Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ONE Campus Challenge funding

Currently, our campus is leading other colleges in the ONE Campus Challenge. I am somewhat ambivalent about the program. The symbolism and the very name seems to promote socialist totalitarianism, and the stated objective seems to be wealth redistribution versus wealth creation:

For the first time in history, our generation has the tools, technology, and resources to end extreme poverty, and yet, a billion people still live on less than a dollar a day.

It is also rather troubling that there is not transparency as to the funders of OCC:

This contest is sponsored by ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History. 1400 Eye St., NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20005, 202-552-4990 ("ONE"). ONE is solely responsible for the OCC.

Applying my Nancy Drew mystery solving powers, I googled "ONE campus challenge" and "Soros" and arrived at the website, not readily linked to above:

Financial heavyweights such as Virgin Atlantic's Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and George Soros raised the heat on G8 leaders by funding "One" activists.

Going to host organization's website led to a list of ecumenical, except for Catholic, charities who are working with this program.

Finally, I was able to find the host organization's mission statement and FAQ :

Cofounded by Bono, Bobby Shriver and other campaigners, and supported by Bob Geldof and other high profile activists, ONE is nonpartisan and works with activists from the left, right and center to mobilize public opinion in support of effective, proven initiatives that are delivering results: protecting families from preventable diseases like AIDS and malaria, putting kids in school, providing economic opportunity and stabilizing communities. To help ensure the policies we advocate are effective, we seek advice from leading African anti-poverty campaigners and policy experts.

Although ONE states that they are supported by left, right, and center, the majority on the list of high profile supporters all sound left, left, and far left:

ONE is supported by Americans from every state and all ages, religions and walks of life, including such notable people as: Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Pat Robertson, Kate Hudson, pastor and author of the Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren, Jamie Foxx, Jars of Clay, Penelope Cruz, Dave Matthews, Salma Hayek, George Clooney, Bill Gates and many, many others.

In conclusion, I still find the symbolism (big red one) of this program to be rather creepy. The ecumenical list of partners somewhat allays my fears that I might possibly be supporting a Marxist front organization. However, I'm still somewhat concerned that Catholic charities, & thus the pope, haven't given their imprimatur to this endeavor.

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