As the year draws to a close, I’d like to draw your attention to the many great things that happened around the world this year. Although there are definitely many things that need to change, and there’s a fire burning inside of me to be part of that change, there is also a lot of good happening every single day.
When I look at my own business, I feel enormously grateful for how the Devi Arts Collective has grown. This year I had the opportunity to travel all over Canada meeting people and sharing my art. My work is now also being featured in 15 new stores! As an artisan who has worked hard to make her business both ethical (meet the artisans who and sustainable, I feel proud of this accomplish and excited for what the new year will bring.
But before moving forward, let’s first take a look back.
“Protesting a proposal to cut 16,500 trees for redevelopment of south Delhi, around 100 Delhiites gathered in Sarojini Nagar over the weekend [June 25th, 2018]. Candles forming the words ‘resist’ were lit at the venue, while the protesters stood with placards with slogans like ‘Mujhe Mat Maaro’, ‘Don’t cut down a life’… The words spread like wildfire online, as many groups joined the protest, which is being held over several days, creating hashtags like #SaveDelhi #DelhiTreesSOS #SaveTreesSaveDelhi.” Source
“Trenton Lewis' legs ached from the 11-mile walk he made every morning to get to his 4 a.m. shift. And yet the 21-year-old dutifully did it for seven long months.
He didn't tell anyone. He's never been one for excuses -- especially when it comes to providing for his 14-month-old daughter, Karmen. But his co-workers at a UPS facility in Little Rock, Arkansas, found out. And last week, they decided to make things right…” Source
“Ireland has voted by a landslide to repeal its near-total ban on abortion, an extraordinary victory for women’s rights that seals the country’s transformation from bastion of religious conservatism to one of Europe’s most tolerant democracies.
Nearly two in three Irish voters opted to repeal the eighth amendment to the constitution, defying opinion polls that suggested the election could come down to the wire.” Source
“All six of the meters will be located in Downtown Los Angeles, and revenue will go toward the Skid Row-based C3 program, a cooperation between the city, county, and local service providers that provides outreach to homeless residents and helps them find housing… Four other metres are on their way…” Source
“A daring rescue mission in the treacherous confines of a flooded Thai cave saved all 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped deep within the labyrinth. It ended a grueling, 18-day ordeal that claimed the life of an experienced volunteer diver and riveted people around the world. "We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave," the SEALs said, referring to the name of the boys' soccer team. 'Everyone is safe.'” Source.
“Mayson, a gray tabby kitty, was adopted by Laci Ping and her husband Curtis Mullins just two weeks before a fire swept through Paradise, California, destroying most of the community. In the chaos, Mayson escaped from his carrier as they got into a neighbor's car to flee the fire.
On Saturday, Ping had a tearful reunion with her baby tabby at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, after first spotting Mayson in a photo album on Facebook that the animal hospital had set up to help owners identify their missing pets.” Source
“The ban on single-use plastic bags by Australia’s two largest supermarkets prevented the introduction of an estimated 1.5bn bags into the environment, and the retail industry is hopeful this is only the beginning.
Coles and Woolworths’ decided to stop offering single-use disposable plastic bags midway through the year after years of campaigning by environmental groups and consumers.
Some shoppers objected to the change at the time but many others were strongly in support and three months on the change has translated to an 80% drop in the consumption of plastic bags nationwide, according to the National Retail Association.” Source
“Scientists in California successfully changed a protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease into a more harmless form, allowing them to erase brain cell damage. The breakthrough is especially important because the research was not conducted on mice but rather human cells.” Source
“Destinee and Paul Klyne, of Penticton, had planned a restful break in the northern California town for mid-November, but then a deadly wildfire erupted, destroying much of the community.
Despite that, the Klynes decided to go ahead with their trip and flew to the region earlier this week to help out. They've been serving meals to fire evacuees just outside Paradise — everything from hot dogs to pasta to quesadillas.” Source
“About 100 cats and kittens were airlifted out of Florida to Delaware on Monday, an effort to make room in shelters for animals displaced by Hurricane Michael.
The Brandywine Valley Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals teamed up with the Jacksonville Humane Society to relocate the cats to shelters in Delaware and suburban Philadelphia, and possibly elsewhere in the Northeast.” Source
“Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced dramatic plans Thursday to help the orca population recover — including $1.1 billion in spending and a partial whale-watching ban.
"We are undertaking a herculean effort to save these iconic creatures," Inslee said in a statement. "It will take action at every level of the environment across our entire state."
The orca population is now down to 74 members and many of its existing female members are nearing the age where they will no longer be able to reproduce, Ken Balcomb, founder and principal investigator of the Center for Whale Research, told The Washington Post earlier this year.” Source
“What if, when you’re feeling vulnerable and alone and scared, you could push one button and the people who care about you most instantly came to help? That’s the idea behind notOK, an app developed by the Lucas siblings, Hannah, 16, and Charlie, 13, of Cumming, Georgia, that launched in January. The app sends a text message and current GPS location to up to five pre-selected contacts.
The idea for the app came to Hannah during a “really, really dark time” when she was dealing with severe depression and anxiety after being diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), a chronic illness that causes frequent fainting. Mental health stats reinforce the need for help for teens: Depression rates in teens jumped by 63 percent from 2013 to 2016. More than 1.7 million youth with major depressive disorders received no treatment. Mental Health America recognized the notOK app with its 2018 mPower Award. The app, which is also endorsed by Born This Way Foundation and the American Association of Suicidology, is free, but you can opt to pay a $2-per-month sponsorship or make a one-time donation of $10 or &20.” Source
“Survivors of the deadly shooting rampage at a Parkland, Florida, high school led hundreds of thousands Saturday in March for Our Lives events across the country, delivering a resounding message that Washington's inaction on the scourge of gun violence is no longer acceptable.
Building on the momentum of last week's National School Walkout, these members of a generation raised with gun violence have mobilized Americans with impassioned pleas for stricter gun control laws while honoring the 17 students and faculty members killed February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.” Source
At the beginning of 2018, people wondered where the Me Too Movement was going to go. It’s been an exciting year for this movement.
“From its origins in the US, the impact of the movement spread rapidly, with millions of women around the world sharing their own stories of rape, assault and harassment in the workplace. Most cases will never meet the public eye in the way the Weinstein scandal did, with its rota of famous faces coming forward day after day to deliver lurid and disturbing details of the director’s alleged predatory behaviour. But a glance at local media reports reveals that almost every country in the world has had its own #MeToo moment: From Britain’s Westminster scandal to “Australia’s Weinstein” Don Burke and journalist Shiori Ito’s unprecedented public discussion about her alleged rapist in Japan.” Source.
“According to La Chaîne Info, a French news station, the incredible incident took place on Saturday afternoon. Several videos of the moment emerged, one of which was first captured on Snapchat and later posted to Facebook, where it had nearly 5 million views in less than a day.
The 4-year-old boy can be seen dangling from the fifth-floor balcony as the man, identified as Mamoudou Gassama, quickly makes his way up the building. After an insanely quick ascent, he grabs the child to safety as onlookers cheer.” Source.
“It only took one film for Jordan Peele to become an Oscar winner. On Sunday night, the writer-director picked up the best-original-screenplay statuette for Get Out, the social thriller that dominated the awards cycle for its acute commentary on race in America. He is the first black screenwriter to win an award in this category.
“This means so much to me,” Peele said. “I stopped writing this movie about 20 times because I thought it was impossible.”
He continued, saying that he eventually persevered because he knew that if it did get made, “people would hear it and people would see it.” Source
“There is an unprecedented surge of first-time female candidates, overwhelmingly Democratic, running for offices big and small, from the U.S. Senate and state legislatures to local school boards. At least 79 women are exploring runs for governor in 2018, potentially doubling a record for female candidates set in 1994, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. The number of Democratic women likely challenging incumbents in the U.S. House of Representatives is up nearly 350% from 41 women in 2016. Roughly 900 women contacted Emily’s List, which recruits and trains pro-choice Democratic women, about running for office from 2015 to 2016; since President Trump’s election, more than 26,000 women have reached out about launching a campaign. The group had to knock down a wall in its Washington office to make room for more staff.
It’s not just candidates. Experienced female political operatives are striking out on their own, creating new organizations independent from the party apparatus to raise money, marshal volunteers and assist candidates with everything from fundraising to figuring out how to balance child care with campaigns.” Source
As we end this year, remember that the way that you engage with the world matters. Your actions, big and small matter. Thank you for being part of the Devi Arts Community. I hope you have a terrific end of the year.
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I hope you join me in a big ‘WAHOO!’ for all the ways that 2018 was great, all the ways it was challenging, and all the obstacles I overcame. And I hope the many lessons I learned in this past year are helpful to you.