Tag Archive: NGO


This weekend the Feminism class and the Community Service Roundtable hosted a GEMS Coffeehouse. GEMS stands for Girls Education & Mentoring Services. We wanted to raise money for such an amazing organization working right here in New York to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) or child prostitution as many people would know it better as. We raised $1,400.

You are probably thinking… “This doesn’t happen in the States!” But unfortunately it does. Some facts are:

  • In New York City alone there are about 2,200 children victimized by commercial exploitation annually.
  • 100,000 – 300,000 children are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation each year in the United States
  • The average age of CSEC is 12~14
  • There are about 1.6 million children who run away from home each year. The average time it takes before a runaway is approached by a trafficker or solicitor is 48 hours
  • 70% – 90% of CSEC have a history of child sexual abuse

These facts were astonishing to hear when I first heard them as well.

GEMS has 5 things you can do today:

  1. TALK about the issue with friends and family
  2. JOIN them on Facebook, Twitter, and The Council of Daughters
  3. SUPPORT the girls and young women of GEMS. Donate today.
  4. INVITE five or more friends to watch Very Young Girls (It is a documentary made by GEMS to expose the truth about CSEC and how so many institutions are against these young girls like the culture of ‘pimpin’, the court system that doesn’t see them as a victim, and being stripped of all identification by their pimps leaves them with absolutely nothing.)
  5. PLAN a film viewing night or fundraiser to inspire others to end CSEC

So, PLEASE support this amazing organization!

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On a different note, the spoken word artist who came to support GEMS at the Coffeehouse was Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene. I thought she was absolutely amazing. Her voice was strong and her words were even more powerful. Please go check her out at her blog.

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The debate between Capitalism and Socialism seems to always antagonize socialism. Where is this fear of socialism coming from?

To begin with, Barack Obama is pretty far from ‘liberal’. He isn’t too far from John McCain on a political compass. Haven’t they noticed that the ‘left’ isn’t very happy that Barack Obama compromises with the ‘right’? There are a list of other rumors and claims that just are not logical or sensible.

‘Redistribution of wealth’ is being used as a weapon and twisted into a more criminal act of ‘theft’. Wayne Root has a small hole in this argument. It’s not like he isn’t getting a benefit from everyone contributing some of their wealth for the greater good of society. His argument doesn’t coincide with the method in which socialism works. Wayne makes the argument that the ‘stolen’ money is given to people who ‘didn’t earn it’ in a socialist society, but has he thought of people in the capitalist society who work, probably, ten to thirteen more hours than him and they still can’t afford housing or healthcare.

(I just have to say Wayne’s comment of ‘you did your homework’ to the reporter is patronizing, just saying).

I’m curious whether or not Wayne can define a ‘communist, socialist, or marxist’ without using rhetoric that simply attacks the system instead of providing a definition. I don’t think his classmates hated ‘people who make money’, I think they hate the way in which people abuse their privilege of being wealthy (ie ignore the people who aren’t as lucky as the people in their class) and where they are allocating their money. I simply had to laugh at the statement, ‘making Puerto Rico the 51st state’. That is absolutely false, Puerto Rico has refused and refuses to become a 51st state, and this would just create more problems for the country politically, where would we find a ’52nd state’ to balance things out?

There is demonization of socialism, democrats, Obama, healthcare, Muslims, undocumented immigrants, China, and the list goes on. Why do so many continue to search for enemies or a group to blame? We keep touching the flame even though it hurts and we still don’t seem to understand that blame doesn’t get us anywhere.

I think Michael makes a great argument at around 8:29. It simplifies the situation a little more, but it really lays it out. This type of question really puts people in a  difficult position or not being able to say ‘I support the big capitalists’ without sounding classist.

On the topic of racism, they make it seem as if it’s a joke and that it doesn’t exist. The laws and policies that the government puts in place have subtle racism in the way that the laws carry out. To give the full quote from Judge Sotomayor:

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion as a judge than a white male, who has not lived that life.”

The quote was obviously misinterpreted by Wayne. He must have not read the part, ‘who has not lived that life’ or ‘richness of experiences’, and ‘that life’ refers to ‘the richness of experiences’. Many see it as racism, but she is just addressing the fact that maybe some of the judges haven’t experienced some of the things that she has, like not being male, not being white, and not having other privileges. Being oppressed as a woman, as a woman of color, etc has allowed her to form opinions that would give insight to things that ‘white males’ just not might see.

The idea of ‘liberals’ wanting to give wealth to ‘black people’, ‘hispanic people’, and ‘poor people’ is racism, doesn’t make too much sense unless you mean there are no white people who are poor and struggling. It’s always interesting how it’s always Brown vs Black vs White, there are other ‘colors’. Isn’t that racism for not acknowledging there are other people of different ethnicities?

Warren Buffett fails to disappoint me:

“There is a class war.

The rich are making war on the un-rich – America

The rich are winning.”

 

Yeah.. people are making money by making all these cures and treatments but no one is able to afford them… this system works great, doesn’t it? The mining company out in Pennsylvania made technology that eventually saved the Chilean miners only for the money. Shouldn’t you work because you like to do the job and because you want to make advancements?

Now the ethics of our society is under questioning. Isn’t helping your community and society enough? You wouldn’t have to worry about profit if you lived in a socialist nation. I think giving a gift to humanity is better than monetary value. This is basically how charities and NGOs work, they want to help people and are not in it for profit. Also only wanting profit is very detrimental, selfish, and materialistic. Something that really bothers me is the idea that the only thing moving people to do good is to get a reward or some benefit at the end.

If this society didn’t work on the principle of (good thing –> material reward), people wouldn’t do anything. Why return the bag of money I found if I’m not going to get anything out of it? One of the saddening conclusions I have come to is, people now go after jobs that make money and not because they like the job. Of course one of the reasons is for sustainability, but in the past people had a variety of ideas for future occupations. (Sorry I don’t remember the source) In the mid 1900s, they asked a group of elementary school students what they want to become and they chose different occupations like truck driver, teacher, lawyer, mail-person, and etc, surprisingly (or not) recently, elementary school children were asked the same question and the most common response was “I want to be rich”.

Is money destroying ethics? Is the (good thing –> rewards) method a good thing? Tell me what you think.