Thanks so much to everyone who volunteered at WorldFest. The World Neighbors staff has expressed their excitement about the success of the event and their appreciation to all volunteers. Sales exceeded all of the past four years, which is great because all proceeds from WorldFest benefit World Neighbors and the continued expansion of their program areas. The impacts on the awareness levels of our local community and the opportunities that fair trade gives to all the producers and artisans are getting bigger every year. Keep in mind, especially if you had a good experience at WorldFest, that World Neighbors is a great place to do an internship - you can find out more on their website.
Our next general meeting is on Sunday, October 19th at 5pm in the Heritage Room of the Union. We will hear a short presentation from Teach for America and then plan our events and activities for the rest of the semester. Based on the interest list that we brainstormed at our last general meeting, we will start working first on education and action on the following issues, that got the most votes of interest:
Torture and the Counter Terror with Justice campaign
Violence Against Women
These issues were also of interest and we will make sure to include them in our agenda soon:
Institutionalized Violence/Police Brutality
US War on Drugs
Keep in mind these lists are flexible and can always be added to or adapted. So if you have an idea, let us know!
Our Volunteer Coordinator, Chris Schroeder, has been talking with representatives from Habitat for Humanity about setting up our next volunteer activity. We will probably have our next volunteer event within a month. We'll let you know when we get confirmation on a date.
Student Action Network
The first meeting of the newly formed Student Action Network will be held this Sunday, October 19th at 2:30pm in the Heritage Room of the Union.
The goal of this new student organization is to put representatives from the activists organizations here at OU into the same room to see how we can: a) quit competing with each other, b) help each other, and c) let each other know what else is going on. Many of us have goals that overlap, and we need to cooperate more whenever we can, we hope to at least begin to facilitate this.
The group has initiated a message board to act as a centralized and accessible forum for communication between student groups at ouactionnetwork.proboards.com.
This will be a great opportunity to find out about and meet representatives from many of the best groups on campus.
Troy Davis Update
Unfortunately, this past Tuesday, the Supreme Court declined to hear Troy Anthony Davis's appeal. The high court's decision to deny Troy Davis' petition sets a precedent that no court of law will ever hold a hearing on the witnesses who have recanted their trial testimony in sworn affidavits. An execution warrant has been issued for Troy Davis for October 27 at 7pm. We can discuss possibilities for further action at our meeting on Sunday.
United Nations Day Activities
On Friday, October 24th, there will be a discussion about Human Trafficking in Beaird Lounge of the Oklahoma Memorial Union from 3:00-4:30pm, featuring Famke Janssen, a UN Goodwill Ambassador and international film actress, Dr. Jill Irvine the director of OU's Women's Studies Program, and Zach Messitte, OU's vice provost for international programs. The discussion will be followed by a reception from 5:00-6:00pm.
Famke Janssen was named a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity on January 28, 2008. As a Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity, Ms. Janssen uses her celebrity status to raise awareness about the chronic problems of human trafficking, illicit drugs, and governmental corruption. She is an actress best known for her roles in the James Bond movie GoldenEye, the television series Nip/Tuck, and the X-Men trilogy where she played Dr. Jean Grey/Phoenix. She has also appeared in Woody Allen's Celebrity, Robert Altman's The Gingerbread Man, and Ted Demme's Monument Ave. Born in The Netherlands, Janssen speaks Dutch, English, German and French. She is a graduate of Columbia University where she majored in literature. Ms. Janssen will be discussing her role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador and her new film, Taken, in which she plays the mother of a child sold into slavery.
The dinner will begin at 7 p.m. in the Sandy Bell Gallery of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Avenue in Norman. A discussion with Dr. Jill Irvine of Women's Studies will follow the dinner and a trailer of the movie will be shown.
On Saturday, October 25th, there will be a luncheon and discussion on Women and Human Rights from 12 noon - 1:30pm at the University of Oklahoma Faculty House Restaurant (601 NE 14th Street, Oklahoma City).
Hope that midterms are going well for all of you. As always, let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
See you soon,