The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality. -Dante
One of the most serious challenges of good global citizenship is the sheer enormity of the idea. But enormity should not undo ideals. Change is made through commitments large and small. Whether you are driven to actively create more just global economic, social and environmental systems, or you are simply committed to doing your best to do as little harm as possible through your daily decisions, the resources to enact those visions will follow.
Through political participation, conscious consumerism, sharing your story, and increasing your understanding of global issues and institutions you can make a difference. It’s OK to start small, but you must start. Pick one thing–choosing only fair trade coffee, or staying more up to date on international issues or explaining your international experiences to friends and family members who haven’t had those opportunities–and commit to it. After you’ve enacted your first commitment, you can move on to another and another, until you’re thinking, acting, and living in ways that are sustainable and beneficial for the whole world.
The issues our world faces are severe and, importantly, many of them are also solvable. But they will only be solved when citizens around the world begin to remember that they are all part of one human community. Being a global citizen begins with recognizing that human community, imaging yourself in others’ shoes and questioning your own background and assumptions. Global citizenship becomes real through your actions.
A very useful wiki dedicated to poverty reduction through international development and increasing sustainability through the use of appropriate technology.
Bread for the World: www.bread.org
A U.S. Christian citizens’ movement seeking justice for the world’s hungry people.
Center for the Advancement of Nonviolence: www.nonviolenceworks.com
Dedicated to healing and revitalizing communities through nonviolence.
Ethical Consumer: www.ethicalconsumer.org
An organization that investigates and reports companies’ social and environmental records, saving you the time and energy but empowering you to consumer consciously. They investigate a host of multinational corporations that provide products from outdoor clothing to gasoline.
A great resource and tool for examining and analyzing statistical analysis in promotion of sustainable global development and achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals.
Green America: www.GreenAmerica.org
Their mission is “to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, and business—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.” The site provides a lot of excellent links related to conscious consumption.
Global Exchange: www.globalexechange.org
An international human rights organization dedicated to promoting environmental, political and social justice.
All Africa: allafrica.com
News stories and links to papers from all over Africa.
Al Jazeera: english.aljazeera.net
An English-language news site headquartered in Doha, Qatar. It is the sister channel of the Arabic-language Al Jazeera. It aims to provide both a regional voice and a global perspective on world events.
Associated Press: www.ap.org
The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists. Most international and national stories you read in local papers come from AP so go to the source.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the principal public service broadcaster in the United Kingdom, it is the largest broadcaster in the world and an excellent source for international news from an international perspective.
The Christian Science Monitor: www.csmonitor.com
The CSM is a newspaper that covers international and United States current events. Despite its name, the Monitor is not a religious-themed paper, and does not promote the doctrine of its patron church.
CNN International: edition.cnn.com
A more international focus than traditional CNN.
New Internationalist: www.newint.org
A communications cooperative dedicated to reporting on world poverty and injustice.
The International Herald Tribune: www.iht.com
A widely read English-language international newspaper. It combines the resources of its own correspondents with those of The New York Times. Of particular note is their Opinion page which links to editorial writes worldwide.
Debt relief for developing countries, funding to fight global AIDS, loosening of environmental regulations, increasing military expansion around the world. Good and bad; all policy decisions come down to politics. Constituent pressure and voting habits have made huge changes, and they will again. Here’s how to get started!
Find nonpartisan information on your US representatives. Find your rep, see what they stand for and send them a letter on what you stand for!
Project Vote Smart www.votesmart.org
Issues 2000 (still current) www.Issues2000.org
Annenberg Political Fact Check: factcheck.org
Helpful when sifting through political ads.
Open Secrets: www.opensecrets.org
Information on money’s influence on U.S. elections and public policy.
Peace Corps: www.peacecorps.gov
AmeriCorps: (Corporation for National & Community Service) http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps
“PULSE cultivates a community of young servant leaders to transform Pittsburgh. We invite talented university graduates to partner with Pittsburgh nonprofits for a year of service and leadership.”
Global Justice Movement: www.globaljusticemovement.org
Connects people, organizations, and resources to help build a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives. An excellent place to find internships, volunteer opportunities, jobs and events.
Idealist on Campus: www.idealistoncampus.org
Idealist On Campus connects, educates, and mobilizes students, campuses, and communities to build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives.
The Flobots: Fight With Tools: www.flobots.org
Works to create positive social change by harnessing the power of music and those who love it. Using music as a tool for community building, leadership development and action.
The Graduation Pledge: www.graduationpledge.org
Students at universities around the world are urging their institution to introduce the opportunity to sign this pledge at graduation: I (state your name) pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work.”
National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation: www.thataway.org
Dedicated to fostering a world of conversation, participation, and action.
Oxfam America: www.oxfamamerica.org
Raise Your Voice: www.actionforchange.org
Dedicated to connection, challenging, and supporting college and university students in community work, activism, leadership, and civic growth.
Global AIDS Alliance: www.globalaidsalliance.org
Student Environmental Action Coalition: www.seac.org
Network of organizations and individuals working to uproot environmental injustice through action and education.
Taking It Global: www.tigweb.org
Online community dedicated to global inspiration, information and involvement among youth.
The United Nations: www.un.org
Simplifying your life, from how much you purchase to whether you walk or drive can go a long way. Whenever possible: reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost!
You Can Do It – Individual Actions, Conscious Consumption, and Personal Philanthropy
Description: A list of resources compiled with 2 focuses:
- Part 1: Five Sources for Conscious Consumption, Fair Trade, and Sustainability
- Part 2: Understanding Opportunities for Individual Philanthropy and Service