‘Unlikely Brothers’ talks about the importance of citizen action and shows why and how we can make a difference.
Africa is going through its own historical process of state formation just as Europe and America did. It is just happening much later than other continents because of the interruption of Africa’s own historical development by the colonization of Africa by Europe.
Africans are on the front lines of humanitarian efforts, distributing life-saving aid in dangerous environments. Africans comprise the vast majority of peacekeepers in civil conflict on that continent. Africans for the most part lead peace negotiations for the wars being fought in Africa.
All South Sudanese deserve consistent and unimpeded humanitarian assistance, regardless of if they live in areas held by rebel or government forces.
Americans’ perceptions of Africa remain rooted in troubling stereotypes of helplessness and perpetual crisis.
I see courage everywhere I go in Africa.
I see courage everywhere I go in Africa. Fearless human rights activists in Darfur. Women peace advocates in eastern Congo. Former child soldiers in Northern Uganda who now are helping other former child soldiers return to civilian life.
I spent a lot of time with President Mandela supporting his efforts in the peace process in Burundi. The thing that impressed me the most was his humility.
I’m probably a little too impatient with ensuring that the networks and organizations I’m part of are doing the right thing, and pushing the right thing the right way.
I’ve had a number of near misses during my travels that in retrospect seem of greater concern than they did at the time. I guess that is what happens with age.
If you repress rather than unlock the potential of large groups of Americans, what’s that going to do to our economy? It’s going to contract, not expand.
In human rights and peacemaking, it’s really about having a solid concrete goal – the reduction of human suffering somewhere in the world – and then doing what is required to get that goal achieved.
It turns out, all the studies show you invest a little time in another person’s life, often a younger person, and all of us have that capacity to do it, just an hour a week, an hour every couple of weeks, and you can make a tremendous difference in a kid’s life over their lifetime.
Most Americans may not realize that the news they consume is driven in part by the media mantra, ‘if it bleeds, it leads.’
Slavery, racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry, subordination, and human rights abuse transform and adapt with the times.
The biggest road block to action on genocide and other human rights crimes is ignorance. Most people just don’t know that such things are happening, and often, if they have a vague idea they are happening, there is a feeling that there is nothing that can be done to stop these crimes.
There is a long and successful tradition of popular movements in the U.S. and elsewhere having an impact on crises in forgotten places.
There isn’t one celebrity I’ve worked with who doesn’t have major doubts about what impact they are having. I am glad when they question the impact, because it shows they are based firmly in the reality that peacemaking isn’t the same as changing a streetlight or distributing mosquito nets.
Through my years of working on war and peace in Africa, I have learned that there are solutions to some of the greatest human rights challenges, and we all can be a part of those solutions.
Wars can be resolved. Human rights atrocities can be stopped. We just have to apply the right policies.
When I was 19 years old, I hitchhiked across the country to San Francisco.
When there are no gas chambers, no barbed wire, and no concentration camps, many don’t recognize the perpetration of new genocides and other targeted mass atrocity crimes because they may not look the same.