Student Voice: Kony 2012 MOVE DC an Overwhelming Experience
On Nov. 17, 2012 I was privileged to attend Kony 2012 MOVE DC at the Washington Convention Center with King’s Eyes on Africa Club.
The Invisible Children Campaign, a group dedicated to standing up for justice and human rights, sponsored this event. Their main focus is providing help to children in Africa who are being tortured and killed by militia leader Joseph Kony. Their goal is to have Joseph Kony arrested sometime this December.
Jason Russell, the founder of Invisible Children and Garry Haugen, who founded the International Justice Mission, hosted the event.
Some of the speakers at the event included Ben Keesey, CEO of Invisible Children, Zack Barrows, who coordinated MOVE DC, and motivational speaker and author Sean Stephenson.
Directors of the Invisible Children campaign from all different countries also attended the event, including Jolly Okot from northern Uganda, where Kony has been most prominent. Dozens of soldiers who worked in Uganda rescuing children from Kony came with her and spoke as well.
Stephenson delivered a moving speech, which centered on his personal stories and overcoming his disability, osteogenesis imperfecta. He discussed the importance of knowing who you are as a person and striving to reach your dreams.
“Doing what’s right isn’t always popular and doing what’s popular isn’t always right,” Stephenson said. “Once you know who you are, you won’t care what others think of you and you won’t be a coward sitting on the sidelines afraid to take action.”
He likened his personal journey of adversity to those who came to the event and ignored critics of the Invisible Children campaign.
At noon, a march to the White House began with over 12,000 people lined up to participate outside the Convention Center. College students like me were there from all over the world, including France and Brazil. It was fantastic to see so many people taking action in the fight for world peace.
While marching members of the crowd shouted, “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Joseph Kony’s got to go!” The marchers then went to the Washington Monument where Garry Haugen commended the crowd for participating in the movement. He talked about his previous job working for government offices and how those involved in the march were doing more to strive for world peace than his former co-workers.
“I used to work in a government office and the people were well aware of horrible situations occurring in the world, but they would do nothing,” Haugen said.
Kony 2012 MOVE DC was an inspirational campaign and I’m grateful I was able to participate. Witnessing the thousands of people that were eager to stand up for justice was absolutely incredible.
Over the next few months, Invisible Children will continue their mission and encourage others to join their fight. Hopefully, Joseph Kony will be arrested for all the devastation he has caused.