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May 08, 2008

WOMMA WOMM-U- Pick a Charity Workshop

By Simon Heseltine

CharitiesOne of the elements of the WOMMU conference is interactivity, and working together on case studies.  To this aim, over lunch (a lunch with  choices of sandwich, none of which a vegetarian such as myself could eat, grr), three different nonprofits were presented. 

1. The Wilderness Society
2. The Overtown Youth Center
3. 1 Sky

The Wilderness Society works to protect, preserve and manage national parks and federal lands (keeping forests roadless, and preserving site lines).  Over the last 75 years they've managed to protect 107 million acres.  Their goal is to protect another 100 million acres over the next 7 years.

The way that they plan to do this is by getting a bill passed within the next 2 years that will protect 60 million acres, moving them well along the path to their goal.

Their challenges are that:

  • this issue is way down the food chain
  • people assume that national forests are already protected
  • shifting political winds

Next up was the Overtown Youth Center, a local Miami youth center.  Overtown is a very depressed area - average income 10k, schools with either a D or F rating.  A local businessman took action and set up the center which is run by Alonzo Mourning. 

Their goal is to do a better job communicating their successes, and getting more community involvement, which will assist them with both awareness and donations.

Last up 1 sky, an environmental pressure organization, with a mission to get bold global warming legislation passed by 2010.  They want to create 5 million new green jobs.  Freeze climate pollution, and put a stop on creating any new coal plants.  To do that they need to quickly grow and motivate a grass roots group, especially grass roots leaders that will grow and motivate others.

Now that we've heard the pitches we get to each pick a room an brainstorm solutions for these organizations over one hour today and one hour tomorrow.  So I'm off to the Wilderness Society room, and Li is off to the Overtown room.  Expect write-ups on both tomorrow.


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