Expert Witness: Assessing Kony 2012 With Reason

It’s not often that when a video that goes viral:

A: It is about an actual issue and not a cute but mischievous cat.

B: It causes serious discussions across social and news networks.

C: You are related to an expert of the topic of controversy.



As a result I am beyond pleased that I had the excuse to interview my father Rev. Dr. Emmanuel K. Twesigye, Aden S. and Mollie Wollam Benedicts Professor of Christian Studies, at Ohio Wesleyan University.  Dr. Twesigye has studied the Lord’s Resistance Army in the context of his academic background in Christian ethics, theology and church history for the past several decades. As a result, he is able to give us a point of view on the current controversy over the video, Kony 2012, that is not the result of  rigorous googling but rather a career of research and personal knowledge of Uganda, as he left as an adult avoiding persecution from Idi Amin.

Here is what the interview has to offer you:

  • His take on the Kony 2012 video
  • A brief history lesson on the convergence of theology and political conflict as it relates to Joseph Kony, Idi Amin, former President Milton Obote and current President Yoweri Musevini
  • Thoughts on reconciliation and whether holding destructive leaders accountable for their atrocities actually leads to healing
  • What the reconciliation process may look like in Northern Uganda
  • The priorities of the people and organizations working in Northern Uganda

As always we have a Deep Dive conversation where the interview goes deep into all of the topics covered above above and for those who lean toward the ADD end I have two shorter versions for you.

This clip get’s right to the heart of what so many people have been asking recently: What do you think about the Kony 2012 video?


This clip discusses the history of religion, geography and political conflict that created the opportunity for Kony in the first place.

Many people have come up with many reasons on why not to give to Invisible Children.That’s fine. Some of you may want to start your own organization-in which case you need to read a previous helpful post.

I’m giving you links to people are providing services on the ground in Northern Uganda. So for those who would like to help—you may have to do some research (these are links and should not be construed as certification of good organizations) but you can help those who are helping others in a very tangible fashion.

Civil Society Organizations for Peace in Northern Uganda

Conciliation Resources

Developing Education for Africa (DevEd) [Disclaimer my Dad is the President]

Uganda National NGO Directory


Soccer Without Borders Baltimore
For those of you who want to keep your money in the US, I personally vouch for this organization. The student-athletes that make up the program have been recently resettled to Baltimore City from a variety of countries including but not limited to Cameroon, Eritrea, Somalia, Rwanda, DRC, Congo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Iraq, Bhutan, and Nepal.




In Sickness And In Health 2.0

Talking with Graham Dodge Co-Founder and CEO of Sickweather made me not only very excited for the future of health 2.0 but also for his company.  During the naming process they made an important distinction between health and sickness.  This astuteness not only allowed them to avoid the “noise” of competing with companies named Health XXX or XXX Health but in addition, provides a great deal of clarity for the consumer when confronted with a name like Sickweather.

You know what you are looking for and you know what you are trying to avoid.

In our first interview Continue reading

Navigating Global Health as a Nurse Practitioner

Mark Anthony Gregorio, ANP-BC, have a Deep Dive conversation about culture shock, working in a culture that doesn’t know what NPs do, learning how to expand your formulary and the benefits of generosity.


Boldly going where other NPs go? I’ve met only a few nurse practitioners that have gone into global health and when I do– they tend to be CNMs. So I was thrilled when Mark Anthony Gregorio, ANP-BC (adult nurse practitioner) and I bumped into each other on Twitter.

For many, Continue reading

Boomers- Disruptive From Birth

Ahh Boomers. As the saying goes—They changed the world in the ‘60s and in their 60s they may do it again.

Being itinerant in nature—they view life after 65 differently than other generations. They are not interested in going to a nursing home (apparently neither are 75 year olds, per my interview) since those are for “old people.” They do not intend to medically combust and bankrupt Medicare as many policy wonks spend sleepless nights fretting about.

So what are they going to do?

Well according to Barbara Raynor, Managing Director of Boomers Leading Change in Health, lots of things.

In our first interview she introduces their organizational concept and theory of change.

You’ll get most of the goodies below in the Deep Dive which is only available via podcast on iTunes.

  • The rigorous 40 hour training that all volunteers must complete.
    • The curriculum design and how they have tweaked it over time.
  • The importance of evaluation and how JVA consulting  has helped the with that endeavor.
  • How to integrate a cadre of health care workers like health navigators and community health workers into the larger health delivery system.
  • The importance of inter-generational work.

By engaging the Boomers in meaningful work they are also providing a health service to their volunteers. They are keeping Boomers minds and bodies active– helping to keep them healthy and out of their own doctors offices (which as we have been told will cause the end of Medicare as we know it). But as good Pitchfork Optional devotees—we know that there is data to show that this approach actually decreases mild to moderate dementia.

Boomers Leading Change in Health is shaping health care delivery, decreasing costs and improving outcomes.

I guess the alphabet soup generations will have to find something else to fix.

Post-Partum Depression, Perinatal Mood Disorders And Anxiety Oh My!

Several years ago a friend of mine had a baby while we were both in nurse practitioner school. She had a typical first pregnancy, labor and delivery. I visited the family several times in the hospital and bonding appeared to be going just fine. In the few weeks that followed the birth things began to unravel. Breastfeeding was not going well, she wasn’t feeling like herself and even her husband called to appeal for help. During a light moment, we laughed about how “we of all people” trained in women’s health had no idea what to do to make things better.

And then I stopped laughing. Continue reading

Blazing A Trail: Clinician Entrepreneur Makes App for Diabetes–Shares Passion For Health Innovation

I already shared with you how much I loved my conversation with Dr. Jennifer Shine Dyer last month when I previewed our chat because I couldn’t keep all the insights to myself.

It’s time for youespecially clinicians who think you are so cool and innovative to listen to our two interview sessions on the Vimeo Channel or on iTunes as a podcast.

It’s also for people who are thinking about creating a health based app or another aspect of mobile health.

Everyone wants to be innovative. Lots of people are into making health “patient centered.” Dr. Shine Dyer does both of these things AND has shown that her methods actually improve health outcomes. Continue reading

Childhood Obesity: Fitness vs Movement

One Teacher’s Push to Inspire Activity for a Lifetime

Forget the PE of your childhood.

Caitlin Dugre, Middle School Physical Education Teacher and High School Field & Track Coach, shares how she went from not liking gym class and soccer to re-envisioning her life as an active person and sharing her passion with kids as a Physical Education Teacher.

(Click here for video & here for iTunes podcast)

I was skeptical. I asked her about why people talk about “movement” instead of exercise.

I had flashbacks of my 4th grade PE teacher…we were not friends.

I LOVED our Continue reading

Certified Professional Midwives and Homebirth

Audra Phillips, CPM and Treasurer for Midwives Alliance of North America took the time to talk about her path to becoming a Certified Professional Midwife and the importance of home birth being a safe option in the US.

I think this conversation is very timely since ‘Mother Robin’ won CNN Hero of the Year just last week. The internet has been a buzz with midwifery–but midwifery in the US has had an “interesting” evolution and is highly politically and at times emotionally charged.

Watch the interviews on my Vimeo Channel here: OR listen to the podcasts on iTunes.

In our TWO LOVELY conversations we cover: Continue reading

Better Than The World Cup- Soccer Without Borders Baltimore

You may have heard about soccer being used as a tool to engage at risk immigrant children. Well, Jill Pardini is doing just that with Soccer Without Borders-Baltimore (SWBBaltimore).

This is heart-work. This is justice work. This is transformational stuff in Baltimore, MD.

Even though I wave my hands so much during the interviews that I look like a baby bird trying to take flight–you HAVE to watch the videos or at least listen to the podcasts on iTunes.

When you get overwhelmed with all the bad news streaming in from other media sources…come back and listen again. The Grinch himself would join SWBBaltimore at practice because their work is just that good. Continue reading

A Community Cafe May Reduce Food Insecurity in D.C.

Last year,  50 million people — including 17 million children — lived in food insecure households in the United States. This means that more than potentially someone you and I know were not able to afford an adequate supply of food.  In DC, 12.9 percent of households were food insecure. It has gotten so bad that in October Sesame Street added Lily (a Muppet) to the cast who sometimes cannot afford to eat.

That makes me mad. Really. (as my mom would add for emphasis)

Annette Ryan, Executive Director of Everybody Eats, and her team have decided that there is a sustainable and non-soup kitchen way to address this issue. They will start a cafe.

(If the video does not load click here to view

Now before you start choking on your coffee and yell at the screen about the high rate of failure in the restaurant industry. Continue reading