Weekly e-Newsletter 3/1/2022

Art of the Week

Multi-tasking Wonder

Art by Anita Kunz, a Canadian born contemporary artist. 

Multi-tasking Wonder, a watercolor portrait, illustrates the everyday struggles of the everyday woman. It depicts how women are often pulled in competing directions such as career, motherhood, and marriage. Yet, the woman must remain outwardly calm while managing all of these responsibilities. It has been published in both Time and The New Yorker. 

Kunz’s art has appeared in Time magazine, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and Random House Publishing to name a few. Some of her works are also housed in the public collections at the Library of Congress. 

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Q&A

Photo by Surface on Unsplash

Q: Is my bubble bath a good form of self-care?

A: Probably not. Many commercialized forms of self-care, such as bubble baths and spa days, are actually forms of self-soothing that temporarily distract us from our issues.

Self-care, however, is about finding meaning in life and doing things that support our growth. Read more about the difference between self-soothing and self-care here. 

Food for Thought: Ukraine crisis pushing Europe away from dependence on Russian energy

Credit: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg News

Although the Russian invasion of the Ukraine is dangerous and a serious violation of international law, the silver lining may be that it has pushed Germany to stop the Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline.

The Washington Post reports, “The European Commission plans to announce a strategy on March 2 to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, calling for a 40 percent reduction in fossil fuel use by 2030, so that Europe is no longer reliant on Russia to keep houses warm and factories running.”

The challenges will be whether Russia retaliates by cutting natural gas this winter and that France will build lots more nuclear reactors. 

The Washington Post

Sustainability Tip: Reducing the Carbon Footprint of your Phone

Reboxed

As having instant access to technology becomes increasingly popular, it is important to pay closer attention to the carbon footprint of everyone’s “palm pal.”

Mike Berners-Lee writes that “in 2020, there were 7.7 billion mobile phones in use, with a footprint of roughly 580 million tonnes of CO2e. This equates to approximately 1% of all global emissions.”

Here are three tips to reduce the energy consumption of your smartphone:

1. Stream over wi-fi rather than mobile networks wherever possible

2. Turn off automatic downloads for apps

3. Also turn off cloud backups that you don’t need (just make sure your mobile is backing up in at least one place!)

Weekly e-Newsletter

March 1, 2022
Editors: Rae’Jean Alford & Terry Gips

At the Alliance

The Alliance is in total solidarity with the people of Ukraine and is inspired by the actions of so many governments, businesses, artists, entertainers, performers and sports, arts and cultural organizations taking action against Russia. Our blog highlights big tech’s response and we’re excited that bar owners across the country are refusing to sell Russian vodka, despite the loss of revenue.

We commend Shell for its willingness to exit all its Russian operations (costing them $3 billion) and BP for abandoning its stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft, which could cost them over $25 billion. Kudos to Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden for speaking out: “We are shocked by the loss of life in Ukraine, which we deplore, resulting from a senseless act of military aggression which threatens European security.”

And as PBS News Hour points out, they are joined by cities around the world displaying Ukraine’s colors, Saturday Night Live replacing its opening monologue with Ukrainian singers, Carnegie Hall cancelling an appearance by renowned Russian conductor Valery Gergiev (a supporter of President Putin), NYC’s Metropolitan Opera no longer engaging with artists or institutions that support Putin, Russia not being allowed an entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, European soccer moving its championship match from St. Petersburg to Paris, and The International Judo Federation suspending Putin as its honorary chairman. What other creative ways can we speak truth to power?

Speaking of inspiration, we are delighted to celebrate Women’s History Month by continuing to amplify women voices, art and achievements.
 
This week, we are highlighting Hershey’s for releasing their national Celebrate SHE campaign! Through their campaign, they have partnered with Girls on the Run, a national nonprofit that inspires girls in 3rd through 8th grade to build confidence and important life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and physical activity. Visit their website to learn more.
 
If there are any specific women or national campaigns celebrating women that you would like us to highlight in our newsletter please send us an email at info@afors.org . We also welcome your general newsletter submissions.
 
We are still looking for teachers and middle and high schools interested in joining our SHE Kindness School Program. 
 
Connect with us this week on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn as we continue our conversations surrounding sustainability, health, equity, and kindness.

Take Action: Solidarity with Ukraine

Hanna Pavlovna Lukasz, from Mirhord, Ukraine, shouts and reacts after her 12 and 8-year-old sons and her 66-year-old mother have been waiting on the Ukrainian side of the border for four days to cross at the Medyka border crossing in Poland, Feb. 28. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

The Alliance is deeply saddened and disturbed by the events that are currently unfolding in Ukraine. At the same time this newsletter is being sent out, many Ukrainian cities, including its capital, Kyiv, are facing an all-out attack from the Russian military.This unjustifiable and aggressive war led by Vladimir Putin and the rest of his corrupt allies is a serious affront to peace, and a violation of the national sovereignty, democracy and autonomy that belongs to 44 million Ukrainians. The war has already displaced 500,000 Ukrainians, and will continue to uproot the lives of millions more. 

Vladimir Putin and his allies’ decision to attack Ukraine will also further isolate, ostracize and inflict great economic pain on ordinary Russian citizens, many of whom have bravely marched through Russian streets to protest the war being waged by their leaders. The Russian economy has already suffered greatly from recent sanctions, which have reduced the value of Russia’s currency, the ruble, by 30%.

The Alliance is also concerned about reports of African nationals fleeing the violence and chaos of the war being refused entry into Poland, despite 150,000 Ukrainian refugees already being admitted into the country. The Alliance urges Ukrainian and Polish officials to investigate these reports, and ensure that human dignity and equality are respected at the border, especially as these values are being threatened throughout the world.

Many lives have been destroyed, and will continue to be destroyed, unless Russia ceases its unprovoked aggression, de-escalates its warfare, and withdraws from Ukraine. The Alliance condemns Russia’s actions in the strongest of terms and supports the sovereignty, dignity, and independence of Ukraine and its people.

From many miles away, it may seem as though our hands are tied when it comes to supporting the people of Ukraine. If you are able to, consider donating to Voices of Children, a charitable organization that serves the psychological needs of those affected by war, or, to any one these charities suggested by the Washington Post.

Inspiration: Ukrainian President Zelensky’s Social Media and Tech Industry Take on Russia

Princeton Council

By Alliance President Terry Gips

Authoritarian regimes forbidding freedom of speech and non-violent dissent, initiating violence, perpetuating lies and waging war are a threat to democracy and sustainability. While Ukraine faces a dire situation with Russia’s invasion, it’s inspiring to see how Ukrainians are rising up, setting aside political differences and uniting to risk their lives for freedom and democracy. Maybe we can learn from them. Fortunately, much of the rest of the world, China excluded, is joining Ukrainians in support. 

Thanks to POLITICO’s Morning Tech Newsletter (morningtech@email.politico.com) from February 28 for showing how US tech companies are taking big risks in standing up to Putin and how Ukraine and its brave and heroic President Volodymyr Zelensky are battling back and winning the social media war: read more…

Song of the Week

Listen to the Annie Lennox and The Eurythmics’ “Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves” featuring Aretha Franklin. It is a wonderful song that reminds us of the strength that women possess. 

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