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The Action Thread Part Two

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JUNE 25, 2019

 

 
 
CITIZENSHIP

These Teens Are Banned from Their School Prom for Protesting Climate Change

Their parents say they are devastated and show that “young people are not apathetic."


Why Global Citizens Should Care
All across the world, a growing movement is demanding action to curb the climate crisis. This movement has been led by the front by young people, teenagers, and children, giving up days of their own education to get their voices heard — and we believe young people's activism is essential in shaping a better world. Join the movement by taking action here to support the UN's Global Goals and help protect the environment. 

Three school friends have been told they can't go to their end-of-year prom because they took part in a school climate strike earlier this year.  

The 16-year-olds Ellie Kinlock, Tyler McHugh, and Isobel Deady, from Lancashire in England, are said to be devastated by the punishment and their parents feel the school has tried to “make an example of them”. 

 

The climate-conscious pupils decided to go on the Youth Strike 4 Climate march in Manchester on May 24, following the movement’s worldwide attention — inspired by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, who started a school strike last year.

 
Tuitea Ahora:
Educar a las niñas fortalece la lucha contra el cambio climático
PASA A LA ACCIÓN

The point of the walk-outs has been to send a message to adults that children and teenagers feel their future is so at risk that they feel un-motivated to study until adults actually take action on halting climate change. 

Peter Mayland, the girls' headteacher at Albany Academy in Chorley, Lancashire, has said however that the protest counts as a "unauthorised absence".

 

On the 24th of May, three young activists joined thousands of others in protesting the climate crisis. Their school responded by banning them from attending prom. This punishment is harsh & unjustified, please sign this petition to overturn this decision. http://chng.it/MChqnmGRGZ 

 
 
 
 

So the students and their parents have gone to the media to raise awareness of their situation, and protest the decision. 

They argue that they informed the school of their plan to participate in demonstrating and feel that it should have been considered “an exceptional circumstance”.  

Related StoriesMay 3, 2019Here's What London's Extinction Rebellion Protests Were Really Like. And What Comes Next.

Speaking to the Independent, the families say they have suggested different ways they could be disciplined for the absence, such as paying a fine, being put in detention, or doing an environmental project to help the school. But the headteacher hasn’t changed the decision. 

Janine Deady, Isobel’s mother, said: “We hear so often that young people are apathetic but it’s not the case. The girls are an example of that.”  

Deady added that her daughter "had decided to join the protest after seeing a lot of things in the media about environmental damage, including the Our Planet documentary with Sir David Attenborough.” 

She said: “Isobel considered very carefully taking the day off for the strike action, it was not taken lightly at all.”

Related StoriesFeb. 18, 2019What's Next for the Climate Activists Who Skipped School to Protest?

Meanwhile Karen Kinloch, Ellie's mother, said that parents were not informed that they would be disciplined to this extent.

"If they had told me in advance I would have made a decision. We've spent £500 on Ellie for the prom in dresses, tickets, transport," she told the paper. "Ellie is devastated. We all are. We’ve never felt so strongly about anything like this."

She added that the teens were well-behaved and had only skipped school for something they really believe in. 

 

"They've done nothing wrong in five years at this school, they’ve never been in trouble once," Kinloch said. "You’ve got children [going to prom] with worse disciplinary records who have done far worse than skip school for something they believe in. We accept it as an unauthorised absence but we don’t accept the weight of the punishment.” 

Related StoriesJan. 25, 2019'Act as if the House Was on Fire': Teen Calls Out Davos Elite With Fierce Climate Activism

 

Mayland said in response: “Albany Academy has an excellent reputation based on the high standards we have, especially for students' attendance, behaviour, and safety."

He added: “Our rule on attendance during exams has been in place for many years: Year 11 children need to be in school to prepare fully for their GCSEs."  

The girls involved and their families have launched a petiton in a bid to have Mayland reverse his decision, that has been signed by more than 2,000 people. 

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JUNE 24, 2019

 

 
 
ENVIRONMENT

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is About to Undergo Round 2 of a Massive Cleanup

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch holds 80,000 tonnes of plastic and is larger than France.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Ocean plastic traps and kills thousands of marine animals each year. Animals that mistakenly ingest plastic and other debris can also choke on the hazardous materials and become ill or die. Groups like the Ocean Cleanup are teaming up to address plastic pollution and protect marine wildlife, helping to achieve the United Nations’ Global Goals. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch encompasses an area twice the size of Texas — or three times the size of France — but the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit dedicated to curbing plastic pollution in oceans, hopes to cut it down to size.

The group has reintroduced a device designed to collect and properly dispose of the enormous amounts of trash swirling around in the Pacific Ocean as part of its second ocean clean up attempt, the Associated Press reported

Boyan Slat, founder of the Ocean Cleanup, announced the redeployment of the 2,000-foot long, U-shaped floating device to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, in the region between California and Hawaii, on Twitter.

The cleanup device was deployed to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch for the first time last September, but during its four months at sea, suffered constant blows from strong waves and wind that damaged its equipment.

 

 
Firma ahora:
¡Previene la polución plástica en nuestros océanos!
PASA A LA ACCIÓN

 

The contraption was unable to retain the plastic it trapped due to the damage and was sent for repair, which took about four months to complete. Slat hopes its second deployment will prove more successful. 

“Hopefully nature doesn’t have too many surprises in store for us this time,” Slat tweeted. “Either way, we’re set to learn a lot from this campaign.”

Using traditional methods like vessels and nets to gather the waste could take thousands of years and billions of dollars to rid the ocean of all the plastic currently in it. The Ocean Cleanup says its new technology consisting of a 600-meter-long floater and a tapered 3-meter-deep skirt attached below will more efficient and cost effective. 

Slat dropped out of college at 18 to start the Ocean Cleanup and designed the waste-collecting device, which captures and holds plastic waste until it can be picked up and processed.

The cleanup system uses the natural force of the ocean’s currents to travel and is able to move faster than plastic waste floating on the ocean’s surface. The device’s U-shape, and its attached skirt, help trap the plastic in the center of the system. A support vessel functioning as a garbage truck collects and removes the trapped plastic every few months. The waste is then sent for recycling at facilities on land.

Natural ocean currents deposit floating plastic in five particular areas, called subtropical gyres or “ocean garbage patches,” around the world. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest of the five patches, with about with about 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic weighing an estimated 80,000 tonnes — equivalent to the weight of 500 jumbo jets.

About 80% of the debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch enters the ocean by way of land. The patch comprises mostly of plastic bags, bottles, and other consumer products. Fishing nets make up another 10% of the litter, while the rest stems offshore oil rigs and large cargo ships. Objects like hockey gloves, computer monitors, resin pellets, and LEGO — some of it left behind by recreational boaters — can also be spotted in the massive garbage pile.

Research conducted by the Ocean Cleanup shows that most of the floating plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is close to the surface. The organization wants to remove most of the plastic from the ocean before it breaks down into microplastics — plastic pieces smaller than five millimeters — and sinks below the surface making it difficult to extract. 

This ocean plastic enters the food chain by way of the smaller marine animals and insects that ingest them, negatively impacting many larger marine animals. 

"Even if you don’t care about the crabs and the larvaceans, they're the food of things you do care about – tuna, seabirds, whales, and turtles all feed on them, or feed on things that feed on them," Anela Choy, a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, told USA Today.

According to the Ocean Cleanup’s research, the floating device could clean up 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch every five years; however, marine biologists on the organization’s support vessel were unable to observe any environmental impact during the vessel’s first run last year.

Still, Slat hopes to eventually deploy 60 cleanup devices to help remove even more plastic debris, according to the Associated Press.

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Meet Gayle — our hilarious, smart AF CEO who wants to talk your ear off about things that really matter in her new series “Gabbing with Gayle.” In Episode 1, she’s tackling a question we get a lot: “What is ONE?”

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JUNE 24, 2019

 

 
 
HEALTH

Major Health Groups Call Climate Change a 'True Public Health Emergency'

“It’s harming our children’s health, our parents’ health, and people in the poorest communities.”

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Medical professionals have recently begun to urge policymakers to view climate change through the lens of public health. The United Nations’ Global Goals have followed this lead, and call on countries to protect the global environment to ensure people can survive and thrive. You can join us in taking action on this issue here

Climate change is rapidly becoming a public health emergency, 74 leading medical and public health groups said in a call to action released Monday.

Between powerful heat waves affecting more countries and disease-carrying pests entering new areas because of warmer weather, the health risks of climate change are multifaceted and grow more dangerous each year. In the statement, the medical groups said that political, business, and civic leaders have to take decisive action to curb greenhouse gas emissions to protect the welfare of citizens. 

“Climate change may well be harming plants, bees, and polar bears,” Ed Maibach, director of George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change and a lead author of the statement, told Global Citizen. 

“But it’s also harming the health of Americans and people around the world,” he added. “In particular, it’s harming our children’s health, our parents’ health, and people in the poorest communities. And that’s not OK.”

 
Firma:
Garanticemos que todas las comunidades puedan soportar desastres climáticos
PASA A LA ACCIÓN

The health professionals, who come from organizations including the American Medical Association and the American Heart Association, call for 10 policy changes to address climate change. 

First and foremost, they want the United States to recommit to the Paris climate agreement, which President Donald Trump infamously withdrew from last year

“Climate change is a global problem,” Maibach said. “Even though it’s felt locally, if we don’t address it globally, then we will never fundamentally stem the tide of this slowly unfolding public health emergency.” 

The group wants the country to enact a price on carbon and work toward phasing out fossil fuels in the transportation sector, two policies that have faced legislative resistance over the past decade. 

The effort to make vehicles more sustainable has recently come under attack by the Trump administration, which is trying to roll back a rule that would have forced automakers to develop more efficient cars. 

Other recommendations include promoting sustainable agriculture, ensuring the right to clean water and air, and helping workers in the fossil fuel industry transition to new careers. 

Solar panel technician, solar energy, solar powerImage: Stephen Yang / The Solutions Project

Read More: Climate Change Is Already Damaging the Health of Hundreds of Millions of People, Report Shows

By approaching the issue from a public health perspective, the medical groups could overcome the partisan divide that has long thwarted climate action in the US, according to Maibach.

>“Candidates at all levels of government would be very wise to lean in and pledge to adopt climate and health solutions,” he said. “Climate solutions are health solutions and health solutions are climate solutions.”

The announcement isn’t the first time medical professionals have warned that climate change has an often overlooked public health component.

The World Health Organization considers climate change the greatest health risk of the 21st century, and the Medical Society Consortium on Climate Change and Health formed a few years ago to lobby for climate action in the US

In recent years, medical professionals have noted an abundance of health problems caused or exacerbated by climate change, underlining the fact that people depend on a stable and clean to survive and thrive.

As temperatures continue to rise around the world, more people are being subjected to blistering heat waves. Already this year, at least 36 people have died in India during a brutal heat wave that’s happening amid a severe drought. 

“More people die from heat waves in America and around the world than from most other weather events,” Maibach said. “It’s a surprisingly large number of people who are hospitalized and killed.”

Portugal-Wildfires-HERO.jpgImage: Armando Franca/AP

Read More: India’s 6th Biggest City Is Running Out of Water

Rising temperatures also make conditions more dry in parts of many countries, which raises the risk of wildfires and dust storms. These events, in turn, fill the air with harmful particles that can lead to a range of lung, heart, and other diseases. 

“A warmer environment actually creates more air pollution,” Maibach said. “It raises the ground-level ozone that we already have and bakes it into more concentrated levels of smog, which is incredibly harmful both in the short-term, precipitating more heart attacks and asthma attacks, but it’s also incredibly important in a chronic sense. It’s incredibly harmful to people’s brains, including the brains of children who aren’t born.”

Pests such as mosquitoes and ticks entering new areas each year are another side effect of warmer weather. By 2080, an additional 1 billion people could be exposed to deadly mosquito-borne diseases, and tick-borne diseases are rapidly increasing in the US. 

Extreme weather events made worse by climate change cause another set of health consequences. For example, extreme precipitation during a hurricane can cause chemical or wastewater facilities to become flooded, which could lead to water sources becoming contaminated.

Environmental-Photos-Of-The-Year-17.jpgImage: David J. Phillip/AP

Read More: A Rare Flesh-Eating Bacteria Is Spreading Because of Climate Change

Water sources will also be affected by changing precipitation patterns around the world, which could leave two-thirds of the global population without enough water by 2030. 

Many doctors have begun to notice the impacts of climate change among their patients, but Maibach said that the job of educating the public on the link between the environment and health should involve all sectors of society. 

“There’s no question that health care officials are consequential,” he said. “But now the highest leveraged way in which they can help solve this problem is to engage with political leaders, business leaders, and civic leaders.”

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NIÑAS Y MUJERES

El padre de Malala dice que quiere ponerle fin al patriarcado

"Estoy seguro de una cosa: el patriarcado es pura estupidez".

 

 

Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens 
Malala Yousafzai se ha convertido en una de las activistas de derechos humanos más importantes del mundo y ha realizado campañas globales para lograr el acceso universal a la educación. Su padre le inculcó valores feministas desde el principio, de acuerdo con el Objetivo Global 5 de las Naciones Unidas. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar acción sobre este tema aquí.

Ziauddin Yousafzai fue feminista mucho antes de que su hija, Malala, recibiera un disparo en la cabeza por parte de los talibanes simplemente por querer ir a la escuela.

 

De hecho, el padre de Malala adoptó una cosmovisión feminista incluso antes de que comenzara con su familia, y crió a sus hijos con valores igualitarios, según escribió en un artículo de opinión para Time la semana pasada.

 

El padre de la ganadora más joven del Premio Nobel utilizó la plataforma para pedir el fin del patriarcado e instó a los padres de todo el mundo a unirse a su esfuerzo. Para él, el desmantelamiento de un sistema misógino es una cuestión de sentido común.

 

"Estoy seguro de una cosa: el patriarcado es pura estupidez", escribió Yousafzai. “Los padres tienen un gran interés en desmantelarlo. Y nosotros, como activistas, debemos comunicárselo a ellos".

 

En el artículo de opinión, Yousafzai describe los efectos deformantes del patriarcado. Dice que obliga a los hombres a dedicar sus vidas a vigilar el comportamiento de las mujeres, mientras desperdician el potencial de las niñas en todas partes.

 
Tuitea Ahora:
Educar a las niñas fortalece la lucha contra el cambio climático
PASA A LA ACCIÓN


Mientras crecía en Pakistán, Yousafzai escribió que vio a sus hermanos recibir un trato preferencial y oportunidades a lo largo de su vida, mientras que sus hermanas obtuvieron restos literales y simbólicos. Dijo que este tipo de desigualdad se puede encontrar en países de todo el mundo.

 

"Incluso en países como los Estados Unidos y el Reino Unido, mientras que las niñas son educadas y a menudo tienen las mismas oportunidades que los niños, problemas como la desigualdad salarial, el acoso sexual y la misoginia siguen dañando las carreras y la vida personal de las niñas", escribió Yousafzai. "La infelicidad engendra infelicidad".

 

Durante la mayor parte de su vida, Yousafzai defendió los valores igualitarios junto a su esposa, pero estuvo solo en su búsqueda hasta que su hija Malala se convirtió en una de las feministas más destacadas del mundo.

 

La fama y la influencia de Malala se dispararon después de sobrevivir a un intento de asesinato por parte de los talibanes, pero ella estaba decidida a garantizar los derechos de las mujeres antes de ganar el Premio Nobel.

 

En estos días, Malala lucha incansablemente por los derechos de las mujeres y los derechos humanos.

 

Hizo campaña contra el genocidio de Rohingya, el terrorismo de Boko Haram y los países que cierran sus fronteras a los refugiados.

 

También escribió un libro feminista para niños y un día quiere romper el techo de cristal al convertirse en la primera ministra de Pakistán. Su organización, el Fondo Malala, está buscando asegurar que todas las niñas tengan acceso a la educación.

 

El padre de Malala ahora está haciendo lo que puede para apoyar el trabajo de defensa de su hija, y sigue siendo un feminista incondicional.

 

Dice que espera que el éxito de su hija inspire a otros padres a seguir sus pasos.

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With the excitement of yesterday's Rest and Recuperation arrivals, we didn't even get a chance to thank Chernobyl survivor and CCI Ambassador for her incredible interview on Ireland AM.

Missed it yesterday morning? Don't worry, you can catch up on Virgin Media Player at any time!

https://www.virginmediatelevision.ie/shows/irelandam/article/1.65.1482.1486/290689/?fbclid=IwAR0alZGmN2CdEaGrVdp5jAbbJuziltMe3wZQAdNl_8TSPvs5NGkvW48qbfQ

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AID AND DEVELOPMENT

This Senate committee just advanced a bill that will help reduce poverty

June 26 2019 | By: SADOF ALEXANDER

SIGN UP NOW

Support the Global Fragility Act of 2019

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Calling extreme poverty a “complicated problem” would be an understatement. There’s no one reason why it exists, which means there’s no one solution to solve it. But there is one clear step that Congress can take right now to reduce poverty and violence in fragile countries.

This week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Global Fragility Act of 2019 (S.727). The bill, which has already passed the House of Representatives, rethinks how we provide assistance to fragile states. This approach would not only save more lives, but also create a better future for those living in extreme poverty.

The Problem

There are currently more than 735 million people living in extreme poverty. Almost two-thirds (over 514 million) of these people are living in fragile and conflict-affected states. If we don’t take action, more than 80% of people living in extreme poverty will be concentrated in fragile states by 2030.

Countries and regions are considered fragile when they are unable to cope with shocks, like natural disasters or economic crises. When a shock happens in a fragile area, citizens are far too often caught in situations that make it even more difficult for them to escape extreme poverty.

In short: if we want to end extreme poverty, we must figure out how to address the root causes of fragility, and find a way to prevent crises before they happen. That’s exactly what the Global Fragility Act aims to do.

The Legislation

“This bipartisan bill will help modernize and shift our strategy to focus on crisis prevention, not response, to save more lives and create a better future for those living in extreme poverty,” said Tom Hart, North America Executive Director at ONE.

The bill calls on government agencies to work together to develop 10-year strategies, focusing on the root causes of fragility in specific countries. This creative approach would allow the United States to coordinate across agencies and more effectively reach vulnerable populations. Doing so will help reduce poverty, conflict, violence and corruption in fragile states.

This bill is a good step forward and would not have been possible without Chairman Jim Risch and Ranking Member Bob Menendez, as well as Senators Lindsey Graham, Chris Coons, Jeff Merkley, Marco Rubio and Todd Young, who introduced this smart proposal and helped cultivate strong bipartisan support for it.

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration. By lending your support for the Global Fragility Act, you can ensure that our leaders push this bill over the finish line and bring us one step closer to ending extreme poverty.

Support the Global Fragility Act of 2019

To end extreme poverty, we need to work better to help people in fragile states -- regions or states plagued with political and social conflicts. Experts predict that by 2030, nearly 80% of people living in extreme poverty will be in fragile states and regions.

This year, ONE is working to tackle the root causes of poverty by supporting The Global Fragility Act of 2019. This legislation will work to end the cycle of violence and corruption that traps people in extreme poverty around the world.

If passed, this bill will establish new U.S. strategies focused on crisis prevention, not response, to secure a better future for people living in extreme poverty.

Will you join us in supporting this critical piece of legislation?

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JUNE 27, 2019

 

 
 
HEALTH

Emeli Sandé & Hugh Laurie 'Join' Mandela & Gandhi for Short Film Combatting Malaria

Celebrities and historical icons feature in a new short film about the power of voices.


Why Global Citizens Should Care 
The UN Global Goal 3 calls for good health and well-being for everyone. Despite great progress in combatting malaria, a child is still killed by the entirely preventable disease every two minutes. Join the movement by taking action here to support global health efforts and help put an end to malaria.

A new short film features 21st-century celebrities alongside 20th-century icons who have changed history — all in the name of combatting malaria. 

Hugh Laurie, Emeli Sandé, Peter Capaldi, Noma Dumezweni, and Ncuti Gatwa all star in the film, alongside Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Emmeline Pankhurst, and Martin Luther King Jr. 

 

Malaria still threatens 219 million people every year, but your voice is more powerful. It’s time to speak up and make a change. Sign the voice petition to end #malaria for good http://petition.malariamustdie.com  #MalariaMustDie

 
 
 
 

The video has been created by the Malaria Must Die, So Millions Can Livecampaign, and it highlights the power of individual voices to shape the future.

In this case, it’s to shape a future without malaria. 

 
Sign Now:
Call on World Leaders to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria!
PASA A LA ACCIÓN
Más información

 

 
 
 

The campaign is calling on members of the public to join the fight by getting involved in the world’s first voice petition to end malaria. 

The individual voices collected as part of the petition will be crafted into a sound sculpture to share with world leaders ahead of the Global Fund’s three-year replenishment meeting on Oct. 10 in Lyon, France. 

The Global Fund is a nonprofit that leads the international fight against malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS, and the replenishment in October is a critical time for making sure that its work is properly financed. 

It aims to raise at least $14 billion for the Global Fund, which provides 60% of all international financing to support efforts in preventing, diagnosing, and treating malaria.

Related StoriesJune 24, 2019Elton John and President Macron Just Called on the World to Raise $14B to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria

Each of the famous faces featured in the Malaria Must Die short film has their own personal connection to malaria, with some having witnessed its devastation first-hand. 

“When I was younger, during the summers, my mum, my siblings, and I would go to visit my father who lived and worked in Cameroon,” says Sex Education actor Gatwa. “One summer, my sister caught malaria. 

“At first we mistakenly believed it to be flu, which in retrospect is a scary thought,” he added. “Thankfully she received treatment and got better however, unbelievably, malaria still claims the life of a child every two minutes.” 

Dumezweni, who played Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, added: “I spent my childhood living and travelling through malaria-affected countries eSwatini, Botswana, Kenya, and Uganda.” 

Related StoriesApril 24, 2019Meet the 27-Year-Old NHS Doctor Who's Driving Forward the Global Fight Against Malaria

“I am inspired to hear that deaths have since been significantly reduced in most of these countries,” she continues. “With your voice, we can be the generation to end malaria forever.” 

And for Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi, a 2015 trip to Malawi was a “life changer.” 

“I spent time in an overcrowded hospital where almost all the children had malaria,” he said. “I’ll never forget reading the hospital’s ‘death book’ — malaria claimed life after life. Real kids, no longer with us because they lacked basics to prevent and treat this curable disease.” 

He added that “it’s vital” the Global Fund is fully funded this year, in order to stop more entirely preventable deaths. 

The Malaria Must Die campaign was launched by David Beckham in April, and it’s designed to amplify the voices of those affected by malaria and give people around the world the chance to speak out against it.

“Millions of lives hang in the balance, dependent on the replenishment of this crucial fund, which is also critical to delivering the historic commitment made in 2018 to halve malaria in the Commonwealth by 2023,” said James Whiting, CEO of Malaria No More UK, the charity spearheading the Malaria Must Die campaign. 

Related StoriesApril 24, 2019The First-Ever Malaria Vaccine Program Just Launched in Malawi

“Halving malaria over the next five years is a vital step towards reaching the 2030 Global Goals — helping to unleash the massive potential of individuals, communities, and countries affected by the disease,” he added. 

The world has already made great progress against malaria. 

Since 2000, malaria deaths globally have been cut by more than 60% — saving almost 7 million lives, mainly children. 

Meanwhile, global efforts have also prevented 1.3 billion cases from developing, according to Malaria No More UK.

Related StoriesMay 23, 2019Algeria and Argentina Have Officially Eliminated Malaria

And just last month, Algeria and Argentina became officially recognised as being malaria-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO). That means that they proved they had interrupted indigenous transmission of the disease for at least three years running. 

But progress has stalled and the disease isn’t gone yet. 

Malaria remains one of the world’s leading killers, with many countries “seeing increasing numbers of cases,” according to Whiting. 

He warned: “History has shown us that malaria will return with a vengeance if efforts are not kept up. The crucial decisions made now by political leaders — backed by strong public support — will determine the future trajectory of this disease.” 

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Estas fotos capturan el activismo LGBTQ después de los disturbios de Stonewall

Autores: Olivia Kestin y Leah Rodriguez

18 de Junio de 2019

 
Diana Davies/NYPL
 

 

 

Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
Más de 70 países tienen leyes discriminatorias contra las personas LGBTQ. La exposición “Love and Resistance: Stonewall 50”, en la Biblioteca Pública de Nueva York, muestra lo que parece exigir un cambio y dinamizar un movimiento para lograr la igualdad de derechos. Puedes unirte a nosotros y tomar acción sobre este asunto aquí.

El 28 de junio de 1969, la policía allanó el Stonewall Inn, un bar gay en el vecindario de Greenwich Village de la ciudad de Nueva York. En ese momento, la homosexualidad era ilegal y el travestismo era un delito. La policía tenía el derecho de atacar y cerrar los bares si tenían clientes homosexuales, pero esa noche la comunidad LGBTQ decidió defenderse.

 

Las manifestaciones se tornaron violentas y continuaron durante varios días. Una nueva comunidad de activistas LGBTQ se intensificó y, como resultado, se formaron varios grupos por el Frente de Liberación Gay.

Pride_Stonewall50_NewYork_006-2.jpgIn June 1969, the Stonewall Inn was the site of famous riots that changed LGBTQ activism and American culture. Stonewall Inn is pictured here in 1969.
Image: Diana Davies/NYPL

 

La exposición "Love and Resistance: Stonewall 50", organizada por la Biblioteca Pública de Nueva York (NYPL), que se inauguró el Día de San Valentín 2019 en la ciudad de Nueva York, se podrá ver hasta el 13 de julio. La exposición muestra una robusta colección de fotografías y objetos sobre la historia LGBTQ para conmemorar el 50 aniversario de los disturbios, que se consideran un punto de inflexión importante en el movimiento internacional de derechos LGBTQ. Dividida en cuatro partes: resistencia, barras, impresos y amor, la exposición incluye fotografías, carteles y documentos originales que capturan los momentos históricos que cambiaron la conversación en torno a los derechos LGBTQ y las décadas de activismo que siguieron.

 

Jason Bauman, quien curó la exposición y editó un libro adjunto con el mismo nombre, le dijo a Global Citizen que la exhibición es una forma importante de ayudar a la comunidad LGBTQ a verse reflejada en la historia.

 

“Obtienes esta narrativa de los movimientos LGBTQ… Primero fue Stonewall, luego el SIDA (cuando todos se sintieron mal por los homosexuales), y finalmente el matrimonio gay. Pero en el medio existe todo este activismo político que tiene lugar", dijo Bauman sobre su motivación para realizar la curaduría sobre la muestra”.

 
Firma:
El mundo necesita datos sobre la comunidad LGBTI
 
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Después de Stonewall, los miembros del movimiento estudiantil contra la guerra, el movimiento por los derechos civiles y el movimiento del Black Power trajeron una nueva perspectiva al activismo LGTBQ. Los periódicos y revistas de bricolaje que se exhiben en la exposición ayudaron a difundir el movimiento en todo el mundo. Bauman espera que la exposición sirva como un recordatorio de los muchos temas que aún deben abordarse para garantizar que las personas LGBTQ sean iguales, desde la discriminación en el empleo hasta los derechos de voto.

 

Protest.


Daria Fane demonstrates for human rights at a protest at NYU's Weinstein Hall. 1970.
Diana Davies/NYPL

Protest.


Activists hold signs that read, "Gay liberation now" and "Out of the closets/into the streets," for Christopher Street Liberation Day in 1971.
Diana Davies/NYPL

Protest.


Barbara Gittings pickets at the White House in 1965 with a sign that reads, "Sexual preference is irrelevant to federal employment."
Kay Tobin Lahusen/NYPL

Protest.


Daria Fane demonstrates for human rights at a protest at NYU's Weinstein Hall. 1970.
Diana Davies/NYPL

Protest.


Activists hold signs that read, "Gay liberation now" and "Out of the closets/into the streets," for Christopher Street Liberation Day in 1971.
Diana Davies/NYPL

Protest.


Barbara Gittings pickets at the White House in 1965 with a sign that reads, "Sexual preference is irrelevant to federal employment."
Kay Tobin Lahusen/NYPL

Protest.


Daria Fane demonstrates for human rights at a protest at NYU's Weinstein Hall. 1970.
Diana Davies/NYPL

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"Todo este material de los años 70 merece una mirada fresca para ver cómo puede inspirar a la gente hoy en día", dijo Bauman. "No es algo nuevo, esto es lo que surgió después de Stonewall".

Las instantáneas de protestas resaltan a las organizaciones involucradas en el "movimiento homófilo", que exigió respeto e igualdad de derechos para todas las personas, independientemente de la identidad de género o la orientación sexual en los años 50 y 60. El movimiento surgió en respuesta al macartismo, una campaña contra presuntos comunistas por parte del gobierno de los Estados Unidos en los años 40 y 50, que mantuvo a las personas LGTBQ fuera de los empleos federales y militares.

Pride_Stonewall50_NewYork_005-2.jpgMarty Robinson and Tom Doerr are pictured during the Gay Activists Alliance's sit-in at the Republican State Committee on June 24, 1970, which requested that New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller address the demands of the gay community.
Image: Diana Davies/NYPL

 

Baumann dijo que es preocupante ver las similitudes entre las políticas recientes de Estados Unidos que prohíben el servicio militar a las personas trans y las de hace décadas, a pesar de lo lejos que han llegado los derechos LGTBQ desde entonces.

En los años sesenta y setenta, las organizaciones LGBTQ no solo se congregaron en piquetes y sentadas. “Stonewall 50” destaca la importancia de las fiestas de baile que se usaron como espacios alternativos a los bares ilegales de homosexuales que fueron objeto de hostigamiento por parte de las autoridades. Los fondos recaudados en estos eventos también apoyaron al movimiento.

 

A medida que los grupos de resistencia crecieron a raíz de los disturbios de Stonewall, la escena de la vida nocturna jugó un papel cada vez más crítico en el proceso de organización.

Pride_Stonewall50_NewYork_002.jpgCrowds dance at the Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse in 1971.
Image: Diana Davies/NYPL

Pride_Stonewall50_NewYork_014.jpgIn addition to political demonstrations, the Gay Activists Alliance also sponsored social events, including a softball team, members of which are pictured here. The photograph ran in Gay magazine with the caption: “Is Shea Stadium Ready for Our Team?”
Image: Kay Tobin Lahusen/NYPL

"Parte del activismo político implica crear una comunidad", explicó Baumann. "Eso es lo que siempre me preocupa que falta, especialmente con las redes sociales y la forma en que las personas se relacionan hoy en día".

 

Al armar la exposición, Baumann se dio cuenta de que no podía incluir solo fotos de manifestantes enojados. De hecho, el programa no incluye muchas fotos de los disturbios de Stonewall porque en realidad no se tomaron muchas durante el caos. Baumann decidió incluir imágenes que comprendan por lo que el movimiento LGTBQ ha estado siempre luchando: el amor.

Love.


A couple in Germantown, Pennsylvania, are pictured on their porch in 1977.
Kay Tobin Lahusen/NYPL

Love.


Men read Gay magazine in 1971.
Kay Tobin Lahusen/NYPL

Love.


Men kiss under a tree at the 1977 Integrity Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Kay Tobin Lahusen/NYPL

Love.


Jamen Butler (left) and Tom Malim (right) were supporters of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Philadelphia, now known as the William Way Center. Photographed in 1971.
Kay Tobin Lahusen/NYPL

Love.


Nancy Tucker and her partner wear coordinating "Butch" and "Femme" t-shirts at Christopher Street Liberation Day in 1970.
Kay Tobin Lahusen/NYPL

Love.


A couple in Germantown, Pennsylvania, are pictured on their porch in 1977.
Kay Tobin Lahusen/NYPL

Love.


Men read Gay magazine in 1971.
Kay Tobin Lahusen/NYPL

Love.


Men kiss under a tree at the 1977 Integrity Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Kay Tobin Lahusen/NYPL

Love.


Jamen Butler (left) and Tom Malim (right) were supporters of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Philadelphia, now known as the William Way Center. Photographed in 1971.
Kay Tobin Lahusen/NYPL

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Para los activistas en la década de 1970, las expresiones abiertas de amor y afecto en sus vidas cotidianas y en las protestas fueron actos políticos valientes. “Stonewall 50” presenta fotos íntimas de parejas tomadas por los fotoperiodistas pioneros Kay Tobin Lahusen y Diana Davies. Lahusen era conocido por fotografiar a parejas desde atrás para proteger las identidades de las personas que no hablaban sobre sus relaciones con personas del mismo sexo o que temían por su seguridad.

 

Al mostrar el alcance completo de los disturbios de Stonewall, Bauman espera que la exposición inspire a otros a tomar una posición contra las injusticias que aún se producen hoy en día.

 

"Quiero que la gente sepa lo que realmente se necesita para hacer una diferencia en el mundo", dijo. "No es que hubo una revuelta y luego el mundo cambió".

Traducción: Erica Sánchez

Pride_Stonewall50_NewYork_010.jpgThe Gay Liberation Front marches on Times Square in New York in 1970.
Image: Diana Davies/NYPL

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GIRLS AND WOMEN

Scoring goals for gender equality in France

28 June 2019 4:43PM UTC | By: GAYLE SMITH

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An open letter to leaders

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Something big is happening with the Women’s World Cup. People are starting to take notice. Thanks to the success the US team has had, women’s soccer is getting more and more popular in the United States — and the team is favourite to win in France again this year — but other parts of the world are starting to pay attention too.

I’m back from London, where people are seriously excited about England’s chances. They even showed the quarterfinal match with Norway on the big screens at Glastonbury so music and sports fans could embrace “The Lionesses” together. Although such scenes aren’t unusual when the men’s team is involved in major games, this isn’t normally the case for their female counterparts. For a country that is truly mad about the sport, it’s surprising how long it’s taken people in England to truly embrace the women’s game.

That’s what’s great about the World Cup — people coming together, tearing down stereotypes, and celebrating women’s achievements. And as we get better at acknowledging female talent around the world, it makes it just a bit harder for people to defend sexism, maintain the status quo, or stand in the way of our relentless march towards gender equality.

But that doesn’t mean things are perfect in the world of women’s soccer. The US team — the biggest and most successful in the world — is taking legal action against their own employers to push for equal pay. And in Africa, many women continue to fight social stigma and economic pressures for the right to play the game at all. And guess what? No African team has made it to the quarterfinals. You think there might be a connection there?

Sadly, this reflects the world beyond soccer. We are a long, long way from achieving real gender equality — 108 years, or another 27 World Cups, to be exact. The problem is worse in the poorest parts of the world, where women carry the biggest burden of poverty and disease. This is a global shame, and the world needs to up its game, fast.

The good news is that world leaders have the opportunity to do something about this. When Heads of State meet at the G7 Summit in France this August, these leaders — whose countries represent over half the world’s net wealth — have the opportunity to take true steps to end gender inequality for good.

Addressing this challenge is a huge task, but if leaders seize this moment the rewards will be immense. Just imagine how we could all benefit from unlocking the full potential of over half the world’s population. That’s why we’re pushing for real progress, not empty promises, at this critical Summit.

In just a few days, we will be able to celebrate a winning World Cup team, but we still can’t celebrate a single country that has achieved gender equity. That’s why we are fighting to ensure that the biggest goal for women in 2019 isn’t scored in Lyon on 7th July – but in Biarritz this August. You can help make that happen by telling world leaders what our goals are, and make sure they act so that we all win.

Sign the open letter to stand with women and girls everywhere!

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HEALTH

Why global health is good for everyone

4 April 2019 8:57PM UTC | By: KATIE RYAN

ADD YOUR NAME

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

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What is global health?

It’s a big year for global health so ONE is going to be talking about it a lot. But before we jump into the nitty gritty statistics or the importance of getting funding for the world’s most innovative partnerships, let’s talk about what global health actually is!

Global health is about improving people’s health worldwide, reducing inequality and, protecting societies from global threats, such as preventable diseases, that don’t stop at national borders.

So why is it important?

We are at a tipping point. In 2017, nearly one million people died from AIDS-related causes globally and another 1.8 million contracted HIV. After 10 years of steady decline, malaria is back on the rise, especially among children under 5 years old, who account for two-thirds of all malaria deaths. Though more than 10 million people contract TB every year, nearly 40% of those are “missed” – that is almost 4 million people left undiagnosed, untreated, and therefore, contagious.

As a global community, we all benefit when our neighbours are healthy. Access to prevention and treatment should be a right, not a privilege. Yet, so many of our community members cannot enjoy this right because of prohibitive costs, distance, or stigma and discrimination.

If people can access affordable healthcare, they can invest in bettering their community: kids can attend school, adults can pursue careers, families can enjoy their time together, the list goes on. Quality of life skyrockets when prevention and treatment are affordable and accessible.

Human rights always come first. But it is important to realize that ensuring our global community is healthy, educated and empowered has another benefit: economic growth. Failing to protect health could quickly thwart this potential. The 2014 Ebola epidemic is a staggering illustration of the economic consequences of just one outbreak of disease: in 2015, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone lost US$2.2 billion in gross domestic product, threatening economic stability and private sector growth in the region.

We know that investments made in health today will pay dividends tomorrow.

  • Every US$1 invested in immunisation, for example, leads to a return of US$60.
  • Every US$1 invested in reducing malaria infections delivers a return of US$36.
  • Every US$1 invested in health spending for the world’s poorest leads to a return of US$13.

Simply put, health is a smart investment with big returns.

Where do we go from here?

Health has been one of the most recognised and celebrated success stories in global development since the turn of the 21st century. This progress has not happened by accident. It has been driven largely by new public-private collaborations, breakthrough commitments to increase investments in health alongside greater investment from national governments, and passionate citizen activism.

This is a proud legacy that should be celebrated as a benchmark for what is possible. But it stops well short of being an indicator for future gains. Progress will not continue, and could go into reverse, if our global community, including world leaders, do not commit to looking out for our neighbours.

The Global Fund is one of the best weapons we have to fight AIDS, TB and malaria. The Fund supports programs run by local experts in the countries and communities that need it most – helping to save 27 million lives so far. To help save another 16 million lives between 2021-2023, the Global Fund needs to raise at least US$14 billion by its Replenishment Conference this October.

We must not stall progress now. Are you up for the challenge?

Add your name to tell world leaders they must back this bold partnership. Then share the action with your family and friends.

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MEMBERS IN ACTION

5 things you can do to make the world a better place in 2019

19 December 2018 6:57PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

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Join the fight against extreme poverty

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To say there’s a lot going on in the world right now might be an understatement. That’s why we’re vowing to be bigger, better and bolder in our fight to make the world a better place in 2019. But, creating big change requires a group effort and we’ll need you to get involved!

Here are 5 things you can do to make sure we start tipping the scales:

Find a cause.

Start the new year off on the right foot by supporting the cause (or causes!) you believe in. Not sure where to start? Here are a few of our favourite organisations that fight for causes we can get behind: The Nadia Initiative, Love Our Girls, New Faces New Voices, Restless Development, the African Women’s Development Fund, and Global Fund for Women.

Learn something new.

Educating yourself is one of the first steps you can take to make the world a better place. Set aside time in the new year to learn about the issues that get you fired up and seek out a better understanding of how your involvement can help push a movement forward.

Start conversations.

Put your newly acquired knowledge to the test by engaging in conversations about the issues at hand with everyone (think grandparents, best friends, classmates, workout buddies, etc.) you know. Speaking to others is one of the best ways to gain insight into how other people feel and can give you the power to understand what barriers lay in the way of solving the issue and where opportunities exist to leverage change. Plus, it’s a great way to spread information to people who may not otherwise have been reached!

Participate.

Participation in change making is all about giving one thing: time. Here are a few ways you can get involved: sign a petition, volunteer, show up to the march, write a letter to the editor or follow your favourite organisations on social media.

Get out of your comfort zone.

Here’s the truth: fighting to make the world a better place isn’t always the most comfortable task. But if there was ever a time when the world needed its citizens to challenge themselves and fight for what’s right, it’s now. We have some big issues to tackle and your actions and voice are important to creating change and holding our leaders accountable. The good news is determining how far out of your comfort zone you go is up to you.

Fired up? Become a ONE Member to get in on our world-changing actions in 2019.

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YOUTH AMBASSADORS

These 10 books are inspiring our activists to take action

7 June 2019 4:30PM UTC | By: ONE YOUTH AMBASSADORS

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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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Foto de Chernobyl Children International.

Foto de Chernobyl Children International.

A big thank you to Tralee junior parkrun Tralee parkrun for once again giving Angelina a true 'Kingdom' welcome this morning!

This is the third year that these volunteers have gone above and beyond to make sure Angelina has a great time in Tralee, along with her loving host family.

Go raibh míle maith agat!

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CITIZENSHIP

Oklahoma Woman Volunteers to Be Stand-In Mom at LGBTQ Weddings

Sara Cunningham also offers “free mom hugs” at Pride marches and festivals.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Same-sex marriage remains illegal in several states throughout the US. But actions like the one this mom has taken increase LGBTQ acceptance, curb violence, and reduce inequalities throughout the nation. You can join us in taking action on this issue and the rest of the UN’s Global Goals here.

A Midwestern woman is offering to be a stand-in mom at the LGBTQ weddings of strangers.

Sara Cunningham, who hails from Oklahoma, wants to be a source of comfort to couples whose families have not yet accepted their relationship, reports CBS News.

Related StoriesJune 22, 201815 LGBTQ Activists of the Past and Present You Should Know

"If you need a mom to attend your same-sex wedding because your biological mom won't, call me. I'm there," Cunningham wrote in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.

Up to 1.6 million young people experience homelessness in the United States every year, and 40% of them identify as LGBTQ, according to a 2012 studyconducted by the Williams Institute at UCLA Law.

The figures illustrate the harsh challenges many young queer individuals face in seeking acceptance from family members.

To wit, 46% of homeless LGBTQ youths ran away due to family rejection of their sexual orientation or gender identity, while 43% were forced out by their parents, the study noted. Yet another 32% faced physical, emotional, or sexual abuse at home, reported the Washington Post.

Cunningham is no stranger to LGBTQ activism. She told CBS News that ever since her son, Parker, first came out to her at the age of 21, she undertook her own journey of understanding and acceptance via private Facebook groups. She also wrote a book to help other mothers struggling to accept their LGBTQ children: How We Sleep at Night: A Mother's Memoir.

Related StoriesJune 25, 2018NYC Pride Marchers Tell Us What They Want Our Generation to Fight For

But it was after attending her first Pride march that Cunningham encountered stories of individuals being disowned by their families due to their sexual orientation.

The experience inspired her to begin offering “Free Mom Hugs” to anyone who wanted or needed one at subsequent Pride events, and spawned a support group of 3,000 members under the same name, noted CBS News.

She has since become ordained as an officiant and has officiated at 12 LGBTQ weddings.

“Many of the weddings I officiate, I'll say, 'How are your parents? Are they accepting?' And they say, 'Well, I don't know if I'll invite them or not, they don't acknowledge my relationship,'" Cunningham told CBS News.

It was such instances that prompted her to volunteer to be a "stand-in mom" at weddings, too.

"I'll be your biggest fan,” she wrote. “I'll even bring the bubbles."

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GIRLS AND WOMEN

This award-winning journalist is committed to fighting FGM

25 June 2019 12:22PM UTC | By: SADOF ALEXANDER

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In 2017, a group of five Kenyan teenagers, known as “The Restorers,” began an innovative project: developing an app that would combat female genital mutilation (FGM). Their app, I-Cut, helps girls at risk of FGM find rescue centers, while also providing medical and legal advice to those already affected. Their story took the world by storm, getting picked up by news sources worldwide. But, what happened after the buzz, where are they now, and why did the world forget about them?

These are the kinds of questions the 2019 Michael Elliott Award winner, Dorcas Wangira, sought to answer. Her report “The App and the Cut” dives into the issue of FGM, and shows where The Restorers are now in developing I-Cut.

Making a Career in Stories

When Wangira thought of her future as a child, she knew that writing would be a key component. However, she did not always know what form that would take.

“I wanted to be a storyteller. I love to tell stories … I didn’t exactly think that I would ever be in a newsroom, but I knew I was going to tell stories.”

While in college, it clicked that she could make a career in journalism. She credits the start of her career to an award she won in 2014—also on FGM. The award led to an internship in a newsroom, which became a job one year later.

Telling stories about women and girls, and the issues they face, comes naturally to Wangira:

“When you tell stories about women and girls, they come from the heart. They come from your experience. They come from your life history, and you identify with the problems that women and girls face.”

She views journalism as a public service and takes that responsibility seriously. Her work reflects her devotion to sparking change and advocating on vital issues like FGM.

Completing The Restorers’ Story

When she first learned about their story, Wangira was in awe of The Restorers. Aside from her interest in the story, she personally wanted to connect with them.

“I was starstruck at first because they’re so young. I don’t know what I was thinking when I when I was sixteen, (but) I wasn’t thinking about global problems … I wanted to meet them personally, not just because of the story, but as people. We became friends.”

Starstruck feelings aside, Wangira felt that the story of The Restorers was not yet over. Though she was impressed by their story, she noticed that most of the reports that came out about them had the same basic information in them.

“If you looked at some of the reports, they were all similar. There wasn’t anything outside of ‘oh, they’re developing the app. They’re going to America.’ … Not many people actually got to meet them and sit down with them and look at what they had done. It was basically just feeding off of one big report.

“The story was not complete. There was still so much that people needed to know.”

Wangira wanted to fill the gaps left by other reporters. She saw that The Restorers were frustrated with the underreporting of their story. After they returned from America, news outlets had lost interest in keeping up with their work. For a time, they lost hope in finishing the app.

Her report helped to revitalize their determination and help them with development. Now, The Restorers are looking for new partners to help them continue progress on their app.

The Challenges of Combatting FGM

Although the work that The Restorers are doing is essential, it’s only one part of a much bigger issue. Wangira expresses that there is no silver bullet to ending FGM because it’s an ever-evolving issue.

“FGM is so complex. It’s like a Hydra—a monster that has seven heads. You’re trying to cut off one, you still have six more, and the one grows back.”

She’s hopeful that an end to FGM is possible, but it will be an uphill battle that will need many different approaches. She believes that awareness and strengthening legal systems are essential. She mentions the importance of approaching FGM as a health issue, involving men in the fight, creating global partnerships, and utilizing technology. Above all else, she stresses that there cannot be a single fix-all to ending the practice.

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of solution. Different communities have different reasons for doing it, and different countries have different reasons for doing it … We need to have different approaches for different communities.”

Writing Ahead

Wangira views stories as a valuable and essential force in the world. She believes in the power stories have to influence, inform, and shape the world in positive ways.

“Stories are powerful because, first of all, stories humanize people … they help to shed light on what’s really happening by giving it a human face. Stories push people in power. Stories remind people of who they are … I think the most important thing (is) that stories give dignity to people.”

She’s not only working to create change through her own writing, but also empowering others in her community. Her weekly news segment “Your Story” features stories about extraordinary people doing inspiring work. She also works with the interns at her news station, offering them guidance and instilling a sense of direction. Through her work, she’s helping to move the future of storytelling forward.

When she’s not helping others shape their careers, she’s considering changing her own.

“I’d love to transition to a career in public service. We spend a lot of time telling stories to influence policy, but I would love the stories to be a launching pad to a bigger platform.”

The Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling is a prestigious award given to up-and-coming journalists in Africa. The award is given by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in partnership with ONE and the Elliott family.

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