areas of the world dominated by religious fundamentalist or extremists.

Discerning issues in southeast Asia, including discerning unique cultural and geographic features.

Other issues of multinational political and economic alliances, perhaps including problems with piracy.

Personal reflections on what it means to exist as a politician and Christian in the world today.

Presentation and conversation will be shaped by Student Questions in classes including World Religion, Physical Geography and Old Testament Theology.

Toward eupan!

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pledge a Minute for Peace

Someone might argue that more than prayer is needed for peace to become effective in the world. I might agree.

But, it certainly seems that a joint effort by persons of various faiths all aimed toward the same goal - if that goal is peace - no matter their theological differences - prayers for peace might just be the start we need - all in the same hopeful direction - to move our world toward peace!

Toward eupan!

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Official Film Trailer | Little Town of Bethlehem

Coming to Oklahoma City, Wednesday, September 29th.

A film exploring issues of peace among Jews, Muslims and Christians.

More details to follow.

Mark your calendars - and check out the trailer as you have opportunity! Linked here:

Official Film Trailer | Little Town of Bethlehem

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Advocacy and Diplomacy - D.C. and OKC

I (Marty) will be in Washington D.C. this coming weekend, attending to the shared work I am privileged to accomplish with Genocide Intervention Network. I wish I felt I could do *more* than what I do - and I hope for a greater intervention by more persons in our world - but I am thankful too - *very* *very* thankful that I have had opportunity to partner with so many great people in and around OKC and with great Carl Wilkens Fellows with GI NET!

At the end of this month, J. Derek Sparks who has worked in offices with Senator Coburn and Mary Fallin (among others) will be a spokesperson sharing about issues of peace and diplomacy on the campus of Southern Nazarene University.

We have chosen to postpone an evening even with Derek for this Fall - anticipating other options toward Spring 2011 - but we are excited for the numerous students he will have opportunity to engage in several classroom settings on Wednesday and Thursday, September 29th and 30th. Interested in hearing what he has to share, contact me directly about when and where he will be speaking in several campus buildings each morning.


My scheduled meetings in the offices in D.C. are with Senator Coburn, Senator Inhofe and Congresswoman Mary Fallin in effort to raise awareness about - and support of issues connected to Genocide and the situation in Sudan. Are you an Oklahoman who wants to raise your voice to this advocacy work? Contact me at martymichelson (at) gmail (dot) com

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Travel, Oklahoma and the Power of People & Students!

I (Marty) had opportunity to travel this summer. It is always interesting to read and become aware of how Americans and America is perceived in other places. It is important, I think, to hear and discern what others say about who we are - not just as Americans, but as people. If we are truly going to advance the good for the all, we must discern who we are and how we are perceived - so that we can work to better advance hospitable and charitable relationships with persons we know - and larger people groups and nations, with whom we interact.

As can be imagined, Americans are perceived well - and not so well - in places in the world. I will not try to explain or justify the myriad issues involved in this blog entry.

Rather, I want to note that I am *now* back in Oklahoma - doing the tasks that come with my work, working with students, being with persons in faith-communities, and advocating for a better world.

I get opportunity in a few days to be back in Washington D.C. where I have appointments with the 2 Senators from Oklahoma and with my Congresswoman.

I am excited too - that right now I get the opportunity to introduce efforts toward eupan with new students who become the "new generation" of advocates who work for good! I just returned from an afternoon meeting - where a student (who is not in my classes) was talking about "not being a bystander" because his Psychology professor, Dr. Noel J. Jacobs, was talking about issues of advocacy and peace-making in his class on Contemporary Social Issues!

What a delight to be with young persons who can change and shape our world!

What a delight to work with other persons on college campuses, in faith communities, in cities, that are working toward positive change in our world.

I hope with other pastors that the arc of history bends toward justice!

For a great article about MLK and this idea - Click Here! The Arc of the Universe Is Long But It Bends Towards Justice!

To all who desire to make our world a better place - you are welcome to join "our" local efforts in the Eupan Global Initiative - as we partner with others in our world!

Email us at:

Toward eupan!

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Senator Inhofe and Genocide Prevention - Today's Conversation

Brian ~
( )

Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today.  As I said to you personally, I know Senator Inhofe has long-standing vested commitments to what has been happening in Africa.  When you and I met on March 29th, our key conversation was with regard to issues in Sudan - specifically with concerns for the possible outbreak of violence surrounding April elections.

Today I am asking specifically that Senator Inhofe support the resolution introduced by Senators Feingold and Collins, Cocurrent Resolution 71.  (See attachments.)

Senator Inhofe is a key leader in setting a pattern for effective policy and legislation in Congress.  His leadership is key on the Senate Foreign Relations committee and his timely support of this resolution will set an example for other members of congress. 

As an Oklahoman who is concerned with how the United States works to effect peace in the world, I encourage Senator Inhofe to set an example for the Congress - and for the World - in supporting this legislation now. 

While I can only speak for myself in this personal email, I personally know many Oklahomans associated with the Eupan Global Initiative and Oklahoma STAND (Student Anti-Genocide Coalition) chapters on various high-school and colleges campuses in Oklahoma.  I will be inviting them to raise their voice on this issue - seeking Senator Inhofe's proactive leadership on this resolution, now. 

I am CCing several key leaders in Oklahoma who share advocacy interests on this issue.

Thank you, Brian.

I look forward to meeting with either or both of your colleagues in D.C. in September - Joel Starr and/or Sarah Klotz.  I have emailed Sarah about this in June and have recently followed up with her toward a specific time for September 10th.

Wishing you all the best today.

~ Marty

Marty Alan Michelson, Ph.D.
Mobile:  405.495.4488

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Toward success in our shared advocacy with Genocide Intervention Network!

Huge news! After mountains of "behind the scenes" work, Senators Feingold and Collins have just introduced a Genocide Prevention resolution on the Senate floor.

While our conflict-specific advocacy work has continued around Sudan and other areas of concern, our team has been working for months to secure bi-partisan co-sponsorship for this resolution. It's a crucial first step in our efforts to create long-term structural change in the United States's ability to prevent and stop genocide - next month, expect to see a bill in the house.

Take a moment to celebrate this moment - thank you for everything you have done to move the ball forward on this issue.

Stay tuned for more.

- - -


Mr. FEINGOLD (for himself and Ms. COLLINS) submitted the following concur-
rent resolution;


Recognizing the United States national interest in helping
to prevent and mitigate acts of genocide and other mass
atrocities against civilians, and supporting and encour-
aging efforts to develop a whole of government approach
to prevent and mitigate such acts.

Whereas, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, the international
community vowed ‘‘never again’’ to allow systematic
killings on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, race, or reli-

Whereas a number of other genocides and mass atrocities
have occurred, both prior to and since that time;
Whereas the United States Government has undertaken
many initiatives to ensure that victims of genocide and
mass atrocities are not forgotten, and as a leader in the
international community, the United States has committed
to work with international partners to prevent
genocide and mass atrocities and to help protect civilian
populations at risk of such;

Whereas the United Nations General Assembly adopted the
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the
Crime of Genocide in 1948, which declares genocide,
whether committed in a time of peace or in a time of
war, a crime under international law, and declares that
the parties to the Convention will undertake to prevent
and to punish that crime;

Whereas the United States was the first nation to sign the
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the
Crime of Genocide, and the Senate voted to ratify the
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the
Crime of Genocide on February 11, 1986;

Whereas the Act entitled, ‘‘An Act to establish the United
States Holocaust Memorial Council’’, approved October
7, 1980 (Public Law 96–388) established the United
States Holocaust Memorial Council to commemorate the
Holocaust, establish a memorial museum to the victims,
and develop a committee to stimulate worldwide action to
prevent or stop future genocides;

Whereas the passage of the Genocide Convention Implementation
Act of 1987 (Public Law 100–606), also known as
the Proxmire Act, made genocide a crime under United
States law;

Whereas, in response to lessons learned from Rwanda and
Bosnia, President William J. Clinton established a genocide
and mass atrocities early warning system by establishing an
Atrocities Prevention Interagency Working Group, chaired by
an Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues from 1998 to 2000;

Whereas, in 2005, the United States and all other members
of the United Nations agreed that the international community has
‘‘a responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and
other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapter VI and VIII of
the United Nations Charter, to help protect populations from genocide,
war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity,’’
and to take direct action if national authorities are un- willing or
unable to protect their populations;

Whereas the 2006 National Security Strategy of the United
States stated, ‘‘The world needs to start honoring a principle
that many believe has lost its force in parts of the international
community in recent years: genocide must not be tolerated.
It is a moral imperative that states take action to prevent and
punish genocide.. . . We must refine United States Government
efforts—economic, diplomatic, and law-enforcement—so that
they target those individuals responsible for genocide and not the
innocent citizens they rule.’’;

Whereas the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the
American Academy of Diplomacy, and the United States
Institute of Peace convened a Genocide Prevention Task
Force, co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen,
to explore how the United States Government could better
respond to threats of genocide and mass atrocities;

Whereas the final report of the Genocide Prevention Task
Force, released in December 2008, concluded that the
lack of an overarching policy framework or a standing
interagency process, as well as insufficient and uncoordinated
institutional capacities, undermines the ability of
the United States Government to help prevent genocide
or mass killings and offered recommendations for creating
a government wide strategy;

Whereas the former Director of National Intelligence, in his
annual threat assessment to Congress in February 2010,
highlighted countries at risk of genocide and mass atrocities
and stated, ‘‘Within the past 3 years, the Democratic Republic
of Congo and Sudan all suffered mass killing episodes through
violence starvation, or death in prison camps. . .Looking ahead
over the next 5 years, a number of countries in Africa and Asia
are at significant risk for a new outbreak of mass killing.’’;

Whereas the Quadrennial Defense Review, released in February 2010,
states that the Defense Department should be prepared to provide the
President with options for ‘‘preventing human suffering due to mass
atrocities or large-scale natural disasters abroad’’;

Whereas the 2010 National Security Strategy notes, ‘‘The
United States is committed to working with our allies,
and to strengthening our own internal capabilities, in
order to ensure that the United States and the international
community are proactively engaged in a strategic
effort to prevent mass atrocities and genocide. In the
event that prevention fails, the United States will work
both multilaterally and bilaterally to mobilize diplomatic,
humanitarian, financial, and – in certain instances – military
means to prevent and respond to genocide and mass

Whereas genocide and mass atrocities often result from and
contribute to instability and conflict, which can cross borders
and exacerbate threats to international security and
the national security of the United States;

Whereas the failure to prevent genocide and mass atrocities
can lead to significant costs resulting from regional instability,
refugee flows, peacekeeping, economic loss, and the
challenges of post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation; and

Whereas United States leadership and actions toward preventing and
mitigating future genocides and mass atrocities can save human lives
and help foster beneficial global partnerships:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives
(concurring), That the Senate—

(1) recommits to honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust
as well as the victims of all past genocides and mass atrocities;

(2) affirms that it is in the national interest
and aligned with the values of the United States to
work vigorously with international partners to prevent
and mitigate future genocides and mass atrocities;

(3) supports efforts made thus far by the President,
the Secretary of State, the Administrator of the
United States Agency for International Development,
the Secretary of Defense, and the Director of
National Intelligence to improve the capacity of the
United States Government to anticipate, prevent,
and address genocide and mass atrocities, including the
establishment of an interagency policy committee
and a National Security Council position dedicated
to the prevention of genocide and other mass atrocities;

(4) urges the President—

(A) to direct relevant departments and agencies of
the United States Government to review and evaluate
existing capacities for anticipating, preventing, and
responding to genocide and other mass atrocities,
and to determine specific steps to coordinate and
enhance those capacities; and

(B) to develop and communicate a whole of
government approach and policy to anticipate,
prevent, and mitigate acts of genocide and
other mass atrocities;

(5) urges the Secretary of State, working closely with the
Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development—

(A) to ensure that all relevant officers of the
Foreign Service and particularly those deploying to
areas undergoing significant conflict or considered
to be at risk of significant conflict, genocide, and other
mass atrocities receive appropriate advanced training
in early warning and conflict prevention, mitigation, and resolution;

(B) to determine appropriate leadership, structure, programs,
and mechanisms within the Department of State and the United States
Agency for International Development that can enhance efforts
to prevent genocide and other mass atrocities; and

(C) to include relevant recommendations for enhancing
civilian capacities to help prevent and mitigate genocide
and mass atrocities in the upcoming Quadrennial Diplomacy and
Development Review;

(6) urges the Secretary of the Treasury, working in consultation with
the Secretary of State, to review how sanctions and other financial tools
could be used against state and commercial actors found
to be directly supporting or enabling genocides and mass atrocities;

(7) recognizes the importance of flexible contingency crisis funding
to enable United States civilian agencies to respond quickly to help
prevent and mitigate crises that could lead to significant armed
conflict, genocide, and other mass atrocities;

8) urges the Secretary of Defense to conduct an analysis of the
doctrine, organization, training, material, leadership, personnel,
and facilities required to prevent and respond to genocide and mass

(9) encourages the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense
to work with the relevant congressional committees to ensure
that a priority goal of all United States security assistance and
training is to support legitimate, accountable security forces
committed to upholding the sovereign responsibility to protect
civilian populations from violence, especially genocide and
other mass atrocities;

(10) supports efforts by the United States Government to provide
logistical, communications, and intelligence support, as appropriate,
to assist multilateral diplomatic efforts and peace operations in
preventing mass atrocities and protecting civilians;

(11) calls on other members of the international
community to increase their support for multilateral
diplomatic efforts and peace operations to more effectively
prevent mass atrocities and protect civilians;

(12) encourages the Secretary of State to work closely
with regional and international organizations, the
United Nations Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide,
and civil society experts to develop and expand multilateral
mechanisms for early warning, information sharing, and
rapid response diplomacy for the prevention of genocide
and other mass atrocities; and

(13) commits to calling attention to areas at risk of genocide
and other mass atrocities and ensuring that the United States
Government has the tools and resources to enable its efforts
to prevent genocide and mass atrocities.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

John Hay Jr. - Reflections on Freedom's Daily Cost

This post is copied with permission from John Hay, Jr.: Direct link by CLICKING HERE.

A tribute to daily actions of ordinary citizens that promote American-style freedom

GRATEFUL NOT GULLIBLE. I feel a deep gratitude for American-style freedom and for those who have thought, deliberated, lived and died to frame, preserve, and advance it. The fact that I feel, simultaneously, that certain domestic and international policies and actions are not in American freedom’s best interest does not negate my gratitude or reduce my sense of patriotism. Nor does it mean I write a blank check and cast a rubber-stamp vote for everything my government--in any of its three branches and myriad bureaus--does in the name and for the sake of America and freedom. It is one thing to be grateful and patriotic, it is another to be gullible and na├»ve.

FREEDOM IS BIGGER. I try to keep in mind that freedom is bigger than any Presidential administration. America is greater than a duly elected Congress. The Constitution stands above any appointed Court. The soul of America is deeper than policies conceived and implemented through layers of bureaucracy. Its spirit is broader than what can be expressed by any region, state, or local community. For this reason, and for the fact that pride and prejudice is ever present and must be grappled with in each generation, it is necessary and prudent to be vigilant against directives and decisions that appropriate the term “freedom” but do not necessarily embody and advance it for all.

WHAT IS FREEDOM’S COST? I saw this quote etched in stone at a monument in Washington, D.C.: “Freedom isn’t free.” So it isn’t. That doesn’t necessarily mean its only cost is blood and that the primary manner of preserving freedom is war, the threat of violence, preemptive attacks on rogue regimes which we suspect, or the deployment and ever-increasing funding of a bloated military at the expense of local community creativity and our most vulnerable citizens. The fact that freedom has occasionally been preserved by unavoidable war does not mean that war is the primary and celebrated cost of freedom.

THESE LIVES TESTIFY. I write this, having visited Arlington National Cemetery, where tombstones in the shape of Crosses and Stars of David line the hills as far as the eye can see—each representing a life given for American freedom. I write this, having visited the Tomb of the Unknowns, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, The Lincoln Memorial, and the World War II Memorial. These lives testify to heroic efforts to preserve American freedom or to win it for those who asked for our help. But war and the death of soldiers is not the primary way freedom is preserved and promoted.

FREEDOM IS WILLED BY ORDINARY CITIZENS. Freedom is more proactive than an occasional defensive response of protection when it is truly under attack or an aggressive response of preemption when it is perceived to be threatened. The cost of freedom is a daily vigilance and active exercise of freedom by ordinary citizens. We mistakenly think that freedom is something won for us by the few who bear arms; in fact, freedom is something willed by the many who confirm its blessing and fuel its light through responsible use of its privileges and responsibilities.

VIGILANCE OF THE CITIZENRY. The vigorous and watchful exercise of such freedoms as speech, religion, and one’s vote serve to intensify freedom’s promise and buttress it against would-be detractors. It takes the vigilance of the citizenry to hold elected and appointed officials accountable to ensure there is freedom from want and freedom from fear. That “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are not repeatedly abused by the likes of either arrogant Wall Street executives or domestic abusers is far from a given. Some will always construe freedom for license and frame liberty in ways to serve themselves at the expense of others.

WILLING THE BEST FREEDOM CAN MEAN. Nothing short of an attentive, informed, and engaged citizenry willing the best that freedom can mean will prevent genuine freedom from dissipating without a shot being fired or a terrorist attack being launched. It is possible to wave flags and sing of freedom all the while speech is curtailed, civil liberties conceded, corporate monopolies on goods and services permitted, equal opportunity redefined, religion regulated, poverty increased, and personal and community security decreased. Disengagement and apathy are greater threats to American freedom than terrorism or rogue regimes.

A MONUMENT TO ORDINARY PEOPLE. When in Washington, D.C. earlier this year, I wanted to see a monument to the average American citizen. There were monuments to war heroes and esteemed Presidents and national figures. These are likely all great people and deserving of honor. But should there not be, in the city of democracy, an unmistakable message to the world that what preserves and promotes freedom and democracy is not so much “great persons” as a great people, not so much war but a vigilant peace, not only the notable actions of a few but the faithful and ordinary actions of the many who choose everyday to make freedom ring true in every community across America?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Toward Eupan and the BP / Gulf Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Several Summer "other personal and other professional" projects have captured my time in the past 30 days or so. And, with some travel for many of our leaders in the Eupan Global Initiative, our "energy" has slowed for the summer.

As that is the case, though, I am reminded today that we are just at 70 days since the Oil Spill erupted in the Gulf.

Websites like this one are tracking various forms of "death" that have resulted - and this is to say nothing of the thousands of news and government and private industry reports that have come out in the past 70 days. And, this single website of course can not track the numerous forms of microscopic organisms - comprising various food chains in the Gulf's unique hydrosphere - that are dying or suffering.

Our purpose in advancing eupan is not to castigate, point fingers, or lay blame on others - but to think about how we build and work toward a better future - that is genuinely good for all.

In that regard, I (Marty Michelson) would only say that with each day that the oil spills, I find myself more and more troubled with our dependence on forms of fuel that enable us to "live our lives" while the expenses of these forms of life bring trouble, hurt, pollution and death in catastrophic ways - even when there is no "spill" or "broken pipes."

We can do better. We need to do better - for us, for our neighbors, for the nations of the world, for the future of vibrant life.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Monday, May 3, 2010

One Meal - One Day

In an effort to extend Eupan, I would like to encourage people in OKC to consider the One Meal One Day (OMOD) youth movement to end global hunger.  Compassion International and Lead 222 are partnering together to encourage teenagers to join together in an effort to dissolve hunger issues in this world.  OMOD is a very simple opportunity for students across OKC to partner in a worthwhile endeavor.

More information can be accessed at  The main goal is to encourage students to skip to OMOD. Ambitious students will recruit 30 other people to either sponsor them or join them in skipping the meal.  The $155 raised through sponsorships would feed a child for an entire year.  Students who are physically unable to skip the meal due to extracurricular activities or health concerns can still participate by bringing their lunch to school and still donating the $5.

Youth directors, campus pastors and pastors should visit the website where they will find resources for leading this event at their local church.  There is a three week series of teachings that can be used to lead into Wednesday, October 20, 2010.  This is a worthwhile effort since most teenagers in America are blessed with enough money and resources to make this happen.  Join me in extending Eupan to our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world.  

If you or someone you know is interested in more information, please contact either Jeremy Graham ( or Todd Lovelace (  Todd is overseeing OMOD here in OKC and will be hosting meetings leading up to the event.

posted by Jeremy Graham

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fall 2010 - Politics and Peacemaking - Advocacy Training

Fall 2010 seems a long way off - but we are making plans that advance the good for the all!

Details will be forthcoming - but Derek Sparks - who currently works for Congresswoman Mary Fallin (she is currently campaigning for OK Governor) - will be working with us toward a Fall Education and Training event on making our political advocacy toward peace more effective.

Derek has had extensive experience with foreign affairs and human rights issues in Senator Tom Coburn’s office on Capitol Hill. His postgraduate work at the University of St Andrews in Scotland centered on Middle East and Central Asian Security Studies. Not only does he have this background academically and experientially - I found him a delightful conversationalist who could talk easily and with credibility about a variety of issues on the international scene. He has a particular interest in human rights issues and their impact upon international security.

More details to follow as we learn more about how we can make our voice in peace-making and advancing the good for all more effective.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

BlessedEarth Simulcast - Wednesday 4/21/2010

Remember we'll be simulcasting the BlessedEarth event in the S.T. Religion Building on the Campus of Southern Nazarene University at 6:30 p.m. (1830 hours). (GPS Devices can be programmed to 4100 N. Peniel, Bethany, OK - and that will put you in sight range of the building with the clear label "S.T. Ludwig Religion Building.")

Come as early as 6:00 p.m. for conversation and discussion.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

White House Statement on Elections in Sudan

Since we have been advocating in our partnership with GI-Net specifically about issues involving Sudan, I thought I would share the following news release from the White House Today:

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
April 20, 2010
Statement by the Press Secretary on Elections in Sudan

The elections held recently in Sudan were an essential step in a process laid out by Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The United States notes the initial assessment of independent electoral observers that Sudan’s elections did not meet international standards. Political rights and freedoms were circumscribed throughout the electoral process, there were reports of intimidation and threats of violence in South Sudan, ongoing conflict in Darfur did not permit an environment conducive to acceptable elections, and inadequacies in technical preparations for the vote resulted in serious irregularities. The United States regrets that Sudan’s National Elections Commission did not do more to prevent and address such problems prior to voting.

The people of Sudan are to be commended for their efforts to make Sudan’s first multi-party elections in over two decades peaceful and meaningful. In the months and years ahead it will be critical to continue pressing for progress for the civil and political rights of all of the Sudanese people. This priority will not expire with the CPA, and all parties should draw on this experience to improve preparations for future elections and referenda.

The United States also remains committed to working with the international community to support implementation of outstanding elements of the CPA and ensure that the referendum happens on time and that its results are respected. With partners in the region and beyond, we will continue to engage in the preparations necessary to support peace and stability after the 2011 referenda, and continue to promote peace, security, and accountability in Darfur.

One of the specific issues we addressed with Senators Inhofe, Coburn and Representative Fallin (or their Representatives) had to do with the need for the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) to be made effective with specific metrics for accountability.

We are thankful that the White House is committed to supporting peace and stability and the furtherance of security and accountability.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Monday, April 19, 2010

People Against Trafficking Humans

What a delight to have been at a University Event tonight sponsored by students it is my privilege to "advise" as *they* lead and shape the future of our world!

I am and was so proud of Destry Howland, in particular, who (among many others) pulled together an event on the Campus of Southern Nazarene University highlighting the issue of human trafficking.

Speakers at the event included persons from WRATH - Women Rallying Against Trafficking Humans and All Things New Campaign - both based locally in the OKC Metro.

I certainly could list more here about the specific agencies and what they are doing - but I will let their websites address the important issues they are effectively addressing.

My main goal tonight was to (1) add our Eupan Global Initiative voice to these worthy causes and to (2) praise Student LEADERS who are making a difference so that our world is better for all persons!

Destry is pictured here in yellow and black - having raised her voice, we acknowledge her good work!

Toward eupan!

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Eupan Supported or Sponsored Events - Next Two Wednesdays!

Toward learning and awareness toward eupan we support the fact that Oklahoma City University is hosting Ismael Baeh *this* week:

A Long Way Gone: A Story of Redemption and Hope at the Petree Auditorium at the Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center
(N.W. 25th St and Blackwelder Ave - 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 14, 2010)

Then, next week, on the Campus of Southern Nazarene University - Wednesday Night at 6:30 p.m. in the S.T. Ludwig Building - the Eupan Global Initiative is partner with BlessedEarth sponsoring a time to recognize Earth Day from the distinct framework of Christian testimony! (SNU is located at 6729 NW 39th Expressway, Bethany, OK - and a relevant GPS location for is 4100 N. Peniel, Bethany, OK.)

The next two Wednesday Evenings - Events toward and for eupan!

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Adding Your Voice in Oklahoma to Sudan

For weeks and weeks there have been reports of a failed democratic process taking place in Sudan - the location where genocide has taken place, where Omar al-Bashir is up for election, though he has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for Crimes Against Humanity.

In most recent news, former President Jimmy Carter has arrived in Sudan to help monitor the situation:

Please consider adding your voice here in Oklahoma to the situations developing in Sudan:

1. Contact your Senators with the below message, feel free to make it personal:
Senator Inhofe: Email or call him at (405) 608-4381
Senator Coburn: Email or call him at (405) 231-4941

Message (please feel free to personalize your message for greater impact):

"As your constituent and as an American, I am deeply concerned about the current situation in Sudan. The benchmarks required by US Sudan policy for free and fair elections have not been met. Polling begins in only a few days and I feel that the vote will not reflect the will of the people since so many have not been able to register or have publicly boycotted the elections. Please contact President Obama and Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson and ask them to remain vigilant during polling and to measure accurately measure the credibility of these elections using standards set forth in the US Sudan policy. Thank you."

2. Ask Congress for stronger leadership and oversight of the US Sudan Policy. Sign this petition to Senators Kerry and Lugar and Representatives Ros-Lehtinen and Berman.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blessed Earth simulcast: a greater green good for all

I often joke with friends that my personal torture would consist of being forced to watch recyclable items be thrown away all day. That "green" motivation is in me - I've caught the bug, and I am proud to say that I have had the bug for some time now.

For me, living a sustainable life is not only a series of physical actions that could be considered working towards a greater good for all, but rather it is a spiritual practice. Whether you identify with a faith tradition or not, practicing sustainability is a commitment towards re-shaping habits and attitudes.

Blessed Earth is a faith-based partner in the quest for a greater green good for all. They, along with many other organizations such as Asbury Theological Seminary and Zondervan Publishing, will be hosting a live simulcast on April 21st that we, the Eupan Global Initiative, will be participating in. Below is some information taken from their website's simulcast FAQ and a video introducing the simulcast:


What is the Blessed Earth simulcast?

Blessed Earth is hosting a live, national simulcast event that will include special guests and music, an exclusive look at a new creation care video series, and an interactive discussion with leaders and groups across the country. A simulcast enables a program to be seen at various locations (colleges, churches, organizations, and homes) at the same time by a large audience.


If you are in the Oklahoma City area and would like to participate in the simulcast with EGI, please let us know in the comments, or email us at eupanglobal AT gmail DOT com. Our simulcast with Blessed Earth will take place on Wednesday, April 21st - at 6:30 p.m. (1830 hours) - with doors opening and initial set up to start as early as 6:00 p.m. We will be hosting this in the S.T. Ludwig Religion Building on the Campus of Southern Nazarene University. (If you use a GPS device to find the location, program 4100 N. Peniel, Bethany, OK in your GPS address finder.)

Towards eupan!

~ stephen vandervort

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dr. Coburn announced, "Well Said!"

United States Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. has been criticized specifically for stopping and saying "No!" to several pieces of legislation in various reviews. While any and every Senator is criticized by some members of their constitutency, because of the multiple "holds" that Dr. Coburn puts on bills in Congress in order to address issues of spending, he has earned the moniker, "Dr. No."

It was nice, then, that at the conclusion of our personal meeting with Dr. Coburn today to hear Dr. Coburn say to me, "Well said!"

Dr. Coburn has several Town Hall meetings taking place in and around Oklahoma in these few days of his Easter Break. I attended his meeting in OKC today - with perhaps 400 in attendance, many of whom where vying for an opportunity to ask him questions, but less than 15 got the microphone for even a few minutes.

In view of this, it was a particular delight to have had a personal meeting with Dr. Coburn in his office where he gave 25 minutes to our advocacy and efforts in a personal way.

We met with Dr. Coburn in our advocacy towards peace and harmony in our world - in specific connection with our efforts toward the current situation(s) in Sudan. This has grown out of our commitment to shared partnership with the Carl Wilkens Fellowship from Genocide Intervention Network.

At the conclusion of our 25 minute meeting I said something along these lines, which I had prepared.

"Dr Coburn. We want to thank you for your time today. As we conclude our time, I want to share with you a story that is narrated by Daoud Hari in the book, The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur. Daoud is himself a survivor of the atrocities that have taken place in the region of Darfur in Sudan. Daoud tells the story of how his mother was on one occasion surrounded by a circle of lions who wanted to attack their cattle and sheep. Daoud says that his mother, "for a long day, a long night, and the next morning saved their flock using only the power of her voice and the banging of sticks." We want to be advocates - to add our voice - to fend off the lions of our world who want to cause carnage and harm. Please see us as partners toward this effort with you as we raise our voice."

And Dr. Coburn announced, "Well said!"

Thanks to you who are partnering with us toward eupan. Please contact us personally if you want to know about how you can use the power of your voice with us! Email us at

On a personal note - in the middle of an already long week (I met personally with field representatives for U.S. Senator James Inhofe and Representative Mary Fallin earlier in the week) - I want to note how exciting it is to be a partner with others toward effecting and establishing a better world. We can and should live into a more peaceable future - establishing the good for the all!

Committed to peacemaking, committed to adding our voice, and committed to eupan!

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stewards of Creation

In this article, I (Levi Jones) discuss our role as stewards over creation.  Along with that idea, I discuss a recent mission trip in Haiti in which I participated.  Several of the challenges that face Haiti could potentially face us if we are not careful to preserve the gift that we have been given.  As such, it is imperative that we look carefully at the long-term consequences of our actions, rather than simply counting the short-term benefits. Posted by Levi Jones.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Monday, March 29, 2010

Public Note - Adding YOUR voice

As you know, we have been advocating toward efforts regarding Sustainability issues locally (in OKC Metro and OK) and about Genocide Intervention internationally. (And, of course, those of us involved in EGI stay aware of many other issues where we might advocate toward eupan!)

Because we have recently met with and will meet again this week with Senator Tom Coburn, M.D., I want to share the following:

Dr. Coburn is hosting a free, public town hall meeting next week.

Wednesday, March 31
2 – 3 p.m.
Metro Technology Center
Springlake Campus Auditorium
1900 Springlake Dr.
(NW of 36th and Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Oklahoma City, OK

Additionally, as a way of sharing I will add here:

Our showing of the film PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library was a "success" for those who came out. I personally had a good conversation with several persons after the film concluded. Thank you to those who helped organize and welcome (again) to those who we met!

I met earlier today with representatives from Senator James Inhofe's office, Brian J.Hackler and Chris J. Stover. I meet later today with J. Derek Sparks in Representative Mary Fallin's office. Delightful meetings thus far and looking forward to a delightful afternoon in advocacy toward eupan efforts.

I look forward to how we - and *you* - will add our voice toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pause with your lights out?

As a member of the Eupan Global Initiative I can not speak for all of us, but I think most of us in the Eupan Global Initiative are not necessarily committed to "the earth" but we are certainly and deliberately mindful of how we live on and with creation toward advancing the good for the all!  Personally, I believe anything that causes us "pause" in life to rethink how we individually contribute to the pain of others - or the peace for others, is worthy of serious consideration. 

Consider your part in our life's larger systems - would you? From the Earth Hour website:

Mission, History & Earth Hour 2010

On Earth Hour hundreds of millions of people, organizations, corporations and governments around the world will come together to make a bold statement about their concern for climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour. In the U.S. where we are already feeling the impacts of climate change, Earth Hour sends a clear message that Americans care about this issue and want to turn the lights out on dirty air, dangerous dependency on foreign oil and costly climate change impacts, and make the switch to cleaner air, a strong economic future and a more secure nation.

Participation is easy. By flipping off your lights on March 27th at 8:30 p.m. local time you will be making the switch to a cleaner, more secure nation and prosperous America. View the toolkits, to find out what else you can do to get involved including leading the Earth Hour movement in your community.

Set Your Clock

On Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. local time, Earth Hour will once again cascade around the globe, from New Zealand to Hawaii.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Downtown Library Tonight! Film Showing!

So many great things going on in our shared efforts and work toward eupan!

Don't forget about our 6:00 p.m. showing of Pray the Devil Back to Hell at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library - tonight.

Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library
300 Park Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
(405) 231- 8650

The library has been advertising this on our behalf - and any and all are welcome for the free showing, underwritten by the generosity of partners toward eupan.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Moving ahead in advocacy

Several of us in Oklahoma City working toward eupan goals specifically connected to anti-genocide and awareness intervention,  met last week with Dr. Coburn's Field Rep. Craig Smith.  We had a delightful meeting with a very kind person who took the time to listen to our concerns and issues.

This coming Monday, March 29th, I (Marty) have meetings with Representative Mary Fallin's office  and separately with a representative in Senator Inhofe's office on Monday the 29th.

In our shared work toward advocacy and raising awareness, I am excited to report that as a result of last week's meeting with Senator Coburn's Field Rep - I have just today been called and invited me to a personal time with Senator Tom Coburn after a "town hall" presentation that Dr. Coburn will have on Wednesday the 31st. 

I have no illusion that I'll be the only invited personal to follow up with the personal meetings after the town hall meeting . . . but I did get a personal phone call and a personal invitation to be with Coburn.

I am thankful to the participation and assistance and training that has come for me out of the Carl Wilken's Fellowship - and thankful for lessons in diplomacy and advocacy that I am experiencing - and lessons that I want to share with all committed toward efforts that advance the good for the all!

If you are local in the OKC area and want to partner with me in the meetings I have planned - to the extent you are welcome from the perspective of the field reps, I welcome your shared participation and shared voice in adding your voice to our shared efforts -in this case, specifically about Genocide awareness in Sudan - but not forgetting Congo and Burma!  Please email me personally at either or if you have interest in partnering with us in these issues.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Eco-Festival in OKC April 16-18, 2010

Live Earth Oklahoma will hit Oklahoma City on April 16-18, 2010 in the city's Adventure District.  This district features attractions such as the Oklahoma City Zoo, Remington Park, the National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum, and a handful of other places to visit.  However, these venues will take a back seat during Live Earth Oklahoma's two day eco-festival to all of the activities helping people become more aware of issues of sustainability.

One issue in particular that the Live Earth Oklahoma Eco-Festival will promote is water conservation and opportunities to help provide clean drinking water around the world.
The Eco-Festival will include a 6k "Run for Water" an Eco-Village, live music, educational seminars and much much more. For more information go here. For more information about the "6k Run for Water" or to register go here.  

Eli Pagel

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thanks to Senator Tom Coburn and his State Representative

Several from the Eupan Global Initiative had the opportunity to meet today with Mr. Craig J. Smith, Field Representative for Senator Tom Coburn's office. 

Mr. Smith is one of six representatives who serves as the "eyes and ears" for Dr. Coburn, as both Coburn and Smith serve unique roles in representing the voice(s) of Oklahoman(s) in our U.S. Federal System of Government.

Mr. Smith was kind and gracious and offered a clear and discerning perspective to Dr. Coburn's intentions and role as a policy-maker. 

Our conversation with Mr. Smith emerged specifically out of the work we have been doing for the past number of months since we agreed in 2009 to focus on issues of Genocide.  Our work has been emboldened by our partnership role with GI-Net and the Carl Wilkens Fellowship.

As we met, we pressed Mr. Smith to advise Dr. Coburn that we are concerned for the free and open elections forthcoming in Sudan (April 11.)  While we are hopeful for the process that is underway, we expressed our concern that "the good is available to the all" as Sudan moves into the future.  Sudan has been a troubled area and has had a history of recent violence, making it a flashpoint for future violence (see footnote in this entry). 

Our eupan hope includes  President Obama's expressed action already underway. We specifically requested that Dr. Coburn will partner with Senate leadership before and after April 11 to work toward achieving peace and stability for the persons of Sudan, for the country of Sudan, and for the good enhanced for world diplomacy if the former can be achieved. 

Our thanks to Mr. Smith for his time today - and to Dr. Coburn's work.

Included is a picture of those who were present, an small representation of the emerging and growing leadership in our EGI efforts toward eupan through the Eupan Global Initiative.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

footnote:  An excellent essay that explores the causes/theories of Genocide can be found at this link: Theories of Genocide:  The Case of Rwanda.  In the article, Howard Adelman challenges the positions of a scholar and friend I have worked with in the past, James Waller.  While Dr. Waller is the person I have worked with personally, what is important for consideration here is how both scholars offer important practical and theoretical work that can serve as a foundation for better understanding "evil" so that we can better advance the good!

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Saturday, March 13, 2010

City of Oklahoma City | Public Information & Marketing

releafokc logo
tree giveaway banner


Thanks to the Houston-based Apache Foundation and the Tree Bank Foundation, over 3,000 free trees have been made available to households in Oklahoma City. At this time, plans are underway to initiate a fourth “Great OKC Tree Give-Away,” with over 500 trees scheduled for distribution in April. Registration will open on March 19, 2010, and trees will be available for pick-up on April 24. For general program information, you may call 604-0041.


How can I get a tree?
Citizens who want a free tree must register for one via our online registration system or by phone. Registration is now closed, but will open at 9:00 a.m. on March 19, 2010. Registration will remain open until all trees are reserved.

Posted via web from Recent Reading & Reflections: Collecting Random Thoughts In No Particular Order

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oklahoma City University : Distinguished Speakers Series


2009-10 SPEAKERS

Ishmael Beah
A Long Way Gone: A Story of Redemption and Hope
Petree Auditorium
Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center
N.W. 25th St and Blackwelder Ave
7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Perhaps all that need be said about Beah’s skill as a storyteller is that while we know how he made it out–the book in our hands is proof of that–we are glued to every page by the very real possibility that this story is not going to end happily…Read his memoir and you will be haunted…It’s a high price to pay, but it’s worth it.


Ishmael Beah was born in Sierra Leone on November 23, 1980. When he was eleven, Ishmael’s life, along with the lives of millions of other Sierra Leoneans, was derailed by the outbreak of a brutal civil war. After his parents and two brothers were killed, Ishmael was recruited to fight as a child soldier. He was thirteen. He fought for over two years before he was removed from the army by UNICEF and placed in a rehabilitation home in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. After completing rehabilitation in late 1996, Ishmael won a competition to attend a conference at the United Nations to talk about the devastating effects of war on children in his country. It was there that he met his new mother, Laura Simms, a professional storyteller who lives in New York. Ishmael returned to Sierra Leone and continued speaking about his experiences to help bring international attention to the issue of child soldiering and war affected children.

In 1998, Ishmael came to live with his American family in New York City. He completed high school at the United Nations International School, and subsequently went on to Oberlin College in Ohio. Throughout his high school and undergraduate education, Ishmael continued his advocacy work to bring attention to the plight of child soldiers and children affected by war around the world, speaking on numerous occasions on behalf of UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, United Nations Secretary General’s Office for Children and Armed Conflict, at the United Nations General Assembly, serving on a UN panel with Secretary General Kofi Annan, and discussing the issue with dignitaries such as Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton. He is a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Committee.

In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now twenty-six years old, tells a riveting story. At the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. Eventually released by the army and sent to a UNICEF rehabilitation center, he struggled to regain his humanity and to reenter the world of civilians, who viewed him with fear and suspicion. This is, at last, a story of redemption and hope.

Free and open to the public
Seating limited.

For more information, call 405.208.4956

Sounds like a great event for those of us interested in the stories of others, as we work toward eupan!

Thanks to the partner advocate who shared this date and information with us!

Posted via web

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Advocacy as an "Added Voice" toward Eupan

I am thrilled to share that friends and co-labourers committed toward advancing eupan have made a diligent effort to participate toward effecting justice - with success!

A few miles from where I sit in Bethany, for nearly two weeks - persons from around the country and several local friends and EGI advocates have been camping outside Dr. Tom Coburn's office in Oklahoma City in an effort to raise awareness about a bill he had placed a hold on.

My own part in this effort was small - sending a letter to Dr. Tom Coburn and offering food to those camping out  - but many persons, working together, adding their voice (! advocacy ! ) to the issue, have won a victory on this matter.

More here:  Dr. Coburn Says Yes!

What a privilege to be partner with others as each plays a different and unique role in extending the good for the all!

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Pray the Devil Back to Hell - in Oklahoma City

We will be screening Pray The Devil Back to Hell in Oklahoma City at the Downtown Ronald J. Norick Library.

Information from the libraries' website is available here:  PRAY THE DEVIL 

Many other exciting things happening in our shared efforts toward eupan

We will be sharing more soon!

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Monday, March 1, 2010

Burma Genocide - Heroes Serving Humanity

We partnered with students from Southern Nazarene University - to partner with students in STAND at Oklahoma University. The OU students and campus were exceptional hosts to many persons present - and specifically to Thomas Van Dyke with Heroes Serving Humanity.

The following notes and reflections are a guest blog entry by Destry Howland - a student at SNU that is working toward eupan. She writes:

Tuesday 23 at 7pm OU’s student group STAND, Students Against Genocide, hosted Dr. Thomas Van Dyke. Van Dyke spoke about the slow genocide in Burma, how it was being done, compared it to genocides in Darfur, and what Heroes for Humanity and the Free Burma Rangers are doing in Burma.

The military in Burma, the State Peace and Development Counsel, has had Aung San Suu Kyi, their legitimately elected Prime Minister imprisoned (mostly house arrest) for about twenty years. She is the only person to have received the Nobel Peace Prize while imprisoned. The SPDC has an army that is rather untrained and disorganized because there is quite a number of child soldiers. Some of the soldiers are kidnapped and forced to fight. The typical job of the army is to burn down villages, direct attacks on villagers force the villagers to relocate into concentration camps, force the villagers to work (often building the camps in which they must live), rape, place landmines in villages that have been burned down so that the villagers cannot return and rebuild, and destroy food supplies. These are just a few examples.

The villagers, minorities in Burma, are dying of disease as well. Once their villages have been burned down they do not have the supplies that they need such as pots and pans to boil water, so they are dying of Dysentery. They are also dying of Malaria. This is where Heroes for Humanity comes into play. They send teams of Burmese into villages to provide medical assistance as well as into the jungles. There are at any given time half a million people hiding in the jungle. Not only do the teams from Heroes for Humanity provide medicines, but also they perform amputations for people that have met a landmine and survived, have radios set up at their camp sites in order to track the movements of the armies and warn the locals to evacuate, and have extra clothes and other such supplies to give to the villagers.

So far in Burma over 350,000 villages have been burned down, and millions of Burmese have been displaced. There are only two organizations actively involved in Burma and that is the Heroes for Humanity and a Backpacking Medical Team. The aid that has been given to Burma stays with the government. Neither the US nor the UN has taken action in Burma. Right now the hope of the Heroes for Humanity is that there is a military coup and new leadership put into place. They do not ask for a military force be brought into Burma, but that safe zones can be established in the villages. Another option for the rescue of Burma is that they will get busted for their nuclear weapons program.

Obviously not a lot of options are available to the Burmese. The point is that we need to be aware of the human rights injustices that are going on in Burma, spread the word, and make our congressmen and senators aware as well. If the US recognizes that stopping the genocide in Burma is important then they might take action. Right now there is no cost to the US by inaction. Let us create a cost.

from: Destry Howland

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Proud of SNU Student Joint Initiative Toward Eupan

Several students committed to extend good to others are partnering with other persons from around the State and around the U.S. to encourage Tom Coburn (R-Muskogee, OK) to remove his hold on a Bill in Congress.

If Coburn will remove his hold on the bill - based on current support in the Senate - it will pass and will allow for millions of dollars for humanitarian relief and reconstruction, reconciliation, and transitional justice to aid Uganda.

Support for the measures have grown over a number of years through concentrated awareness campaigns by several agencies regarding the Child Soldiers that are largely kidnapped and forced/drugged into becoming murderers.

Read more about what local Oklahomans are doing right now.

Read more about the Bill.

Read more about a single agency Resolve Uganda or another single agency, Invisible Children, that has been working toward this issue of injustice in our world for years.

And, to the students I have had the privilege to work with - who fall within the broad range of connected Eupan Global Inititiave ideas and inspiration . . . I am very proud of you!

A solid example of long-term political advocacy and political will building in the making - and effecting good for those who need it!

Toward eupan!

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tonight - February 23rd - and March 24th

Tonight several from Bethany and NW OKC will join with the Oklahoma University STAND leadership to hear from Tom Van Dyke. Feel free to meet us on the campus of OU - or meet us at the corner of 42nd and College in Bethany to carpool together.

Last Fall in our early advocacy planning we scheduled with the Metropolitan Library System in Oklahoma City toward a 2nd public viewing of the film: Pray the Devil Back to Hell. This will be shown in the Downtown Ronald J. Norick Library on the evening of March 24th.

Mark your calendars and watch for updates.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

OU Campus Sustainability and STAND

I was on the campus of OU (Oklahoma University) this past week and was delighted to see and hear testimony of efforts toward Eupan Global Initiative Goals! (Not because of our efforts, but certainly in harmony with our goals!)

As you will see highlighted in these pictures - they have specific planned goals to connect their crimson colors to green initiatives as fully functioning campus initiatives.

They also provide filtered water next to soda machines to encourage proper hydration.

And, they have (among many campus organizations) an active STAND (Student anti-genocide coalition) that has active, informed leaders advocating and educating for the common good!

We who work toward eupan should "cheer" for OU in leading the way for Oklahoma campuses in the unambiguous and clear public advocacy and participation in sustainable practices and human rights initiatives that advance the good for the all!!

"Go OU!"

Toward eupan!

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Friday, February 12, 2010

*Immediate Opportunity* - Guest Speaker

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet recently with the leadership of STAND (Student Anti-Genocide Coalition) on the Campus of OU (Oklahoma University.)

If you can be free in less than two weeks - February 23rd - I am certain there will be much you can learn about Burma and the social, political, personal, *human* conflict that has been happening there - and how it connects with issues of genocide.

Tom Van Dyke works with Heroes Serving Humanity and, I trust, will be a great resource for expanding your world view and considering new ways that you might work toward advancing the good for people living in Burma.

I am not an expert on OU campus dynamics - but if I can access or provide you with more information than what is available here - I certainly will do that!

Toward eupan!

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

One Million Bones (dot) org

What a delight to meet Naomi Natale today - a new friend and partner Carl Wilkens Fellow.

This great idea for artists and advocates - an idea that is (I believe) truly inspirational and TRANS-form-ational for participants and viewers, and politicians and the press!

More about her PROJECT that can involve you - at

Toward eupan!

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.