Hundreds of attendees were tuned in on phones and laptops from all over the world at the opening of the first virtual RESULTS International Conference in late June. Some were wrapping up their day in Kenya; some were up well past their bedtime in Australia; others were preparing their morning coffee in Alaska.
Five years ago, I was sitting at home, feeling like I had no way of making change with my members of Congress. I was frustrated. I wanted to open up their perspectives and have conversations with them about issues I care about.
At one point in my life, I relied on government programs to provide for my family. To some people, I was just a statistic. I identify as many things, and this does not define who I am – it is just one part of my story. I am also an advocate.
We sat down with Shams Al-Badry, a RESULTS volunteer in Lincoln, Nebraska, during the 2018 RESULTS International Conference to talk about how she’s evolved as an advocate and why she’s so committed to her work with RESULTS.
“If you want to meet incredible advocates from all over the country and the world, if you want to learn new skills and sharpen the ones you have, and if you’re eager to take the issues you care about straight to your members of Congress on Capitol Hill, there is no better opportunity than the International Conference.”
Tiffany Wood, former REAL Change Fellow
“The RESULTS International Conference was an eye opener for me. I realized that anyone and everyone can be an advocate for issues that matter. I never thought I’d go to the U.S., much less Capitol Hill. But on the last day of the RESULTS International Conference, that’s exactly where I found myself. Standing in front of the Capitol dome with hundreds of other advocates, all I could think was, ‘This is a central place of power. Decisions are made here. And here I am.”
Joyce Matogo, KANCO Grassroots Manager
“I was so inspired at the International Conference. There were such amazing speakers and everyone there was so supportive. To see people my age caring about these issues was awesome.”
Minh Nguyen, former REAL Change Fellow and Election Fellow
“When I attended the RESULTS International Conference for the first time, I had no advocacy experience. Now, I walk into meetings with members of Congress feeling confident, informed, and empowered.”
Kaylee Rogers, former REAL Change Fellow
“The people at the International Conference were so amazing. Before that, I wasn’t really aware of the way different government policies impacted me. But RESULTS gave me a whole new perspective.”
Yaseer Khanani, RESULTS Group Leader for Los Angeles and Orange County
“At the International Conference, a lot of like-minded people come together to change lives, change their environment, and change the world. That’s what is so exciting to me. Some people say they want to do this or that, but they never take the action to do it. But at the International Conference, you get that motivation to go back home and do what you said you’re going to do.”
Tamara Bates, former REAL Change fellow and Expert on Poverty
“I left the conference feeling inspired, appreciated, and happy that I had such a productive time in just five days. It is an experience that will stay with me for the years to come as I continue my work as an activist.”
“You never know when an experience will change the trajectory of your life. In 2014, I attended the RESULTS International Conference in Washington, DC for the first time. It was incredible – I met people from all over the country and the world working together to end poverty.”