Humanity-Without-Borders Foundation's, Sebastian Fern, will participate in Sunday's NYC Marathon. Please donate one dollar or more for each of the 26.2 mile marathon!
If one reads the world’s news’ main headlines on any given day, the vast majority of the stories will most certainly deal with issues related to violence, hatred, prejudice, corruption, greed, paranoia, or fear. What makes individuals focus on their distinct national, ethnic, or religious identities and forget about our most unquestionable common denominator, humanity? Whether in times of wars, conflicts, or natural disasters, many men and women have stood up and reminded us of this basic truth: We are all humans, and humanity is our basic and unsurpassable identity.
There are infinite examples of acts of humanity by persons displaying generosity, courage and bravery whilst placing at risk their own lives as well as the lives of their loved ones. However, due to suppression, censorship, or indifference, the general public rarely hears about these incredibly moving stories.
The Humanity-Without-Borders Foundation will make known these intensely humane stories of wonderful, dramatic, life-saving deeds from recent history to today, and from every part of the world. We must never let humankind forget that our common heritage and future is first and foremost, our humanity!
We live in a world of many different nations and peoples with different cultures, ethnicities, and religions. Individuals have grown used to identify with a national and/or religious and/or ethnic identity as if it were the natural state of humanity. Nationalism is the feeling of commonality that one has with people from similar backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, languages and cultures. Nationalism has the power to construct and deconstruct entire states, move borders, and start wars. However, what is a nationality? What makes each nation different from each other?
Throughout history, people have fought over resources and power. More often than not, these bloody wars were cloaked in religious or patriotic discourses to mobilize large segments of the world’s populations, and pit them against each other.
It all starts with a “crisis.” It can be man-made, (war, political, internal conflict, and other seeds of violence), or natural disasters and/or diseases, leading to displacement, homelessness, hunger, death. According to media “experts” these are the themes that “sell” and these are the issues “consumers want to know about.”
People become vulnerable as their support systems collapse and they look for help. Often governments are unable or unwilling to help them. As despair sets in there are no options left. Then, all of a sudden and unexpectedly, an offer/invitation for sharing food/shelter/security, or even escape, appears. Not from an authority. Not from a non-governmental organization. Not from an international agency. But from a friend, a neighbor, or even a stranger ….. foremost a humanitarian!
Every day, people from different cultures and religions refuse to give in to these simplistic, destructive discourses and choose to extend their help and generosity to those, they are told, are the enemy of their nation or religion. These stories are seldom published. They are, in fact, the exception to the rule as far as the media is concerned. These acts of humanity include those between Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda; blacks and whites in South Africa; Arabs and Jews in the Second World War; Latin immigrants and US citizens on the Mexican-American border; Arabs and Israelis in the Middle East; Haitians displaced by the earthquake; Tsunami survivors in South Asia; HIV/Aids orphans and members of their communities in Africa; and stories of the Balkans, the Nazi, and other holocaust examples.
The Humanity-Without-Borders Foundation will promote:
· Humanity as our common identity.
· People introducing change and making a difference.
· The encouragement of more people to emulate others through the stories collected, recorded, and distributed.
· Tolerance and understanding.
· Help in refuting misconceptions and stereotypes amongst people.
· Opportunities for mutual understanding and genuine dialogue outside of the realm of politics and industrial interests, but particularly within the resolution of conflict.
This independent NGO Foundation will gather the stories; facilitate the production of multi-media products; and disseminate materials, thereby addressing some of the imbalances regarding human behavior in difficult moments, and how this humanitarian conduct is presented in the media.
These stories of self-sacrifice and solidarity will be distributed through many different media “outlets” including, documentaries, video reports, books for both children and adults, comics, animation, web-based digital communication, and other “traditional” and “non-traditional” media platforms.
Led by a seasoned multi-national team, and guided by an international Board of Advisors that include national and global leaders from both the public and private sectors, the Humanity-Without-Borders Foundation will create and foster partnerships with like-minded local, national, and global institutions and organizations. It will encourage international broadcasters specifically, and the mass media in general, to promote, publicize and distribute these fantastic stories and examples of exemplary human solidarity as counter-acts for all the negative perceptions produced and distributed through sources of disinformation and propaganda.
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