June 30, 2005

Making Poverty History

You may not know it, but July 6, 2005 could be the most important day in the history of this generation. It's the day that we can all stand up and make history by telling the leaders at the G8 Summit that it's time to make poverty history. On July 6, the leaders of the world's eight wealthiest and most powerful nations (the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Russia) will gather to discuss global poverty. If we can make our voices heard, we can convince them to fight for compassion and justice and do what is necessary to remove the impediments to development in Africa and other parts of the developing world.

Here's what you can do:

- Sign a letter to President Bush asking him to work toward the elimination of global poverty, specifically: to allot 1% more of the U.S. budget on a clear timetable to fighting global poverty; to cancel 100% of the debts owed by the world's poorest nations; and to reform trade rules so that poor countries can earn sustainable incomes.

- If you haven't already, sign the ONE Declaration.

- If you have a website or weblog, host a ONE Campaign banner.

- Sign the Live 8 List. Live 8 is a group of eight concerts to be held worldwide on July 2, bringing attention to global poverty and calling upon the G8 leaders to make poverty history. Adding your name to the Live 8 List will add your voice to that concert, increasing the momentum of the movement against global poverty and putting more pressure on the G8 leaders.

- Tell your friends. This campaign to make poverty history relies heavily on word of mouth advertising; so tell everybody you know. If you don't know what to say, just copy this post, stick it in an e-mail, or print it out and show it to others.

- Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to move the hearts of the G8 leaders, so that the real presence of Christ in the poor and vulnerable will be respected by the world's wealthiest nations.

In a culture that claims to care so much about moral values, it's time to put our money where our mouth is. Making sure that the one billion people around the world who live in extreme poverty are cared for is a moral value of the highest importance. We must remember the words of Christ: "Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me" (Matthew 25:45). Together, we can make poverty history -- the time is now.

- The Contributors