Changemakers – August 2013

From artists to educators, athletes to lawyers, this month’s Changemakers continue to act as pioneers within their communities through their social impact projects. Guided by their passions, these young people continue to inspire us all through their hard work and determination to make their communities better places.

If you know someone who should be featured as a changemaker in next month’s issue, please send an email to community@designedgood.com with that person’s name, their contact info, and a brief description of their project. We’ll be in touch!

Here is our inspiring list of Changemakers for August!

Changemakers - Lauren Burke

Lauren A. Burke Esq, Atlas: DIY

Bio: Connecticut College BA, NYU School of Law JD, Executive Director, Social Entrepreneur, Clinical Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, Forbes Millennial.  You can find more info about Lauren at Labesq.com and Atlas at Atlasdiy.org.

Project: I am the co-founder and Executive Director of Atlas: DIY, Developing Immigrant Youth, a cooperative empowerment center for immigrant youth and their allies. Atlas empowers undocumented, trafficked and abused young people to take control over their own lives by offering comprehensive services such as legal representation, art support groups, even a college summer CAMP, all while utilizing a time bank to ensure each member is contributing to the cause. Aside from our in-person physical space, we’ve created social media content to reach young people all over the country and have over 100,000 social media hits on youtube (youtube.com/atlasdiy) and twitter (twitter.com/atlasdiy).

Favorite Designed Good Product: BKYSC Red Hood Hoodie. If you’re rocking a sweatshirt it might as well be for a good cause. I’m all about youth empowerment and Brooklyn is not only my home but, I believe, the world’s best incubator for social justice and innovation, so I’d cuddle up in this hoodie with a cup of tea trying to figure out how next to save the world.

Changemakers - Donald Molosi

Donald Molosi: Actor, and Brand Ambassador for Brand Botswana

Bio: I am a classically trained actor from the Republic of Botswana and I perform internationally, from off-Broadway to Taipei, Taiwan to Gaborone, Botswana. My one-man plays concern themselves with unearthing forgotten narratives of African history as told by the Africans themselves. They aspire to exist as “performative archives” that are both highly entertaining and wonderfully historical. Connect with me on twitter @ActorDonald.

Project: I work closely with the UN and Brand Botswana as a Brand Ambassador and in that capacity I have had the privilege of being invited to perform my political one-man plays in front of many dignitaries including Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and Bill Clinton as well as in front of the UN General Assembly in 2002, 2011, 2012 and 2013 concerning the use of arts as archives for national memory. I am a writer, a conscious actor and I premiere my shows off-Broadway every November before that specific show goes on a world tour. For more information or collaboration inquiries, please contact me and my team at donaldmolosi@yahoo.com.

Apart from my career as a solo artist, I also perform in ensemble theater shows, films and television programs that seek to humanize the portrayal of the African subject in performance. Apart from my website www.donaldmolosi.com, my updates and perfromance schedules are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/donaldmolosi.

Favorite Designed Good Product: My favorite product at Designed Good is the Vers Earbud set. I have to listen to a lot of old speeches, old songs, interviews and such while on tour because I write mostly while I am on tour. Also, I have to listen to and watch many of my past performances so that I know what to improve. So, these earbuds that give such a clear sound and that sort of precision is imperative when I am creating theater that is well-timed etc. The fact that these earbuds are made of wood gives them a very exciting edge!

Changemakers - Kleaver Cruz

Kleaver Cruz: The Future Project

Bio: New Yorker, Dream Director, Writer & Music Lover.

Project: I am currently a Dream Director for The Future Project, an organization that is determined to transform America’s high schools into the most inspired places on Earth.  As a Dream Director, I am expected to pursue my own dreams to set the example for the students we empower to become dreamers. Currently, I am working on my dreams of becoming an established spoken word artist and publishing my first novel intended for young people of color.

Favorite Designed Good Product:  Far & Wide Kufic Calligraphy Print – Afghanistan (Limited Edition). Having studied in the Middle East (specifically the Gulf) and having the privilege to visit the museum of Islamic Art in the region, I’ve grown to appreciate this art form. I also have a tattoo (though in a different style) of Arabic calligraphy that I love; I appreciate the level of artistry that goes into creating a product like this one.

Changemakers - flynn #12-1

Flynn Coleman: SAMYA Practice

Bio: I am an international human rights lawyer, yoga and meditation teacher, mindfulness and creativity consultant, advisory board member, HuffPost writer, the founder of SAMYA Practice, and a dreamer, creator, and social innovator, like all of you. :)

Project: SAMYA Practice inspires positive social change by designing innovative mindfulness and creativity seminars (and related goodies in the SAMYA shop) for organizations and individuals seeking new ideas, balance, and transformation.

SAMYA (which, in Sanskrit, means “balance”) is a globally focused organization, founded on a commitment to serving others and to working to make the world a better place – more creative, focused, just, healthy, and joyful. This foundational commitment guides every aspect of my work.

To this end, I created our OM for OM initiative: for every seminar you participate in and every product that you buy, SAMYA will work with global partners to ensure that survivors of trauma receive healing yoga and mindfulness instruction or legal assistance. At SAMYA, your own practice is enriched by the knowledge that your hard work is never only for yourself. Your commitment to growth is – quite literally – helping to change the world, one mindful step at a time.

Favorite Designed Good Product: I love everything about the Sudan Greeting Card Set. Photography is a beautiful form of storytelling, and being able to see the world through the eyes of the children who took these images is magical. In a world where hand-written letters are increasingly rare, saying “I love you” or “I miss you” with one of these cards can truly make someone feel loved. 100Cameras is committed to empowering communities worldwide, and these cards are a way for kids to express themselves through photography, and for you to express how you feel to loved ones. It’s a fabulous cycle of love, compassion, and feeling connected to others.

Changemakers - Dave and Mike

Dave Spandorfer and Mike Burnstein: Janji

Bio: Co-founded Janji in 2012 to change the way people run. We shouldn’t only race for a cause; we should run for another every day. @Spandorfer.

Project: Janji is a new apparel brand changing the way runners give back. Founded in 2012 by two college cross country teammates, Janji seeks to extend the charitable aspect of running beyond race day. Each piece of apparel helps provide clean water or proper nutrition to a country in need, and its design is inspired by the country which it supports. Janji encourages athletes to “Run For Another” by wearing its apparel through everyday training. Janji, the Malaysian word for promise, is committed to taking on the global food and water crisis. Based out of Boston, Janji is in over 90 stores and growing and has already raised over $25,000 to help those in need through its partner organizations. Learn more at www.runjanji.com and facebook.com/runjanji & twitter.com/runjanji.

Favorite Designed Good Product: The 1:Face Watches are a product with a mission, very similar to that of Janji. Each watch contributes to funding solutions including Aids, Cancer, Hunger, the Environment, Water, and Education. This model of providing a unique product with a direct and measurable impact really resonates with the mission of Janji.

Changemakers - Jenny headshot

Jenny Tiberio: One Billion Rising

Bio: I work with the University of California, San Francisco, based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  We support the Ministry of Health and CDC Tanzania to understand their HIV epidemic through routine HIV monitoring, evaluation, research and surveillance, and myriad other activities to build capacity.

Project: With the awesome support and guidance of V-Day, I organized a Rising in Dar es Salaam for the One Billion Rising campaign on February 14, 2013.  One Billion Rising began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls. One Billion Rising called on women and the men who love them to join together and “dance until the violence stops” to show the world our collective strength, our numbers and our solidarity across borders. The event fostered new connections between activists in Dar and sparked a broader conversation about gender based violence in Tanzania.

Favorite Designed Good Product: Haptic Lab Brooklyn Quilt. As the great-granddaughter of a very prolific master quilter, I appreciate the significance of these quilts that quickly become treasured family heirlooms. There is so much value in teaching children and families where they come from, special places to remember, or learning about new places to be visited one day.

Changemakers - Than

Than Baardson: Unseen Ministries

Bio: Rider of old motorcycles, follower of Jesus, dog owner, wonderfully married. Life’s worth laughing at. I’m a big fan of justice.

Project: Unseen is a media and marketing nonprofit whose main mission is to equip groups fighting human trafficking, ending hunger and supporting orphans with the tools and education they need to effectively communicate their message and continue their work. We’re currently operating in 7 countries with our headquarters proudly planted in Fargo, ND.

Favorite Designed Good Product: BogoBrush. It’s so excited to see the crew at BogoBrush doing what they love.  Clean teeth, clean design, great company.

That wraps up our Changemakers series for the month of August. If you like what you read, stay in touch with Designed Good by signing up here for a weekly email filled with our latest content!

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