Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Ideas, Actions, and Inspiration for a Better Tomorrow - August 8 Edition

Black Voices, Inspiration

"“I wanted to make sure kids got the best start possible to the school year and for their parents to not have to worry about having to buy supplies,” Mari told HuffPost. 

Last year, Mari started the #PackYourBackChallenge on Twitter and was able to fill 100 backpacks with school supplies. She saw 10 times that amount this year.

Organizers were able to distribute more than 1,000 backpacks to every single student that came to the event. Mari also raised around $10,000 online."

Infant Mortality, Health, Economy
(Report from the Global Breastfeeding Collective):

"BREASTFEEDING IS ONE OF THE SMARTEST INVESTMENTS A COUNTRY CAN MAKE TO BUILD ITS FUTURE PROSPERITY. It offers children unparalleled health and brain-building benefits. It has the power to save the lives of women and children throughout the world, and the power to help national economies grow through lower health care costs and smarter workforces. Yet many societies are failing to adequately support women to breastfeed, and as a result, the majority of the world’s children—along with a majority of the world’s countries—are not able to reap the full benefits of breastfeeding.

The case to invest in breastfeeding has never been stronger, nor the need for action clearer. In 2012, the 194 countries of the World Health Assembly (WHA) committed to a target of increasing the global prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life from the then baseline of 37 percent to at least 50 percent by 2025. But ensuring that at least half of the world’s children are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their lives should be a starting point, not an endgame. Rapid progress is possible with investments in policies and programs that better support women to breastfeed, and that ensure that more of the world’s children have an opportunity to thrive."

Community, Co-ops

"“Too often, what we are seeing is that local businesses and people are bringing neighborhoods back, and then the value that is created by them collectively is being siphoned off by a small number of investors who don’t live in the neighborhood,” said Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the ILSR, pointing to the “loss of control” many Americans feel over their neighborhoods’ waning affordability and increasing sense of sameness. “Owning commercial real estate is the ultimate way to guard against being at the mercy of those forces.”

Before NEIC formed, the group behind it—some of whom knew each other through the local food co-op—wanted to get a foothold in the real estate market before this happened to their neighborhood. Board member Leslie Watson, one of the cooperative’s architects, said they would bat ideas around when they ran into each other at neighborhood classes and meetings: What if they headed off rising costs by buying up houses together? Or maybe commercial real estate? And what if they did it as an official cooperative?

By late 2011, they settled on an investment model that didn’t exist anywhere else in the country (another group had started a similar cooperative independently in Alberta, Canada). The 39 members had invested at least $1,000 each, drawing on their expertise in cooperatives, law, finance, and other disciplines to develop it."

Learning, Technology

"Richmond is gentrifying amid the Bay Area's tech-driven economic boom. But the city remains one of the area's poorest, with a poverty rate of nearly 18 percent.

Children here can see San Francisco from their city and hear all about nearby Silicon Valley and its bevy of industry-disrupting companies, "but they don't imagine they can be a part of that industry," says Jennifer Lyle, the executive director of Building Blocks for Kids Collaborative.

This Minecraft camp, Lyle says, is trying to change that 'we're not welcome in tech' feeling some low-income families in Richmond have. "To get people to come here and say, 'No, our child deserves to have access to this,' " she says.

It starts by introducing young people and their parents "to the kinds of things wealthier folks get access to because they have the means," she explains, getting "grounding in computers they're not getting in school."

Minecraft gets high marks from diverse quarters for its education potential. The game can help teach the basics of computer literacy and the key foundations of coding, animation, circuitry and more."

America, History, Invention

“Pulled from the Smithsonian collections, these items range millennia, from pre-historic dinosaurs to the very first supercomputer.”

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