Dr. Joshua Rubongoya and Dr. Jesse Bucher, both professors at Roanoke College, held a roundtable discussion on April 12 at the College to talk about the effectiveness of a campaign to help raise awareness about Joseph Kony, the most wanted war criminal in Uganda.
Kony leads the Lord’s Resistance Army, which has ordered the abduction and killing of more than 30,000 innocent children in Africa. Some are forced to become child-sex slaves or soldiers.
A video about the Kony 2012 campaign by the Invisible Children, an advocacy group, brings the LRA’s activities to light. It led 3.7 million people to pledge to support Kony’s arrest.
The video reveals the story of a boy named Jacob, who was one of the captured LRA children.
On Jan. 15, President Barack Obama signed legislation to expand the Rewards for Justice Bill, which aims to capture human rights abusers, with Kony as a target.
During the Roanoke discussion, Rubongoya and Bucher evaluated the campaign’s effectiveness and the ways that people can make a difference.
“This campaign will only be effective if people decide to go beyond the bracelet,” Rubongoya said.
He said people often donate to a cause and buy a bracelet that supports it, but they do not go beyond that effort.
“There needs to be a bridge between the bracelet and holding discussions about the research and history of this cause, just like we are doing right now,” he said to the group of about 30 people gathered at Roanoke for the discussion.
Rubongoya said Africa will always be in need of help.
Bucher discussed the Kony video’s themes, which include race and political realities. Both professors encouraged people to take a stand and fully research and understand the Kony 2012 Campaign to create change.
“’Who are you to end a war? Who are you not to?,’” according to Kony 2012.
–By Shelby Sacco ’14
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