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ONE Campus Spotlight

Your classes may be over for the summer, but we know your commitment to the fight against poverty never takes a break. Check out this post from Brian Hendershot, Campus Leader at Drury University, as he continues to advocate for the world’s poorest during his summer internship at the Korean American Coalition.

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As a ONE Campus Leader at Drury University, I’ve done my fair share of awareness campaigns and recruiting petition signers for the smart development that help lift millions out of poverty. From hosting an educational event on World Water Day to speaking with Presidential Candidates about the importance of good a development strategy, ONE at Drury University is on the front lines in working to rally voices for the voiceless.

While classes are done for the summer, I’m putting my advocacy skills to the test through my internship with the Korean American Coalition (KAC). At KAC, I have been tasked with raising national awareness and support for the North Korean Refugee Adoption Act (NKRAA), primarily in the Midwest. At its heart, the NKRAA would give currently stateless and orphaned children the status and visibility to help them lift themselves out of poverty and achieve the economic self-sufficiency for a brighter future.

If it were not for experience as a ONE Campus Leader, I would find my job insanely intimidating. And while grassroots organizing can always be a challenge, I’m finding that with the advocacy skills I’ve acquired, KAC’s voices are being heard. It’s been amazing hearing that as more signatures and letters come in, more Congressmen and women sign on. In the week that I’ve been here, according to govtrack.us, the chances of this bill being enacted has risen almost 9 percent! It’s great to know that my work at ONE has the same effect. I’m also learning new ways to connect my campus chapter with the broader community. Because of my internship experience, I know that I’ll be a more effective Campus Leader and advocate for the world’s poorest people.

And while I do my part, the people who sign the petition and use their voices are indispensable. It is only when we act as one voice and demand change that we can progress. We must realize that the humanitarian crises that members of ONE and similar organizations combat daily are not limited to their country of origin. They are global issues which can only be fixed when we act as one.

If the North Korean Refugee Adoption Act is something that interests you, I encourage you to go to http://thinkchildren.org/sign-the-petition/ to learn more and sign the petition.

 

By Brian Hendershot, Drury University

What it’s like to volunteer for ONE at Bonnaroo

Check out this post by Lauren Bergaust of Brigham Young University – Hawaii for a behind the scenes look at a day in the life of a ONE volunteer at a major music fesitval.

For the last year I have been heavily involved with ONE at Brigham Young University-Hawaii. The founding President of our school had a vision that “from this school will go men and women whose influence for peace will be felt internationally.” Our school has students from 70 different countries that come to this one place. I feel it makes our little oasis in Hawaii very special.

Flying a few thousand miles from our small city in Hawaii to another small city in Tennessee was an exhausting but incredible trip. Students from Hawaii, Washington, Michigan and Florida all flew into Tennessee to start what would be a meaningful and unforgettable experience working with ONE at the Bonnaroo music festival.

Every morning was a rush to sleep in till the third snooze button rang and then hurry down to grab breakfast. Our call to leave was 9:30am; 9:43am rolled around and we finally loaded in the vans. We spent the morning and early afternoon walking around the festival site and interacting with different people and sharing our message about the Beginning of the End of Aids.

The types of people we interacted with varied in every way possible. From the interested and the bleary-eyed, the hippies and the punks, the old and the young, and the foreign and the native, we talked to them all. Our message was short, but meaningful. Together, we can end AIDS.

In the afternoon, when we could no longer resist the enticing smells of fried pickles, beef kabobs, and Vietnamese sandwiches, we took a break from our campaigning and headed over the Food Truck Oasis where we welcomed the shaded tents and misted showers.

While I spoke with hundreds of people every day about ONE and an AIDS free generation, one conversation stands out particularly vividly. A woman asked me if I really thought that there could be an end to extreme poverty. My answer? Absolutely. She may have been skeptical, but I stand by my answer. I know that my one voice has the power to help. I’m not trying to save the world here, at a music festival in Manchester. I’m simply trying to help. Being a part of the end of aids is an amazing thing to witness and I’m hopeful that this is only the beginning of better generations to come.

I strongly believe in the vision of my school back in Hawaii and I feel that I was blessed to come together with these other students across America and unite for a common cause: a cause to help those around us and engage others to do the same. I hope that through all the wonderful and quirky people I met at Bonnaroo, that at least one person really felt my influence and will go out of their way to help be an influence for peace and service in their own community. All it takes is ONE.

 

Check out Lauren’s pictures below!

Day 2: ONE member Nancy reflects on the original AIDS Quilt at Bonnaroo

Michelle DiMuzio, from University of Michigan with an interview by Luis Giraldo, University of Florida, with a ONE member on the (2015)AIDS quilt.

ONE and (RED)’s virtual AIDS quilt, a modern-day version of the original AIDS Quilt, captured the attention of concert goers at the Bonnaroo Music Festival and campgrounds last weekend. During the festival, I had great interactions with people about the AIDS movement and even some who had seen original patches in their hometown of San Francisco.

Some of the festival goers we met were personally affected by AIDS. One woman explained how her uncle died from AIDS and she was quickly receptive to our digital quilt and its hopeful tribute to the original 80s AIDS Quilt. Another group of enthusiastic Bonnaroovians were shocked at the possibility of an AIDS free generation and excited to contribute their panels as they waited in line for Radiohead’s headlining performance. The general trend I’ve noticed is the willingness to support our cause due to the easiness of recreating a quilt that clearly affected many.

But it was our encounter with ONE member Nancy that really showed me how the (2015)Quilt transcends generations and unites us all in remembering the past and creating a more hopeful future. Thirty years ago, as a middle school student in Illinois, Nancy was a small but integral part of the movement to fight HIV/AIDS. And today, amid the rising dust and mingling melodies of Bonnaroo, she returns to the cause and tells her story.

Luis: Tell us a little bit about yourself. How are you connected to the fight against HIV/AIDS?

Nancy: My name is Nancy and in the 1980s, I was part of the original AIDS quilt. I was in junior high in Edgewood Middle School in Highland Park, Illinois. Our class designed a patch that is part of the original quilt that is displayed in Washington, DC. I’m proud to say that I will also be part of the digital quilt that will be displayed in DC as well.

How do you feel after finding out that we are continuing on this project with a different twist?
I think it’s wonderful because work still needs to be done. There has been progress, but obviously it’s not enough. People are still dying so it’s never enough.

What have you learned so far after these 30 years that have gone by since you contributed to the original AIDS quilt?
That more needs to be done. It’s nice to see young people carry the torch and continuing work and research.

What would you tell your local representatives or people who have a direct say in this? What would you tell them? Why do you think this is important?
As long as people are still dying, as long as it’s still affecting people, it’s important. Every life is important.

It’s only Day 2 at Bonnaroo, but my experience talking with Nancy and the many other supporters here in Manchester, Tennessee reminds me that now, more than ever, people from every demographic, background, and even musical taste can come together to create a better future –- a future free of HIV.

Day 1: ONE Campus meets Planet Roo

Fourteen of our top college students from ONE Campus chapters across the country came together at the legendary Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee as part of this year’s ONE Campus grand prize. Luis Giraldo, University of Florida and Lesley Kucharski, University of Michigan report on Day 1 of Bonnaroo.

First day in Planet Roo (the nickname). We came with a purpose — to sign up new ONE members and get them excited about the fight against HIV/AIDS — and the natives seem to be loving it. By becoming a part of something larger than they know, they are contributing a piece of themselves and advocating for a purpose.

We were a little apprehensive at first, but approaching people was easier than it seemed. The culture at Bonnaroo is perfect for campaigning. Everyone here seems to feel an amazing sense of camaraderie, evidenced by everything from the tens of thousands of people camping out in the dust, to the extensive recycling system, to being so receptive to our virtual AIDS quilt.

We have collected hundreds of digital quilt patches for our (2015)QUILT so far, each one representing a commitment to see an AIDS-free generation by 2015. We are so excited to see what happens as the festival continues. Check out some of our favorite pictures below!

By Luis Giraldo, University of Florida and Lesley Kucharski, University of Michigan

Photo credit: Chelsea Davis and Luis Giraldo

ONE Campus goes to Bonnaroo!

The school year may be over, but the Grand Prize for OCC Season 5 is just getting started. For the next four days, students from the top three point-earning campuses (from both fall and spring semester) are joining forces at one of the biggest music festivals of the year – Bonnaroo. These top poverty-fighting students will be campaigning for ONE, signing up new members, and of course watching some amazing musical performances.

Stayed tuned for updates from these 14 students from our ONE chapters at University of Washington – Seattle, University of Florida, University of Michigan, and Brigham Young – Hawaii! Want to join in on the action? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! And another big congratulations to all our ONE Campus Chapters on a great year!

Challenge 4 Winners!

With the G8 just around the corner, for OCC Challenge 4 we asked you to “go global” and ask President Obama to ensure that the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease is at the top of the global agenda. First place goes to University of Washington— check out their video below. Second and third place go to Michigan State University and Clark University, respectively. Congratulations— and a big thanks to everyone who participated!

University of Washington secured 1st place in Challenge 4 with their PSA to President Obama!

Announcing the 2nd and 3rd Challenge Winners…

Tired of waiting to hear who won the 2nd and 3rd challenges? A big congrats to our chapter at Becker College who rolled up their sleeves and collected over 200 phones for our partner Hope Phones earning 1st place. They were closely followed by the University of Washington and University of Texas- El Paso who earned 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. Many thanks to all the campuses that participated—because of your hard work, those old phones will save lives!

Many of our chapters put on incredibly impressive events for World Water Day, but the University of Florida secured 1st place (and 500 points) in our 3rd challenge with their multi-faceted campaign that included letter writing campaign, Water Pressures screening, a creative water quilt, and their Running for Water 5k. The University of Michigan earned 2nd place for their focus on political advocacy and UC- Berkeley earned 3rd for their global discourse on water.

ONE Campus mobilizes students and campus leaders on global issues of extreme poverty and preventable disease. ONE challenges college students to channel that energy and ensure legislative and policy victories for improved government, greater economic development, and smarter aid in the developing world.