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Join Me on the Bridge March 8, 2010 and Support The Development of Women

By: Millineryman Tuesday March 2, 2010 7:34 am

International Women’s Day is March 8, 2010 and in honor of this day, Women for Women International are honoring woman with an campaign;

To honor the resilience of millions of women survivors of war around the world, Women for Women International is hosting a global campaign called Join me on the Bridge on International Women’s Day: March 8, 2010.


27 on the 27th, Grameen Foundation’s New Online Campaign

By: Millineryman Tuesday October 27, 2009 7:26 am

Today, October 27, 2009, the Grameen Foundation is launching a new online campaign to raise awareness and funds to continue their work for the poorest of the poor, as their founder Dr. Muhhammad Yunus refers to the people at very bottom of the economic ladder.

The concept of 27 on the 27th honors the gesture where Dr. Muhammad Yunus paid $27.00 US dollars out of his own pocket to free 43 people from debt to a moneylender in the village of Jobra, Bangladesh. You can read about Dr. Yunus here at my blog, and and some background on how the small loan of $27.00 lead to the creation of the Grameen Bank, a sister organization of the Grameen Foundation.

The focus of the 27 on the 27th is to raise funds for the Ingenuity Fund, and to raise awareness using online tools such as Facebook and Twitter.

From the Ingenuity Fund Social Media Guide pdf;


We need you to spread the word about $27 on the 27th and to help our
Facebook notes “10 Things Under $27 I Could Live Without to Change the
World” go viral.

Facebook Fan Page

We’ve updated the GF Facebook Fan page with information about the launch. You can find it here. If you aren’t already a fan, join today. Then encourage your friends to become fans by posting a note with a link on their walls.

Facebook Status Update on October 27th
On the morning of October 27th, update your Facebook status with one of the following messages (or personalize your own). To do this, simply copy and paste the below text into the blank box at the top of your profile page or news feed (it’s pre-populated with text that says “What’s on your mind?”).

A $27 loan helped to spark the global microfinance movement, thanks to
Muhammad Yunus’ ingenuity. Today, Grameen Foundation launches a new
Web site and asks you to donate $27 on the 27th. Your help could provide a woman the capital she needs to lift herself out of poverty with your small donation.

How many of you could live without that $27 in your pocket? Did you know that small amount could be turned into a microloan that helps lift a woman out of poverty? Check out Grameen Foundation’s new Web site at and consider a $27 donation on the 27th!

On October 27th, Grameen Foundation asks you to donate $27 – the amount of Muhammad Yunus’ original microloan that seeded the creation of Grameen Bank and catalyzed the global microfinance movement. Check out our redesigned Web site and make your donation today at:

“10 Things Under $27 I Could Live Without to Change the World”

Facebook Notes are a place where users can share thoughts, photos or post information that their friends will see. Similar to the recent “25 things about me” Facebook Notes campaign, we’re hoping to raise awareness of Grameen Foundation through a “10 things under $27” campaign. But we need you to get the campaign started!

Here’s how it works:

When you’re looking at your profile page, there are several tabs across the top, next to your photo – these say things like “Wall” “Info” and “Photos.” If there is not a tab that says “Notes” on your page, click the + sign to the right of these tabs. A drop down menu appears, and you can select “Notes” from the list. When you click on this option, a new page will open up within your profile. Select the button that says “Write a new Note.”

Once you’ve clicked this button, you’ll have a blank Notes template on your screen. Here’s how we suggest filling out the fields – but feel free to personalize this a bit.


10 Things Under $27 That I Could Live Without to Change the World

Did you know that Nobel Peace Prize winner and Grameen Bank founder
Muhammad Yunus sparked the global microfinance movement by making a
$27 loan to village of Bangladeshi women from his own pocket? That tiny loan – which seems so small to us – helped that woman create a small business and lift herself out of poverty.

How could you change the world with the $27 in your own pocket? Grameen Foundation is encouraging people like us to spread the word about the power of microloans to create huge opportunities for women in the developing world.

What are 10 things that you could live without that are under $27, the
amount of a loan that can help end the cycle of poverty for one woman? List the 10 things under $27 you could live without below, and tag 10 of your most ingenious friends to do the same. Then consider making a donation of $27 (or more) to Grameen Foundation’s Ingenuity Fund. Your donation could help a woman living on less than $1 a day move towards economic self-sufficiency.

Check out Grameen Foundation’s Ingenuity Fund for more information.

On the right hand side, you have the option of tagging friends in the Note. This means that your Note, along being posted in your own News Feed, will pop up in theirs, and they’ll be notified that you’ve tagged them. This is the key to spreading your message. We’re encouraging users to tag 10 friends in this Note, but if you’d like to add more, please do! The more connections we make with these notes, the more people we hope will visit GF’s new Web site
and potentially donate.

Once you’re finished creating your top 10 list, you can click “Preview” at the bottom of the page to see how the Note will look to others, and when you’re ready, click “Publish” to complete the Note.

Twitter ( is a quick, easy way to send messages of 140
characters or less to your personal network of followers. To help spread the message of “$27 on the 27th” via Twitter, we’ll not only be updating our GF feed (@GrameenFdn) but we encourage those of you who have personal Twitter feeds to do the same. Here are some ways you can get involved:

ReTweet GF’s messages. For example, if you see a tweet from @GrameenFdn that you’d like to share with your network, simply copy and paste that text, including the “@GrameenFdn” part, into your own update field, and add “RT” at the beginning. It will look something like this: “RT @ GrameenFdn we’re launching $27 on the 27th today and encouraging you to visit our new Web site!”

Send your own updates. To share the news about our new Web site and $27 on the 27th launch, feel free to post information about it on your own Twitter feed. Here are some suggested Tweets that we’ve come up with:

Grameen Bank was founded on a $27 loan that changed 42 womens’
lives. @GrameenFdn asks you to donate $27 today to help end poverty

GrameenFdn launches new Web site and celebrates Yunus’ original
$27 microloan. Consider a $27 donation & help end poverty [LINK TO]

Donate $27 to @GrameenFdn on October 27 – small loans help
women out of poverty [LINK TO]
Use the #give27 hashtag. One way to easily monitor a conversation on
Twitter is by “tagging” your Tweets with hashtags – a short phrase prefaced by the # sign. For the October 27th launch, we’ll be using the hashtag “#give27” at the end of our Tweets, and encourage you to do the same.

As you can see there are detailed instructions about how you can become an ambassador for the work that the Grameen Foundation does. If you can, please donate $27.00 today, if not, can you please use Facebook and Twitter if you have those online tools available. Thank you.

Vote No on 1, Protect Maine Equality — What You Can Do for Equal Rights and Stop Discrimination

By: Millineryman Saturday September 5, 2009 10:46 am

Maine is next battleground in the fight for marriage equality. On the ballot this November is another attempt by the far right to vote away the rights of fellow citizens. This chilling example of how easy this could happen occurred in CA with Prop 8 when the right to marriage for gays and lesbians was rescinded by a majority vote. If they can do this to gay and lesbians equal rights now, they can do it with equal rights for straight people in the future.

Vote No on 1 Protect Maine Equity is working hard to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen in Maine. Here’s how you can help.

As with all things, campaigns need cash whether it’s for a candidate or a cause, having the funds available for day to day operations that allow the groups to focus on their mission, videos that tell the stories that need to be heard, or rapid response to the lies that the right is known for telling, there are two ways to support Vote No on 1. You can, donate here for a general contribution or you can donate here to support the video above, and another like it. Please donate today if you can.

According to this article by Paul Hogarth writing on Mydd, the Vote No on 1 campaign has said they need $3 million to win this and that it was important to get the donations in before Labor Day.

Hogarth goes on to say;

he opposition has already raised $343,000 – and all but $2,000 from four big donors: $160,000 from the New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage, $100,000 from the Roman Catholic diocese of Portland, $50,000 from the Knights of Columbus and $31,000 from Focus on the Family Maine. No sign yet if the Mormons are sending in their millions from Utah, but when they do I hope to see more creative YouTube spots like this one.

In this interview (scroll down to the embeeded audio player), Maggie Gallagher states she’s meeting privately with Catholic clergy in Maine, and Bishop Malone, the Bishop of Maine, asked her to come to this meeting.

For those who aren’t familiar with Maggie, from her Wiki entry;

The National Organization for Marriage are the folks behind Carrie Prejean, the former Miss CA who is another shameless opportunist taking advantage of the fight to deny equality to all people while claiming her rights are being denied.

So these are folks involved in funding the fight in Maine to repeal the legislation that was passed and signed into law by the governor. Maine was the first state to do this through the legislation process and not the result of a court decision.

The Vote No on 1 folks are have set up a Help Protect Marriage Equality, Take a Volunteer Vacation In Maine program.

How It Works

During the month leading up to the election, the campaign will be hosting a team of highly motivated volunteers to serve as full-time, volunteer campaign staff. In Maine voters begin casting their ballots in October, so we’re planning the Volunteer Vacation to run during the entire month of October.

There are several shifts to choose from, each lasting one week (although you’re welcome to stay longer):

They have an orientation, you will be assigned a team to work with where you will be trained, and they can provide housing with other volunteers. You will be responsible for your transportation to and from Portland, local transportation and food.

I went to CT to work on Ned Lamont’s campaign, and it’s an experience I would never trade for anything else. I hope to get to Maine to participate in this campaign, all though finances are a concern for me due to being unemployed.

If finances are a concern for you also, you can still Take the Pledge to Defeat 1, sign up at the Web site for updates which you can blog about or share with your friends and relatives in Maine, or sign up for other ways to get involved.

Whatever action you can take will help. I’m sure the good folks at Vote No 1 would appreciate the support you can provide. Equal rights for all represent a true American value and vision, not discrimination dictated in the name of God.

Let’s Make a Deal, the New Health Care Lottery Game

By: Millineryman Friday September 4, 2009 10:06 am

Health Care Lottery Graphic

My apology to the horse.

Graphic by Millineryman.

Could Social Business be the Phoenix of the Economic Calamity?

By: Millineryman Thursday August 20, 2009 6:50 am

Phoenix – Symbol of Immortality

The beautiful scarlet and golden Phoenix bird is synonymous with rebirth or recovery, especially after calamity. Originally from the traditions of ancient Phoenicia, the Phoenix has a counterpart in many other cultures.

Recovery after calamity? You don’t say. There’s no doubt we’re in the midst of a economic calamity, one that has changed the economic landscape in a way we haven’t seen since the Great Depression. Could a social business model be the Phoenix that rises from the ashes?


As someone who got singed by the economic meltdown, I’m looking at how I will compose the ashes of my career into a strong foundation and rebuild and recover. My former career path is done. As an art director for print, specifically marketing collateral, it’s a safe bet the budgets for printed materials will be thin once the recovery kicks in. Marketing has become Web based, and despite attempts to stay current with my skills, my portfolio doesn’t consist of senior level interactive projects. The fact that I’m a skilled manager, have great relationship building skills and I am very creative mean nothing without a visual portfolio.

From the time I learned what a social business was, I’ve been exploring the possibility of setting one up. Now that I’m sitting here surrounded by ashes of a economic structure that is burnt to the core, I need to find a way to rise up since the traditional route is blocked with charred remains of what was. An alternate path must be taken. That path is a social business.

Creating a World Without Poverty

In his book Creating a World Without Poverty, Dr. Muhammad Yunus lays the foundation for a social business model. He presents it a choice for those who believe there is a better way forward with profit, which is one of the things that enraputured me while reading his book. By offering this choice, the opportunity presents a new forward economically for all. By using economic means to lift people up instead of holding them down, and demonstrating success by doing so, the gleam off of the gilded glove of greed is tarnished in the process .

I feel as human beings we are all shareholders in the future. And the future belongs to everyone. We need to rebuild the economy. The foundation put in place with the social business model is a good place to start. In his book, Dr. Yunus writes about his process while setting up Grammen Danone, a joint venture with DANONE. The mission statement is below and the next diary I write will cover this example in more detail.

The mission of Grameen Danone Foods speaks for itself: to reduce poverty by bringing health through food to children using a unique community-based business model.

Social Business
From the Yunus Center’s Web site;

Social business is a cause-driven business. In a social business, the investors/owners can gradually recoup the money invested, but cannot take any dividend beyond that point. Purpose of the investment is purely to achieve one or more social objectives through the operation of the company, no personal gain is desired by the investors. The company must cover all costs and make profit, at the same time achieve the social objective, such as, healthcare for the poor, housing for the poor, financial services for the poor, nutrition for malnourished children, providing safe drinking water, introducing renewable energy, etc. in a business way.

It’s a bold and innovative way to look at capitalism, minus the greed. Surrounded by ashes of what was, and thinking of what could be, I see social business fulfilling the moral of the Phoenix myth of rebirth and recovery after calamity, while honoring Dr. Yunus in his quest to help the poorest of the poor.

On being a capitalist and greed
Full disclosure, I’m a capitalist. I abhor the greed that is associated with it, however greed is has more to do with human behavior then it does with the nature of capitalism.

In my opinion, when power and wealth is consolidated in the hands of a few, it doesn’t matter what economic system is in place. It’s that tightly clinched fist of power and wealth, that motivates people to stop at nothing to remain there. When you intentionally hold people down and keep them from thriving, it’s wrong.

There are techniques such as torture and intimidation that are more severe and immediate then what we are experiencing in this country with use of economic redistribution, and with health care. Through the use of tax cuts that cripple the middle class, public education and public infrastructure, and by rationing health care to those who can afford it, the power and wealth is consolidated at the top. A vibrant, healthy and thriving population is threat to the people sitting in the grasp of greed.

While the means are different, the end result is the same, a majority of people are being kept from becoming fully realized human beings. Those at the top in their deep dark desire to quench the thirst of greed, and blinded by the gilded glove that holds them prisoner, they didn’t see the blaze they were setting. And if they did, they didn’t care.

We have to rebuild there is no choice about that. It’s how we rebuild that offers social business as a choice that may have been there all along. For a capitalist like myself,I can chose to use the profit to benefit social needs instead of shareholders. While this approach is not for everyone, it does offer the opportunity for people like me who are capitalists, and see the potential to develop a form that is more inline with the belief that we’re all created equal and we all have the same rights to economic prosperity and social justice.

There are opportunities, challenges and questions that are presented by the concept of social business and I will be exploring them further in future diaries on the subject.

Dr. Muhammad Yunus to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

By: Millineryman Friday August 7, 2009 10:39 am

From the Grameen Foundation’s Web site;

Congratulations Professor Yunus

Join people from around the world in congratulating Professor Yunus on being awarded the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom. It is a richly deserved recognition of his more than 33 years of fighting poverty and giving the world’s poorest people, mostly women, the resources they need to start their journey from poverty.

Share this opportunity with your friends, on your Facebook page, and through Twitter so those who are concerned and involved will have the chance to join in honoring Professor Yunus for dedicating his life to breaking the chains of poverty for millions. More ways to get involved!

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award in the United States. It’s a honor bestowed to individuals who have contributed to the good of the people of the world.

For those who might not be familiar with Dr. Yunus, here’s a link to his official site.

I highly recommend Creating a World Without Poverty where Dr. Yunus presents the case for a social business model. As a gifted storyteller, he invites you on a journey that demonstrates how one person with a vision and passion can change the dynamics of a deep rooted social injustice such as poverty. Read and be inspired as he weaves his past experiences, with the present circumstances of his venture with DANONE, and lays a proactive foundation for the future.

Along the path of this journey, you discover his creative process with DANONE, to launch Grameen Danone Foods. Their mission from their Web site;

The mission of Grameen Danone Foods speaks for itself: to reduce poverty by bringing health through food to children using a unique community-based business model.

The book has changed my life. The social business model is one that I’m working on in my own creative work.If you would like to purchase the book, Creating A World Without Poverty, here is a link to Amazon.

Please go here to offer your congratulations to him.

Here are some other links

An Open Letter to the President: Are You a Son Who is a Politican, or Politican Who Happens to be a Son?

By: Millineryman Tuesday July 28, 2009 8:32 am

Dear President Obama,

Are you a first and foremost a concerned son who witnessed his dying mother’s struggle with insurance companies, and in the course of your life and career, used this as motivation to get into a position to fix the problem?

Or, are you a politician first and foremost, who would stoop to any level in your thirst for power, including using your dying mother’s struggle with insurance companies to quench your thirst ?

From your acceptance speech in Denver, bold mine:

Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don’t, you’ll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

During your campaign, a lot of the conversations that I had with friends, family and coworkers when I was employed, centered around health care. The story of your Mom’s struggle came up often. Story telling is a powerful way to draw people in. It allows people to let down their guard, and allow the story teller to present a situation for the listers to consider.

In the case of politics, I will venture to say that the guard that most people put up to politicians is one of cynicism. After all politics is about power. In this country the power resides in the vote of the American people to grant the decision and leadership role to a politician. Too often though the power is granted, and then the people are forgotten in the name of campaign

An American Classic Yankee Doodle Dandy with James Cagney and Judy Garland

By: Millineryman Saturday July 4, 2009 11:28 am

A true slice of Americana, just like apple pie and hot dogs on this America’s birthday. Such a classic.