For the past year, the Advisors and Directors of Initiative for Equality (IfE) have been asking how we can best work towards a more equitable and sustainable future. IfE is a global network that implements its activities through local partners on the ground. This gives us the unique ability to develop global collaborations, or to launch movements that can take off and ‘go viral’ around the world. How can we take advantage of these capabilities and maximize our effectiveness? What should be our focus?
After lengthy discussions, the IfE Advisors and Directors have endorsed a new three-part focus for the organization:
1. Batwa Survival and Rights: an on-the-ground project in one region
A regional network of our partners are fighting for the survival and rights of the Indigenous Batwa people in the African Great Lakes Region. The devastation being brought on these people is symptomatic of the worst aspects of extractive economies and the rights abuses, land grabs, environmental destruction and genocidal conflict that can result. Our activities include monitoring and reporting on rights abuses and conflict, working to develop sustainable livelihoods, changing the mindsets that have led to sexual violence and dehumanization, and working to build peace between local ethnic communities so the Batwa can live in harmony with their neighbors. Our next Update will give you details of our efforts to push back against the devastation being imposed, and to support the Batwa people as they strive to build a safe and decent future for themselves. We’ll send out details soon, and call for volunteers.
2. Refugee & Migrant Crisis: a global collaboration on one issue
One of the most troubling issues in the world is that of the growing refugee and migrant crisis. Right now we are experiencing the worst crisis of international refugees and asylum seekers and internally displaced people since World War II, with an estimated 68.5 million forcibly displaced people around the world. Along with an additional 258 million international migrants, this totals 336.5 million people: the equivalent of the third largest nation on earth! This massive displacement is not just one problem – it’s a response to many problems, constituting a societal breakdown caused by the dysfunctional systems that govern the world right now. IfE is putting together an Action Group to brainstorm global strategies and develop collaborations to address this crisis and the causes behind it. We’ll send out details soon, and call for volunteers.
3. Community Empowerment (COMET): a set of activities that can be implemented by local organizations anywhere in the world
All around the world, IfE’s Field Hearings report that poor and marginalized people are disempowered when those with wealth use their political influence to generate more opportunities to enrich themselves, and block access to resources and opportunities by those who need it most. This systemic problem manifests itself through anti-democratic governance, corruption at high levels, pitting ethnic groups and marginalized populations against one another, vast inequalities in wealth and income, extreme poverty, extractive economies, land and resource grabs, human rights abuses, conflict, military occupation, and outright genocide. IfE is developing a set of activities that can be utilized by local organizations to help their own communities gain empowerment, push back against the abuses, and develop solutions to restore equitable development and a powerful voice at the local, national and international levels. We’ll send out details soon, and call for volunteers.
Right now the world seems like a dangerous place. We don’t know what the future will bring. But we do know that our actions can have a big impact on what happens – especially if we set aside fear and work together to support one another with solidarity and courage!
Please join with us: https://www.
We’re working to overturn the hierarchical systems that threaten us all, and replace them with an equitable and sustainable future that we can be proud of. Please stand with us!