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Monday, July 4, 2016

Episode 15: "What Have You Learned?" Collected Wisdom from Nonprofit Leaders


Episode 15
By Bill Quinn


Over the last year, I've compiled thoughts from nonprofit founders, directors and volunteers here in NYC and a few from around the world. That includes innovative educators from Australia, anti poverty leaders in Manhattan and organizations bringing the latest surgical knowledge to the developing world. I remembered to ask (most of them) what they've learned in the course of their work. So, for my first (very belated) anniversary I've lovingly boxed up all their wonderful advice, wrapped it in a big bow and present it to you now. Slice yourself a piece of cake and have a listen!

For your ease and listening pleasure, download here!



Link-Berry

You like what you hear?  Check out every episode--they're all here.

I was going to put links to every organization. But who's got the time?  Search through the post archives by scrolling down or use the links on the right.  You'll find a wealth of links for each episode!


Show Notes

So it's been a while, right??  After a significant delay, we're back. I've got some new episodes headed your way this summer so do the Twitter and Facebook thing to follow all our new shows.

Theme song: Quittin' Time (Patrick Lee) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Additional music: http://www.bensound.com



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Beyond Hollywood--The Sunday Film Series


Episode 14
by Bill Quinn

While the upcoming Oscars’ ceremony has been one of the most significant and discussed in its 80+ year history, it reminds us to highlight the voices that do promote diversity in film. In episode six we highlighted one such person: Heather Freudenthall and the Sunday Film Series which showcases some wonderful and beautiful independent films in screenings throughout Brooklyn as well as online. This episode I go back to that interview and unearth some great anecdotes about the more memorable films, directors and audience members that the series brought together. For time reasons they didn't get into the first go-round but are digitally remastered and brought to life in vivid Technicolor for you now!

Download the episode here.


Links--Kinda like DVD Bonus Features.


Naturally I owe Heather a huge thank you for taking the time to work with me.  Liam, shout out to you bud for connecting us.  And thank you, dear listener and reader, for making it this far in the post!

Music Credits
Theme song: Quittin' Time (Patrick Lee) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0Additional music: http://www.bensound.com



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

"She was able to wear her t-shirt with passion, with empowerment"--Project Attica


Episode 13
By Bill Quinn

After an extended break I'm thrilled to finally ring in the new year with the latest interview: a conversation with Project Attica founder and director Anthony Posada. Entering its fifth year, Anthony and I talk about how Project Attica uses t-shirt design workshops to give young people a voice on issues that matter most to them. Chatting in a Union Square cafe, I learned more about the stop-and-frisk that sparked the idea to the empowerment youth feel when given an avenue of expression as well as their plans to work with students displaced by violence in Colombia.



A fine assortment of links from which to choose...


So I'd like to send a huge "thanks!" out to Anthony Posada who followed cryptic directions to find me tucked into a corner of Manhattan then stuck with me through good times and technical difficulties.  Of course, I need to thank friend-of-the-podcast Angela who you can find in episode 2!  And I was connected to both of these wonderful people through Jaclyn R. tree.  Thanks Jaclyn!



Theme song: Quittin' Time (Patrick Lee) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Additional music: http://www.bensound.com

Monday, February 8, 2016

Development Justice needs more than Development Goals - Nazma Akhter

A very late Happy 2016! With the new year comes resolutions, struggling to write the correct year on checks and, for 2016, the implementation of an ambitious set of goals from the United Nations called the Sustainable Development Goals. In the weeks after the goals were agreed upon last fall, Bangladeshi labor and human rights leader, Nazma Akter (learn more in our NGO Reports series featuring Nazma), penned a response to highlight some of the potential holes and failings she saw in the agreement. After significant delay, I'm happy to repost the article here.

Nazma Akhter
Sommilito Garment Sromik Federation

October 12, 2015

Two weeks ago governments at the UN adopted a new Sustainable Development Agenda. Incorporating 17 goals and 169 targets Agenda2030 promises to ‘eradicate extreme poverty’ and provide a plan of action for ‘people, planet and prosperity’. These goals promise to be an improvement on the Millennium Development Goals and were developed in a more inclusive process. But major concerns remain about their capacity to genuinely deliver the deep reforms our world needs at a time when inequalities are so deep that the richest individuals make more money in a single second than a garment worker makes in a whole year and when 30 million Bangladeshis are likely to be displaced by climate change in the next 15 years.

Having worked and organised in the ready-made garment industry since I was 11 years old, I wonder what the sustainable development agenda means for garment workers. The goals include some important aspirations for garment workers: ending child labour by 2020, achieving full employment and Decent Work, eliminating the gender pay gap, ensure safe and secure work as well as ending poverty, hunger, gender inequality, delivering universal health care, free education for all, tackling climate change and reducing inequalities between rich and poor as well as between countries.

The goals sound wonderful. But, unfortunately, they fail to tackle the root causes of inequality or deliver real system change. Governments agreed to a goal on Decent Work but tied it together with economic growth. Our right to Decent Work cannot depend on growth, particularly when economic growth has not delivered better conditions, wages or rights for workers. Since the Millennium Declaration was adopted 95% of the gains from economic growth went to the richest 40%. You can be sure that this doesn’t include garment workers or other low income workers, particularly in developing countries.

Whilst governments agreed to a target to deliver labour rights and secure working conditions, it makes no mention of a living wage, despite the clear need to address wage inequality for inclusive development and the advantage that a global agreement on living wages would provide for countries like Bangladesh where businesses threaten to go offshore if we increase wages.

Photo courtesy of the LA Times

Governments are still developing indicators that will measure progress toward sustainable development. They are proposing that the right to Decent Work be measured by counting deaths and injuries in the workplace and by the number of conventions signed. In Bangladesh we know too well that counting dead bodies does not result in living wages, in union rights, in social protection, in less discrimination or sexual harassment or in justice for the dead or injured workers and their families.

If there was just one indicator to measure Decent Work it should be the percentage of people, particularly women, who are members of trade unions able to genuinely assert workers’ rights and collectively bargain. The right to independently unionise is the right that unlocks all others. Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently recognised that increasing trade unionism can decrease poverty and inequality.

But it’s not just the lack of commitment to honour labour rights that undermines the development goals. There is no commitment to change the economic systems that allow companies to avoid tax, to hide behind untraceable supply chains, to use offshore bank accounts or to pay for the damages they do to people’s lives and the environment. There’s also no money being committed to help least developed countries to develop the public services, institutions and social protection we need.

There is a growing movement of people around the world of people who are dissatisfied with the way the rich have been able to create rules that allow them to exploit our environments and our labour and make enormous profits. The goals don’t address the need to regulate multinational corporations and their supply chains. Instead multi-nationals are elevated as an implementer of development despite the role they often undermining development through tax avoidance, wealth concentration, environmental degradation, campaigning against regulations and attacks on trade unionists and other human rights defenders.

While governments were welcoming the goals in the UN, I was also in New York talking about ways to achieve sustainable development. I was instead speaking at the People’s General Assembly. I spoke about the experiences of garment workers; working 12 to 14 hours a day, enduring discrimination and sexual harassment, receiving short term contracts to avoid maternity leave rights, getting sick from fumes and chemicals, threatened when we organise and, of course, being killed in buildings we have reported as unsafe.

Now is the time to realise that governments are not governing for us. We can use these development goals as part of our campaign for a global shift in power - a global shift toward Development Justice. But we can’t rely on them. We must continue to organise and to build our movement. But we must also use our power in a global response to these global problems. Corporations and governments have coordinated globally to set the rules that enable them to get rich. We don’t have money, weapons, media or politicians to do our bidding. But we are the majority. We have our labour and our solidarity and we must use them.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Holiday Edition--His Toy Store and Hope for New York


Episode 12
By Bill Quinn

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

In a just few days, kids all over New York City will waking up early and jumping out of bed in search of presents.  Many of those boys and girls will happily find gifts because of the good people at Hope for New York who support 40+ faith-based, anti-poverty organizations across the city (remember Father's Heart?).  Earlier this month, they opened several pop-up toy stores under the banner "His Toy Store."  Their goal was to provide presents to families in "deep financial need."  In this episode, Katherine Evans walks me through how His Toy Store works and recounts some of her fonder memories of the program.

Download the episode here.



Want to know more?  Check out these links to learn about His Toy Store and Hope for New York!

Here's a quick look at His Toy Story.



And that's it--last episode of the year!  My thanks to Kathrine Evans and everyone at Hope for New York for taking time to speak with me.  Additional thanks and shout outs to Jillian D'Angelo and Abigail Tseng for inadvertently (in one case) and... advertantly? (in the other case) connecting me with Katherine.  Happy Holidays everyone and see you next year!

Music generously provided by: http://www.bensound.com


Sunday, November 29, 2015

"You don't teach at students, you do it with them!"--CityScience Extras


Episode 5+ (extra stuff!)
By Bill Quinn

Here at the Bill Quinn Podcast, one of our favorite organizations is CityScience for their role in supporting New York City STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. We featured CityScience in episode five but I had to cut some interesting stories and highlights due to time constraints.  Recently I went back, deep into the archives, and dug out those stories that got cut our first go-round. A few edits and voila--this week's episode!  You’ll hear the Founder and Director, Thor Snilsberg, talk about his favorite moments and projects including pickling food, advising students who led the first urban forestry study and a kid who hacked into a school's wifi.


Download this episode here.

Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiinks!


My thanks again go to Thor Snilsberg and all the great people at CityScience who, even five years in, still have such enthusiasm and excitement for their work. Getting to be a part of that, for however briefly, makes running this little operation worthwhile.  And a shout-out to Kristen Cordero for connecting me with Thor. Thanks Kristen!

Theme song: Quittin' Time (Patrick Lee) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Additional music: http://www.bensound.com

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Helping Students Learn about Themselves--The Bloom Collective


“Anything goes!” Aaron Densham exclaimed when describing the the Bloom Collective's education philosophy.  Raised in an atmosphere of progressive teaching programs focused on self-reflection, Aaron went on to intern at an orphanage in Rwanda where he implemented similar innovative teaching methods.  Co-founding Bloom in 2014, the organization has brought the approach to communities and schools in Israel, India and of course his native Australia.  Speaking from Melbourne (and a whole day in the future!) we talked about what his young organization has already accomplished and what plans they have going forward.  I also learn why he enjoys spraying shaving cream at students.  You know, outside of the obvious.

During the interview, we refer to the Plato's Allegory of the Cave.  If you need a refresher here's a nice little video courtesy of TED.


Download the episode here.
Links!
  • The Bloom Collective's home page goes into even more detail about what they do.
  • It turns out I wasn't the first the first to get to Aaron--here is his interview with The Well.
  • Their Facebook page is worth a look for some of the pictures alone! 

I was inadvertently dodging Aaron for a while but he stuck with me and I couldn't be happier.  It's always good to talk with and be inspired by a fellow teacher.  Plus it was great getting to know him and Bloom a little better.  My thanks to him for being gracious with his time.  Also, another thanks goes out to Babita Patel (learn more here) for continuing to connect me with exciting and engaging nonprofit leaders.  And I should mention I stumbled across the key to her wonderful connections: the Global Social Impact House in Pennsylvania.  Check out this video to learn more.  Keep an eye out for a cameo from both Babita and Aaron.

Music Credits:
Opening/Closing song:  Tales Of A Dead Fish (The Freak Fandango Orchestra) / CC BY-SA 3.0
Additional music: http://www.bensound.com