Wednesday, March 31, 2010
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
Monday, March 29, 2010
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
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.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
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- 8650The 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.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
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!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
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.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
A Long Way Gone: A Story of Redemption and Hope
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
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!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
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.
Monday, March 1, 2010
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