Global Newsroom

A collection of commentaries on important events and trends

Global Voices

Individuals of many cultures, nationalities, religions, and beliefs are actively involved with Initiatives of Change. These commentaries represent the views of the writer and not necessarily those of Initiatives of Change as a whole. If you would like to contribute a commentary, please email us. We welcome feedback that contributes to the stated aim of this website which is to build relationships of trust across the world's divides. The editors reserve the right to refuse contributions that use intemperate language or vilify others and which do not in our view encourage productive dialogue.

Tracie Mooneyham in Panchgani with friend (photo Armaan Dua)

‘So, how are you finding your time at Asia Plateau?’, came the question from across the breakfast table. Though the question came from a dear friend, I couldn’t help but be slightly annoyed. I had arrived in Panchgani only three days prior and was struggling to balance the jet-lag, work deadlines at home, and the work related to the programme, Lead for Change, of which I had made the trip to India for.

Rob Corcoran

When I first met Rev Bill Wigmore he was running the largest recovery centre in Texas based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. In recent years, Wigmore, who is an Episcopal priest, has been researching the movement’s early methodology to rediscover the lost or forgotten process followed by Dr Bob and the AA pioneers. Foremost among these is what Wigmore describes as two-way prayer – regular quiet times which he says were regarded as even more important than group meetings.

Tracie Mooneyham

At this point in the year most people are trying to gather close with family and friends; this is regardless of religion or heritage. Most offices close for Christmas or New Year's. We make a point to take vacation time and relax with loved ones. Even when I worked in retail, it was one of the two holidays when the stores were completely closed. Everyone looks forward to the opportunity to rest – to pause our fast-forward lives for just a moment as another year wanes. This is the time of year to reflect on our relationships and share in the warmth of loved ones who are near.

Dr Monica Spooner

Dr Monica Spooner found herself wondering, 'How will Britain mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration?’ In ignorance and disbelief, she read the 67-word Balfour Declaration of November 1917, and the League of Nations Mandate that Britain secured after the war, and discovered that we had accepted a ‘sacred trust’ to bring both the Jews and the Arabs to independence in Palestine. Not surprisingly, there was misunderstanding from the beginning, for both Arabs and Jews believed we had promised the land to them. The Balfour Project, born eight years ago, brought 1,200 to Central Hall Westminster on 31 October 2017.

Tracie Mooneyham

To my dear friends, colleagues the world over, and all who wonder what’s going on in the US as of late, I feel the need to express some sort of response in light of the recent events in Charlottesville, but honestly, I don’t know what to write. So, forgive me if this is a bit disorganized. It’s not that I am at loss for words. That’s not the case. I can list in my head a multitude of words to describe how sad I am, how disappointed I am, and how confused I feel about our future. It’s just that I have realized that anything I write runs the risk of falling flat. What I want to say can easily be diluted by my previous silence on the subject. I have been silent for most of my life because, really, I’ve had no reason to complain. I’ve mistakenly operated as though none of these events affect me. So, perhaps, that is part of the problem. Maybe I’ve gotten too comfortable with silence.

Mercy Okalowe

In 2011, Mercy Okalowe was working as a Regional Coordinator for Initiatives of Change Canada. As part of her work to build trust in her community and engage residents in honest conversations on race, reconciliation and responsibility, Mercy attended the world premier of the documentary film Dark Girls. She writes here a reflection of her experience and a call to action for all ‘dark girls.’