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Feeling the Pulse at home and afar


Recently, a group of community members met at World Pulse headquarters in Portland, OR. This was the second gathering of the newly formed World Pulse Portland meet-up group. The idea for this group grew out of a similar meeting I organized in Kampala, Uganda last summer. I wanted to meet my World Pulse sisters in Kampala, and I was surprised to learn that they had not met each other face to face before. Realizing I did not know many community members in my home city, I vowed to change that and start a "local pulse" group.

With the help and support of the tireless World Pulse staff, the group met for the first time last month. We viewed "Pray the Devil Back to Hell", the first film in the five-part documentary series, Women, War, and Peace. An insightful conversation about the unique ways that conflict affects women followed the film.

The second meeting of the group coincided with the observation of Human Trafficking Awareness Month. We discussed the prevalence of human trafficking in the United States and in our own city of Portland. The highlight of the evening was having World Pulse contributor, Stella, Skype in from India. Stella shared valuable insight into the crime of trafficking in her country.

We felt the power of connection - within one room and across thousands of miles and many time zones. When we gather together, we are stronger. We use our collective energy and passion to affect positive change. This is the power and the beauty of World Pulse.

This group plans to meet monthly to discuss relevant issues, watch important films, and to, simply put, connect. If you live in the Portland area, join us! If you don't, start a World Pulse meet-up in your own city! The more we connect, the more we can accomplish.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »



Susan K.A.'s picture

Thank you, Julie!

I was so glad I made it to the meet-up the other night. Thank you so much for organizing it! And for all the work you put into researching organizations that deal with trafficking. I'm going to look at the some of the websites you provided for us and give more thought into how I may raise awareness of human trafficking and how to end it. This is such an incredibly painful and tragic crime to think about/talk about. But Stella spoke the truth when she said it's the very issues that make us most uncomfortable that we should be addressing head-on. Thanks for shining light on this issue, Julie.

It was great to meet you, finally, and get to meet some of our other local members, face-to-face! I look forward to coming to future meet-ups! Too bad Scott wasn't in the picture--I have a feeling he's often the mystery-person behind the camera. :)


"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being."

jacollura's picture

Thank you, Susan!

Susan, I realized I posted this as a new comment, instead of a reply!

Thank you for coming to the meet-up and contributing to the conversation. Yes, we must continue to speak up about the ugly issues. Awareness is the first step!

See you at the next meet-up! We'll make sure to get Scott in the picture. :)

jacollura's picture

Thank you, Susan!

Thank you for coming to the meet-up and contributing to the conversation. Yes, we must continue to speak up about the ugly issues. Awareness is the first step!

See you at the next meet-up! We'll make sure to get Scott in the picture. :)

Y's picture

I look forward to hearing

I look forward to hearing about your awareness leading to action.


jacollura's picture

Yes, Y, awareness is only the

Yes, Y, awareness is only the first step. But, it is an important step in the right direction.

What a wonderful idea to get together in person to connect with other World Pulse community members in your area. I think we should all look into similar get togethers.

I have found that when I have met friends in person with whom I've worked online that our bonds are definitely strengthened. My most productive collaborations have come from conferences where I have met people face to face, or on Skype as well, so I think there is something to that.

Good for you for taking the initiative, and for including informative programing into the meet up.

jacollura's picture


Thank you for your comments. This is exactly why I posted this recap. I want to encourage other members to start meet-ups in their communities. The online connection is wonderful, but nothing beats face to face encounter!

Nancy Janus's picture



I was really excited to read about the meeting that you had with your World Pulse sisters. What was especially exciting is that you met the woman from India on Skype. I have translated numerous documents from the DRC, and have only recently begun to think about how great it would be to talk with some of them on Skype. I would love to know how you handled the time difference from Portland India when you made that Skype connection. I think that you were so right that personal connections improve on Internet connections. Even just being able to see somebody on the screen is more personal when talking in the abstract by typing. Your posting has inspired me to find out if there are other World Pulse sisters living here in the Tampa Bay area. I would love to have such a meeting as you did. I'm so glad you shared it!

Best regards,


jacollura's picture


Thanks so much for your comment! I am sure there are WP members in Tampa. I am, in fact, from Tampa! You may want to post a journal entry reaching out to members in your area. If you do start a meet-up, I would love to know how it goes!

As far as the time difference, we chose to Skype with Stella because when it is early evening on the West Coast, it is morning in India. I believe the time difference between the East Coast and Africa is 8 hours, so you might be able to Skype with your DRC sisters when it's morning for you and evening for them.

Good luck!

Sharese's picture

This is so true!

I also believe that the more we connect the stronger we are! I think meeting up with people in your who are a part of World Pulse is a phenomenal idea. I met up with a fellow World Pulse member while in Jamaica. It was a beautiful experience and we are still friends to this day.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience :)

Much Peace,


jacollura's picture

Thank you, Sharese!

Sharese, thanks for reading and commenting. I want to encourage community members to organize other meet-ups. The face to face connection is so powerful! Definitely connect with your sisters when you travel, but don't forget about your sisters at home!
Love and peace,

kind3500's picture

good idea!

Such a great idea gathering locals to meet up! Change starts at home, and it is important to realize that before attempting to put ideas into practice abroad. Wonderful to know that there are people in your own community who share your passion and vision of the future. Skype is such a fabulous tool for connecting people at a global scale, and maintaining relationships. Congrats to you and World Pulse for changing the world!


jacollura's picture

Thank you, Kindersley!

I really appreciate your comments and encouragement. I'll post another update after our next meet-up!
Best wishes,

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