Inspiration Found at Social Good 2011

Social media has done so much for me.  Personally, it has changed my life.  It has reconnected me to skills that were dormant, it has introduced me to new paths and walkways in life and connected me with some of the most amazing people I could have ever imagined meeting from all over the world.  Not only do I use social media to promote this blog, but now I actually use it to promote my company, local events and I’ve even started up a local chapter of social media enthusiasts.  To say that social media has changed my life is an understatement.

As I have built up my influence, I have also tried to delve into a topic that I care about, more than any other: SOCIAL GOOD. Early this year, I led a viral fundraiser for the Mothers of Haiti and raised nearly $1,000 for female amputees.  It was very satisfying, although I was hoping to raise more, but nonetheless a success.  Since then, I’ve had a few encounters with social good and social media.  The Motherhood invited me to help moderate a discussion on getting girls active with the Women’s Sports Foundation, Holly Pavlika asked me to help moderate a discussion to help moms around the world with the Global Poverty Project and I’ve recently been asked to join the Million Moms Challenge, a joint project with ABC and the UN toraise awareness and funds to help women and children everywhere survive and thrive.  Offline, along the way, I’ve done my share of volunteer work.  I led an initiative for Room to Grow in April and collected boxes and boxes of clothes and toys for under-privileged children, for example.

When I was invited to attend the Social Good Summit hosted by Mashable and the UN Foundation this past week, I was thrilled.  It’s a three day conference where new media journalists, bloggers and speakers gather together to talk about the many crises facing the world and possible solutions.  I wasn’t able to attend the whole event but the events that I did witness were beyond inspiring.

The first speaker was Eli Wiesel, one of my all time heroes.  He had many memorable, inspiring quotes like: “Respect the otherness of the other, learn from each other’s differences.” He reminded the audience that the computer may have the answers, but it doesn’t have the questions.

Then we heard from Geena Davis, who talked about empowering girls and women and how raising up their media will help the way culture sees and depicts women & girls. “They can see it, they can be it,” she said.  She was later joined by Paula Kerger PBS, Abigail Disney Women, War & Peace talking Women and Girls.

Social GoodIt was also an honor to hear from Lance Armstrong about the importance of his LiveStrong campaign. The organization, which he started by distributing the famous yellow wristbands, has grown to be a resource for empowerment within the cancer community. Who knew that #facebook is #1 source for people newly diagnosed with cancer?  Amazing.

The day ended with Randi Zuckerberg and Mandy Moore talking about how to stop the spread of malaria through an organization called Nothing But Nets.  I found out that malaria is a bigger killer than AIDS and that by just spending $10 you can save a family suffering from the dreadful disease.  Derrick Asong, a musician, blew me away with his knowledge and well-spokenness on the topic as someone who had the disease once upon a time.

A few days later, I was invited to yet another inspiring event by my friends, Emily McKann and Jennifer James, who participated on a trip to Kenya with One.org this past summer, bloggers from WomenDeliver.org and someone representing Vestergaard Fransden.  We heard about women dying in silence and how there is no reason that we should let them.  We HAVE to use our voice.  People have to talk about an issue. Raising awareness leads to action. That was the message that came across loud and clear during the course of the week.


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