[img_assist|fid=4174|thumb=1|alt=Zeng Jinyan] I want to tell you the story of a speaker who won't be coming to BlogHer. I wish she could tell her story at BlogHer, but she can't. And her story is only one of many.
Perhaps our BlogHers Act initiative should be to free the voices of those who are currently being silenced around the world?
[img_assist|fid=4170|thumb=1|alt=Not On Our Watch|caption=Book Cover from Hyperion's site]
In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then the came for me, and by that time, no one was left to speak up.
-Pastor Martin Niemoller.
You may have read yesterday that BlogHer has launched a new, year-long initiative, BlogHers Act, to use the power of its 11,000+ members for positive change, and asked its members to answer the questions 1.What is the global issue BlogHer's members should focus on this year?, and 2. If you could tell the presidential candidates what is most important to you, what are the top four hot button issues you would ask them to address?
There are so many issues that are important to me, and to our world, but I guess because I am just finishing up reading Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond, that Editor Dana Tuszke reviewed in May, by Don Cheadle and John Pendergast, that the situation in Darfur is on my mind.
The five major issues for me are:
1. The health care mess. This includes the need for a single payer system that will leave no American uninsured, the need for a plan that controls drug prices, and the need for a plan that eliminates corporate need/greed from the equation in favor of the people's needs.
2. Protection and improvement of the natural systems of the earth. This includes global warming, species elimination, and all kinds of green building, manufacturing and technology.
Have you ever imagined the impact if every member of BlogHer's more than 11,000 bloggers strong and growing every day -- focused our considerable brainpower, ingenuity and influence on one red-hot issue? How about if that one red-hot issue was the focus of an organized, year-long campaign to make a measurable difference that this community cares about?
Yes, some of you have. And you've emailed all three of us (sometimes more than once!) to ask BlogHer to take a leadership position in bringing the BlogHer community of powerful women together to create real change
Today, Lisa, Jory and I are very proud to say "yes." We're introducing BlogHers Act. And just like the BlogHer Conference is the conference the community built, we want BlogHers Act to take on a cause the community develops.
If I had to pick only one issue of utmost importance to the future of this country, without hesitation I would say it is the need for comprehensive, quality early childhood care and education (ECE). While not all women have children, we are all evaluated â€“whether we like it or not â€“ on whether we will have children and thus drop out of the workforce.
We are excited and honored to announce today, with Elisa, Jory and Lisa, the launch of BlogHers Act, a year-long initiative to harness the incredible power of women online. That would be you.
BlogHers Act will take on two things --
1. Making a difference on a single global cause