Re: What is your counsel?
Gillian Caldwell is the Executive Director of WITNESS, an international human rights organization that provides training and support to local groups to use video in their human rights advocacy capaigns. Caldwell was a Co-Director of the Global Survival Network (now WildAid), where she coordinated the two-year undercover investigation into the trafficking of women in Russia that culminated in her 1997 film, Bought and Sold. She is the leader of the Witness to Truth video project in Sierra Leone that urges the government of Sierra Leone to implement TRC recommendations. Caldwell was the reipient of the 2000 Rockefeller Foundation Next Generation Leadership award and has been named one of 40 Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs by the Schwab Foundation, a 2003 Tech Laureate by the Tech Museum, and a Special Partner by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. Caldwell received her BA from Harvard University and her JD in human rights law from Georgetown University. Her videos have been shown as evidence in legal proceedings, such as the international war crimes investigation against Slobodan Milosevic, in the Sierra Leone Truth Commission proceedings, and at the UN. Ideas recorded on: 8/13/07
Transcript:I don’t think that can be prescribed, you know, by any single individual because each of us are passionate about different things; but I can only say that, you know, for us . . . you know for each of us to live a life that is full of integrity is an enormous commitment. And in fact it’s a second by second commitment. It’s not just making sure that, you know, you’re recycling your Coca-Cola can, or that you’re . . . you’re responding when you hear that there’s genocide in Darfur; but that you’re alive to the complexity of every single interaction around you. I mean in this city for example, there is so much complexity to the interactions whether it’s race, or class, or sexual orientation. And so often we ignore the complexity of those interactions, and we don’t do what we can to bridge those . . . to bridge those gaps and to deepen our own understanding of who we are and how we are in the world. If you’re walking along the street and you’re a white woman, and you happen to notice that there’s two young black men coming towards you, and you find yourself thinking, “I feel in endangered. I feel threatened,” it’s up to you to take responsibility to analyze why you feel that way in that circumstance; and to do what you can to challenge yourself to reconfigure, you know, how it is that we’ve been wired, you know, by a media and by a culture that what’s us to think differently. Recorded on: 8/13/07
Everyone should live a life of integrity and commitment.
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