what I can, you can, we can do

a how/why process of charity/non-profit and the art of giving what you can from where you are in a 21st century world.

this blog is run by an advocate, an enthusiast, by no means an expert. questions and critques welcomed.
Recent Tweets @youmeandcharity
As Americans, we have this naïve assumption that people all over the world are struggling and way behind us. They’re not. Sweden and South Korea have more advanced high speed internet networks. Japan has the most advanced trains and transportation systems. Norwegians make more money. The biggest and most advanced plane in the world is flown out of Singapore. The tallest buildings in the world are now in Dubai and Shanghai. Meanwhile, the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America http://bananenplanet.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/10-things-most-americans-dont-know-about-america/ (via curlycherie)

There are two areas where the USA is way out in front of the rest of the world: war and prison. The technology of killing is the main investment of US national energy, and of course the semi-public semi-private incarceration economy is flourishing while schools and roads crumble. In many other quality-of-life terms — housing, healthcare, public transportation, public access to technology, mental health support, support for people with disabilities, childcare, primary education, maternity support, social safety net — I think a lot of US Americans personally know that things are not exactly rosy but see no options for fixing it.

(via zuky)

Just one note: This article makes a good point - and I love the commentary ^ - but the rest of it is a little off. He talks about how American women should be more open to his advances on the street (no) and how Americans didn’t kill the indigenous population, diseases did (the diseases WE GAVE THEM, minor footnote), and there’s a thing at the end about how Americans have mental illness because we don’t want to confront our emotions or some shit. FYI.

(via stfuconservatives)

(via stfuconservatives)







an article about this in case you’re itching for a quick source, there’s also some posted with the petitition

I am surprised that Disney went that far… that’s pretty far. Guess I should know not to be surprised by now…

for those who are being complete idiots and jerks about this. It’s NOT that Disney is securing the film title of “Dia De Los Muertos” I really could give two fucks if that was the case. It’s that Disney is TRYING TO SECURE RIGHTS TO EVERYTHING DIA DE LOS MUERTOS RELATED.

That is fucked up on soooooo many levels. It’s not their holiday and it’s not a trademark to them.

Please reblog and spread the word.

yeah read the articles ya’ll… it is not about just getting a movie title.

(And you know Disney is a major oligopoly member that is willing to trademark the hell out of everything. See: Seal Team 6.)

This is absolutely despicable, jfc.

More articles:

  • HuffPo. article
  • Stitch Kingdom has a pretty comprehensive list of areas Disney is aiming to acquire rights to: Education and entertainment services,  clothing, footwear and headwear, toys, games and playthings, and various foods. (It’s unlikely they will follow through with say,  DdlM eggs, but they are certainly covering their appropriation bases.)
  • SCPR article.

Boost and sign this please!



Did you know that 98% of the poorest young women in Niger, a landlocked country in Western Africa, have not completed primary school? (Note: 2006 data)

Niger is not alone. “In at least 10 countries in the World Inequality Database on Education (WIDE), 9 out of 10 of the poorest women aged 15 to 24-years haven’t completed primary school, compared with 8 out of 10 young men.“

Click through the full interactive feature  to learn about the level of gender equality in primary school in selected countries. 

Source: World Inequality Database on Education (WIDE)


An LGBT rights group in China called Queer Comrades is launching a campaign to raise awareness of transgender people and trans issues.

As part of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia next week, the group will hold a special event that will educate the public about transgender communities. The event will include a showing of Brothers, the first documentary about trans men in China, and organizers are already reaching out to media for coverage.

‘Chinese society is currently still largely unaware of the plight of transgender people in China, who face stigma and discrimination on a daily basis,’ said a statement from event organizers Queer Comrades.

‘With the event, we focus on bringing attention to transgender communities in China and increasing public understanding of transgender issues.’


(via stfuconservatives)

Nearly half of the college graduates in the class of 2010 are working in jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree and 38 percent have jobs that don’t even require a high school diploma, according to a January report from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. The report called into question whether too much public money is being spent on providing students with degrees that make them overqualified for the only jobs that are available.


Navajo Nation battles uranium corporations, nuclear industry
May 10, 2013

Since European settlers first arrived on this continent, they set out to accumulate as much wealth and land as humanly possible. Their reign of terror on the indigenous populations —destructive of land, culture and entire communities—was the basis for immense fortunes that spurred the global economy and advancing capitalism.

This struggle, now over 500 years in the making, is ongoing on many fronts, including the Navajo Nation’s current battle over U.S. companies’ uranium extraction.

In early 2013, uranium companies approached the Navajo Nation in hopes they will allow them to renew mining operations on their land. These companies claim that they have developed newer and safer methods for extracting uranium, after decades of environmental destruction and abuse led the Navajo Nation to officially ban their mining.

This decades-long battle for environmental justice is part and parcel of the struggles for workers’ rights and Native self-determination, and against the forces of militarism and capitalism.

Exploitation of Navajo lands

The Navajo Nation sits on 27,425 square miles in the four corners area of the southwestern United States. The area holds a vast amount of uranium ore and thus has become a center in the struggle over nuclear energy and weaponry.

Since the end of World War II, and the onset of the so-called Cold War, the U.S. government began mining uranium domestically in order to not rely on foreign supplies. Uranium is one of the most common naturally occurring radioactive metals on the planet, and was understood as essential for the development of nuclear weapons and technology.

Due to the unique geology and consistent climate of the Southwest, mining companies saw the Navajo reservation as the most profitable site to open mining operations in the 1940s. In 1948, the United States Atomic Energy Commission declared it would be the sole purchaser of all uranium mined in the country, initiating a mining boom of private companies and contractors who knew they had a guaranteed buyer.

Of the thousands of uranium mines, 92% were located in the Colorado Plateau on which the Navajo Nation is located. Between 1944 and 1986 approximately 4 million tons of uranium ore was mined from Navajo Tribal land.

In the early days of mining, Navajo people flocked to the low-wage work given the scarcity of jobs around the reservation. The Navajo workers dealt with racist bosses and coworkers while going into the most dangerous and undesirable jobs at lesser pay. Nonetheless, after Navajo Code Talkers’ had famously contributed to U.S. forces in World War II, many Navajo workers believed they had a patriotic duty and responsibility to the United States.

Mineworkers were also lied to about the dangers of Radon poisoning.

Full article

(via stfuconservatives)

I think the problem is that many people in America think that racism is an attitude. And this is encouraged by the capitalist system. So they think that what people think is what makes them a racist. Racism is not an attitude.

If a white man wants to lynch me, that’s his problem. If he’s got the power to lynch me, that’s my problem. Racism is not a question of attitude; it’s a question of power.

Racism gets its power from capitalism. Thus, if you’re anti-racist, whether you know it or not, you must be anti-capitalist. The power for racism, the power for sexism, comes from capitalism, not an attitude.

You cannot be a racist without power. You cannot be a sexist without power. Even men who beat their wives get this power from the society which allows it, condones it, encourages it. One cannot be against racism, one cannot be against sexism, unless one is against capitalism.

Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) answering a question about racism, sexism, and capitalism.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tug8RJyLoz0

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FBI to add Assata Shakur to Most Wanted Terrorist List; Doubles reward for her capture to $2 million
May 2, 2013

Forty years ago today, the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper led to the imprisonment and conviction of Black Panther Party member & revolutionary Assata Shakur.

Assata currently lives in exile in Cuba.

To commemorate this “anniversary,” the FBI will announce today that Assata Shakur has been added to the Most Wanted Terrorist List; and that reward for her capture has doubled, from $1 million to $2 million.

Why the Assata Shakur case still strikes a chord

Published in 1987, the autobiography chronicles Shakur’s emergence as an activist at the center of America’s racial conflict. She ultimately affiliated with the Black Panther Party and the black liberation movement in the 1960s. Her case and her bouts with the criminal justice system recall all of the angst and murkiness within which the battles for black freedom were fought in the mid-20th century: brutal prison conditions, falsified evidence, conflicting statements, frenzied media panic, and violent racists posing as officers of the law.

In spite of these at times unlawful and regularly dehumanizing experiences, Assata Shakur has been living in exile with asylum in Cuba since 1984.

‘She Who Struggles’

Assata – whose name means “she who struggles,” was implicated in the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper on May 2 1973. Today marks 40 years since that day.

While little detail is available as to how Ms. Shakur was ferreted away to freedom from the maximum security wing of the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey in 1979, the “facts” of her case, or rather, the state’s case against her are shaky at best. By her supporters’ accounts they are institutionally designed to falsely prosecute and imprison her.

For more info on her case and details of her experiences go here.

As recently as 2005, the U.S. government issued a one million dollar bounty for information leading to her capture and/or extradition from Cuba. Her name, as well as her government name, Joanne Chesimard, has been on the FBI’s most wanted list since before most Americans had ever heard of Osama Bin Laden.

’20th Century Escaped Slave’

Assata refers to herself as “a 20th century escaped slave” and her experiences with the criminal justice system and the verve with which the U.S. government prosecuted and persecuted her suggest that this reference is not exaggerated in the slightest.

She has occasionally given interviews and or written from somewhere inside of Cuba, but it is unlikely that our government will ever be able to come to terms with its own role in the violent racial conflicts of its immediate past, and thus unlikely that Assata will ever be able to live freely in her country of origin – these United States.

Assata’s status, the government’s case against, her and the moment out which all of this emerged, are signal reminders to many of us that not so long ago, members of the Black Panther Party were considered the greatest threat to the United States government; that revolutionary activists like Assata Shakur, were considered this nation’s most feared terrorists.

We can only hope that as the fight against terror creeps through the beginnings of a new century, that this nation will fight to uphold the tenets of justice above and beyond its xenophobic and racialized history.


Here is a free e-book version of Assata’s autobiography. Read & share this with everyone you know. Everyone should know Assata’s story & about her struggle. 

(via dame-c)


Via pipperipembo:

something to think about when you catch yourself worrying about how messy your room is. looks like we need to shift our perceptions if we’re going to stick around here on earth. 

i heard an interesting talk about global warming, too. remember an inconvenient truth? and how the data went back a couple hundred years? well, some scientists got together to gather climate data from the deepest ice, before it melts. their data shows co2 and temperature levels from thousands of years ago.  so, while an inconvenient truth did a great job of bringing the fact that we need to change our habits into people’s living rooms, it pinned the cause of warming on human activity.  the ice tells a different story: we’re entering a cyclical period of warming. sure, humans have destroyed much of our habitat. but we didn’t make the oceans rise. we need to get over trying to “stop” global warming, and start working together to survive global warming. 

I reposted instead of reblogged (from pipperipembo) to format the infograph to make the images & text readable/aesthetically approachable from the dashboard.

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First of all, we are all born into different cultures with different personal traits that contribute to our identity. We can control some of these, others not so much. The wheel below shows dimensions of diversity. The inner circle shows race, age, physical ability, mental ability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and ethnicity. We are born with different variations of these, and we can’t always control them.image

Even though they can’t always be controlled, this inner circle of social identity categories impacts the other circles.

People who are born into “subordinate” groups such as women, disabled people, people of color, homosexuals, etc. have an unequal access to power, resources, opportunities, and equality because they are born into this system where they are oppressed. They are suppressed, exploited, and dehumanized.

Systems of oppression work on an individual level through personal actions, an institutional level through laws, norms, and rules, and a societal level through roles, rituals, and language.

These systems are reinforced by our teachers, parents, schools, religions, laws, and beliefs. By accepting and perpetuating them, we continue to be hurt by this system of inequality.

(via stfu-moffat)


This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.

If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.

Photo: Otaybah, Syria. Near Damascus. A photo released by the official Syrian News Agency, SANA, shows the damage to the town after weeks of fighting. SANA/AP.

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Public Education Fights for Its Life

Wednesday, 17 April 2013 16:46By Max EternityThe Eternity Group | News Analysis


Austerity measures are eroding America’s public school system.  With massive increases in school closures and class cancellations, advocates say educational opportunities for students of all ages are increasingly being diminished.

This is not a new problem, per se.  It is, however, an escalating one, and one that is being resisted.

Currently in Chicago—under the auspices of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, the former chief of staff for President Obama—it was announced in March that 54 public schools will be closed, with 61 schools scheduled to be closed before the 2013–2014 school year begins.  Emmanuel says that the closings are a “done deal.” Not everyone agrees with Emmanuel, and countering his assertion Karen Lewis says ‘it’s pretty much indicative that he [Emmanuel] has no respect for the law.”  Lewis is president of the Chicago Teachers Union, and says that there are supposed to be hearings for each school, and that Emmanuel’s unilateral actions show “the depth of his contempt for people” in the community, especially those who are not “wealthy” and well-connected.

Right now in California, City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is on the verge of losing its accreditation as a direct consequence of a $53 million dollar loss in state funding.  Because of this, many classes are no longer being offered.  Additionally, the cost of [in-state] tuition at CCSF has risen 25% in the last 2 years, and to boot, student enrollment is way down.

KQED reports that California’s community colleges have dropped to a 20-year enrollment low, and in a video report at the Real News Network, Alisa Messer, President of CCSF Faculty Union, says that “what happened in California in the last several years is that we’ve pushed a half million students out of the community college system.”  And though the faculty had agreed last year to a voluntary 2.8% pay cut towards assisting in alleviating budget woes, the district cut faculty wages by nearly 9%.

Elsewhere, like in Michigan, for instance, the Public Schools Emergency Manager,Roy Roberts, announced last year that “underperforming” schools will be targeted for closure, with 130 schools having been closed there since 2005.

In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg is attempting to close 17 schools, which are said to be low-performing.  However, the Urban Youth Collaborative and the Coalition for Educational Justice have filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education alleging the city’s school closures disproportionately affect “students of color and students with disabilities.”

Author and activist, Tolu Orlorunda, shared his findings on how race factors in on public school closings in an article entitled “Journey for Justice: Mass School Closings and the Death of Communities,” stating that:

From 2003-2012, in New York City, 117 schools were closed. Twenty-five more closings are scheduled for 2013. Sixty-three percent of the students affected are black.

Since 2001, in Chicago, 72 schools have been closed or phased out. Ninety percent of the students affected are black.

In 2008, 23 schools were closed in Washington, DC. Ninety-nine percent of the students affected were black or brown.

Since 2005, in Detroit, 130 schools have been closed. Ninety-three percent of the students affected are black.

Curiously, while public schools are rapidly closing, charter schools—using public funding for privately-operated schools—have sprouted and expanded to take their share of budget dollars.

Many find this educational shift troubling, including a public school teacher of 30 years, Stan Karp, who is director of the Secondary Reform Project for New Jersey’s Education Law Center, and the editor to Rethinking Schools.  Karp wrote in a March 8th commentary about charter schools, saying “nearly every teacher dreams of starting a school…[b]ut the current push for deregulated charters and privatization is doing nothing to reduce the concentrations of 70, 80, and 90 percent poverty that remain the central problem in our urban schools.”  He says a more “equitable” approach to school reform can be seen in Raleigh, North Carolina, where efforts “were made to improve theme-based and magnet programs at all schools, and the concentration of free/reduced lunch students at any one school was limited to 40 percent or less.”  That simple plan, Karp says, resulted in “some of the nation’s best progress on closing gaps in achievement and opportunity.”

Further making his case in the article, Karp says:

  • Significant evidence suggests that charters are part of a market-driven plan to create a less stable, less secure and less expensive teaching staff…working to privatize everything from curriculum to professional development to the making of education policy.
  • [C]harter school teachers are, on average, less experienced, less unionized and less likely to hold state certification than teachers in traditional public schools.
  • As many as one in four charter school teachers leave every year, about double the turnover rate in traditional public schools.
  • Charter schools typically pay less for longer hours. But charter school administrators often earn more than their school-district counterparts.

It’s past time to refocus public policy on providing a deserved quality education for all Americans, says  Shawn Fremstad, an attorney and Senior Research Analyst at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).Because inevitably, he believes, a good education leads to a good career and thus economic security.Fremstad says that actually the funding issue “goes to the larger issue of are we creating good jobs, and what happens when you don’t do that.”  Fremstad says there “are all sorts of people who want to start a career, but if there aren’t good paths—what’s available for you—then I think that lacking those resources, the criminal justice system ends up trapping a lot of people in its net.”  More and more, he says “the criminal justice system has become the dragnet that is replacing our safety net.”  This trend, he says “is a failure to invest in people,” causing undue harm to students, teachers, local economies and communities.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

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