BY Advocate Contributors
May 11 2010 4:00 AM ET
Jumo’s social component is just as vital as the altruism. Connecting like-minded people can lead to grassroots groundswells, as Hughes demonstrated when, as a media adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, he created My.BarackObama.com. That site linked supporters of the then-senator from Illinois, creating an army of campaign managers and sparking thousands of focused minicampaigns.
Fittingly, Jumo means “together in concert” in the West African language of Yoruba. The impetus for the site came partly out of a trip the North Carolina native and Harvard graduate took to Africa, Asia, and Latin America following the 2008 election.
“I wish I was able to more easily follow the way technology is being used to ensure elections are free and fair,” Hughes says, when asked what issue he thinks Jumo would direct him toward. “You can use mobile telephones in particular if you build a system that keeps watch over voting places.”
The website, currently in development and scheduled to launch at the end of this year, will operate as an open platform, meaning organizations won’t have to individually reach out to Jumo to be part of it. “Any organization working to change the world can be part of Jumo,” Hughes says. “LGBT groups working for civil equality should definitely find it useful.”