By Bre Nichols
Long after the sun sets Friday, Baylor students will come together to plaster KONY 2012 posters all over Waco with one goal in mind — to make African warlord Joseph Kony famous.
Their efforts are part of KONY 2012, a national campaign created by the Invisible Children organization that is meant to raise awareness about Kony’s crimes against humanity, especially those targeting children.
Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a guerrilla group that has terrorized communities in Central Africa and abducted tens of thousands of children.
On March 5, Invisible Children released a video on KONY 2012, which went viral after viewers saw the widespread corruption and violence he has spread in Africa.
Invisible Children’s mission is to “end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war and restore [Lord’s Resistance Army]-affected communities in East and Central Africa to peace and prosperity,” according to their official campaign website.
Since the video’s release, groups supporting Invisible Children’s campaign have spread across the country. On campus, students have started “Baylor Covers the Night,” a local adaptation of an event begun by Invisible Children.
Invisible Children created “Cover the Night” to get people in the U.S. and other countries involved in spreading the word about Kony and his brutalities.
At the end of the organization’s KONY 2012 video, viewers are encouraged to go out at night on April 20 and participate in covering their city in KONY posters in hopes of raising awareness, and keeping their communities aware, of what is going on in Africa.
San Diego, Calif., senior Rachel Buehler started the “Baylor Covers The Night” Facebook event.
“I created this event because I wanted to give Baylor students an opportunity to be involved in the campaign,” Buehler said.
The event will take place Friday from 11 p.m. until 2 a.m. Students will meet at Fountain Mall and are asked to bring their own KONY posters to cover the city, Buehler said.
Dallas senior Becca Ryan was also inspired to get involved after watching the KONY 2012 video, and said she hopes even students who can’t go to the Cover the Night event will get involved.
“The video really got me emotional,” Ryan said. “I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard of what was happening, and I think it’s important for everyone to see it and at least repost the video on Facebook or buy a kit to support the cause, or anything to help get the word out.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Facebook group had 72 participants planning to attend the event. Buehler said the group intends to cover as much of Waco as they can during the night.
“Our goal on April 20 is to cover Waco with KONY 2012 posters, document this action and send it to Invisible Children so the world will see that we are demanding justice,” Buehler said.
The group will be targeting a few main spots, such as the Baylor campus, restaurants, telephone polls and apartments.
Buehler said she wants to stress to participants to bring their own posters because they will not be provided at the event.
All posters have been sold out on the Invisible Children website. Buehler participants can download the free Kony Kit that includes printable items such as: door hangers, multiple posters, magazine inserts and stencils that can be used to get the word out about Kony.
For more information, visit the Facebook event page “Baylor Covers the Night.”