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At a small round table in the corner of a snack bar near the Convention Center meeting room where the African American Caucus gathers each day, a group of women and children sit assembling jewelry. From gold safety pins, sequins, beads, colorful glitter and laminated images of Barack Obama, they are making a huge statement and doing their part for the campaign.
This effort began in the Brooklyn, New York, home of a preschool teacher named Daphne just before Super Tuesday. She’d been looking for a pin to wear each day and when she couldnt’ find one she liked, she decided to make one, with the assistance of her sons. After getting compliments on it, she started making more, to give away. She gathered friends and neighbors to do it. The gatherings became conversations about politics, about candidates, about hopes and fears and what people could do to become more involved. The gatherings moved from home to home, they included children and grandparents. and the pins were given away as quickly as they were made.
Daphne (who declined to give her last name because what she’s doing is not about her, she insists, “it’s about Barack”) brought her little roadshow to Denver, along with her children. They sit, making pins and giving them away, every day.
“It’s all about connecting,” Daphne said. “What the Obama campaign is asking us to do is talk, get involved, connect. This does that. I’ve never trusted anyone more to make the decisions that will affect my childrens’ future. He makes you feel proud and excited about making the sacrifices we need to to make this country and this world a better place.”
As Daphne pins her homemade jewels on passersby, they often offer to pay but she always refuses. “There’s only one rule about the pins,” she says. “They have to be given away for free.” Asked why, she smiles a broad and confident smile: “Because Barack Obama can’t be bought.”
Caroline Clarke is the co-editorial director of the Women of Power Summit.