The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Texting to change the world

 Texting to change the world
Texting to change the world

Texting to change the world

I’ve never gone to a big arena concert. In my mind, a concert includes a 5 minute drive to Deep Ellum in Downtown Dallas, and 3 hours alongside other fans listening to great music up and close to the bands. Still, if I ever went to a big production concert it would probably be to see the veteran band U2. Famous for its 11 studio albums, great live performances, sold out tours around the world, and even their own iPod, the band is also well known for its lead singer Bono, the rock star crusader. Although some people don’t like him because he used the “f” word at an awards show, Bono is constantly in the front lines fighting against the problems that millions of people face every day. A celebrity cursing is not rare, but it’s strange to hear about one who doesn’t just give charity as a publicity stunt; someone who actually gives the poor a hand, even when the rest of the world doesn’t even know they are there.

I rarely ever take my cell phone with me to a concert. On May 12th, almost a third of the 24,000 U2 fans at the United Center in Chicago were pretty glad they brought theirs along as they let them shine to “make the place a Christmas tree”, as Bono described. During the band’s current tour, concertgoers were asked to raise their cell phones, similarly to the way people used to raise their lighters, displaying an awesome blue-white glow across the stadium.

As the lights were turned off and thousands of phones glowed, the phrase “Text your name to UNITE (86483)” appeared above the stage. On that evening, 1,980 names were text messaged. More than just a cool thing to do, these messages made a difference acting as signatures for the One Campaign. The One Campaign is an effort created by several organizations such as World Vision and Mercy Corps, and supported by people like Nelson Mandela, Brad Pitt, and Pat Robertson. The goal is to overcome AIDS, starvation and extreme poverty. When people send a text message they are actually sending their support, one by one, to the campaign. The idea is to help the one billion people that live on less than one dollar a day.

Not only are people around the world living in poverty but they are also dangerously sick. Every day, in Africa, HIV/AIDS kills 6,300 people, and almost 10,000 are infected with the HIV virus. This year, a million Africans will die of AIDS and another two million will die of Malaria. Poverty and sickness are only two of the problems that countries have trouble dealing with because of the debt they are in. The African continent alone has an outside debt of $293 billion and these countries are expected to pay at the expense of peoples’ lives.

This year on the 6th of July, eight presidents from the world’s wealthiest nations (including President Bush), known as the G8, will gather in Scotland. They will meet at the G8 Summit to discuss the fate of the one billion poorest people on Earth, of which nearly half live in Sub-Saharan Africa. The One Campaign needs people to stand together as one to ask the G8 for more and better aid, debt cancellation and trade justice. The importance and urgency of this issue is staggering. The campaign is not asking for money, it’s asking for voices. Our voices together can make a difference. Go to www.one.org to add your signature online and to find out ways to get involved.

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