ONE Aya Summit
Nov 2014
20

AYA Summit – ONE Campaign & ONE Girls + Women

Sometimes you attend a conference that fills you up with so many emotions, and so much knowledge, it takes you some time to process it. Such was the case for the first ever AYA Summit, held at Google’s Washington DC offices and hosted by the ONE Campaign along with their new initiative, ONE Girls & Women.

I had first heard of ONE about 10 years ago at an U2 concert with my close friend Marabeth. She and I went to college together and have seen U2 more times (together and apart) than I can count. Bono is a co-founder of ONE, and spoke passionately about the organization then, as he does about pretty much everything. But here is the thing, ONE has become a major advocacy group around the world, so it’s not just Bono’s voice – it’s all of ours – speaking out to fight poverty and disease.

Given my background in public health and cancer prevention for nearly 15 years, these issues are very important to me. I was honored to attend the AYA Summit with fellow bloggers from around the world, and meet people who are making such a difference in terms of health, economic stability, energy, human rights – particularly in Africa. As many of these problems affect women disproportionally, the majority in attendance and the majority of the focus was on female issues within the scope of global crisis.

“Aya” is a hardy west African fern, and the name was meant to represent the resilience and strength girls and women show during times of great stress. Continue reading…

Nov 2014
12

The Darkness of Diabetes

I have had diabetes for over twelve years now. Probably more, because they were pretty sure I had it for several years prior to diagnosis. The first ten years were a cakewalk. I only took a little bit of medicine and checked in with my doctor and really not much else. Then there was that time in my life when things got rough. I call them the Dark Years.

It was when my mom got sick and I got sick and other then that bad time in childhood with my dad, it was pretty much the worst period of my life. The good news is when you have a bad couple years, you appreciate the good ones so much more. After I spent nine months on my back with the ear infection my body didn’t bounce back easily. Part of this I know is age; when you’re over 40, things just take longer to heal. But it just seemed like my pancreas has decided it just wasn’t going to work anymore. So I was taking all kinds of different meds and lots of insulin. Continue reading…

Oct 2014
08

The Tunnel

Working from home gives me great flexibility. I am not sure I could go back to a traditional office, ever. But essentially working alone all day kind of fucks with your head.

Social networks help. You can pop in and out, chat for a few minutes, see what is happening out there, get back to work.

The problem is, you live inside your own head a lot. Sometimes you don’t actually talk to a person outside your immediate family for days – or even weeks. You start wondering if you are reading things with a skewed perspective.

I know I have become more sensitive. Continue reading…

Michael Brown Ferguson
Aug 2014
18

Talking To My 11 Year Old Son About Ferguson

Our son will be 12 next month and for the most part, except for his premature beginnings, his life has been relatively stress free. As parents, we try to keep it that way, but we also feel it is our job to tell him about the world. We’ve always shared news at age appropriate levels. He’s known about September 11 since very early on, especially since his birthday is close to that date, but in general terms. His school has been great; talking about tragedy with increasing detail as his maturity grew.

However, we have been at a loss how to explain the happenings in Ferguson, Missouri, this week. Yes, we told him what happened to Trayvon Martin. Yes, the legal system failed Trayvon as much as the vindictive racism of George Zimmerman. But in Ferguson, there are so many things I can’t even believe, how do I explain it to my kid? Continue reading…

World Is Silence One Voice
Aug 2014
13

ONE.org Launches ONE Girls & Women

I’ve been pretty open that my childhood wasn’t the best. My mom tried her hardest, my dad did not. I was in a lot of crisis until my dad passed away when I was 11.

And yet, I lived in suburban Maryland. I had food, water, clothes. While we lived fairly modestly, especially after my father passed, we lived in an area of definite affluence, during the 1980’s – that decade of gratuitous greed. I was surrounded by all the things anyone could want, much less need. That was over 30 years ago. Even given all the progress in the world, there are still people everywhere that live in extreme poverty.

Ten years ago, musical hero Bono (now aided by Bob Geldolf of, yes, Band Aid) started an organization called ONE to battle this issue. Many people think that ONE raises funds for Africa. And while in some ways – indirectly – that is true, it’s primary function is advocacy across political borders to relieve poverty and disease, plus help awareness of a wide variety of critical issues that we all face. Continue reading…