Annalise Blum
Katharine Kendrick:

2005 NetAid Global Action Awards Honorees

Katharine Kendrick & Annalise Blum voice their concern for Darfur to the CPS Community<br> Photo courtesy of: The College Preparatory School
Katharine Kendrick & Annalise Blum voice their concern for Darfur to the CPS Community
Photo courtesy of: The College Preparatory School

Pronunciation: 'je-n&-"sId
: the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.

This one word, just three syllables, sparks immediate images of unspeakable tragedy, unthinkable suffering, and unimaginable terror. And yet, sadly, this word, coined only in 1943, is one so many youth have grown up well-accustomed to hearing. In modern times, the word genocide has described the Holocaust in Europe, and the tragedies in former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and elsewhere.

Likewise, even as teenagers, Annalise Blum and Katharine Kendrick had heard the word numerous times describing human rights tragedies around the world during their lifetimes. In fact, Annalise had recently visited Guatemala and talked to people who had suffered during its long civil war. Yet more than just listen to the dreadful word and the tales of tragedy, and all its implications, they realized that a key cause of it, and its regular reappearances throughout their young lives, was silence.

So, they decided that it was their responsibility as fellow humans to speak out when they heard the same word used to describe the situation in Darfur, Sudan in Africa.

And so began the green ribbon campaign. In an effort to educate the student body at their high school, College Preparatory High School in Berkeley, California, about the human rights tragedy occuring in Sudan, they sold green ribbons (green being the color of Darfur awareness) to raise funds for Sudanese refugees. They spoke at assemblies, brought in guest speakers, and showed documentaries, and soon, the student body seemed to be a sea of green ribbons. Fellow students got involved in the fundraising efforts, selling them on campus, through their parents' workplace, at sporting events, and elsewhere.

They continued in their efforts, spreading the green ribbon campaign to over a dozen high schools across the country.

Next they tried baby chicks.

Through Youth Philanthropy Worldwide, which matches young fundraisers with aid groups, they chose Relief International, and as a second fundraising effort, the two high school seniors designed small pins with the pictures of baby chicks. Each pin sale would buy a live chicken for a refugee family. This would simultaneously provide much-needed food for the families through their eggs, and would provide livehood for the displaced.

The pin sale was an incredible success: they purchased over 1,200 chicks.

While they sought to help the displaced, they also worked to stop the travesties still occurring in Darfur, organizing a letter-writing campaign to "pressure members of Congress to hold the Sudanese government accountable for the crimes committed on its watch."

Net Aid 2005 Global Action Awards Honorees
Net Aid 2005 Global Action Awards Honorees

Annalise Blum and Katharine Kendrick were two of five honorees for NetAid's 2005 Global Action Awards, honored at a public awards ceremony at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center on November 9, 2005. NetAid is a nonprofit that thrives to educate and empower young people to take action against poverty around the world.

Annalise Blum and Katharine Kendrick are living proof that, while silence is golden, speaking out is priceless.

Page created on 12/9/2009 11:22:23 PM

Last edited 12/9/2009 11:22:23 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Darfur: A Genocide We Can Stop - provides you with information and opportunities to take action to end the genocide and suffering in Darfur, Sudan.
Christian Science Monitor: - Teens who decided to help the world