Stop at Nothing, but Read First

Tonight, countless activists will descend on their cities with community service and a ton of posters invoking a campaign to capture Joseph Kony. It will be the answer from the masses to the call to action at the end of the Kony 2012 video that Invisible Children premiered in early March, and I expect – in many cities – it will be pretty big. I know of dozens of friends across the Phoenix area that will be doing something to mark the occasion. I personally won’t. As I’ve mentioned before, I think that passing a widely cosponsored bill and getting advisers sent abroad means you’ve got awareness on your side already.

I’m taking action in a different way. Earlier this week I joined a number of students and adults in meeting with the district director of my Congressman. We talked for almost an hour about Joseph Kony and the role the U.S. can play in the region. We discussed support for a House resolution confirming support for President Obama’s deployment and a resolution to expand the Rewards for Justice program. After 6 years of learning about this conflict, it’s the best way for me to take action.

The absolute best way to get involved in any cause, though, is to learn about it. Once you do your homework, you can choose how best to insert yourself into the movement. There is tons of reading to do on this particular campaign, thanks in part to the vast expanses of the internet. More recently, an informed volume of essays has been collected by Amanda Taub of Wronging Rights fame, and its available in an e-Book. Go have a look at Beyond Kony2012: Atrocity, Awareness, & Activism in the Internet Age. I’ve only just started reading, but it offers brief but in depth history and analysis of the conflict as well as informed critiques about the campaign, and it’s downloadable in all sorts of formats at whatever-price-you-can-afford. If you want to learn about the cause – whether you’re a critic or a supporter – it’s a good place to start.

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