Clark University’s ONE Chapter may only include 20 students, but they’re an amazing and effective group of young organizers. As of this writing, Clark’s ONE Chapter is third on the leaderboard in the ONE Campus Challenge (OCC), a friendly national competition involving 3,000+ schools to determine which university’s student body has the most effective poverty-fighting campaign. The OCC is part of ONE, the humanitarian organization founded by Bono, the lead singer of U2, to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease worldwide. Clark University launched its ONE Chapter in 2008.
According to Siobhan Kelley ’12, Chapter president, “This year the group has been one of the most active groups on campus.” The group held several events this fall, including a successful letter-writing campaign and calling party about maternal health benefits. In December, they organized a highly successful World AIDS Day celebration that — for the third year in a row — was labeled by OCC judges and leaders as “the best event of its type.”
Kelley believes the group, which has increased its members from six to 20 in the past couple of years, “really reflects the Clark community’s passion for engaging in global issues.”
“Clarkies really do want to contribute to social change, so I think ONE is an avenue to do that,” she said.
Earler this year, the chapter collected discarded cell phones to donate to community health workers in Kenya. They also completed a photo petition that convinced 180 Clarkies — and Clark President David Angel — to make a statement about protecting foreign aid in the U.S. budget. The group is planning another event later this week on World Water Day.
Kelley has been involved with Clark’s ONE Chapter since September 2009; she was elected president this fall after spending her spring semester abroad in Namibia. She is currently one of 50 semi-finalists who is vying to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa with Chegg and ONE — an opportunity, she says, that “would strengthen [her] skills as an activist” and help her launch a career in the development field.
Like other semi-finalists, Kelley created a video about her passion for social change. Her video, titled "The Power of Student Activism," is posted on a Facebook page with the other entries.
Siobhan Kelley is one of two Worcester students vying for an internship in Africa.
She and the other students in the contest are relying on their friends, family and community to get them to the next level in the competition by voting for their videos via Facebook. The 20 entrants with the most Facebook votes will have an opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., next month to meet with members of Congress, the ONE team, like-minded students and social entrepreneurs for a few days. From that group, only eight will be selected to go to Africa.
More information about the contest is available on Facebook.