Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Speaking at the University of San Francisco

Since my dissertation is on ethnic politics and gender politics in Kenya I wanted to share with our supporters in the Bay Area an opportunity to come continue the ongoing discussions.

I will be giving a talk on my research and the ongoing crisis in Kenya at the U. of San Francisco where I am a doctoral fellow this year.
The talk is titled:

"Kenya in Post Election Crisis: A discussion of the historical and political roots of the ongoing post election crisis"
It will be in the Maraschi Room of Fromm Hall right on campus and is scheduled for Thursday February 14th from 5.00 to 6.30pm.

What Dr. King would have told Kenyans....

This post is reproduced from the blog of MASH INC and is so good I just had to post it again!

On this day we mark MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY, and as fate would have it, his addresses almost 40 odd years ago seemed to have been directed to Kenyans just as much as to Americans!

The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not
revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of
Martin Luther King, Jr., The Trumpet of Conscience, 1967.

Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and
violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge,
aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Stockholm, Sweden, December 11, 1964.

Man was born into barbarism when killing his fellow man was a normal condition of existence. He became endowed with a conscience. And he has now reached the day when violence toward another human being must become as abhorrent as eating another’s flesh.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can’t Wait, 1963.

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Wall Street Journal, November 13, 1962.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction….The chain reaction of evil–hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars–must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength To Love, 1963.

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength To Love, 1963.

Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny. He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives. He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy.
Martin Luther King, Jr., The Measures of Man, 1959.

The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Interviewed on KPFA

I wanted to share with you an interview I gave to Africa Today on KPFA during my time in Kenya.

You can listen to the interview here:http://kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=24301

Mine is the second interview and starts at minute 32.

I also wanted to share a fascinating tool that some of my colleagues in the blogsphere have created to track the violence. http://ushahidi.com/

Ushahidi is a swahili word meaning 'bearing witness'. Ushahidi.com is a tool for people who witness acts of violence in Kenya in these post-election times. People on the ground send text messages about incidents of violence and the organization works with local Kenyan NGO's to get information and to verify each incident.

Kenyans in the Bay Area helping out

January 9, 2008 Kenyans in the Bay Area launched the Kenya Relief Fund (KRF) to help in the relief effort to meet the needs of families devastated by the post election civil strife in this otherwise peaceful country of “Hakuna Matata” fame.

Recent estimates put the dead at 800 and the displaced at 500,000. The Red Cross reports that there is a great need for medical, food, and clothing supplies as well as shelter for thousands of people that have been forced out of their homes and or who have lost loved ones as a result of skirmishes and responses by local law enforcement.

The local Kenyan community in the Bay Area has opened an account at the California Bank and Trust, and would like to encourage those humanitarians that may or may not know the beautiful country and people of Kenya, to feel free to donate to the effort.

Funds raised would be donated to the Kenya Red Cross, one of the few organizations in the front lines providing on the ground assistance to individuals and families. The group is currently talking to the Palo Alto chapter of the American Red Cross to outline ways in which the two organizations could effectively collaborate to support the Kenyan relief effort.

For more information about the Kenya Relief Fund Please contact the following:

Mid-Peninsula: Meda O. Okelo @ medaokelo@sbcglobal.net or 650-714-3047

East Bay: Nduta Kimani @ mwkimani@berkeley.edu 510-334-5491

Stanford University Sangai Mohochi @ mohochi@Stanford.edu 650-799-1366

Sacramento and Central Valley: Peter Gathungu @ gathungupm@earthlink.net 916-564-9171

To donate to the effort please send contributions to:

The Kenya Relief Fund

c.o.California Bank and Trust

1735 East Bayshore Road,

East Palo Alto, California 94303

Account # 1890092591