Activism on a Global Scale
Garden City, KS has the World's Largest Ball of Twine but Chicago Has the GAX In three weeks, on a Friday night in April, roughly 350 people from all over the world will convene in the main room in the UiC Forum on Roosevelt Road.‚ They will be bringing laptops, display boards, tee-shirts, artwork, sign up sheets, information packets, and an enthusiasm for humanity and the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity that is matched nowhere else on the planet. These are the Global Activists that have been the featured acts of Jerome McDonnell's Worldview program every Thursday for the past seven years.‚ The reason they are all in the room is to participate in another one-of-a-kind, nothing-like-it-on-the-Earth event that Chicago tends to host. On the following day, these movers and shakers of the grassroots humanitarian efforts in the world will be educating, discussing, enlightening and recruiting volunteers from a pool of (estimated) 5,000 Chicagoans.‚ It's an extraordinary event.‚ Think Blues Fest with Hippies. WBEZ listeners will get to meet the folks from DIG (Development in Gardening) as they display prepared and decorated plastic bottles repurposed, by a fourth grade class from The Rockland School, for growing containers.‚ Chicagoans (and that family from Kenosha) will be invited to create their own mini-gardens and take them home. The crowd will get to see demonstrations of DIY FM radio setups used by Radios Populares, a group that collaborates with communities struggling for social justice to build low-power FM community radio stations. In addition to delicious food sold by small local restaurants, a brand new beer from Goose Island Brewery, complimentary soda and water, and a stage of international bands and poets, there will also be a series of presentations in specially situated breakout rooms.‚ With titles like "Redistributing Medical Equipment Around the Globe: Saving the Planet While Saving Lives," "Global Activism For a Week: Alternative Vacations," and "What's the Deal with Getting Rid of Jazz?" (OK.‚ I made that last one up...) these presentations will be informative in only the way an eyewitness account can be and will educate and inspire. "So, Don?‚ What do I have to do participate?‚ Will you make me line up in a 5,000 person serpentine line like at "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!"?‚ How much is it?‚ Do you think I'm attractive to the opposite sex?" Jeesh!‚ Calm down. The Global Activism Expo is FREE.‚ You should bring cash (or credit card) so you can partake in the tasty food and beer (soda and water is free) and to either purchase activist items or outright donate to them. No line.‚ Just come to the UiC Forum and walk in the building - we'll even have a handy map for you! And yes.‚ All WBEZ listeners and especially those who read our blog are spectacularly attractive to both the opposite and the same sex.‚ You positively glow with virility. OK, you sexy thing.‚ Click here.