If you had a chance to read about our recent vacation, you were introduced to our buddy Ralph.
He is passionate about politics. I believe he was the head of the California campaign for George McGovern in 1972. In a ironic way McGovern was a politician who won in the long term, even though he lost the election. He won by stoking the fires, keeping the embers alive, or whatever cliched but true phrase you’d like to use, to keep a wave of bottom up organizers engaged.
Ralph has continued to be an organizer. He was co-founder of the local political organization ACT and was instrumental in the establishment of the Youth Institute at the YMCA/Long Beach. Among the organizations he is still active in supporting is the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance. Here he is addressing a group of potential supporters for GAIA.
This morning they held a Solemn Celebration – 25th World AIDS Day at Fuller Theological Seminary. I’m sure that they talked about the work that is being done in Africa in a variety of ways, but one of those which I suspect touched Ralph’s heart was the work that is done in ways that are very much connected with community organizing. Taking a look at their website will give you a clear sense of what’s being done.
Part of their mission includes “improving healthcare services and working closely with communities to empower local people, particularly women in the struggle against HIV”. their program has three categories – Empowering communities, raising the status of women, and strengthening healthcare capacity. They do this in Malawi, where 51,000 people die of AIDS related diseases. Over one million of the 14 million in the country are orphans. Please check out their website.