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Archive for the ‘Diversity and Conflict Resolution’ Category

Kimberle Crenshaw on What Action Really Means

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017


The Mediators: Principles of Mediation

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016


The mediators 340

Mediation is usually a term applied in conflict that is local….ie a divorce. Obviously it is also applied in larger conflicts…let’s say like party squalor in the US House of Representatives….or international conflict. In our series “Principles of Mediation” we intend to show the basic Principles of Mediation (duh) and then see how they can apply to larger issues on the national and international scene. Each principle will be sourced so as to give you greater idea of landscape of mediation (which is quite large) and also, we’d like to relate these principles to dynamic realties….so that you can see them in action, and maybe one day (maybe today) put them into action yourself, maybe in a friendship, in parenting, or maybe on a wider, more public scale.

Principles of Conduct for Mediators

Mediation Defined



Mediation is a process in which an impartial third party (the mediator) facilitates the resolution of a dispute(s) between two or more parties by promoting the parties’ voluntary agreement (or self-determination) of the dispute(s).

The mediator facilitates communications, promotes understanding, focuses the parties on their interests and seeks creative solutions to problems that enable the parties to reach their own agreements.


The Activists S1 E1 “Cynthia Johnson” and her Fight Against Morgan Stanley

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Cynthia Johnson from The Georgia Pictures Company on Vimeo.


Last week on “The Activists” Amin Husain talked about where the Occupy Wall Street Movement is today…to augment what he said….it’s EVERYWHERE today. Its all over the campaign of Bernie Sanders…perhaps in a tiny bit of a less genuine way it’s all over Hillary Clinton’s campaign….and Trump Rubio and Cruz are, uh, thinking about it (They are also thinking about co staring togethe on Broadway in Le Cage). This is from an Occupy protest in front of Morgan Stanley in the fall…Susie Johnson (Her daughter Cynthia Johnson is pictured below) is an 80 year old woman who lost her home 14 years ago because of a mistake, according to Morgan Stanley, made by Morgan Stanley…4 misplaced paymnts that she made. We have approached ‪#‎Ronkuby‬ about this and so far have heard nothing they are also thinking about getting together to do a production of Le Cage Au Folles). Pretty sure William Moses  Kunstler would sue the crap out of Morgan Stanley on Johnson’s behalf, but I know nothing about this field…perhaps the best person around the ask….is next up on “The Activists.” The long time president of the William Moses Kunstler foundation and one of the greatest theatrical Activtsts in modern history, Randy Credico.  You don’t have to be #Ronkuby to call Jamie Dimon at 212-270 1111 to talk about it, but it wouldn’t hurt.





The Activists: S1 E1 “Ed Needham Talks with Occupy Wall Street Co Founder Amin Husain”

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

The Activists S1 E6 “Ed Needham Talks with Occupy Wall Street Co-Founder Amin Husain” from The Georgia Pictures Company on Vimeo.


Foundation Road

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Foundation Road 525


Healthcare 2.0


Russia To Expel 12 Western Non Profits

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

MOSCOW, July 8 (TASS) – Russia’s upper house of parliament adopted on Wednesday a petition to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Foreign and Justice Ministry asking them to consider the patriotic stop list of foreign NGOs for possibly including them to the list of undesirable organizations.

The petition, backed unanimously by a total of 156 senators, reads that Russia “has faced the greatest attack on its national interests, values and institutions over the past quarter of the century.”

Its key goal is to influence the domestic political environment in Russia as well as to “undermine the patriotic unity” of people and also disrupt integration processes involving Russia on space Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

“The unprecedented involvement in this activity of nonprofit organizations, which are also funded by the state budgets of foreign countries, allows speaking about a “soft aggression” against Russia,” the text of the petition obtained by TASS says.

The upper house says the Foreign and Justice Ministries and also the Prosecutor General’s Office should “consider the patriotic stop list” which includes a range of well-known anti-Russian foreign and international non-governmental organizations.

This measure is aimed at possibly making them a subject of the existing norms of the country’s law on undesirable organizations, it says.

The “stop list” includes 12 organizations, among them the Soros Foundation, the National Endowment for Democracy, the MacArthur Foundation, the Freedom House and the East European Democratic Center.


The Hadaya Toy Basket Project: Mission Accomplished

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Hadaya Toy Basket Co-Founder Jennifer Macdonald in Beirut with a few soccer balls donated mainly by the Asheville, North Carolina Community, all of which were distributed to Syrian Refuges Camps in Lebanon on June 22. These camps are actually getting less donor action at the moment…and the basic reality of involvement in them is that it helps forge a positive bridge between the Arab world and the west…and that bridge needs to really be strengthened…as extremism must be rolled back the keys to a better future in our view are very strong positive connections, projects and collaborations between the Arabian world and the west and the rest of the world….though particularly…the west.

June 22 2015, Beirut, Lebanon The Hadaya Toy Basket Project successfully distributed 200 packages packed with toys for Syrian Refugee kids in Camps In Lebanon today.
For More Visit The Luminous Scope.com by clicking on the text below. 


We woke up early to haul the 200 toy bags down 6 flights of stairs, badly underestimating the amount of time and strength it would take! Friend and neighbor, Simon, eventually stepped in to help and we finally got all 200 down to the waiting bus.

Distribution Day

We arrived at the first camp, Musaab al Tuliani to a waiting crowd of mostly women (dressed in their finest) and children who had been told to expect something special today. Despite the number of people and the anticipation, distribution went pretty seamlessly.

The kids were thrilled beyond words to be getting an unexpected and special bag of treats…. within fifteen minutes this was happening:


Donna Shalala to head Clinton Foundation

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

The Clinton Foundation will get new leadership in the form of longtime Clinton ally and former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala as it continues to face ongoing questions about its foreign fundraising practices, former President Bill Clinton announced in Coral Gables, Florida on Friday.

The news of Shalala’s new role comes as the foundation has caused all-but-certain 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton some political trouble in the final weeks before her expected campaign roll-out. Republicans have latched onto reports that the foundation resumed accepting money from foreign governments after Clinton left the State Department in 2013 — a policy which the organization said it would review if Clinton pursues the White House — and to her use of a personal email address as Secretary of State.

Story Continued Below

And the foundation has also come under scrutiny with the swift departure of CEO Eric Braverman, a close ally of Chelsea Clinton.

Additionally, it was discovered that the foundation had accepted donations from companies that were simultaneously lobbying the U.S. government while Clinton was working as secretary of state.

Braverman left in January after clashing with members of former President Bill Clinton’s circle. Hillary Clinton confidante Maura Pally has been serving as CEO in an interim capacity since Braverman’s departure.

Shalala, 74, announced in September that she would resign from her position as president of the University of Miami at the end of the school year after 14 years leading the university. She reportedly will move to New York to lead the nonprofit, which is officially named the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

Shalala served as HHS secretary for all eight years of Bill Clinton’s presidency, and she joins the Clintons in Miami over the weekend as her school hosts a foundation event. By leaving the foundation in her hands as Hillary Clinton prepares to run for president, the family hands off their $2 billion global philanthropic enterprise to a long-standing friend with fundraising experience of her own.

The former cabinet secretary has raised nearly $3 billion during her tenure in Miami, garnering a reputation as a skilled financial operator. The foundation will likely need such leadership over at least the next two years, as Clinton will not be able to directly raise money for it while tapping donors to fund her own presidential ambitions.

She joined her husband and daughter at the helm of the organization after leaving the State Department in 2013, and headlined on Wednesday what is likely to be the foundation’s last major fundraising event before her campaign.

In choosing Shalala, the Clintons tapped an official with significant management experience — she also served in top roles at Hunter College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison — and a reputation for not being a rubber-stamp after opposing Bill Clinton’s welfare law when he was president.

But she has also been helpful for Hillary Clinton, hosting her at a friendly appearance in Coral Gables in February 2014 as Clinton was gaining momentum as a presidential hopeful.?

Hillary Clinton and Shalala, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008 by President George W. Bush, served on the board of the Children’s Defense Fund for years together.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Pally’s name.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/donna-shalala-clinton-foundation-115838.html#ixzz3TiplPAxT


The Hadaya Toy Drive

Thursday, October 9th, 2014
  1. The Hayada Toy Basket The HADAYA Toy Basket provides one basket per family, of basic games, art supplies and books to refugees who have lost everything. Generally, these families are made up of mostly children, who have been deeply psychologically impacted by war and have little or no outlet for creative play and engagement during the long days they spend in the camps. This often leads to violence and even more trauma. HADAYA believes that this small gesture will put a smile on the children’s faces and offer a precious glimmer of hope during this time of serious humanitarian crisis. The things we are including are timeless, durable and designed to be shared. Donors will also have the ability to ‘personalize’ a soccer ball by giving one from home and including a personal message/ name in sharpie on the ball (please note: offering and personalizing a ball does not effect the total cost of a basket as we need to keep things consistent). All other balls will include personal messages from the children of our community to the refugee children of a specific camp. The first camp we are collecting for is called Musaab al Tuliani, a Syrian refugee camp in the Beka’a Valley, Lebanon. Many photos of these children and families are included in this multi-media exhibit. There are one hundred and ten families, so we must collect 110 baskets! Each basket will contain: 1 soccer ball (can be donated from a local child and personalized) 1 jump rope 1 kite 1 backgammon board 1 set of wooden blocks 1 medium size sketch pad 1 extra large box of crayons 3 books (in Arabic, for ages 5-8) 1 solar light 1 open letter (in Arabic and English) for the recipients, written by HADAYA on behalf of our community of donors (letter available to read on our website: www.theluminousscope.com/hadaya) All other balls will include personal messages collecting for is called Musaab al Tuliani, a Syrian refugee camp in the Beka’a Valley, Lebanon. Many photos of these children and families are included in this multi-media exhibit. There are one hundred and ten families, so we must collect 110 baskets! Each basket will contain: HADAYA would eventually like to create an “adopt-a-camp” model and encourage communities to engage artists,educators and dports figures (Whi live in the contries wher the camps are located to visit the camps and give workshops on a monthly bases. HOW YOU CAN HELP Buy a basket – $50 Help us publicize this effort Recruit your friends to buy a basket Talk to us about adopting a camp HADAYA would eventually like to create an “adopt-a-camp” model and encourage communities to engage artists, educators and sports figures (Who live in the contries where the camps are located, to visit the camps and give workshops on a monthly basis.)

The Luminous Scope Show: “Dis (placed)” to Open October 14 in Asheville

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014


It has been reported that LAST WEEK….300 thousand refugees fled Syria into Turkey….OVER A SEVEN DAY PERIOD. Overall, 9 million Syrians have abandoned their homes since 2011 (See Press Release Below)

Three kids, Musaab Al Tuliani (tent camp), Lebanon

Photo: Jennifer MacDonald

This summer, somewhere between 110 and 112 THOUSAND…Palestinians were displaced (through losing their homes) during “Operation Protective Edge.” This artshow “((Dis)placed,” opening in Asheville, N. C. next Tuesday October 14) profiled below,  puts a very human face on the displaced from Syria…and as a photo collector and someone who believes that relationships between ARAB PEOPLE and WESTERN PEOPLE can and will improve dramatically…I am very interested 1) in collecting these photos  and 2)  in supporting work of The Luminous Scope as much as I possibly can (In reverse order, but collecting these photos does support the work and I do recommend it a lot).  You can also sponsor Toy Baskets which I personally will do asap. (See Upcoming Story Above on the Toy Basket Drive). This work is at the fore front of communications between The West and the Arab World….again…a totally heroic and utterly very exciting and moment to moment world changing achievement.

“Having traveled to this region many times over the years, I’ve seen firsthand the devastation and destruction of this rich culture and its citizens, as well as how much hope and joy a small amount of compassion can bring to these communities” says Jennifer MacDonald, founder of and the primary journalist and photographer/filmmaker behind THE LUMINOUS SCOPE. “I wanted to shine a light on one small area of this crisis, in one camp, to help people empathize and hopefully activate some support.”

Musaab Al Tuliani, Lebanon      Photo: Jennifer MacDonald


(DIS)PLACED – Life As A Tent City Refugee OPENING OCTOBER 14, 2014 – aSHEville Museum, Wall Street

ASHEVILLE, NC, October 1, 2014 – What is the real story behind any of the humanitarian disasters now affecting large portions of the global population? What we see and hear on TV or the internet is just a small piece of the truth. (DIS)PLACED – Life As A Tent City Refugee, opening Tuesday, October 14, 2014 from 6:00p – 8:00p hopes to shine a little more light on just one of these stories.

An estimated 9 million Syrians have fled their homes since the outbreak of civil war in March 2011, taking refuge in neighboring countries or within Syria itself. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), about 2.5 million have fled to Syria’s immediate neighbors Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. 6.5 million are internally displaced within Syria.

Logo of United Nations Refugee Agency.Version ...

Logo of United Nations Refugee Agency.Version made by user Kashmiri. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Syrian refugee crisis is the largest humanitarian disaster in the last 20 years and the displacement of nearly half of the population of the country has had, and will continue to have, far-reaching global effects. This exhibit is designed to inform the public of the complexity of this issue and offer some practical ways in which individuals can help.

Highlighting one specific camp – Musaab Al Tuliani, in the Bekaa valley of Lebanon, only five kilometers from the Syrian border – and using maps, photos, film clips and text, the exhibit will explore the challenges of Syrian refugees, as they struggle with daily life and meeting basic human needs.

“Having traveled to this region many times over the years, I’ve seen firsthand the devastation and destruction of this rich culture and its citizens, as well as how much hope and joy a small amount of compassion can bring to these communities” says Jennifer MacDonald, photographer and journalist. “I wanted to shine a light on one small area of this crisis, in one camp, to help people empathize and hopefully activate some support.”

Co-curator and exhibit designer Vanessa Bell is equally passionate about highlighting the mass of humanitarian issues and suffering currently affecting our world and the need for empathy,

“Individually, it’s hard to believe that we can effect much change in the world but I am a great believer in the power of positive thought and prayer,” she says, “and sometimes all it takes a small reminder, a moment of empathy, understanding, or support.”

Jennifer MacDonald is a multi-award winning producer/writer (Special Jury Prize at Sundance – www.anywhereusathemovie.com) with years of experience in many aspects of film making, and whose special area of interest lies in North Africa and the Middle East. A former cryptologist, world traveller and polyglot (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and some French), she currently teaches and lectures about the culture and history of the Middle East and has started the first basic Arabic program for High School students in the American South with an emphasis on cross cultural connection and discovery.

Vanessa Bell is co-curator and designer of the exhibit. With an experienced and discerning eye for all things creative, she was instrumental in conceiving and compiling the visual story for (DIS)PLACED. Outside of this particular collaboration, Vanessa is a skilled marketer, graphic designer, and artist in her own right, with photography and mixed media art on display in several galleries in Asheville.

The new aSHEville Museum, 35 Wall Street, in downtown Asheville, is hosting the exhibit from October 14, 2014 until the new year. The museum seeks to educate, inspire, and empower present and future generations by sharing engaging stories, facts, narratives, and visual imagery of the richly varied achievements and experiences of women and girls throughout the world.

High resolution photos available upon request:    info@bellvdesign.com