Changemakers – September 2013

September is a month of change: the days get shorter, the temperature starts to drop, and of course people’s routines change with the start of the school year. In the spirit of these changes, we have 8 new Changemakers to inspire you for the coming month!

The issues they’re tackling range from childhood obesity to supporting local artists to peace journalism, but they are all united in their desire to do good.

 

Jeremiah Reed

Jeremiah Reed: ChariT Fashion

Bio: My desire is to use my God given talents in a form that helps others in need, while using Jesus as my inspiration. Love architecture, fashion, design, and vehicles of all kinds. ¼ Japanese. Nickname: Moo.

Project: I created this company because I found a need while at my previous job. I had always envisioned doing something with my talents to help people in need, but didn’t exactly know what to do. While at that job we created a very basic t-shirt to support a sponsored injured athlete and that sparked an idea. Most t-shirts that are created for a charitable event serve a short-term purpose and are very basic, uncomfortable and not creative.

This is where ChariT Fashion started. My company partners with charities for three months to raise awareness and funding. The t-shirts we design are created to represent the charity’s mission. With each t-shirt sale we donate $5.50 back to the charity. The increased awareness produces more followers for each charity while the increased funds help them reach more people in need.

Our t-shirts are not your typical tees, they are created by socially-good manufacturers using high quality materials. We use a high quality print process with an outcome that is extremely comfortable and looks great.

To get our first line of products in production we are have launched an Indiegogo campaign. I’d be grateful to have your support.

Favorite Designed Good Product: Taza Chocolate. I’m hooked on chocolate. In fact, I think I have it every day. It’s great that this company is creating a sustainable product while reaching farmers oversees in places that could use a little support. Connecting the consumer directly with the farmer puts more profit in the farmer’s hands. Their package design looks great too and uses eco-conscious materials for a smaller carbon footprint.

 

 


Anthony Rouzier

Anthony Rouzier: Henry Gets Moving

Bio: Former Linebacker at the University of Massachusetts with a BA in Journalism. Currently living in Miami pursuing a JD/MBA at Florida International University College of Law (Class of 2014), Social Entrepreneur, Co-Creator of Henry The Hamster and President of Henry Gets Moving, LLC.

Project: I am the Co-Creator of Henry The Hamster, and President of Henry Gets Moving. Endorsed by Rich Carmona, the 17th U.S. Surgeon General, and recognized by the American College of Sports Medicine as the National Symbol of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in September, Team Henry inspires communities across the country to lead active, healthy lives, by engaging children and parents to “Get Moving with Henry.” Team Henry helps children across the country read Henry The Hamster’s first inspirational story, Henry Gets Moving, and then partake in our curriculum, which involves exercise and nutrition activities.

We focus heavily on garnering grassroots involvement and have partnered with a number of different organizations to provide a fun and innovative approach to fighting the childhood obesity epidemic. Our goal is to connect children’s programs with donors so that each child can take home their very own copy of Henry Gets Moving, our lesson plans, and other fun Team Henry branded products that will continue to inspire communities to “GET MOVING AND EAT HEALTHY”. Team Henry donates copies of Henry Gets Moving and proceeds to a number of different initiatives that focus on community wellness.   Check out our website, Facebook page, or contact info@henrygetsmoving.com to join Team Henry and find out how you can get your community moving today!

Favorite Designed Good Product: Janji Rwanda Breeze Running Shirt. Anything that has a direct correlation to improving the lives of children is something that I will immediately gravitate towards.  Thus the Janji shirt, and their relationship with MANA is something that really impressed me. Sleek shirt as well!!!

 

 

Erica Schlalkjer

Erica Schlaikjer: Media Rise Festival

Bio: I’m a writer, editor and creative strategist, with a passion for storytelling, sustainable cities, technology, design and social change. I’m currently helping clients integrate social media into their business and marketing plans as a Community Manager for Huge, a full-service digital agency in Washington, D.C. On the side, I run Benevolent Media, a media and events company dedicated to celebrating storytelling and design for good.

Project: Right now, my passion project is the Media Rise Festival. The weeklong series of events, held at various locations on September 23-29 in Washington, D.C., celebrates how storytelling, design, art and media can contribute to a peaceful, just, and sustainable world. We’re currently looking for sponsors, partners and volunteers to get involved. Learn more at www.mediarisenow.org

Favorite Designed Good Product: Sudan Greeting Card Set. Produced by 100Cameras, the greeting cards exemplify the power of storytelling and design to inspire people to support communities as far-flung as Sudan and as close-to-home as New York. The process of actually creating the cards, too, empowers kids to capture and share their own stories, from their own point of view.

 

 


Peter Walters

Peter Walters: Two Degrees Food

Bio: Peter Walters is a Social Entrepreneur and graduate of Trinity College where he received his BA in Philosophy. His life mission is to connect consumers to philanthropic causes through innovative marketing and social engagement tools. He believes that through conscious consumerism, a more equitable world is possible, and anyone can be a philanthropist. Peter is the Director of Marketing & Partnerships for Two Degrees Food, the first one-for-one food company. Peter is also a freelance writer for the Huffington Post and enjoys sailing, yoga and adventures around the world and also in the mind.

Project: I’m a collector and a connector. I collect and integrate ideas, systems, worldviews, quotes, concepts and practices that enable me to be a more effective, compassionate and inspiring person. I do this by connecting people and ideas– without an agenda– with the knowledge that collaborations and partnerships enable incredible things. I religiously use Evernote to organize the contents of my mind, and the minds of those far more intelligent than me. I use quotes, friends, strangers, employers, coaches, lovers and authors as my teachers throughout life to guide my beliefs and decisions. Mostly, however, I do everything in my power to reduce poverty around the world. My life mission is to help lift 1 million people out of poverty. Currently I’m doing this through Two Degrees Food, the first one-for-one food company. For every snack product that we sell, we donate a meal to a hungry child. I hope that we can help each other on our respective paths towards equality, equanimity and a world that we are all proud to be a part and call ourselves global citizens.

Zoe Schlag

Zoe Schlag: UnLtd USA

Bio: I am the founder of UnLtd USA, a coach and mentor to social entrepreneurs and a mountain & sandwich enthusiast. I am driven by the energy and passion of individuals with big ideas and believe that change can be sparked anywhere.

Project: At UnLtd USA we find, fund and support early stage social entrepreneurs. By engaging with individuals at the earliest stages of their entrepreneurial journey and providing them with customized and ongoing support on site, we enable them to transform visions of change into social ventures ready for launch and scale. We believe in investing directly in individuals to launch their potential as changemakers—accelerating their progress, developing them as leaders and preparing their fledgling organizations for further investment and scale.

UnLtd USA l startup + drive is a monthlong series of popup bootcamps for early-stage social entrepreneurs coming to 8 cities across the US this September. UnLtd USA, along with the two co-founders of UnLtd India, other seasoned entrepreneurs and leaders from the sector will be traveling from coast to coast to offer talks, workshops, one-on-one clinics and peer learning sessions — all of it aimed at understanding how UnLtd USA can best serve the social startups of the country.

Want to be a part of the journey? Follow our Facebook page for stories and updates along the way!

 

 


Ashley Hanson & Andrew Gaylord

Ashley Hanson and Andrew Gaylord: PlaceBase Productions

Bios: Ashley Hanson  received her Master of Arts degree in Applied Theatre at the University of Manchester, UK, where she focused on the role of theatre in the sustainable development of communities. For the past ten years, she has facilitated, written and directed theater and arts-based programs with many different communities and organizations. Ashley’s work is focused on uniting individuals through exploring collective narratives in accessible performances. She is accustomed to serving as a liaison among artists, city departments and the community. She calls herself an “Arts Enabler,” working with artists and organizations on the “unsexy” part of the arts – administration and organization – to bring abstract visions into concrete productions. Ashley has received fellowships from the Creative Community Leadership Institute, National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture and Creative CityMaking. She is also a founding member of the Yes!Lets Collective of Twin-Cities artists, musicians and community enthusiasts, and she plays ukulele and sings in the folk/Americana band, Brian Laidlaw & the Family Trade.

Andrew Gaylord has been teaching junior high and high school humanities and theatre at Trinity School at River Ridge for ten years. During his MA thesis work at Saint John’s University, he explored the relationship between art and community, researching the impact of Twin Cities’ art spaces on their surrounding community life. He believes that art is not only valuable but necessary for maintaining both a healthy sense of self and a vital sense of one’s part in community. For the last five years he has spent all of his time putting this belief into practice in theatrical, visual and musical performance. Since 2008 he has directed 20 one-act plays and four full length plays with high school students, and he has written and directed three plays with PlaceBase Productions. Otherwise he performs with small music ensembles, sings with the Vocal Essence Chorus, and he spends time compiling and recording old folk songs.

Project: PlaceBase Productions works with local communities and commissioning partners to create unforgettable works of theater performed in specific, local sites around Minnesota. Our work begins with a place, its history, stories and physical environment, its significance to the local community and its potential futures. From this place we develop an original text to bring these elements into play. And from this text we build a work of theatre, collaborating with local actors, musicians and artisans to make this place speak what it has to say. For each work the place is transformed into a dynamic playing space based on the text. Audiences are invited to rediscover the beauty and power of a place they may have known their entire life, and they are free to explore the new theatrical environment in whatever way their imagination guides them. Each production presents free of charge a multimedia work of the local collective memory.

Our goal is to foster creativity, a sense of wonder and, above all, a sense of place by teaching local communities about their history and culture and helping to create in that community a deeper appreciation for the essential role of the arts in community life. Find out more at our website!

 

 


Josh Riman

Josh Riman: Great Believer

Bio: While writing the 87th headline option for a major bank, I realized maybe advertising wasn’t for me. So I quit. I always wanted to have a job where I brought something positive into the world. That’s why I created Great Believer, a social good branding agency based in Brooklyn.

Also, I love cats and short walks on the beach (preferably with a cat by my side).

Product: Since starting Great Believer in 2011, my team and I have provided a range of good causes with great branding (websites, logos, infographics and more).

We recently launched sites for SprigeoNalane and No Right Brain Left Behind. We also worked on the new Designed Good website, which will be up and running shortly.

Over the past two years, we’ve done some work I’m really proud of. But we’re only getting started.

 

 


Laura D'Asaro

Laura D’Asaro: Wema Children’s Centre

Bio: I am a recent graduate of Harvard College (’13) who is dropping everything to be a social entrepreneur and start businesses that make a difference.

Product: I believe in the power of non-profits and businesses alike to make change, and I work in both spheres.

I am the international coordinator for Wema Children’s Centre, an organization in Kenya that gives poor and orphaned children the opportunity to receive high quality education. I worked to bring together volunteers across the country to work on projects such as building a new well to bring water to 1,000 people and starting a medical clinic, computer lab, library, and cyber café. Our efforts made Wema more self-supporting, ultimately preventing Wema from closing. Visit our website to learn more. Inspired to expand our work, I then helped found and became president of Wema Children Inc., a non-profit built to support children throughout East Africa.

I am also the founder of 100% Fizzy Ice Cream, ice cream (and now fruit!) that bubbles on your tongue like soda and makes a difference with every bite. We donate 100% of profits to helping support sustainable international education. 

Favorite Designed Good Product: I love to run, and so I love the Janji model of encouraging people to run not just for themselves but also for others. The clothing is beautiful and so is their mission to “create sustainable and lasting change.” Business is an incredible tool for change, but we have to make sure we are addressing root causes and not just providing band-aid solutions. I like that Janji is “going the extra mile” to do good well!

 

Designed Good

That’s all for our September series of inspiring Changemakers. 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 and products!

Also 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!

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