America’s Wild Lands at Risk, According to New Study

The Wilderness Society is advocating for America’s wild places with a new study that points to troubling developments when it comes to development of public lands that have been designated as wild places. While the Trump administration is trying to roll back the protection of public lands, The Wilderness Society just published its 2017 “Too Wild To Drill” report on September 18. It identifies 15 unique places found on public lands that are at high risk of drilling, mining and other development—and the damage and destruction that inevitably follow.

The Wilderness Society’s is America’s leading conservation organization with the mission to protect shared wild lands so we and future generations can benefit from what our public lands provide to us: clean air, wildlife, havens for recreation, solitude and learning, important sources of renewable energy, vital natural resources that must be managed wisely, and a foundation for a healthy planet.

Silverbee is proud to advocate for America’s wilderness by teaming with Weintraub Communications to shine a spotlight on wild lands at risk.

Red Nose Day USA: “Running Wild” for vaccines

Julia Roberts and Bear Grylls doc about immunization supply chain featured in 2017 telethon

Washington, DC, 26 May 2017– Outdoor adventurer Bear Grylls and actor Julia Roberts’ race to deliver vaccines to a remote village in Kenya put immunization and Gavi’s mission center stage of Red Nose Day USA on Thursday.

In a special episode of “Running Wild,” broadcast on NBC as part of the Red Nose Day telethon, the two celebrities are shown making a dramatic journey through underbrush and across a rope bridge to reach kids in a small village with life-saving vaccines.

The video powerfully illustrates the immunization supply chain which ensures vaccines are transported safely from a country’s central warehouse to the kids who need them most.

“It was 110 or 115 degrees…very hot. I had this cooler with vaccines in it, and we had to get them to the farthest villages,” Roberts said in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres.

“We got there, and the place was teeming with families and kids. Everybody’s there because they know it’s an opportunity to get vaccines that will absolutely save their lives and change their lives…it’s just incredible.”

Record fundraising

The Red Nose Day USA telethon dedicates three hours of comedy, music, and entertainment to raising awareness of child poverty and support for 11 non-profit organizations working to improve kids’ lives. In its third years, the TV bonanza, which is sponsored by Comic Relief Inc., raised a record US$ 35 million.

Funds raised through previous Red Nose Day activities in the US have to date benefitted 2.6 million children across 50 US States and, internationally, another 25 countries. Globally, Red Nose Day has raised over $1 billion since its launch in the United Kingdom in 1988.

In addition to “Running Wild,” last night’s Red Nose Day featured a special edition of “Celebrity Ninja Warrior” and a mini-sequel of the 2003 romantic comedy, Love Actually. Comedian Chris Hardwick hosted the Red Nose Day live event with Nikki Glaser, Derek Hough, Stephen Amell, Natalie Morales, and many others.

Gavi partner

Comic Relief has been a strong Gavi partner since 2012, raising $26.2 million matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Since 2015, Red Nose Day USA’s contribution to Gavi has helped to immunize more than 800,000 children living in sub-Saharan Africa with life-saving vaccines, including those protecting against pneumococcal disease, rotavirus diarrhea, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib).

The world needs more Love, Actually! Watch Gavi staff deliver their own thank you message to Comic Relief for Red Nose Day USA.

Capitol Hill Kick-off

To kick off Red Nose Day USA, Gavi and 10 other domestic and international Red Nose Day USA charity partners hosted a reception on Capitol Hill on 16 May. Partners included Boys & Girls Clubs of America; Children’s Health Fund; Covenant House; Feeding America; National Council of La Raza; Save the Children; Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA; Oxfam; and The Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

“One billion children in the developing world are deprived of one or more basic needs, which is why we all come together for Red Nose Day: to keep kids healthy, safe, and educated,” said Janet Scardino, CEO of Comic Relief Inc., addressing lawmakers and guests.

“With overwhelming support from our non-profit partners, celebrities, social media’s #NosesOn campaign, and generosity from the American people, we’re making a difference, one nose at a time,” she said.

Gavi-Lions are out to get (rid of) measles

In 2016-17, we are working to support an organization with an important mission. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is an international nonprofit devoted to saving lives through vaccination. Gavi works with global foundations, governments, and external partners bringing life-saving vaccines to children in the poorest countries of the world.

One of Gavi’s important partners is Lions Clubs International Foundation, whose volunteers are critical to social mobilization – educating families and making sure they physically get their children to the vaccines. In 2016, we supported the Gavi – Lions Clubs campaigns including Zambia with articles and graphics, strategic communication planning, social media campaigns, and digital content, and marketing materials.

Now we are supporting Gavi-Lions by promoting their joint effort and one their biggest challenges: the 2017-18 India measles-rubella campaign aiming to immunize over 40 million Indian children against these serious but preventable diseases.

Measles—a highly contagious virus—is one of the top killers of unvaccinated children around the world. By weakening the immune system, measles can also lead to other health problems such as pneumonia, blindness, diarrhea, and encephalitis. Every year, 20 million people are affected by measles. Tragically, 315 children die every day as a result of measles complications.

Gavi and Lions volunteers often face serious challenges when trying to reach children in underdeveloped countries. They have to to find knowledgeable volunteers, fight infrastructure barriers, and overcome the fear of vaccines.

While vaccines are easily accessible in developed countries, we can find anti-immunization movements almost everywhere. The effectiveness of vaccines is not an “alternative fact” though. Despite studies involving more than 95,000 children showing that vaccines do not cause autism, vaccine myths like this prevent parents from getting their children vaccinated. This is why measles outbreaks still occur in the US. The state of Arizona reported 22 cases in the summer of 2016, making it one of the biggest outbreaks in the country — 70 cases were reported in total in 2016.

In September 2016, the Pan American Health Organization of the Americas declared the region of the Americas measles-free. However, outbreaks such as the one in Arizona last year will continue occurring. It can be brought in from travelers overseas and spread if immunization rates drop.

Silverbee is proud to support Gavi-Lions and their goal to eliminate measles in the world fighting for healthier children, healthier communities, and improved global health.

Mud, Masochism and Modern Life

If you or someone you know has competed in an obstacle course race like Tough Mudder and Spartan you probably wondered, why? Why the heck would anyone crawl under barbed wire, jump over fire, literally electrocute themselves and get excited to do it again. And pay good money for it!

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Scott Keneally doing a Tough Guy race

Our friend, journalist and filmmaker Scott Keneally, was wondering the same thing. Ever up for a gonzo challenge, Scott decided to suffer and write a funny story about it. He figured a self-described “pain-averse beta male” tackling a paramilitary assault course would make for a good story. Of course, he also wanted to score an “epic” profile picture so he could brag about it on Facebook and Insta.

While researching the history of Tough Mudder, Scott met some of the world’s most unique and interesting people, from the unusual and contrary English founder of the sport’s granddaddy, philosopher and athlete Mr. Mouse, to three-time champ and Apple lawyer Amelia Boone, plus repeat champion and former underwear model Hunter McIntyre. Scott stumbled upon a “Social Network”-style scandal… and quickly reinvented himself as an investigative journalist and his expose for Outside Magazine grew into a film, RISE OF THE SUFFERFESTS. It’s the first feature documentary about the muddy, masochistic world of obstacle racing. Simply put, the film asks WHY the hell everyone is suddenly paying for pain… and WTF it says about the world we’re living in.

What’s the deal. White privilege? Narcissism epidemic? Masculinity crisis? Loneliness in the digital age? A little scared, a little excited, and working from funds raised in two crowdsourcing appeals, Scott is about to become a father for the first time. Scared sh&tless, he goes for it. 

Scott Keneally recently talked to the OBSERVER about obstacle races and the psychology behind the OCR phenomenon. Read what he says about making the film and what he thinks about where the OCR craze is headed. 

You can also listen to him on ORDER OF MAN explaining what you can learn about yourself through participating in a race of your own.

The Lions of Zambia

The Lions of Zambia rise to their toughest vaccine challenge yet

Vaccines are hands down the best way to introduce better health to the world’s most vulnerable people. We recently interviewed Dr. Victor Mudenda in Zambia, who explained why.

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“The biggest challenge is fear. Many parents believe immunization leads to HIV infections and other problems. They want to stay away. Our education program is aimed at forestalling those fears.”Dr. Mudenda says the social mobilization and publicity campaign for the current measles vaccine program also has to overcome social norms in Zambia, where there is no tradition of regular visits to a clinic and clinics are underfunded.

 

 “There is a low understanding in the communities here of the need for people to be examined by doctors on a regular basis, to assess whether they are sick or not sick.

 

When it comes to the urgent mission to save lives in the world’s poorest countries, we know that vaccines work. The measles-rubella vaccine is cost-effective and abundant, but getting it to the people who need it requires organizations and volunteers along the entire chain: a committed network of private and public organizations, in-country health leaders, medical professionals, transportation and logistics managers, and volunteers on the ground to get the word out and make sure families turn out to get vaccinated. 

 

One important partnership –between Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and Lions Clubs International Foundation — has helped save even more lives. Since 2013, these health leaders have led efforts for vaccination campaigns in 26 countries across Africa and Asia in need of this vaccine.

 

Gavi and Lions unique collaboration works by blending resource mobilization with advocacy and in-country social mobilization activities.

 

Now, as Gavi and Lions work in Zambia to help immunise children, they are focused on one major outcome: to sharply reduce child deaths and cases from measles and rubella.

 

Read more on their live blog: http://www.vaccineswork.org/post/150808035997/the-lions-of-zambia-rise-to-their-toughest-vaccine

Coworker.org for a Better Workplace

Since winning the J.M. Kaplan Innovation Prize in November 2015, Coworker.org has supported worker petitions aimed at improving the workplace at companies and freelancers working in the gig economy. The J.M. Kaplan Innovation Prize is a grant that supports social entrepreneurs across the United States who are spearheading game-changing solutions to our society’s most urgent challenges. Coworker.org fits that requirement: it is a unique, DC-based, woman-owned nonprofit and online platform that provides a website and technology for individuals or groups of employees to launch campaigns that aim to improve workers’ conditions. Hundreds of thousands of people have joined Coworker.org efforts and successfully supported projects that implemented fundamental changes for employees in their work life.Often, this means giving far-flung workers a much bigger voice and say when it comes to policies that affect them.  There are many campaigns for a broad variety of causes on Coworker.org: better parental benefits, being able to show tattoos and wear beards or dreadlocks at work, getting a manager fired for assaulting an employee, or for professional women soccer players to not play on turf, Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays off —  anything that helps individuals or groups can happen when people organize themselves through platforms like Coworker.org.

 

One recent success: a campaign joined by thousands of Netflix customers and employees that led to the company expanding its paid parental leave for hourly employees. Employees in the streaming, DVD, and customer service divisions will now receive fully paid parental leave. Additionally, the new policy will cover paternity leave and adoptions. Many parents working at Netflix will be grateful for this significant benefit that was made possible with help from the Coworker.org campaign.

 

These are two other examples for winning campaigns on Coworker.org:

 

  Starbucks changed its scheduling policy to prevent “clopenings” (back-to-back closing and opening shifts) ensuring that baristas get enough rest in between shifts

 

  Jimmy John’s updated its dress code allowing employees to show tattoos and wear dreadlocks.

 

What’s next for Coworker.org? They have been using their J.M. Kaplan grant to add to staff and their online tools and infrastructure to support current and new campaigns from Starbucks to WeWork to Uber drivers.

on ‘the bomb’ squad

We are mesmerized by (and in love with) our latest project, the bomb.  the bomb is a groundbreaking multimedia installation that immerses you in the strange, compelling, and unsettling reality of nuclear weapons.  The 55-minute film turns the idea of filmgoing around – it’s a film you stand inside, not in front of, with the images driven by a powerful, beautiful and haunting score written and performed by The Acid, live in the center of the space. United Visual Artists completed the experience by developing a set that includes massive floor to ceiling screens that surround the audience, with lighting and special effects. Artist Stanley Donwood, renowned for his design work on Radiohead’s album covers, and his brother, The Kingdom of Ludd, created the artistry and animation that elevates the film, co-directed by Kevin Ford, Eric Schlosser and Smriti Keshari, from a straight documentary into an art form.

Working with Fat Dot PR to support the co-creators, Smriti Keshari and Eric Schlosser (producers of our previous film project, Food Chains), we’ve been fortunate to bump up significant buzz in the form of previews, features, and critical acclaim for the show, which was chosen as the closing night event of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Michael Douglas joined the creators for a panel on nuclear weapons before opening night, and luminaries of culture from Richard Linklater and Michael Shannon to Valerie Plame came to experience the bomb.

Next stop – Tokyo, Moscow, London, Los Angeles, and Barcelona, we hope. Beautiful, bold, crazy, and scary, this project is going to be big and open eyes to something important that many of us no longer thing about. Out of sight, out of mind – until now.  And it all happened because Smriti Keshari thought, “what if…” and then took the next step. She asked people she admired to join her and make this thing real. Very, very real.

 

Walking The Line Between Hipsters And Hijabis

 

Our latest project (in collaboration with Fat Dot) is a web series that’s started a new genre we’re calling Islam-Com. Shugs & Fats are immigrant roomates navigating the absurdities of social conformity in Brooklyn, where everything and anything is possible and permissible. The Gotham Award-winning show launches Season 3 this week during  the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Shugs & Fats marked the occasion with an interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air.Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 4.44.52 PM

 

In the vein of Da Ali G Show, Broad City and the Marx Brothers (but wa-a-a-y faster and easier to binge-watch at just 3 minutes per episode) Shugs (Nadia Manzoor) and Fats (Radhika Vaz) are two loudmouths in blinged-out burqas, “walking the line between hipsters and hijabis,” striving to find themselves by adopting the latest Western trends of self-expression and personal growth. 

 

What happened filming guerilla-style on the streets of New York in colorful hijabs? Lots of interaction with the haters and scoundrels at the rough edges of the city — but even more with thoughtful onlookers including Park Slope’s new gentry: young, politically correct, and unctuous. If you want to know more– and we know you do– just listen to Terry Gross’s interview.

 

Find a bounty of Shugs & Fats at shugsandfats.tv and on YouTube,

REAL SIMPLE Profile of Dr. Jemison

Dr. Mae Jemison inspires us because she has been resilient and has followed her own internal compass her whole life – but she has been very intentional about including others along her journey. When social norms said, ‘you can’t do that’, Mae said, ‘fiddlesticks.’  Here is a profile of Dr. Jemison we helped place in the September 2015 issue of REAL SIMPLE.