I approached with trepidation. Not know what to expect, not really knowing why I was there… and then.
Thousands gathered into a packed auditorium for the final event of the Fourth Estate Leadership Summit. Smiling, eager, and excited, energy pulsating and tangible. My mind was blown at the level of joy and enthusiasm every single person had, the experiences of the last three days coursing through their veins. Invisible Children may have put together an event filled with activities and celebrity guest, but there is no way they could have anticipated the way every kid, young adults and young professional in attendance would make the weekend resonate. Each of them now carrying change in their hearts, taking it with them to every corner of the country (and the globe), ready and willing to make this world we live in a better place.
Those who gathered were,”Young people, who take very seriously, the charge to love your neighbor as yourself…Young people with a moral imagination, young people on a mission.Young people determined to leave this world kinder than the world you found.” or at least that is how our freshly minted U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Samantha Power felt about things and I couldn’t agree with her more.*
The night moved on, speakers spoke of world crisis, the power of one voice, the way in whichone could turn to thousands in the blink of an eye. After all, every thing must start somewhere, a ripple becoming a tidal wave, altering the face of the earth as it goes.
Films were shown, brining tears to the eyes of many, forcing everyone to their feet in a resounding cheer at the end. A call to action, a movement beginning.
I was only able to witness a few brief moments of this magnificent event, and it wasn’t nearly enough.
As the logo for the event symbolized- an olive branch for peace, an eagle feather for action…sparks were ignited, get ready for change.
Things you should know, which nearly stopped my heart from joy and pain alike.
- 1,488 participants representing 27 countries
- 85% of IC’s total donations (over their entire existence) have come from young people like you.
- Average pledge at 4E: $1,370
- Total pledged at 4E: over $2 mil
- Conflict: 253 fighters holding 140 women and 72 children hostage
- LRA killings have decreased by 93% over the past 2 years
- 81% of defectors cite come home messaging as influential to their escape
- 7 times as many LRA fighters defected in 2012 as in 2011
- 54 LRA members have come out in 2013
- Invisible Children created the Centre Elikya Rehabilitation Center: holds 150 children currently
I think Dan Pallotta, had it right when he said, “Human beings just want to know that when we’re gone, there’s some evidence that we lived.” this event challenged the way thousands think about doing just that…living.