What World Would YOU Rather?
A Few Questions for Jayashri Wyatt
Jayashri Wyatt is Creative Director and Special Event Manager for World Humanitarian Day at United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Conscious Good founder and CEO Trina Wyatt had a few questions for Jayashri recently about her work and the day marked this August 19, 2016.
How did World Humanitarian Day come about?
World Humanitarian day was created to recognize aid workers standing on the front lines of war and disaster, braving tremendous dangers and difficulties to deliver assistance to those who need it most. The day itself, 19 August, coincides with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Iraq that resulted in the death of 22 people, including the United Nations Special Representative in Iraq Sergio Vireira de Mello.
What are the UN’s goals in having World Humanitarian Day?
The goals of World Humanitarian Day are to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service and to mobilize people to advocate for a more humane world.
What year did it start?
The first World Humanitarian Day was on 19 August 2008.
How did you get involved?
I got involved with the World Humanitarian Day last year when I was hired by OCHA to organize the event at United Nations Headquarters. It was a wonderful experience with a group of people who really care about the millions of people in need of Humanitarian Assistance.
What does World Humanitarian Day consist of and what is the call to action for people wanting to support the initiative?
To mark the day, the United Nations (UN) is launching the “World You’d Rather” digital campaign that gives people the opportunity to use their social voice to demand a world in which they’d rather live. The “World You Rather” campaign celebrates World Humanitarian Day by creating a collective narrative of “a world we’d rather see,” bringing attention to the Agenda for Humanity in a real, accessible manner while gaining public support for its goals. It culminates with an event at the United Nations on August 19 (World Humanitarian Day) that brings together global leaders, humanitarian workers and stars of stage and screen, including Natalie Dormer (“Game of Thrones”), Leslie Odom Jr. (“Hamilton”), Alisan Porter (“The Voice”), Mohammed Assaf (“Arab Idol”), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (author), Yasmine Al Massri (“Quantico”) and the Harlem Gospel Choir will all lend their voices toward creating a “world they’d rather” live in as One Humanity. In addition, the day will be commemorated at UNOCHA events around the globe.
What is your goal in supporting the Conscious Good Humanitarian Film Festival?
Our goal in supporting the Humanitarian Film Festival is very simple, we want as many people to know more about the humanitarian situation as possible. Film is a language that is easily accessible in this day and age and we hope that by encouraging filmmakers to produce narratives about humanitarian issues we can help to bring more attention needed to those in Humanitarian crisis and those who work tirelessly in the humanitarian sector.
Thanks, Jayashri! We are glad to help and proud to showcase these extraordinary films by these incredible filmmakers. And, huge thanks to the many, many more that we could not feature as finalists but who are doing such amazing work around the world to tell such important stories.