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aspiring human rights activist and misc ramblings

The urge to make a difference in protecting human rights struck me early. I clearly remember the day, walking the hallway with my Sunday school class, when I got my first glimpse of the Holocaust and heard the unimaginable truth that they had used Jews to make soap. At 10 years old, I found it so inconceivable-- and still do-- that people have the capacity to be so cruel. That they would systematically hurt others simply because they were inadvertently born into a particular race or religion. I recall the many thoughts rumbling in my head that day. I pictured myself living in Germany at that time... and being hated and pursued in my Jewish skin. I strategized on how I might try to escape... how I would survive? And considered the possibility of Jews being so targeted in America. Where would I go? I still find it so incredulous that people who don't even know me, could hate me simply because I was born Jewish or American or female. How much people had known about what was happening to the Jews at that time and why more hadn't been done. Why hadn't the American government, which I had grown up believing to be just, done more. I silently vowed that I would never stand by and watch the innocent and the powerful be oppressed again.

Fast forward 30 years. I now understand that the Holocaust was not a one time aberration in history, but rather was a powerful lesson that regrettably humanity hasn't learned from. The horrors of Bosnia and Ruwanda and other genocides continue. Life has gone on and I sadly have not yet risen to the task of activist against such cruelty. I've gone about building my life... buying a home, growing a business and creating comfortable livelihood, adopting a child and finally meeting my soulmate. Over the years, I've dabbled in supporting various causes. I did a career stint in fundraising for the American Cancer Society and American Conservatory Theater, and I'm a long-time supporter of the Glibal Fund for Women. But, I'd like to do more and be more hands on with those I'm working to serve. Everything is finally come together for me, except that I live with a nagging underlying feeling that time is passing way too quickly and that I am not fully living my life's purpose. I still have a great desire to capitalizing on my talents to make a difference in easing human suffering. And while I have more talents, more resources and just as much ambition as ever, I'm just not sure where and how to start.

With a 3 year old daughter and new family, traveling isn't as easy as it once was and I've saddled myself with a life which doesn't make joining the Peace Corps or moving abroad so practical. At the same, I believe strongly how important it is to impart the values of social justice on children and want my daughter and new step children to feel like they can be apart of the solution.

I've been pondering the question as to how can I make a significant social impact from my home base. I'm more ready than ever to jump in and start chipping away at some problems. I am hoping that my participation in Pulsewire will enable me to connect with the on the ground activists that I can collaborate with and support. I look forward to tapping on my fundraising, marketing and business skills and contacts to help forward visionary programs.


Julie L's picture

Thanks for sharing your

Thanks for sharing your story! I know how it feels to not quite grasp your life's purpose, or to have enough time to put your beliefs into action. I'm sure you're doing some amazing things in educating your family about global issues, and supporting organizations like the Global Fund for Women (there are some great global/activist organizations in the Oakland/SF area! I can't say so much for my hometown of Detroit.). Sometimes we women are too hard on ourselves when, in reality, we definitely are accomplishing a lot already !

Genice Jacobs's picture

nice to meet you

Thanks for your note. Coincidentally, I also received my undergraduate degree from SDSU and took a fabulous women's studies course there. You might be interested in connecting with my SDSU buddy Julianne Leavy who runs a nonprofit in the Carmel area called Harmony at Home, which among other things runs girls empowerment and domestic violence programs. Let me know if you would like me to connect you with her.

Wishing you all the best.

Genice Jacobs

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