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The Action Thread Part Two

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GIRLS & WOMEN

Girl, 8, Gets a Handwritten Note From Her Superhero: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“You look just like me!”

rbg-letter-facebook-krista_wujek_threefoot.jpg__1264x568_q85_crop_subsampling-2.jpg
 Facebook/Krista Wujek Threefoot

Michele Threefoot, a third-grader from Columbia, Maryland, fulfilled the childhood dream of many this past week: she received a handwritten letter from her superhero. 

About a month ago, the 8-year-old dressed as pioneering Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for her school’s Superhero Day. 

Read more: 10 Reasons Why Investing in Women and Girls Is So Vital

Her mom snapped a photo and posted it to Facebook, where it’s been shared more than 1,700 times. 

“Girls who read really are dangerous, to unfairness and outmoded inequalities,” her mother Krista Wujek Threefoot wrote in the accompanying Facebook post. 

Threefoot’s interest in Ginsburg was inspired by the book, “I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark.”

Read more: Baller Kid Saves $300 for an XBox, Buys a Well for an Indian Village Instead

Ginsburg encouraged Threefoot to continue to focus on education. 

“May you continue to thrive on reading and learning,” Ginsburg wrote in the letter. 

Clearly, the young girl has taken Ginsburg’s words to heart. She’s now on to reading about pioneering Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Yahoo reports.

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Wishing all of our volunteers, donors, advocates and friends a happy and peaceful New Year.

We are unspeakably grateful for your support in 2018. As we move towards the 33rd Anniversary of Chernobyl in April, we recommit our efforts to support and aid the generations who continue to be affected from the fallout of the world's worst nuclear disaster.

www.chernobyl-international.com

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DEC. 8, 2017

 

5
 
ENVIRONMENT

Devastating Video of Starving Polar Bear Holds a Much Bigger Story

"There is no band aid solution.”

The polar bear has big paws and shoulders. When it moves, slack fur glides along its broad frame. It can barely search for food, let alone lifts its head.

The bear, captured in a harrowing video by the National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen, is starving to death in the Baffin Islands of Canada.

Nicklen said that the bear would probably be dead within hours or days of the video, according to National Geographic.

 

Take Action: Stand With the Arctic

 

 

 

Some people asked Nicklen why he didn't intervene to help the bear. That, according to Nicklen, reflects the flawed approach to enormous issues like climate change that’s often taken around the world.

"It's not like I walk around with a tranquilizer gun or 400 pounds of seal meat,” he told National Geographic.

More to the point, individuals aren’t able to help polar bears deal with the enormous environmental changes that have taken place over the past few decades.

Read More: Experts Say Arctic Drilling Makes Little Sense. So Why Is it Being Pushed?

As he wrote in the Instagram post:


"My entire Sea Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear.

"It’s a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me, but I know we need to share both the beautiful and the heartbreaking if we are going to break down the walls of apathy.

"This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death.

"When scientists say polar bears will be extinct in the next 100 years, I think of the global population of 25,000 bears dying in this manner.

"There is no band aid solution. There was no saving this individual bear. People think that we can put platforms in the ocean or we can feed the odd starving bear.

"The simple truth is this — if the Earth continues to warm, we will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems. This large male bear was not old, and he certainly died within hours or days of this moment.

"But there are solutions. We must reduce our carbon footprint, eat the right food, stop cutting down our forests, and begin putting the Earth — our home — first."


Each year, polar bears travel onto sea ice to where seals cluster and hunt while the ice remains stable, according to National Geographic. When the ice melts, polar bears retreat and fast on the shore. Over the past two decades, ice has melted catastrophically in the places where polar bears live, which has prolonged fasting seasons and imperilled the very possibility of hunting.  

Polar bears have long been the face of climate change, Nat Geo notes, because they’re on the frontlines of the shifting global environment.

Read More: 12 Natural Disasters That Broke Our Hearts in 2017

Usually, images of baby polar bears huddled with their mothers or adult bears drifting on chunks of ice are publicized, sad but cute and decontextualized scenes.

A starving, skeletal bear, however, shows far more starkly the effects of climate change.

Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals, which call for strong environmental action to protect life on land and in water. You can take action on this issue here.

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14 DE DICIEMBRE DE 2018

 

34
 
ALIMENTOS Y HAMBRE

Restauró 240 millones de árboles en África occidental, y podrían ayudar a combatir el hambre

"La naturaleza se curaría a sí misma, solo necesitamos dejar de explotarla".

 

Por qué los Global Citizens deberían preocuparse
La restauración de los bosques en todo el mundo puede aumentar la seguridad alimentaria, mejorar el acceso al agua y proteger a las comunidades de los peores efectos del cambio climático. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre este tema aquí.


Tony Rinaudo estuvo a cargo del crecimiento de 240 millones de árboles en docenas de países, según informó recientemente The Guardian.

El "Fabricante de bosques", como él mismo se autodenomina, llegó por primera vez a Níger desde Australia hace 30 años e intentó restaurar el paisaje devastado plantando tantos árboles como sea humanamente posible.

Después de dos años, hizo pocos progresos y comenzó a reevaluar su modo de trabajo. Fue entonces cuando se dio cuenta de que podía trabajar en un método para mejorar el suelo, la poda regular de las ramas y la protección de los troncos cuando se araban los campos.


"En ese momento, todo cambió", le dijo a The Guardian. "No necesitábamos plantar árboles, no se trataba de tener un presupuesto de varios millones de dólares y años para hacerlo, todo lo que necesitabas estaba en el terreno".

"La naturaleza se curará a sí misma, solo tenemos que dejar de hacerle daño", agregó.

El método de Rinaudo se conoce como regeneración natural administrada por el agricultor y permite que los bosques se desarrollen en condiciones difíciles. A medida que los árboles florecen, las comunidades aledañas obtienen un gran impulso en la seguridad alimentaria, la calidad del agua y la resistencia ante las tormentas.

Tony-prunes-a-tree-760x500.jpgImage: World Vision

A partir de 2013, Nigeria ha cultivado alimentos suficientes para alimentar a otros 2,5 millones de personas con la ayuda del método de Rinaudo, según informó World Vision.

En Níger, donde Rinaudo comenzó con esta tarea, los agricultores vieron grandes mejoras en sus cosechas una vez que la red subterránea de árboles se afianzó.

El año pasado, viajó al oeste de Afganistán para ayudar a los agricultores afectados por la sequía a restaurar los paisajes montañosos. La inseguridad alimentaria en Afganistán afecta a un tercio de la población.

Ahora ha comenzado a divulgar su técnica de mejora del suelo y a hacer campaña en las Naciones Unidas para mejorar el manejo forestal en todo el mundo, informó The Guardian.

A nivel mundial, se destruyen 18,7 millones de acres de bosques cada año, lo que equivale a perder 27 campos de fútbol por cada minuto, según datos de WWF.

A medida que los árboles desaparecen de un área, la biodiversidad se desvanece, las sequías se vuelven más comunes y los paisajes se vuelven más vulnerables a las tormentas, inundaciones y deslizamientos de tierra. La deforestación también es un importante motor del cambio climático, ya que representa el 15% de las emisiones anuales de gases de efecto invernadero a medida que se libera el carbono almacenado en los árboles.

Los principales impulsores de la deforestación son las tierras desmejoradas como consecuencia de la ganadería, la agricultura y el desarrollo, señaló WWF. Los incendios forestales y las plagas también son amenazas crecientes para los árboles a medida que las temperaturas aumentan en todo el mundo.

Rinaudo cree que su método de regeneración de bosques puede ayudar en la lucha contra el cambio climático, al mismo tiempo que refuerza la seguridad alimentaria y la resistencia al agua.

"Podemos hacer esto de un modo muy barato y rápido", le dijo a The Guardian.

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CITIZENSHIP

What Does It Mean to Be American? This Photographer Went on a Road Trip to Find Out

If every country were a type of vitamin, the US’s diversity would make it a multi-vitamin.

MyriamAbdelaziz copy.jpgPhotographer Myriam Abdelaziz.
Image: Courtesy of Myriam Abdelaziz

Global Citizens of America is a series that highlights Americans who dedicate their lives to helping people outside the borders of the US. At a time when some world leaders are encouraging people to look inward, Global Citizen knows that only if we look outward, beyond ourselves, can we make the world a better place.


What does it mean to be American? And what does it mean to becomeAmerican?

Those are the questions photographer Myriam Abdelaziz set out to answer in 2016 when she embarked on a solo road trip through the US that would ultimately lead her to create “WE THE PEOPLE,” a conceptual photography book.

The Egypt-born French citizen had been living and working in New York City for about 10 years when her immigration lawyer called to tell her she was eligible for US citizenship.

Abdelaziz said she needed some time to think.

She already had a green card. She didn’t need US citizenship to stay in the country and keep working. It was really just a matter of whether or not she wanted to become American.

“I didn’t understand what that meant,” she told Global Citizen in an interview. “Many other countries and cultures have very clear identities.” But despite having lived in the US for more than a decade, Abdelaziz said she didn’t have a strong sense of what America’s identity was.

“I thought, somehow, I owed it to myself — and the country that I live in — to just visit it, actually see it,” she said. 

We_the_People002.jpgImage: Photo by Myriam Abdelaziz

So when Abdelaziz got a gig in New Orleans, Louisiana, she decided might as well start her tour of the US there. From New Orleans she travelled to Mobile, Alabama, and then to Florida. She made her way up through North Carolina and Kentucky, eventually crossing the country to travel up the west coast from California to Seattle.

The trip took four months. Abdelaziz covered around 15,000 miles, and she did it alone.

Abdelaziz said she didn’t know what to expect. She had been told so many different things. Well-intentioned friends had warned her that as a woman travelling alone people might try to take advantage of her, that people would be racist, that they wouldn’t be nice.

“But that didn’t happen to me — I had an extremely good experience everywhere I went,” she said. 

We_the_People020.jpgImage: Photo by Myriam Abdelaziz

Abdelaziz made a concerted effort to meet and talk with people everywhere she went and though she hadn’t initially planned on turning her trip into a project, the more people she talked to the more she wanted to capture the America she was experiencing.

Since her goal was to determine what being a US citizen would mean to her, Abdelaziz’s only requirement was that her photo subjects be citizens. Aside from that, she made it her goal to meet and shoot people from all facets of the country.

Present yourself the way you think is most representative of you — that was her only instruction. Abdelaziz let her subjects decide when, where, and how they wanted to dress and considered herself just a facilitator in the process.

In total, she photographed around 120 people throughout her trip, collecting quotes and stories from her subjects as well. She hung onto them all, unsure of what to do with them.

Abdelaziz took her trip in 2016 before the presidential election, bearing in mind that she would be able to vote if she decided to become a citizen. So she made a point of asking people she met who they planned to vote for. She said she was surprised by the responses she received. 

“I met people who I thought were conservative and then found out they were Bernie supporters. And I met people who, to me, looked very liberal, and then found out they were Trump supporters,” she shared.

The reason “why always ended up being a very personal or emotional reason — and it’s impossible for statistics and labels to be able to infiltrate that logic,” Abdelaziz said.

“So stop labelling people,” she advised. “I found that a lot of stereotypes about people and places were not true.”

We_the_People060 copy.jpgImage: Photo by Myriam Abdelaziz

Through her travels and interactions with people she found an answer to her initial questions, she found her own definition of the American identity.

When she began her journey, Abdelaziz said she wasn’t sure what being American meant because US citizens are so diverse. But over the course of her trip she said she realized that diversity is what defines the US.

“The mix of people and cultures — that’s the American identity. It’s a layered identity,” she said. “Everyone is different  — and that’s the whole concept behind the country.”

The US was created by people who thought, “Let’s create a country and invite people from all over the world who want to start new lives. Everybody can come, everybody is welcome. And we’ll build this country,” she said.

“Everyone came from somewhere else, or their parents did, or their grandparents did,” she said. “I fit in because I’m different — and that makes me like everyone else.”

So when she returned from her trip, she became a citizen. And she voted.

Shortly after Donald Trump was elected president, Abdelaziz says she saw things around her begin to change, particularly in January when President Trump signed the travel ban executive order.

Read more: Human Rights Groups Are Outraged Over Trump’s Travel Ban 3.0

“There was a Muslim woman, who I photographed, who lives in New York City — born and raised in the Bronx,” Abdelaziz shared. “And she was verbally attacked on the train twice in three months after the travel ban...so she doesn’t take the train alone anymore.”

“When you tell people that Muslims are dangerous and they shouldn’t come in, how will they react?” she asked. “Of course, they’ll be scared of the people who have already been here.” 

Take Action: Tweet at President Trump urging him to open our borders to Syrian refugees

 

 

 

“Ignorance leads to fear. You’re always scared of what you don’t know,” Abdelaziz said. She worried that the things she believed defined the US and made it strong were on the verge of changing radically.

And she wanted to resist that change. That was when she decided what she wanted to do with all the photos from her trip.

We_the_People_MyriamAbdelaziz081.jpgImage: Photo by Myriam Abdelaziz

“I thought, let’s resist the fear of the ‘other,’ let’s show them that we’ve been living together for years and have made this country successful over a relatively short period of time. Because some people forget,” Abdelaziz said.

Some people have been here for so long or are the descendants of immigrants who arrived so many years ago that “they don’t see those roots anymore or realize that what it means to be an American is to be different and be accepted.” she said.

Read more: This Immigrant Mom Worked for Michelle Obama — And Then Decided to Run for Office Herself

So Abdelaziz developed “WE THE PEOPLE” as her own form of resistance and as a reminder that the US’s diversity is what makes it great.

The conceptual photography book, which is being funded on Kickstarter, it unlike any traditional book. Made up of photos of people, places, and quotes, it has no beginning, no middle, and no end. 

Abdelaziz says binding the photos into a conventional book would have required her to put people in some kind of order. It would have forced her to prioritize some stories over others.

And that’s not the point. “WE THE PEOPLE” is a project intended to reflect America’s simultaneous diversity and unity. And all the pieces of the book — the photos, the quote cards, the names — will be contained in one box that folds out into a map of the places she traveled. But the content in the box will be free floating.

We_the_People023.jpgImage: Photo by Myriam Abdelaziz

Abdelaziz said her goal is for everyone to have a journey and learning experience like the one she had. It’s up to the reader to pick the order in which they look at photos or read the text — like a choose your-own-adventure story.

“When people tell me ‘Americans are like this or that,’ I’m like ‘which one’?” Abdelaziz said. “You can’t put Americans into a box, maybe tons of boxes, but not one.” 

“So I want to literally take everyone out of their boxes and remove their labels.”

“I want people to think about who might have said what and where this photo could have been taken. And every time you look at it, you can look at it differently,” she explained.

She hopes the book will foster dialogue, that it will encourage people to see the US from all different perspectives, and interact with all the possible narratives behind the photos.

“I try to accept people who think the opposite of what I do, you don’t have to be scared” of what they think just because you don’t agree, she said. “Even if those differences make you uncomfortable, they are what makes this country strong … just because [someone who supports Trump] thinks differently than I do, doesn’t mean I should alienate them. Then I would become part of the problem.”

If every country were a type of vitamin, the US’s diversity would make it a multi-vitamin, she said — stronger and healthier for all its differences.

Her message is to take those differences and “live with them, accept them, and honor them.”

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ADVOCACYCITIZENSHIP

Why It's a Crime to Be Poor in America

And what Global Citizens are going to do about it.

The concept of cash bail sounds like it makes sense. If you are charged with a crime, the court might set a certain amount of money for you to hand over to the court, which they will give back when you turn up for your trial. That was the original intention of bail — as a condition for release, so that you wouldn’t have to stay in custody while you await trial.

The problem occurs when you don’t have the money the court is asking for.

Take Reynaldo, for example, who could not afford his $1,000 bail that the judge set. As Reynaldo himself expresses it in Vera Institute’s “Bail Stories”series, “I had a high bail and my family was impoverished, so I was unable to pay my bail. A $1,000 bail can ultimately feed a family of three or four for two months. So these are people who are already going to be under the poverty line, and ultimately you’re going to take the time rather than your family going hungry.”

Reynaldo.jpgReynaldo.
Image: Courtesy of Vera Institute

So that is precisely what he did. Reynaldo, before being convicted of anything, spent six months in jail on Rikers Island in New York instead of paying the $1,000 bail. Whereas movie producer Harvey Weinstein, charged with first-degree rape, was able to meet his $1 million bail and stay at home, preparing for his trial.

Take Action: Download the App to Take Action on Bail Bond Programs and More Global Citizen Issues

This is an increasingly common theme all across the United States, with bail becoming a widespread way to lock up the poor, regardless of guilt or threat to society. It is the rapid rise in the pretrial population that sits behind 99% of America’s mass incarceration growth for the past 15 years. In fact, in any given year in America, nearly 12 million people will spend some time in city and county jails, not convicted of anything, just waiting to go to court. And 90% of the people in pretrial jail are there because they are unable to afford bail.

So, what happens if you can’t make bail? You basically have one of three terrible options to choose from.

Option 1: You plead guilty to the crime, even if you didn’t do it, rather than await trial. And because the vast majority of people are charged with low-level, nonviolent crimes that would not even receive a custodial sentence, for many that means they go home that day. When you hear what options two or three are, you will understand why more than 90% of people end up pleading guilty if they can’t afford bail and suffering all of the debilitating consequences of a criminal record.

Option 2: You plead your innocence and sit in jail. That’s right, if you plead guilty, you go home; if you maintain your innocence, you must go to jail, for as long as it takes for your case to come to court, which in some instances can take years. Yet even if it is only much shorter than that, the consequences are far reaching. As attorney Josh Saunders from Brooklyn Defender Services, which provides legal representation to people who cannot afford to retain an attorney, explained on John Oliver’s Last Week Tonightepisode on bail, “Our clients work in jobs where if you’re absent, you’re fired. Our clients live in shelters or in transitional housing places, where if you’re not there for the night, you’re gone. So there’s a lot of different ways in which incarceration, even for a short period of time, can really destroy a person’s life.”

Read More: Google Just Banished the For-Profit Bail Industry From Its Business Model. This Is Why You Should Care.

But the damage extends beyond simply the person who is being detained. It is families, and generally women, who bear the brunt of the issue. The costs related with detention, from visitation to court fees, often amount to one year’s total household income for a family and can force a family into debt. And, after all that, you are much less likely to win your case anyway, faced with the struggle of putting your case together from inside prison walls. One study suggests that those people are “over three times more likely to be sentenced to prison” and “over four times more likely to be sentenced to jail” than those who are not detained pretrial.

So that leaves you with option 3: Going to a commercial bail bondsman. To gather together the money for release, many people and their families are forced into exploitative arrangements with bail bond corporations that charge a nonrefundable fee of 10% of the full bail amount. Indeed, for those who do manage to put up the money for their bail, a majority sought the services of a bail bondsman. In New Orleans, for example, according to a report last year, 97% of people arrested on a felony charge who were able to pay bail purchased a commercial bail bond. Many are then trapped in a cycle of debt and fees, and even people who are proven innocent never get their money back.

Bail-Reform-Vera-Institute.jpgImage: Courtesy of Vera Institute

Corporate insurance companies with vested interests are largely behind the way the bail system works today, and they are also the largest beneficiaries of it. Fewer than 10 main insurers underwrite a significant majority of the $14 billion in bail bonds issued in the country each year. These same companies have funded many campaigns for DAs and judges across the country.

Read More: This Campaign Is Reuniting Jailed Black Mothers With Their Children for Mother’s Day

The United States' cash bail system doesn't just lead to the criminalization of poverty and the profiteering of a few, but also the societal disenfranchisement of young, predominantly black men and increasing numbers of women. In New Orleans for example, according to a review by Vera Institute of justice, 84% of bail premiums and fees were paid by people of color in 2015. According to the ACLU’s 2017 report on California (which has the highest bail amounts in the country), black men on average are assigned bail amounts 35% higher than white people accused of similar offenses.

And when you consider that the black population has the highest poverty rate, unsurprisingly the consequence of this persecution is that after money bail is set, black and Latino people are more than twice as likely as white people to remain stuck in pretrial detention, unable to afford bail.

According to a report released last year, this system costs American taxpayers $40 million per day. The study, from the nonprofit advocacy group Pretrial Justice Institute, says the mainstay of this money pays for locking up lower-risk defendants, who, it argues, could otherwise be released on non-financial conditions.

Perhaps the most baffling part of all is that it does not make our society any safer. In fact, as Robin Steinberg of the Bail Project, the first national bail fund that provides people with the funds they need to make bail, explains in her TED Talk, research makes it clear that you are significantly more likely to commit a crime if you have been detained and get out than if you had been free waiting to go to court. That’s 40% more likely, even when only detained for just eight days.

Read More: The Man Who Found Katy Perry Is on a Mission to Fix America’s Justice System

So what are Global Citizens going to do about it?

Well, starting from this week, as we celebrate the legacy of the late Nelson Mandela, who himself spent 27 years in prison, we are launching a new criminal justice campaign, to stop the detention of people based on their wealth. We will be partnering with organizations leading the charge on ending cash bail: including the Vera Institute of Justice, Robert F Kennedy Human Rights, Civil Rights Corps, FWD.us, The Bail Project, Katal, ACLU, Brooklyn Defender Services and the National Bail Fund Network. We will be calling upon key players in the justice system: governors, mayors, prosecutors, and judges in New York, California, and beyond to commit at the Global Citizen Festival in New York on Sept. 29 to ending this injustice and dismantling the bail system.

Our first target is New York, where a whopping 85% of the pretrial population are in jail because they cannot make bail. On any given night New York city alone, there are 7,000 people detained awaiting jail because they are too poor to afford their freedom. New York City is also home to one of the country’s most notoriously violent jails, Rikers Island. The conditions are so dire that the city announced it would close Rikers last year. Yet the 10,000 detained there — including children — are still waiting to see this promise realized.

Bail-Bond-Reform-Criminal-Justice-Campaign.jpgInmates line up along a wall, seen during a tour of the Men's Central Jail, run by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, in downtown Los Angeles.
Image: Reed Saxon/AP

Our second target is California, which sets the highest bail rates in the country. The average bail amount is five times higher than the national average at $50,000. Yet nearly 50% of Americans are unable to gather $400 in an emergency, thus leading to 45,000 people, right now, sitting in jails across the state.

Read More: The US Prison Population Is Falling — But Not for Incarcerated Women

Over the course of the year, we will also be looking to other states where urgent attention is needed and momentum for change exists. For example, Louisiana, which has the highest incarceration rates in the nation, and home to the most incarcerated city in the US: New Orleans.

And that’s just the beginning. Next year and beyond, the campaign will be tackling the criminalization of poverty that exists in various forms all over the world. The average duration and the percentage of all prisoners who are pretrial is relatively high across the Global South compared to developed countries, revealing inefficient and over-burdened justice systems with too few lawyers, judges, and legal advisers. This leads to people waiting for trial while in jail sometimes for multiple decades, for minor and nonviolent offenses. Of the 10 prison systems in the world with the highest proportion of pretrial detainees, half are in sub-Saharan Africa.

These potentially innocent people are subjected to dismal conditions across the African Union: Compared to sentenced prisoners, pretrial detainees often enjoy less access to food, adequate beds, health care, or exercise. Due to acute overcrowding with some prisons sitting at over 600% capacity, infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and tuberculosis sit at epidemic levels in some prisons, which puts society at risk also when people are eventually released.

Data on this population is limited, but wherever information is available it consistently shows — like the US — that pretrial detainees overwhelmingly come from the poorest strata of society — as they are more likely to come into conflict with the law and less able to afford the three keys to pretrial release: bail, a bribe, or a lawyer. This is why they end up detained for many years waiting to go to trial, even when accused of minor offenses, due to the long list of arbitrary and low level “Petty Offense Laws” on the continent that range from "leaving laundry out in public" to "idle and disorderly behavior."

We invite you to join us in our campaign and protect those suffering at the hands of systems across the world that are meant to provide justice.


GCF_NYC_2018_admat_Janet.png

The 2018 Global Citizen Festival in New York will be presented for the very first time by Citi. MSNBC and Comcast NBCUniversal will air a live simulcast of the Festival on MSNBC and MSNBC.com. The festival will also be livestreamed on YouTube and Twitter, presented by Johnson & Johnson. 

Proud partners of the 2018 Global Citizen Festival include Global Citizen’s global health partner and major partner Johnson & Johnson, and major partners P&G, CHIME FOR CHANGE Founded by Gucci, Verizon, House of Mandela, IHeartMedia and NYC Parks. Associate partners include Microsoft, Great Big Story, and One Championship. 

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GIRLS & WOMEN

Actress Amber Tamblyn Says We Need to Stop Questioning Women’s Sexual Assault Stories

She’s done with not being believed. *mic drop*

amber-tamblyn.jpg__1264x568_q85_crop_subsampling-2.jpg
Amber Tamblyn backstage at 26th Annual Literary Awards Festival at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Photo by Casey Curry/Invision/AP

The majority of sexual assaults in the US are not reported.

“What’s the point, if you won’t be believed?” actress Amber Tamblyn poignantly asks in her powerful New York Times op-ed. But as the title of her piece says, Tamblyn is “done with not being believed.”

 

What's powerful about @ambertamblyn's action is she no longer accepts the blame. In that way, she frees us all.

 
 
 
 

In the article, Tamblyn shares a story about being stalked by a crew member at the age of 21. Perhaps more shockingly is that Tamblyn, who was then starring in “Joan of Arcadia,” informed her producer of the situation only to be told “there are two sides to every story.”

But “for women in America who come forward with stories of harassment, abuse and sexual assault, there are not two sides to every story, however noble that principle might seem,” Tamblyn writes. “Women do not get to have a side. They get to have an interrogation. Too often, they are questioned mercilessly about whether their side is legitimate.”

Women who report sexual assault and rape in the US are often met with criticism and doubt. The burden of proof is frequently on victims of sexual assault to show that the incident actually occurred and was “unwanted” or uninvited. So two out of three incidents of sexual assaults go unreported, and only six in every 1000 rapists will be incarcerated, according to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.

Tamblyn’s op-ed is, in part, a response to tweets from the actor James Woods, who Tamblyn says tried to take her to Las Vegas, Nevada, when she was just 16 years old. Upon telling him she was underage, Woods responded “even better.”

9pTj7ejH_normal.jpg

Didn't you date a 19 year old when you were 60.......?

 

James Woods tried to pick me and my friend up at a restaurant once. He wanted to take us to Vegas. "I'm 16" I said. "Even better" he said.

 
 
 
 

Woods denied Tamblyn’s story, accusing her of lying. His accusation forced the actress to recall all the times she had nervously shared her concerns with men in positions of power, only to be questioned and disbelieved, the star of “The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants” wrote.

She also penned an open letter to Woods, which appears on Teen Vogue.

“Since you've now called me a liar, I will now call you a silencer,” the 34-year-old actress wrote. “I see your gaslight and now will raise you a scorched earth.”

“I was just a girl. And I'm going to wager that there have been many girls who were just girls or women who were just women who you've done this to because you can get away with it.”

 

I cannot tell you how many people have texted, messaged and emailed me with personal stories about James Woods over the last day.

 
 
 
 

Neither Tamblyn’s open letter nor her New York Times op-ed is intended to just clap back at Woods. She wants to change the larger, pervasive culture in the US that enables sexual harassment and assault to be “normalized,” she said.

“The saddest part of this story doesn't even concern me but concerns the universal woman's story. The nation's harmful narrative of disbelieving women first, above all else,” she laments in the Teen Vogue letter. “Asking them to first corroborate or first give proof or first make sure we're not misremembering.”

She emphasized this point on Twitter, clarifying that her op-ed is not just about Woods, but about a larger cultural phenomenon that shields men like Woods from the consequences of their actions.

This is not the first time Tamblyn has spoken up against sexual assault and violence against women. Tamblyn was outraged by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s “grab ‘em by the pussy” comments last year.

She bravely shared her own story of assault. 

“To this day I remember that moment. I remember the shame,” she said on Instagram.

“I have been afraid of speaking out or asking things of men in positions of power for years,” she wrote in the New York Times, but she won’t be keeping quiet any longer. “The women I know, myself included, are done, though, playing the credentials game. We are learning that the more we open our mouths, the more we become a choir. And the more we are a choir, the more the tune is forced to change.”

Global Citizen campaigns to support women and girls everywhere and to achieve gender equality. You can take action here

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GIRLS AND WOMEN

25 facts that show the harsh reality girls face right now

9 October 2018 4:43PM UTC | By: MELANIE RHODES

SIGN THE PETITION

An open letter to leaders

 
  

What does your future hold? University, your own business, fame and fortune? Whatever your hopes, you will not have imagined a future in which you got married off as a child, were denied an education, or infected with HIV by a husband that’s twice your age. But this is the reality for millions of girls living in extreme poverty. And it’s time to call it out for what it is: Sexist.

Nowhere on earth do girls and women have the same opportunities as men. But for girls living in extreme poverty, sexism can be a death sentence. This is unacceptable.

If we don’t fight for every girl to have the future she deserves, we’re limiting all of humanity’s potential. We need to demand that those with power and resources put women and girls at the heart of their investments.

Here are 25 shocking facts showing why #PovertyisSexist  →

Child Marriage

IDG_STAT-GX_12x12_v7-041-1024x512.png
  • Globally, girls are being married off at a rate of 33,000 a day.
  • Girls from poor families are more than three times more likely to marry before 18 as girls from wealthier families.
  • An estimated 650 million women alive today were married as children. That’s double the population of the United States.

Education

  • 130+ million girls are out of school.
  • Half a billion women can’t read.
  • Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Burundi expel pregnant girls from school and deny adolescent mothers the right to study in public schools.
  • Attacks on schools increased 17-fold between 2000 and 2014, and girls’ schools were targeted three times more often than boys’ schools.

Female Adolescent HIV and HIV death rates

IDG_STAT-GX_12x12_v7-05-1024x512.png
  • Globally, 340,000 girls and young women are infected with HIV every year.
  • Girls make up three out of four new infections among children aged 10-19 in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • A young woman in sub-Saharan Africa is twice as likely to be infected with HIV than a young man her age.
  • Globally, only 3 in every 10 adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 years have comprehensive and accurate knowledge about HIV. The lack of information on HIV prevention and the power to use this information in sexual relationships, including in the context of marriage, undermines women’s ability to negotiate condom use and engage in safer sex practices.
  • In 2017 29,000 girls aged 15-24 died due to AIDS-related illnesses.

Violence Against Women

  • Almost one third (30%) of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner.   
  • Globally, 44% of girls aged 15-19 think a husband is entitled to beat his wife.

Domestic labour inequities

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  • Globally, girls aged 5–14 spend 550 million hours every day on household chores, 160 million more hours than boys their age spend.
  • 104 countries around the world have laws stopping women from doing certain jobs.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls spend roughly 40 billion hours a year collecting water—the equivalent of a year’s worth of labour by the entire workforce in France.

Access to Finance/Financial Inclusion

  • Over one billion women do not have access to a bank account.

Maternal Mortality/dying in childbirth

  • 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries.

Sexual exploitation of women and girls

  • Women and girls make up 96% of those trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Health

  • Anaemia, a condition strongly connected to iron deficiency and poor nutrition, afflicts twice as many women as men – nearly one in three women and girls worldwide.

The good news:

  • 70% fewer mums could die in childbirth – if all girls had primary education.
  • 66% fewer child marriages could happen globally – if all girls had a secondary education.
  • US$28 trillion could be generated – if all gender gaps in work and society were closed.

If you believe that ALL girls should be able to build the future they want, then turn your outrage into action this International Day of the Girl!

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These motivational backgrounds will keep you going in 2019
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CULTURE

These motivational backgrounds will keep you going in 2019

December 20 2018 | By: ROBYN DETORO

JOIN

Join the fight against extreme poverty

 
  

We made things happen this year — seriously, check out everything we achievedthanks to YOU — and now we’re more motivated than ever to keep up the fight in 2019. To keep ourselves at the top of our game, we created a set of phone backgrounds to remind us that we’re in it to win it.

Check them out below and download your favorite one!

EOY-Quote-Mockup_12x6-1024x512.png

DOWNLOAD BACKGROUND 1

DOWNLOAD BACKGROUND 2

DOWNLOAD BACKGROUND 3

Want to join us in the fight for a more equal world in 2019? Become a ONE Member today!

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