Posts in doing good
barca for mayor : healing kaua'i

Dustin Barca Run for Mayor 103 Just got back from a week on the island of Kaua'i where an inspiring mayoral race is underway. New candidate, Dustin Barca, a native of Kaua'i, returned to the island after a tour as a professional surfer and took his activist spirit into the political realm by running for mayor. (Mayors govern each individual island in Hawaii.) We saw signs, bumper stickers, shirts promoting him everywhere on the island.

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Even in his campaign posters, he is approachable in a t-shirt and kind face, standing in a field -- and after reading interviews and campaign literature, it's clear he's a passionate advocate for his home. He is focusing specifically on the restoration of Kauaian culture; sustainable agriculture; restoring the islands original waterways and addressing the local drug problem through rehabilitation programs and less imprisonment. "For the people, from the heart."

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Barca impressively launched his campaign with a literal "run" for mayor by completing a 4-day, 90-mile marathon across the entire island to get the word out. Best of luck, Barca!!

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barca4mayor.com

daame : leather laptop tote

daame laptop tote side The right laptop bag is hard to come by. I'm feeling this tote by Daame, a small new biz that launched with this product only. They donate 5% of all profits to a featured organization that supports women in some way.

Currently, donations go to Outliers International, dedicated to providing safety and education for girls in the village of Minawar, Pakistan where the literacy rate for women is as low as 12%.

Pre-order the tote ($395, was $465) which ships later in April.

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(*via swiss-miss)

jonas dahlberg : memory wound project

5318cab4c07a80688c000137_-memory-wound-fractures-landscape-commemorates-victims-of-norway-s-massacre_jonas_dahlberg_cut_2-530x352 Jonas Dahlberg's Memory Wound project is the finalist in Oslo’s July 22 Memorial competition, which sought a memorial to honor the 77 victims of the two separate and solo-operated terrorist attacks that occurred on July 22, 2011. What a beautiful design for so painful a memory for Norway.

Dalhberg's own description: The concept for the Memorial Sørbråten proposes a wound or a cut within nature itself. It reproduces the physical experience of taking away, reflecting the abrupt and permanent loss of those who died. The cut will be a three-and-a-half-meters-wide excavation.

...Visitors begin their experience guided along a wooden pathway through the forest...Then the pathway will flow briefly into a tunnel. This tunnel leads visitors inside of the landscape and to the dramatic edge of the cut itself. Visitors will be on one side of a channel of water created by the cut. Across this channel, on the flat vertical stone surface of the other side, the names of those who died will be visibly inscribed in the stone.

The names will be close enough to see and read clearly—yet ultimately out of reach....It should be difficult to see the beauty of the natural setting, without also experiencing a sense of loss. It is this sense of loss that will physically activate the site. .

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(*via Notcot via ArchDaily)

elephant landing : linens & silks
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These beautiful textiles for the home are made by Elephant Landing, an inspiring social enterprise. The products are each made by hand in India as a part of a training program for women, who receive a sewing machine upon graduation to continue their trade back in their home village. 100% of profits are used to educate and employ more women in neighboring villages of India.

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marisol umbrellas : gorgeous & good

22a_marisols_mini Marisols offers these stunning handmade umbrellas using African wax prints. Naturally, the fabrics are imported but the umbrellas are assembled in Brooklyn.

"Twenty percent of the net profits are donated to women survivors of sexual violence in The Democratic Republic of Congo to rebuild their lives at The City of Joy, a revolutionary healing and training center created by women on the ground and sustained by V-Day, a worldwide activists’ movement to end violence against women."

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(*via In / Out)

the museum of you : jake barton TED talk

Yesterday I watched a moving and interesting TED Talk by Jake Barton, design principal of the firm Local Projects, who was behind the development and design of Storycorps among many other major projects.

His current focus is on the exhibits of the 9/11 Memorial Museum and this talk explains their approach as well as his view of the significance of story in how we remember history. Hope you enjoy it too and that it adds something to your awareness of today's significance.

maeztro urbano : cut and carry

860962_346938288750558_1959376809_o A masked man who goes by the name "Maeztro Urbano" in Honduras' capital city Tegucigalpa, is creating street art to draw attention to the social issues his community faces, particularly violence. According to a story I heard on NPR, he holds a day job in advertising -- it's his knowledge of how advertising works that got him interested in spreading a message through mural painting and graffiti. From the interview: "He says we put this message in the streets for all the people who can't, because of the repression in our country. We are their voice."

This project, "Cut and carry / Recortar para llevar" represents the empty promises from politicians (food, education, security, etc.), who paste their campaign posters all over the city's walls.

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vendor power : celebrating new york city's Street Vendor Project

Vendor Power from Mimi Wong on Vimeo.

This week I attended the annual party/fundraiser for The Street Vendor Project, an amazing organization providing legal support and advocacy to the thousands of street vendors who line our streets with good food, accessories and artwork. They are one of the most remarkable elements of this city. Most are immigrants to the United States who face discrimination from the city government and police, as well as the hardships of sustaining a living in this city through small business. SVP fights on behalf of them.

The above video was presented at the event; trust me that you will enjoy it.

I encourage you to make a contribution or volunteer! www.streetvendor.org

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the lives they lived : essays & images

mag-30Vargas-t_CA0-jumbo Chavela Vargas, above

Last weekend, the New York Times Magazine was devoted to a collection of essays titled "The Lives They Lived." I found it very moving and an inspirational/educational way to reflect on the past year. Each essay is written by a different author, artist, critic, whatever. I encourage you to visit the interactive feature online and explore the collection fully. It's also a beautiful collection of photography and artistic representations.

You click on the names along with these images to read the corresponding essay. There are many more names in the article but these were a few of my favorites. Enjoy!

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Above, photograph of Italian actress Silvano Mangano by Eve Arnold.

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Zelda Kaplan; Handmade gifts by David Rakoff

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Dave Brubeck (paper illustration by Katrin Rodegast)

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Don Cornelius

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Paradise Park, New Jersey

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Sylvia Woods

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Vidal Sassoon

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Adrienne Rich

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Whitney Houston

The Lives They Lived, The New York Times

stockings with care : be a santa

My favorite organization to support at Christmas time is Stockings With Care.

Sign up with me and "Be a Santa"!

About Stockings with Care:

Stockings with Care works with families either living in homeless shelters or who are in jeopardy of becoming homeless and can not afford to celebrate their holiday. Social workers work with the parents to make their wish lists. These lists are passed on to Stockings with Care.

SWC makes sure that every child gets at least two things on their list and that each child has at least three gifts to open on Christmas morning by securing donations from people who sign up to be a Santa. Thousands of gifts are wrapped and delivered to the parents, empowering them to create magic for their kids.

Of course, lots of kids ask for what every kid wants - toys. But there are an equal number of requests for life's essentials. Clothes. Books. Strollers, Diapers. One year, a child even asked for dog food so that they didn't have to give up the family dog that they could no longer afford. SWC delivered a year's supply of dog food.

Sign up to sponsor a child's two gift wishes.

And/or volunteer to help pack it all up the weekend of December 8th.