G.L.O.B.A.L. Justice – 5th Anniversary Moments, Milestones, and the Pursuit of Biblical Justice

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...

September 11 – Never Forget

September 11 – Never Forget

I will never forget September 11, 2001. My husband Zack and I had moved to Rocklin, CA the April prior. He had just completed his training for the U-2 program at Beale AFB. That morning we were both up early and getting ready for work. I was upstairs and he was downstairs. We don’t usually have the TV on, but he happened to have it on that morning to catch the news. Then he called out to me. I came across the upstairs loft overlooking the living room area. He stood in his flight suit with his back to me watching the TV screen. I watched over his shoulder as the second airplane struck. We both stood frozen, not quite knowing what we were seeing. And then a moment later, he turned, looked at me and said “I might not be home tonight.”

Human Being versus Human Doing

JimHeckel2019.jpg

By Jim Heckel
President, Think Humanity

Human beings are the most advanced forms of life known to exist.  While not the apex predator physically, our evolution has enabled us to master our environment through complex mental problem-solving. You might say that our brains took over our brawn. The human spirit, however, is still deeply competitive, where our ‘survival of the fittest’ instinct arises. Despite this innate nature to survive, we now do not have to typically fight for our lives. Fighting for our food is no longer a major problem that requires massively big bodies. Technological solutions from dirt now insulate our need to hunt and gather. 

God clearly knew that we would reach this level of civilization because in His teachings, He implored mankind not to make war, but to love and to take care of one another. You might say that God commanded us to develop some sort of compassion. Maybe He knew that at this time in civilization, we’d need a reminder to not be so selfish? 

My mom recently told me that she tears up when she sees the orphan children on the tube and she feels so sorry for them. My mother is a great person and taught me to love. But compassion is something different than mere pity. 

Compassion spans far beyond pity. Pity might be the first step in its awareness followed by compassion and empathy. Whereas compassion is the ability to feel for another living being, empathy is the ability to become one with the person in distress

Human Doing. 

Life development requires parents to expand their children’s perspective. It requires teaching love and compassion. Compassion is lowering yourself into the pit of another’s suffering, driven from the motive of love. Allowing yourself to become part of the suffering of another allows us to become empathetic. 

We WORK the problem alongside the person in need.

We LIVE the problem.

We BECOME part of the solution to the problem. 

Pity

Compassion/Empathy

“Oh that’s terrible.” 

“I must help.”

Words only

Action also

Seeing the issue only

Being in the issue to resolve it



It’s being a human doing. 

Parents must show such compassion to teach it to their kids. And it doesn’t require becoming a missionary; it is lived out in our daily lives by treating all humanity in a decent way. Ranging from being an honest golfer to helping someone fix a flat tire, all acts of graciousness count. In fact, some of the largest compassionate work stems from simple acts of kindness. Several years ago, my daughter, a journalist/author/editor, wrote a piece that went viral entitled “The Ripple Effect.” In this article she articulated how positive work in the States has a positive impact in far away places, much like a ripple in a pond. The article spawned a new NGO and that seemingly small ‘pebble in the pond’ resulted in helping thousands of people. 

That’s human doing. 

Why do we need compassion?

Developing compassion and empathy in our children helps them to become a complete human. Learning to help others is quite basic and most people have some ‘pity’ for the poor. Just acknowledging it, however, fails to address solving the problem. Compassion requires action and an overt behavior where personal resources may be required. 

Analogous to compassion might be owning an expensive sports car. The car looks fantastic in pictures and has all the new technological feature making it state of the art. Everyone loves this new car; it’s eye candy. 

The car, however, is not complete unless it can provide the utility of transportation. Failing to put gas into the tank will render this expensive sports car useless, save for photographs. The same is true about compassion. 

Failing to have any compassion about our fellow neighbors must make God scratch His holy head. He could not have been clearer about our duties as Believers when it comes to the poor. And we need to teach this same thing to our children so their lives can also be fulfilled to the utmost and achieving their overall purpose in life. 

The good news is that being a compassionate person requires little effort and resources. It is simply about being a nice person to all people, helping where we can, doing our best. It’s taking a slight risk but knowing that whatever we do will help. 

Being compassionate is the one job we cannot screw up. Anything is better than nothing. 

Some fail to even want to talk about compassion because they feel it means giving up something. They operate out of fear of loss and fail to obtain the blessing of Faith. 

Faith, not fear, allows us to become compassionate. Fear keeps us locked in our homes, never venturing further than our own domain for fear of discomfort. Fear traps us into thinking that our only purpose is to acquire more and to achieve higher promotions at work. Fear keeps us as human beings whereas Faith allows us to become human doers. 

…and faith without works is dead. 


The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by G.L.O.B.A.L. Justice. We are a faith-based, nonpartisan organization that seeks to extend the conversation about justice with a posture of dignity and respect.

Social Media & Loving Your Neighbor

Social Media & Loving Your Neighbor

Social media is a ubiquitous presence in the West, and is a growing one across the entire world. It is undoubtedly a source of positive connection and friendship for many, but its dangers are increasingly difficult to ignore, as much as the corporations who run them would like the public to think otherwise… So how can we --  especially those of us who believe in Jesus who himself embodied selfless love in an age of division, distrust, and hatred like our own --  think about loving, and actually embody love, to our neighbor in the age of social media?

Social Media for Social Good

Social Media for Social Good

I’ll admit, and perhaps surprisingly to some, that I have always been a bit leery of social media. When LinkedIn started in 2002, I saw the value of professional online connection, but didn’t see the utility of what seemed to be a clunky platform. When Myspace started in 2003, I thought it was creepy. I didn’t like the idea of anyone opening themselves up to the threat of potential predators. When Facebook started in 2004, I thought it was voyeuristic. I really didn’t like the idea of sharing my life in such a public way. I tested it out to promote work activities, but the general response was that people wanted to see more social than professional, which I didn’t want to do. When Twitter started in 2006, I didn’t quite understand how to navigate it. Having a small child at that point, I didn’t see the point of it for my life. When Instagram started in 2010, I had twin babies and a young school age child as well as a job where I worked 60+ hours a week. I just didn’t have the time for it.  And in 2011, when Snapchat started, I didn’t even bother with it.