Nuru Invited to Catalyst Conference 2009

On October 6th, 2009 Derek and I hopped in my hybrid and began the drive from Morgantown, WV to Atlanta, Georgia. Nuru had just received an invitation to be part of the Social Justice Tent at Catalyst 2009.  What does that mean?

First, what is Catalyst?  Catalyst is a leadership conference in Atlanta, GA that takes place in the Gwinnett Arena.   Twelve thousand people converged for this conference, and by the time we arrived at our booth to get rolling on Thursday morning, there were already a few thousand gathered waiting to get inside the arena.

So, twelve thousand people rolled up on this conference, and virtually all of them made their way through the social justice tent during the conference.  That means twelve thousand people saw Nuru in the tent, and many of them stopped by to chat with us.  The social justice tent’s purpose was to help people who were attending this leadership conference to lead their people by getting involved in issues of justice.

Honestly, we had no idea what to expect when we set up our booth Wednesday afternoon.  What happened over the next couple of days was unbelievable though.  We literally talked to hundreds of individuals about Nuru, and how they could join us in the fight to end extreme poverty, together, one community at a time.  

Here were the top questions folks asked us when they stopped by our booth.  “Why have we never heard of you before?”  “Are you new?” “What does Nuru do?” and “How can we get involved?” It was incredible to watch people’s faces as they began to understand what Nuru does and how they might be able to help.  It all started with questions.

I love those questions.  Those questions lead to a great opportunity.  If you are reading this blog post, you probably already know who we are and what we do.  And now, we want to ask you for help in answering those questions.   You see, YOU are our primary means of getting the word out about who we are and what we do.  We know it’s not easy to explain Nuru to others, so we’ve got some sweet videos on this site to help you—tuko pamoja—we are in this together!  Share those videos with friends.  Tweet ‘em.  Post them to your wall on Facebook.  Blog about them.  Email them to 5 of your friends.  Seriously.  Maybe YOU will be the Catalyst (no pun intended) to them joining us in the fight.  

Catalyst was an incredible opportunity for Nuru to mobilize others to join us in the fight, but it pales in comparison to the work you can right now to mobilize your friends.

Be the change you wish to see.  Be hope.  Be light.  Be Nuru.

About Billy Williams

Strategic Partnerships Director — As passionate about ending extreme poverty as he is about his home state of West Virginia, Billy developed a hunger for listening to and telling good stories at a young age. He received a BA in Chemistry and English as well as an MA in English from West Virginia University as well as an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. As Nuru’s lead advocate and storyteller, Billy has been invited to share at events around the globe. If you are seated next to him on a plane, or trapped with him in an elevator, he’ll be sure to invite you to join our efforts, too.

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