Archive for: May, 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 The kids are also pretty good at getting their own press, like this photo feature on and most recently this video feature on


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…


Long Beach Swim 4 Humanity Event to Benefit Surfaid International

Much thanks are due to Danny Bobis of Cipher for this contribution, and moreover big thanks are owed to Danny for all the hard work he has put into coordinating this amazing fundraiser in Long Beach.

Worldwide, 10 million children die each year from preventable diseases.

You can help make a difference by participating in Swim 4 Humanity in order to raise money and awareness for SurfAid International’s life-saving programs.

Surf Aid International is a non-profit humanitarian organization, dedicated to the improvement of the health, wellbeing, and self-reliance of people living in isolated communities connected to us through surfing.

Swim 4 Humanity is hosted in six cities on the west and east coasts from March to May 2010 and this year the Long Beach High School Surf Club is playing host to the NY Swim For Humanity event on Sunday May 16th, from 12-5 pm in Long Beach at the LBHS pool.

Prior to the event, participating teams and individuals get sponsored by friends and family for a 30-minute swim at one of the swimming pool venues. Competitive freestyle swims will be held each day and fun team relay races will take place in the afternoon. The ‘getting sponsored’ fundraising is pretty effortless and done through the email program on your personal donation webpage that’s set up for you once you sign up for the event.

Awards and prizes are presented to participants based on their fundraising totals. Top fundraisers, top fundraising teams, relay race winners, and top competitive freestyle swimmers recieve premium prizes. This years top fundraiser will receive a surf trip to Indonesia including round-trip airfare, courtesy of World Surfaris and Joyo’s Camp, the list of prizes & great stuff goes on…


If you want to donate to the LBHS Surf Club Fundraising Team click here



Adham the Father of Sayaaf

Please Check Out Andy Stepanian’s Article this week on Huffington Post, Share It With Your Friends, & Leave Comments on the Huffington Post Blog So That They Will Continue to Pay Attention To This Important Story!

“Before Abu-Sayyaf was an inmate in a secretive US political prison called a ‘Communications Management Unit’ Abu-Sayyaf was a computer programmer for a software company in Florida. Abu-Sayyaf was an immigrant, he attained rights as a US citizen, he gave back to his community, to his co-workers, he generously donated to UNICEF, and he gave much of what he had to people outside of this country, specifically to children in Bosnia…”
(to read the full story click here)

Please Submit Comments to The Bureau of Prisons
& Please Share This Article With Your Friends. You can submit your comments online or through the mail.  If you submit comments via regular mail, please send them to the following address and include the following docket number in your correspondence:

Rules Unit, Office of General Counsel Bureau of Prisons
320 First Street, NW. Washington, DC 20534

Please consider submitting your comments by June 2, 2010* and sending The Center for Constitutional Rights a copy of your comments as we’re hoping to collect these pieces to illustrate the depth of collective public outcry over the creation of the CMUs.

*The official deadline for comments is June 7, 2010.
**Please send copies via email to:

or via regular mail to:
Nahal Zaman //  Center for Constitutional Rights
666 Broadway, 7th floor, New York, NY 10012.
To download a sample letter click here.



Interview with Moby & Miyun Park

A few weeks ago the sparrow project had the privilege to sit down with multi-platinum recording artist and producer, Moby and Miyun Park, executive director to the Global Animal Partnership to discuss their new book Gristle out now through The New Press. Gristle addresses issues ranging from workers rights to animal welfare to the environmental impacts of animal agriculture. Whether it is John Mackey’s essay on big agriculture’s impacts on the tax payer, or Lauren Bush’s essay on animal agriculture’s impact on climate Gristle makes a powerful case for adopting a vegan diet. Gristle also takes a step outside of the mold set by prior critiques of animal agriculture & factory farming because it has something for everyone. This is further supported by the fact that not all of Gristle‘s contributors are vegans, in fact, Gristle includes a contribution from a pork producer. This may raise questions amidst vegans and make Gristle a subject of debate for some animal activists, but Gristle is not about preaching to the choir it is about bringing a message of animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and health to a large section of americans who need to hear it and may not have otherwise been exposed to it.  Gristle‘s diverse contributions assure that the book will resonate with the widest possible audience. For the billions of animals who are raised and slaughtered on factory farms Gristle spells hope.

Gristle was co-edited by Moby & Miyun Park and includes contributions from Brendan Brazier, Lauren Bush, Christine Chavez, Michael Greger, Sara Kubersky, Tom O’Hagan, Anna Lappe, Frances Moore Lappe, John Mackey, Danielle Nierenberg, Meredith Niles, Wayne Pacelle, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Paul Willis, and Phyllis Willis.