Devin Greenleaf

Devin Greenleaf (Jagaran Media Center): Devin developed his business and marketing skills in the private sector before pursuing a BA in English at the University of Utah. His spent his spare time programming the Amnesty International Human Rights Film Festival and teaching language and life skills to immigrants. At the time of his fellowship, Devin was studying for a Master’s degree at American University’s School of International Service, where he researched the intersection of communication and international human rights. Devin was also active in the American University’s Center for Social Media.



From Washington to Kathmandu

04 Jun

I depart for Nepal in a matter of days. Already I feel great hope, excitement, and nervous anticipation for what this summer will bring. I am so lucky to be able to stand beside a body of people invested in their cause with their lives. I am also thrilled to be able to attach faces and names to a country that until several months ago, conjured little more than melodies of Bob Seger songs and mountaineering tales.

As I pack, news alerts on Nepal hit my email inbox reminding me of what an important time it is to be working for human rights there. Because it is a relatively young post-conflict society, Nepal has lots of momentum and represents great potential for advancing peace among its people and the region.

But as I bounce around Washington crossing off a seemingly never ending list of things like Visa applications and hepatitis vaccinations, I am also reminded of how much there is to learn about the issue I’m working on. I’ll be advocating on behalf of Nepal’s Dalit or “untouchable” caste – a group of people marginalized for simply being born at the bottom end of a social hierarchy. This is something that challenges my own understanding of civil society. I guess that’s not entirely true, for discrimination is discrimination right? A drive past Washington, DC’s U Street Corridor, the site of the largest race riots the U.S. has ever seen, attests to my own country’s battles with discrimination. But is this even a valid comparison? Can discrimination based on birthright be compared to discrimination based on skin color or even religion?

There are so many questions I’ll attempt to ask, and even more I hope to answer. But at the very least I hope my work this summer will serve to further human rights in Nepal on some small level, and become proof of just how important advocacy on a global level can be.

Posted By Devin Greenleaf

Posted Jun 4th, 2007

3 Comments

  • Deanna Byck

    June 7, 2007

     

    Devin –
    What you are doing is so important and such a great cause for political justice. You will be there in a time when there is a window of opportunity for change because they are newly post conflict – so take advantage, do your best, and try not to get frustrated with the small daily struggles of Nepali life. Massive traffic, horrible pollution, and sheer numbers of people will astound you, but behind that is the purity of the heart and the incredible friendliness and openness that makes Nepal so magical. We wish you the best in your endeavors and look forward to many updates from you. – Love and peace, Deanna and Dann

  • gm

    June 7, 2007

     

    So looking forward to your blogs this summer Devin! Safe flight to Nepal!

  • Deb Harper

    June 14, 2007

     

    Devin, WOW, this is great stuff, I have really enjoyed reading them. You, the little shy blonde boy that grew up with my family down the street, have grown to be an amazing person. I can only imagine the experience and growth you will now achieve. It means the world to me to have your family back in my life. Your family, all of them, have always been in my thoughts. So I have to say that Collin more so than anyone, but I always knew there was something special about you, now it is coming full circle. Take Care and stay positive!
    Deb

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