Channel Changer

Ian Rowe is kick-starting the potential of the TRL crowd.

Ian Rowe is kick-starting the potential of the TRL crowd.

MTV isn't just about beach-town booty fests, opulent sweet sixteens, or raps about yachts and Cristal: As head of the Think MTV initiative, Ian Rowe, 42, ensures that critical issues like global warming, sexual health, and racial discrimination are not lost amid the bling.He is, in short, the conscience of MTV."Every generation has inherited a world they're unsatisfied with and want to change for the better," says Rowe, who joined the network in 2004 to lead MTV's "Choose or Lose" campaign, which helped motivate nearly 22 million youths to vote in the last presidential election. Riding that momentum, Rowe and his staff launched Think MTV in May 2005. "After the elections, our viewers were telling us they still wanted to take action, to be engaged," Rowe says. "We realized we could be the loudspeaker."Partnering with everyone from Bill and Melinda Gates to Jay-Z, Think MTV creates on-air specials, sponsors events and contests, and offers a number of online resources to, as Rowe puts it, "push power down into the hands of young people to take action locally."\n\n\n
We realized we could be the loudspeaker.
It's an ethos that was instilled by his Jamaican immigrant parents. Born in London and raised in Queens, NY, Rowe graduated from Cornell as a computer-science major. But after six years at a consulting firm, he grew disillusioned: "Becoming senior partner wasn't the mark I wanted to leave in life," he says. "My personal imprint had to somehow incorporate solving injustice."At MTV, Rowe is getting results: In September, 2005, Think MTV aired The Diary of Angelina Jolie and Dr. Jeffrey Sachs in Africa, which featured a Kenyan village working its way out of poverty. Overwhelming viewer response helped fuel the development of Millennium Promise, an organization that supports poverty-stricken villages in Africa. Elsewhere, Think MTV promotes environmentally responsible lifestyles through its "Break the Addiction" anti-global warming campaign, encourages community service on spring break, and broadcasts HIV-awareness programs that have resulted in a significant rise in testing for the virus among viewers.The often contradictory messages of MTV (sex!/abstinence!, gangsta rap!/stop the violence!) aren't lost on Rowe. "Our audience isn't monolithic," he says. "Today's youth will watch a hip hop video, and still go to church on Sunday."MILLENNIUM PROMISE is a ChooseGOOD Partner. GOOD founder Ben Goldhirsh is on the board.LEARN MORE
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less