Monday, December 30, 2013

Let's Raise Our Grand Voices in Support of Children and Families

co-authored by Drs. Mary Catherine Bateson and Joan Lombardi

Nelson Mandela left his mark on his country and the world, dedicating his life to justice and equality.

We want to talk about a cause that Mandela championed: The Elders, an independent group of global leaders, chaired by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and whose members include, among others, former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Mary Robinson (Ireland) and Ernesto Zedillo (Mexico).

Six years after Mandela launched this group, with help from other leaders from South Africa and around the world, The Elders continue to promote the shared interests of humanity by working on issues ranging from climate justice to promoting equality between men and women to ending conflict in the Middle East to political reform and peace-building processes in Myanmar.

The Elders set up a strategic 2014-17 framework with the hope of establishing a just and inclusive global community for future generations, one free from fear and want.

read the full article at the Huffington Post

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Out of Many, One: Uniting the Changing Faces of America

by Donna Butts, co-authored with Hilary Pennington, director of the Generations Initiative & Vice President of the Ford Foundation.

Nelson Mandela was a great man who embodied the African concept of Ubuntu. Originally a Zulu term meaning unity, Ubuntu closely mirrors our country's powerful founding narrative: E Pluribus Unum, "out of many, one."

Today that narrative is in danger as the United States experiences a demographic transformation unlike any we've experienced before.

What are these demographic changes?

First we're living longer and healthier lives. By 2043, one in five U.S. residents will be age 65 or older. If embraced, this increase in human capital asset could have tremendous value to our communities. Think about Mandela's accomplishments in later life. He was in his mid-70's when he was president of South Africa and 89 when he co-founded The Elders, a group of statesmen on a mission to tackle the world's toughest problems.

read the full article at the Huffington Post