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Archive for February, 2012

Red Cross Red Crescent in Chad. Photo by Daniel Cima/International Federation.

“‘I’m going to go to the big city,'” sounded familiar to actor Matt Damon. He was in Zambia walking with a young girl from a village as she collected the day’s supply of water a mile away. He had asked her what her hopes and dreams were and where she wanted to be. Damon told ABC News those are the same words he and Ben Affleck shared before their fame when they decided to take a risk and shoot for the stars.

So in 2009, Damon teamed up with environmentalist Gary White in an attempt to combine the efforts of non-profits to end water shortages and increase access to clean water. Their banner? Water.org.

A 2010 research report by the Society for Technology and Action for Rural Development said:

Only 2.53 % of earth’s water is fresh, and some two-thirds of that is locked up in glaciers and permanent snow cover. Nearly one billion people – one in eight persons in the world – lack access to safe water supply. Over 3.5 million people die each year from water-related disease; 84 % are children. 98 % occur in the developing world.

Similar alarming statistics pushed Damon to do something about it. The Zambian girl who inspired him would not have had any sort of access to her dreams without her basic needs being met. Instead of going to school, she would be too preoccupied with hunting for water. Without the proper combination of education and nutrition, she, and nearly 1 billion others will remain in absolute poverty.

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W.E.B. Du Bois

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded during a time when America was still picking up the pieces of the Civil War that resulted in the liberation of slaves, but left the country scarred. In 1909, a group of people who were from different races and religions came together to strive toward equality in all public sectors.

Check out an interactive timeline on the history of the NAACP

Today the NAACP is still actively involved in the public sphere focusing on issues like economic, health and education disparity. In 2011, one of the largest initiatives the NAACP sponsored was advocating the innocence of Troy Davis, a 42-year-old man executed in September for the murder of an off-duty police officer in 1989.

The NAACP is easily recognized for its contributions to historical landmarks in equality for all citizens, but take the time today as part of Black History Month to find out what this organization is up to today.

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