AYM ’09: A STAND Against Genocide

Interviews from the Alliance of Youth Movements summit: Daniel Teweles. STAND, the student-led arm of the Genocide Intervention...


Interviews from the Alliance of Youth Movements summit: Daniel Teweles.STAND, the student-led arm of the Genocide Intervention Network, began in 2004 as an effort to end the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Now STAND works not just to end mass atrocities in places like Sudan, Burma, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but to prevent them, and has grown to include 800 active chapters in high schools and colleges nationwide, making it one of the largest student organizations in the country. Guest blogger Erin Mazursky sat down with Daniel Teweles, STAND's National Student Coordinator, during the Alliance of Youth Movements summit in Mexico City to talk about the Millennial generation-people born after 1980-and how to get through to senators.ERIN MAZURSKY: So, you get to work with some incredibly passionate students doing very important work. What do you like most about your job?DANIEL TEWELES: Hands down, making connections between seemingly disparate people. Everyone can get behind the work that we're doing whether it's high school students in Kansas or nursing students in New Jersey.EM: Can you tell us about an upcoming project to look out for?DT: What I'm most excited about is our Pledge2Protect campaign, specifically the pledge on camera partnership with Witness. It's the first time video has been used for advocacy on this scale. On the last day of our upcoming conference, taking place in a couple of weeks here in Washington, D.C., we're sending people up to Capitol Hill to meet with all 100 senators. With them will be a video of constituents from each of their districts. We are replacing the talking policy heads that are usually talking about these issues with the Senator's high school science teacher, their biggest donor, the mayor of their town.EM: We hear a lot about the Millennial generation being geared towards making a difference. Do you think is there is something unique about this generation of youth?DT: Yes and no. I don't think there's anything unique about this generation, but I think there's something unique in the time that they're growing up and the tools available to them. What happens 10,000 miles away affects us now. In the past we wouldn't have known about it or wouldn't have known to care, but now we have the tools to be connected and to act.EM: STAND has been a force against genocide for the last five years. How do you keep the momentum going on a crisis that seems unending?DT: What STAND does really well, and what helps our staying power, is that there's no typical genocide activist. We attract students of all ages and backgrounds, and as a result we're shaping future leaders-not just anti-genocide activists but activists in general.EM: You were surrounded by 40 some like-minded youth at the summit in Mexico City. Name someone who made a big impression on you.DT: Prashan de Visser from Sri Lanka Unites. Despite my work, I'm generally a cynic. It takes a lot to inspire me, but his life story and the work that he's doing is truly amazing. It's replicable, and can really be used as a model throughout the world. Seeing groups like that and the work of Jaime Carroll and Brian Center from A Better LA, where their work is scalable, challenged me to continue to think of new and innovative ways for social change. Seeing groups that are coming up with solutions that can be used everywhere was really cool.Erin is a proud member of the Millennial generation, an independent nonprofit and political consultant, a fellow at the Truman National Security Project, and a contributor to the GOOD column Canapés and Kalashnikovs.

Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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The healthcare systems in the United States and the United Kingdom couldn't be more different.

The UK's National Health Service is the largest government-run healthcare system in the world and the US's is largest private sector system.

Almost all essential health services in the UK are free, whereas in America cost can vary wildly based on insurance, co pays and what the hospitals and physicians choose to charge.

A medical bill in the US

One of the largest differences is cost. The average person in the UK spends £2,989 ($3915) per year on healthcare (most of which is collected through taxes), whereas the average American spends around $10,739 a year.

So Americans should obviously be getting better care, right? Well, the average life expectancy in the UK is higher and infant mortality rate is lower than that in the US.

RELATED: The World Health Organization declares war on the out of control price of insulin

Plus, in the U.S., only 84% of people are covered by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Sixteen percent of the population are forced to pay out of pocket.

In the UK, everyone is covered unless they are visiting the country or an undocumented resident.

Prescription drugs can cost Americans an arm and a leg, but in the UK, prescriptions or either free or capped at £8.60 ($11.27).

via Wikimedia Commons

The one drawback to the NHS system is responsiveness. In the UK people tend to wait longer for inessential surgeries, doctor's appointments, and in emergency rooms. Whereas, the US is ranked as the most responsive country in the world.

RELATED: Alarmingly high insulin prices are forcing Americans to flock to Canada to buy the drug

The New York Times printed a fair evaluation of the UK's system:

The service is known for its simplicity: It is free at the point of use to anyone who needs it. Paperwork is minimal, and most patients never see a bill. … No one needs to delay medical treatment until he or she can afford it, and virtually everyone is covered. …

According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States spent 17.2 percent of its economic output on health care in 2016, compared with 9.7 percent in Britain. Yet Britain has a higher life expectancy at birth and lower infant mortality.

Citizens in each country have an interesting perspective on each other's healthcare systems. UK citizens think it's inhumane for Americans have to pay through the nose when they're sick or injured. While Americans are skeptical of socialist medicine.

A reporter from Politics Joe hit the streets of London and asked everyday people what they think Americans pay for healthcare and they were completely shocked.