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.

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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.’

Lena Kashkarova

Olena Kashkarova is from Ukraine and will join the International Council of IofC beginning the 1 January 2017. Here she shares her reflections after watching the agonizing video clips from Aleppo, Syria.

Dick Ruffin

America’s nightmare is over. Or is it? Toxins infused into the body politic through a protracted and horrific campaign are not easily purged. It was not only the candidates who flouted basic values of honesty, respect and decency, abetted by a rating hungry media. We, voters and non-voters alike, were complicit, either by our silence, or by what we said or passed on or simply by the relish with which we watched the debacle, like kids at a food fight.

Abiodun Owoseni

In September, the Nigerian government launched a reorientation campaign donning the slogan: ‘Change Begins With Me.’ I was in India at the time and shared my excitement with some friends who like me believe that this approach is what the world needs. I expressed my great hopes that our Nigerian Initiatives of Change team would make a significant contribution to this campaign, but after returning home I found that this was not to be, at least not yet.