Research | February 17, 2017

Thoughts From 6 Community Leaders On International Issues

We’ve talked to a lot of community leaders over the past year who deal with international issues both at home and abroad everyday. We can learn from each one of these extraordinary people but today we’ve gathered just a few stand out thoughts that can be applied to the current global political situation. We can’t sit around and expect change to happen, we need show up and do something about it.

Alpha Kirabira, Help Change My City Alliance: Live a legacy right now, do it right now. Don’t wait until you’re 75…It’s important to add value to our lives. The return is great for individuals, their lives are changed.

Karen George, MOSAIC: We have immigrants who migrated many years ago. They know the challenges and what it is to come from a whole different culture and background and settle down. And then you have the locals who are opening up to know about different cultures, to be more accepting of people from different walks of life.

Aaron Friedland, The Walking School Bus: We live in an age of globalization where each of us is capable of reaching millions in moments. On the one hand it’s an opportunity, on the other it’s an obligation. You’ve got all of this information around you and if you aren’t actively taking it in and recognizing that you can learn and grow and positively change, you’re kind of slowing humanity down.

Loren Balisky, Kinbrace: People love their homes. Nobody wants to leave their home. When it comes to forced migration and displacement, it’s just sheer survival.

Danny Ramadan, Qmunity: The first six months were really difficult: extreme culture shock, post-traumatic stress disorder. Six months later I started volunteering [at Qmunity]. I volunteered for around six months here and it was a really good experience because I felt like there was a community here, somebody I could talk to.

Anastasia Gaisenok, Check Your Head: We can’t just do something in the corner and wait until [the system] crumbles. You need to be working all the corners. There are different organizations, different people, different strategies and tactics for doing this. It’s kind of up to each of us where we find ourselves within that setup, where it makes the most sense for us to be aligned with our values, aligned with our skills and talents, in terms of what I can do to contribute to changing things for the better. Once you figure that out, stay there and just chip at it.

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