If David Letterman had attended the Millennium Campus Conference at Columbia this past weekend, he would have heard some of the greatest global advocates of our time speaking to an auditorium of college students, empowering them to help solve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. And then he probably would have condensed all this overflowing inspiration into a Top Ten list. Since Mr. Letterman had other plans on Saturday morning, allow us to do the honors!
Top 10 Moments from the Millennium Campus Conference
(Sat. 9am-1:30pm — we dropped by for a bit; get full weekend coverage via #MCC2010)
1. Scott Harrison’s speech: he received a standing ovation for telling the story of how and why he started charity : water, much like he says here (a BILLION people in our world don’t have clean drinking water). charity : water reinvented what charity means; put an emphasis on branding, transparency, truth; believed in the power of small donations. We strive to be like them:
2. Watching Kim Perry, the Director of the Girl Up campaign, present their PSA “Connecting the Dots.” Like She’s the First does for an audience of college and 20-something women, Girl Up gives a call to action to teens/tweens to creatively fundraise for sponsorships for girls in the developing world and spread awareness.
3. Discovering @allgirlsallowed, allgirlsallowed.org, which advocates against the injustice of China’s One-Child Policy. Keep an eye on this issue, because if mothers are pressured to abort their babies when they find out they are expecting a girl, how are we ever to achieve gender equality in schools?
4. Though it brought tears to our eyes, learning the tragic story of 4 Lynn University students and 2 faculty members, part of a “Journey of Hope” course abroad, whose lives were lost when their hotel collapsed during the earthquake in Haiti. The president of the university, Dr. Kevin Ross, flew in from Florida to share their story with us, in hopes it would inspire us to honor their legacy and help rebuild Haiti, restoring education among other infrastructure.
5. A workshop on raising your group’s profile on campus, led by Invisible Children co-founder Bobby Bailey and 19-yr-old Northeastern University supporter Ariel Oshinsky. Invisible Children is is a movement seeking to end the conflict in Uganda and stop the abduction of children for use as child soldiers. They have mobilized college students by taking them on the road to spread the message through film screenings:
6. Listening to Akello Brenda, a Ugandan who was able to attend university thanks to Invisible Children’s program, and now tours the US sharing her story to mobilize youth in fundraising. So powerful to hear from the source how transformative an education is. The confidence and determination with which she spoke raised us all up.
7. Listening to Sam Vaghar, the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Millennium Campus Network, a national network of university student organizations dedicated to the reduction of extreme poverty…he pours every ounce of passion he has into this mission and wants to bring the network to your city/campus! He even says to email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for info.
8. Bumping into the Journey of Action siblings from Nashville, Cassidy and Ryan, who will drive the Pan-American Highway, through 14 different countries, reporting on and volunteering with projects to change the world. They’ll have weekly webisodes, blog every step of the way, and leverage their social network so you can follow the journey. We will be!
9. Simply following the #MCC2010 tweets — how incredible to not only listen to the remarks on stage, but experience in real time how others around you are reacting to it!
10. The moment when all attendees literally stood up and took the pledge to stand up against poverty. We can truly be the generation to end poverty — the influencers of the UN don’t doubt it. Neither should you. Do something today to take one step. Champion girl’s education with us…together, we’ll leap!