Friday, December 28, 2012

My Top 5 iPad/iPhone Apps for Activism

Hey all! I recently got an Ipad Mini and I have been obsessed with it! I have offically lost all of my productive value!
I do think though that iPads, tablets, what have you can be amazing resources and knowledge bases to use. There are so many apps out there geared towards education, learning, gaining new skills and critical thinking. It's not all nonsense or entertainment!
Clearly, technology is the future and moving forward we will see these devices become integrated into our education. Thus, I think getting a head start in using this technology for social change/learning about social issues/justice (which is already happening in massive amounts) is integral.

So with all that being said here are my Top 5 iPad Apps for activism!

1. Simply Sharing: A Passion for Justice : This is a short, interactive app that takes you through learning about justice, what causes injustice, examples of injustice and how to fix it. A really great comprehensive guide to learning about social change and peace. I loved how it was very reliant upon YOU the consumer. You got to express your ideas, thoughts and learn interactively.

2. Cruelty- Free : This app from Leaping Bunny features lists of companies that don't use any animal testing/cruelty in the making of their products. Such a great and easy way to research this. You could take your device to the store with you and see what falls on the list as cruelty free. Time saving and very convenient!

3. NBC Politcs: Provides quick, fast updates about the current political scene. I love how it gives you nice tidits instead of 3 page articles. Sometimes you just want news and updates fast without having to read something that is long or tedious.

4. Kindle : I love reading and books are amazing tools! Knowledge acquisition is so important! You can have millions of books on the free Kindle Cloud app and read them anywhere, anytime. Its like having a kindle! And there are many, many free educational books. Another huge plus!

5. The ACLJ Social Action App: This app is really created for those who are passionate about social justice. You can sign petitions, view blogs, get news, , listen to radio programs and watch videos on all kinds of relevant current events. This app has everything in one place which is really nice.

Those are some of my favorite apps! I would love to hear about yours!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Real Cost of Christmas

Happy Holidays everyone!
I find that holidays are one of those weird things that are full of materialism and probably exist for the purpose of perpetuating capitalistic ideals. I mean sure, we all say that it's about family and friends and giving the heart of it all is a huge white man that gives good little boys and girls presents. I think saying that presents aren't at the center of Christmas is a lie. I know that personally presents are probably my favorite part of the holidays. My birthday is also in December so it's really the only time of year I get things from other people; the rest of the time I have to buy myself something if I want it. We are socialized to be this way. Our culture glorifies this holiday materialism while simultaneously shaming those who are seen as too selfish. Saying you are in it for the gifts buys you the label of being a greedy pig. So you really just can't win.

Also, I think that Christmas at the end of the day is a waste. We are buying ourselves things we "think" we need. According to the American Research Group this year the average person was planning on spending $854 on gifts. Just think if everyone took that money and gave it to charity how much better off our world would be. Also, According to an infograph from ThinkProgress, the amount of money we spend on Christmas decorations alone in the United States could end homelessness.

 I think facts like this really show how out of touch we are with reality. We think that Christmas is a good thing and that we are helping to give hope and love to other people through giving. But, if we really wanted to put our money where our mouth was we could simply give all that money to charity and those in need and bring an end many modern day social problems. Just by canceling Christmas alone for one year we could probably bring millions out of poverty. We could eliminate much of the need for government assistance. We could even out class lines. The funny thing is, this really is possible.

So next year why don't we all think (including myself) about doing something philanthropic with our money. If everyone say only spent $800 on gifts and put the other $54 dollars to good use, even by that miniscule change, imagine the good we could do. Forego that gift to your Aunt Shirley or your second cousin to do something great for humanity!  

I am planning on doing this by becoming a member of Hollaback! which requires a $60 donation. It's such a great cause and it's something I am really passionate about! Also, as a member I get to be involved with organizational decisions, events, etc. which I think is an awesome treat :D.

Have a safe and happy holiday everyone!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's Not Hopeless

Sometimes I just don't know if being an activist is worth it. I understand that fighting for the change you believe in is ALWAYS relevant but I think sometimes you have to ask yourself if you are really accomplishing anything. Call me a cynic, but I have my doubts.
It just seems impossible to reach people sometimes. I know that probably everyone goes through this but some days I find it just gets to me. I think that a lot of what I talk about I talk about to other activists. And that's all fine and dandy, but the real reason that I blog and advocate is to reach people who need this message. To empower them.
But then I rememeber people like me. Those who are lost and finding their way who happen to get themselves immersed in this stuff. So many people have the potential! It's just about reaching them and finding your audience.
It's not hopeless. I just need a reminder sometimes.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

World Aids Day

Today, December 1st is World Aids Day which is “an oppurtunity for people to unite worldwide in the fight against HIV.” ( You can wear a red ribbon in acknowledgement of the day and of the millions of people on our planted who are effected. 
Aids is the most advanced form of HIV and can only be passed through bodily fluids such as blood, semen and breast milk. Touching, talking or even sharing a bathroom with someone that has HIV will not give you the disease. People with HIV/AIDS are normal, everyday people just like you and I. There is a weird stigma around the disease when in reality being effected is just like having cancer, heart disease or any other illness. 
Below is an infograph from Amplify Your Voice and some facts on HIV from
Have a wonderful Saturday!
HIV Facts:
HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus which attacks the body’s immune system — the body’s defense against diseases.
HIV can be passed on through infected bodily fluids, most commonly via sex without a condom or by sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment.
There are now more people than ever living with HIV in the UK — more than 90,000 — with around a quarter of those unaware they have the virus.
Here are a few more facts about HIV in the UK:
  • Over 90% of people with HIV were infected through sexual contact
  • You can now get tested for HIV using a saliva sample
  • HIV is not passed on through spitting, biting or sharing utensils
  • Only 1% of babies born to HIV positive mothers have HIV
  • You can get the results of an HIV test in just 15-20 minutes
  • There is no vaccine and no cure for HIV