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Day May 25, 2010

Uganda Skate Union Support Shirts & CNN

The Uganda Skateboard Union in Kitintale Uganda has whittled itself out a little place in the hearts of us here at Sparrow. If you are able to, please consider buying one of these t-shirts we made to support their beautiful program that embodies solidarity and hope.

 

One year ago Cassi Amanda Gibson visited their handmade skatepark and emailed us photos. Since then the kids of the skateboard union and Jackson Mubiru, the union’s founder, have consistently inspired us and everyone else who we shared their story with.

 

To say that skateboarding will put an end to a 20 year long civil conflict would be naive, but the principals exercised by the Uganda Skateboard Union have, and will continue to change lives for the better. In a region where international non-profits and NGO’s providing aid are often viewed with skepticism, or viewed as parental, these youth have created their own social epicenter where their positivity and creativity is infectious.

 

 

Their numbers are growing exponentially every day, and with the growing numbers, gear and resources are being run through faster then they can arrive in the region. Sparrow was stoked to team up with Sky High Skateshop, Special Sauce, Supreme, and Boundless NYC in helping provide the Union with over 100 pairs of brand new skate shoes, dozens of new decks, trucks, clothes, books & magazines. The kids were stoked too. Cassi and her sister Nicolette returned to Kampala twice over the course of the year to bring the kids more supplies and to film a short video for http://sparrowmedia.net. The kids are also pretty good at getting their own press, like this photo feature on BBC.com and most recently this video feature on CNN.com

 

With their growing numbers their dreams are growing too…

 

 

The kids hope to expand their park and build an adjacent school. In a country where publicly subsidized schooling ends at age 12 and only the most fortunate can further their education, this kids are taking their DIY approach one step further with a plan to build a solar powered learning center as part of the programming offered through the union. This will cost them $13,800 (US Dollars) to build and outfit with books & five computers. The Sparrow Project has made these shirts to support the dreams of the Uganda Skateboard Union, when you purchase one %50 of the proceeds will go directly to the Uganda Skateboard Union. The kids in Kitintale live the very essence of solidarity, we tried to capture a piece of that and put it on a shirt.

BP’s Greenwashing & Greenpeace’s Rebranding

For those reading this via RSS or on facebook click here to view the full post w/ video.

 

Last week Andy Stepanian of The Sparrow Project wrote an article for The Huffington Post declaring that, “all of BP’s greenwashing can clean up their spill,” and this week that is becoming evident. The article drew a lot of responses from activists and readers alike, but one was most interesting…

 

Last week we got a tip from a twitter follower, that the re-branding of BP & similar greenwashing campaigns came out of a design studio in the UK called Ogilvy Earth even worse they have issued a sort of greenwashing manifesto, they call their “greenwashing guide; without the greenwashing.” It takes a lot of audacity to keep doing what they were doing without even a hiccup considering the reality of the situation in the gulf of mexico.  Now it would be foolish to somehow blame Ogilvy Earth for BP’s current mess, but they are a symptom in a larger sickness to which all of us that drive, buy plastics, or consume animals, take part in daily. These events will only stop when we drastically shift our worldview from that of a mentality of taking to that of peaceful coexistence. What if each of us upheld a worldview that the earth, it’s elements, and it’s animals existed for their own reasons and not simply for our consumption?

 

 

That said, our prior notions are being challenged all the time now, and not just from activists. Wether it’s figures that show a waning ecological carrying capacity, figures that show that we may have already reached global peak oil, or an exponential increase in species extinction people are being challenged with a reality that we, and the things on this earth are finite and not inexhaustible. Activists are also challenging this notions, and some of them are doing so in very creative ways. In the UK alone there were two brilliant actions last week that creatively shut down business for those responsible for the BP spill, and the destruction of the Alberta tar sands.

 

 

Greenpeace held a contest for the best re-branding of BP’s flower re-brand. This is what the very talented winner came up with, and it was so good that before it ended up on any handbills it had to replace the company flag at BP’s headquarters. This video is brilliant…