Sunday, March 25, 2007

We rocked SXSW!

Oxfam volunteers
Originally uploaded by Brande Jackson.

A big thanks to our volunteers who joined us last week in spreading the word about Oxfam America and Lokahi. We had a great time working with the team that is part of the UT Austin Oxfam group. They were true troopers – coming out day after day and taking to the streets, talking to thousands of people about Oxfam the work the organization is doing to eliminate poverty and injustice. It was a lot of fun to be back out on the ground, talking to people about the issues we all care about – a good taste of what lies ahead for the rest of this year!

We hope that those we talked to during our week in Austin will stay involved throughout the year, joining us in our outreach and even inviting us out on tour!

Watch for more updates to come soon as we start to expand our after school programming, and begin to gear up for our summer outreach!

Dan shows off the back of our new Lokahi shirt

PS: You can check out our photos from SXSW by going here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

SXSW update...

SXSW is going well so far – we're still in the 'low key' phase. Got into town early to check out the Interactive and Film part of the festival, and in general just get a lay of the land before the onslaught of the music industry later this week. I've already been slowly pushing our good propaganda, dropping off literature and buttons and stickers all about town and talking to people about what it is that we do.

The highlight of my two days here in Austin so far (besides stumbling up on the mega Whole Foods, which left me feeling overwhelmed and wanting to curl up in a fetal position under the locally grown organic pesticide free kumquat display) was definitely the screening of Run Granny Run. I love seeing great documentaries, and I especially love those which capture a story perfectly, and convey a much larger idea. This movie has yet to be picked up by any distributor, but do what you can to find it and see it!

Granny D, also known as Doris Haddock, first gained recognition for walking across the country at age 90 in 1999 to raise awareness for campaign finance reform. She then ran for senate in NH in 2004, going up against a two term Republican incumbent when the Democrat candidate suddenly dropped out in July of that year. She didn't think she would win, and in fact most didn't think she'd get more than 10% of the vote, but she ran to show that average citizens can and should play a role in democracy. She did end up losing, but not before showing up her opponent in a live debate and garnering nearly 40% of the vote in her state.

It was incredibly inspiring seeing the footage of this 90 year old woman walking across the country, stopping people in Chicago trying to get them to register to vote (something I have literally done myself!) - it really struck me in a way I wasn't anticipating. Seeing someone act on their convention in such a way, to take on such a burden and work so hard at her age was great! A great story and great film making. As a bonus, Granny D, now 97, was there along with the filmmaker with a Q and A session after the film.

The film ends with a statement from Granny D that I love:

"Democracy is not something we have, but something we do."

Use it as your new myspace quote!

Blurry Granny D

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Lokahi at South By Southwest

Lokahi is excited to be taking part in this years SXSW music festival. We’ll be in Austin all week, set up at events like the Industry of Music Showcase and a wide variety of other parties, showcases and public events. In order to get the message out and build support for the good stuff going on, however, we need to ‘get around’ even more – we’re hoping to be all over town during the big week, and need some help to make that happen!

Our goal for our time in Austin is to spread the word about the important work that our partner campaigns are engaged in, while also showing the music industry that music and good causes do in fact mix quite well! Lokahi was founded in part because of this history of activism in music– bands like the Clash and U2 are in part the reason we are the socially minded people we are today. It was our goal from our start to keep this spirit of activism alive and well in the music community, and we are excited to get the chance to act on this belief during SXSW!

Next week, we’ll be engaging people to take action with organizations like Oxfam America, Witness, and the ONE Campaign while also registering voters. We’d love to be set up at any and all parties and showcases, and likewise, if there isn’t space for our small set up, we’d also be very excited to just have some info literature available at your venue. We can be as low key or as big as you want, bringing very important social causes to your event in a way that blends well with the larger spirit of SXSW. We’ll help to promote your event in exchange for your hospitality, and remember, our whole deal is to take action, change the world, and do it with STYLE, so rest assured that our presence will be top notch!

Feel free to
contact us
for more information, and thanks in advance for your support!

PS: we’ll be in town from March 10th on, so we are also going to be at some of the Interactive and Film parties as well!