by Grace King, Diocese of Connecticut
My original thought upon my arrival was “what am I doing here?” I knew a whole lot less about what was going on at the UN than everyone else. Everyone’s’ passion was so inspiring and I was left wondering what there was left for me or my community to do. At the NGO Consultation Day, Eleanor Nwadinobi shared an African proverb, “When you see a dog barking at a lion, do not be fooled – there will be a hunter with a gun hiding nearby”. This thought keeps returning to me and I know see that we can all be the dog who barks at the lions of injustice in the hope of attracting the attention of the hunters.
This week has really opened my eyes to the connection between Faith and Advocacy. I have really come to understand that our faith calls on us to advocate for others, especially those whose voices are often lost. And really that faith without advocacy is like peanut butter without the jelly, you don’t have a complete sandwich. All of this has of course reminded me that women’s groups and especially women’s faith groups have been behind many of the major human rights movements in the US. There were many women involved in the abolition movement and in the underground railroad, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union achieved prohibition, women earned their own right to vote, and fought to end child labor. American women have a rich history of fighting for human rights. I was also deeply moved by Margaret Rose’s comment that outreach is really pastoral care to a broken world. This describes yet another way that we can see the intersection of faith and advocacy.