Since 1999, I have been blessed with the opportunity to walk the halls and contribute to the global dialogues in the United Nations both in Genevé, Switzerland and New York City in the USA. When I became the first Gullah/Geechee to speak in this world arena on behalf of my people, the Gullah/Geechees, it was during a time when very few people around the world seemed to know that we existed much less to know about the human rights abuses that we had to endure. In addition to that, many Gullah/Geechees then and many still do not understand their connection to international law and human rights. They have fought time and time again to have their civil rights protected and to react to local laws that caused their displacement and destructionment, but they did not believe that taking our issues beyond the boarders of America could be done or would be respected, but when the International Human Rights Association for American Minorities (IHRAAM) heard of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition (www.gullahgeechee.net) and the work that I had been doing for years to help people become aware of Gullah/Geechees as ONE people that needed to be respected and protected, they offered the opportunity to open the door to the global arena not just for me, but for my people.
The interesting thing about sitting within the UN is that it is designed in a way that is extremely culturally relevant to me. It is set up in a circular fashion. I truly feel like this brings the world together and to life because we can turn our gaze in one direction or the other and see an array of cultures of the world and tune your ears and hear many different languages of the world. I was pleased to bring my language-Gullah-into this arena to be amongst the many others.
When I sat in the circle over the years, I had African Americans and Africans approach me and say that they had heard of me. I have had many Jewish women come over and salute me and push me on to continue to work that I am doing and to even compliment me on my style of fashion, but also of presentation of the issues on behalf of my people. Many women of all countries have embraced me even if it was not until we went into the ladies room outside of the larger arena. In there we could speak freely. Many of the women are standing in this arena because they want to protect their children and the children to come from global hardships and violations of their human rights. With that in mind, many of us stand in support of the Declarations of the Rights of the Child. However, to my surprise, the United States is one of only 3 countries that have NOT ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Many people believe that children should be protected, but do not realize that numerous countries including the United States treat children as the “property” of their parents. Yet, when it comes to an international situation wherein the child has dual citizenship, what country has jurisdiction becomes an issue and what parent has the rights to “take possession” of the child can fall between a crack as wide as the distance that it is between Genevé and NYC. Unfortunately, at this moment I can see that distance before me and I feel like I do when I stand at the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and reach forward. I feel like there is someone on the other side of the ocean reaching back, but our arms are not long enough to link our fingers together. Yet, our souls have enough reach to embrace.
The soul of Dr. Ariel King reached out over the ocean to the Gullah/Geechee Nation to let us know that she was a descendant of a family from St. Helena Island, SC. That is the story of many. However, she then proceeded to state that her daughter, Ariana-Leilani is in Washington, DC and she is in need of FREE medicine that she is being denied due to her father having her there and preventing her from any contact with her Gullah/Geechee family. Her father is German and Ariana-Leilani has dual citizenship, but the United States government is not intervening to protect her and to get her independent medical care so that ten year old, Ariana-Leilani can be saved from a life-threatening very rare blood disorder of suspicious origin called “Severe Chronic Neutropenia.” She urgently needs available medicine and a toxicology test to protect her life from unnecessary danger of potentially fatal infection that include toxic shock, loss of limbs or loss of life.
My spirit has reach back across the ocean and up the east coast simultaneously to embrace Dr. King who works for ECOSOC at the United Nations in Genevé, Switzerland and to Ariana-Leilani. I have called for global prayer warriors to join us in sending positive and healing energy to this young Gullah/Geechee descendant for us to keep her strong and reverse the disease and to get her released from this bondage that she is currently in. We want her to be able to walk out of this place where she is being kept and walk into the arms of her mother and family who will protect her rights as a child.
Because individuals do this, that does not mean that the US government shouldn’t be questioned for why this is being allowed to happen on United States soil while folks are being indoctrinated to believe that these types of stories can only happen in other parts of the world. So, to help further the process of having the US intervene in this situation, please sign the petition to Save Ariana-Leilani:
Also, to learn more about this child that we can all help her mother to save, please tune in to my recent “Gullah/Geechee Riddim Radio” interview with Dr. King and Attorney Morris as we discuss the global issues of the rights of the child and how this relates to what is taking place with Ariana-Leilani.
After tuning in, I pray that you will pray, sign the petition, support the “Ariana-Leilani Organization” (www.ariana-leilani.org) and share this message and the broadcast. Let us help the world to know the name and the story of Ariana-Leilani and how we cannot stand by and watch the human rights of another Gullah/Geechee get violated no matter how young she may be. Ariana-Leilani is still a vital part of the global circle as are the other children of the world. May we all reach out and embrace them within it.
Disya ain fa one gyal, e fa all de chillun. E fa all we chillun. Gawd hep um. Gawd bless um. Gawd bless hunnuh an hunnuh famlee.