01 Jun 2023 WACC President calls for purposeful approach to communication for all in post-Covid era
President Embert Charles has urged the WACC Board to draw on the wisdom of maturity to promote the mission of communication for all in a post-pandemic world marked by diverse threats to human rights and just societies.
“We are all living a second half of life in many different ways,” both in the new life after Covid-19 and as Directors beginning a second term of service to WACC Global, Charles said in his address to the Board meeting May 10–12 in London, UK.
The second half of life is about being as well as doing, he stressed, citing U.S. Franciscan writer Richard Rohr. “We are an organization in its maturity and perhaps we need to start reflecting on this second half of life.”
Charles told the Directors that his own thoughts had gone to WACC’s regional associations striving to stay connected with members and remain relevant amidst pandemic restrictions on face-to-face interaction and intensifying issues like negative media content, hate speech, and right-wing fundamentalism.
“What we should call ourselves, where we should be heading, what mantle or mission we should champion, and, above all, who are we doing this for?” he had asked himself.
His region, the Caribbean, used the phrase “we outside” to mark the end of the pandemic, Charles noted. The priority for WACC going forward “outside,” he said, was to find new ways to engage its members in a second half of our life.
Charles proposed that WACC organize global member meetings based on time zones to facilitate participation. He also suggested that regional representatives use other global events as an opportunity to meet and advocate for communication rights to address key social issues.
The WACC President’s ultimate aim would be to hold a worldwide gathering of the communication rights movement. “It is my hope that before the end of the year 2026 we can participate in some global-level WACC event which would bring members together around a major global issue,” he stated.
In the meantime, Charles called on WACC Directors to provide clear guidance to staff and to support advocacy, membership, and fundraising efforts. “While we may not have the energy of the morning to run, we are fortified with the maturity to approach our mission with wisdom and purpose.”
(r) WACC President Embert Charles at the Board of Directors meeting in London, UK, on 10–12 May 2023.
Photo: Gregg Brekke