Lisa Robbin Young

When Your True Voice Is Silenced

We are truly blessed.

I'm was in the Nashville area this summer, enjoying a family vacation, and the weather is wonderful. The hotel, not so much, but hey, I'm not complaining. Seriously, when you can travel 600 miles from home and visit friends, recording studios, make new friends, and generally enjoy yourself, doing what YOU want to do, how can you complain?

I have an incredible opportunity with my blog here and at Direct Sales Classroom to really speak what's on my mind, and share what matters most to me. Even when I'm on vacation.

It got me to thinking about people who don't have an opportunity to share their True Voice with the world. People who are squelched, marginalized, and otherwise unable to live a fully expressed life, because of the powers that be in their neck of the woods. Today, specifically, I'm talking about the Congolese people.

See, there's this girl I knew in high school, who's become one of my grown-up friends. I even took my first Zumba class with her. Well she's been telling me about a project that needs a voice in the world. It's about these hard-working folks, and how you can help with just a few clicks of your mouse.Here's the Sitch:

Our mutual friend, @mike_ramsdell, is filming a movie in the Congo. He's there for three months, to get this story right - and tell it in the voice of the people who are most affected. Essentially, Congo is a mineral rich country, but the people are incredibly poor. The natives are mining all these minerals for our electronic devices: smart phones, laptops, and our coveted e-readers, i-pads and the like.

Mike doesn't want us to boycott technology, or anything remotely outlandish like that. No, he wants to tell the story of the people of Congo so that the world can see their hope - and possibly change the conditions there so that they are MORE hopeful. A boycott, if it would even have much of an effect, certainly wouldn't make anything BETTER (plus, let's be honest here, who's really giving up their electro-technology for any length of time? I know I need my laptop for my work!).

The reality of making art these days is staggering. Creatives like Mike (and many more just like us), are trying to do so much with so little. In order to get traction in the marketplace, artists need to be heard  and essentially already have an audience. I'm working with an author right now, who confessed that pre-selling 2,000 copies of his book is the difference between whether or not his publisher will market it in the bookstores. Eyeballs and attention are precious right now - more important than money. Mike needs thousands of followers to make the industry stand up and take notice to help fund his film. So we don't want your money right now. We want your clicks.

What You Can Do:

Mike really wants to see this movie come to fruition. So do I , and so do a lot of other people. We're not asking for your money. We're asking for your attention. And it only takes a few clicks to help the silenced voices of the Congolese people get heard. If you're a twitter type, go follow Mike on twitter. If you're on facebook, like his Conflict Minerals Project.

That's it. Oh, and tell your friends. Mike's goal is 10,000 followers by the end of 2012. I'm behind this project because Mike's a friend, but also because he's got something valuable to say - and we need to hear it.

My belief is that we're all on this planet because we have a unique gift to share with the world. The folks in the Congo can't share their gifts because they've been silenced. Mike is trying to help them share their story. Everything I do is about helping people share their True Voice with their Right Audience. If Mike's message resonates with you, I invite you to join us with just a few clicks, and help us spread his message of hope for the Congolese.

What I most love about Mike's approach is that he's not asking us to make sacrifices that would make out lives less enjoyable - in fact, he's smart to recognize that it probably wouldn't work if he did. Instead, Mike's trying to work with the system and help these people have a voice in the world. And he's not trying to make us feel guilty about what we didn't know. It's truly a brilliant way to endear people on both sides of the story, and make a lasting impression for the people of Congo.

Once Mike's back, I'm hoping to re-connect and share an interview or two here. He's an amazing story teller - has been for years, and his first film The Anatomy of Hate won all kinds of independent awards. It makes a profound impact on anyone who watches it. I can't wait to see how his next film fares.

But it won't happen without your support.


If you're ready to share your True Voice with your Right Audience, have a look at our True Voice Workshop.

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