Campus News

Group helps students become less ignorant about the world

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Boni, an ex-child soldier of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda, shares his testimony with a group of students (Photo by Yon Moya).
Boni, an ex-child soldier of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda, shares his testimony with a group of students (Photo by Yon Moya).

In 2009, senior Sam Palombo and a group of friends created a club on campus, called Ignorant, to promote awareness and action among students.

"I wanted to broaden the school’s awareness to certain issues around the world," said Palombo.

Palombo has been involved in activist work on behalf of Invisible Children, an organization that helps free and protect children from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda. He said he wants people to know about the troubles in Uganda, but he also wants to help students find an issue in which they can become involved.

"The main goal is to raise awareness about humanitarian issues and political issues," said Palombo. "Also, the idea of the group is to help students find certain things that interest them, and if it is a problem that needs to be fixed then I hope they grab onto it and do something about it."

The group meets once a week and they view a documentary on various issues. Some of the films they have shown include "LUMO" (about women of Eastern DR Congo), "Born into Brothels" (children of the red light district in Calcutta), "Sicko" (United States Health Care system), "Food Inc" (about the United States’ food industry), "Tom’s Shoes" and "Pray the Devil back to Hell" (women of Liberia coming together to end a civil war by peaceful means).

The group tries to stay focused on issues that will interest students.

"We hope students take hold of issues on their own and do something about them," said Palombo. "We encourage them to be creative because our world is lacking creativity. Also, most of the documentaries are connected to a reliable organization that can further their knowledge and can also give them ideas of what they can do."

The group normally meets every Tuesday at 9 p.m. in the Middleton Science Building to preview a new documentary. There is also a group on Facebook that students can join to get updates on times and locations. The name of the documentary that will be shown is announced through a weekly message reminder on Facebook.

"In the future, we are planning on covering topics about conscientious objection through a documentary called ‘Soldiers of Conscience’ and Palestinian oppression through a documentary called ‘Occupation 101,’" said Palombo.

This past week they partnered with Invisible Children to preview a new documentary and hear from an ex Ugandan child solider, Boni. Through Invisible Children, Boni has received a scholarship so he can go back to school. He plans on going to a university in the future, but currently he is in the United States for ten weeks to share his story. Boni also encouraged others to donate to Invisible Children and to support the Legacy Scholarship Fund.
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