Legions of non-profit and activist organizations have a new lobbying group to draw attention to their missions.
Announced earlier this week, the Committee to Unify Ridiculous And Contrived Acronymed Organizations, or Curacao, aims to help socially oriented programs with odd names further their efforts. Up to 100 groups with names like the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), a Tufts University program to promote political engagement of young people, are expected to benefit.
"Many of our groups struggle to gain awareness in the public eye," said Curacao director Eduaro Jones, despite clunky names like the Marriage Appreciation Training Uplifting Relationship Education (MATURE) project in Georgia, a federally funded abstinence program, or the Women in Need Growing Stronger (WINGS) services for homeless and abused women.
"Each of these groups deserves a wider audience for their important causes and their clever, tongue-twisting acronyms," continued Jones, "whether it's the SUDS (Stop Underage Drinking and Sales) task force in Indiana, or Jim Abbott's disability advocacy group PITCH (Proving Individuals with Talent Can Help)."
Spokespersons from the represented agencies and programs lauded the national Curacao effort. "I know PILLARS specifically will benefit from Curacao's leadership," said Jim Westham, referring to Peers Inspiring, Listening, Learning, and Responsible Socializing, a University of Notre Dame student group dedicated to a safe and responsible college lifestyle, where he is director. "I thought 'PILLARS' was pretty good, but 'Curacao,' I mean, wow."
"This is particularly important for social services organizations," Curacao's Jones said. "If you want to draw attention to your cause, no matter how useful or trivial, selecting a word that spells out something awkward is the only truly successful way to achieve that."