BIPOC Voices

Voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

Katherine Venturo-Conerly and Tom Osborn, Shamiri Institute

Katherine Venturo-Conerly and Tom Osborn, Shamiri Institute Half of the young people in Kenya have elevated depression and anxiety. 45% of the disease burden comes from anxiety and depression. The Shamiri Institute has an answer. Kenya has been described as a young hustle culture. But that hustle takes a toll. According to Tom Osborn of the Shamiri Institute, “Mental health and wellbeing are really important. This is especially true in low income settings like Kenya where I was born and raised. In Kenya, the median age is about 19. There’s evidence that shows this young population is stressed because they have to succeed so early in life.” In Kenya, there…

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A Traveler’s Guide To World Peace, with Aziz Abu Sarah, MEJDI Tours

Aziz Abu Sarah, MEJDI Tours MEJDI Tours sees tourism as an opportunity to transform lives through dual narratives and by strengthening local communities. Aziz Abu Sarah is a peace-builder, social entrepreneur, cultural educator, and author of Crossing Boundaries: A Traveler’s Guide To World Peace. But Aziz wasn’t always a peacemaker. “Growing up in Jerusalem as a Palestinian, I was no stranger to injustice,” Aziz explains. “The event that shaped me the most, however, happened when I was nine. Just after dawn, Israeli soldiers stormed into our home. I remember the shouts, the terror, the interrogations. And then they took my 18-year-old brother, Tayseer, away. He was arrested for allegedly throwing…

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Tap into the Strengths of Neurodiversity, with Isabella He

Isabella He, SN Inclusion and AUesome High school students work on behalf of those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the United States, 1 in 54 children has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Unemployment rates for individuals with ASD are approximately 85%. More than half a million individuals with ASD will enter the workforce in the next decade. The need for specialized vocational training is growing by the minute. A CDC study found that 50 percent of children with severe ASD only have access to school-based treatment services. And 17 percent of children with ASD do not have access to occupational, speech, or language therapy whatsoever. At-home therapy is difficult for…

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A Sense of Justice for Women and Girls, with Judith Martinez, InHerShoes

What would you do if you were 1% more courageous? Judith Martinez is a leader at the intersection of social justice and the future of human capital. She is the CEO of InHerShoes, the modern woman’s community for courage. When Judith was in the fifth grade, she witnessed a scene that changed her life direction. “I’m a first-generation Filipino-American,” Judith explains. “I grew up with Filipino as my first language. My grandparents raised me. “I remember we were at the LAX airport. My grandmother was trying to explain in her broken English to a man that she needed help. And he just cast her aside. It was like she was…

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Eliminate Plastic from Your Oral Care, with Kathy Ku, Juni Essentials

Helping bamboo farmers and women in impoverished regions become self-reliant while eliminating plastic waste. If Kathy Ku’s name is familiar to you, you might have heard about her previous social venture in Uganda, Spouts of Water. I interviewed Kathy in December 2016. Kathy and her co-founder John Kye left Spouts of Water, but it continues to thrive. Around the same time that Kathy and John were in Uganda working on clean water, Dr. Noah Park was volunteering in low-income countries. “One of our Korean co-founders visited our production site in Uganda seven years ago or so, but we had never met each other,” Kathy explains. “He traveled to the less…

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Changing Lives through a Second Chance, with Karen Lee, Pioneer Human Services

Karen Lee, Pioneer Human Services People who were involved in the criminal justice system are more than their labels. Karen Lee is the Chief Executive Officer of Pioneer Human Services. She was born during the 1960s civil rights era. “During my lifetime, I’ve seen quite a bit of discrimination. I’ve always wanted to do something about that in a way that was true to me.” Karen graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. She served our country until the 1990s. After her military service ended, she attended the University of Washington School of Law, where she received her JD degree. “I wanted to be a civil rights…

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Set Goals Aligned with Your Values, with Ruth Biza, #ThisIsMyEra

Ruth Biza, #ThisIsMyEra For every planner and course sold, #ThisIsMyEra helps a child with an education. #ThisIsMyEra produces a 90-day planner that helps you set goals that align with your values. They also provide online courses to help you get clear on your life’s purpose. For every planner that is purchased, #ThisIsMyEra donates school supplies to kids in need in Africa. So far, they’ve provided more than 10,000 school supplies. And for every course that is purchased, they provide a school scholarship. Why Education? “In Ghana and most African countries, public education is not free,” Ruth Biza explains. “So if your family cannot afford to pay for your tuition, you…

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The Urgency To Go Tree Free, with Zoë Levin, Bim Bam Boo

Zoë Levin, Bim Bam Boo Trees Should Capture Carbon, Not Crap We know the problems with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions: Climate change, rising sea levels, flooding, droughts, wildfires, ocean acidification, climate refugees, political instability, and a lot more. We know that it’s important to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the oceans. We can do that by reducing the production of CO2. We can also do that by capturing CO2 in carbon sinks. In the US, forests store 14% of our annual CO2 emissions. Trees are a valuable, and powerful carbon sink. And yet, in the United States, 27,000 trees are flushed down the toilet every day…

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Using Human-Centered Design to Prevent Maternal and Infant Deaths, with Karima Ladhani, Giving Cradle and Barakat Bundle

Karima Ladhani, Giving Cradle and Barakat Bundle 80% of maternal and infant deaths are preventable. Dr. Karima Ladhani is the daughter of immigrants. Her parents moved from India to Uganda. In 1972, Ugandan president Idi Amin expelled Asian minorities. He gave 90 days to leave the country. Karima’s mother made her way to Canada. Her father was in a refugee camp in Malta before immigrating to Canada. “We can’t take for granted the luxuries and privileges that we have,” she says. “There are people going through things. We have an opportunity and responsibility to help them. Others have helped us. We never know when we could be in that position…

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A Safe Space in Times of Crisis, with Katherine Woo, Airbnb.org

Katherine Woo, Airbnb.org Airbnb.org to support emergency response around the world. Natural disasters are on the rise. Climate change has accelerated wildfires and hurricanes. Healthcare workers are responding to the global pandemic. People find themselves displaced without warning. Who better to provide a safe place to stay than Airbnb and their global network of hosts? To respond to the need for safe housing during disaster, Airbnb has launched Airbnb.org. Airbnb.org is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating temporary stays for people in times of crisis. The inspiration for Airbnb.org began in 2012 with a single host named Shell who opened her home to people impacted by Hurricane Sandy….

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