Social Giving Campaign
Willingly or not, we’ve all been faced with a Coming of Conscience moment that has helped define who we are or our stance on issues, large or small. In my new novel, The Fourteenth of September, that moment came for Judy Talton when she was forced to decide between a safe path based on the values and beliefs she was raised upon, or an uncertain, possibly dangerous path that better reflected her new point of view as a young college woman during the Vietnam War.
As during Vietnam, and even more so recently, our world has become severely polarized. Now more than ever we need a collective Coming of Conscience moment to decide the character of the country and ourselves. In that spirit, I am initiating a social giving campaign as part of the launch of The Fourteenth of September to encourage young people to engage in meaningful activism and bold personal responsibility as they continue their education.
The initial iteration of this program will fund a Coming of Conscience Scholarship for a student at Northern Illinois University, the real-life inspiration for the fictional university in The Fourteenth of September. The up-to $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student who best demonstrates their understanding of what a Coming of Conscience means, and their plan for how they will use their degree to help change the world in whatever way their beliefs guide them.
During the period of September 18, 2018—November 19, 2018 I will donate up to $10,000 to fund the scholarship, and I challenge you, the reader, to help me reach that goal via one (or more) of the following ways:
Share a Post: I’ll be posting about the campaign via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For each share, retweet or like I'll donate $1.
Photo of Book Post: Post a picture of your copy of The Fourteenth of September on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #ComingofConscience. For each post, I'll donate $2.
Share a Coming of Conscience Moment: Create a :15 - :30 second video sharing a personal Coming of Conscience moment you’ve experienced, that you’d like to see, or why you're excited to read the book, using #ComingofConscience. For each post, I'll donate $5.
But Have I Experienced a Coming of Conscience?
Coming of Conscience moments can be earth-shaking, world-altering moments, or they can be occasions that simply define us; whether they impact the world or slightly alter the course of one person’s life, they are transcendent.
A Coming of Conscience can be big: It’s Rose McGowan having the courage to share her experiences to start the #MeToo movement; John McCain refusing to be released from his Vietnam prison ahead of other inmates; or the two attorneys general who resigned rather than follow the orders of Richard Nixon to fire the Watergate prosecutor.
A Coming of Conscience can be intimate and personal: It’s choosing to leave a job over unethical practices; putting a target on your own back by standing up for someone you see being bullied, or leaving a toxic relationship.
A Coming of Conscience can also be something you’d like to see, such as a politican risking re-election to do the right thing. Large or small, if it’s a decision where integrity trumps consequences, it’s a Coming of Conscience moment.
About the Scholarship Donation to Northern Illinois University
Inspired by Judy’s character in The Fourteenth of September – who is based on my own experiences while a student at Northern Illinois University – this scholarship seeks to encourage activism in students as they grow into their personal, social and political maturity.