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The Action Thread Part Two

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JULY 11, 2017

The Planet Is Facing Its 6th Mass Extinction, Scientists Say

The window for action is closing.

Joe McCarthy

By Joe McCarthy


animals_extinction_2.jpgFlickr/sj liew; Allan Lee; Calle v H.

Ice ages, volcanic eruptions, and asteroids have a new companion: human beings.

Scientists are warning that the world has entered its sixth mass extinction — an event when a majority of species on Earth die off; and unlike past episodes, the cause is not some suddenly overwhelming natural phenomenon.

Instead, it’s the cumulative activity of humans.

Take Action: Stand With Climate Change Refugees

In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers argue that a “biological annihilation” is underway that represents a “frightening assault on the foundations of human civilisation.”

“The situation has become so bad it would not be ethical not to use strong language,” Gerardo Ceballos, lead author of the study, told The Guardian.

The team studied species across the animal kingdom and found that billions of regional populations have been lost and that 50% of all individual animals have died in recent decades.

Read More: There Could Be 2 Billion Climate Change Refugees by 2100

The primary driver of this disintegration of life is human overpopulation and consumption, according to the authors.

Animals are further threatened by “habitat destruction, overhunting, toxic pollution, invasion by alien species, and climate change,” according to The Guardian.

But it’s the sheer appetite of humanity that’s most to blame.

Each year, the amount of resources consumed by humans increases, according to the Global Footprint Network. For this rate of consumption to be sustainable, humanity would need multiple Earths to supply resources like food, wood, and water.

But since that’s implausible, wildlife has a harder time replenishing to stable levels each year. This pressure is clearly seen in the shrinking habitat range of most animals.

Between 1900 and 2015, nearly half of the 177 of mammal species that were studied lost 80% of their historic ranges.

Read More: 100 Companies Account for 71% of All Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The situation isn’t any better underwater.

More than 90% of all fish populations are being harvested at dangerous levels.

While the species approaching extinction are the most immediate victims, humans will ultimately be greatly affected, according to the authors.

“The resulting biological annihilation obviously will have serious ecological, economic and social consequences,” they conclude the report. “Humanity will eventually pay a very high price for the decimation of the only assemblage of life that we know of in the universe.”

For this decline to be stemmed, immediate action has to be taken.

First, “band-aid” efforts like creating wildlife preserves, enacting tougher environmental regulations, restoring ecosystems, and more have to be undertaken.

Progress on this front is uneven. Last year, the US designated the largest marine reserve in the world and countries like South Africa are doing a good job at protecting endangered animals.

Further, this year’s World Oceans Day on June 8 earned thousands of protections for marine life.  

Read More: 7 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Plastic Straws to Help Save the Oceans

But elsewhere, habitat destruction is accelerating. In Brazil and Paraguay, for instance, industrial agriculture is leading to the rapid depletion of rainforests. China, meanwhile, is seeing large portions of its land turn to desert.

More broadly, the authors argue, human consumption has to come down to more manageable levels and the human population has to eventually peak. By 2100, the human population is expected to explode to 11 billion people.   

Providing a decent standard living by then will depend on if humans summon the will to act now.

Joe McCarthy is a Content Creator at Global Citizen. He believes apathy is the biggest threat to creating a more just world and tries his hardest to stay open-minded and curious. Living in New York keeps him aware of how interconnected our world is, how every action has ripples.

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7 barriers to girls’ education you need to know about

7 barriers to girls’ education you need to know about

March 5 2017 | By: ROBYN DETORO


The evidence that educating girls creates healthier, wealthier, fairer, and more stable communities is overwhelming—so why isn’t every girl getting a quality education? The barriers, particularly for girls in the poorest countries, are wide-ranging and complex but these are some of the most challenging:



The cost of supplies can limit girls access to education.

Even in areas where school fees are non-existent, there’s still a price to pay. Students are often required to buy uniforms, transportation, and supplies, like textbooks, pens, and notebooks, not to mention the indirect costs such as loss of potential income from missed labor opportunities or contributions around the home.

Violence and Security


In some regions, parents don’t allow their daughters to attend school, but it isn’t necessarily because they don’t want them to be educated. Sometimes parents keep their children home because the commute to and from school is unsafe and the risk of attacks on girls’ schools is a serious concern.

Conflict and Emergency Situations


Women gather to collect aid at the Dar es Salaam refugee camp in Chad, close to the border to Niger. (Photo credit: Ashley Hamer)

In conflict-affected countries, education is not always accessible. As a result, girls in these countries are almost 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than girls living in countries not affected by conflict.

Teaching and School Climate


Boys participating in a school science experiment.

The perpetuation of traditional gender norms can result in girls being excluded from learning important subjects like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Teaching must be inclusive and enable girls to learn the same lessons as their male counterparts.

Access to Resources


A girl learning how to code at Ghana Code Club. (Photo source: Facebook.)

Where resources don’t address girls’ needs, it can limit their learning. Providing a wide range of resources that do address girls’ needs—such as textbooks, teaching guides, and the internet—all help ensure girls are both in school and learning.

Cultural Norms and Expectations


Constance Amusugut faced obstacles to thriving at school after she had a child at 15.

Household duties, the care of family members, early marriage, and early childbirth are all factors that contribute to girls missing out on an education. In cultures where these expectations are the norm, girls’ education may be lower on a family’s list of priorities.

Poor Infrastructure


Overcrowded classrooms and rundown schools provide students with a less-than-quality learning environment. Schools that don’t provide students with access to separate toilets, washing areas, and sanitary products can discourage girls who are menstruating from attending classes.

To learn more about what can be done to fight for girls’ education, read our new report ‘Poverty is Sexist: Why educating every girl is good for everyone‘.

Every girl counts.

130 million girls don’t have access to an education. So we’re asking the world to count them, one by one.





March 5 2017

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JULY 11, 2017

Swedish Music Festival Bans Men in Response to Rising Sexual Assaults

Swedish radio host has a solution to the epidemic of sexual assaults at music festivals.

By Madison Feser



Bravalla Festival is supposed to be a fun, entertaining Swedish music festival, but high rates of sexual assault and rape caused producers to cancel the 2018 event.

Now a new, different kind of festival is taking shape in its wake — one where men are banned.  

Take Action: Tell World Leaders to Redouble Their Efforts By Amending Laws to Prevent Sexual Violence

It started when news came out that the 2017 festival ended with dozens of sexual assaults and four rape allegations during the three day festival, according to The Guardian.

Folkert Koopmans, CEO of Bravalla’s production company, announced the festival would not occur in 2018 because “certain men cannot behave” and that one sexual assault is too many.

“Violence kills the festival experience and the love for music,” Koopman said on Bravalla’s website.  “First and foremost: People are getting hurt.”

But then Swedish comedian and radio host, Emma Knyckare, had another idea: host a women-only festival.  

Facebook/BravallaBravalla Festival 2017

Read More: Air India to Designate 'Women-Only' Seating on Domestic Flights

According to Knyckare, that would eliminate the problem of sexual violence, while maintaining an otherwise enjoyable music festival.

She found a lot of supporters for the idea and is reportedly in works to stage an all-women’s music festival in 2018.

Her recent tweet about putting together a festival where “only non-men are welcome” sparked  controversy.

Despite criticism, Knyckare says what is really important is providing a safe festival environment for women, Digital Music News reports.

The Bravalla festival seems to have been doomed unless action had been taken. Many artists cancelled their performances as a result of the sexual assault allegations.  

For example, Mumford and Sons, who headlined the 2016 Bravalla Festival, refused to play at Bravalla again until festival organizers and police did something to “combat what appears to be a disgustingly high rate of reported sexual violence,” according to BBC.

Read More: South Africa Repeals Statute of Limitations on Sexual Offenses

Facebook/BravallaBravalla Festival 2017

Between the outcry from artists, festival producers, and Sweden’s Prime Minister, music festivals across the UK are starting to understand the extent of sexual assault.

In May, over 25 UK based music festivals shut down their websites as part of a zero-tolerance campaign for sexual assault.

Knyckare’s rock themed women’s only festival is scheduled for the summer of 2018.


Madison is an Editorial Intern at Global Citizen. She attends Seton Hall University where she studies Diplomacy and International Relations and writes for The Diplomatic Envoy. With a passion for writing, politics, and justice, Madison aspires to continue working for organizations that use journalism as a force for positive change.

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The most wonderful music-making is ongoing this week at Summer SING!, an inclusive children’s singing festival presented by AiR by artlifeculture in partnership with Music Generation Cork City.

This year's festival has seen 200 young singers ages 6 - 14 gather daily for rehearsals, workshops and 'big sings', together with 150 leading national and international professionals.

Check out some of the beautiful pics captured so far, and read more through the link!


200 young singers gather in Cork City this week for summer SING! 2017

200 young singers gather in Cork City this week for summer SING! 2017

summer SING! is an inclusive children’s singing festival which allows children from Ireland and around the world to experience the rich history and culture of Cork City, while nurturing their natural singing ability.

Presented by ARTlifeCULTURE and in partnership with Music Generation Cork City, this week-long initiative sees more than 200 young singers ages 6 to 14 gather daily in Millennium Hall before moving in smaller groups to rehearsals in a series of participating cultural spaces.

summer SING! also boasts a growing professional and volunteer, national and international staff of 150 children and youth arts enthusiasts. The team includes Sonya Keogh (Founding Director ARTlifeCULTURE);  Stephen Brown (Guest International Vocal Clinician, from New York City); Chi Hoe Mak (Guest International Youth Vocal and Choral Clinician, from Malaysia); Meghan Pappenheim (Facilitator, mindfulness and drumming workshops, from Bali); Gemma Sugrue (Guest Pop Vocals Clinician, from Cork); Peter Stobart (Guest Choral Conducting Clinician, from Cork); Jennifer Giustino (Guest International Early Years Clinician, from New York City); and Alicia Edwards (Festival Operations Advisor, from New York City).

Cork’s young singing citizens will experience public spaces as never before as they engage in open-air warm-ups, impromptu public performances and smaller rehearsals in a variety of Cork City’s cultural and civic spaces.

In addition, the festival will include a series of special summer SING! events, all of which are free to attend and open to the public. 


summer SING! and PLAY! in Bishop Lucey Park
Mon 10 – Thurs 13 July, 12 noon - 12.45pm
Come and join us for summer SING! fun and games

summer SING! at Elizabeth Fort
Weds 12 July, 2.15pm

summer SING! and SIGN! at Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral
Thurs 13 July, 2.15pm
In association with Cork Deaf Association

summer SING! Finale Friday at Cork City Hall
Fri 14 July, 2.15pm

summer SING! is produced by ARTlifeCULTURE in partnership with Music Generation Cork City, in collaboration with Cork City’s cultural, education and inclusion sectors, and further supported by the Arts Council, Cork City Council, University College Cork, Cork Deaf Association, and the Association of Irish Choirs.

For more information about summer SING! and other partnerships of Music Generation Cork City, contact: 

Music Generation Cork City, Cork Education and Training Board, 21 Lavitt's Quay, Cork City
t: +353 21 427 3377
e: musicgencorkcity@corketb.ie

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Chernobyl Children International funds a Cardiac Programme in partnership with the Novick Cardiac Allliance that sends volunteer cardiac surgeons, nurses and specialists on missions to Ukraine and Belarus to undertake life-saving surgeries.

In March 2008, in collaboration with the Novick Cardiac Alliance, CCI sent the first cardiac team to Kharkiv, Ukraine. Volunteers were shocked by the hospital’s surgical equipment, most of which dated from World War II and was in poor repair and general disarray.

One of CCI’s volunteers, a biomedical engineer named David, recalls a particularly terrifying experience during that first cardiac mission. Anya, a two-year-old girl who suffered from a serious condition known as “Chernobyl Heart,” was undergoing a life-saving operation. David watched in horror as Anya lay on a dilapidated bypass machine, completely dependent on rusty pumps to keep her alive and to keep her blood circulating. Her tiny heart was in the hands of the surgeon when suddenly, in the middle of the operation, the pump failed.

David had less than 120 seconds to change the tubing before Anya would have suffered irreversible brain damage or even death. Her life was literally held in the balance! With the young girl’s life literally in his hands, David used a level head and his specialised skills to save her. She survived the operation, and today she is living life like any other healthy five-year-old girl.

Through the support of Chernobyl Children International, things have changed greatly in Kharkiv since David’s first, harrowing experience. The hospital is now well stocked with properly functioning lifesaving equipment and more and more children’s lives can be saved. About eight times a year, volunteer teams travel to Ukraine and Belarus to perform surgeries on children who suffer from Chernobyl-related cardiac birth defects, and to train local physicians.

To date, 3,950 children’s lives have been saved by CCI’s Cardiac Programme and the Novick Cardiac Alliance.

La imagen puede contener: una o varias personas, personas sentadas, tabla e interior


La imagen puede contener: 1 persona, sentado


La imagen puede contener: 1 persona, comiendo y bebé

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20 reasons you need to be celebrating #MalalaDay

12 July 2017 5:32PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO


Join the fight against extreme poverty


She’s just 20 years old but Malala Yousafzai has already proved herself to be wise beyond her years. Nearly five years ago, Malala and two of her friends were shot by the Taliban on their way to school as punishment for advocating for girls’ rights to education in Pakistan — luckily this didn’t stop her from pursuing the fight for education. She’s now one of the world’s most recognised human rights advocates and we absolutely cannot wait to see what she achieves next!

In honour of Malala’s birthday, here are the top 20 things she’s said and done that we’re taking note of:

1. When she revealed why kindness is a powerful tool.

“Kindness can only be repaid with kindness. It can’t be repaid with expressions like ‘thank you’ and then forgotten.”

2. When she encouraged women to be their own heroes.

“There was a time when women social activists asked men to stand up for their rights. But, this time, we will do it by ourselves… I am focusing on women to be independent to fight for themselves.”


via Twitter

3. When she became an honorary citizen of Canada for her courage and dedication to fighting oppression.

4. When she told us it’s not how you say something, but what you say.

“It does not matter what language you choose, the important thing is the words you use to express yourself.”

5. When she was the youngest person ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

6. When she explained that school isn’t just about book smarts.

“It shows us equality, it teaches students how to live with others together, how to accept each other’s language, how to accept each other’s traditions and each other’s religion.”

7. When she taught us to be proud of who we are.

“I never wished to be a boy, and I will never wish. I’m proud to be a daughter. I’m proud to be a girl.”


Malala with her favourite book – The Diary of Anne Frank – for the #BooksNotBullets campaign. Photo: malalafund.org

8. When she wished for action on her birthday instead of a party, gifts and cake.

9. When she stood for marginalised women and girls around the world.

“I tell my story, not because it is unique, but because it is not. It is the story of many girls.”

10. When she spoke the straight up truth.

“Tell me how can one live without daughters.”


Malala reading a letter she has written to the Chibok schoolgirls. Image Credit: www.malala.org

11. When she wrote an amazing letter of support to the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.

12. When she showed us that the achievement of equality includes girls, boys, men, and women.

“We should all speak up for girls’ education – for both girls’ and boys’ education… Boys and men should also know about equality and justice, and know that women have equal rights, and should be treated equally.”

13. When she pointed out you don’t have to be an adult to change the world.

I used to think I had to wait to be an adult to lead. But I’ve learned that even a child’s voice can be heard around the world.

14. When she opened an all-girls school for Syrian refugees to celebrate her 18th birthday.


15. When she filmed an INCREDIBLE #GirlsCount video supporting education for all girls, everywhere.

16. When she asked us to recognise and appreciate the importance of opportunity.

“We don’t learn the importance of anything until it’s snatched from our hands.”

17. When she pointed out that learning doesn’t belong to any one culture.

“Education is neither eastern nor western, it is human.”

18. When she received the U.N.’s highest honour — becoming a U.N. Messenger of Peace — as a teenager.

19. When she blogged undercover about life under the Taliban regime for the BBC at just 11 years old.

20. When she inspired us to keep fighting the good fight.

Let future generations say we were the ones who stood up. Let them say we were the first to live in a world where all girls can learn and lead without fear.

To keep up to date with Malala, follow her on Twitter!



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