(This is a speech given by Irene M. Santiago at the Opening Plenary of the Global Cyber Peace Conference (Asia and Oceania) organized by the Rotary Peace Fellowship Alumni Association on June 27, 2020).
Your conversations that begin today must first answer the question: What needs to be flipped? We have to name them. Remember, if we can’t name them, we can’t have them. So go name them!
And as we flip, let’s land on the right side of history and herstory. As we denounce, let us also announce.
I am inviting all of you and I hope you will invite your friends and colleagues to join us in the campaign we are launching to respond to this Great Rupture. The first phase is entitled: How Then Shall We Live? And the second phase: What Then Must We Do? We need every group, network and coalition to be involved. The conversations you have in this conference will be the beginning of this critical worldwide conversation we need to have to make the world we envision truly ours!
I end this conversation with you with all my best wishes for a successful conference. And I offer this benediction to inspire all of us as we set forth in our collective journey to an equal, kinder and happier world.
A benediction by the theologian, Rebecca Ann Parker
Your gifts whatever you discover them to be
Can be used to bless or curse the world.
The mind’s power,
The strength of the hands,
The reaches of the heart,
The gift of speaking, listening, imagining, seeing, waiting
Any of these can serve to feed the hungry,
Bind up wounds,
Welcome the stranger,
Praise what is sacred,
Do the work of justice,
Or offer love.