"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded.
And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager

With Ya, my Ga tutor in Mallam
The Rev. Mike Kinman
Executive Director
Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation
Age: 38

Check out Forsyth School ...
where Robin teaches and
the boys attend.

Since you're already blowing time surfing,
why not do some cool stuff

  • Watch the Make Poverty History videos
  • Watch Sara McLachlan's "World on Fire" video
  • Take a seat at Oxfam America's Hunger Banquet
  • Look at the "Eight Ways to Change The World" photo exhibition
  • See how rich you are on the Global Rich List
  • Make a promise to do something cool -- and get people to do it with you
  • Use your computer to fight HIV/AIDS and other diseases

    While you're at it, do these things
  • Join the ONE Campaign to Make Poverty History
  • Join the Episcopal Public Policy Network
  • Join Amnesty International
  • Subscribe to Sojourners Online newsletter about faith, politics and culture
  • Sign the Micah Call and join other Christians in the fight against poverty
  • Subscribe to a great new magazine about women and children transforming our world

    People who show us What One Person Can Do
  • Liza Koerner (Teaching soccer and doing mission work in Costa Rica)
  • Erica Trapps (Raising money so Tanzanian children can go to school -- check out her photo gallery)

    What's happening in Sudan might
    surprise (and shock) you

  • Episcopal Diocese of Lui
  • South Sudanese Friends International
  • The Sudan Tribune
  • SudanReeves -- research, analysis and advocacy
  • Save Darfur
  • Darfur: a genocide we can stop

    For your daily fix on the irreverent...
  • Jesus of the Week
  • The Onion

    Interesting People Who Are Great To Read
  • Beth Maynard's excellent U2 sermons blog
  • Global Voices Online
  • Neha Viswanathan - poetry, commentary, humor, reflections

    Some interesting organizations and programs
  • Borgen Project - poverty reduction through political accountability
  • CARE
  • Center of Concern
  • DATA: Debt, AIDS and Trade in Africa (Bono's site)
  • El Circulo de Mujeres/Circle of Women
  • Engineering Ministries International
  • Episcopal Peace Fellowship
  • Episcopal Relief and Development
  • FreshMinistries
  • Global Campaign Against Poverty
  • Global Ministries
  • Global Work Ethic Fund -- Promoting philanthropy and fundraising in developing and transition countries.
  • Karen Emergency Relief Fund
  • Magdalene House
  • The M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
  • Natural Capitalism
  • NetMarkAid - Humanitarian Entrepreneurs
  • North American Association for the Diaconate
  • Peace Child International
  • People Building Peace
  • Project Honduras
  • Results - Creating political will to end hunger
  • St. Paul's Institute
  • Stop Global AIDS
  • TakingITGlobal -- connecting youth for action in local and global communities
  • Tanzania Educational AIDS Mission
  • TEAR (Transformation, Empowerment, Advocacy, Relief) - An Australian Christian anti-poverty movement
  • Working For Change
  • Xigi.net -- an open-source tool to aid discovery in the capital markets that fund good.

    Some Episcopal churches and dioceses doing cool things
  • Companions of Swaziland - Diocese of Iowa's Companion Relationship
  • International Development Missions -- St. Paul's Church, Sparks, NV
  • The Malaria Villages Project - St. Paul's Church, West Whiteland, PA

    Must-read books and websites about them
  • What Can One Person Do: faith to heal a broken world -- Sabina Alkire & Edmund Newell
  • The End of Poverty -- Jeffrey Sachs

    Learn more about things you really should know more about
  • UN Millenium Development Goals
  • The Millennium Campaign
  • AIDS Matters - a resource for global AIDS professionals
  • Christian Aid's in-depth report: "Millennium Lottery: Who lives and who dies in an age of third world debt?"
  • Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Poverty Mapping
  • Solutions for a water-short world
  • Transparency International: The global coalition against corruption
  • UNICEF's State of The World's Children report 2005

    General cool and/or goofy stuff
  • Alicebot chat robot
  • Bono Quotes -- but what's really wild is that it's from a page on Boycottliberalism.com!
  • Buffy Slanguage
  • Big Bunny

    Useful web tools
  • Gcast - make your own podcast
  • Podzinger - podcast search engine
  • Orb - streaming digital media

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    Listed on Blogwise
  • Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    All right, mistakes were made.

    I've just finished reading "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families" - an amazing book about the Rwandan genocide and the conflicts it spawned in the former Zaire and Congo. I've been invited to visit a friend who works for the Millennium Villages Project in Mayange, Rwanda (I'm not sure how the logistics of when will work, but I'd really like to go), so Katy and Andrew gave me the book.

    The most interesting part of the book is how the UN and the international aid community ended up making things far worse not just because they acted too late, but when they did act, they gave aid and comfort to those who had carried out the genocide ... actually helping them to regroup, re-arm, and resume the killing.

    What's happening in the Middle East is a legacy of a lot of things -- a lot of which is us getting into bed with all the wrong people in that region in the last 100 years. But it's also the result of the world standing by during a genocide (the Holocaust) and then when we did act, doing so in a way that created a thousand other problems. Action that in many ways was fueled by our guilt in not acting in the first place.

    So how do we break that cycle? Not just in Palestine ... but in other places. What is going to happen with Darfur? We are continuing to ignore the genocide that is happening there. Will that just be the first chapter of the insanity. Will the second chapter be aid organizations helping the janjaweed resettle in Chad?

    The next book on my bookstand is The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. It was recommended to me as a compelling argument for bottom-up programs of development (as opposed to the top-down, government imposed programs). I imagine the answer is some sort of a combination of the two. The guy I know in Rwanda with MVP worked with the government to choose the location of the village and insisted on an open-door relationship with the Ministry of Finance to make sure that the places where the power is are logged into what he's doing. But it's also a bottom-up affair -- the people on the ground retain autonomy and get to make their own decisions.

    I was listening to "Mike and Mike" on ESPNradio this morning and Mike Greenberg was saying that what drives him crazy about so many people in the media is that even when it's obvious that they're wrong, they will continue to defend their prior opinions against avalanches of evidence to the contrary. If only that were confined to sports media! I think of President Bush being unable to come up with a mistake he'd made in his first term. Why is it so difficult to admit that we were wrong? Doesn't it show growth? Isn't being able to learn and adjust more important than meeting a standard of perfection that no one non-fictional will ever meet?

    It all reminds me of a great exchange in Dogma between Rufus (Chris Rock), Bethany (Linda Fiorentino) and Cardinal Glick (George Carlin):

    Rufus: I'm telling you, man, this ceremony is a big mistake.
    Cardinal Glick: The Catholic Church does not make mistakes.
    Rufus: Please. What about the Church's silent consent to the slave trade?
    Bethany: And its platform of noninvolvement during the Holocaust?
    Cardinal Glick: All right, mistakes were made.

    How much better would things be if it we moved that quickly from the reflex of "we don't make mistakes" to the truth of "All right, mistakes were made." And then acted in the present in ways that weren't about assuaging guilt or covering up, but taking an honest fresh look at the situation and looking for the new duties that new occasions teach.

    Did that come into play in the establishment of Israel? I don't know enough of the history to know, but I have to wonder if the Allies guilt because of their own relative "noninvolvement" during the Holocaust drove them to a unilateral decision that seemingly didn't take into account any of the possible rammifications for people already living there. Does Israel really have an incontrovertible "right to exist?" Where is the room for anyone to say "mistakes were made" -- on all sides -- and look at this thing fresh?
    Mike at 8/01/2006 04:12:00 PM

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    Episcopalians for
    Global Reconciliation

    EGR is an organization resourcing a grassroots movement of spiritual transformation in the Episcopal Church to end extreme poverty on this planet.

    The structure for this movement is the Millennium Development Goals -- 8 goals committed to by all member nations of the UN and a unique partnership of governments and civil society to:

    *End extreme poverty
    *Achieve universal
    primary education

    *Promote gender equalty
    *Improve maternal health
    *Reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
    *Promote environmental sustainability
    *Build a global partnership for development

    EGR resources and connects the church to embrace what one person, one congregation, one diocese and one church can do to make this mission of global reconciliation happen.

    Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.

    "Christ's example is being demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy, which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here. If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't, it will be irrelevant."
    - Bono


    What I'm Reading
    Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
    by Doris Kearns Goodwin