NOW publishes a statement regarding the detainment of Cihan Erdal
- Buddy Exchange
- Creating NOW
- Future Forum
- NOW competences
- NOW Journey 2016
- NOW Journey 2017
- NOW Latam
- NOW programs
- NOW talks
- online phase
- social change
- social change projects
Whether you are a professional or volunteer Changemaker, we are always facing challenges that are very specific for our line of work. And it is usually insufficient to ask for help from friends and family from other areas, because of the nature of these challenges.
NOW has open spots for its new tool to support social change in the world. Using our experience, Learning Facilitation methods, and peer support, we hope to create an inspiring environment for Changemakers to develop competences and skills to make their work better.
– The Changemaker reflection group is formed by 7-8 diverse people that work as changemakers in different capacities, places and expertise levels.
– The objective is to discuss common challenges of the changemaker work and learn together, support each other’s personal development, and build up our knowledge on issues, methods, and strategies for changemaking.
– Each reflection group has a cycle of 4 months.
– During this cycle, every person commits to one monthly online discussion (2h) and around 1 hour a week to focused discussions on the themes of their choice.
If you are interested to participate in a Changemaker Reflection Group, please send your application through this link. The next cycle will begin shortly.
Era assim que começavam todas as palestras da II Conferência SSEX BBOX – Sexualidade Fora da Caixa. Nunca estive tão acostumado com essa provocação, inclusive me dou conta da importância em forçar este estranhamento nas pessoas. Por exemplo, enquanto uma pessoa cisgênera, eu ainda não me deparei com alguém forçando o uso de um artigo para me definir, senão pela forma com eu me identifico. Resolvi tocar neste assunto, porque, recentemente, tivemos a difícil tarefa de traduzir o site do NOW para o português e para o espanhol. Ambas as línguas não possuem muitas formas em que o gênero das palavras seja neutralizado.
Se quiséssemos trazer a neutralidade ao português, precisaríamos revolucionar a línguagem e começar a usar uma inflexão não-ortográfica grifando a possibilidade de neutralizar as palavras. Sejam bem-vindEs seria uma dessas formas, uma vez que compreenderia homens, mulheres e pessoas não-binárias (que preferem nem serem tratadas pelo gênero masculino nem feminino) na mesma expressão. Ainda, nesta mesma situação, eu poderia estar desejando boas-vindas para uma plateia de 1000 pessoas, onde 999 sejam mulheres e exista apenas 1 homem entre elas. Gramaticalmente, eu deveria nesse caso falar bem-vindOs, porque expressamos o plural no português com o masculino.
Falamos os homens, quando queremos nos referir a espécie humana, os brasileiros, quando queremos dizer brasileiros e brasileiras, os participantes, quando queremos incluir homens e mulheres, e assim por diante. Isso porque culturalmente fomos treinados a entender que no uso dos artigos masculinos também estão compreendidos os elementos femininos.
O NOW se preocupa com essa hipervalorização e sobreposição do masculino, pois isso retoma uma história de normatização e desvalorização do feminino – veja só! até aqui quando trato genericamente o termo preciso escrevê-lo no masculino. Assim, buscamos utilizar expressões e palavras neutras para comunicar da maneira mais inclusiva e amorosa a todes. Não vejo algum problema em utilizar dessas inflexões não-oficiais para escrever ou falar, entretanto, reconheço que nem todas as pessoas compreendem estes códigos e, sobretudo, a discussão de gênero.
Talvez, as pessoas não reconheçam aqui a minha contestação destes padrões que muitas vezes, mas muitas vezes mesmo, reprimem e violentam a expressão de gênero das minorias.
Outros recursos, também, podem ser utilizados para tornar o português menos sexista. Por exemplo, eu poderia utilizar @ para comunicar a tod@s que os artigos “o” e “a” se unem neste signo. Até mesmo, utilizar o X para compreender todxs nas opções deste uso.
Percebam que essas formas substituem prezadas (os) leitoras (es) e a primazia da ordem de importância de um gênero sobre o outro. Infelizmente, as sugestões citadas não são tão inclusivas como parecem, pois elas não são do conhecimento de todo mundo; não oferecem uma boa alternativa para a vocalização e também dificultam a leitura de pessoas disléxicas. É bom lembrar que muitos softwares, utilizados na inclusão de pessoas com deficiência visual, não sabem marcar essas variações e passam a não pronunciar as palavras quando grafadas desta forma.
Por uma posição ética e pelo compromisso de não reforçar preconceitos e a exclusão sociocultural, tomamos a decisão de incluir nas traduções do site do NOW, bem como no Blog este conteúdo. Ademais, refletir na “influência da cultura sobre a linguagem”, que segundo Mikhail Bakhtim, se relaciona da mesma forma “com a ação da linguagem sobre o desenvolvimento da cultura”. Ou seja, a cultura influencia a forma como escrevemos como a forma que escrevemos influencia na cultura em que vivemos.
Rodrigo Azambuja é membro das equipe de NOW na America Latina
Most of us share some basic values like human rights, equality, and social justice. We share these values because we all believe that these values are very fundamental and indisputable. But when it comes to the animal rights or in much general way “rights of nature” we generally find some excuses to do the “right thing”. However, I believe that if people knew how big the negative impact of the meat industry on the environment is and if they have the option to eat vegan food, they will push themselves to eat without exploitation. This was the motivation for my NOW project together with my friends from the environmental society of my university: helping or making it easy for people to do the right thing!
First of all I would like to introduce my society. The environmental society is one of the oldest student society in my university. From the very first day of its establishment, members of the society tried to increase environmental awareness and advocated the rights of the nature. We usually decide on what to focus on the first meeting of each semester. Last semester we came up with two topics we wanted to focus on: The first thing was about the lack of vegan options in the campus cafeterias and the second one was about the lack of bike roads within the campus. We chose these topics because we know that these two topics have a very high negative impact on the environment. Since the negative effects of car usage are more familiar I want to share some facts about meat consumption. For example, it takes 80 tons water to make just 10 kg of meat and every kg of beef served is equivalent to releasing about 20 kg of greenhouse gases.
It would be very nice to say that we succeeded overnight. In reality it was not that easy. The biggest challenge we faces was communication. Even though there is a growing vegan community in Turkey, being a vegan is still something “extraordinary”. This made the negotiations with the administrators of the university and the cafeteria more difficult. We had several meeting with the chief of the cafeteria and officials from the rectorate. During these meetings, they opposed us by saying that “if we fulfill the requests of a very small group like you, others may also come and we won’t be able to fulfill all these wishes”. We made it our goal to show them that we’re not representing a small group only. To do so, we decided on organizing a signature campaign to show the support to our cause. After one week we already gathered about 2000 signatures and when we brought these signatures to the cafeteria, they started to take us more seriously. Since we had public support, they could no longer say that we are “extraordinary” and started to talk about how the process will evolve rather than why it is impossible to do such a thing. They finally accepted to serve vegan food for both lunch and dinner.
When we successfully accomplished our goal, we directed our efforts to another problem: bike roads. The lack of bike roads started to be discussed in the campus 3-4 years ago but unfortunately, there has been no significant improvements since that time. As a result of our research, we found out that the whole plan of bike roads and bike rental points were already designed. They had not been implemented due to the lack of communication between the responsible parties. When we had our first meeting with the dean and an assistant of the department of the city and regional planning, they told us that if we bring people in decision-making positions together and create public opinion on the campus, then we could succeed in making these bike roads reality. After this meeting, we started to try to reach these responsible people and also create a public opinion within the campus through other student societies. When we entered the semester holiday we had already done a lot of work: . we gathered all the documents related to the plans of the bike roads and also had several meetings with the rectorate. During these meetings they told us that “the bike roads are also our priority and we are working on the project”.
We have not yet managed to fully implement our second goal. But the signs are positive and , I believe that in the second semester, if we push them enough to implement the project and increase public support, they will make it happen.
Written by Sayat, NOW Journey alumni and students.
Vegan meals – what started off as a bit of a shock to some of our participants, soon turned into a appreciated experience by many. In this NOW talk Johanna and Rahel discuss the reasons behind this choice and the potential of using food to foster social change.
Rahel: Johanna, you were our head of kitchen at the NOW Encounter. What was your biggest challenge?
Johanna: It was my very first time cooking for 40 people. So the preparation was a challenge: to choose affordable, vegan recipes that were reasonably easy to cook for that many people while also striving for variety and nutritional balance. But actually, the biggest challenge for me was to calculate amounts. It took me several days into the event until I had a “feel” for how much bread or salad we would consume in a day.
Rahel: True! I guess at the beginning you were afraid not to let people go hungry so we had a bit too much food sometimes. Luckily, you had already prepared recipes to reduce food waste.
Johanna: Yes, we were quite well prepared. We made pasta and rice salad and had lots of recipes for old bread. The Italian bread salad – Panzanella – for example was a great hit.
Rahel: I agree! Generally speaking, what kind of feedback did you get to the meals you prepared?
Johanna: I knew it was going to be hard to please 40 people. We have participants from all over Europe and surroundings and they are used to different diets. But I was really surprised by the positive feedback I got and how willing people were to engage in this “food learning experience”. Throughout the 10 days, participants would ask for recipes of the meals we ate which is why I’m working on a little NOW Encounter recipe book to share with them.
The idea of cooking vegan food was yours, Rahel, right? Looking back to the experiences we made at the Encounter and the feedback we got, would you choose to cook vegan food at the Encounter again?
Rahel: I totally would! Of course, there was resistance towards the lack of meat at our event but I had expected it. However, in my 3-4 years of being a vegan, I realized that as soon as people get an opportunity to try it out, they find out that it’s actually not as scary or boring as they imagined. So, having a 10 days mostly vegan event is a great opportunity to try. If we calculate all the meals we ate during the Encounter, our environmental impact is quite remarkable: According to this calculator, we saved approximately 166’000 liters of water 7000 kg of grains and 1000km2 of forest and 3500 kg of CO2 were avoided. And besides, reducing our environmental footprint, we also had an impact on our participants, right?
Johanna: Yes, and I am amazed by it! WOW! It is interesting how people really started thinking about their eating habits… We did not even talk a lot about vegan food and the impact of animal based nutrition on the environment. We ‘just’ cooked vegan food. Several participants who were very used to eating meat told me after the Encounter that they are starting to reduce the amount of meat they are eating. Other participants have become vegetarians or vegans. So the impact is really amazing. I did not expect that.
Rahel, you were not the only vegan at the Encounter. How did the other vegans react?
Rahel: I think for them it was a unique experience. Normally, when you attend an event as a vegan you will have trouble with the food. In the worst case, you will end up eating salad and white rice or something like that. So this was also a reason why we opted for vegan food: it is inclusive for people who would like to reduce their intake of animal products but doesn’t exclude anyone. Having several moslems at our event, we also cooked everything halal. We didn’t want anyone to feel like they had to constantly ask what was in the food. I think besides being able to eat all the food present, the vegan participants also simply appreciated that NOW walks the talk of being a sustainable organization that aims for social change. Do you think we managed to get the message across of why we offered vegan food?
Johanna: Yes and no. When I see how we impacted some people’s eating habits, I think we definitively managed to share our point of view. Then again, I feel that some of the feedback we received show, that we should have given more information on vegan food from a nutritional as well as environmental point of view from the start. I think for the next time we should find ways of talking more about the food and the reasons behind our choice.
For you, how does the food experience at the Encounter relate to the overall learning experience the NOW program offers?
Rahel: Personally, one of my core “messages” of NOW is that social change is in everything we do. It’s not enough for us to pick one cause that we dedicate ourselves to. It’s all connected. Let me give you an example: if we volunteer in an organization that works for human rights but at the same time live in a way that creates a lot of negative impact on our climate and environment, our impact on the world might be more negative than positive. Having a negative impact on the environment also means increasing injustice in the world since it is mainly the poorer countries in the world that are being affected most by climate change.
Johanna, can you think of other ways that we could use food within NOW to create social change?
Johanna: Food is the basis of human life. It is a huge and very interrelated subject. It is about sharing the resources we have and caring for each other, sharing a moment together but also thinking about health, social justice as well as environmental care. I think we are off to a good start including food as a tool for social change in NOW. But I think we can definitely do more and use food as an example for how challenges and solutions in the world are interconnected. As a small idea, I think I would really like to take the NOW recipe book further: include all the recipes from our events but also contributions from our participants and their regional cuisines. This recipe collection could inspire other organizations to cook vegetarian and vegan food for large groups too.
Rahel: I love that idea! Personally, I learned a lot about interconnectedness and how we should work and learn even more with other organizations at the Encounter. What was your biggest learning, Johanna?
Johanna: There are many many things I learned as the head of the kitchen, as a team member and most importantly from the participants.It was a process of finding my own role within NOW. At one point I felt like I was just peeling onions in the kitchen while everybody else was doing social change. But then thanks to my team members who reminded me of the impact our food had on the participants’ reflections about their eating habits, I realized that actually peeling onions can have a huge impact in making this world a tiny bit better. So, even if we have really big ideas of how we want to change this world, small actions can be just as important.
Well, and of course I also learnt that you do not need 10 times the amount of basil when cooking for 40 instead of 4 people! But I guess every time we use the leftover spices, we will travel back in time to the Encounter in Passugg.