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  1. tan_lejos_tan_cerca

    Boston Live Thread #U2eiTour

    Hi all!
  2. tan_lejos_tan_cerca

    The Action Thread Part Two

    10 TECHNOLOGY Why Rwandan women are missing out on the tech boom 15 June 2018 3:07PM UTC | By: WOMEN'S ADVANCEMENT DEEPLY JOIN Join the fight against extreme poverty EmailJoin This story was originally reported by Rodrigue Rwirahira for Women’s Advancement Deeply. In recent years, Rwanda has been going through a digital revolution. The tech industry has become one of the largest contributors to GDP growth, at 3 percent, and, the government claims, the burgeoning sector is attracting more and more investment from foreign countries. But women are largely missing out on this tech boom, and those who do work in the industry say companies and the government need to do more to help bolster their ranks. image via Girls in ICT Rwanda The gender gap starts in high school and college, where the number of young women studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is dwarfed by the number of young men. The Educational Statistical Yearbook shows that only 34 percent of women opt to study sciences in university, compared to 66 percent of men. The number of women taking engineering is even smaller at 23 percent versus 77 percent of men. This does not mean that Rwanda’s young women lack the drive to get into the tech sector: In vocational training, the number of women learning basic skills in information and communication technology (ICT) outpaces men at 51 percent compared to 49 percent. But once women leave university or training and go into the tech workforce, they come up against prejudices and obstacles their male counterparts never have to face. image via Girls in ICT Rwanda When Sandrine Sangwa, 24, graduated with an I.T. degree from the Akilah Institute in Kigali in 2017, she never thought of looking for any other job because she was determined to build her own software design company. She took an internship at K-LAB, an incubator that helps software designers develop and sell their ideas, and started working on creating her own apps. She came up with Sangwapp, which supports people with visual impairment by translating signs and giving them an audio description of things they can’t see. But when she tried to take the app to market she says she couldn’t get past the prejudices held by would-be buyers and potential clients. “We never thought it would be easy, but we are being regarded in contempt,” she says of herself and fellow women in tech. Some companies prefer to buy inexpensive software from abroad instead of buying products made locally and more made by women, she says. “Nobody is willing to help us seize these opportunities.” image via Girls in ICT Rwanda In general, Sangwa says, clients tend to assume that men are better at coding, making it impossible for women software designers to compete. “We are yet to get to the level of wooing our potential clients. “We have the power and the zeal to get there, but the environment is still turning us down.” Fighting the Mindset Vanessa Keza, head of the local nongovernmental organization GIRLS IN ICT, says the lack of market availability and the unfair competition stems from assumptions many grow up with about gender. “There is still an underrepresentation of women in ICT [because] we see office and family stereotypes that say ICT is meant for boys.” The mission of GIRLS IN ICT, which comprises around 30 young professional women in the I.T. industry, is to raise awareness of the benefits of a career in digital tech among high school girls. image via Girls in ICT Rwanda “Part of our assignment is to fight the mindset and create a platform where women can share ideas around ICT projects,” Keza says. “And so far, it is paying off.” GIRLS IN ICT has partnered with Smart Africa – a private initiative working with governments to improve access to technology – to raise the profile of its members and help them identify solutions to some of the societal issues facing Rwanda, including food security, transport infrastructure and disaster and land management. GIRLS IN ICT also organizes competitions, such as the annual Ms. Geek contest, to motivate school-aged girls to come up with innovative tech or business ideas, as well providing a regular one-week bootcamp to teach girls in remote areas basic programming, internet and computer skills. image via Girls in ICT Rwanda Keza says the organization has seen girls build the confidence to be more proactive in the tech industry. She says a number of girls who have gone through the training programs have gotten tech jobs in banks, broadband management companies and telecommunications firms. The Need for a Proactive Private Sector Claudette Irere, director of ICT at Rwanda’s Ministry of Information Technology and Communication, says the government is aware of the problem, and has plans to tackle it. She says the ministry has several projects in the pipeline with the Ministry of Gender and Family Affairs to raise the number of women in the sector, and will release a strategy to address the gender gap by the end of this financial year. image via Girls in ICT Rwanda The country’s tech sector will only benefit from boosting the numbers of women in its ranks, Irere says. “Rwanda would do much better if it could build a good pool of developers and programmers and take on outsourced jobs.” Sangwa, the software designer, feels the government is doing a good job at supporting women in ICT. But, she says, unless private companies are more proactive about hiring women, she and her female peers will never be given an equal chance to take part in Rwanda’s digital revolution. “The government has given men and women equal rights on a number of things,” she says. “Employers in the private sector need to apply the same mentality so that women can also excel in ICT.” ONE welcomes the contributions of guest bloggers but does not necessarily endorse the views, programs, or organisations highlighted.
  3. tan_lejos_tan_cerca

    The Action Thread Part Two

    9 EDUCATION 6 reasons children need more non-fiction books in their lives 12 June 2018 5:01PM UTC | By: ROOM TO READ JOIN Join the fight against extreme poverty EmailJoin Most of what we read every day is non-fiction. Informational texts become increasingly important as children progress through school, and yet children in early grades have very few options for appropriate non-fiction books. When Room to Read – a non-profit organisation working to improve literacy and gender equality in education – surveyed the countries they work in throughout Asia and Africa, less than 20 percent of available titles were children’s non-fiction books. The options for students in grades one through three were even less at just 7 percent! To address this, Room to Read partnered with RTI, Tanzania’s Ministry of Education, and Zanzibar’s Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to create 32 non-fiction children’s books that will be distributed in public primary schools in the Mtwara region of mainland Tanzania and in the Zanzibar islands. So, why it is important to address the ‘access gap’ to non-fiction books? The Global Reading Network notes reading informational, child-friendly books: 1. Prepares students for later grades The bulk of books read in the higher grades are informational texts that focus on a particular subject. The earlier students are introduced to this writing style and tone, the easier they’ll transition to higher grades. 2. Expands a child’s vocabulary Vocabulary knowledge is key to comprehending text and academic success. Non-fiction children’s literature naturally integrates complicated vocabulary words in ways that make it easy for students to learn new words. 3. Aids second language learners With realistic pictures and locally contextualised content, students learning to read in a second language can connect familiar images with words from the new language. 4. Offers solutions to real-world problems Many students in Tanzania and other countries Room to Read work in struggle daily with hunger, child labour, or staying in school. Non-fiction books provide children with information, new perspectives, and life skills that can be used to address challenges in their lives. 5. Teaches children more about the world they live in For nearly two decades, Room to Read has published culturally-relevant books that specifically include characters, settings, and lifestyle details children see regularly. But non-fiction books allow children to further expand their horizons beyond the familiar. 6. Motivates reluctant readers Not all children find their way to reading through fiction. Children’s non-fiction books can motivate reluctant readers by capitalising on their curiosity and interest in the world around them. What was your favourite non-fiction book growing up? Let us know in the comments below!
  4. tan_lejos_tan_cerca

    The Action Thread Part Two

    13 DE JUNIO DE 2018 + 0 1 FINANZAS E INNOVACIÓN Por la crisis, en Venezuela recurren al Bitcoin para cubrir las necesidades básicas Los precios en el país pueden elevarse a 14,000% este año. Por Joanna Prisco. Traducción: Erica Sánchez. La criptomoneda puede ser una gran inversión en los mercados financieros de América del Norte, pero para los venezolanos con problemas de liquidez se ha convertido en un salvavidas para obtener las necesidades diarias básicas. Cuando el gobierno socialista del presidente Nicolás Maduro anunció este mes que pospondría una revisión de la moneda para eliminar tres ceros del bolívar devaluado, el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) estimó que los precios al consumidor en la región podrían subir casi 14,000% este año, anunciando una catástrofe, s egún informó Quartz . Mientras tanto, los ciudadanos ya han puesto manos en el asunto, y en sus dispositivos electrónicos... En los últimos años, cuando los ciudadanos se sentían desalentados de llevar grandes cantidades de efectivo debido a los altos índices de delincuencia, el país vio un aumento en las transacciones de tarjetas de crédito, según informó el Washington Post . Ahora, debido a que los nuevos billetes no se han impreso lo suficientemente rápido para mantenerse al día con los aumentos de precios en Venezuela, esto ha llevado a un mayor uso de aplicaciones telefónicas para realizar las transacciones, publicó Reuters . Como resultado, el Bitcoin en denominaciones de bolívares está en su punto más alto de todos los tiempos, tanto así que ahora el gobierno de Maduro está considerando reemplazar el bolívar con su propia criptomoneda respaldada por petróleo. Pero ese solo acto solo sería una medida provisional. Esta será la segunda reconversión monetaria emprendida por el país en 10 años. El líder socialista Hugo Chávez ejecutó un cambio similar en 2008. Como tal, los críticos han argumentado que para lograr un cambio verdadero, se deben hacer reformas profundas a los controles monetarios actuales y se debe frenar la historia de excesiva creación de dinero en el país. Mientras tanto, la inestabilidad financiera no ha demostrado ser un incentivo suficiente para que la administración reciba apoyo externo. A pesar del creciente hambre en todo el país que ha llevado a una crisis de salud infantil , Maduro se ha negado a aceptar ayuda humanitaria de países vecinos , ONG y organizaciones benéficas, alegando que es parte de una conspiración para derrocar a su gobierno, como se citó en un informe publicado por el Miami Herald. Según ese informe, el venezolano promedio perdió más de 11 kilogramos (o alrededor de 20 libras) de peso, de acuerdo a los resultados de la encuesta publicados en febrero. Global Citizen realiza campañas para alcanzar los Objetivos Globales para el Desarrollo Sostenible, incluido el objetivo número dos: hambre cero. Puedes unirte a nosotros y tomar medidas aquí .
  5. tan_lejos_tan_cerca

    The Action Thread Part Two

    CITIZENSHIP Melania Trump, Laura Bush Condemn US Policy of Separating Migrant Kids From Parents “This zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.” Between April 19 and May 31, nearly 2,000 migrant children were separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to the Associated Press. They were subsequently sent to foster homes or detention centers. The practice is part of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy for migrants who cross the border seeking asylum, and the United Nations has called it a human rights violation. Now First Lady Melania Trump and former First Lady Laura Bush have joined the growing chorus of people calling for the practice to end. Take Action: Refugee? Migrant? Human Being. Show Your Support for All People - No Matter Where They Were Born "Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform," the first lady’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, told CNN on Sunday. "She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart." Embed from Getty Images Laura Bush, who was the first lady from 2001 to 2009, echoed Melania Trump’s sentiments in a strongly worded op-ed in the Washington Post on Sunday. "I live in a border state,” Bush wrote. “I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.” Read More: Texas Detention Center for Migrant Children Compared to 'Prison' Both women have largely refrained from weighing in on national politics since President Donald Trump took office, and their recent reactions reflect how deeply unpopular the “zero tolerance” policy has become, CNN reports. Images of children being detained in cages, stories of parents being deported as their children remain in custody, and widespread instances of abuse have seemingly aroused a moral panic around the country. Twitter Ads info and privacy Melania Trump limited herself to a short statement on the matter, but Bush compared the detention of children to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. She also said that the kindness of her mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, toward marginalized children should be an example for the country going forward. Read More: Why Jeff Sessions' Ruling on Domestic Violence and Asylum Matters “In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis?” she wrote. “I, for one, believe we can.” The political situation surrounding the separation and detention of migrant children has reached an impasse in recent months, with laws intended to stop the policy stalling in Congress, but the new outspokenness of prominent Republicans could pave the way for a bipartisan solution, according to The New York Times. Hillary Clinton, another former first lady and former Secretary of State, has consistently spoken out against the practice, and she was recently joined by her husband, former President Bill Clinton. In response to the mounting outrage, Kirstjen Nielsen, the Secretary of the DHS, has denied that the agency has a policy of separating children from their parents. Twitter Ads info and privacy Read More: UN Accuses US of Human Rights Violations for Separating Migrant Families President Trump, meanwhile, has pinned the blame for the policy on Democrats, claiming the policy he enacted can be ended if Democrats accept a series of harsh restrictions on immigration policy more broadly. Democrats, meanwhile, have repeatedly tried to pass specific legislation aimed at ending the policy. "Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change!" he tweeted on Saturday."This is why we need more Republicans elected in November. Democrats are good at only three things, High, High Crime and Obstruction. Sad!" But Bush blunty summed up what many Americans think in her op-ed: "Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso," she wrote. Global Citizen campaigns to help migrants and refugees and you can take action on this issue here.
  6. tan_lejos_tan_cerca

    The Action Thread Part Two

    CITIZENSHIP British LGBTQ Rights Campaigner Arrested in Russia as World Cup Kicks Off He held a poster that read: "Putin fails to act against Chechnya torture of gay people." By Polina Ivanova and Andrew Osborn MOSCOW, June 14 (Reuters) — Russian police briefly detained veteran British campaigner Peter Tatchell in Moscow on Thursday after he attempted to hold a one-man protest near the Kremlin in support of gay rights on the first day of the World Cup. At the opening ceremony on Thursday, President Vladimir Putin spoke of showing the world a hospitable Russia and stressed sport's ability to build bridges and overcome differences. Take Action: No Woman Should Suffer From Diseases We Know How to Treat or Prevent Take Action: Send Email 2 points United StatesUnited KingdomGermanyCanadaAustraliaAfghanistanÅland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBruneiBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCabo VerdeCambodiaCameroonCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo (the Democratic Republic of the)Cook IslandsCosta RicaCôte d'IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands [Malvinas]Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambia (The)GeorgiaGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and McDonald IslandsHoly See [Vatican City State]HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIranIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKuwaitKyrgyzstanLaosLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedoniaMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia (the Federated States of)MoldoviaMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorth KoreaNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestine, State ofPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarRéunionRomaniaRussiaRwandaSaint BarthélemySaint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth KoreaSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyriaTaiwanTajikistanTanzaniaThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaVietnamVirgin Islands (British)Virgin Islands (U.S.)Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Tatchell's protest, held three hours before the ceremony, involved the activist unfurling a small banner near the Kremlin's walls calling attention to what his foundation described as Russia's mistreatment of LGBT+ people. "President Putin has failed to condemn and act against the homophobic witch-hunts in Chechnya, which have seen scores of LGBT+ people arrested and tortured, with some even being killed," Tatchell said in a statement. He said he had been detained in Russia twice before. Two men from Chechnya, a deeply conservative Muslim region of Russia, told Reuters last year they had been detained by police and subjected to torture because they were gay. A Russian newspaper said several detainees had been killed. Chechen authorities said all such allegations were false. Russian police quickly shut the protest down, with one officer telling Tatchell to stop what he was doing. Read More: 6 Things You Shouldn't Forget as Russia Hosts the 2018 World Cup "During the World Cup it is forbidden to hold any action like this against Putin, against all these things," the policeman said. Tatchell told the policeman he wanted to meet Putin to discuss gay rights in Russia. The activist said he spent an hour and 40 minutes in police custody before being released. "Senior officers were stern but the apprehending officer very helpful, friendly, and polite," the campaigner said, adding he was receiving support from the British embassy. Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson later wrote on Twitter: "Pleased to hear @PeterTatchell is well, and my thanks to our consular staff in Moscow at @ukinrussia for providing speedy support to him." Twitter Ads info and privacy Tatchell said he was required to appear in court on June 26, accused of breaking a federal law on the holding of public meetings and demonstrations, as well as a presidential decree that prohibits protests during the World Cup. Piara Powar, executive director of European anti-discrimination network FARE, opened a temporary diversity centre in Moscow on Thursday to support soccer fans worried about any racism or homophobia. Tunde Aderibigbe, head of protocol for Nigeria's football federation, said he believed the Russian government had done its best to deal with the issue of racism. "We have been meeting a lot of (fans) and they are very cheerful. There hasn't been any cause to think there is going to be something like that," he said. (Additional reporting by Elizabeth Piper Writing by Andrew Osborn Editing by Alison Williams and Andrew Heavens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories.) TOPICSWorld CupLGBTProtestRussiaFootballPutinPeter Tatchell
  7. tan_lejos_tan_cerca

    The Action Thread Part Two

    "We are often silent We don't yell and don't complain. We're afraid to talk about it We don't know how. The questions it raises are not ordinary. We are from Chernobyl." - 'Voices from Chernobyl', Svetlana Alexievich. Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature 2015.
  8. tan_lejos_tan_cerca

    The Action Thread Part Two

    Having Volunteered with CCI earlier this year, Aine Boland saw first-hand the incredible impact that Irish funds have had on the children of Chernobyl. Aine has committed to running the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon in aid of CCI later this year. This mammoth task, spanning 42km is a massive commitment of time and energy. Help Áine to reach her fundraising target to support the children of Chernobyl. Would you like to fundraise in aid of CCI? Get in touch! https://sse-airtricity-dublin-marathon-2018.everydayhero.co…
  9. tan_lejos_tan_cerca

    The Action Thread Part Two

    Make sure to check out our #Instagram story now! See all that is happening at our #LDWeek18 Parliamentary reception. Come on, you know you want to 😉 http://bit.ly/2slO3ts
  10. tan_lejos_tan_cerca

    The Action Thread Part Two

    18/06/2018 Announcing Two New Appointments to the Board of Music Generation Music Generation has announced the appointment of two new members to its Board: Arts Consultant and former CEO of Music Network, Deirdre McCrea, and Chantal O’Sullivan, philanthropist and owner of O’Sullivan Antiques (Dublin and New York). Welcoming the new appointments to the Board of Music Generation, Chairperson Leo Blennerhasset said: ‘I’m delighted to welcome Deirdre and Chantal to the Board of Music Generation, each of whom brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the programme. Their considerable and diverse skillsets – particularly in the areas of business and philanthropy, arts and music development – will be of immense value to the Board as we embark on a new and exciting phase of development for this pioneering organisation.’ Deirdre McCrea responded to the announcement of her appointment to the Board: ‘Having worked closely on Music Network’s Feasibility Study ‘A National System of Local Music Education Services’, which was the blueprint document for Music Generation’s formation in 2010, I am gratified to now join the Board and to have the opportunity to help progress the development of the organisation. Eight years into its remarkable journey, I welcome the chance to work with the Board to further the reach of Music Generation so that thousands more children and young people can experience its positive and powerful benefits.’ Chantal O’Sullivan commented: ‘It is a great honour to join the Board of Music Generation, an organisation whose ground-breaking approach to public-philanthropic partnership has already yielded such unprecedented change for Irish music education. I look forward to collaborating with my fellow Board members to build on the programme’s success to date and to advance our collective goal to ‘make music education happen.’' Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. ‘Phase 1’ of Music Generation established the programme in 11 areas of Ireland (Louth, Mayo, Sligo, Cork City, Laois, Wicklow, Carlow, Limerick City, Offaly/Westmeath, Clare and South Dublin) and in September 2017 a further nine areas were selected for participation as part of ‘Phase 2’ (Galway County, Waterford, Wexford, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Leitrim, Kilkenny, Cavan/Monaghan, Galway City and Roscommon). In addition, in December 2017 Government announced its commitment to support expansion of the programme nationwide by 2022. Currently the programme creates more than 48,500 opportunities each year for children and young people to engage in high-quality, subsidised performance music education across more than 150 different programmes in all musical genres and styles – from trad to jazz, rock, pop and hip-hop, samba drumming, brass band, choral and orchestral initiatives, composers clubs and much more. Music Generation believes in every child and young person’s musical potential and their innate artistry, that it is every child and young person’s right to have the choice of access and the chance to participate as a musical citizen and that music doesn’t just change lives, it transforms lives. //ENDS Relate
  11. tan_lejos_tan_cerca

    The Action Thread Part Two

    CULTURE What is afrofuturism, and how can it change the world? 22 May 2018 5:10PM UTC | By: SADOF ALEXANDER JOIN Join the fight against extreme poverty EmailJoin From flying cars to smart houses, shining utopias to interstellar worlds, there are many ways to imagine the future. Science fiction and fantasy genres have long been used to explore the different ways humanity could exist, whether it be an alteration of the present day, a couple of years from now, or centuries ahead. When we speculate about the future, it’s not just a matter of what we imagine, but who we imagine. Afrofuturism combines science fiction and fantasy with African mythologies. The term was coined in 1993 in Mark Dery’s essay “Black to the Future,” but the style existed before then. Ytasha L. Womack, author of Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture, elaborates that the genre “combines elements of science fiction, historical fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, Afrocentricity, and magic realism with non-Western beliefs. In some cases, it’s a total re-envisioning of the past and speculation about the future rife with cultural critiques.” The art that comes out of this genre not only conceptualizes the world through fiction and fantasy but challenges the world as it exists now. Being able to see yourself at the center of a story has great power, according to Womack: “Empowering people to see themselves and their ideas in the future gives rise to innovators and freethinkers, all of whom can pull from the best of the past while navigating the sea of possibilities to create communities, culture, and a new, balanced world.” Fikayo Adeola, founder of the afrofuturist forum Kugali, argues that the style stands as a symbol of hope, in both the past and present. “Afrofuturism was a tool that they could use to imagine a better future,” Adeola told CNN, “and the movement continued into the contemporary era.” Afrofuturist stories, and the power they create, are coming to the forefront of popular culture. The high-tech, utopian world of Wakanda in Black Panther has introduced many people to the genre. Though the film is set in the present, it makes speculations that bring futuristic elements and social critique together. “T’Challa represents … an African that hasn’t been affected by colonization,” Ryan Coogler, the film’s director, told The Washington Post. “So what we wanted to do was contrast that with a reflection of the diaspora … You get the African that’s not only a product of colonization, but also a product of the worst form of colonization, which is slavery. It was about that clash.” The clash described by Coogler is not the only commentary made by the film. Black Panther makes audiences wonder: What if everyone in a nation had equal access to technology? What if women were equal members of society? What role does a powerful nation play in helping others? When storytellers venture to ask these questions, they also provide answers that can be applied to how we live now. Afrofuturism is not just another way of telling stories. It challenges people to imagine a greater world than the one that currently exists. If the stories we tell are ones that allow everyone to exist in the world of tomorrow, perhaps we will be more inspired to make that world a reality.
  12. tan_lejos_tan_cerca

    The Action Thread Part Two

  13. tan_lejos_tan_cerca

    The Action Thread Part Two

    CITIZENSHIP Texas Detention Center for Migrant Children Compared to 'Prison' The mere act of detaining an innocent child is considered a human rights violation. Shelves of food, racks of clothes, and rows of checkout counters once filled the massive Walmart near the US-Mexico border in Brownsville, Texas. Now converted into a migrant detention center called Casa Padre, the space holds around 1,500 migrant boys between the ages of 10 and 17, according to The New York Times, in what some have described as prison-like conditions. Two hours of outdoor time a day, lights out by 9 p.m., blacked-out windows, and back-to-back cots in each sleeping room are some of the features of this heavily supervised environment, which opened in March 2017. There’s also a large mural of US President Donald Trump by the entrance. Twitter Ads info and privacy Take Action: Refugee? Migrant? Human Being. Show Your Support for All People - No Matter Where They Were Born Take Action: Tweet Now 2 points United StatesUnited KingdomGermanyCanadaAustraliaAfghanistanÅland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBruneiBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCabo VerdeCambodiaCameroonCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo (the Democratic Republic of the)Cook IslandsCosta RicaCôte d'IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands [Malvinas]Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambia (The)GeorgiaGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and McDonald IslandsHoly See [Vatican City State]HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIranIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKuwaitKyrgyzstanLaosLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedoniaMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia (the Federated States of)MoldoviaMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorth KoreaNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestine, State ofPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarRéunionRomaniaRussiaRwandaSaint BarthélemySaint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth KoreaSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyriaTaiwanTajikistanTanzaniaThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaVietnamVirgin Islands (British)Virgin Islands (U.S.)Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Casa Padre is one of the more than 100 facilities housing more than 11,000 migrant youth in 17 states across the US, according to the Washington Post. This particular facility became embroiled in controversy earlier this month when Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley was denied entry, stoking fears that the converted Walmart was harboring dark secrets. Casa Padre’s operator, the nonprofit Southwest Key Programs, invited reporters this week for a tour to dispel rumors. While it appears that gross abuses aren’t taking place, the mere act of detaining an innocent child is considered to be a human rights violation by the United Nations. “The US should immediately halt this practice,” Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN human rights agency, OHCHR, said in a statement. “[There is] nothing normal about detaining children. It is never in the best interests of the child and always constitutes a child rights violation.” Read More: Why Jeff Sessions' Ruling on Domestic Violence and Asylum Matters Further, Casa Padre has been cited 13 times for deficiencies, ranging from failing to provide medical care to supervisors berating kids. In a viral tweet thread, MSNBC contributor Jacob Soboroff compared the conditions of the facility to a prison. Twitter Ads info and privacy Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a reportdocumenting sexual assaults, inadequate medical care, and violent attacks in detention centers for migrant children. Southwest Key Programs insists that Casa Padre is being operated in a caring manner, the Times reports. Read More: What's Happening to Migrant Kids in the US? There are more than 1,000 trained staff at the facility, including cooks, teachers, and medical professionals, and employees insisted to reporters that the environment was amenable. “We pride ourselves in providing excellent child care,” said Alexia Rodriguez, Southwest Key’s vice president of immigrant children’s services. “We’re not a political organization,” Rodriguez added. “We take care of kids. We take great care of kids.” The vast majority of the detained children came to the US as unaccompanied minors, but some of the kids were separated from their parents at the border as part of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. The average stay for a child in Casa Padre is 56 days, according to the Times. Migrants crossing the Mexican border into the US are often escaping gang violence, political instability, grinding poverty, and other hardships, and many apply for asylum. View image on Twitter Twitter Ads info and privacy The Trump administration’s new focus on arresting all migrants is straining the government’s detention system, according to Reuters. In April, 51,000 migrants were detained at the US-Mexico border, up from 16,000 during the same period last year. Read More: UN Accuses US of Human Rights Violations for Separating Migrant Families To accommodate this sharp rise, more than 1,600 immigrants were recently transferred to federal prisons, where they will be mixed in with general incarcerated populations, Reuters reports. Now authorities are planning to build tent cities on Army and Air Force bases — an idea that’s being compared to the internment of US citizens of Japanese heritage in the 1940s. Global Citizen campaigns to help migrants and refugees and you can take action on this issue here. TOPICSCitizenshipMigrantsPrisonMigrationCurrent eventsDetention centerUS-Mexico borderDetentionCentral American migrants COMMENTS
  14. tan_lejos_tan_cerca

    The Action Thread Part Two

    CITIZENSHIP UN: Now Is the Time to Discuss North Korea's Human Rights Problems "In this regard, I am concerned." By Christy Lee WASHINGTON — Concerned by the lack of any reference to human rights in the joint statement issued at the historic summit between Washington and Pyongyang, the United Nations special rapporteur on North Korea says "this is the time" for the US to pressure North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to engage in a dialogue with the international community to improve the lives of North Korea’s people. “Any reference to human rights … was absent,” said Tomás Ojea Quintana, special rapporteur on North Korea for the United Nations based in Argentina. “The only term in the joint statement that I could associate with human rights is the word ‘prosperity’ where the two leaders [agreed to] commit to peace and prosperity and security in the Korean Peninsula.” The joint statement issued by Trump and Kim at the summit Tuesday on Singapore’s Sentosa Island, contained four stipulations: “Washington and Pyongyang agreed to normalize the relations between the two countries and pursue peace on the Korean Peninsula, affirmed North Korea’s commitment toward complete denuclearization, and decided to recover and repatriate the remains of the POWs and MIAs during the Korean War.” But it lacked any mention of North Korea taking action to address its human rights situation. Embed from Getty Images Quintana said the momentum generated by the summit must bring North Korea’s human rights situations to the fore. “This is the time. This is the time,” he said. “Now the North Korean leadership and the government want to normalize the country, want to become a respectable member of the United Nations. Well, they will have to change their stance in regard to human rights questions and start the process of dialogue and engagement.” Trump Priority: Denuclearization While Quintana said he understands President Donald Trump’s priority is denuclearizing North Korea, the UN official is concerned that unless the human rights situation in North Korea improves, it will become “an obstacle for any agreement to be implemented and effective.” During a press conference after the summit talks, Trump downplayed reporters’ questions on human rights, saying only that he brought up the issue to Kim. When VOA’s Greta Van Susteren asked Trump about human rights in an interview right after the summit, Trump replied “human rights were mentioned” during the discussion on denuclearization. Touting Kim as someone who “loves his people,” Trump said, “Look, he’s doing what he’s seen done,” when Susteren underlined the regime’s brutality against its people. Marked Change of Tone Trump’s comments after the summit showed a marked change from his State of the Union address in January when he said, “no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea.” He cited the shameful trial of American college student Otto Warmbier who was detained in North Korea and “horribly injured” before he died days after his return to the US And Trump described the saga of North Korean defector Ji Seong-ho who, during his search for food, lost a leg before escaping on crutches Embed from Getty Images “Today he lives in Seoul,” Trump said, “where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most — the truth.” Hoped for Opportunity Quintana, who “reports on the situation of human rights in North Korea and on the government’s compliance with its obligation under the international human rights law,” had hoped the summit would open up an opportunity to evaluate conditions in North Korea. Instead, “I don’t see a strategy to effectively assess the problem of a serious human rights situation on the ground in North Korea,” said Quintana. “In this regard, I am concerned.” Quintana said the US delegations to the UN in Geneva and in New York, his two formal channels of communication with US officials, had stressed to him that human rights remain a concern and “will be included with any engagement with North Korea.” He said, “How did the dynamics unfold in the context of the summit and the leaders that might be something different.” Embed from Getty Images Quintana also continues to seek official communication with North Korean authorities to discuss human rights, but because North Korea denies allegations of human rights violations and opposes on-the-ground investigations, the UN special rapporteur has to assess the situation through civil organizations in South Korea or through people who defected the North. “The government of North Korea stated the human rights issue has been used politically by different states,” Quintana said. “In their case, [a] double standard was applied. These are the kind of arguments that the North Korean government presents to oppose any negotiations or engagements or conversations with me, with my mandate.” Report to UN In his “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Right in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” made to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2018, Quintana describes some of the conditions of detainees in political prison camps. A female detainee in one of the labor camps, known as kyohwaso, run by North Korea’s Ministry of State Security and the Ministry of People’s Security is quoted in the report on the difficulties of gaining access to basic necessities such as water: “The heads of cells, inmates selected by prison officials according to the extent to which they have a clean record … could wash, not the rest of us.” Another woman who was detained after being repatriated to North Korea from China said, “You can’t imagine if you haven’t experienced it. We were treated like animals, given only corn to eat or a poorly made soup of dried radish greens.” She continued, “The toilet is located inside a room that hosted a dozen of people. You’re not allowed to move. … If you move, they beat you.” North Korea’s regime could begin to address the economic and cultural rights of its people as an entry point of addressing human rights, if sanctions are relaxed and Pyongyang starts receiving economic support, Quintana said. If “North Korean authorities open up … to the system of the United Nations,” Quintanna said it would be a “very good sign of credibility, reliability from North Korea” that would say that, ‘We are ready to open up our frontiers. We are ready to start conversations, to have human rights dialogue which has been absent for many, many years.’” Embed from Getty Images Human Rights Dialogue Quintana expects the US, as well as South Korea, China, and Russia, to encourage and urge the leadership of North Korea to engage on a human rights dialogue, which he said will be “a very important step forward” that “will go in parallel to the negotiations on peace, security, and denuclearization.” “There is a need of a … concrete political decision from North Korea at this juncture,” Quintana said. “From President Trump’s press conference … he said Mr. Kim Jong Un … is willing to do something … Kim Jong Un cares about the people and willing to show something in regard to the people. I hope that’s connected to human rights dialogue.” This piece was originally published here.
  15. tan_lejos_tan_cerca

    The Action Thread Part Two