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Monday, November 26, 2012

#GivingTuesday: what it is, what it means

Thoughtful  community activists hatched the idea that after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the people need an antidote! That was the impetus for #GivingTuesday, November 27th, a day for people, businesses, groups to give their time, treasure, and attention to people in need, ideas to be explored, conversations to be had on dealing with thorny problems in our communities. There are opportunities and suggestions at the link above for ways to share and learn.

There are people in dire straights in our neighborhoods, cities, counties, states and around the world. It is perfectly logical to focus mainly on our own communities, but there is much to learn and ways to be involved with those outside our borders.

Helping hands
Humanitarian crises are a disaster for those in them and overwhelming to contemplate for those outside them. It is so tempting to turn away and say "it is not our problem" or "I don't know who or how to help". A first step is information gathering on different issues, finding a connection or interest in a particular place, problem, or group. A first stop in information gathering may be the UNHCR, The UN's Refugee Agency.  A list of current crisis areas (Sudan, Congo, Syria to name three) are catalogued and described with how to be involved links. Doctors Without Borders provides information on their work sites.

While some organizations are geared to providing food, shelter, and medical assistance, others are issues oriented. One issue that is currently on the minds of many people, is the life-and-death situation for gays and lesbians in Africa in general and Uganda in particular. To read an overview of what this legislation would do, please click here and here. The non-profit organization vey active is this area is Avaaz: for what to know and how to help, click on the link. Also check the post on this blog dated October 15th.

Censorship, detention, and death are often the consequences facing journalists who dare to confront power with truth. To learn more about these brave people, click here. In many communities, women who speak out are punished; to learn more about this subject and others, click here.

The first most important step in working on these problems is to learn about them and share the information with friends and neighbors.

And lastly, BlackPast.org is a 501 (c) 3 and would also appreciate consideration of your support! Thank you.

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