Monday, May 19, 2014
There is no telling what the power of social media can do...
Unbeknownst to some advocates and caring activist, critics sprinkled ridicule in the media regarding the effectiveness a growing social campaign called #BringBackOurGirls.
I learned about the 279 Nigerian girls who were forcefully kidnapped from a school in the remote North-East of Nigeria by Islamist insurgency group known as Boko Haram on Instagram. Most readers were naive to earlier incidents of attacks and violence which left a number of civilians dead. Like for many, if it had not been for a social media postings, the issues Nigeria is facing may never have caught the public's attention.
In comparison to countless well documented social media revolutions, #BringBackOurGirls is not much different. Social media has been known to air out the dirty laundry of leaders, regimes, political officials, and pop stars. This may be one of the reasons that social media has been an intricate force infused in awareness and monopolizing the average “Joe’s” power to harness change in the social culture today.
Historically, the timeline has shown there is power in people connecting and sharing content.
-In June 2009, the Tehran protest in Iran when the people protested an election in Iran, the Iranian government cracked down on media reports, but demonstrators used Twitter to further a “Twitter Revolution.” At one point it was mandated that Twitter postpone scheduled maintenance to provide people with a communication channel, sort of a life line to share information.
-January 2011 the uprising in Tunisa, Egypt, Syria, Libya, and other countries used Facebook and Twitter to organize protests.
-2011 Occupy Wall Street gains momentum and supporters through social media which leads to nationwide protests latter in the year.
-November 2012 Obama and Michelle tweeted a picture of themselves. The public retweeted it almost 800,000 times. Also in 2012, Israel Defense forces live tweeted a military conflict against Hamas in Gaza.
There are many more examples from disaster relief in from the earthquake in Haiti, hurricane Sandy in the North, tornado's in the Midwest to political revolutions, protests, and organized awareness campaigns throughout the world. To date high profile celebrities and public officials have also chimed in with signs that promote the #BringOurGirlsBack campaign. People like Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mary J. Blige and President Barrack Obama are just a few to name.
The point of this historical reference is to correlate social media and other digital 2.0 effectiveness
in organizing real action. From the White House to Monday May 12th’s Rallyin front of City Hall in New York City. It is through social media that women in Nigeria were able to catch the world’s attention.
People all over the country are standing up to put pressure on Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to be proactive in the matter. It is believed with out the strong presence of the outside world, nothing much would have been done to return the young girls safely back home.
With a crucial election for Goodluck Jonathan around the corner, he has no choice but to hear the world’s dismay about the lack of adequate laws, resources, and concern to protect young girls and women in Nigeria.
People gathered with public advocate Letitia "Tish" James, City Council member Mattieu Eugene, speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Brooklyn College Political Science Professor Mojubaolu Okome, Bishop Dr. Jonathan Owhe, and a host of additional concerned leaders and citizens to discuss #BringBackOurGirls and what the public can do to support.
Social media has been instrumental in bringing awareness to #BringBackOurGirls campaign. As pictures and video was taken, people shared their point of view, conversed, and creatively poured out a message that announced “Our Nigerian Girls Matter”. These girls are mine and yours, our sisters, aunts, and daughters.
LOVE WILL PREVAIL AND BRING THEM HOME
Sunday, March 16, 2014
CALL TO ACTION! YOGA FOR AIDE RELIEF...
In response to the tragedy on Park Ave in Harlem, Harlem Yoga Studio is dedicating all community class donations until the end of March 2014 to aide in the relief efforts for families of the victims and those displaced by Wednesday’s unfortunate tragedy. Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the
Not only are you giving back but for your generosity you will have taken an opportunity to benefit your whole being with an life enriching practice!
Community classes are held:
Monday: 10:00 - 11:30 AM (Community Open Level)
Wednesday : 5:45 - 6:45 PM (Community Open Level Vinyasa)
Fridays :9-10:30 AM (Community Iyengar Yoga)
Friday: 10:45 - 12:15 PM (Community Prenatal Yoga)
Harlem, NY 10027
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Governor Cuomo has been in the midst of great debate in respect to hydraulic fracturing, a process that has been known to contaminate groundwater and air quality. Some countries have completely banned the method of extraction. A growing number of New Yorkers in opposition demonstrate their resistance in front of The Harvard Club where Mr. Cuomo ate for breakfast. You could say, his unexpected guests joined him for green eggs and ham.
Almost a year ago, Governor Cuomo ordered Dr. Nariv Shah to conduct a study on the health effects of drilling. Political pressure has put Cuomo in a position to bring the Health Department Study to a head. They project over 200,000 jobs either directly related to fracking or industries that benefit from “lower” energy cost output. The impression of the energy source being safe emerged when 30 other states approved its use. Contrary to this belief, 4 states, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas have confirmed water pollution from drilling.
Consider New York’s “other half” where drilling will be prominent. Places like Mohonk, Nyack Village, The Adirondacks, Greater Niagara, Chautauqua-Allegheny, Finger Lakes, Thousand Islands-Seaway, Central New York, and The Catskills landscapes are at risk for spills, methane leaks, and flow-back; all of which impose health risks and induce environmental injury.
The documentary Gas Land directed by Josh Fox outlined consequences of areas exploited for slickwater fracking energy. Mr. Fox discovered communities in Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah were significantly affected by the practice. His documentary exposed the extremely dirty environmental conditions that had adverse health effects which caused impairment to the people and land but were blatantly denied by politicians. Putting stake in the 200,000 job’s claim and fast forward toward a possibility economic development in the form of hoarded profits and low wage jobs as it has been with modernistic big business ventures.
A study published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology finds that “shale gas has a return value which is close to coal.” As we have recently witnessed, profits have benefited the upper echelons in society which have consistently deleted alternative cleaner and healthier products due to their lack of profitability.
In the documentary, landowners who put their house on the market ended up with unsalable houses, methane contaminated water, and polluted backyards. Analyzing the current trend of big business, it is doubtful the general population will benefit from financial prosperity anyway.
Governor Cuomo’s delay could show that he is well aware of the controversy posed around drilling in New York State.
Possible solutions to cleaner fracking do exist! CleanStim, GasFrac’s Fluid, and Ecosphere Technologies’ advanced oxidation where 100 percent of the water used in this process can be recycled. Combining cleaner fracking methods with alternative natural energy sources like solar and wind power can help to change the energy industry as we know it.
It is safe to say, a large responsible ball of energy rests on Governor’s Cuomo’s hand. We can only hope he sees things as clearly as the general public has when it comes to the winners and losers in big business energy.