Our blog is dedicated to facilitating the dialogue about social change and trends. Each entry, written by leaders and scholars on a diverse range of subjects, addresses the ways in which we function as both dreamers and doers—and our interconnectedness as a society.

“Where Are You From?” – An Introduction To Microaggressions

“Where Are You From?” – An Introduction To Microaggressions

If you’ve been in any conversations about race, you’ve likely heard the term “microaggressions”. You may be wondering two things – what are they, and what is the big deal?

Microagressions are small infractions that communicate a bias of some kind. They’re often unintentional or even subconscious and are not even clearly racially motivated. But they pass along small messages of racist concepts. (Microaggressions aren’t always race-related, either. People can use microaggressions related to gender, sexual orientation, ability/disability and more.)

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December 8, 201700
GSBF BROADEN UC DAVIS STUDENTS’ PERSPECTIVES ON HEALTH CAREERS

GSBF BROADEN UC DAVIS STUDENTS’ PERSPECTIVES ON HEALTH CAREERS

The term “pre-health” is typically associated with a certain set of traditional pathways: pre-medical, pre-physician’s assistant, pre-dentistry, pre-physical therapy, etc. These pathways encompass the well-known health careers that many undergraduate students gear their studies towards. The steps to enter typical health careers are well-defined, and universities provide a plethora of resources to prepare students to work in healthcare. Social entrepreneurship, however, isn’t a part of the typical pre-health advisor’s vocabulary. While it might not be one of the “traditional” pre-health pathways, health entrepreneurship offers students an innovative, while unconventional, path to positively impact the health of our global community.

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December 8, 201700
Why Stereotypes Are Harmful

Why Stereotypes Are Harmful

Stereotypes are the idea that everyone within a certain group shares the same characteristics. We can all think of stereotypes we’ve heard about different races, cultures, or genders. Stereotypes don’t just appear out of nowhere – they are based on ideas and experiences with certain groups and then extended to apply to an entire group. The problem is that people don’t function solely as members of a group. We know this to be true about ourselves and our close friends. Most of us fit into different categories and have a variety of interests. We might like watching sports but be non-athletic. We might like rock and roll as well as classical music. But when we think about other people, particularly people who are a different race from us, we often have a harder time understanding that complexity. So we put people into categories and thus – stereotypes are formed.

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December 8, 201700
ELEVEN / ELEVEN: WATCH 11 SOCIAL ENTERPRISES FROM COHORT 11

ELEVEN / ELEVEN: WATCH 11 SOCIAL ENTERPRISES FROM COHORT 11

More than three-quarters of Ugandans depend on agriculture for their livelihood, but only 31% of the arable land in Uganda is in use. Smallholder farmers make up over 80% of the farming community in Uganda, but it’s nearly impossible for them to get loans: only 1% of commercial lending in Uganda goes to farmers. In addition to lacking credit, these farmers face a number of issues that threaten their survival. Agropreneur Initiative is “plugging the gaps” in the agricultural value chain by providing financing, high-quality inputs, training and guidance, financial literacy training, and marketing support. Agropreneur Initiative also helps farmers sell their produce for prices that are three times higher than before.

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December 8, 20170
If Not Colorblindness… Then What?

If Not Colorblindness… Then What?

We’ve talked about how the “colorblindness” approach is not the most helpful way to interact with people of different races and cultures here and here. If you read those posts and are ready to consider a new way of interacting with children, you may be wondering… but what is the best approach?
According to Dr. Monnica Williams, identity can be thought of at three levels: individual, group or universal. Individual is the idea that each person is unique. Group is the idea that we are all members of certain groups, and universal is the idea that we are all human beings.

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December 8, 20170
What is White Privilege?

What is White Privilege?

The term “white privilege” has entered the common vocabulary when discussing issues related to race. We hear it all the time, but today we want to take a minute to really explore the topic. What is “white privilege” and what can we do about it?

White privilege is the idea that white people in America have certain advantages that people of color do not have.

White people often don’t have to worry about certain issues that people of color do. White people can travel to any city, move into any neighborhood, attend any school, feel comfortable at any place of employment and shop at pretty much any store without harassment. White people see people like them in leadership positions across the board, from politics to the workplace. White people can choose to interact only with other white people. White people can choose not to think about race.

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December 8, 20170
It Starts Here

It Starts Here

While most professionals who work with kids believe that they’re genuinely accepting of all and nonjudgmental, the truth is, studies show that most people have hidden or implicit biases that shape how we feel and behave. The thing about implicit biases is that we don’t always notice that we have them. It’s not overt racism, like believing that one race is superior or that all people of a certain race are inferior. But it’s there all the same. No matter what background we come from, what race we identify as, how our parents raised us, what type of community we grew up in, we all carry prejudices and biases.

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September 13, 20170
Attracting Talent

Attracting Talent

“Talent:” a term used regularly to refer to the “high potentials” that every employer is desperately trying to attract, the social sector included. But who and what are we really talking about when referring to this ambiguous group and how does one go about getting hold of them? These are the questions that my cofounders and I have been asking ourselves since we started The Changer—a career platform designed to help nonprofits and mission-driven businesses attract and keep the kind of people that they were missing, those that were going to be able to help take these organisations to the next level, to help them live up to their lofty ambitions of changing the world and even turn around an entire economic system on a crash course for collision.

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October 5, 20170
Let’s Talk About Race

Let’s Talk About Race

Research has disproven the commonly held belief that children only have biases if they’re taught them. Children form their own biases related to race not only from what they learn from parents and other adults, but from what they observe in their own surroundings. One researcher compared this to accents – if children only learned what they observe from their parents, the children of parents with accents would also have accents. But instead, children observe a variety of patterns from society, school, their community, etc. and adopt behaviors based on what they see.

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September 13, 20170
Reflection on the Relationship Between GSBF and Working for Koe Koe Tech

Reflection on the Relationship Between GSBF and Working for Koe Koe Tech

Moving to Myanmar to work for Koe Koe Tech was not part of my post-college plan. As a 2015 Global Social Benefit Fellow (GSBF), I had the privilege of working for Operation ASHA – Cambodia, a social enterprise that works to eradicate tuberculosis worldwide. Having had an incredible experience with them, I planned to return to Cambodia to continue working with them in March 2017. However, shortly before I was expecting to leave, organizational changes made that an impossibility and I suddenly found myself without a job, any semblance of a plan, and a one-way ticket to SE Asia.

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September 13, 20170
The Artist and The Day Job

The Artist and The Day Job

Wherever your attention goes, that is the part of your life that grows larger, gets bigger, and creates momentum.   For almost ten years, I’ve worked as a makeup artist in addition to working on my painting and drawing practice.  I remember graduating from art school and wondering how  I was going to make enough for rent, groceries, etc. and going through a mental list of possible jobs.  While I sold artwork right out of college, it wasn’t enough to sustain a basic comfortable lifestyle.  I had several short lived positions: receptionist, waitress, graphic designer, gallery assistant, art teacher– many of these were consuming enough that when you went home for the evening, you had to either prepare for the next day or continue working on client projects.  I needed something I could leave at the door, that left energy for painting.  One day, I was walking by a makeup store when the idea came to me.  The hundreds of tiny shiny pots, brushes, pretty setups, aesthetic surroundings–was this so different than painting? 

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September 13, 20170
What Does it Mean to be a Woman?

What Does it Mean to be a Woman?

“Guess it’s just us two females hanging out in a crowd of just males once again.” This common phrase was jokingly uttered between Maya and I multiple times throughout our field research in India. Gender inequality is not a new concept to me; it is something I have become very conscious of every summer spent in India. Even though gender inequality exists in America, it is more apparent here in India. Everywhere men dominate public spaces while most women stay inside their houses. When we arrived to the rural areas to conduct our interviews with the end-beneficiaries, the men would crowd around us while the women would be outside their houses looking at us from afar.

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August 23, 20170