Wednesday, July 31, 2013

U.K. Muslims Most Generous

A recent issue of Philanthropy Today reports:

A U.K. poll found that Muslims in that nation donate more on average to charity than other religious groups, NBC News reports.

Adherents of Islam gave an average of $567 to charity in 2012, according to the survey of 4,036 U.K. residents by ICM Research. Jews gave $412, Protestants $308, Roman Catholics $272, and atheists $177.

The U.K. findings follow a recent international survey by the Pew Research Center that found that 77 percent of Muslims give to charity, and data from philanthropy Web site show nearly 70 percent growth in the last two years in Muslims’ use of online methods for Zakat, the Islamic practice of donating to charity.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Showcasing Trash,Pollution--A Popular Free Tour of Los Angeles

A recent Los Angeles Times report, Trash Talk and the Real Dirt on a Toxic Tour of Los Angeles, writes:

To your left is a brownfield," guide Roberto Cabrales announces from the front of the bus to two dozen tourists aboard. "To your right, that's a former steel company. It's contaminated with heavy metals." The half-day excursions by the advocacy group Communities for a Better Environment were begun in 1994 as a way to show a handful of government officials the consequences of their decisions in low-income and predominantly Latino communities.
Increased demand for the tour from universities, school groups and families now has the Huntington Park-based organization hosting hundreds of visitors on dozens of bus trips a year. Admission is free, but donations are sought to pay for the bus rental.

Communities for a Better Environment explains its mission as: "Founded in 1978, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) is one of the preeminent environmental justice organizations in the nation. The mission of CBE is to build people’s power in California’s communities of color and low income communities to achieve environmental health and justice by preventing and reducing pollution and building green, healthy and sustainable communities and environments.

CBE provides residents in blighted and heavily polluted urban communities in California with organizing skills, leadership training and legal, scientific and technical assistance, so that they can successfully confront threats to their health and well-being."

Monday, July 29, 2013

Capitalist Fights and Funds Environmental Programs

Metcalf FellowsWhen a 1-percenter capitalist teams (via his foundation--the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment) with the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting, established at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, the results include "a fellowships for a variety of highly regarded programs, including a one-week science immersion workshop with lab and field training for 10 journalists, and one and two-day seminars for journalists and news executives alike that focus on specific scientific topics," reports the Columbia Journalism Review.

The Grantham Foundation For the Protection of the Environment  was founded in 1997 by Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham. Grantham is Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of GMO, LLC, an investment management firm. GMO is one of the largest managers of asset management in the world, having more than  $97 billion in assets under management as of December 2011.

From the Metcalf Institute website:  
The mission of Metcalf Institute is to promote clear and accurate reporting of scientific news and environmental issues; to strengthen understanding and working relationships between members of the scientific community and members of the news media; and to provide opportunities for journalists to improve their skills in covering science-based topics.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Free Advice for Earth and Ocean Friendly Gardens

Sparked by an idea of the Green Gardens Group in Ventura, California, an ocean-friendly garden resource is now a project of the Surfrider Foundation.  Free information and links can be found at Ocean Friendly Gardens.

Be Water Wise also provides free instruction and resources of inland gardening that conserves water and reduces pollutants that run off and into creeks and rivers. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Simple Solution For Female Students in Nepal

Good works come in many different packages for many different purposes.  Here's a recent example of a person who discovered that many girls attending Nepal schools miss days for a very person reason.  Here's the story from the Pollination Project:

Cara has been fundraising, advocating and sponsoring girls educational programs in Nepal for the past 7 years. Cara explains, “most of these girls are the first in their families to have a chance to attend school.  This year, I learned that lots of the girls were missing several days of school each month because they were menstruating and did not have access to sanitary pads. The lucky few who can afford to purchase disposable sanitary pads that cost $1.80 for an pack of 8 (which is very expensive when the wages are less than $3.00 a day for most.)  Cara began researching solutions and found that reuseable sanitary kits were not only economical, but environmentally preferable to disposable and have had great success in breaking down stigma around menstruation in other countries.

Cara will spend a month in Fall, 2013 volunteering at a women’s cooperative, teaching over 40 women how to sew.  They will make enough reuseable sanitary pads for 250 kits which will then be distributed to female students at the local village schools.

Pollination Project funds will be used for some of the raw materials (fabric, sewing materials) needed to make the kits.
Reuseable Sanitary Kits, Nepal

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Abundance in Garden and Self

C. Coimbra Photo
Abundance Garden Course is a multi-sensory 3 hour experience that supports women in reconnecting with nature, with their own inner wisdom and what is their “natural next step” in involving themselves in other social justice projects....the program is designed  as an income-generating venture where some of the proceeds are given directly to community gardening groups in the Shreveport and New Orleans area

Background (from Yes Magazine):
In 2004, in a low-income neighborhood of Shreveport, La., a 2-acre lot stood abandoned and overgrown, three miles from the nearest park, library or grocery store. That lot has been transformed into Sankofa Gardens thanks to community member and former arts administrator Leia Lewis Henderson.

 In the Sankofa campus, she has secured a green space that belongs to the entire community. Volunteers grow nearly 100 bushels of organic produce a year to feed themselves and local people in need. But Henderson started Sankofa with a larger goal in mind: to nurture and celebrate African-American community and culture. Her next projects are building a learning center and the collective creation of an elaborate mural. Henderson says both are part of her ongoing work to establish Sankofa as a local “oasis of sustainability and understanding.”

 Sources:  The Pollination Project and Yes Magazine

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Are You Connected to Humanity?

For a change of pace, we thought this quiz "Connection to Humanity"  is interesting in determining one's connection to humanity.

 The link to the quiz featured in the Greater Good--the Science of a Meaningful Life website is:

 The three question read,

1. Sometimes people think of those who are not a part of their immediate family as “family.” To what degree do you think of the following 3 groups of people as “family”:
People in my community?

2. Citizens of your country (e.g., Americans, Canadians)?
3. All humans everywhere?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"A World of clean, pure and healthy water...for all life.."

From the website:

July 13, 2013 Water Ceremony on Rio Grande, New Mexico
The Santa Fe Water Awareness Group is the public networking group for all people and organizations interested in water and water issues locally and globally.

Vision: A world of clean, pure and healthy water available for all life systems to flourish; A world in which humans respect and steward the water resources of the planet and the life forms that inhabit and depend on these resources. Through our common agreement, commitment and action, humans restore the water systems to their pristine state through harmony with all the elements of Nature, wise management practices and education.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Meeting Needs with Dignity

Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND) won the 2012 California Non-Profit of the Year recognition.  From the website

MEND– Meet Each Need with Dignity, serves an average of 38,500 and as many as 49,000 poverty –level clients each month, while remarkably keeping operating costs to less than 5.5%. It is the largest, most efficient and most comprehensive poverty-relief organization in the San Fernando Valley.  MEND takes a holistic approach to relieve the effects of poverty by providing basic human needs while giving their clients the tools, education, training, support and opportunities that foster self-reliance.

  • MEND takes a holistic and humanitarian approach to relieving the effects of poverty with the underlying goal of lifting the needy out of poverty and into self-sufficiency.
  • All goods and services are free for clients who are all below the federal poverty guidelines (e.g. food, clothing, medical/dental treatment, lab tests, prescriptions). However, donations of $3 for clothing and $5 for health services are requested for those with the ability to pay.
  • MEND is volunteer-driven. Our medical, dental, public relations, fundraising, job training, and food pantry services are carried out by some 4400 professionals and community members who donate their time and skills.
  • MEND has extraordinarily low overhead and administration costs (below 6%).
  • Staff is increased only when programs grow too big for volunteers to adequately complete the workload.
  • MEND does not solicit public (government) grants and is almost entirely privately funded.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saving Entangled Sealife At One's Own Risk

This week several calls for entangled whale rescues, from Australia, Alaska and the Cape Cod region, have filled the news.  In two cases, fishermen took it upon them selves to remove the deadly fishing lines or ropes entangling the cetaceans--endangering their own well-being.

Here's a sample of the stories:

Coast on watch for entangled whale
ABC Local
"So at the moment we basically have a notice to all boat owners that if they see this entangled animal to contact the local National Parks office," Mr Orell said. Once the whale has been located, highly trained whale entanglement teams will then ...
See all stories on this topic »
Humpback whale fully entangled in gillnet fishing gear released by fisherman
(SitNews) Haines, Alaska - A humpback whale fully entangled in gillnet fishing gear south of Haines was reported by a fisherman at about 7 a.m. Wednesday to the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region. NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard partnered on the response, ...
See all stories on this topic »
Knife-wielding diver saves rare whale [Video]
Mother Nature Network (blog)
If you see an entangled whale, dolphin or other marine mammal in U.S. waters, the best way to help is usually to either contact onshore authorities or call the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Animal Entanglement Hot Line at ...

For more on these stories visit

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bringing Technology to Rural Uganda

From  Nourishing the Planet:

The Community Innovation Resource Center aims to improve the flow of information to Kaganga John’s home community of Kikandwa (Photo credit: Community Innovation Resource Center)
"... the Community Innovation Resource Center, a program started by Kaganga John, a Ugandan community activist, farmer, and environmentalist.  Through a partnership with the Global Giving Project, the program aims to collect funds for technological hardware including computers with internet capabilities, radios, and televisions in order to improve the flow of information to Kaganga John’s home community of Kikandwa. Throughout Kaganga John’s life, he has seen his community struggle with chronic issues of hunger and environmental degradation. As a young adult he committed himself to improving the quality of life in his community; through projects such as the Resource Center, he will sustain these changes for future generations to come."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A History of Elder Care

Incorporated in 1954, SAGE Eldercare is concerned with the health, happiness and general welfare of older citizens and their families. SAGE is distinguished among eldercare agencies with being both the oldest eldercare agency in New Jersey and one of the few not-for-profit eldercare agencies in the United States that offers a comprehensive array of services under one roof. SAGE has been a pioneer in providing community-based care for the elderly. SAGE started one of New Jersey's first Meals-on-Wheels programs in 1966 and opened one of New Jersey's first adult day care programs in 1975. SAGE offers eleven programs and serves 5,000 elders and their families annually in Union, Morris, Somerset and Essex Counties.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Filling an Empathy Deficit

The Center for Building a Culture of Empathy is the home of the global empathy movement. Our mission is to build a movement for creating a global worldwide culture of empathy and compassion. We do this through a variety of means.  First is by community organizing.  We bring people together and hold in-person and online meetings and Empathy Circles. Next is by collecting, curating and organizing all the material we find on the internet on the topics. Researching through the arts and sciences. We are putting together a series of documentaries to educate the public and much, much more.

We are also a portal for resources and information about the values of empathy and compassion. The site  contains the largest collection of; articles, conferences, definitions, experts, history, interviews, organizations, videos, science and much more about empathy and compassion. To stay up to date on the latest, sign up for our Facebook: Page, Group and Cause now.

Our current project is to develop our Empathy Circles and Conference on, How can we Build a Culture of Empathy and Compassion? Contact us if you'd like to be involved in organizing this event. Let's help fill the empathy deficit by making people more aware of the fundamental importance of empathy and compassion in our lives.



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"Have Faith in Justice"

With the recent acquittal of second degree murder charges in a high profile case, Americans, of all stripes, are "standing their ground" -- either as proponents of the jury's decision, or opposed to the legal decision. 

Excerpting from a recently posted Greater Good blog, The Daily Prism found these suggestions written by Rick Hanson, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist,  and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, appropriate for the moment:

Have faith in justice
Have faith that others will pay their own price one day for what they’ve done. You don’t have to be the justice system.
Don’t teach lessons in anger
Realize that some people won’t get the lesson no matter how much you try. So why create problems for yourself in a pointless effort to teach them?
Forgiveness doesn’t mean changing your view that wrongs have been done. But it does mean letting go of the emotional charge around feeling wronged. The greatest beneficiary of your forgiveness is usually you.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Making A Difference in Juvenile Justice

Emily Tow Jackson writes for the Chronicle of Philanthropy The United States leads the world in incarcerating young people. Every year, juvenile courts handle an estimated 1.7 million cases in which a youth is charged with a delinquency offense. That’s about 4,600 delinquency cases a day. Over 70,000 juvenile offenders are not living in their homes on a typical day but are held in group homes, shelters, and other juvenile-detention facilities. An estimated 250,000 youths are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated as adults every year across the country. Most of the young people prosecuted in adult court are charged with nonviolent offenses...

At the Tow Foundation, created by my parents, we learned this when we decided to take on one such problem—our state’s failing juvenile-justice system...

Some 300 grants and $12-million later, we can confidently say we have gotten an excellent return on our investment. Two influential reports released in recent weeks have called Connecticut a national leader in reducing the number of young people who are placed in detention facilities and prisons.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Jamaican HOA Forms NGA to Benefit Community and Environment

Protected Coral Reef at Bluefields Bay.  NOAA Photo
The Bluefields Environmental Protection Association was founded in late 2009 as the non-profit arm of Bluefields Bay: Jamaican Seaside Villas. The mission of BEPA is to protect the natural environment of the villages constituting the coastline of the Bluefields Bay, as well as to protect the aquatic life of the Bay itself. BEPA also seeks to contribute to the health, welfare and well-being of the region’s residents.

Achievements include:
-       The donation of thirty computers to the Bluefields People’s Community Association that were used for computer literacy classes;
-       Monthly stipends for the teachers at the Bluefields  Basic School for children aged three to five;
-       Financial support for the Bluefields Fisherman’s Association, an organization dedicated to sustainable fishing practices;
-       The building of flush toilets for Mearnsville All-Age School, which until 2009 only had pit latrines.

The Bluefields Environmental Protection Association consists of seven Directors. It employs no permanent staff as all administration is taken care of on a voluntary basis. Therefore, every cent donated to BEPA goes directly to charitable projects.

From:   Bluefields Environmental Protection Association

Friday, July 12, 2013

Citizens Help Save Endangered Leatherback Turtle

BOURNE – A leatherback turtle reported entangled in fishing gear Tuesday afternoon near the east entrance
to the Cape Cod Canal was freed and appeared to be in good condition, according to the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies... people walking along the jetty at the canal noticed the turtle thrashing just offshore and reported it immediately and then kept the animal in sight until the center's team arrived.

The leatherbacks visit state waters each summer to feed, and they migrate south in the fall toward the Caribbean to breed and nest. They are the largest turtle in the world. Adult leatherbacks are typically about 6½ feet long and can weigh up to 2,000 pounds.

They are considered endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Reports of entangled marine mammals should be made to the center's hotline at 800-900-3622 or to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Generous Capitalism

A Houston, Tex capital management firm  has given "...50 percent of their profits to charity, capped partner compensation at seven times the earnings of the lowest-paid employee, and have garnered $2.3 billion in assets through a relentless dedication to customer satisfaction," writes a recent Forbes report.

The company  challenges "...its owners, staff, and families to lead transformative change through the joy of giving."

The company's owner told Forbes, “Since (our) founding in 1993, we have maintained a commitment that no full-time employee...can make total compensation greater than seven times the total compensation (salary, bonus, retirement) of the lowest-paid employee."

"The intent behind the policy is multifold: It 1) recognizes the role that all employees play in (the business's) success; 2) helps maintain operational flexibility in challenging economic environments, allowing for continual investment in the business; 3) creates a work environment that attracts, challenges, excites, and fulfills in ways that money cannot buy; and 4) serves to protect from the greed that too often and too easily creeps into company culture."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hospice Volunteers Give Humane Care for the Dying

From the Hospice Foundation

The 468,000 plus hospice volunteers at work in hospices throughout the U.S. are an essential part of the hospice philosophy of care which recognizes that dying is not just a medical event but a personal one as well. These volunteers are important members of an interdisciplinary team working to “de-institutionalize” the dying experience and provide a more humane system of care for the dying and their families.

 To ensure that all volunteers are equipped for the challenge of working with the dying, hospices require that volunteers complete extensive orientation and training sessions, as well as submit to a routine background check. It’s important that volunteers understand the history of hospice and are aware of the specific ways their local hospices works to serve the community. Depending on area of service, additional training may be available or necessary.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Leukemia Patient Sends Positive Message

From The Daily Activist

A video featuring young cancer patients, their nurses, doctors and parents lip-synching to Kelly Clarkson’s hit “Stronger” has gone viral!

The awesomely uplifting video was filmed via Seattle Children’s Hospital art program, the idea of which came from 22 year old Chris Rumble, a leukemia patient who wanted to share something with his hockey team in his hometown of Wenatchee, Washington.

“I’m everyone’s big brother and I have a lot of friends here at Seattle Children’s,” Rumble said on the Seattle hospital’s blog.

According to Dr. Douglas Hawkins, the patients and staff at Seattle Children’s have been thrilled by the video’s response.

“When a child or young adult is treated for cancer, it puts their whole life on hold in a way that doesn’t seem fair at all,” Hawkins said. “It’s a fight for their life. But there are all these other normal things they want to be doing too, or things they want to focus on other than the medicine or the illness or their time in the hospital.”

In further response, singer Kelly Clarkson posted a message to the children at Seattle Children’s Hospital, saying the video was “amazing.”

“It made my day. I know it’s making everybody else’s day online,” Clarkson said. “I just can’t wait to meet you.”

Check out the awesome video below:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Grant Awards Available for Fall 2013 Educators

The Pollination Project, in partnership with the Institute for Humane Education, is offering up to 20 grant awards in Fall, 2013, for educators to create projects that support their students in making a positive difference in the world.

We are seeking educators who are committed to bringing forward a just, peaceful, and healthy world through projects that directly promote environmental stewardship, social justice, human rights or animal protection.  Before applying, please click here to learn more about humane education and make sure the program is a fit for you.

Applications will be accepted from any educator, at any level (preschool through post-graduate), anywhere in the world, with priority given to educators working in traditionally underserved communities.

  • A $1,000 grant from the Pollination Project to launch or expand a social change project in your school.
  • Paid tuition in the Institute for Humane Education 6-week online course, Teaching for a Positive Future.  (CEUs are available in most states.)
  • Peer support from like-minded educators.
  • If applicable, additional p/r and media support and visibility for your project.
DEADLINES:  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis from June 1, 2013-September 22, 2013.  Final announcements will be made on October 1, 2013.
download the applicationHOW IT WORKS:  If you are selected as one of the grantees, you will receive paid tuition in Teaching for a Positive Future, which begins on 10/7/13 and ends 11/15/13.  This required course will support you in developing or strengthening an impactful social change project in your school. The course is a rich peer-driven experience where you will receive support and motivation to teach valuable critical and creative thinking skills to address our global challenges.

You will then submit a project outline to the Pollination Project and receive a grant of $1,000 (payable in two $500 installments) to launch it.  If there are timely or media worthy milestones in your project, the Pollination Project will provide an additional media support grant to work with Evolotus PR and gain additional visibility for your work.  (For an example, see the media generated for Ed Hashey, a Pollination Project grantee who received an additional media support grant from the Pollination Project).  Two short reports will be required during the grant period.

For more details about requirements and timelines, click here.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Small Acts to Transform Self and World

 ServiceSpace is an all volunteer-run organization that leverages technology to inspire greater volunteerism. It's a space to explore our own relationship with service and our interconnection with the rest of the world. ServiceSpace allows our inherent generosity to blossom out into small acts of service for the community around us. It's a space to learn how outer change is closely tied to our own inner transformation. It's about changing ourselves, to change the world. 

ServiceSpace was conceived by volunteers, was built by volunteers, and is run by volunteers -- all for the benefit of volunteers. Our projects range from a daily positive news service, to an acts-of-kindness portal, to a gift-economy restaurant. Regardless of the endeavor, we act in concert to create service opportunities for each other and to support each other's service journeys.

...we have expanded our services from focusing just on helping charities, to encouraging everyday people to contribute in meaningful ways to the world around them. As the name suggests, our new expanded ServiceSpace platform allows people to stay connected with others interested in service, participate in service opportunities through any of our dozen projects, organize their own local service event using our tools, and stay connected to inspirational content. Above all, we believe in the inherent generosity of others and aim to ignite that spirit of service. Through our small, collective acts, we hope to transform ourselves and the world. 

Source:  Service Space website.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Protecting Global Resources: People to Ecosystems

One of the larger organizations working on a global level is the World Resources Institute

From the website:.

Our mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations.

We organize our work around four key programmatic goals:
Climate Protection
Protect the global climate system from further harm due to emissions of greenhouse gases and help humanity and the natural world adapt to unavoidable climate change.
Empower people and strengthen institutions to foster environmentally sound and socially equitable decision-making.
Markets & Enterprise
Harness markets and enterprise to expand economic opportunity and protect the environment.
People & Ecosystems
Reverse rapid degradation of ecosystems and assure their capacity to provide humans with needed goods and services.

A fifth goal—Institutional excellence—supports and enhances WRI’s ability to achieve results. Read more about excellence in WRI’s publications >>>

Friday, July 5, 2013

Philanthrogeeks Expand Generosity

With help from the Pollination Project, Nathaniel James launched Philanthrogeek in January 2013.  Philanthropgeek is a virtual community (and website) that provides a vibrant, interesting community of innovative, risk-embracing philanthropic leaders.  Philanthrogeek provides a fun and productive space for winning stories and critical questions, trusted news and information and navigation for leaders who want to seize opportunities within the new giving landscape.  Nathaniel’s ultimate goal is to create a virtual think tank that catalyzes and ongoing expansion of generosity in the world.   Nathaniel was our very first Pay it Forward loan recipient!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Building a World Beyond Extreme Poverty

When Groundwork Opportunities began in 2008, its founders promised that 100% of donations would be given directly to the community projects in the developing world.   At the core of the GO model is the development of a crowdfunding platform called GoodForce used by GO champions to start raising money for the ideas they support.  A champion is anyone who wishes to use the platform to raise funds for a worthy idea, whether one is a housewife in suburban America or a young, hip artist from sophisticated London.  In the first nine months since launching GoodForce, GO has raised $221,286.   It impacted more than 25,000 people spread in countries like Cambodia, Rwanda, and Uganda.

 A review of the development schemes showcased in their web site, revealed that GO has increased its presence to several more countries and now includes the following: India, Thailand, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Rwanda, and South Sudan.  The number of ideas is also increasing: from community greenhouses, which I had written about in a previous article, to water wells, literacy campaigns, or to preserving rainforests. Groundworks Opportunities has spread its global wings in just a few years, and as they themselves like to say, they are helping “build a world beyond extreme poverty.”

From Philanthrogeek

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Spreading "Awesomeness in the Universe"

Awesome Foundation (AF) began in Boston in 2009 by a small group of friends, compelled to do something about worthwhile ideas and committed to finding ways to fund them. In their own words, they wanted to spread “awesomeness in the universe.” Thus, began not only an organization which quickly expanded to include many chapters, but also a movement, anchored on the concept of giving circles that raise relatively small grants, typically about $1,000, to fund ideas worth spreading around. Ideas are simple enough such as helping to finance an up-and-coming musician’s road tour or lending a hand to a small museum for art education, but the awesomeness factor kicks in as the impact is seen through the eyes of the grant recipient’s life, in the impact the small grant has made in his or her career, or in the case of a community, in making incremental improvements in the overall well-being of the community.

From Philanthrogeek

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

End Street Harassment and "Hollaback!"

From the Pollination Project: 

Shawna Potter has been working to end street harassment in Baltimore for over two years, explaining, “I feel compelled to make our community feel safer for everyone.”  She is a member of the Hollaback! Baltimore community and has spoken as an expert on street harassment in Baltimore and Washington DC.  Shawna has also done many awareness-raising events outreach to give women and LGBTQ folks a proactive response to street harassment.

The International Hollaback movement works to put an end to street harassment.  As explained on Hollaback! Baltimore’s website, “The real motive of street harassment is intimidation. To make its target scared or uncomfortable, and to make the harasser feel powerful. But what if there was a simple way to take that power away by exposing it? You can now use your smartphone to do just that by documenting, mapping, and sharing incidents of street harassment.”

Shawna is focusing her attention on expanding Hollaback’s work by teaching young people the tools and values of mutual respect, gender equity, and self-empowerment skills.  With funds from the Pollination Project, Shawna will work with established art activists to create a workshop (that can be repeated regularly) for youth to learn about, talk about and create art about street harassment.  Eventually, the workshop will also lead to an opportunity for youth to showcase their work publicly.

Shawna writes, “Youth Hollaback! promotes the equality of all human beings, recognizing the gender-spectrum and the need to end gender-based violence. It promotes the skills young people need to stand against injustice when it does occur, in a creative and impactful way.  We will be training the activists of tomorrow, getting young people to think in new ways, and teaching young women and LGBTQ folks self-worth, while educating young men to value all human beings equally.”

Monday, July 1, 2013

Generous Donation Benefit Historical Display

It's always good to hear when a celebrity generously donates to a cause.

The Washington Post recently reported a $12 million gift to the Museum of African American History and Culture.

The donor, Oprah Winfrey, told the Post:  “I am so proud of African American history and its contributions to our nation as a whole,” Winfrey said in a statement. “I am deeply appreciative of those who paved the path for me and all who follow in their footsteps. By investing in this museum, I want to help ensure that we both honor and preserve our culture and history, so that the stories of who we are will live on for generations to come.”

The museum's mission statement reads,  In many ways, there are few things as powerful and as important as a people, as a nation that is steeped in its history. Often America is celebrated as a place that forgets. This museum seeks to help all Americans remember, and by remembering, this institution will stimulate a dialogue about race and help to foster a spirit of reconciliation and healing.