Attending the Influence Nation Summit 2018, at National Geographic Society was a rich experience for me. I could listen to prominent activists and people belonging to different organizations striving
for the rights of underrepresented communities of the society. Among the panelists, there was the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela who spoke about her grandfather’s work and his life as a family person. The summit included sessions on gun violence and control in the states, importance of kindness and love, rights of minorities and transgender communities. Other topics included promoting and supporting leadership, income increase for restaurant employees and engaging young people in nonprofit sector. Various organizations had also set up their stalls so I got a chance to meet different people and learn more about their work. Here are some of the key takeaways of the summit:
1- Love has no label, color, race, religion or age. Every mother loves her child irrespective of her race, color, religion or age. Similarly, the love between siblings, parents, partners and children is beyond the boundaries of these parameters.
2- Being kind to others is of paramount importance. Only one smile can change the perspectives, you can try it. People who tend to commit suicide, are often rejected or heartbroken and do not receive the amount of love, kindness, acceptance and understanding they need that could help them stay away from suicide.
3- Income inequality is a serious problem that is being faced by restaurant employees in many states of the US. Many workers also face harassment and discrimination at their work places. These issues need to be addressed.
4- Number of donors in nonprofit sector is decreasing, but not the passion of philanthropy in people. There are multiple causes for that decrease. Income is not really increasing and there is a lot of economic pressure on individuals, they need to decide where to spend their money. Young donors are very important, but they have to care about their education and housing expenses as well. Nonprofit organizations need to develop relationship with young people and engage them to do philanthropic and volunteer work. People are loyal to causes and giving will continue to evolve.
5- Better laws are required to be in place related to gun violence and control. People can use their right to vote to bring about the change they want to see.
I would conclude on a beautiful saying of Nelson Mandela quoted by his granddaughter at the event – you can disagree with others, but you don’t have to disrespect them.