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Activist Faith

When the Activist Faith blog was launched last November, all I knew was that there was a great need for people of faith to become more involved in the major social change issues of our time. There was no map for how to make this happen, but I plunged in by faith to help do my part to connect more of us in making a difference.

Looking back at the past eight months and 230 posts, I felt it would be appropriate to share how your efforts and those of many others are impacting lives around the world. In no particular order, here are the top achievements of you, Activist Faith friends, in living out faith in action:

Mobile Donations Reach Japanese Disaster Victims Faster: Within one day of posting the need to urge mobile carriers to expedite donations to victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, over 40,000 people had joined. Eventually, over 66,000 supported the effort. Beliefnet featured the post on its home page, helping create a viral outreach to people ready to help our friends in need. Change.org noted:

In response to the earthquake Haiti, mobile carriers gave mobile phone donations to relief groups as soon as you texted. But for Japan, they weren’t, which meant 30 to 90 days between sending your text message and a donation reaching Japan.

When he learn this, Masaya Uchino sprang into action – creating a petition that called on the mobile companies to remit donations for Japan in the same way they did for Haiti. One of his Senators, Barbara Boxer, took note of his efforts and joined the call – writing all the CEOs of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon asking them to expedite donations.

Now two weeks after the launch of the petition, which gathered a total of 66,000 signatures, the phone companies have all agreed immediately pass donations along to Japan.

Clean Water Pledge: In 24 hours, over 2,500 people responded to support clean water access to the 900 million people around the planet without clean drinking water.

Fighting Human Trafficking (in the U.S.): 424 new people signing the petition to urge Wyndham Hotels to take tougher measures to stop human trafficking.

Supporting Funding for Anti-Trafficking Work in Los Angeles: After the LAPD threatened to shut down their human trafficking prosecution unit, over 500 Change.org members wrote in to demand they keep funding these critical services. LAPD agreed, and human trafficking prosecution will remain a separately funded unit in Los Angeles. (This included many of you who responded after the post on this topic.)

Religious Freedom to Allow Student-Led Graduation Prayer: After a nationwide outcry against the legal hurdle against a high school valedictorian who planned pray at her graduation, a legal ruling was made just in time for the ceremony. YOU helped spread the word that led to action that changed an entire high school’s graduation. See the prayer below:



New Funding for Trafficking Victims in Texas!: Supported Change.org in rallying support for victim services of trafficking victims in Texas: “Texas received so much trafficking-related attention during the Super Bowl; it was easy to forget that SB 98 was quietly making its way through the state’s legislative process. But four months and 370 Change.org supporters later, the anti-trafficking bill passed without a hitch. What does this mean for the Lone Star State? Tougher laws on sex and labor trafficking and harsher penalties for child trafficking.”

Yes, there have been plenty of “failures” along the way too–typos, unintended links, unclear actions, and more. Yet the experiment has been worth the effort. Thanks for joining–and caring–as we partner together to help change the world as a result of the change God has made in us.

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DILLON BURROUGHS is an author, activist, and co-founder of Activist Faith. Dillon served in Haiti following the epic 2010 earthquake and has investigated modern slavery in the US and internationally. His books include Undefending ChristianityNot in My Town (with Charles J. Powell), and Thirst No More (October). Discover more at ActivistFaith.org.

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