Inside Philanthropy is a Year Old. Here Are Ten Things We’ve Learned – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

When you are one, you have only just learned to speak. You move about clumsily and knock things down a lot. You don’t yet know what is possible, but you are burgeoning with life.

Inside Philanthropy is a Year Old. Here Are Ten Things We’ve Learned – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

The Gates War on HPV Leads to Remote Mali and a Novel Way to Educate Women – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

De Groot recruited Eliza Squibb, recent Rhode Island School of Design graduate and global textiles expert, to help create a storytelling cloths that could accurately and attractively convey linkages between HPV and cancer, and teach Malian women about the benefits of the HPV vaccine. In collaboration with De Groot, Squibb produced a brightly-colored and medically sound storytelling cloth prototype. In blue, yellow, and orange, the cloth illustrates how vaccines prevent HPV infection, and how, unimmunized, women are prone to contracting HPV and potentially developing cancer.

via The Gates War on HPV Leads to Remote Mali and a Novel Way to Educate Women – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Not Happy? Maybe It’s Your Culture

Another fascinating documentary, “Happy,” entered my consciousness yesterday. It talks about what makes for happiness. Some of you may be familiar with the concept of “flow” — if not, the movie is an excellent primer. But beyond flow, the film also provides research about how little social status and money (above a certain basic minimum for health and safety) really have to do with happiness. Parts that were particularly intriguing were the descriptions of Co-housing in Denmark, and how people there report record high levels of happiness and contentment. Co-housing exists in America, but not at all to the degree it does in Denmark. It might be an interesting model for Americans to allow into their field of vision, now that we have suffered a massive economic downturn and many people have lost their homes to foreclosure. Maybe we could even try a co-housing development with the bond money that will be on the Rhode Island ballot this November.

Donna Summer at Karate Camp

My memory of Donna Summer is from the 80’s– a class at Special Training, an annual women’s martial arts camp. The teacher, a charismatic and beautiful black woman named Tonie Harris, talked about living in the projects, and finding inspiration in a Bruce Lee film. She wanted to do that too, and fought her way up the belts to the respected title of Sensei.

It was a buzz for me to take lessons from a female sensei. That honorific title had only applied to men in the dojos I belonged to.

Tonie was an inspiration, and very much admired. She mentioned that she was engaged to a man and I heard a sound like ice tinkling– lesbian hearts were breaking all around me.

In my previous experience of karate school, warm-up for classes was an endurance contest. Push-ups on wooden floors to the sound of grunting and Sensei barking in Japanese (with a Rhode Island accent). The female senseis at Special Training were more innovative and inclined to add music to workouts–a new thing for me. Tonie was a big fan of Donna Summer. She played Donna’s hit song, ‘Love to Love You Baby’ to the class of about 100 gathered in an athletic field outside a college gym.

My fellow elderly will understand why I had always found that song embarrassing. But that day I discovered the power of context. I already knew that Donna Summer was a very smart and sensitive woman, from hearing her interviewed on the radio. ‘Love to Love You Baby’ may have meant one thing in the disco. In a room full of powerful women doing kata, Donna Summer’s song was an anthem.

I am sorry for the passing of Donna Summer, but she was a diva. She really lived. She left something beautiful to the world. We should all hope to do as well.

Kiersten Marek:

Upcoming workshop!

Originally posted on Therapy with Kiersten Marek, LICSW:

UPDATE:  This workshop starts tonight!  Looking forward to it!

Innocent ❂ Wounded Child

Warrior  ❂ Caregiver

Explorer ❂ Soul Mate  ❂ Destroyer  ❂ Artist

Leader ❂ Guru ❂ Healer  ❂ Fool

“Creative Writing Through the Archetypes”

a 6-Week Writing Workshop

When:  starting Thursday, April 5th, 2012, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Where:  William H. Hall Free Library,

1825 Broad Street, Cranston RI

To Register:  Contact Kiersten Marek at

This workshop will use the archetypes as inspiration for writing exercises. Each week we will review two archetypes and do two writing exercises. We will end with sharing and discussion. This workshop is free and sponsored by The Newport Review and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Participation is limited to 14 members.

About Kiersten Marek:  Kiersten is a psychotherapist, blogger and fiction writer living in Cranston.  She has written fiction for print and online publications and has…

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Urban Legends and Knowing What to Do in a Crisis

Your Kmareka correspondent is one of the few with the courage to say it out loud. I hate Christmas. I would gladly skip the whole thing for adults. Children should not be cheated out of their presents and Christmas joy of course, but let’s buy them some toys and the rest of us have cocktail parties and eat samosas. There, I’ve said it.

But as Scroogy as I am, I don’t totally buy into the flip side of American Christmas –bemoaning our greed and materialism. Although this story is true, I sense a touch of the Urban Legend…

Family and friends were stunned by the loss of a West Virginia man who died while shopping on Black Friday as fellow bargain hunters reportedly walked around — and even over — the man’s body.

Family members told WSAZ-TV that 61-year-old Walter Vance of Logan County, W. Va., had become ill and collapsed while shopping for Christmas decorations inside Target in South Charleston. He later died after being taken to the hospital, family said.

Witnesses told the NBC News affiliate in Charleston, W. Wa., that shoppers walked around and even over Vance’s body.

It’s a fact of human nature, and cause for much anguish after the fact, that we tend not to understand or deal well with the unexpected. I have witnessed people collapsing in public, only to be surrounded by concerned bystanders within seconds. The crucial requirement is that the bystanders recognize a crisis and have a script for how to respond. Mr. Vance had the misfortune to have an emergency out of context. I think that most of the crowd of deranged Christmas shoppers simply did not recognize what they were seeing. But Mr. Vance was helped by some people who knew what to do…

An E.R. nurse who also happened to be shopping at the store tried to administer CPR. She and an off-duty paramedic tried to help Vance while he was on the floor.

I’ll be the first to say, ‘Bah, humbug’ to Black Friday. But I think the tragic demise of Walter Vance was more a stroke of fate than an American morality tale.