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NW youth motivated by anti-Kony video are spreading word, joining groups

The Associated Press
Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, meets with a delegation of 160 officials and lawmakers from northern Uganda and representatives of non-governmental organizations in Congo near the Sudan border in 2006.

'We have reached the tipping point between apathy and activism and we can no longer ignore these tragedies.'

Signaling the power of viral marketing, an army of young people have sprung up overnight to fight against the infamous African warlord Joseph Kony and his militia the LRA. Millennials across the Northwest are becoming motivated by the video campaign to join the Invisible Children, the group behind the viral video detailing Kony's atrocities.

Alison Guajardo, Vice-President of the University of Washington’s Invisible Children chapter told KPLU about the club’s exponential growth that occurred practically overnight.

“We had about ten loyal members and since the video went viral we received 75 new members to our club,” said Guajardo.

Invisible Children – University of Washington (ICUW) has had to rethink their strategies to contribute to this charity after the release of Kony 2012. Initially the club had planned car washes and bake sales to raise money, but with increased membership comes new tactics.

“We are looking into bigger things and trying to adjust plans based on the new amount of members. We plan to rally people on campus more, get them involved and generate new ideas for fundraisers that could potentially raise a lot of money and be very successful,” said Guajardo.

ICUW is planning to take advantage of new members and strategically utilize their strengths and influences.

“It been awesome that in the last 24 hours this (movement) has just taken off and people are really taking initiative to educate themselves and become involved," said Guajardo.

At Pacific Lutheran University

Catherine Cheng, Co-President of the Invisible Children’s Pacific Lutheran University chapter told KPLU about the ways this university is getting involved in ‘Kony 2012’.

“We have reached the tipping point between apathy and activism and we can no longer ignore these tragedies,” said Cheng.

PLU’s Invisible Children chapter has been in constant contact with the office of Representative Norm Dicks and is trying to schedule a lobbying meeting for the first week of April.

“Our ultimate goal is to meet in person with Representative Norm Dicks when he is here during Easter recess,” said Cheng. “But if that doesn’t happen we will provide a collective way of communicating via letters, pictures, videos and phone calls.”

Representative Dicks is a member of the appropriations committee. This committee has control over where U.S. funds are allocated. Currently PLU’s main focus is to make sure that the U.S. continues to fund and support the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act.

“We believe in Kony 2012, we believe in what the U.S. is already doing and we want Dicks to continue to support the funding of it,” said Cheng.

PLU will also be hosting an official screening of ‘Kony 2012’ on May 4 as well as holding a colloquium on social justice to compliment the video.

Junior Communication major at Pacific Lutheran University.
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