Category: Activists

How Avaaz Is Developing A Community

Based in New York City, Avaaz is an international organization that is dedicated to making the world a better place. They encourage people to come up with issues that are important to them which are submitted Avaaz online. After vetting these issues an email is sent to all of Avaaz’s members for support. People can support issues in a number of ways such as signing an online petition or contacting their representatives in Washington D.C., for example. There are now over 46 million members of Avaaz around the world.

Most of the issues that are found on the Avaaz website have to do with human, civil, and animal rights. They also have campaigns built around stopping, or at least slowing, climate change. One ongoing campaign is about ending plastic pollution because so much of that ends up in the world’s oceans where it is killing life.

One thing that Avaaz is trying to address is the fragmented nature of social movements and citizens groups. In the past each issue had its own membership and constituency advocating for it. This is further fragmented with each often being in a single country. Avaaz is trying to change this by corralling all of the important progressive issues into one website. This streamlines things for everyone since progressives share similar views on many issues, and Avaaz’s lacrosse camp.

Due to its international scope Avaaz uses 15 different languages to campaign in. The core team that makes up the leadership of Avaaz is located on six continents. In addition to supporting online organizing they also sometimes help to organize “offline” events such as protests. They help get media attention for the event so that everyone in the community knows what the issue is, and Avaaz’s Website.

The Genius of Michael Lacey

Born September 16, 1969, Michael Thoreau Lacey would go on to be a prestigious mathematician.

Lacey received his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1987. There, he worked under the guidance of renown scholar Walter Philip. During that time Lacey wrote his thesis in the area of probability in Banach spaces.

He would also solve a complex problem that was based on the empirical characteristic function of the law of the iterated logarithm. Michael Lacey also has done important work in areas such as probability, ergodic theory, and most notable, harmonic analysis.

Soon after earning his doctorate he would take a position at Louisiana State University. He would soon after move over to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During this time, he and Walter Philip would garner massive acclaim when they unveiled their proof of the almost sure central limit theorem.

Lacey would then head for the University of Indiana from 1989 to 1996. While he was there he was awarded a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. And while at Indiana University, Lacey began investigating the bilinear Hilbert transform. Suffice to say, he wasn’t the only one studying the transform.

Alberto Calderon had also begun his inquiries. That said, in 1996, Lacey and Christoph Thiele won the Salem Prize for solving the transform. In the same year, he would take his skills to the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. Read more: Michael Lacey | Facebook and Michael Lacey |

While at Georgia Tech, as a professor of mathematics in 2004, Lacey would receive a Guggenheim Fellowship for the work he did along side Xiaochun Li. Dr. Lacey also would become an American Mathematical Society fellow in 2012. Lacey’s has contributed an abundance of meaningful mathematical research.

In fact, he’s backed by the National Science Foundation. Additionally, various research institutes including the Simmons Foundation and Fullbright Foundation also support Lacey’s work. Moreover, Lacey has had numerous papers published based on critical issues in the fields of math and science.

Lacey has written on topics that include the Kao Problem, Carleson’s dynamical systems, and central limit theorems, just to name a few.

And without question, the in depth level of comprehension and knowledge displayed over the years has earned Michael Lacey the deserving and worthy title of mathematical genius.

Betsy Devos Will Never Stop Fighting For The Educational Rights Of Children

From the time Betsy Devos attended college she has been considered a reformer. Politics have always been of importance to her and she has been active in many different aspects for thirty years. In 2006, the Governor of Michigan was her husband Dick Devos. The couple devotes a great deal of their time to finding solutions for problems in society. Betsy Devos involves herself with worthwhile charities and non-profit organizations and has made a positive difference throughout her career. At heart she is also a great philanthropist and has donated her time and resources to her passions. Educational reform is one of the cornerstones of her generosity.Betsy Devos remains positive about the progress she has seen in educational reform throughout the years. There are a lot more students participating in the available programs and the concept is gaining in popularity. She believes this is because the traditional schools are no longer working and many of them have begun to fail. Her involvement was not the result of an isolated incident but rather a gradual immersion over time.

Her children were still in school and she wanted the children from low income families to have the same options as her own children. Her husband supported her and in 1990 Dick Devos won his election into Michigan’s State Board of Education.The 11th Secretary of Education for the United States was Betsy Devos. Education policy has been a driving factor in her life for almost thirty years. She strongly believes all children have the right to a quality education. This belief was rooted in her childhood because her mother was a school teacher. When her own children began attending school she realized equal opportunity for education was not something available to all of the kids in America. This was when her fight for educational choice began and she has been striving to provide the nation with better options ever since.

Betsy Devos has worked with at-risk children and her interactions with these kids and their families changed both her perspective and her life. She empowers parents, fights for quality education, and believes all students have the right to obtain an excellent education. She has been responsible for the creation of new options in the educational system and firmly believes incomes and zip codes should never be the determining factor in the education any child receives. She is advocating for giving educational control back to the localities so parents are able to make the choice regarding the type of education their children receive. Her contributions have benefited numerous charities and her beliefs have changed the futures of so many children. She understands the connection between a good education and a successful future and continues to fight for the children.

Betsy DeVos – Policy & Involvement

My Impression from the Betsy Devos Philanthropy Roundtable Interview

Reading the Betsy Devos Philanthropy Roundtable interview left a good impression on my heart. I am pleased with her start as the wife of philanthropist and entrepreneur Dick Devos.Moreover, they not only shared being the father and mother of four children and five grandkids. But, they are both community activists. As a college graduate from Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Betsy is a former chairwoman of The Philanthropy Roundtable and the American Federation for Children.She urged for the kids’ choice of real education should be a non-political issue. Her stand is for them to have the freedom to equate their learning outside of the family’s way and place them into a safe environment.

It would be an atmosphere where other parents like Dick and Betsy DeVos sensed that electrified influence with care. These special surroundings should be examples of the Potter’s House Christian School in Grand Rapids.In large, the billionaire couple, Betsy, and Dick started something from the Potter’s House support to reforming education on a broad scale. Their efforts would mean sharing resources with other parents so they could allow the children to select the best school.Therefore, the American Federation for Children would be the means of increasing educational choice across the states. And digital learning could be a part of the movement for children education. This new technology would enhance the kids’ ability to pick up fast in full.

Yes, many parents use the homeschooling option so they might get back the control of providing their children a valid education. They took this action due to them not know where to assign their kids. Now, Betsy is advocating for parents and donors to get involved with their effort in improving the American education.She believes all parents need the opportunity to select a better educational environment for their kids. Furthermore, she feels the children deserve a chance to achieve their God-given ability. For decades, Betsy Devos has been involved in improving education and this is the perfect reason President Trump chose her to be his secretary for education.

Brenda Wardle on Racist Tweets

Are you woke? In terms of online slang, being woke refers to being active, both socially and politically. It means that an individual is aware of issues that are happening today and that this person sees through the hype and is active in the search for the truth. This term first developed during the #BlackLivesMatter campaign started through Twitter.

Those who use the social networking platform Twitter are constantly developing memes, challenging offensive posts, and using this network to offer short, 140-character messages about issues happening in the real world. Twitter is a huge collective of individuals from every walk of life. From preteens to government officials to famous music stars, it is an extremely public and favorited way to voice an opinion and make a stance. “Woke Twitter” was responsible for shedding light on racist remarks that Penny Sparrow, Chris Hart and Justin van Vuuren had made in previous days. These remarks were not just noticed on the internet. These comments caused Hart to be suspended as an analyst by Standard Bank and all three individuals had charges pressed against them for their comments.

While the constitution protects the right of free speech, it also dictates that these freely-spoken statements can only be made providing they do not infringe on the rights of others. Legal analyst Brenda Wardle had this to say: “We must remember that free speech or even freedom of expression, unlike human dignity, is limited by specific clauses in the constitution. So what Penny Sparrow did was to prejudice the rights of all black South Africans by equating them to monkeys, apes and animals.

With such a large collection of individuals coming together using hashtags and re-tweeting, re-posting, and favoriting the tweets related to these incidents, the online community urges everyone to “stay woke” and diminish the ability for certain people to escape the law by passing under the radar using such hateful words and descriptions.

Check out Brenda Wardle on Facebook and LinkedIn

Brenda Wardle on the Pistorius Trial:

Yeoung Park: A Force For Change

Think of a bad day. Think of the worst day you have ever had in your life. Now imagine it over and over every day of your life. Now realize that what you are imagining is likely not even close to the horrible days endured by the citizens of North Korea on a daily basis. Kim Jong-Un and the 70-year legacy that he stands for believe in nothing but they oppression of their people. Children are indoctrinated with a belief in two rules: worship the dictator and hate the enemies of the regime. They are not allowed to choose what to sing, wear, or think themselves.

But there are people standing up against the oppression in North Korea. Brave people like Yeonmi Park. Yeoung was born in North Korea and raised to believe these principles so wholly that she was certain her leader could read her thoughts, and she would be punished for thinking anything negative about her government. At nine she witnessed her friends mother being executed for a minor crime. Her father was forced to smuggle gold, silver, and other precious metals to China just to try and feed his family through the horrible famine in 2002. Her family fled the country, and she and her parents were sold into human trafficking while trying to escape through China to the South Korean embassy in Mongolia. Her mother was raped to save her from the same fate and her father died of colon cancer in the Chinese Mountains. Burying her father at 3am so as not to be seen, she remembers feeling that she couldn’t cry or she would be immediately caught and sent back to North Korea.

Now, having finally escaped by crossing the Gobi Desert at -40 degrees, she still fears speaking out against the government that oppressed her, but she is not letting that fear stop her. Giving a speech at the One Young World Summit in Dublin Ireland, she became a YouTube sensation and the face of the movement to end the oppression in North Korea. Even having escaped the country, she still faces oppression from her former government. Currently, she is publishing a tell-all book through Penguin about her escape, but more importantly about the horrible crimes that she suffered through in North Korea.  It speaks volumes about Yeoung Park that the worst her family members were able to conjure up was that she was an “ambitious girl.” Yeoung, along with others, continues to work towards change for the people under the thumb of this tyrannical dictator.