Ajarat Bada

I’m inspired by young folks—I mean in their twenties and younger—who are ALREADY working to literally change the world. While stuck in Friday traffic last Friday [May 25, 2012], listening The California Report on NPR, I heard such a young woman: 20-something Nigerian Muslim, Ajarat Bada, living in the Los Angeles area on a soon-to-expire student visa.

With modern technology, this idea of changing the world means something very different than it did in 1972. In 2010, Ajarat applied—through a Facebook posting—to an international summit for leaders in their twenties called,  One Young World. She was selected and found herself in London with nearly 1,000 other young leaders from around the world with the likes of Desmund Tutu and Kofi Annan.

Desmund Tutu at One Young World summit, Feb. 2010

Ajarat and many of fellow young leaders have stayed connected by putting social media to good use. In their discussions, they realized that interfaith dialogue was a central theme of the One Young World summit, but not in the United Nations. So together they created the Missing Millennium Developement Goal, an initiative to make interfaith dialogue a part of the global agenda. MMDG asks a profound question:

“Do you agree that there should be no violence in the name of any religion?”

It does my heart good to know that many of today’s most positive, courageous leaders are tapping these young folk for tomorrow. How can we not get behind this?