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The Action Thread Part Two

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JUNE 20, 2019



Canada Resettled More Refugees in 2018 Than Any Other Country: Report

There were about 1.4 million refugees seeking resettlement in 2018.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
With more than 70 million people displaced in 2018 due to war, persecution, and conflict, a global response to refugee crises remains vital. As a Global Citizen, you can take action on some of the most pressing issues affecting refugees, ranging from gender inequality to climate change to health. Take action here.

With more than 70 million people displaced around the world, Canada was officially the country to resettle the most refugees in 2018, according to a new report.

The report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) showed that Canada accepted 28,100 refugees for permanent resettlement last year, and that 18,000 refugees became Canadian citizens, meaning the country had the second-highest number of refugees to gain citizenship.

In 2018, there were about 1.4 million refugees seeking resettlement, but only 92,400 were successful in doing so.

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The UN report highlights that the number of people displaced in 2018 due to war, persecution, and conflict in 2018 is at its highest since World War II.

As Canada rose to the top of the list, however, the United States slipped out of first place. The US resettled 22,900 refugees in 2018 — down from 33,000 in 2017, and 97,000 in 2016.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made his position on acceptance of refugees clear in 2017 with a string of #WelcometoCanada tweets following US President Donald Trump’s travel ban, which limited the countries from which people could enter the US from.


To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada


Critics blamed these tweets for the influx of asylum seekers, which skyrocketed in 2017.

But the report shows that while there was a spike in asylum seekers in 2017, these numbers are minimal in comparison to the huge numbers of refugees in 2018 found in, say, Turkey (3.7 million), or Pakistan (1.4 million), or Uganda (1.2 million).

In fact, only 16% of the world’s refugees are in developed countries, according to Michael Casasola, a senior resettlement officer UNHCR in Canada.

“The reality is the vast majority of refugees are in front-line countries,” he told the Canadian Press. “So we always have to be careful in certain discourse globally in terms of trying to present that somehow we’re inundated when other countries bear much larger responsibilities that they take on when refugees cross their border.”

Canada was actually ninth in the world for asylum seekers in 2018, with 55,400 claims.

“It’s disconcerting when we hear a negative narrative around refugees when, in fact, we know that Canada has been a successful model in terms of how to receive and integrate refugees,” Casasola said. “We’re always worried that refugees somehow become a punching bag during an election, or to be used as a lightning rod and such, especially when a lot of what we hear is not accurate or fact-based.”

Related StoriesJune 25, 2018Canadian Immigration Organizations Prepare for Migrant Influx From US

Canada has a private sponsorship program, which is how two-thirds of the country’s refugees are resettled.

Casasola said that the refugees who come to Canada via private sponsorship see better results and are better integrated than government-sponsored refugees, as they are offered support from citizens and local charities.

And while critics argue that refugees are a sort of economic burden, UNHCR pushes back.

“It is time for us to recognize what these refugees bring to Canada, culturally and economically: they make us a stronger and more prosperous society,” said Jean-Nicolas Beuze, UNHCR representative in Canada, said in a statement. “The Canadian experience shows that welcoming refugees is a win-win. This undoubtedly provides an antidote to the too-often toxic and misleading narratives against displaced people we are hearing globally, and in Canada.”

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JUNE 20, 2019



Women Outperform Men After Medical Schools in Japan Stop Rigging Test Scores

Thousands of women could have been denied a career in medicine.

Why Global CItizens Should Care
Japan consistently scores among the lowest countries in the world when it comes to gender equality in the workplace, and the story of how several medical schools in Tokyo rigged test scores to favor men is a prime example why. The United Nations Global Goal 5 urges countries to promote gender equality in all facets of society. You can join us in taking action on related issues here.

For more than a decade, several medical schools in Japan were systematically lowering women’s test scores for entrance exams, and now that they’ve stopped, women are outperforming men on those same tests, according to the Guardian.

The outcomes expose the institutional barriers that prevent women from pursuing various careers in the country, and show how misogynistic practicesenforce the status quo of gender inequality.

University officials said that they had been skewing scores because of concerns that female doctors would eventually leave the profession if they ended up getting pregnant. They also worried that male students needed a handicap because their brains needed more time to develop.

After the test scandal was revealed last year, the universities ended it amid public outrage, the Guardian reports.

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It’s possible that dozens of women were denied entry to the schools because of this practice. Last month, 20.4% of women passed the entry level exam at Tokyo Medical University, compared to 2.9% the previous year. Although women outperformed men this year, men scored better over the past seven years because of rigged results.

Today, just one in five doctors in Japan are women, the lowest rate among the 36 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

And when it comes to gender equality in the workplace, Japan scores abysmally across the board, according to the New York Times.

Read More: 6 Frustrating Facts About How Women Are Paid Less Than Men in 2018

Japan’s gender wage-gap is at 24.5%, according to the International Monetary Fund, the third worst rate among developed countries. The gender pay gap essentially means that women can expect to earn nearly a quarter less than their male colleagues simply because of their gender.

Other stats around gender in the workplace are also alarming: Women make up just 13% of managerial positions in the country. In one study by the Japan Institute for Labor Policy and Training, 30% of Japanese women said that they had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. All told, Japan ranks 114 out 144 countries World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index.

These disparities are enforced by government policies or the lack thereof. Multiple bills designed to address gender inequality have stalled because of little support, according to Human Rights Watch.

A lack of political representation could be a big reason why — just 10% of the members in Japan’s lower house are women, the Times notes.  

In recent years, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has launched efforts to improve female participation in the workplace, but critics say that progress has been slow to address deeply entrenched norms.

Read More: Equal Pay Day: 8 Reasons Why British Women Should Still Be Really, Really Angry

For example, while Japan allows new parents to take up to 14 weeks off surrounding the birth of their child, just 2-3% of men take advantage of this policy, leaving the bulk of domestic and child-rearing labor to their spouses. This in turn creates a “pregnancy penalty” gap in the workplace that puts women at a severe earnings and reputational disadvantage.

When the medical school officials considered the prospect of future doctors getting pregnant, they didn’t consider how they might make the transition back into the workforce as smooth as possible.

Instead, they tried to foreclose the possibility of female doctors entirely.  

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Angelina Jolie dice que tenemos la 'obligación' de ayudar a los refugiados

"¿Por qué los políticos son elegidos bajo promesas de cerrar fronteras y rechazar refugiados?”.



Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
Hoy hay más refugiados que en cualquier otro momento desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Angelina Jolie, en su calidad de Enviada Especial para la Agencia de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados, insta a los países a abordar las causas fundamentales del desplazamiento. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre temas relacionados aquí.

No hace mucho, la mayoría de los refugiados del mundo venían de Europa.


Angelina Jolie, Enviada Especial del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR), señala este punto en un nuevo artículo para Time con motivo del Día Mundial de los Refugiados. "La distancia entre nosotros y los refugiados del pasado es más corta de lo que pensamos", dijo Jolie en su primera pieza como nueva editora colaboradora de Time.


Jolie usó su plataforma para llamar la atención sobre varias crisis en todo el mundo, que han creado más refugiados que en cualquier otro momento desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Ella dijo que cuando se unió a la Agencia de Refugiados de la ONU hace 18 años, había 40 millones de personas desplazadas. De acuerdo con un nuevo informe de las Naciones Unidas, en 2018, había 70.8 millones de personas desplazadas, con un estimado de 37,000 personas que huían de sus hogares todos los días.


Esta defensora de los derechos humanos sostiene que los líderes del mundo no están abordando de manera significativa las causas fundamentales de estas crisis.


"Los estados a menudo ponen los intereses comerciales por encima de las vidas de personas inocentes afectadas por el conflicto", escribe. "Nos cansamos o desilusionamos y rechazamos nuestro esfuerzo diplomático de los países antes de que se estabilicen. Buscamos acuerdos de paz, como en Afganistán, que no tengan los derechos humanos en su núcleo. Apenas reconocemos el impacto del cambio climático como un factor importante en los conflictos y el desplazamiento".


La guerra civil siria, por ejemplo, ha durado más de 8 años, en parte debido a que un estancamiento internacional ha impedido que las discusiones de paz ganen terreno. Se estima que 13 millones de sirios han sido desplazados por la guerra, y más de 400,000 personas han sido asesinadas. La ONU, mientras tanto, solo recibió el 21% de los fondos que solicitó para hacer frente a esta crisis, señala Jolie.

En Venezuela, millones de personas se han visto obligadas a abandonar sus hogares en los últimos años debido a una crisis económica que ha dificultado el acceso a los alimentos, el agua, la atención médica y la educación.

Angelina-Jolie-Venezuela-Refugees-001.jpgUNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie meets with Ester Barboza, 17, who has been blind since age three and fled Venezuela with her family due to lack of medical care, in Riohacha, Colombia.
Image: © Andrew McConnell/UNHCR


Los conflictos de larga data en Irak y Afganistán continúan desplazando a cientos de miles de personas, y más de 1,5 millones de personas fueron desplazadas por conflictos emergentes en Etiopía en 2018, según los informes de la ONU.


Como Enviada Especial del ACNUR, Jolie ha abogado constantemente por las personas desplazadas. Ha hecho campaña para mejorar la educación de los niños refugiados, hizo un llamado a los países para que traten a los refugiados venezolanos con compasión, y destaca regularmente la difícil situación de los refugiados sirios.


También abogó por el fin de la guerra en Yemen, condenó el genocidio de Rohingya y está trabajando para poner fin a la violación como arma de guerra.


Esta humanitaria no se ha negado a desafiar directamente a los líderes políticos, y en su último artículo de opinión, critica las políticas en los Estados Unidos que son hostiles a los refugiados.


"¿Por qué los políticos son elegidos con promesas de cerrar las fronteras y rechazar a los refugiados?", escribe.


"Es una ilusión pensar que cualquier país puede cerrar sus fronteras y simplemente esperar que el problema desaparezca", dice Jolie. “Necesitamos liderazgo y diplomacia efectiva. Tenemos que centrarnos en la paz a largo plazo basada en la justicia, los derechos y la responsabilidad para que los refugiados puedan regresar a sus hogares".

Angelina-Jolie-Rohingya-Crisis-UNHCR.jpgUNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie visits Rohingya refugees in Chakmarkul camp, Bangladesh.
Image: © Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo/UNHCR

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These Keepsakes Are The Only Connection Nine Refugee Children Have To Home

Authors: Olivia Kestin and Gabrielle Deonath

June 20, 2019


Why Global Citizens Should Care
According to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, over 70 million people around the world have been forcibly displaced from their homes, fleeing to other countries in search of safety. For those affected, including millions of children, their only hope is international intervention. Join us in asking leaders to take action here

Syrian refugee children shared the stories behind their most treasured keepsakes — the only connection they have to their homes — in a new UNICEF photo campaign, highlighting the hardships they’ve been forced to endure at a very young age. 

Syria’s civil war, which began as peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations, erupted into multi-sided violence in 2011 and largely revolves around political allegiance to President Bashar al-Assad. Every Syrian child has been touched by the conflict that has engulfed the country, and the crisis only continues to worsen. 

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Last year saw the highest number of child fatalities since the conflict began, with the loss of 1,106 young lives. Today, about 2.6 million children are displaced within the country, and 2.5 million child refugees now live in camps in neighboring countries. 

“As the war enters its ninth year, UNICEF again reminds parties to the conflict and the global community that it is the country’s children who have suffered most and have the most to lose. Each day the conflict continues is another day stolen from their childhood,” Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a statement earlier this year. 

Read More: At Least 29 Syrian Refugee Children Have Died This Winter

Since the beginning of the conflict — and the dire humanitarian crisis that resulted — UNICEF has been working to help the country’s 5.5 million children in need of assistance. In the last year alone, they vaccinated 3.5 million children against polio, improved water access for 4.6 million people, provided risk education to 1.7 million people, and screened over 1.3 million children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers for acute malnutrition.

According to the UN children’s agency, it also provides over 44,000 Syrian child refugees in Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan with protection, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, health and nutrition services. Forced to flee their homes with their families and unable to bring many possessions with them, these photographs, small toys, and trinkets remind these nine young refugees — from some of Za'atari's 13 UNICEF Makani Centers — of home and offers them hope that they will one day return to all they had to leave behind. 


World-Refugee-Day-UNICEF-Syria-005.jpgImage: © Christopher Herwig/UNICEF

Rudaina, 11, still has her house keys from Syria. “I brought them with me because when we go back to Syria, I’m going to be the one who opens the door," Rudaina said. “My parents tell me that Syria is beautiful. I was so little that I don’t remember.” Rudaina is in fourth grade, her favorite subject is math, and she wants to be a pediatrician when she grows up.

World-Refugee-Day-UNICEF-Syria-004.jpgImage: © Christopher Herwig/UNICEF

Omar, 11, still has his teddy bear named Ben 10. Omar lost both of his brothers in the conflict, and one of them gave him Ben 10 before he passed away. “[My brother Abdulrahman] bought it for me in the market and told me to take care of it. We used to watch the cartoon together. I still watch it now.” Omar doesn't remember much about his home in Syria. "Most of our stuff we had to leave behind but my mom packed Ben 10," he explained. "It’s so important to me. This toy is as precious to me as my own brother. I’m going to keep it forever."

World-Refugee-Day-UNICEF-Syria-008.jpgImage: © Christopher Herwig/UNICEF

Qusai, 13, cherishes his schoolbag from when he was in the first grade in Syria. “It’s important to me because my father gave it to me as a gift and I remember him by it. Also because it is from my country," explained Qusai. Even though he is now in the sixth grade and the schoolbag is now too small for him, Qusai has no plans to give up the old bag. He says, “I will keep this schoolbag forever. I will tell my children my father gave this to me and I kept it safe for all these years to show you." Although he preferred his school in Syria, Qusai still enjoys going to school in the camp and his favorite subject is English.

World-Refugee-Day-UNICEF-Syria-009.jpgImage: © Christopher Herwig/UNICEF

Shatha, 15, holds her favorite toy that she brought with her from Syria. “When we had to leave, I took him with me, I was thinking he would protect me. I had so many toys to choose from but he was my favorite – I played with him a lot," Shatha said. When Shatha first arrived at Za’atari she remembered how hard it was to adjust and that she always held on do her toy dog so he could make her feel protected. “My toy dog will always be with me. I’ll tell my children my whole life story and his – because it’s the same as mine," Shatha said. 

World-Refugee-Day-UNICEF-Syria-002.jpgImage: © Christopher Herwig/UNICEF

Ahmad, 12, has a key ring inscribed with his late father’s name that he inherited from him. “I barely have any memories of my dad but the few I have are very precious. My favorite memory is the time he brought us to the river for a picnic and we played in the water," Ahmad said. “If I want to remember him, I take out his key ring and look at it.” Ahmad lives with his grandmother and brother in the camp and although they don’t have much, he says that their love is enough for him. Ahmad wants to be an architect when he grows us because his father worked in construction.

Read More: Half of Syria's Children Can't Return to School This Month

World-Refugee-Day-UNICEF-Syria-006.jpgImage: © Christopher Herwig/UNICEF

Nour, 12, holds her blanket, which was a birthday present from her grandmother. “I still have feelings when I cover myself in this blanket. I feel sadness thinking about the old beautiful days in Syria. But I also feel protected and safe," Nour said, “I’m going to keep it as long as I can.” Nour wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

World-Refugee-Day-UNICEF-Syria-001.jpgImage: © Christopher Herwig/UNICEF

Hala, 11, still has her photos from Syria and keeps them hidden in a closet so they are safe. “My favorite photo is me and my brother together. It was a Friday. My mom had dressed me nicely for Friday prayer, then we went to the market and a restaurant. After that we went to a photographer’s studio where this photo was taken,” Hala said. She takes the photos out from time to time to look at them. “I only remember the war," she explained, "Without photos, I wouldn’t know what it was like to be a kid in Syria. Because Syria is in my heart, it is my country where I was born. When I look at this photo, I remember those days again. There aren’t enough words to describe the life I see in these photos. It’s pure happiness.”

World-Refugee-Day-UNICEF-Syria-003.jpgImage: © Christopher Herwig/UNICEF

Yara, 10, holds her doll named Farah, which was a birthday gift from her father. “It got scary in Syria... Dad said, 'Get your stuff together, we’re going,'" Yara said. “I wanted to bring that teddy bear here but my parents said no, it was too big. So I put Farah in my bag," she explained. Yara goes to school in the camp and wants to be a pharmacist when she grows up so she can give people medicine that will heal them. She wants to return to Syria.

World-Refugee-Day-UNICEF-Syria-007.jpgImage: © Christopher Herwig/UNICEF

Iman, 13, still has her doll named Lulu. Iman's mom gave her Lulu and she feels comforted by her.  “I feel safe as long as Lulu is with me. When the war started and there was shooting, I used to hug her to feel safe," Iman said. These days, having Lulu near still makes Iman feel better whenever she is afraid or sad, “I will keep Lulu forever." 

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2-Year-Old Defends Doll Choice to Cashier in the Best Way Possible

Sometimes the youngest ones have the wisest lessons to teach.


Heroes comes in all sizes, ages, colors, and shapes. 

Sophia Benner, a 2-year-old from South Carolina, is our hero this week for a simple choice she made with huge ramifications in her hometown Target. 

According to an Instagram post by Sophia's mom, Brandi Benner, earlier this week, Sophia and her mom went to Target so Sophia could pick out a prize for finishing her potty training, completing one full month of pooping on a toilet. 

And Sophia knew exactly what she wanted. She went straight to the doll aisle, spent 20 minutes considering her choices, and brought her doll up to the cashier to check out, which is where the problems began. 

"While we were checking out, the cashier asked Sophia if she was going to a birthday party," Brandi wrote on Instagram. "We both gave her a blank stare. She then pointed to the doll and asked Sophia if she picked her out for a friend. Sophia continued to stare blankly and I let the cashier know that she was a prize for Sophia being fully potty trained."

"'But she doesn't look like you. We have lots of other dolls that look more like you,'" the cashier said. 

The doll was black, and Sophia is white. 

While Brandi Brenner was getting ready to express her anger at the cashier, Sophia handled the situation expertly. 

"I immediately became angry, but before I could say anything, Sophia responded with, 'Yes, she does. She's a doctor like I'm a doctor. And I'm a pretty girl and she's a pretty girl. See her pretty hair? And see her stethoscope?'" Brandi wrote.

Brenner spoke to CNN about the incident after the Instagram post went viral online. 

"She kept going back to the doctor doll, because in her mind, she is already a doctor," Benner told CNN. "She loves giving checkups, and if you come in the house, she'll tell you that's the first thing you need."

The little doctor's mom said that her daughter wasn't bothered by the cashier's questions, just like she doesn't think much about skin color. 

"This experience just confirmed my belief that we aren't born with the idea that color matters. Skin comes in different colors just like hair and eyes and every shade is beautiful," she wrote on Instagram.

And just like the doll she picked out, Dr. Sophia and the way she sees the world are beautiful too.


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“Boaty McBoatface” encuentra el eslabón perdido del cambio climático en el fondo del océano

El submarino fue nombrado así por una encuesta abierta de Internet.



Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
Los océanos del mundo están sufriendo el impacto del cambio climático en formas que amenazan con destruir los ecosistemas marinos. Los Objetivos Mundiales de las Naciones Unidas piden a los países que protejan los océanos y frenen el cambio climático. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre temas relacionados aquí.

Boaty McBoatface puede parecer un personaje de dibujos animados, pero en realidad es un submarino de investigación altamente técnico que recopila información crítica sobre las condiciones del océano.


En su primer viaje, Boaty viajó a través del lecho marino del Océano Austral, a miles de kilómetros bajo la superficie, durante tres días en 2017. El barco de investigación recorrió un terreno montañoso, registrando temperaturas y niveles de sal como parte de un proyecto conjunto de investigadores en la Universidad de Southampton, el Centro Nacional de Oceanografía, el British Antarctic Survey, el Instituto Oceanográfico Woods Hole y la Universidad de Princeton.


Después de recuperar el submarino y analizar la información, el equipo descubrió que los datos que trajo Boaty podrían ayudar a los científicos a predecir mejor las consecuencias del cambio climático, y publicaron recientemente sus hallazgos en la revista científica PNAS.


El aumento de la temperatura de la embarcación registró un aumento de la turbulencia en las profundidades del Océano Austral debido a la intensificación de los vientos provenientes de la Antártida. La turbulencia está causando que el agua más caliente cerca de la superficie se mezcle con el agua más fría en el fondo, lo que contribuye al aumento del nivel del mar, porque el agua caliente ocupa más espacio que el agua fría.

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La consideración de este fenómeno hasta ahora había estado ausente en los modelos de cambio climático.


"Nuestro estudio es un paso importante para comprender cómo el cambio climático que se está produciendo en las remotas e inhóspitas aguas antárticas afectará el calentamiento de los océanos en su conjunto y el aumento del nivel del mar en el futuro", dijo a través de un comunicado de prensa el profesor Alberto Naveira Garabato, autor principal del estudio de la Universidad de Southampton.


Las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero han hecho un agujero en el ozono y han ocasionado que la región antártica se caliente dos veces más rápido que el resto del mundo, lo que hace que los vientos sobre la Antártida se vuelvan más fuertes. De esta manera, las ráfagas que llegan al Océano Austral son un síntoma y una causa del cambio climático, según los investigadores.


Boaty obtuvo su nombre en 2016 cuando el Consejo Nacional de Investigación del Medio Ambiente del Reino Unido pidió al público que nombrara su nuevo barco de investigación. Internet hizo lo que mejor sabe hacer: reunirse detrás de una idea tonta. Aunque la organización se negó a nombrar el barco Boaty McBoatface, decidió bautizar con ese nombre a este diminuto submarino. El barco finalmente fue nombrado “RRS Sir David Attenborough”, en homenaje al famoso naturalista.


Boaty McBoatface M44 in Orkney Passage from Eleanor Frajka-Williams on Vimeo.


Los investigadores dijeron que la información recopilada por Boaty en 2017 puede mejorar los modelos climáticos existentes, lo que podría arrojar luz sobre el alcance futuro del aumento del nivel del mar. Las proyecciones más recientes sugieren que el nivel del mar podría subir hasta 6.5 pies para finales de siglo.


Los océanos del mundo son un amortiguador contra el cambio climático. Absorben la mayor parte del exceso de carbono y el calor atrapado en la atmósfera. Como resultado, están experimentando cambios rápidos que amenazan con desentrañar los ecosistemas marinos. El calentamiento de las aguas hace que las regiones polares se derritan, los arrecifes de coral mueran y las poblaciones de peces se dispersen de sus hábitats tradicionales.


Los nuevos datos recopilados por Boaty muestran que el aumento de las temperaturas también desestabiliza las condiciones tradicionales del océano.


"Este estudio es un gran ejemplo de cómo se puede usar la nueva y emocionante tecnología, como el submarino no tripulado Boaty McBoatface, junto con mediciones tomadas desde barcos y modelos oceánicos de vanguardia para descubrir y explicar procesos previamente desconocidos que afectan el transporte de calor dentro del océano”, dijo Povl Abrahamsen de la British Antarctic Survey en el comunicado de prensa.

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OCT. 11, 2018



Americans Need to Eat 90% Less Meat for Planet to Survive, Report Says

The average American is on track to eat 222.2 pounds of red meat and chicken this year.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Meat consumption has grown to unsustainable levels in recent years and is causing enormous ecological harm. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

Humanity’s growing meat consumption is undermining the planet’s ability to produce food, according to a new report published in the science journal Nature.

In fact, humans need to eat 75% less red meat, 90% less pork, and half as many eggs on average to both prevent the environment-ravaging consequences of climate change and ensure that there will be enough food to go around when the global population surges to 10 billion later in the century.

“It is pretty shocking,” Marco Springmann at the University of Oxford, who led the research team, told the Guardian. “We are really risking the sustainability of the whole system. If we are interested in people being able to farm and eat, then we better not do that.”

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The authors of the study stressed that people in some countries need to make more drastic changes to their diets than others.

In the US and UK, for example, people need to eat 90% less red meat and 60% less milk, while some low-income countries are encouraged to eat more meat in the years ahead to improve nutrition standards, but the authors note that such an increase would be paltry compared to eating habits in Western countries.

Achieving such a massive reduction in meat consumption will not be easy. In the US, the average American is on track to eat 222.2 pounds of red meat and chicken this year, the highest amount ever recorded. In China, meanwhile, the average person eats 140 pounds of meat, a four-fold increase over the past four decades.

This demand is fueling an expansion of meat operations around the world and is having a staggering impact on the global environment.

Read More: 5 Things You Can Do Now in Response to the UN's Terrifying New Climate Report

Meat production is one of the leading causes of deforestation, which accelerates climate change and destroys ecosystems, because of the large swaths of land required for cattle grazing. Raising animals also requires huge amounts of animal feed, which requires even more land to grow, and water.

Animal feed takes up around 36% of global farmland, while a single pound of hamburger requires 600 gallons of water, compared to 5 gallons for a pound of potato, according to the US Geological Survey.

The billions of animals in the global meat production industry release enormous quantities of greenhouse gas emissions and can contaminate water supplies with their waste. To give a sense of the industry’s scale, 60% the mammals left in the world are livestock, 36% are pigs, and 4% are wild. Similarly, farmed poultry account for 70% of the world’s birds.

Read More: Going Vegan Is 'Single Biggest Way' to Help Planet: Report

Reducing meat production calls for more of the world’s farmland to be used for high-yield, low-resource crops that put little pressure on the planet and can feed as many people as possible. These include legumes, grains, vegetables, and more.

The authors said that the steep global subsidies for meat can instead be given to plant-based foods and schools can become engines of change by adapting their menus. They further argued that fertilizer use has to be better managed to prevent environmental pollution and food waste has to be dramatically curbed. If all food waste was diverted onto people’s plates, then world hunger could be eliminated.

“I think we can do it, but we really need much more proactive governments to provide the right framework,” Springmann told the Guardian. “People can make a personal difference by changing their diet, but also by knocking on the doors of their politicians and saying we need better environmental regulations – that is also very important. Do not let politicians off the hook.”

Read More: Why You Should Probably Never Eat Red Meat Again

This report was published the same week as the United Nations’ years-long analysis of climate change, which calls for “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to save the planet from catastrophe.

Meat consumption is high on the list of practices that need to be dramatically scaled down if not nearly abandoned altogether, according to the report.

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What is fragility and why does it matter in the fight against extreme poverty?

April 10 2019 | By: EMILY HUIE


Join the fight against extreme poverty

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If you’ve watched the news lately, you might have heard the term “fragile state.” When a crisis hits a fragile state, the effects can be devastating, and often contribute to the cycle of extreme poverty. In order to end extreme poverty [by 2030], the world must do better about reaching the extreme poor who live in fragile states. This is a big challenge, but not an insurmountable one.

There are currently more than 735 million people living in extreme poverty. Almost two-thirds (over 514 million) of these people are concentrated in fragile and conflict-affected states, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, 35 of the world’s current fragile states are in sub-Saharan Africa. Experts predict that by 2030, more than 80% of people living in extreme poverty will be in fragile states.

So what exactly is fragility and how can it affect countries? A country or region is generally classified as fragile when it is vulnerable to shocks – violent conflict, natural disasters or economic crises – and lacks the capacity to cope with them. Citizens of a fragile state have to deal with a lot of instability, and they are exposed to higher risks when the unexpected happens.

Countries can be fragile for a number of different reasons. Some governments do not have the capacity to create a resilient environments . In some cases they lack the resources, in others corrupt leaders are more concerned with consolidating power and wealth for themselves than using state resources to provide basic services. Other factors such as natural disasters, regional instability, ethnic conflicts or violence can also make a country fragile.

Regardless of what causes fragility, when things go wrong, the citizens are hardest hit.

If you keep up with current events, you’re probably familiar with the Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In the DRC, decades of exploitation and ethnic rivalries have led to protracted and violent conflicts over political power and natural resources. Although the civil war officially ended in 2003, violence is still widespread, particularly in the eastern part of the country. These conflicts have been at the expense of citizens’ basic needs.

When an Ebola outbreak began last August in the DRC, medical professionals, aid workers, and government officials were unable to reach communities because of poor infrastructure, weak health systems, and conflict. To make things worse, while medical workers struggled to reach those affected, communities struggled to trust those workers because often their experiences lead them to distrust the government and other officials. The result is an ongoing health crisis that has led to over 900 infections, and over 560 deaths.

People living in fragile states, like the DRC, face even more difficulty escaping extreme poverty.

Displacement, increased likelihood of disease, and food scarcity are just some of the things that can come about from a crisis. That’s why working to end fragility will have immense effects on combating extreme poverty, and prevent bad situations from becoming catastrophic.

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Three cheers to the Virgin Money and Clydesdale Bank staff for having us this week. 👏👏👏
We have had such a blast meeting everyone!🎉
We're really excited about the next year, especially Virgin Money London Marathon 2020🏃‍♀️#LDWeek19#HereIAm

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12 Female Climate Activists Who Are Saving the Planet

Joe McCarthy and Erica Sanchez

Markus Schreiber/AP

April 18, 2019

Why Global Citizens Should Care
The United Nations argues that the world has less than 12 years to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half to avoid severe climate change consequences. All around the world, young activists are fighting to achieve this goal. You can join us in taking action on related issues here.

For the past 30 years, environmental activists have been calling on governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change.

The world has less than 12 years to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half — a daunting task that would require a total transformation of the global economy — according to the United Nations.

Yet even as the consequences of climate change become more stark with each passing year — floods and storms submerging coastlines more frequently, wildfires growing to new extremes, and droughts drying up critical sources of water —  fossil fuel consumption continues to rise.

But for the emerging generation of activists whose future depends on the overhaul of a global economy still heavily dependent on fossil fuels, there is no other option than to fight for change— and they’re making sure that governments, businesses, and powerful interests everywhere understand the stakes of inaction. Women and girls — often hit the hardest by climate disasters — have become leading figures in this movement.

Take Action: Protect Our Oceans! Prevent Ocean Plastic Pollution

Here are 12 female activists from around the world who are fighting to save the planet.

1. Greta Thunberg — Sweden


Greta Thunberg has become one of the world’s foremost environmental activists over the past year through her weekly Friday for Future protests. The 16-year-old has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her work, has spoken at the World Economic Forum and in front of the European Parliament, and sparked a protest movement involving millions of young people worldwide.

Read More: Youth Leaders Tell Us Why They're Skipping School for Climate Action

Thunberg is best known for her bracing clarity. When she speaks about climate change, she doesn’t mince words, downplay the situation, or take it easy on her audience. With a calm tenacity, she holds people and governments accountable and demands an end to fossil fuel use.


2. India Logan-Riley — Aotearoa / New Zealand


Though their efforts have often gone unnoticed, Indigenous people have always been at the forefront of environmental causes around the world.

The youth activist India Logan-Riley is working to center Indigenous rights in the movement for climate justice by ensuring that Indigenous people gain rights over their land. She’s taken her message to the United Nations in talks that resulted in the Paris climate agreement, and she works as both an activist and conservationist in her native Aotearoa, which is the Māori name for New Zealand.

Globally, 2.5 billion people depend on land held by Indigenous people for food, water, air quality, and more. These critical ecosystems are often protected against extractive industries by indigenous groups, and deforestation rates on these lands are typically half the global average, according to the World Resources Institute.

3. Nakabuye Hilda F. — Uganda


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You are killing our mother with your waste, our earth is dying, You can save it. Take action to protect the future, we are the future and we demand #ClimateActionNow #BeatPlasticPollution #PreserveOurLakes #KeepMamaAfricaGreen @GretaThunberg @lillyspickup



Around 77% of Uganda’s population is under the age of 30, and a growing youth movement has emerged around the issue of climate change and environmental sustainability.

Activist Nakabuye Hilda F. has zealously campaigned to raise awareness of the hazards of climate change and plastic pollution. She’s become a leading figure in Uganda’s Friday for Future climate marches. She also organizes plastic clean-up efforts and urges her government to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More: These 9 Badass Youth Activists Are Changing the World

4. Luisa Neubauer — Germany



Often referred to as the “German Greta Thunberg,” Luisa Neubauer is no less determined in her activism. The 22-year-old has helped organize the country’s massive Fridays for Future climate marches, works with climate organizations such as 350.org, and regularly advocates for climate action at major global diplomatic events.

“It really feels like we're sitting in a car heading for an abyss,” she wrote in a blog post for WWF. “But instead of braking, it accelerates. We were put in this car without being asked. There really is this abyss. The man-made climate change is real and we are experiencing these days the serious changes that it brings.”

5. Ridhima Pandey — India



INSPIRING! Meet the nine-year-old, Ridhima Pandey who is suing the Indian Government over climate change->>http://ind.pn/2oxjkcL 


Most young children spend their time playing outside, but at 9 years old, Ridhima Pandey was busy suing the Indian government over its failure to address climate change in 2017.

Her ongoing lawsuit is part of a growing legal movement to hold governments that have failed to act on climate change accountable. The movement is driven by young people who see climate change as threatening their ability to access their basic human rights to things like food, water, and a safe place to live.

In her lawsuit, Pandey called on the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop a carbon budget strategy, and create plans for recovering from the effects of climate change.

“My government has failed to take steps to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing extreme climate conditions,” she wrote in her petition. “This will impact both me and future generations.”

Read More: 6 African Youth Activists You Need to Know

6. Shalvi Sakshi — Fiji


Few countries are more exposed to climate change than Fiji. The low-lying island nation could be submerged in the next few decades as  sea levels continue to rise.

For 12-year-old Shalvi Sakshi, that’s unacceptable. At the UN’s COP23 climate talks in 2017, Sakshi was the youngest speaker present. Despite her young age, she delivered a sharp call to action, urging world leaders to stop the release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

“This is the time to do something to slow down the rising of sea levels,” she said.

7. Isra Hirsi — the US



Flint, MI has been without clean water for more than four years. @USClimateStrike is calling for a #ClimateDebate w/ all 2020 presidential candidates. ADD YOUR NAME: http://moveon.org/climatedebate  h/t @israhirsi


While her mother Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is advocating for the passage of the Green New Deal — a broad proposal to transform the US energy system and enact redistributive polices —16-year-old Isra Hirsi is mobilizing her peers in support of bold climate action.

Hirsi was one of the lead organizers of the first-ever Youth Climate Strike in the US, which took place on March 15 as part of the global Fridays for Future protests.

The budding activist is pursuing climate justice by raising awareness about environmental racism. She wants to ensure that any climate action prioritizes communities of color and those likely to be marginalized, who are often disproportionately impacted by climate change.

“Climate change mostly affects communities of color and low-income communities, and these people live in these areas under these conditions, and we don’t really do anything about it,” she told the Cut.

“I think people of color are automatically ignored. It’s also important to advocate to people who aren’t fully aware of the problem to make sure they take a stand and come together because climate change affects all us,” she added. “We all have to come together at some point.”

Read More: Meet 7 Youth Activists Who Won the UN's 'Champions of the Earth' Award

8. Brianna Fruean — Samoa


Brianna Fruean, a 20-year-old Samoan activist, has been involved in communities fighting for climate justice for most of her life.

When Fruean was a child, a powerful cyclone struck Samoa, damaging its infrastructure and agriculture. The extreme weather event was her first introduction to the consequences of climate change and from that point on, she dedicated her life to advocating for environmental causes.

At 11, she became a founding member of the Samoan chapter of the climate organization 350.org, and at 16 she became the youngest winner of the prestigious Commonwealth Youth Award for her environmental activism.

9. Marinel Ubaldo — the Philippines



Marinel Ubaldo (@YnelUbaldo) talked about how the Philippines is dealing with #climatechange at #COP21 in Paris.


In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan hurtled toward the Philippines, ultimately killing more than 6,329 people and causing more than $4.5 billion in damages.

Some of Marinel Ubaldo’s friends and family were killed and her home was destroyed by the powerful cyclone.

The tragic event prompted Ubaldo to dedicate her life to fighting for climate justice. The Philippines is extremely vulnerable to cyclones supercharged by warming oceans and rising sea levels. As a a fisherman, Ubaldo’s father and his livelihood are endangered by climate change — so the issue is one that is very personal to her.

In 2018, she traveled to New York to speak in front of thousands of people gathered to protest environmental injustice.

“I’m here in front of you, not just as a climate statistic you see in the news, but I’m here as a human being  —  hoping to remind you that we need to value lives again,” she said at the event. “My story is only one of many, and I’m here to speak on behalf of the vulnerable and the marginalized communities  —  may our voices be heard.”

Read More: 'Extinction Rebellion' Protesters Block London Roads to Confront Climate 'Emergency'

10. Winnie Asiti — Kenya

In 2006, Winnie Asiti got her first taste of climate activism when she attended the UN’s climate change negotiations in Nairobi, Kenya. Five years later, she helped form the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change and she now advises the Global Greengrants’ Next Generation Climate Board, an organization that gives loans to environmental activists and causes around the world.

Nowadays, Asiti helps communities develop their own climate change strategies.

“It’s not just about the COP because our vision is to go beyond [it],” she told Voice of America. “We want these groups to be able to make the linkages between the local, regional, international processes so that even when they come to the COP, they are able to take that knowledge back home and be able to link their own local activities, original activities, to what is happening at the international level.”

11. Rayanne Cristine Maximo Franca — Brazil



From where I stand: “It is time that the world hears our voice” - Rayanne Cristine Maximo Franca via @UN_Women https://buff.ly/2uGoEsR 


Brazil is often the site of the biggest fights for climate justice — it’s also the deadliest country in the world for environmental activists. Since President Jair Bolsonaro took office last year, the country has seen a sharp spike in deforestation throughout the Amazon rainforest, which helps to regulate the global atmosphere, and indigenous land rights have been trampled.

Rayanna Cristine Maximo Franca’s activism centers primarily on women’s indigenous rights, but empowering women is also critical to protecting the environment. Women are most likely to be negatively impacted by climate change, and educating women is one of the best ways to mitigate environmental consequences. In Brazil, indigenous activism is tightly entwined with environmental causes, where indigenous groups have long struggled for access to land and resources and advocate for the protection of the Amazon.

12. Oladosu Adenike — Nigeria


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20 weeks #FridaysForFuture #ClimateStrike in Nigeria.
Not signing the climate change bill by our leaders is equivalent to them seeing thousands of us hitting the street because we are now in an era when we stand for things that matters to our future.@GretaThunberg



Oldaosu Adenike tirelessly campaigns for the planet. Going by the title “ecofeminist,” Adenike is an organizer for Nigeria’s Friday for Future climate marches and is active on Twitter where she educates her followers on the complexities of climate change and calls on young people to push for climate action.

“One of the reasons why the ‘climate’ is becoming changed and subsequently leading to crisis (sub-crisis) is because of a lack of youth planning in their tomorrow,” she wrote in a blog post. “Their voices [need] to be heard on critical or burning issues of the moments such as climate change.”

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“Every Saturday I go and watch the football with my dad. I love this. It’s really important to me that I get to do all of these things and spend my time the way I want.” 

James loves to go and see the football with his dad. Sport is a great way of getting out of the house and reducing loneliness.

Why not find out more about this:https://bit.ly/2F2enz6 👈 
#LDWeek19 #HereIAm

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New study gives hope we can be the generation to end AIDS



Sign now: we demand more action in the fight against AIDS

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Good news can be hard to find these days. But, results recently shared from a new study on HIV transmission cast a bright light on the fight to end the preventable disease.

The Lancet announcement that antiretroviral therapy (ART) can prevent HIV transmission between men who have sex with men is a big deal for several reasons.

We have the tools to defeat HIV/AIDS

Little more than a decade ago, the AIDS crisis seemed virtually unstoppable. Now, we know we can prevent the transmission of HIV if people living with HIV start and stay on treatment.

In past studies, it was found that the risk of HIV transmission is effectively zero for heterosexual couples when the partner living with HIV is on virally suppressive ART. In The Lancet’s most recent study, this same level of evidence was found for men who have sex with men. Among all couples involved in the study, there was an HIV transmission rate of zero because the HIV viral load was suppressed by ART!

We could be the generation to end AIDS

This evidence further confirms that this can be the generation to end AIDS if we put these lessons into practice.

Today, access to treatment is far from certain in the countries most in need. The prognosis for a person living with HIV – and their ability to prevent the spread of infection – is increasingly determined by where they live.

In 2017, 1.8 million people contracted HIV — about two-thirds of these new infections occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. Much of this transmission occurs because one out of every four people with HIV are unaware of their status. Almost 1 million people died from AIDS-related causes in 2017.

But to make sure these newly discovered results have an impact for everyone living with HIV, we need our leaders to demonstrate they are as committed to ending AIDS as the scientists and clinicians on the front lines.

Luckily, our leaders have a powerful opportunity to unleash a wave of untapped resource and human potential that will have a transformational effect on communities and economies around the world.

The Global Fund

In October, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will host its Sixth Replenishment. We’re asking world leaders and private investors to come together and help save 16 million lives between 2021 and 2023 by meeting their replenishment goal of at least US$14 billion. This investment is the bold ambition the world needs to get us back on track to stop the spread of these diseases.

To continue funding life-saving programs like this one, we need world leaders to #StepUpTheFight by fully financing the Global Fund.

Add your name now to tell world leaders they must back this bold initiative this year.

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In the midst of competing in the The 2nd European Games 2019 in Minsk, champion athletes from Team Ireland took time out of their busy competing schedules to host a reception for 25 young adults with disabilities who are supported by Chernobyl Children International (CCI).

The team, which is comprised over 65 athletes across 9 disciplines, also presented tickets for competitions to the group of young adults who live in an institution for people with disabilities.

Athletes took photos with the group and listened to stories of the sporting achievements of the young adults, many of whom train with Special Olympics through CCI.

Chernobyl Children International would like to thank Team Ireland for their hospitality and wish every member of the team success in the competition.

Foto de Chernobyl Children International.

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OCT. 24, 2018



You Have to Hear Meghan Markle's Passionate Speech About Girls' Education

She’s on tour in Fiji with her husband Prince Harry.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Quality education for everyone is one of the UN’s Global Goals to end extreme poverty. But as well as being a goal in itself, it is also instrumental in unlocking so many others — including reduced inequalities, decent work and economic growth, and peace, justice, and strong institutions. If any of us are missing out on education, the whole world loses out. Join us by raising your voice for education here

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has just made her first speech of the current royal tour — and we’re a big fan of her chosen topic, girls’ education. 

Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, are currently in Fiji, having already spent several days in Australia. Next, they’ll be heading to Tonga and New Zealand, before returning to Australia. 

On their second day in Fiji, on Tuesday, Meghan and Harry headed to the University of the South Pacific in Suva to address students. 

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And Markle, herself a graduate of Northwestern University in Illinois, in the United States, spoke passionately about the importance of education. 

“The journey of higher education is an incredible, impactful, and pivotal one,” she said. “I am also fully aware of the challenges of being able to afford this level of schooling for many people around the world, myself included.”

“It was with scholarships, financial aid programmes, and work study from my earnings from a job on campus that went directly towards my tuition that I was able to attend university, and without question it was worth every effort,” she continued. 


A powerful first speech as the Duchess of Sussex: “Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive. And for women and girls in developing countries, this is vital.”

(Video 1 of 2)


“Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive education that they want but, more importantly, the education that they have the right to receive. And for women and girls in developing countries, this is vital,” she said. 

“Providing them with access to education is the key to economic and social development, because when girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures — not only for themselves but for all of those around them,” she said. “And while progress has been made in many areas across the Commonwealth, there’s always room to offer more opportunities to the next generation of young adults and specifically to young women.” 

Related StoriesSept. 17, 2018Meghan Markle Has Been Secretly Visiting This Grenfell Community Kitchen Since January

She also used the occasion to announce two new grants to be awarded to Fiji National University and the University of the South Pacific from the Association of Commonwealth Universities, which Queen Elizabeth II is patron of, and which works to support universities to promote equality. 

The grants will go to supporting each of the universities in running workshops to empower their female staff.

“This means that female faculty embers are able to encourage others to follow in their footsteps and enter higher education, and that more women become part of the decision-making process in academic institutions,” Markle added. 

“Grants like this will ensure that women are provided with the training and skills to operate effectively in their role, and that those with leadership potential are given the opportunity to be heard and recognised at the most senior level,” she said. 

Related StoriesMay 7, 2019It's a Boy! Here Are 7 Global Citizen Baby Names We'd Love Meghan and Harry to Pick

“My husband Harry and I wish you all the very best of luck as you continue your studies and your work,” she said. “Your efforts now will help to make a positive future for each of you and your communities at large.” 

The speech was reportedly only Meghan’s second as a member of the British royal family — the first being a speech at the launch of her charity cookbook, created with members of the Grenfell community in London, last month. 

It comes as Markle was also named one of the top 100 most influential black people in Britain on the annual Powerlist, which honours the UK’s most influential people of African and African Caribbean heritage. 

Ric Lewis topped the list, as chief executive and chairman of Britain’s largest black-owned and led company, Tristan Capital Partners, reported the Guardian. Lewis is also founder of the Black Heart Foundation, which supports young people in accessing a greater range of opportunities — such as through offering funding for further education. 

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MAY 21, 2019



Cafeteria Worker Fired for Serving Free Lunch to Student Who Couldn't Pay

The New Hampshire employee was let go for “theft.”

Why Global Citizens Should Care
When low-income children can’t afford to eat, the burden often falls on educators. Ensuring all students receive proper nutrition to thrive at school, is key to ending poverty. You can join us in taking action on this issue here

When a high school student at Mascoma Valley Regional High School in Canaan, New Hampshire, came down the lunch line, but couldn’t pay, cafeteria worker Bonnie Kimball served him a meal for free. A week later, Kimball lost her job. 

Kimball claims she knew the student his entire life, and trusted that when she asked him to pay next time, his parents would send the $8 to cover the lunch debt. The next day, April 4, the student brought in the money but the district manager at Cafe Services, which operates the cafeteria, fired her from her job of nearly five years, according to CNN. The incident has highlighted child hunger in schools on a national level.

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Claire Bloom, founder and executive director of End 68 Hours of Hunger, a New Hampshire based volunteer-run program that provides children who rely on school lunches with food over the weekend, said what happened to Kimball reflects a larger systemic issue. 

“Here we’re talking about someone who got fired for trying to help a child because they violated the rules — clearly there’s something wrong with the rules,” Bloom told Global Citizen over the phone.  

Cafe Services told Kimball that she committed theft by serving lunch to the student, according to CNN. 

“To me, letting that kid go hungry because he didn't bring any money that day, that would have been wrong," Kimball told NBC. 

A spokesperson for Cafe Services said that the student still would have received a complete lunch — an entree, or sandwich plus two sides  — even though he didn’t have money on hand, according to NBC. Kimball let the student take à la carte items, instead of serving him the meal of the day.

Read More: This Eighth Grader Launched a Movement to Pay Off His School District's Lunch Debt

School policies that restrict what children can order at the cafeteria based on finances, and limit food options to less nutritious alternatives, are referred to as “lunch shaming.” Lunch shaming can ostracize low-income students, embarrass them, and make it harder to thrive at school if they’re distracted by whether or not they can afford to eat. This month, one Rhode Island school district came under fire for punishing students who had lunch debt with cold meals. 

The public has supported Kimball’s decision to cut the student a break, rather than limit his lunch options. Kimball set up a GoFundMe on March 16 and has since raised over $8,000. Students have rallied against Cafe Service’s decision, and two other employees in the lunchroom quit following Kimball’s firing, according to CNN. 


Students and staff are rallying behind a Mascoma Valley Regional High School lunch lady fired for allowing a boy to run up an $8 lunch debt rather than go hungy. Bonnie Kimball thought she was doing the right thing and the parent did eventually pay. http://bit.ly/2w1pcwI 


Celebrity chef José Andrés — known for founding World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters — also offered Kimball a job with his food group. 


New Hampshire school cafeteria worker fired for giving food to student who couldn't pay - WHBQ! The hero is Bonnie Kimball! If she needs a job we have openings at ⁦@thinkfoodgroup⁩ if you know her, let her know! ⁦@NewHampJournalhttps://www.fox13memphis.com/news/trending-now/new-hampshire-school-cafeteria-worker-fired-for-giving-food-to-student-who-couldnt-pay/949708917 


Cafe Services rehired Kimball on Friday, but she refused the offer, accordingto the Associated Press.

Bloom said that Kimball’s situation isn’t unique to New Hampshire. End 68 Hours of Hunger is in 46 districts in the US, in seven states. Bloom said educators find themselves in situations like Kimball’s where they want to feed hungry students all the time. 

“It’s happening in every school district in America — nurses, guidance counselors, and teachers have to keep snacks in their classroom to give to students who don’t have food to eat,” she explained. 

The advocacy group No Kid Hungry found that 60% of teachers surveyed said they often buy food for students, spending an average of $300 a year. 

Some school districts have tried to make sure no child goes hungry, by serving leftovers to students who can’t afford to pay, according to Bloom. But this method has led cafeteria workers to ensure there are enough leftovers by cooking more food, which cuts into a school’s budget, she said.

There are more than 12 million children struggling with hunger each year, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Hunger can negatively affect children’s performance and behavior in school, and Bloom believes providing food to all students is the only way to build future generations who are strong.

“Every single student in America should get breakfast and lunch,” she said. “Then we don’t have to choose between who’s poor and not poor.”




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JUNE 19, 2019



Costa Rica Has Banned Styrofoam — A Major Win for the Environment

Fines for using styrofoam range from about $760 to $7,600.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Costa Rica has rolled out many revolutionary environmental policies in the last decade making it a leader in fighting climate change and pollution. In 2010, Costa Rica pledged to become the world’s first carbon neutral country by 2021, and as of 2018, 73.8% of Costa Rica’s electricity was generated through hydroelectric plants, while the remaining energy was sourced from wind, geothermal energy, biomass and solar energy. The United Nations’ Global Goals call on countries to create sustainable economies and protect the environment and Costa Rica is surely leading the way. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

After rolling out a national strategy to drastically reduce plastic use by 2021 last year, Costa Rica is now taking its environmental protection efforts a step further by banning the use of styrofoam containers.

The new legislation, signed on Thursday, prohibits the import, marketing, and distribution of polystyrene containers — commonly referred to as styrofoam — throughout the country.

The legislation will go into effect in 24 months after it is officially published in the government newsletter, La Gaceta. The legislation is now awaiting President Carlos Alvarado’s signature, and then will be sent to the national printer for publication in La Gaceta.

Fines for violations range from $763 (446,200Costa Rican Colon) to $7,629 (4.46 million Costa Rican Colon). The government is required to aid companies in adapting to environmentally friendly containers before the law is fully enforced.

“This initiative is a giant step for public health, the environment, and the economy of the country because styrofoam generates great pollution,” said legislator Paola Vega.

Plastic is a major environmental pollutant in Costa Rica which accounts for only 0.03% of the earth’s surface but contains 6% of the world’s biodiversity. To preserve one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, plastic waste and other forms of pollution have to be controlled and kept in check.

Comprométete a eliminar el plástico del planeta

In an effort to significantly reduce plastic pollution, President Alvarado ordered the restriction of the use of plastics in all the country’s public institutions last year. According to the guidelines set by the president, public school cafeterias, health system institutions, and prisons should avoid single-use plastics such as dishes, disposable cups, and cutlery.

Styrofoam, or expanded polystyrene, is one of the most widely used forms of plastic, mostly found in items like cups, take-out containers, and plates. Solid polystyrene is used to make everything from plastic cutlery to yogurt cups to DVD cases.

Read More: 10 Facts About Plastic Pollution You Absolutely Need to Know

Although, styrofoam is technically recyclable, it can only be recycled if it is clean, un-dyed, and uncontaminated which is especially difficult since it is widely used to hold food.

Experts believe that it may take styrofoam anywhere between 500 and 1 million years to naturally decompose. Most of the product ultimately ends up in landfills and water bodies. Once consumed by microorganisms such as plankton or smaller fish, these contaminated particles enter the food chain, dangerously affecting our health.

Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health will take the responsibility of regulating the ban on styrofoam in the country and will impose sanctions if required.

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MAY 8, 2018



This NYC Luxury Building Has the Air-Purifying Power of 500 Trees

Is it the future of clean air or a ploy to sell more apartments?

A new 25-story residential building in New York City’s trendy SoHo neighborhood is making headlines. Like so many new high-rises in downtown Manhattan, the cheapest available apartment at 570 Broome Street is listed for more than $1 million. But it’s not the price of the units in the building that has people talking — it's the material on its facade.

Take Action: Ensure All Communities Can Withstand Climate Disaster

Garanticemos que todas las comunidades puedan soportar desastres climáticos

The building’s exterior is coated with a spray-on solution called Pureti, which actively clears the air of pollution. According to Quartz, 570 Broome has enough Pureti to give it the air-purifying power of 500 trees, which is the equivalent of taking 2,000 cars off the road for a year.

Pureti’s main ingredient is titanium dioxide, a “photocatalytic” compound that reacts with ultraviolet rays to kickstart two different three-step chemical processes that convert harmful gases into harmless ones. These processes naturally repeat millions of times per second, effectively cleansing the air around the building.

The solution can be used on more than just buildings’ exteriors. Pureti spray has been developed for lighting fixtures, windows, fabrics, cars — anything that regularly gets direct exposure to light.


Titanium oxide-based photocatalytic technology has been in development since 2004, and numerous studies have demonstrated its effectiveness at chemically altering certain types of harmful particles; however, some more recent studies call into question the practicality of using such technologies on surfaces to combat air pollution.

A 2016 study on photocatalytic surfaces and nitrogen dioxide, a harmful gas, concluded that “it is not physically possible for large enough volumes of air to interact with the surface under normal atmospheric conditions.” Therefore, while these air-cleaning facades seem like a great idea, it’s unlikely they will “remove sufficient molecules” to impact the surrounding air quality.

The study also found that, over time, photocatalytic surfaces release harmful substances like nitrous acid and formaldehyde, which can negate the technology’s positive effects.

Just last year, French and Chinese scientists reported that, over time, titanium dioxide-based paints release carcinogenic compounds and nanoparticles into the air. Therefore, the technology’s current practicality for improving air quality is “dubious,” and “lots of effort is needed to make this technology viable for air quality improvement.”

Read More: Finland Has the Cleanest Air in the World, Report Finds

Despite the questions surrounding the efficacy of the technology, Pureti proponents are eager to see it used in cities across the world. Glen Finkel, the co-founder and president of Pureti, told Quartz that his product will soon be used on buildings in Spain, Argentina, and Turkey, and that he’s targeting China, Europe, Mexico, and the Middle East for future development.

Sustainable and green buildings are a particularly promising area for luxury real estate investors, veteran real estate broker Shlomi Reuveni told Mansion Global. “New technologies and sustainable technology will drive the market in years to come,” he said.

Tahir Demircioglu, the architect behind 570 Broome, views Pureti as “a win-win situation” for the environment and the real estate industry, as luxury developers in competitive markets with affordable housing crises like New York City look for ways to sell the peace of mind that comes with living in an eco-friendly building.

However, with the efficacy of high-profile sustainability technologies like Pureti still uncertain, it calls into question whether real estate developers actually have any interest in improving the environment, or whether they merely want to make their buildings seem eco-friendly.

Global Citizen campaigns on the United Nations’ Global Goals, which call on countries to provide clean air for their citizens. You can take action on this issue here.

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JUNE 8, 2018



Ikea Will Phase Out Single-Use Plastics From Its Stores by 2020

The Swedish furniture giant is going green.

Ikea doesn’t just want to make your home look better — it’s also hoping to make the world a better place.

In the past year, the furniture giant has started selling solar panel kits and donating mattresses to refugees, and now it’s doing its part to tackle the world’s massive plastic problem.

The Swedish company announced on Thursday that it will phase out single-use plastic products — including straws, cups, plates, and bags — from its stores and restaurants globally by 2020.

“Our ambition is to become people and planet positive by 2030 while growing the Ikea business,” Inter Ikea Group CEO Torbjörn Lööf said in a press release.

Take Action: #SayNoToPlastic


The company’s pledge to phase out plastic follows the European Union’s recent announcement of its plan to ban 10 types of single-use plastic items.

Ikea has big plans for 2020. The furniture-maker previously promised to swap oil-based plastics in its products for plastics made from recycled materials by August 2020, and plans to be 100% renewable by then, too. It’s already invested $2 billion in renewable energy and installed approximately 750,000 solar panels on its buildings, CNN Money reported.

The company also aims to achieve zero emissions by 2025, according to the BBC.

Plastic pollution is a massive problem that can be devastating to both marine life and life on land. More than 75% of the plastic that has ever been made has been thrown away. And much of that plastic makes its way to the ocean where marine creatures mistakenly consume it or become ensnared in it. An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans every year — that’s approximately one full garbage truck of plastic every minute.

Read more: The ‘Pepsi Lobster’ Isn’t Alone. These 5 Other Animals Were Harmed by Plastic

But it’s not just plastic waste that’s harmful to the planet; it’s also the production of the material. Producing plastic creates a large carbon footprint, and relies on the use of oil and fossil fuels, the extraction of which damages the environment and contributes to climate change.

“Through our size and reach we have the opportunity to inspire and enable more than one billion people to live better lives, within the limits of the planet,” Lööf said.

Global Citizen campaigns to protect the environment and halt climate change. You can take action here to help preserve our planet by encouraging companies and people to find alternatives to plastic.

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These 10 books are inspiring our activists to take action



Join the fight against extreme poverty

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Staying optimistic in the face of adversity can be challenging. As activists, sometimes we need a boost to keep fighting the good fight. Our UK Youth Ambassadors have recommended the books that they turn to when they need a pick-me-up. From inspirational autobiographies to captivating anthologies, they’ve got you covered!

I-am-Malala-1.jpgI am Malala by Malala Yousafzai 
It demonstrates that you are never too young to become an activist or to make a difference in the world. It also explores key issues facing girls across the world particularly in terms of education. I became more motivated to study and embrace the educational opportunities offered to me as a girl in the UK. — Laura Webb, Brighton

Brave-Not-perfect-2.jpgBrave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani 
From a young age, we are conditioned to stay in our lane rather than taking risks, pushing our boundaries and doing things that terrify us. In this book, Reshma Saujani breaks this mindset down. My take away? You may not always get your way in activism, but you can keep trying, and, even if I fail, at least I tried. Now, when I find myself making excuses not to do something scary, or punishing myself for making mistakes, I stop and remind myself: I’m brave, not perfect. — Abigail Mattingly, Buckinghamshire

Feminists-Dont-Wear-Pink-1-.jpgFeminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies edited by Scarlett Curtis
The empowerment found in girls supporting girls is a movement that I hope to play a part in. Seeing the impact that a group of determined women can have when they come together gives me hope for the future and inspires me to make my mark through activism and campaigning. — Hannah Davis, London

Inferior by Angela Saini
This book challenges gender equality from a completely new angle by testing social perceptions of both men and women. It explores a variety of questions through the eyes of science, covering topics like nurturing stereotypes and the taboo questions surrounding dominance. Reading this arms you with new perspectives and in some ways causes you to question your own assumptions and go-to arguments. Never before have I found myself frustrated with Charles Darwin. — Ella Reilly, Portsmouth

Becoming-1.jpgBecoming by Michelle Obama
Former First Lady, Michelle Obama teaches us to stand fierce in the face of self-doubt and opposition. She has taught me that anyone can reach their goals, regardless of religion, gender or something as trivial as the colour of your skin. She speaks of female empowerment fervently, encouraging us women to fight relentlessly for equal rights and the recognition we deserve. It truly is a book for anyone looking to be inspired in any part of their life. — Sarah Jabir, London

Half the Sky by Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas D. Kristof
This book highlights experiences of injustice faced by women across the globe. The emotional stories shared by individuals are powerful motivators to try and promote better situations for people worldwide. The equality gap illustrated in this book shows we have work to do and provides some information on how to get up and actually take action. — Amy Randles, Leeds

Eleanor-Park-1.jpgEleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell 
Although a fictional novel, I felt a great empathy for Eleanor and her family. I would recommend this book as it demonstrates how nobody truly knows what somebody has going on in their daily life or in their own home. One thing I took away from this book was to be kind always, and sometimes all somebody needs is for someone to listen to them. — Shannon Leigh Mullally, Coventry

Learning Activism by Aziz Choudry
A good summary of the intellectual sides of being an activist, a man who is well experienced shares his experiences to help a new generation. — James Hensman, Fareham

Watch-Us-Rise-1.jpgWatch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan
This easy read is written from the point of view of two young campaigners and covers the issues they find with campaigning for gender equality in their (supposedly) forward-thinking school. It’s an inspiring and interesting read for young campaigners and touches lightly on major issues in a relatable way. — Ione Gildroy, Leicestershire

A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa by Howard W. French
It’s important to know the history of the countries and continents you’re advocating for. One thing I would take away from the book is that there is always more than meets the eye and there is a reason for everything. It explores the internal and external factors that have led African countries to where they are today and how we can get involved with its progress going forward. No matter your knowledge, it’ll show you a different view worth exploring. — Trudy Kirabo, Sittingbourne

The White Album by Joan Didion 
Reading Didion trying to make sense of unthinkable situations and what she has no control over feels strangely familiar and oddly comforting. She manages to put words on those confused feelings you get when we hear horrifying breaking news or experience social unrest. I’ve found reading her personal take on those decades of the 20th century is a great way to understand better the influence of those years on today’s social and political landscape. — Adeline Amar, Edinburgh

Looking for more great reads? Check out the booksguaranteed to change your world view recommended by our Policy Team!

ONE welcomes the contributions of guest bloggers but does not necessarily endorse the views, programs, or organisations highlighted.

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JUNE 24, 2019



I Worked With a Community in Tanzania to Create a Film About Teenage Pregnancy

Filmmaker Justin Spray explores "poverty porn", girls' education, and the power of stories.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
One of the UN's Global Goals focuses on ensuring that everyone can access education — and this is particularly an issue that impacts girls and women. Unplanned pregnancy is a serious obstacle for teenage girls, and it can often mean an end to their schooling. Here, filmmaker Justin Spray discusses his efforts to support a community in Tanzania tell their story Join the movement by taking action for UN Global Goal 4 for education here

By Justin Spray

Earlier this month, I sat in the final presentation at the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver as Katja Iverson, CEO, presented us all with a challenge: how will we use our power? 

A theme of the conference was that we all have the power to instigate change. For some of us it may only be small amounts of power, but we can all use this to make a difference in our communities.

This is a question that I have asked myself many times over the last 18 months. I’m a volunteer filmmaker for the development charity, VSO, currently working in Tanzania to create films that communicate the impact of the organisation’s work.

Ayuda a mantener a las niñas afectadas por las crisis humanitarias en la escuela

I’m part of a trade — charity filmmakers — that has been challenged over the last few years to look at how we portray the world we are seeking to support. 

Comic Relief’s approach received criticism earlier this year for broadcasting a film featuring celebrity and documentary maker, Stacey Dooley. And in 2017 Ed Sheeran’s film for Comic Relief received a "Rusty Radiator" award, given to the "most offensive and stereotypical fundraising video of the year". 

We are often accused of making development porn – videos which exploit the poor’s condition in order to increase charitable donations or support for a cause.

Speaking to the House of Commons International Development Committee a few weeks ago, the founder of Comic Relief, Richard Curtis, set out the dilemma as he sees it. 

Related StoriesJan. 24, 201910 Barriers to Education Around the World

“What I'm searching for year by year is new ways of telling the stories,” he said. “Traditionally, the sadder the film, the more money it makes. But I'm sure there must be a solution where you show such radiant joy and success that that would encourage you to give more money.”

Curtis has committed to moving away from celebrity-led films, but I think the issue is deeper than that.

VSO’s approach to development is to be led by the communities it seeks to support, so when I was recruited to make films for them last year, it felt quite natural that this should be the approach I adopted in making films. 

Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 10.40.29.pngImage: Justin Spray/VSO, from the film 'Tabu'

I quickly appreciated why so many films we see about the global south feature people from the global north speaking on behalf of those they support, with a few cutaways to a classroom or apparently poor people standing in groups staring at the camera.

It’s much easier to do it that way and often very difficult to do it in any other way. This is especially true when a film crew is flown in for a few days, does not speak the local language, and has to capture a story as quickly as possible before being flown out again.

Having the luxury of being a volunteer working with a community for several months changes everything. 

I have been fortunate to be able to slowly discover the stories of the primary actors – those that benefit from the work that VSO undertakes. I think the label is very instructive. While traditional fundraising and awareness-raising films often unintentionally present people as passive recipients of support, the reality, of course is that we all seek to be agents of our own destiny.

As well as being a filmmaker, I am a chartered psychologist. If my profession has taught me nothing else, it has shown me that we all seek to be actors not audiences in our own lives. 

But if we are not given a voice, and are simply observed, it is easy for people to see us as having no agency.

Related StoriesJan. 24, 2018Tanzania Arrested 5 Schoolgirls for Being Pregnant

And so we have resolutely sought to provide people with a voice. Sometimes this is messy. It’s always complex. 

Perhaps when we are making films, we are not told not what want to hear, like Issa’s story. Issa is from the island of Pemba off the coast of Tanzania. He wanted to re-enact on film an incident when he was attacked by a neighbour with a machete over a bunch of bananas.

It’s not a comfortable film and not one I would have ever have had the idea to make to promote a farming project, but Isaa wanted people to know how he had grown following the incident that left him with only one arm. 

Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 10.41.25.pngImage: Justin Spray/VSO, from the film 'Tabu'

He now trains other farmers to produce greater crop yields, and his farming cooperative was supported by VSO. He’s thankful for that but it was his agency that made it happen.

We also know that stories engage us in a way that facts can’t. 

Aristotle in his ancient Greek text Rhetoric taught us long ago that by combining logic and emotion, the audience are more engaged and so are more likely to react to what they are presented with. 

While many awareness films seek to tell us what is happening in a project, community, or country, they often fail to convey why we should care.

Related StoriesDec. 12, 2018Tanzania's Sexist Laws Cut Off Thousands of Women From Quality Education

My attendance at Women Deliver was to present a film, Tabu, I made with a community in Lindi, southern Tanzania. The focus of a VSO project there is on unplanned pregnancy among girls and young women. 

A local volunteer group decided that they wanted to make a film with their community so that they could take their messages to a wider audience.

Volunteers gathered testimony from young women and together we made a short film. 

The difference for this film was that we took a bold step to make a fiction. We filmed in the streets, homes and schools of Lindi — the cast and cast and crew was drawn from teachers, students, bus drivers, an entire village. 

Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 10.41.54.pngImage: Justin Spray/VSO, from the film 'Tabu'

I was the only member of the team with any experience in filmmaking. It wasn’t easy. A more experienced team filming in the UK where I typically work would have found it demanding, but the difference here was that the story was their story and they wanted people to know about it. 

They want to be heard. So they pushed themselves to learn how to use the equipment, to find locations, to stretch themselves in acting roles.

I think the film they created is very powerful. 


Tabu Trailer from Justin Spray on Vimeo.

After we screened it for the first time, Mwaiija Mohammed, the young woman who plays the lead character in the film, expressed her excitement and disbelief.

“For real, I felt so excited,” she told me. “I felt like I had accomplished a dream because I never believed the film would be shown to the community. I thought it was just a joke, but then in the end the film was even shown to a government minister.”

It has some difficult images and the themes of exclusion from school following pregnancy are challenging. 

But they are the reality the community chose to convey and, crucially, they wanted to tell the world what they are doing about it, how they are changing the narrative. 

As a fiction piece it moves audiences in a way that a factual piece setting out the data would struggle to do.

We screened the film to an invited audience of leaders in Dar es Salaam, the main city in Tanzania, on a huge screen we had built. 

Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 10.42.08.pngImage: Justin Spray/VSO, from the film 'Tabu'

Some of the audience members shed a tear as they watched the film. The lives of rural girls had been brought much closer to the urban decision makers. 

After the credits rolled, Mwaija took her place at the front of the audience. The hairs on my arms stood up as this young woman who months before had said she had never seen a film, addressed government ministers and NGO heads about the realities of pursuing an education as a girl in rural Tanzania. 

Mwaija had seized the opportunity to ensure her voice was heard. Afterwards she said how proud she felt to have had the confidence to speak up in front of a minister.

Related StoriesAug. 24, 2018Thomson Reuters FoundationSierra Leone Is Banning Pregnant Girls From Going to School

Which brings me back to how I use my power. I’m a white man from the UK, 51 years old. I have asked myself if it is even appropriate for me to be making films in the global south about the challenges faced there.

It’s not a perfect way forward and as I develop the skills of local filmmakers to create their own films, I hope that I will be able to step back from the work.

In the meantime I believe that these films continue to be an important way to connect audiences with important subject matter, and I aim to continue to use my power to provide a voice to people who otherwise may never be heard. 

If I can do that even a little bit then I hope I’m using my privileges wisely.

  • You can see the full 15-minute film here

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