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My New Year’s Resolution: Be An Activist

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My New Year’s Resolution: Be An Activist

Posted by Enough Team on February 1, 2010

My New Year’s Resolution: Be An Activist

Hello Enough Project Community!

My name is Britney Bear and I am an intern in the National Security Department of the Center for American Progress. I am excited to announce that on March 20 I will be running the 2010 SunTrust National Half-Marathon to raise awareness and money for the Enough Project!

Wait…you must be wondering if I work with the National Security Department, why am I running for the Enough Project? First and foremost I am passionate about Enough’s mission to turn frustration about inaction into pragmatic solutions and hope. I have studied how to promote sustainable human societies in South Island, New Zealand and international public law at the University of Oxford in England. Most recently I worked at the Commonwealth Human Right Initiative in Accra, Ghana, assisting the government in following through on the commitments it made in its 2003 constitution.  This year my New Year’s resolution was to look back on what I have done in order to define the direction that will take me forward. When I did I saw an undeniable tendency to be drawn to the most desperate moral challenges that plague the international community today. Starting this year, starting now, I am no longer a mere observer or student of events. I am an activist going out and trying to make a change!

Second, the Enough Project may not be as unrelated from the National Security department as you may think. I know that a lot people casually associate national security with a narrow set of issues, but I feel that it needs to be more broadly defined to include the topics that Enough works so hard on, like preventing mass atrocities. For instance, looking through a “national security lens” it is in the interest of the U.S. to prevent a return to full-blown war in Sudan. Why? Not only would millions of Sudanese people be affected (Enough realm), it would pose a serious risk to the U.S. if the Horn of Africa were enveloped in a regional war (which would likely happen if civil war breaks out in Sudan). The last thing the United States needs is for Africa’s largest country, which already has a history of ties with the likes of al-Qaeda and Bin Laden and isn’t far from volatile Somalia, devolve into war (ok, now National Security). At the end of day, I look at the Enough Project and the National Security Department as two interrelated areas where the effects of one are not necessarily independent of the other.

So how does this work? First I try to get as many people to run a National Marathon event with me as I can. The events range from fairly impossible (the marathon), to barley doable (the half-marathon), to strenuous but possible (the 3-person half-marathon relay). Then it is time for each one of us to take pledges of support (money that will go to Enough!) to be received on the condition that they finish their race. Hopefully on race day we will have plenty of people decked-out in Enough t-shirts feeling proud not only because they accomplished a great physical feat but also because they helped raise money and awareness for a truly inspired program.