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Our March on Washington

Page history last edited by Kelly Behrend 12 years, 5 months ago

We have the necessary technological tools and social network to really set something epic into motion.  So here is my epic idea:


I started this page to begin thinking about an idea we discussed in the IMPACT planning workshop.  WHAT IF our generation staged a WORLDWIDE MARCH.  That means in the U.S. we are gathering in Washington D.C., Minneapolis, L.A., Portland, Memphis, Omaha, Mobile, Cairo, Sao Paolo, Santo Domingo, Dar es Salaam, Istanbul, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Paris, Montreal, Beijing, Moscow, everywhere! 


WHAT IF we staged the first SATELLITE MARCH?  Meaning, we are all marching at the same time around the world in different places, but for one cause.  And WHAT IF we set up HUGE SCREENS at the biggest locations plus a LIVE ONLINE FEED to videotape these "satellite marches" and broadcast them across the world to eachother.  This means there are MILLIONS of youth marching in our march, just in different places across the globe.  But we'd still be marching together. 


If we start this now and act ambitiously we could organize this to fall on the last day of the 25th annual COOL/IMPACT conference and we could read THE ALLEGHENY STATEMENT on the WASHINGTON MALL.  If anyone is really interested in planning this please let me know.  I want to make it happen, I want to say "I was there", and I want you there with me!


-Anna R. Schumacher, College of Saint Benedict (MN)




--Dear Anna,

Thank you for your idea, it truly is epic. I think the best response to Friedman would be an integrated one: both word and action. Combining the Allegheny statement with a march would achieve this. A youth march would also provide both a stage and an arena for our Alleghany statement.

Let me know what your thoughts are on the international aspect of the idea. I have community organizer contacts in Cairo and Istanbul and Guatemala City from my study abroad programs, but I’m not sure how we would approach those countries in which we have no contacts.

As for the United States, I suggest that a starting point would be to divide the country into manageable regions. I have been working on separate project to unite the Bonner schools in the West; I could couple this effort with organizing and generating enthusiasm for the march.


Let me know what you think,

--Glen Guenther, Whitworth University, gguenther09@whitworth.edu


     This is awesome! When is the IMPACT Conference? And what date would this march fall on? If it all works out right, I'll be in Bilbao, Spain from Sep-Dec 08 and Derry, Northern Ireland from Jan-Jun 09. Many of my friends will be in similar study abroad programs from Richmond in France, Italy, Great Britain, so maybe I could help out with something in Europe.

     I know Richmond has a ton of study abroad programs all over the world, and I personally have friends who will be studying in Central and Southeast Asia, Australia, Africa, and Central/South America. Maybe American students studying abroad would be a good connection for making this happen worldwide!

     Any thoughts?

-Kelly, Bonner Foundation Intern, Univ. of Richmond '10 (kelly@bonner.org)


ps: Should we begin thinking about an action plan? Here's one idea: Perhaps we should (1) focus our efforts on writing the Allegheny Statement to set out some goals for this initiative. Then, (2) we could elaborate on that statement and produce some pieces to submit to media sources. If the planning and logistics of this march could develop alongside these initiatives, we would be able to (3) spread the word about the march through our articles and then really get working on making the march a reality. 


I started brainstorming about what such a march could be all about...


I was in a student club in high school called S.T.A.R.T. (Students Taking Action and Responsibility Today). We planned an end-of-the-year event to sum up our progress from the year and solidify goals for the next. We wanted to invite the whole community in this celebration and direction into the new year, so we decided to have a march and summit focused on the 5 goals of our group (pro-environment, pro-tolerance, pro-opportunity, pro-self, and pro-humanity). Although the event was pretty small in scale, I think it may be useful to look back to it for something much bigger like this march. The idea was really awesome and people loved it.


I feel like those 5 things could be replaced, for example, by the 6 Bonner Common Commitments (diversity, community building, civic engagement, spiritual exploration, international perspective, social justice). It is essential that we connect these commitments with advocacy for policy change. With the help of our Bonner National Partners from SLI like RESULTS, Mobilize, New Organizing Institute, and CIRCLE, we might be able to make that connection possible. (We would have to consider global policy, since this may be a worldwide initiative).


Anyway, the name of the whole event could be used again for this march: "Summit Up". This would have a double meaning: "Summit Up" as in a summit that focuses on the UP-and-coming generation with a desire for the UPward movement of our society in terms of our Common Commitments. The second meaning could be "Sum It Up" as in summing up all of our differences, all of our passions, and all of our PEOPLE (from across the globe) to mobilize in support of the march.


S.T.A.R.T. came up with this name and even added a simple, but effective, tagline:


"Summit Up: And Make a Difference". 


What do you all think? Just an idea. Let me know!


Comments (6)

Sid Salvi said

at 9:41 am on Jun 13, 2008

Hey guys,

I think this is an excellent idea! This march would be monumental. Before we start planning the logistics of the march, we must define what we are marching for. Our cause needs to be as universal as the type of action we are planning. I have some contacts in India who would love to help. I think we should pick a cause, incorporate it into the writing of the Allegheny Statement and then start planning!

- Sid Salvi
Amherst College '11

Jack said

at 9:58 am on Jun 13, 2008

Yeah this sounds like like a great idea and I'm beyond down for it..but Sid is right, let's figure out what we're marching for first! haha. I don't have international contacts, but i know a lot of people here that would be into it

Zach Shaheen said

at 10:08 am on Jun 13, 2008

Sounds perfect. Let's get the wheels spinning on this idea!

I agree with Sid, we need to pick a very specific cause first. Could it be as simple as 'global unity' or something?

Glen Guenther said

at 1:55 pm on Jun 13, 2008

Global unity is good, and let's try to make it even more specific. Let's brainstorm some ideas; we need a cause that can unite youth here and abroad. Some ideas: youth empowerment, environmental sustainability, hunger or poverty abatement,

Glen Guenther said

at 2:47 pm on Jun 13, 2008

ATTN Kelly: the Impact conference is scheduled for March 7-9, 2008

Stevi Brown said

at 7:50 pm on Jun 13, 2008

This is a great idea! I have some contacts abroad, and I think using facebook and other social media tools, we can really spread the word world-wide. I do think that we need a specific topic, which might be found when we finish the Allegheny Statement. We should work on that first, and then move forward to planning this event!

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