Mallika Dutt

Posted: May 12, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Thanks to http://www.thextraordinary.org/mallika-dutt

 

Why Mallika Dutt is Extraordinary

Mallika Dutt is one of the most innovative human rights leaders of this generation. She is founder, president, and CEO of Breakthrough, an organization that aims to change the culture around human rights so that they are demanded and respected by all, and in particular to make violence against women and girls unacceptable. Prior to that, Mallika co-founded SAKHI for South Asian Women and was its founding director until 2001. A decade later, Breakthrough is now considered an award-winning producer of pop culture campaigns and on-the-ground leadership trainings that bring human rights into lives, homes, and communities and change the world for the better.

BREAKTHROUGH’S ACHIEVEMENTS

One of the most groundbreaking campaigns in the history of human rights was started by Breakthrough. They called it Bell Bajao (“Ring the Bell”). The Bell Bajao campaign became a hit with its compelling ads about “ringing the bell” to disrupt domestic violence, therefore doing our part in creating a community conscious of each person’s rights as a human being.

In its first campaign, Mann ke Manjeere, Breakthrough released a widely successful music album video in India that featured a Bollywood famous artist singing a song about a woman’s escape from the abusive hands of her husband. The Mann ke Manjeere video garnered many awards, including the National Screen Award for Best Music Video, a nomination for Best Indipop Music Video, and the Link TV Award for Best Music Video. Breakthrough also works on human rights in the United States. In past years, Breakthrough developed a campaign called #ImHere and a Facebook game called America 2049, both of which advocated for immigrant rights, especially women’s. Dutt explains #ImHere in an interview as follows:

“The war on women and the war on immigrants have coalesced in the lives of immigrant women and through #ImHere, we’re asking everyone to stand up for immigrant women and their human rights.”(SOURCE: IBN Live)

America 2049, on the other hand, is more than just a video game. Through it, Breakthrough hopes to reach wide audiences about human rights issues in the United States, through an exciting gameplay interface and characters played by celebrities familiar to fans of Alias, 24, Lost, and more.

Called by Newsweek/The Daily Beast a “breakout star” of the Women in the World conference, Dutt is a force to be reckoned with. Her hard work has earned her an International Humanitarian Award in 2013 and the Asian American Justice Center Courage Award in 2009, among many other honors. She was included in 50 Fearless Minds Changing the World by the Daily Muse and named one of the “50 coolest Desis in the world” by DesiClub.com.

Dutt has found a strong ally in technology and social media as a means of reaching people where they are and encourage them to participate in the protection of human rights and the drive to make violence against women unacceptable. While governments and state actors are mandated to protect human rights, we also need people to treat each other with the human rights values of dignity, equality, and justice.

In the words of Dutt, “Human rights start with you.”

Top Reasons why Mallika Dutt is Extraordinary

  1. She founded Breakthrough, an award-winning human rights organization.
  2. Breakthrough won Gold for Best Integrated Campaign in Public Service, Appeals and Charity category at Gold at Abby Awards and received Radio & TV Advertising Practitioner’s Association of India Award for Best Film with a Social Message.
  3. She co-founded SAKHI for South Asian Women, now a highly regarded NGO itself.
  4. She is a lawyer by profession and an activist by destiny.
  5. She graduated Magna Cum Laude, International Relations from Mount Holyoke College and a Mary Lyon scholar.
  6. She has an honorary degree in Humane Letters from Mount Holyoke College and was awarded the Vanderbilt Medal for Extraordinary Contribution to the NYU Law School Community.
  7. She received the Asian American Justice Center Courage Award and the International Humanitarian Award.
  8. She was included in 50 Fearless Minds Changing the World by the Daily Muse and called by Newsweek/The Daily Beast a “breakout star” of the Women in the World conference.
  9. Upon establishing Breakthrough, she received the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, SAWCC, Annual Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to the South Asian Community.

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The captivating story of an ordinary bartender who’s changing the world through clean water.

Doc Hendley never set out to be a hero. In 2004, Hendley — a small-town bartender — launched a series of wine-tasting events to raise funds for clean-water projects and to bring awareness to the world’s freshwater crisis. He planned to donate the proceeds through traditional channels, but instead found himself traveling to one of the world’s most dangerous hot spots: Darfur, Sudan.

There, Doc witnessed a government-sponsored genocide where the number-one weapon wasn’t bullets — it was water. The Janjaweed terrorists had figured out that shooting up a bladder containing 10,000 liters of water, or dumping rotting corpses into a primary water source is remarkably efficient for the purposes of mass extermination. With limited funds, Doc realized that he couldn’t build new wells costing $10,000 a pop, but he could hire local workers to restore a damaged well for a mere $50 each. He’d found his mission. Today, Doc and Wine to Water continue to help stricken peoples repair and maintain water- containment systems in places like Darfur, Cambodia, Uganda and Haiti.

Doc is a regular, rough-and-tumble guy who loves booze, music, and his Harley — but he also wanted to help. Wine to Water is a gripping story about braving tribal warfare and natural disasters and encountering fascinating characters in far-flung regions of the world. It is also an authoritative account of a global crisis and an inspirational tale that proves how ordinary people can improve the world.

An Introduction to Wine to Water by Doc Hendley:

In 2003, Dickson “Doc” Hendley was like most American college students and just having fun. Yet, he remembers “a sinking feeling in my stomach, like I should be doing something better with my life” (p. 27). Within months, the college senior and popular bartender launched an organization that has already improved — and saved — thousands of lives in more than nine countries around the globe.

Despite being the son of a preacher, Doc doesn’t fit the Good Samaritan stereotype. Self-described as “rough around the edges” and tattooed, Doc took an early dislike to rules and developed a taste for whiskey and Harleys while still a teen. As his college graduation neared, Doc began to dread the prospect of life “in a cubicle” (p. 27).

By chance, Doc learned about an international aid organization named Samaritan’s Purse and began brainstorming ways that he could help the world’s needy. That night he woke up from his sleep with the words “wine to water” spinning around in his head.
Doc hit the Internet and learned that “unclean water kills a child every twenty seconds — it’s more lethal than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined” (p. 30). He immediately began drawing on his connections to host a party benefiting clean water initiatives. Within a month, he’d raised twelve thousand dollars.

Suddenly, Doc had to decide where it should go. “I never wanted Wine to Water to be like one of those bullshit nonprofits … that used the majority of the donations to pay staff” (p. 37). After talking to a Samaritan’s Purse director, he unexpectedly walked out with a twelve-month job assignment in Darfur — and the authority to distribute the money where he felt it was needed most.

Nothing could prepare Doc for what awaited him. He had flown from verdant North Carolina into a barren desert landscape where average daytime temperatures hit 120-degrees and government-sponsored Janjaweed soldiers had already killed a hundred thousand civilians and displaced more than a million more.

While Doc had fantasized about “instantly morphing into some superhero water savior” (p. 55), the reality was infinitely more complex. But as inexperienced as he was in some ways, Doc knew a lot about human nature: “It’s not so much about how good and fast you are at making a Fuzzy Navel; it’s about developing a good relationship with the people sitting in front of you at the bar” (p. 111).

So whether he was hiring staff, placating soldiers, or declining proffered brides, Doc tactfully negotiated an unfamiliar culture to do his real work. Slowly, Doc began repairing wells, installing water bladders, and teaching the locals how to maintain them — sometimes while the bullets were being aimed at him.

In plainspoken and impassioned prose, Wine to Water shares the story of Doc’s unlikely transformation from a rough-and-tumble bartender to CNN Hero. As informative as it is harrowing and inspiring, Doc’s account of our global water crisis and his continuing quest to provide stricken peoples with clean water resoundingly proves that one man is capable of changing the world.

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I got this wonderful story from: http://topbestextraordinarypeople.blogspot.com

THE “PLASTIC POLLUTION COALITION”

Daniella explains the goal of the project they started in 2009:
“Our vision is a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on people, animals and the environment. Towards this goal, we work to eliminate disposable plastics, and reduce the planetary plastic footprint. This is only possible through the combined efforts of individuals, organizations and businesses, and so we have formed the Plastic Pollution Coalition to create a common goal. We all work to educate the public on the issues with plastic; to encourage policy-makers to support our efforts and also to provide long-term economic incentives to businesses that invest in alternatives to plastic; and to form a global, international alliance.” (SOURCE: 7×7)
The “Plastic Pollution Coalition” has partnered with organizations and businesses to realize sustainable ways of life without relying on plastic. With leaders joining them from around the world, the plastic problem is now being pushed towards the world’s top issues which demand immediate action. Since the 1950s, the plastic industry has experienced a steady boom and our production has increased by 10%, causing tremendous problems like flooding and pollution which are more pressing now than ever before.

“THINK BEYOND PLASTICS” AND THE “GMO-FREE MONTEREY COUNTY”

The first of Daniella’s initiatives was “Think Beyond Plastic,” an award-winning global organization. In 2009, “Think Beyond Plastic” won “Best 360 Campaign” at the Jackson Hole Film Festival. In the same year, she launched “GMO-Free Monterey County,” which is “dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers of genetically-modified foods to the agricultural bounty of Monterey County. It incorporates a web site, numerous film screenings, a film festival and many other public events. Today, GMO-Free Monterey County collaborates with state-wide efforts to ban GMO crops, and to enforce labeling laws.” (SOURCE: Daniella Russo)

The Penguin Lady

Posted: April 18, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Bio

    Dyan deNapoli is a penguin expert, TED speaker, and author of the award-winning book, The Great Penguin Rescue. Dyan grew up near the ocean and has always had a deep passion for the sea and for animals. When she first learned about endangered species as a young child, she wanted to do something to help, but felt powerless to do so. She never dreamed that one day she would have the opportunity to do something tangible to help save a species.

    Many years later, while working as a Penguin Aquarist at Boston’s New England Aquarium, Dyan was a member of the first team of penguin experts to fly to South Africa from the United States to help manage the rehabilitation of thousands of penguins that were oiled when a ship sank near their breeding grounds. Her participation in the dramatic rescue of 40,000 penguins from the Treasure oil spill was transformative and unforgettable. The experience was so powerful that she felt compelled to share the story by writing a book about it.

    Published by Simon & Schuster’s Free Press in 2010, The Great Penguin Rescue won a Silver Nautilus Book Award, was named a “Must-Read” Book in the Massachusetts Book Awards, and was selected as “One of the best Natural Science books of 2010” by Library Journal. The New York Post put it on their “Required Reading” list, calling it “an eco-thriller with a happy ending”.

    After working closely with penguins at the New England Aquarium for nine years, Dyan founded her company, The Penguin Lady, to teach audiences worldwide about the biology, behavior, and conservation of these unique seabirds. She has been interviewed on numerous radio and TV shows in the US and abroad, including CNN’s Situation Room, the BBC, CBC Canada and Sierra Club Radio. Dyan has been the guest lecturer on nature cruises to Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands and, since 1995, has taught approximately 250,000 people worldwide about penguins. Dyan’s mission is to raise awareness and funding to protect these engaging seabirds – to that end, she donates 20% of the proceeds from her book and from every appearance to penguin rescue groups.

Ron Finley, The TED Speaker

Posted: April 16, 2014 in Uncategorized
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ImageAn inspiring story I got from: http://topbestextraordinarypeople.blogspot.com/2014/03/ron-finley-extraordinary-people.html

“People need to realize how powerful the transformation of soil can be. We’ve gotten so far away from our food source. It’s been hijacked from us. But if you get soil, plant something in it and water it, you can feed yourself. It’s that simple.” (SOURCE: The New York Times)

Without the trappings of fame, Ron Finley is just a father who cares about his sons’ health. He fashioned a garden out of his front lawn, just as he embellishes bare walls with graffiti. The result is a free source of food and an amalgam of life in the form of plants.

TED Speaker

He was one of the founders of an organization, which was inspired by his “gangster attitude” towards gardening. Before his TED Talk, Ron and his organization had less than 30 volunteers; his TED appearance, however, gave it the media mileage it needed and multiplied its workforce more than ten-fold. According to Ron, we should break away from what food corporations dictate that we eat, as our growing indifference towards growing our own food only makes these capitalists richer.
Dubbed a “food desert,” South Central Los Angeles has one of the highest obesity rates in America. It’s a place where diabetes is also prevalent due to poor eating habits; without fresh fruits and vegetables around, people are left with few choices other than convenience stores and fast-food restaurants.
Ron’s garden inspired his neighbors (and many others after his TED talk) to think about what they eat. But what’s important to him now is that his garden enables him to silently help people who have hardly anything to eat:

“I remember this time, there was this mother and a daughter came, it was, like, 10:30 at night, and they were in my yard, and I came out and they looked so ashamed. So I’m like, man, it made me feel bad that they were there, and I told them, you know, you don’t have to do this like this. This is on the street for a reason. It made me feel ashamed to see people that were this close to me that were hungry, and this only reinforced why I do this, and people asked me, “Fin, aren’t you afraid people are going to steal your food?” And I’m like, “Hell no, I ain’t afraid they’re gonna steal it. That’s why it’s on the street. That’s the whole idea. I want them to take it, but at the same time, I want them to take back their health.” (SOURCE: TED Talks)

Yes, aside from having a green thumb, this “gangster gardener” also has a big heart.

 

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Thanks to www.thextraordinary.org/daniella-russo

WHY DANIELLA RUSSO IS EXTRAORDINARY

If you are a parent, would you feed your children plastic? “Of course not!” No parent would. But did you know we could be doing it inadvertently by allowing plastic to populate the world? Experts estimate that by 2050, we could be producing over one-trillion pounds of plastic each year, in accordance with today’s 4-5% rise in plastic production. How do we reverse our fate? Daniella Dimitrova Russo is doing what she can through “Think Beyond Plastics” and the “Plastic Pollution Coalition.”

Her work in the environmental field began after seeing a mother albatross feed her young with food from the Pacific Garbage Patch. It was a sorry scene; we are truly drowning in our own wastes. In the name of convenience, we are putting our children’s future at risk. Plastic particles are found in our oceans, ingested by our aquatic resources, and are polluting the food chain. Like the albatross, we don’t want our kids to be eating plastics. But do we have a choice?

THE “PLASTIC POLLUTION COALITION”

Daniella explains the goal of the project they started in 2009:

“Our vision is a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on people, animals and the environment. Towards this goal, we work to eliminate disposable plastics, and reduce the planetary plastic footprint. This is only possible through the combined efforts of individuals, organizations and businesses, and so we have formed the Plastic Pollution Coalition to create a common goal. We all work to educate the public on the issues with plastic; to encourage policy-makers to support our efforts and also to provide long-term economic incentives to businesses that invest in alternatives to plastic; and to form a global, international alliance.” (SOURCE: 7×7)

The “Plastic Pollution Coalition” has partnered with organizations and businesses to realize sustainable ways of life without relying on plastic. With leaders joining them from around the world, the plastic problem is now being pushed towards the world’s top issues which demand immediate action. Since the 1950s, the plastic industry has experienced a steady boom and our production has increased by 10%, causing tremendous problems like flooding and pollution which are more pressing now than ever before.

“THINK BEYOND PLASTICS” AND THE “GMO-FREE MONTEREY COUNTY”

The first of Daniella’s initiatives was “Think Beyond Plastic,” an award-winning global organization. In 2009, “Think Beyond Plastic” won “Best 360 Campaign” at the Jackson Hole Film Festival. In the same year, she launched “GMO-Free Monterey County,” which is “dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers of genetically-modified foods to the agricultural bounty of Monterey County. It incorporates a web site, numerous film screenings, a film festival and many other public events. Today, GMO-Free Monterey County collaborates with state-wide efforts to ban GMO crops, and to enforce labeling laws.” (SOURCE: Daniella Russo)

Feel free to support Daniella’s cause if you love your children and your planet.

TOP REASONS WHY DANIELLA RUSSO IS EXTRAORDINARY

  1. She founded “Think Beyond Plastic” in 2007.
  2. In 2009, “Think Beyond Plastic” won “Best 360 Campaign” at the Jackson Hole Film Festival.
  3. That same year, she co-founded another environmental organization, the “Plastic Pollution Coalition.”
  4. She was a successful career woman before becoming an environmental activist.
  5. She founded her own consultation company, “Mindzone,” in 1998.
  6. She also launched a network for people on the go, called “Planetstop.”
  7. She is the brains behind “GMO-Free Monterey County.”
  8. She helped “Infoseek,” one of the first internet companies, take off.
  9. She once worked for “Sun Microsystems.”
  10. She’s an esteemed speaker and proud mother of two.

Liya Kebede

Posted: April 11, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Liya Kebede (born January 3, 1980) is an Ethiopian model who has appeared on the cover of US Vogue twice.  According to Forbes, Kebede was eleventh-highest-paid top model in the world

Kebede was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A film director spotted Kebede while she was attending Lycee Guebre Mariam and introduced her to a French modeling agent. After completing her studies, she moved to France to pursue work through a Parisian agency. Kebede later relocated to New York City. She has remarked that the modeling industry in Ethiopia is quite different from the catwalks on which she is now ubiquitous. In contrast, in Ethiopia she had to provide her own shoes for each runway show.

Kebede’s big break came when Tom Ford asked her for an exclusive contract for his Gucci Fall/Winter 2000 fashion show. Kebede was a finalist in the Miss World supermodel contest and later established a place in fashion’s elite by modeling on the New York, Milan, London and Paris runway circuit . Kebede’s popularity in the fashion industry sky-rocketed when she appeared on the cover the May 2002 edition of Paris Vogue which dedicated the entire issue to her .

Kebede has been seen on the covers of Italian, Japanese, American, French and Spanish Vogue, V, Flair, i-D and Time’s Style & Design. Kebede has been featured in ad campaigns including those for Gap, Yves Saint-Laurent, Victoria’s Secret, Emanuel Ungaro, Tommy Hilfiger, Revlon, Dolce & Gabbana, Escada and Louis Vuitton. In 2003, Kebede was named the newest face of Estée Lauder cosmetics, the first Ethiopian to serve as their representative in the company’s 57-year history. Her contract was rumoured to be for $3 million dollars .

Kebede is one of a very few African models featured in major fashion photo shoots and runway shows . According to Conor Kennedy, in 2003 a booker at Elite Model Management,

“It’s like there’s only room for one very successful black model at a time. For the past year it’s been Kebede”.

In 2005, Kebede was appointed as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. She also appeared in a group montage on a rare (as of recent years) group montage of up and coming supermodels.

In summer of 2006 she was also one of the very few non-white models to have been given a cover of American Vogue, the issue highlighted her humanitarian work.

In July 2007, earning at an estimated total of $2.5 million in the past 12 months, Forbes named her eleventh in the list of the World’s 15 Top-Earning Supermodels.

Kebede has also had minor roles in two films: The Good Shepherd and Lord of War.

In 2008, Kebede was featured on one of the four covers of Vogue Italia’s all Black Issue.
Personal life

Kebede married Ethiopian hedge fund manager Kassy Kebede in 2000 and they have two children together; son Suhul (b. 2001) and daughter Raee (b. August 2005). As of 2007, the family resides in New York City.

Aside from being a mother of two, a model, an actor, a humanitarian and a goodwill ambassador, Kebede has also designed a children’s-wear line that are made from Ethiopia. Kebede says she hopes this will part a sea of change for her home country. “It’s wonderful to be able to donate and help people,” she says.
Quotes

    “Honestly, I wish I could’ve lived in their time. They had so much fun.” – Liya on the supermodel era, Vogue
    “Every day we hear about the dangers of cancer, heart disease and AIDS. But how many of us realize that, in much of the world, the act of giving life to a child is still the biggest killer of women of child-bearing age? That over half a million die every year? Or that 3 million babies are stillborn? Or that another 4 million die during the first days and weeks of life?” – during her acceptance of the 2005 UN Day Award.