Recently I had the pleasure of attending the Ecumenical Advocacy Days Conference in Washington D.C. which focused on education and advocating for global peace and justice through lobbying and service. It was so exciting to be among a group of concerned citizens who were working toward fixing a number of social ills specifically relating to children. The issues discussed included fixing No Child Left Behind, improving the public education system in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the recruitment of child soldiers in various conflicts, the school pipeline to prison phenomena and the impact of the ongoing Columbian conflict on children.
Additionally, this was a full circle moment for me as I attended the conference last year during which I heard Stephen Lewis the U.N convoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa say that “an African girls is 50 times less likely to contract HIV/AIDS if she is literate.” This one statement sparked my interest in literacy as a way to combat poverty and disease and led me to my work with Better World Books!
The conference reinforced for me that running a Better World Books drive is a tangible way for us to as Gandhi said “be the change we want to see in the world.”