Want to know why advocacy is important to me?
As an educator and an eco storyteller, I hope to continue to grow my audience any way that I can. I hope to help others find a voice for the changes they want to see in the world.
Traveling to Borneo in February 2020 with Orangutan Odysseys helped me see the power that each individual can have by interacting with so many like-minded people. By visiting the deforested homeland of the orangutans, and by being around other people far more advanced that me on my own journey, I realized just how much I want to help. The problems our orangutans, and all of our wildlife, are facing is huge, and by looking for single individual ways we can all help, I believe we can all turn things around not only for the animals, but for all of mankind. Read Borneo: Boundaries and Borders, a photo essay I wrote about the extractive industries causing damage to Borneo published by Endangered Species Coalition.
Want to know how you can help?
Sponsor the Spay/Neuter Advocacy project I am working on! In May, 2022, I will be traveling with Photographers Without Borders to advocate for the street dogs and cats in Phuket. If you have a dog or cat, you surely have a soft spot for strays, but it isn't just about the animals--it never is.
Traveling to Thailand, my mission is to improve the welfare of dogs and cats in Asia, resulting in better lives for both the animal and human communities, to create a society without homeless animals, and to ultimately end animal cruelty. The organization’s programs reduces the amount of street dogs and cats. With vaccinating and sterilizing both dogs and cats, the population of street animals can be reduced while eliminating rabies and better the living conditions for both humans and animals.
Human Rights Watch recognizes some of the issues with education in Africa.
“Tanzanian law and international treaties that Tanzania has ratified, everyone under 18 has a right to education. Yet hundreds of thousands of children in Tanzania are pushed out of school each year long before they reach 18 because they fail the Primary School Leaving Exam. Passing the exam is required for access to public secondary education. But more than 400,000 children, 49.4 percent, failed the exam in 2013. The year before, a staggering 69.3 percent failed. Girls are disproportionately affected, with lower percentages passing the exam. (Kippenberg, 2014)
The actual percentage of the children that actually make it through secondary education is even more deplorable. “The net enrollment rate for lower secondary education is 30.8 percent, and for upper secondary education only 1.9 percent.” (USAid.gov, 2014)
How can we find ways to foster education, increase volunteer training and network-building initiatives, help empower women and assist in conservation initiatives in the Serengeti?
By honouring and witnessing humanity at its best, we hope to inspire and forge new narratives of what is possible.
Join me through SJSU's Study Abroad program in Australia in July 2022. You don't have to be a student--you can join me through SJSU's Open University Program. We will explore conservation issues surrounding the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest and the native people who call that region home. You can take the class through Continuing Education, even if you are not an SJSU student. Register now as the class is filling up fast!
Visit a bio-dynamic dairy farm, wind farm and cattle station in the Australian Outback
Contribute to ongoing conservation efforts in the Daintree Rainforest
Learn traditional methods for environmental resource management from Aboriginal communities
Snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef
Bush camp in mangrove wetlands
Spend your money where you know you can make a difference, Travel, eat, purchase from companies you know have some kind of a global consciousness. Read, watch and listen to people who are already involved, somehow, in this global pandemic of the massive habitat destruction where our animals need to live.
Lastly, If something I have said resonates with you, and if I can help you by photographing or writing about it in a way that furthers your own animal conservation story, let's collaborate and figure out a way to spread the word.
In closing, we all know that animals hold the key to the survival of the planet. In a time of increasing divisiveness, separation, and polarization, animal advocates can help highlight the issues of conflict in order to serve the bigger picture needed to begin addressing climate change, habitat loss, and deforestation, not only to save animals but to save humans. To save nature. To save our world. We need to begin to see, as a community, as a nation, as a world, the connectedness between animals and humans by nurturing connections not only to animals but to their environment--no, our environment. But how does a path to Advocacy work begin? After we donate to the World Wildlife Association, what do we do next? How do we start to see the relationship all living creatures have? How do we create communities that forster and encourage sustainability for the future generations to thrive? How to we come to help others realize the symbiosis of the entire natural world?
I am an Accidental Advocate, and I want to make a difference.
Won't you join me?