What is KONY 2012 again?

Did you see the viral video by INVISIBLE CHILDREN a month or so ago? Many of us did. Over a hundred million of us did.

A lot of people who watched this video had never heard of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) before, let alone the horrifying brand of slavery wielded by them. The LRA (and their leader, Jospeh Kony) is notorious for kidnapping children, forcing them to kill, then molding them into soldiers. Sometimes these child soldiers die or barely survive because their basic needs are not met, and wrongly, many girls become sex slaves as well.

Sick stuff.

Even though an amazing amount of attention was brought to Joseph Kony and the LRA, a lot of criticism was also thrown at Invisible Children. Please read the first post about this subject to get up-to-date on both sides of the response to KONY 2012: For the Love of Controversy: The KONY 2012 Campaign

Recently, their second video of the KONY 2012 came out, providing us with more details on the LRA, what Invisible is doing, and how much of an effect we have already had against the LRA in the past month because of the KONY 2012 movement.

Creating change

Just like weird elementary school teachers are always saying, let’s pat ourselves on the back!  Our interest created an epic epidemic of awareness about an injustice that needs to be stopped. This second video notes that our interest has already caused over one hundred policy and decision-makers to position the end the LRA’s modern day slavery as a priority.

It really helps that some people are specifically contacting political leaders, believing that sharing their voice does make a difference. After going to an advocacy training session this weekend, hearing seemingly miraculous stories about how our government is responding to our requests, creating anti-slavery laws, I am filled with hope. Our voices, collectively, really do count!

Invisible Children originally hoped that this weekend’s “Cover the Night” would be the catalyst to bring attention to Kony and the LRA. Yet, that hope has been immensely surpassed; there has been an insane amount of attention (both good and bad). Even so, the goal hasn’t changed. So let us create even more!

You see, if just a few more individuals email, call, tweet, facebook, visit and pledge to our representatives, that guarantees more pressure on our leaders to make their involvement a priority. Did you know our representatives tally the amount of people who contact them on an issue?

What is our motivation?

On a deeper level, if Cover the Night brings greater attention to this issue, the impact on our culture increases. This type of confrontation with the reality of evil in the world requires us to choose to be a culture that will not stand for injustices. It seems almost all organizations involved in humanitarian work or who are involved in the LRA affected region of Africa agree we should take advantage of this interest for this very reason.

Fundamentally, we can leveraging the KONY 2012 movement to emulate Heaven. I am not shy that I believe our love should take a tangible form on earth; it shouldn’t just be a spiritual idea. This is one way to express to the world that we care.  I care because I am sure God cares.  This is my motivation for taking action with Cover the Night.

How do we do it?

All the best resources are complied at the Invisible Children’s Cover the Night webpage. These include directions on how to make a shirt, make posters, and it has downloads for posters you can put up in different places.

One of the values Invisible Children seems to be encouraging is for us to be servants. After all, is it any good if we just force our opinion on others? No one likes that. People who are already skeptical of the KONY 2012 trend will be even more annoyed. But there is some good advice out there, guiding us to be humble as we express what we care about.

In the book of John, Jesus taught that the best way to be a leader was to be a servant. Therefore, if we want to lead with our ideas, we should do so by serving our community. Invisible Children’s website features trash pick-up, vandalism clean-up, or even reverse graffiti to give our message credibility. I totally respect that.

And, reverse graffiti is such a cool idea anyway, watch the video below:

Action steps:

Here are your basic directions:

  • Get some supplies.
  • Make a shirt.
  • Find some people to do this with you (if you are local in Loudoun County, VA, go here).
  • Plan on doing some ideas on how to share/canvass the Stop Kony posters respectfully and humbly.
  • This Friday (April 20th, 2012), go for it!

And don’t forget to use your political voice!

@UN and @_AfricanUnion THANK YOU for leadership against #LRA. Please follow through & stop Kony’s crimes this year #KONY2012 #USA

@BarackObama Step up and lead the world to stop Kony’s crimes this year. Thank you! #KONY2012 #USA #LRA

  • You can write a direct message to the African Union and the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) on facebook, saying the same thing here.
  • Look at this post by Invisible Children to direct you on who else to write and what to say.
  • Look at Invisible Children’s Advocacy for US Citizens, making emailing and calling your congress member easy.
  • Go to USA Gov. Made Easy to contact other political leaders on this issue.

Thanks guys! Cover the Night, then share your stories here!