Delegates Join Forces With ADRA
Passersby sign enditnow petitions.

By Kimberly Luste MaranWorking with the ‚Ä®Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) International, IMPACT Atlanta (iATL) delegates grabbed pens, clipboards, and enditnow petition sheets and hit the sidewalks around Centennial Olympic Park at noon on June 29, 2010. While delegates asked passersby to sign their sheets, youth pastor and mixed media artist Milton Coronado created an emotive mural depicting a woman’s face with the words “End It Now” emblazoned along­-‚Ä®side it.

SIGN ME UP: iATL delegate and youth pastor Rachel Davies shares information about enditnow with a woman signing the petition. [Austin R. Ho/Adventist Review]
Gathered near the park’s fountain and the Southern Company Amphitheater, the delegates prayed several times, and then dispersed into groups of 2 to 4. Despite the heat, delegates were successful in obtaining signatures and sharing information about the campaign, the goal of which is to help end violence against women and girls.

“It’s extremely important that this is a part of our presence in Atlanta,” says Rachel Davies, youth pastor of the Toledo First Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ohio and iATL delegate. “The church is here to do its business—this is a part of our business too. Our business isn’t only about policies—we must remember not to be too busy to do the work of the kingdom.”

There was a slight delay at the park as organizers waited for Atlanta to grant permission for the group to operate in the park. Atlanta officials and police rushed to issue the permit on the spot. “They captured the vision of what this campaign is about,” explains John Torres, senior public relations manager of ADRA International; and the group was able to stay in the park until 3:00 p.m., two hours beyond their initial time request.

“We hope to collect 1,000 signatures by the end of our time in the park,” Torres says. And while signatures are important, there is much more to this human rights campaign. “What’s really going to bring change is when people take up the cause and realize that violence against women and girls is real—it’s in their country, state, city, church, and community—and they create the awareness this pandemic deserves.”

Kimberly Luste Maran, young adult editor, Adventist Review

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