By Sosamma Samuel-Burnett, J.D.
Founder/President. G.L.O.B.A.L. Justice
On September 19, 2014, a year after we arrived in Loveland, CO, and a day after my husband Zack was given a clean bill of health from a year of cancer treatment, our family climbed up a mountain, found a cell phone signal, and hit "send." G.L.O.B.A.L. Justice was launched!
Today marks 5 years since that moment, and this Saturday we are celebrating with family, friends, artists, and leaders in church and community. While that will be a great way to commemorate a significant milestone, our work at G.LO.B.A.L. Justice is so much more than celebrations and milestones. G.L.O.B.A.L. was launched not just in a moment, but through a year of planning and coordination, and a lifetime of experiences that culminated into this work.
G.L.O.B.A.L. Justice is not a personal project, a professional ambition, or a platform for attention -- it is a purpose, a calling, and a pursuit of Biblical justice. For me, it’s a culmination of 30+ years of human rights advocacy with many organizations around the country and globe, and 15+ years as a college professor and lecturer at various institutions. It’s the result of so many years of seeing so many advocacy organizations struggling with the same concerns -- limited resources, outreach challenges, and leadership and management needs. These concerns inhibit their ability to more effectively or fully address injustices. Through G.L.O.B.A.L., I wanted to put my experience to work to serve as a resource to address these needs within organizations and communities.
But, there are many who don't fully understand what G.L.O.B.A.L. Justice is all about. Many are conditioned to think single issue, specific product/service, or target market. But G.L.O.B.A.L's purpose is fully out of that box. Our intention is to take everyone deeper and wider about how to think about and pursue justice. It's not just about walking in a march, travelling on a mission trip, providing a direct service, or taking legal or legislative action. It's also about learning the underlying political, social, and economic concerns that make injustices happen. Without that, knowledge, all the efforts of the many advocacy organizations in our world will only result in more concerns to address in the future.
G.L.O.B.A.L. Justice is about something broader -- bringing individuals, organizations, and communities together to learn, lead, and do justice. That means working together for a common cause, doing something that doesn't come naturally -- collaboration, and connecting with people from different backgrounds and organizations. G.L.O.B.A.L. is here not to just focus on one issue or one organization, but to create a network of people that are better informed about injustices, better positioned to make a positive impact, and inspired to effectively address injustices in our world.
While there are many who see G.L.O.B.A.L. as something "big & shiny" -- with our long range vision, our many programs and projects, and our numerous outreach efforts, the reality is that G.L.O.B.A.L. is a still a relatively young nonprofit organization that relies on ingenuity, commitment, and generosity from people with hearts for justice, minds for knowledge, and hands skilled to help. We have been able to do much with a small budget -- stretching our resources so that we can not only do more, but do better on all of our initiatives.
To do this work in this way requires sacrifice. That means that I serve as a full-time volunteer -- working a minimum of 60 hours each week on a range of projects from administration to finance to programs. That means we are supported by several part-time staff that juggle their work with G.L.O.B.A.L. with other full-time work, full-time school, and/or a combination of work and school. That means we are guided by Board members who volunteer their time and expertise to provide input and perspective to our efforts. That means partnerships with many individuals and organizations that require dedicated relationships and coordination. And that means our families support us with their prayers, resources, and understanding through long days. Every person that is part of the G.L.O.B.A.L. team makes huge efforts because, like me, they believe in this purpose, calling, and pursuit that is G.L.O.B.A.L. Justice.
So, as we commemorate this 5th anniversary day and join with our family, friends, and community to celebrate on Saturday, I will be remembering that moment on the mountain, and also the many moments, many people, and many efforts that God has brought to G.L.O.B.A.L. Justice over the past five years. I welcome the challenges and opportunities in the years to come to bring us closer to understanding and pursuing justice for all. And, I hope you will join us in this journey...