Join the global strike this week for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza

[Image description: Two people, an adult and a child, standing outside holding hands, their backs to the camera. The child is holding a Palestine flag high up in the air. The adult is carrying a cloth bundle over their shoulder. In the background are various people and parked cars. Image by hosnysalah on Pixabay]

Hi everyone. This post will be short. This week, January 21st to 28th, activists, led by Palestinian journalist Bisan Owda, are calling for a global strike to push for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. In Bisan’s words: “Strike from the economic movements, work and your normal life because nothing is normal in this life. Strike as much as you can and protest…for a whole week or until this madness ends! You can disrupt the economies that support genocide and make your voices and our voices heard!”

Israel has massacred over 25,000 Palestinians, including over 10,000 children, and unless we stop it, will continue to do so, with support from the US, UK, France, Germany, and Canada, countries that are themselves guilty of multiple war crimes and genocides.

If like millions of people around the world, you’re angry and heartbroken by what’s happening, please join in the strike. Here are some things you can do this week:

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Funders, do you have Main Character Syndrome and are engaging in crappy funding practices? We’re coming for you!

[Image description: A duck, photoshopped onto a background that looks like they’re stepping out from behind a sheet of wrinkled purple paper, kind of like how someone would step onto the stage from behind the curtains. Image by NoName_13 on Pixabay]

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on how no funder deserves their own unique snowflake financial or outcomes report from grantees, and that they should just accept nonprofits’ annual report and comprehensive financial statements. A colleague pointed out that these burdensome and nonsensical requirements are a result of many funders having a “Main Character Syndrome” (MCS).

MCS, according to my quick consultation with fellow cool young people, is basically where someone thinks they are the main character in the universe, and that everyone else is just a support character in their fascinating and enthralling story. And they act like it. This phenomenon helps to explain many things that happen in our sector, such as the egotistical executive director who needs to take credit for everything. Or the board member/donor who demands to be treated like royalty and who gets offended at the slightest injury to their image or sensibilities.

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Courage, joy, and equity: My wishes for our sector for 2024

[Image description: A hand holding three lit sparklers. The sparklers are shooting off sparkles in the dark. Image by StockSnap on Pixabay]

Hi everyone. I hope you’ve been able to have somewhat of a break over the past few days. I know many people are returning to work this week, and it is always difficult, so every year for the first blog post of the year, I try to start with something upbeat and humorous. But everything reminds me of the horrors happening around the world. The beautiful fireworks on New Year’s Eve were a reminder of bombs Israel is still dropping on civilians in Palestine, funded by the US with our tax dollars. Even as we celebrate a new year with the renewal it brings, millions around the world are starving, freezing, and dying. So many of them are children.

It would feel disingenuous for me to go about as if the arbitrary transition of one calendar year to another somehow magically ended multiple ongoing genocides in Gaza, Sudan, Congo, Tigray, and other places in the world. Instead, I have hopes and wishes for all of us and our sector this year. In spite of everything, or more likely because of everything, I am still optimistic of the role we play in creating a just and equitable world. For 2024, in no particular order:

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Hope and trust, and gratitude for our sector

[Image description: Silhouette of a kid flying a colorful plane-shaped kite at the beach. In the background, near the water, are the silhouettes of several other people. Image by pikabum on Pixabay]

Hi everyone, this is the last post of 2023. I’ll be back on January 2nd. Normally, I end the year with a lighter article, maybe something humorous. But humor has been hard to come by with everything taking place all around us. The genocide of Palestinians. The US’s veto of a ceasefire. The horrors happening to civilians in Sudan, Congo, Tigray, and other parts of the world. The attacks on reproductive rights. The rise in violence against trans people. The continuation of mass shootings. The surge in fascism across the globe. We’ve had a horrible year after a series of horrible years, and 2024, with the election in the US, doesn’t look like it will bring much relief.

To be honest, I am very tired and on edge. I’m drained, feeling a combination of helplessness at being unable to do much to stop the injustice and suffering I see everywhere, and the frustration of having to battle strangers, colleagues, and even friends and family who seem completely unaware of the nightmares taking place, or worse, justify them.

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We as a sector must speak up for Palestine

[Image Description: A protestor at a protest holding up a sign that says “Not war, it’s colonialism. Not eviction, it’s ethnic cleansing. Not conflict, it’s occupation. Not complicated, it’s genocide.” Image by Nikolas Gannon on Unsplash]

Hi everyone. This is my fourth blog post on the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Gaza. Before I go further, yes I condemn Hamas’s atrocities committed on October 7th against Israeli civilians. And I also condemn antisemitism, a serious issue that has been on the rise all over the world.

And I condemn the war crimes and terrorism against Palestinian civilians that Israel has been committing since then, and for the past 75 years. As you read this, the number of Palestinian civilians that the Israeli government has massacred approaches 16,000 since October, including nearly 8,000 children. The death toll of Israel’s slaughter of Palestinian civilians this year has surpassed the Nakba of 1948. It will get worse, as Israel ramps up its aggression against southern Gaza, where it had previously told civilians to evacuate to. There is no place for Palestinian civilians to go to be safe. And as winter approaches, there will be more famine and starvation. The death toll will rise even higher.

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