So lately I’ve been getting into one of those moods where all you do is watch YouTube videos or clips of films that inspire get you really inspired and motivated. I want to share with you guys a clip from one of my favorite movies, The Pursuit of Happyness. I find it to be very inspiring, and something that everyone can relate to.
Will Smith’s character, Chris Gardner, is playing basketball with his son, and his son mentions that he wants to go pro. Chris stops him right there and says that there and says that playing pro basketball is next to impossible. When his son hears this, he throws the ball to the side and doesn’t fell like playing anymore.
Chris goes up to him and tells him maybe the most powerful statement in the entire film. He tells him to never let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do.
We can all learn from Chris’ message. No matter how many people you hear saying that something is impossible or not even worth trying for, you can’t let that affect your decision of whether or not to pursue the thing you love.
I’m not saying it’s easy; as a matter of fact, I should say that it is very hard to do. But it’s time to start believing in ourselves more, so that we can live for what we love.
“People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.”
Kim’s Produce is Taking A Stand in Detroit by offering local produce and health alternatives to residents in the city at 4206 Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI. The owners, Kim and Hollis Smith, were able to educate the students more about the realities of factory farming and the health benefits of eating local organic produce. They have a compelling story of why they have chosen this type of business, where it is located, and getting it off the ground.
The genesis of this video came from the Take A Stand challenge to youth and community members to find stories that resonate with them. They interview owners, other employees and customers of the store. Kim’s Produce has a great store and we hope more people support the business!
The video was produced by the student EFEX Program, started by director of Bilal’s Stand, Sultan Sharrief and edited by Alex Shein. Detroit youth were taken through the filmmaking process and asked to find local individuals, groups, and businesses that represented Take A Stand to them. They were then able to compile a handful of videos in the name of Take A Stand… learn more about the EFEX Program at studentefex.net.
Hey there everyone, I’d like to share a story that I found about a young high school kid from upstate New York. You may have heard of the autistic basketball player named Jason McElwain.
McElwain was the waterboy for his high school basketball team whose only dream was to play in one of the games. One day, his coach allowed him to suit up, and with 4:19 left in the game, he got playing time.
So Jason’s goal was finally complete, right? Wrong. “J Mac” (as they call him) had a lot more to say, and the next four and a half minutes of his life would be “amazing…just amazing.”
J Mac dropped 20 points during his time on the court, and 18 of those were 3-pointers! The crowd went absolutely nuts after the game.
McElwain’s story is one that will not be forgotten for a very long time. He has become a true inspiration to thousands of people. However, we cannot forget who also took a stand in this situation – the coach. He put the game on the line for McElwain to have a chance to play. Today, we often see coaches who only care about winning, but coach Jim Johnson is trying to convey another message. Giving Jason a chance to play is certainly his greatest gift to him, and he will never regret taking that stand.
This documentary tells the story of the young and homeless in Seattle. Each year there are thousands of homeless youth living on American streets, without the family, support, or simplicities that many of us take for granted everyday. Documentor Mike Kane provides a raw, and informative documantary that simply displays the struggles these individuals must endure every day. Mike is Taking a Stand by sharing these otherwise untold stories with the American public.
This post was submitted by Erica .
There has been hostility surrounding a series of recent stories about Muslims in America. But Muslim students at UMass Amherst have formed what may seem like an unlikely partnership with the Jewish Student Union hoping to shatter stereotypes. And the hope is to open up dialogs on the issue and understand the problem and inspire others through unity and peace.
See more of this WWLP news story online at: http://www.wwlp.com/dpp/news/local/hampshire/muslim-and-jewish-students-join-forces
What do your stand on this issue?
The Feather Project is Taking A Stand by promoting a sustainable future that includes a strong commitment and interplay between young and old, dreamers and practitioners. They want to fuse the ideas with the experience that leads all of us to a better tomorrow. It is inspired by the Earth Charter and utilizes the feather as both a symbol and tool for dialogue.
Like Take A Stand, the Feather Project encourages users to share their own videos with their community. It focuses on sharing stories amongst different generations in order to lift both humanity and our connection to earth. Young people are encouraged to share their dreams for the future of Earth and those ideas are spread through their site.
We especially liked this quote: “When the visions of the young meet the wisdom of the elders, nothing can stop us.”
Here is an example of a Feather Project compilation from the New York City Susan E. Wagner High School Conflict Resolution Leadership Program:
The Feather Project can be found online at: http://www.featherproject.org.
We’re excited not only to have videos from organizations who are Taking A Stand, but also individuals who have something to say to the world. If you have a flipcam or camera on your computer, you can simply and easily record your own “Stand” and upload it to our site. We would love to hear from you!
So we were all in the “office” (office is in quotes because when you’re running a grassroots movement, you work off of a couch in your living room) and we came across an online ad that seemed peculiar. The ad included an actress we recognized but it seemed that something was different about her. So we did a couple searches about that same actress and found that, sure enough, her profile was modified (or photoshopped) so that her figure was even slimmer (among other things). It didn’t look any more attractive to us at all, and in fact, it just looked odd.
At about the same time, one of our interns found this video and the topic matter was strikingly similar. Check it out and let us know what you think… I’m sure we’ll have more on this later.
It is a balmy 50 degrees and rainy in Ann Arbor today. It took all of my might to scrape myself out of bed to go on my morning jog due to the looming wind and mist of early October. However, this run was something a little more special to me. Earlier this week I found out about the Run For Congo Women, an organization that raises money through distance running events for women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Now a part of the organization Women for Women International, Run for Congo Women raises money for job skills training, rights awareness education, trauma counseling, and small business assistance for women in the DRC whose lives have been torn apart by more than a decade of conflict – one which has been characterized by “the apparent systematic use of rape and sexual assault.”
Five years ago Lisa Shannon saw a clip about the conflict on the Oprah Winfrey Show (gotta love her!) and was inspired not just to take a stand for Congolese women, but also to run away with it. So, instead of running to “slim down or to tone up” Lisa personally raised $28,000 to sponsor Congolese women through Women for Women International. Now, after creating a series of runs, Lisa has helped raise over $800,000 to radically rebuild the lives of women in the DRC.
Every year I toy with the idea of running a marathon. But it started today. Ms. Shannon is an inspiration to everyone pounding pavement, but also those looking to facilitate social change on a grassroots level. Why not use the synergy of both to make the world a better place!
I hope that you all will enjoy the video, including footage shot by Ms. Shannon herself, and will join me in some runs around town.
If I ran 3.5 miles this morning, that means I only have 22.7 to go.
For more information about the conflict in the DRC the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released a 550 page report yesterday. Here is a link to their website, and below is a video with High Commissioner Navi Pllay about the report.
Posted by Rudder
Free The Children not only has an important objective in helping break the cycle of poverty across the world for children, but the people they bring in to work on these issues are also youth. Their legion of volunteers includes so many children across the globe, it’s hard to keep up with their programs. But they sponsor fundraising and awareness campaigns, school information sessions, and opportunities like adopt-a-village. But through all of this work they make it a point to say “it’s not charity, it’s sustainability.”
Here is their mission listed on the website www.freethechildren.com: Free The Children empowers children in North America to take action to improve the lives of fellow children overseas. Our local leadership initiatives bring leadership and inspiration to tens of thousands of youth in the US and Canada. Our international projects, led by our adopt a village program, have brought over 650 schools and water projects to communities around the world.
Perhaps Free The Children’s most well-known activity is the We Day events which bring thousands of children of all ages together for an exhilarating show of unity. This year they are launching a new call to action labeled “Free Form” which we’re sure will get more children involved. If you want to learn more about what Free Form really means, well, you’ll have to check out their sites or join a We Day in person!