Beyond the Orange – What next?
WE WORE our orange last Friday to signify that we want a brighter future and to live in a world that is free of violence. Our young people peacefully held their placards high with messages about how they feel about the violence permeating the society and their ideas for a more respectful and empathetic co-existence with others.
The most recent campaign to #OrangeSVG being successfully executed, what next? We have done this before. We have expressed our outrage – many times. Very little seems to have changed. Two years ago, we wore orange and marched in Kingstown when a beloved nurse was gunned down. Yet here we are again.
Building public awareness through marches and protests and making speeches calling for tougher penalties for violent offenders is clearly not enough. A more strategic and tactical approach must be taken to this challenge, with the spate of violence viewed as an attack by an invading force that we are determined to repel. We already have in place the institutional structures that could lead the charge – our schools, churches, youth groups, the gender affairs
and social welfare departments, law enforcement, etc. All that is needed is a vision as to what could be, inspirational leadership, a plan, a commitment to making the plan work, funding and cohesion. We can make this happen by channelling and focusing the outrage we feel now into a force for good.
Tomorrow evening, on our Facebook page and Youtube channel, SEARCHLIGHT will host a discussion seeking to get to the causes of violence in general, and violence against women and girls in particular. Our panel comprises four distinguished Vincentians who will explore ideas about what are the next steps in order to bring about meaningful, generational change. Let us not, through inaction, destine the next generation to having to keep wearing orange.
Join us from 8:00 pm.