By Rohan Subramanian & Giselle Rivard
On whether immigration should be addressed on a congressional or grassroots level:
“In a democracy, you hope that it starts at the grassroots and that the grassroots exert their influence on our elected representatives, and then they enact legislation that reflects the best interest and desires of the public. It’s not always that way, but that’s the way our government is supposed to function.”
On how people in society can deal with these types of issues:
“I think we need activism and engagement — I think our country depends upon it: active, engaged, well-informed citizenry.”
On the nature of our democracy and how it combats certain problems:
“We have a democracy that pre-supposes that the people will be involved in the exercise of power…because in a democracy, the people who have the power are exercising their power in the name of the people, by definition.”
On what he thinks of immigration policy:
“I’m in favor of a generous immigration policy that will legalize nearly everyone who is in the country illegally now. But then, the other part of the deal should do what the ‘86 act promised but failed to deliver, which was cut off or greatly limit future illegal immigration. Because I think otherwise if we have a legalization program and don’t have enforcement…the whole world is going to say, ‘Boy, the United States is a pretty nice country, but not serious about enforcing their immigration laws — let’s just go.’ That’s one of the legacies of the ‘86 act, and I would not want to see the same cycle repeat itself with new legislation.”
On improving legislative measures:
“I think if you say you’re going to solve a problem, you should not rig your legislation in such a way where it’s promising something it has no intention of doing.”
By Tomas Medina Mora & Giselle Rivard
Today, Immigration lawyer Gregory Chen, Senior Research Fellow for the Center for
Immigration studies Jerry Kammer, Immigration Activist Julia Garibay and moderator
Marc Rosenblum made up the Immigration Panel at the 2015 Global Issues Network
conference in Washington, DC.
“I was always told that I was college material. But it wasn’t until I got to Junior year
of high school that I realised what being undocumented really meant,” said Garibay,
speaking on her childhood. “I was getting letters from Yale but my counselor said that I
wouldn’t be able to go to college because I was undocumented.” Despite facing serious
adversity, Garibay spoke about her path from undocumented immigrant to one of the
most influential voices on the Immigration debate. Garibay went on to praise President
Barack Obama on his relentless effort to pass an Immigration Reform Bill, and criticised
those who branded his action as unconstitutional, contending that “many presidents
have done it in the last 5 decades.”
“81% of Americans support an immigration bill,” said Chen. “There are many
undocumented immigrants that qualify for asylum… Many are fleeing gang
and domestic violence in their home countries.” Chen, who has provided legal
representation to numerous undocumented clients, condemned the visa application
program, saying that people applying for residence or citizenship without an American
immediate family member may “wait up to 10 years for their documented status.”
Contrastingly, Jerry Kammer offered a more conservative perspective on the
issue. Despite identifying himself as liberal, Kammer argued in favour of regulated
immigration: “Unregulated immigration is a libertarian ideal that is not practical.” He
did, however, state his support for the “Dreamer Act,” and claimed to have the “highest
respect for Julieta Garibay.
After questions from students, which varied from inquiries regarding immigration laws
abroad to Congress’s inability to pass a bill, the panel drew to a close, leaving students
exceedingly well informed about both sides of the issue.
By Belen Edwards & Giselle Rivard
Jordan Wimbish created her nonprofit LJ Smiles while at Learnserve, a program that promotes social entrepreneurship. LJ Smiles is “a venture that aims to provide oral hygiene information and supplies for children around 10,” Wimbish explains. She came up with the idea when, while realizing that her braces hurt, she recognized that there are many areas of the world that are not as fortunate to have the same level of oral hygiene as she does.
Originally, Wimbish wanted to work in poorer areas of her hometown of Washington, DC, as “there is a strong correlation between low income and low oral hygiene.” However, she decided to broaden the scope of her project to Zambia, where she went over the summer as a part of the Learnserve program.
During her trip, Wimbish provided toothbrush kits to the children at the Mulambu school. She taught them the benefits of oral hygiene and helped them learn how to better brush their teeth. Originally, Wimbish says that the kids chewed nuts to clean their teeth, but after her visit, the kids were using their new toothbrush kits. She also says that “A lot of them thought that when the toothpaste ran out, they couldn’t brush their teeth anymore. I taught them that they could still use water.”
Ultimately, Wimbish’s experience was very meaningful to her, and she plans to continue sending toothbrushes to Zambia through Learnserve, furthering her venture during the months to come.
By Henri-Nicolas Grossman & Giselle Rivard
Washington, D.C.-Today at the Global Issues Network Conference at George Washington
University’s school of foreign policy, Dante Everaert, a WIS sophomore, made a presentation on his research on how to design more noise-efficient private jets. His research concluded that noise pollution in such jets caused passengers to feel as if their blood-alcohol content was at 0.1 (to put that into context, it is illegal to drive in DC with a B.A.C. of over 0.08).
Additionally, the noise from such planes can damage eardrums in the long term and hinders neuronic transmission in the brain, causing a slow in one’s ability to process thoughts. Dante’s research concluded that to improve the design of currently-existing private jets, the casings for the engines and thrusters should cause noise to reflect downwards, away from passengers.
Furthermore, triangular wingtips can prevent noise vertices from forming and being directed at the hull and thus, passengers. Dante’s research ended up with him creating a simulated plane hull and engine on the software ‘X-plane’ of the plane with ideal noise-minimization, the result was an unorthodox-looking hull with a bottle-like design and small wings right behind the nose with wings pushed back to the very back with the thrusters. Also surprising was the direction of the wings, versus having the curved part face the front, the side of the wings that was front-facing was straight. He said that he increased wingspan so that it would be 2.5 times as long as the hull, a ratio he modelled after the design of the Airbus double-decker plane.
All this combined would decrease noise pollution significantly, increasing not only passenger-pilot comfort, but also the amount of noise folks living in airports’ proximities must deal with. Dante concluded his presentation with an impressive simulated flight demonstration, taking off from Dulles International, flying a few miles, turning around and gracefully landing with his noise-minimizing jet.
By Belen Edwards & Giselle Rivard
After opening with the trailer for Food Inc., student presenter Juliette Fischer launched straight into a presentation about livestock abuse and the problems in the food industry, saying“The food industry cares more about money than the animals.”
Fischer discussed the advantages and disadvantages of advertisements concerning food, talking about the ideas of fiction vs. reality: green fields, happy cows, and barns are most likely propaganda. “The truth,” she says, “is quite different.”
She touched on the problems facing each kind of animal used as food. “Cows are not designed to eat corn,” she says, “but they are fed it anyway, which may cause diseases.” According to her, “chickens are remodeled to be fatter,” which prevents the chicken’s bone structure from providing enough support. Finally, she mentioned how pigs spend over 95% of their lives in small enclosures that cause stress.
Fischer’s final message was simple: you can help too. Whether you read labels of food and buy certified organic products, reduce your meat consumption, or raise awareness, Fischer says “every little bit helps.”
By Sydney Gonzalez & Giselle Rivard
On March 9th,2015, the Food Recovery Network is teaching children to be leaders so they can make a difference and take action on global issues. Food Recovery Network is an organization that focuses on food waste and hunger. They did some research and found out that 40% of food is thrown away in the US. This organization started at the University of Maryland, where the college kitchen was throwing away leftover food because people didn’t want to eat it. So this network decided to take all the extra food that is usually thrown away to partner agencies (shelters).
The Food Recovery Network started their organization at the University of Maryland and started expanding from 2011 till now. They expanded to 122 colleges/universities and 32 states in the USA. Expanding this organization is helping many colleges around the USA, to inspire people to be leaders and take action of a global issue that is affecting lots of people around the world. “Fighting waste. Feeding people” is the mantra of the organization.
This organization is helping children learn how to be good leaders and have a successful organization by perseverance, confidence, teamwork, passion, interest and having fun. They talk about how being a leader means being yourself and developing a sense of purpose. They also talk about how that age doesn’t matter, “don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t make a difference because of age”. But the one thing that they emphasize is having fun. They encourage people to learn about something that inspires them and enjoy it. “Do go, Feel good”.
By Emma Calvo & Giselle Rivard
DC Central Kitchen Talks Volunteering on Campus Students learned about DC Central Kitchen and its various programs including the CampusKitchens Project at the 2015 Global Issues Network Conference. The presenter, Andrea Lindsay, commented on the strategies this organization uses to help the less fortunate. The meeting took place at The Elliott School of International Affairs of George Washington University on Monday, March 9th, 2015.
DC Central Kitchen was founded by Robert Egger, a young nightclub manager. In 1989, Egger began collecting edible leftover food and distributing it to homeless shelters around DC. A couple years later he began a culinary training program for the people visiting these shelters. Egger believed that they shouldn’t just be feeding the less fortunate, but they should be helping them gain and develop skills to help them go forth in the future (Teach a man to fish…). 25 years later, DC Central Kitchen has grown to become one of the leading organizations in its field nationwide.
The DC Central Kitchen has an effective strategy to not only cook and serve food but to not let any go to waste. “We recover food that would otherwise go to waste. On college campuses that is typically dining halls, but also from restaurants and grocery stores in the community,” says Lindsay.
As DC Central Kitchen has become better known, people around the country wanted to have such a program in their own communities. Robert Egger began the Campus Kitchen Project to get people involved around the country. “We ask campus kitchens to think about what the root causes of poverty in their community are and address those root causes,” says Lindsay.
DC Central Kitchen’s Campus Kitchen Project exists in many high schools and universities nationwide, they replicate what DC Central Kitchen has done and encourages students and volunteers to get involved in their own communities. Students volunteer to cook and give out food to the less fortunate in their campus kitchen spaces. “You have students that are eager to volunteer and looking for a way to really engage meaningfully and do more than just hand out food,” Lindsay says.
The DC Central Kitchen encourages students to start their own food programs at their schools and look to the organization for any questions or concerns. Lindsay believes that hunger in the United States can be stopped if everyone gets involved. “Any sort of innovative community food programming is crucial to getting there.”
By Belen Edwards & Giselle Rivard
After a rousing performance of songs such as “Tell Mama” by Etta James and “I Feel Good” by James Brown, the School Without Walls band and singers turned the microphone over to student coordinators Hazel Rosenblum-Sellers, Naina Wodon, and Samantha Mehring to introduce the conference and lead conference organizer Rudy Becker. Becker wished everyone a good conference, and opened the floor up for the NGO fair.
By Tomas Medina Mora & Giselle Rivard
When John and Joyce Wanda won the Diversity Immigrant Visa lottery and moved to Arlington, Virginia in the late 90’s, they were living the American Dream. But their new-found status as members of middle-class prosperity highlighted many of the issues in their home country of Uganda. In 2004, they sought to address the burning problems surrounding education in Uganda and founded the Arlington Academy of Hope.
“They started out by just providing scholarships for students in rural Uganda, but the schools there were lousy so it wasn’t really very useful,” said executive director Maureen Dugan. “Even though they were getting some kids in schools kids weren’t even graduating from grade school. So that’s when they decided to do something more radical.
Arlington Hope Academy now administers a primary school Baduda, Uganda. With 100% graduation rates for two years running, it has become the envy of schools across the Eastern African country. “Our kids are scoring higher than the sons of Diplomats and rich kids in Kampala (the Ugandan Capital),” said Dugan.
Arlington Hope Academy relies on qualified volunteers to ensure that the academic standards in their school remain high. They accept volunteers from High School onwards.
If you are interested in learning more about the organization please visit http://aahuganda.org/.
Written by students at WIS