It was a powerful atmosphere at the 92nd Street Y as human rights activists, political leaders gathered to discuss ways to build a better world during the 2017 United Nations Social Good Summit. Although there were many powerful seminars, a few key points stood out to me.
1. Refugees think that Americans, specifically millennials, can help them achieve their dreams. Mashable Social Good Editor Matt Petronzio and UNICEF President Caryl Stern spoke to two Ugandan child refugees about their experience reaching UNICEF camps. Anne and Nelson exclaimed that American youth can help take the lives of refugees from hopeless to hopeful, specifically through helping them receive education.
“These are children, these are not migrants, these are not refugees,” said Stern. “We have to make sure they have their voices heard.”
“We can actually make a difference in this world, no matter who we are, where we are, or how old we are.”
“Power is about more than just lighting,” said Khan. “It brings economic and educational opportunities to rural areas.”
While medicine has improved, AIDS is still killing people. The disease does not care how much money you have or what car you drive. It still exists. The disease is an equalizer.
“We are in the same jeopardy as the rest of the world,” said the notable Whoopi Goldberg. “You can help, and should help because you can.”
Quinn Tivey, trustee of Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, believes the disease also creates societal issues. “Under the umbrella of HIV, you see ugly ISM’s. Racism, sexism,” he said.
5. The United Nations has called this the worst hunger crisis in 17 years.
According to President of Save the Children Carolyn Miles, today there is more fluid wealth than any other time period. However, starvation still exists and world hunger is on the rise.
155 million children stunted. 815 million hungry.
When the millennial population finds out there is a famine, such as in Sudan, they want to know how to help. The problem is disseminating the information..
Don’t let anyone be forced to make a choice between death & poverty,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO). “People should not die because they are born poor. Health is a basic human right! Access to health care shouldn’t be a privilege.”
6. Creativity can be a powerful tool for achieving the greater good.
National Geographic photographer Aaron Huey believes art has the power to serve as a catalyst for meaningful change.
“Art can be a weapon and shield to wake people up, and serve as a catalyst for change in times of uncertainty.”
Songwriter Erika Ender, who wrote Despacito, believes that music is a powerful tool and can be used to change the world.
“Despacito is about taking care of women, not being aggressive with them.”
She wants to use creativity as a tool to build a better future for everyone.
“When we connect with our inner child we can achieve unattainable things.”