By: Hassan Barzani (UTSA)
U2’s lead singer Bono founded a non-profit organization called the One Campus Challenge in Fall 2007. Bono’s idea for starting up ONE is to have college student’s nation wide to do clothing drives and weekly competitions on campus for students to sign and send to government leaders and to become one step closer by ending poverty in places from Africa to Haiti. From the beginning, ONE has been successful with have a competition for students to attend the yearly Power 100 Conference in Washington, DC and at the end of the school year five individual students randomly selected to head over for a once in a life time trip to Africa. One partners up with other non-profit organizations from Tom Shoes, Oxfam, the Red Campaign and the Feed Bag Campaign.
I attend the third-annual ONE “Power 100 Summit” in Washington, D.C. earlier this month after being recognized as a national student leader in activism against extreme poverty and preventable disease. The weekend culminated in a Lobby Day, where students asked member of Congress to fund programs proven to reduce extreme poverty, improve global health, and ensure access to food for millions of people.
The Summit, organized by the global anti-poverty campaign organization ONE, brought together top student leaders from 100 campuses across the country. Over the weekend of January 29 – February 1, 2010 students came together to share and devise new strategies for how to engage fellow students to be advocates on these issues and heard from well-known speakers, policy experts, and activists.
“To win their spot at the conference, each of these students took actions to raise awareness and encourage our leaders to keep up the fight against global poverty on America’s agenda,” said ONE Student Coordinator Maisie Pigeon. “The take-away from this conference, in addition to friendships and restored enthusiasm, will be a lasting passion for activism against poverty and preventable disease.”
Students earned a spot at the summit by participating in the ONE Campus Challenge, a competition that engages college campuses to take action in the fight against global poverty. The schools who earned the most points and who ranked within the top one hundred schools in the competition had students attend the national summit.
This weekend was awesome because it marked my second straight time attending the Power 100 conference and I was one of the three Texas students representing at this conferences. The other Texas schools represented were UT Austin and Baylor. I learned so much from this year’s conference and I undoubtedly want to go back next year.
All told, the schools comprising the Power 100 have taken more than 50,000 education, awareness-raising and advocacy actions, recruited more than 10,000 new ONE members, and collected, in only 20 days, more than 20,000 used books for the Liberian Literacy Foundation.
Speakers at the conference included: Robert Draper, correspondent for GQ and contributor to The New York Times and National Geographic; Chai Vasarhelyi, Filmmaker, I Bring What I Love; Ambassador Mark Green, Managing Policy Director, Malaria No More; Scott Hahn, co-founder of the clothing brand Edun; Franklin Moore, Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID; Rev. David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World; ONE President David Lane and the ONE Campus Challenge students who won a spot on a trip to Kenya with ONE .
Check out the ONE Campus Challenge Blog for more on speakers and panels that participated in the Power 100 Summit: http://www.one.org/campus/blog/. Additional information and photos are available upon request. ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organization backed by more than 2 million people from around the world dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. For more information please visit www.ONE.org.