Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Office Fundraiser Ideas

When you're in charge of your office's fundraiser, you've got two goals to meet:

1. Raise the amount of money you've been assigned.
2. Not make your co-workers dread the sight of you.

Your campaign needs to be fun and engaging, but also effective. Here are a handful of ideas to get you started:

In her article, 10 Fun and Great Fund-Raising Ideas for Your Workplace, Josienita Borlongan says that having a Pink Ballerina Hippo Costume Fund-Raising Contest has been very successful for her. Co-workers vote with their dollars for the person in the office that they would most like to wear a pink ballerina hippo costume.

This idea sounds a bit mean to me, but it does remind me of when Beth Kanter wrote about Sarah Bunting of Tomato Nation raising over $100,000 for DonorsChoose. Sarah promised her blog's readers that she would go to work (at Rockefeller Center in New York City) wearing a tomato costume if they would collectively donate $40,000 dollars. You can watch the video of her in the costume on YouTube.

The United Way of Will County has a long list of office fundraising ideas including:
• Auction off an executive doing the winner's job for one hour.
• Have staff members prepare delicious lunches to be auctioned off to co-workers.
BNET also has a long list in its article, Ideas for Office Fun(d)raising. My favorites were:
• Raffle a day off of work.
• Charge an entry fee for a Nerf hoops competition.
The article also suggests that a moustache-wearing staff member volunteer to shave his moustache off if the office reaches its fundraising goal.

In the opposite approach, the Online Fundraising Blog's post, Fundraisers Ready Razors for End of Moustache May, describes how men raise money by growing (or not shaving) their moustaches.

What are some of the creative ideas you've used to get your co-workers excited to donate?

Flickr photo credit: Bake Sale uploaded by theotherway / Michelle




Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ask Britt: Q & A on Career Design for Artists and Activists

Hello Have Fun * Do Gooders!

I'm back from vacay in NYC feeling refreshed and renewed. I don't know about you, but I always get lots of ideas while I'm on vacation.

One idea that I'd like to try out here is a new weekly feature on Have Fun * Do Good called, Ask Britt: Q & A on Career Design for Artists and Activists. You can email me your career questions, I'll do my best to answer them, and I hope other Have Fun * Do Good readers will chime in with their tips and advice in the post's comments as well.

As some of you know, I've been doing career consulting workshops and one-on-one sessions since 1998 when I trained with Carol Lloyd to teach her Life Worth Living workshops. Now I work with people on-one-one, and facilitate workshops, like the one I did for Stanford's Social Entrepreneurship in the Bay Area Spring Break.

You can email me your question (please keep it to 50 words) about the do-good, or artistic work you are doing, or want to do, to britt@brittbravo.com. Title your email, "Ask Britt: your question topic." I won't post your name, but I will post your question with my answer, so keep that in mind as you write if you don't want details in your question to identify you.








Friday, July 18, 2008

BlogHer '08 Green and Social Change Birds of a Feather Meetup

This morning at the BlogHer Conference, about 40 "green" and "social change" bloggers, organizations and companies got together for a Birds of a Feather Meetup. I asked folks to give me their cards so I could share who attended with you. Give 'em a click and find out about the work they do (Is anyone except me surprised by how many companies attended?).

Abbey McDonald, Debroff Debrief
Abby Jaramillo, Urban Sprouts
Amy Lenzo BeautyDialogues
Anna Barrett, Way Out Wax
Ayelet B, Pursuing Adventures
Barbara Rozgonyi, Wired PR Works
Beth Kanter, Beth's Blog
Beth Terry, Fake Plastic Fish
Britt Bravo, Have Fun * Do Good
Christine Chase, Green Seal, Inc.
Elana Centor, Funny Business
Evan Miller, Aveda
Gina Stepp, Family Matters
Jennifer Taggart The Smart Mama
Jenny Sturiale TinyChoices.com
Joanna Eng, Idealist.org
Julia Smith, Idealist.org
Karen Solomon, Opportunity Green
Kate Marshall, Greenopolis
Kimberly Magre, Weber Shandwick Worldwide
Lorelei Kelly, The White House Project
Monica Danna, CosmoPolitician and New Living: Healthy Home Essentials
MamaBird, Surely You Nest
Marnie Webb, ext337
Maryanne Milker, Green Options
Mary Hunt, In Women We Trust
Michelle MacKenzie, Green Bean Dreams
Mitzi Emrich, Check Out Blog
Mehdi Yahyanejad, Adoptic
Monique Hartt, RecycleBank
Rachel Frederick, Six Apart
Rhona Mahony, Wild Bee
Sally Falkow, PRoactive
Siel, Green LA Girl
Skye Kilaen, Crafting a Green World
Susan MacPhee, Greenopolis
Squid Rosenberg, Can I Sit with You? and the adventures of leelo and his potty-mouthed mom
Tammy Lynn Gilmore, SXSW Interactive


Photos by me.



Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wanna Create Social Change? Be Creative

David Bornstein's book, How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, describes the qualities Ashoka looks for in the social entrepreneurs they support through their Fellowship program. The quality that stood out the most for me was Creativity.

In the book, Bill Drayton, Ashoka's founder, says that social entrepreneurs need to have two kinds of creativity:
• Goal-setting creativity, "the visionary seeing over the horizon to a different pattern in the field."

• Problem-solving creativity, "to get to this new place, there are a thousand hurdles, a thousand adjustments that these people have to make and they have to be creative about it."
I'd never thought about the connection between creativity and social change before, although it seems rather obvious after reading it. It made me want to hunt down some creativity exercises you could use to inspire creative problem-solving and big visioning.

Here's a selection of what I found:

skelliewag.org's 110+ Resources for Creative Minds
eVentureBiz's 8 + Ways to Train Yourself to Be Creative
Creating Natural Influence's: A Simple and Inexpensive Creativity Support System
Web Worker Daily's 4 Ways to Get Unstuck
The Marketing Fresh Peel's Interview with Author Gregg Fraley: Creative Problem Solving (CPS).

What other resources and tools can you recommend to increase creativity and creative problem-solving ?

Flickr Photo Credit: Brainstorms at INDEX: Views by Jacob B√łtter



Sunday, July 13, 2008

Save Your Trash: An Interview with Ari Derfel

"That's the big take home. It's not just like, "Hey, make less trash, the trash guy did it," but find where meaning is for you, and believe that you can make a difference if you learn about yourself."
-Ari Derfel

Late last month I interviewed Ari Derfel, CEO and co-owner of Back to Earth, Inc., about saving all of his trash for one year. Below is an edited transcript of our interview for the Big Vision Podcast. You can also listen to it on this little player:



Those of you who are long time Big Vision Podcast listeners and/or Have Fun * Do Good readers, may remember Ari from an interview I did with him and his business partner, Eric Fenster, in 2006 about their work with Back to Earth.

Ari Derfel: What inspired me to save a year of trash? A simple story: I was sitting having dinner with some friends, some very lovely friends, and we had been to the farmers market that day. We began to lament the concept of trash. What came up in conversation was, "Where is 'away?'" that magical place that things go.

As the conversation evolved, by the end of dinner I said, "You know what? I am curious. I want to know, and I'm going to save my trash for an entire year to see what it's like if 'away' is in my house," and it was that simple.

The idea was born in October 2006. I started in December of 2006. Before I started, I was thinking of all these ways to prepare, like where I'd put this pile, and where I'd put that pile, and how I was going to deal with all of it.

That kept eluding me, so on December 4th I had a dinner party with the guy that was there the first night I decided to do it, and said, "You know what? Tonight's the night," and I started keeping it in a pile in the closet in my kitchen. It was literally that simple.

Britt Bravo: What did you learn from this experiment?

AD: I learned a lot of different things. I think that was what was awesome about it. I entered into it really understanding that it was just a personal meditation. That I was about to engage in something to learn about myself, to learn about my behaviors, and to see what comes of it, as opposed to, I'm getting into this thing with a specific agenda, or because I want to tell people and the public something. It was really just like, I'm dismayed at things that I see on the planet, so therefore I want to engage it.

Some of the things that I learned are interesting. I learned what I spent most of my money on because by watching a pile of trash grow over a year, I really began to see, "Wow! I spent it on that food, on this electronic, on that item," and my consumption habits and spending habits became really clear.

The second thing that I learned really powerfully, in addition to what I spend my money on, is what I put in my body. I started to see things pile up. The most commonly talked about are little stacks of pints of non-dairy ice cream that I would eat: pint one, pint two, pint three, pint 12, pint 15. I started to see what lives in my body, and what kind of fuel I'm choosing to put in my body.

Then, I learned where most trash seems to be made, food packaging. Of all the different things that could be making trash, that was really profound to me because I realized that it's not that big of a problem. I mean, we've only been packaging food for 50, 60 or 75 years. So, if that's the small amount of time in which the problem was created. We should be able to undo the problem. Those are three of the primary things that I learned.

Then I learned that if I composted everything organic, which I did, trash doesn't smell. That's an awesome thing to learn because most folks think of the dump or, trash and they think it smells really disgusting. I realized, "Wow! That's not the case." If we properly treat all of our organic matter, that's not going to be a problem.

Those are sort of the top four. Then I'd say number five is how interesting and funny the media and general public are because so many people found the story so compelling and interesting that six months after I stopped it, I'm still talking about it regularly, and people are asking questions.

BB: You have gotten a lot of media exposure. What is the most common question, and what's the question you wish you were asked?

AD: The most common questions are, "Doesn't it stink?," "Where do you keep it?," "Do you have a girlfriend?" [laughs] I love that that is one of the most popular questions. And, "Why did you do it?" Those are basically the top four.

What question do I wish people asked me? It's interesting, a man from Oakland is doing a documentary on street recyclers, the people who go around and pick up recycling from all of our bins, and that's how they make their living. He's looking at that group of people that are sort of a marginalized population. We don't even notice them, but they play this important scavenging role in our world.

He's a really deep, amazing, theological kind of human being. He asked me a dozen questions that were the questions I wished everyone asked me. It's hard to explain, but questions like, "What is the essence of it?" What is the powerful experience that I have internally about the experience, and why would I choose to do something. Not just why did I do it in a fun, interesting way, but what mechanism is going on inside of my heart, and my body, and my mind such that I would choose to engage in something so disciplined, and stick to it so impeccably for an entire year? Does that make sense?

BB: Yes. So, why did you do it?

AD: Honestly, for whatever reason, I am a human being who feels a lot in my life. I feel the wars that are happening. I feel environmental pollution. I feel the suffering that so many people on the planet experience. I can't choose to feel that, or to not feel that, I just feel it everyday. It's that feeling that compels me to do all the work that I do, whether it's taking young people into the mountains, or promoting organic food and supporting local farmers.

All of that is motivated because I feel certain things, and because I want to help contribute to alleviating some of the pain, injustice and suffering, I do these things. I get a lot of my inspiration or guidance to do these things from the practice of yoga. Yoga, in its basic form, is about right thought, right speech, right action, and just being a mindful human being.

That's really the core that pushed me to this thing that seemed like an impossible task at first. If consumption and all these things are supposedly distractions in the planet, and in our existence as beings, then if I can really challenge myself to face my consumption, face my habits, face myself by looking at what it is I produce, and what I waste, then it's going to have a profound impact on me, and I will see a way to change myself that I could never otherwise see.

It's about changing me because I've got to live with me, and I've got to feel this planet, and there ain't no one else going to do it, but me.

BB: So, now that you've done it, what have you changed?

AD: I've absolutely changed the way I consume. I mean, every time my hand touches something now, I feel the whole story of where it was manufactured, and where it was shipped, and how it moved, and where it's going to end up. I buy a lot fewer things, and I waste a lot less, and I reuse a lot more.

From the whole media experience and everything, I also preach a lot less because I realized how hard it is to change me. Why would I ever spend a ton of energy telling a bunch of other people what they need to do and why? What I do more and more is in a humble way look at myself and realize, I have a lifetime of work to do on making me right with me.

BB: You started a blog with this project. When you started getting a lot of media attention, you got a lot of comments. I was reading through them and was kind of stunned by how many were negative comments. Can you talk a little bit about why that was, or how you dealt with it? It was kind of bizarre, I thought.

AD: It was bizarre and I think it was indicative of that same thing I was just talking about, about feeling a lot of the angst, feeling a lot of the anger, feeling a lot of the suffering that's out there in the world and people are constantly looking for an object to focus that on. When this came out, it just seemed I guess obvious to some people to rail against me, and to call me "liberal" and "dirty" and "hippy" and "smelly", or anything to get some press and attention, which was fascinating. I wasn't telling anybody what to do.

But there were some really cool things that came out of that. There are a couple of stories that I really enjoy sharing. The first is that somebody wrote a comment that said, "You must be one of those weird, obsessive compulsive, smelly people, an old guy with a million newspapers and cats," kind of thing. He wrote some mean comment.

The next day, some TV station, ABC or CBS, was interviewing me and they said, "Read some of your blog comments live for the camera." So, I read this one particular person's comments. The next day, he sends me an email because he sees me reading his blog comment on television and he gets a more intimate personal sense of who I am and he writes, apologizing and saying, "Hey, I'm really sorry. I didn't realize who you were and what you were doing, and I just wanted to have some fun, so I wrote these comments."

It was beautiful how someone expressed anger, and then got a sense of my humanity a little bit more, and then a sense of their humanity. It was a really nice connection.

Another thing that happened was somebody wrote a comment, "You typical Berkeley liberal..." whatever. Then as I'm reading, I see a woman from Texas who writes and says, "I'm a Christian conservative right-wing person from Texas. I don't think this has anything to do with liberal or conservative. God gave us one earth, let's treat it with respect."

It's been an awesome experience to see all this random negativity and wonder, "Who's got time, and who cares?" But then to see that they're having their own dialogue and people are waking up through the conversation, is a gift that came out of this project that I never could have imagined that makes it feel very wonderful and beautiful to me.

BB: What tips do you have for people who are listening who want to reduce the amount of waste they have? From the basic to the more advanced.

AD: I have a couple of pieces of advice. The first is to just start paying attention. Just start noticing how often do you eat out? How often you buy things? How often you get a bag? Level one, just start noticing and paying attention without any judgment or comment.

Level two, start reducing in really obvious, really easy places. Use a to-go mug, just don't buy a disposable coffee or teacup. Don't get grocery bags. You don't need them. Get a cloth or canvas bag, it's simple. Every time you go and get to-go food, at a salad bar, or at a restaurant, bring your own container. It can be a Tupperware, or it can be something fancy like To-Go Ware, which you can buy online.

You start doing those three things, and add the fourth, carry a water bottle, and stop using plastic water bottles. More and more people know that in addition to making trash, they off-gas all sorts of chemicals, and they cause cancer, and all sorts of stuff. So, a water bottle, a coffee mug, a reusable grocery bag, and a reusable to-go container are really good things for the level two practitioner.

Level three practitioner, start grocery shopping at the farmers market. Just stop going to the grocery store. Buy all of your stuff fresh directly from the farmers. You'll have more of a community experience, your money will more directly support local people, and much less trash will be created because you're not buying anything that's packaged.

Level four, stop driving, or at least start to transition to a hybrid or a biodiesel, stop creating that sort of waste and eventually move towards bicycle riding, public transport, and that sort of thing.

Then highest level practitioner... Oh, actually, I have to throw in, begin composting. That's like a level two or three. Just start composting all of your food scraps. Then the highest level, which really comes full circle also to the lowest level of just paying attention, is broaden the experience of a project like this. Don't make it just about trash, pick anything.

If the thing that you're concerned about is communication, then just focus on the way you communicate with your loved ones, and your family, and your friends, and try to minimize bad communication, and make more good communication. Just take the example of this experience, and make it personal for you, and in a disciplined way engage in trying to change an element of yourself that's important to yourself.

That's the big take home. It's not just like, "Hey, make less trash, the trash guy did it," but find where meaning is for you, and believe that you can make a difference if you learn about yourself.

BB: What's the next step for this project? Is it done? Are you like, "OK, enough already. I'm going to go throw this stuff out."

AD: [laughs]

BB: Is there another level? Is there a new project? What's next?

AD: I originally found a couple of artists that were interested in turning it into a piece of art. That's really what I'd like to do so that you can look at a biography, a diary of my consumption and be like, "This is what this guy bought," which is pretty revealing and intimate.

It's been hard to coordinate with the artists because I'm really looking for people who will take it, and take ownership of it. I did a lot of the hard part. I saved my trash for a year; it's in my house. I'm looking for a self-motivated artist to take it and really turn it into something beautiful and amazing because I think a piece of art like this really will have legs and can go places. The artists that I was going to work with are great, amazing people, and they're very busy. So, that's the next step.

If I can't find artists in the next few months, and I'm still holding on to the trash six months later, then I will probably have to creatively reuse as much of it as I can, and then begin to throw a bunch of it away. Ow! I don't like the thought. Once it's gone, I will consider doing it again.

I started the blog because I knew someone was going to write a newspaper story about it. I didn't do the blog before. I stopped doing the blog because I've just been too busy. If I find some time in between opening a restaurant and doing all these other things, then I might start the project again.

In a perfect world, I have a whole film written in my head about it. So, if there's a filmmaker out there who wants to do it, then awesome! I've got the whole thing written, let's talk. But I don't have the bandwidth to make the movie.

BB: For people who heard your interview with your business partner, Eric Fenster, maybe you can give us a quick Back to Earth update?

AD: Eric Fenster and I are still working together at Back to Earth Organic Catering, and we still run an outdoor adventure program for inner city kids, and we run yoga backpacking trips. Both of our companies are still intact. The exciting news is that we're now opening an organic restaurant. It will not be called "Back to Earth," we are changing the name of it.

That restaurant is going to be at the David Brower Center in downtown Berkeley, and it's going to be an all organic, three meals a day, seven days a week restaurant priced affordably, not high end and fancy, the kind of place where you can go everyday. There will be a sit down restaurant, an outdoor patio for 40 people that gets sun, and a completely to-go cafe. It's going to be a really awesome place in Berkeley where people who want to eat awesome, healthy, organic, delicious food can eat all the time.

BB: Is there anything else that you want share about your experience of doing this project?

AD: One other motivation in my life generally that I think was part of this is the concept of gratitude. I live with such abundance around me, in a community and in a world with access to everything. I don't have to think about getting clean water and getting food and getting these sorts of things. So, that motivated me all the more to say, "Well, then, how can I challenge myself to make a difference in a positive way?"

I'm grateful that I've had the experience, I'm grateful that people found it interesting and I'm grateful for people like you, and a lot of people in the media, who actually captured the essence of the story instead of bastardizing it, and turning it into, "freaky, weird guy saves trash." Everyone, CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business News, every major outlet, even the National Enquirer, did a really good job of capturing the essence, which is, one man trying to make an impact on himself.

That's really the part that I hope people get and understand. If there's one element that's motivating, it's about that, engaging the self.

You can learn more about Ari's project on his blog, Save Your Trash.





Friday, July 11, 2008

The Girl Effect: Watch This Video



Did you know:
" • An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.
(George Psacharopoulos and Harry Anthony Patrinos, “Returns to Investment in Education: A Further Update,” Policy Research Working Paper 2881 [Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2002].)

• Research in developing countries has shown a consistent relationship between better infant and child health and higher levels of schooling among mothers.
(George T. Bicego and J. Ties Boerma, “Maternal Education and Child Survival: A Comparative Study of Survey Data from 17 Countries,” Social Science and Medicine 36 (9) [May 1993]: 1207–27.)

• When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.
(Phil Borges, with foreword by Madeleine Albright, Women Empowered: Inspiring Change in the Emerging World [New York: Rizzoli, 2007], 13.) "


These statistics come from The Girl Effect, a web site created by the Nike Foundation and NoVo Foundation to educate people about the positive impact educating and empowering girls can have on a community. In addition to the video above, which I recommend you take a couple minutes to watch, they have created four short videos about girls who are either benefiting from, or could benefit from The Girl Effect.

The one question I had, as did Blogging for a Better Tomorrow, and some of the commenters on the ONE.org blog, is how authentic is this campaign given Nike's track record with sweatshops? Does anyone know what the most up to date information is on how they are doing in that regard?

Whatever the motivation is behind the campaign, the ideas behind it are important to support. You can get involved with The Girl Effect by sharing the web site and videos, learning more about the issue, and donating to a project that support girls on The Girl Effect's Global Giving page.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof had a column, The Luckiest Girl, around a similar idea last week. In his accompanying blog post, Buying Goats and Other Aid he recommends foreign aids groups you can support. The 350+ people who commented on his post (wow!) made recommendations as well.

Hat tip to my pal Noel Brewer, who forwarded me the video.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Would Love Your Feedback on My New Web Site

My re-designed web site is up at brittbravo.com. Hooray!

Big thanks to my designer, Ross Chapman.

I'd love to hear any suggestions and feedback you have about it. As many of you know, web sites are always a work in progress.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Spirituality, Religion and Activism: What's the Connection?

"No matter how many projects and campaigns and initiatives and alliances we set in motion, we won't find fundamental solutions to societal ills until we learn how to approach this work with greater awareness, compassion, and humility."
- Seasons Fund for Social Transformation

Lately I've noticed a small, but steady stream of mentions about the connection between spirituality, religion, and activism.

In May 2008, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that six groups (Fetzer Institute, Ford Foundation, Hidden Leaf Foundation, Jewish Funds for Justice, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Seeds of Justice Foundation) had formed the Seasons Fund for Social Transformation. In December 2007, the Fund awarded grants to 15 organizations that, "represent pioneering efforts to integrate personal and social transformation throughout their organizations and movements."

One of the grant recipients, The Movement Strategy Center, is studying the impact of spiritual practice on social justice leaders, organizations and the progressive movement as part of its Spirit in Motion program. Another recipient, the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, published a resource manual for social justice activists, The Activist's Ally: Contemplative Tools for Social Change.

In spring 2008 the Stanford Innovation Review article, "Praise the Lord, but Dim the Lights," featured the Regeneration Project's Interfaith Power and Light Campaign. The Interfaith Power and Light campaign is, "mobilizing a national religious response to global warming while promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation." You can download a copy of the article on the Regeneration Project site.

Most recently, this month the International Museum of Women's exhibition, "Women, Power and Politics" is examining the question, "What does religion have to do with it?" :
"Throughout history, religion has had a lot to do with women's personal and political lives. Religious women make change happen, whether seeking peace or inciting war. Belief can inspire social justice, or block a woman's access to freedom or equality. Join us this month as we explore how faith makes or breaks political women around the world."
I'm hoping that these examples are signs that people's beliefs about spirituality and religion will slowly make their way back from extremes to an integrated and middle way that recognizes, like the Global Oneness Project, we are all connected.

Flickr Photo Credit: Shining Treetops uploaded by Zest-pk





Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Join the Changeblogger Wiki!

In May, I wrote a post asking for suggestions for Changebloggers, people who are using their blog, podcast or vlog to raise awareness, build community, and/or facilitate readers/listeners/viewers' taking action to make the world a better place.

Your responses resulted in a long list of Changebloggers and lots of suggestions for how we can connect (i.e. wiki, Twitter, face-to-face meetups, online meetups, etc.).

SocialButterfly has run with some your suggestions, and set up a Changebloggers wiki. Hooray!

She is setting up pages for Changebloggers to list:
Blogs, podcasts, vlogs, Twitters and locations
Meetups
Logo contest
And more!

I hope you'll join the wiki, and if you have questions about how it works, email SocialButterfly at socialbutterfly4change@gmail.com, or "tweet" her at @socialbttrfly






Wednesday, July 02, 2008

How Are Your 2008 Activist Resolutions Going?

At the end of December 2007, I posted about creating activist resolutions for the New Year based on Latoya Peterson's activist resolutions post on Racialicious.

We're half way through 2008, so I thought I'd share how mine are going, and check in on yours. My resolutions were to:

1. Continue reading and learning about why genocide happens, and what I can do to encourage the United States to be a part of the solution.

What I've done:
Read What is the What by Dave Eggers.
Read Darfur Diaries by Aisha Bain, Jen Marlowe and Adam Shapiro.
Watched Darfur Now.
Interviewed Janessa Goldbeck of the Genocide Intervention Network.

Challenge for the rest of 2008:
I'm feeling a bit discouraged about what feels like a lack of progress in the situation. Need to figure out how to get energized to take action around it.

2. Interview more activists/visionaries of color for the Big Vision Podcast.

What I've done:
I've done so-so with this so far. This year I've interviewed Christina Arnold of Prevent Human Trafficking, Cristi Hegranes of the Press Institute for Women in the Developing World, Kavita Ramdas of the Global Fund for Women, Anisha Desai of the Women of Color Resource Center, Janessa Goldbeck of Genocide Intervention Network, and Ari Derfel of Save Your Trash.

Challenge for rest of 2008:
I only have 6 more interviews for 2008. I do one per month. I would like to do 3 interviews with activists/visionaries of color who are having fun and doing good. Feel free to send me suggestions.

3. Carry at least one cloth shopping bag with me at all times.

What I've done:
This has been easy. I take my Envirosax most places with me.

Challenge for 2008:
I've gotten paper bags a few times because otherwise we don't have anything to put our recycling in (ironic). Any suggestions for an alternative container to put your paper recycling in? I don't think you can just throw all of your individual papers/newspapers/magazines into the recycling bin they pick up, can you? Seems kinda messy.

4. Write to the woman I am sponsoring through Women for Women International, each month.

What I've done:
Written her a letter each month.

Challenge for rest of 2008
She hasn't written back. When you sign up to be a Women for Women International sponsor, they make it clear that some of the women are experiencing circumstances that make it difficult for them to write. I totally understand that, but it is getting harder to get motivated each month when I'm writing into the void.

5. Donate 5 % of my income.

What I've done:
Donated 3%

Challenge for rest of 2008:
Step it up to 5%

6. Have more fun while doing good.

What I've done:
Started doing yoga again (I'm a certified instructor and used to do it every day for years). Made some changes in my work life to give me more space for creative projects and down time.

Challenge for rest of 2008:
As I've let go of some things, I've noticed that the space fills up again with new opportunities. Gotta be particular about what I say yes to.

How are your 2008 Activist Resolutions going? Here are what some people wrote in the comments of the original post on Have Fun * Do Good and BlogHer that they were going to do :

Green LA Girl said she would pack her own chopsticks.

Cooper of An Unforgivable Hell on Earth said she would continue supporting two women through Women for Women International, volunteer at a women's shelter, start grad school to study public policy and interntional relations, continue her blog about Darfur, and participate in local activism around Darfur.

Michael of All Day Buffet said he would like to, "inspire more young people that wouldn't normally act to do something that changes the world!"

Amy of Shaping Youth wrote, "I hereby 'resolve' to mobilize youth by activating core caring in various forms of content creation. We'll help empower kids in upbeat, social/media forms of fun, to make a difference in communities online and off."

Ryan of Riches for Good wrote, "My resolution isn't specific to 2008, but I made it this year: My goal is to help at least 1 million people out of extreme poverty, or $1-per-day poverty, during my lifetime."

Photo by me.




July 2: Last Day to Register for BlogHer

Just a quick post to say that today at 6 PM Pacific Time is the last day to register for the BlogHer Conference. They are selling out. If you've been waiting to sign up, don't delay.

I'll be facilitating a Birds of a Feather session for Green, Social Change & NPO/NGO bloggers on Friday, July 18th from 10:30-11:45 AM.

Let me know if you'll be there in the comments of this post, by email (britt AT brittbravo.com), or Twitter (@bbravo).