I left for the NASPA Annual Conference the day after several earthquakes and a tsunami struck Japan. While at the conference, I saw numerous tweets on the backchannel that criticized the NASPA leadership for not doing more to support and advocate for the people of Japan. While I can empathize with folks who were struggling to find a sense of action at the conference, I know that for many, the way that we grieve, mourn, and respond to tragedy varies tremendously.
The timing of the events that occurred in Japan took place while many in the NASPA community were traveling and/or preparing for the conference. I firmly believe that if folks had had just a bit more time to come to terms with what had happened, that there would have been more of a communications effort to support the Japanese people at the NASPA Conference. During times of tragedy, it is important to find ways to support one another. One of my mentors once told me that it is far easier to be critical than it is to be creative and generative.
Having said that, I have seen tweets from several people who are gearing up to provide education, advocacy, and support for the people of Japan during the ACPA Annual Convention. Volunteers will be staffing a table to solicit donations in support of relief efforts in Japan.
One of the easiest ways that you can help folks out in Japan is by texting REDCROSS to 90999. It takes 10 seconds to donate $10. Micropayments, when collectively added up, can have fundamental impacts for aiding people during their time of need. The natural disaster that took place in Japan is grotesque in its magnitude. We all need to come together to be part of a collective solution of support. I donated. Will you?
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