MLK Day Celebrated by Nonprofits & Santos’ Charity Questions (news)

Nonprofits Energize & Give Back To Communities On MLK Day

Nonprofits across the country worked to engage and give back to communities this MLK Day. Virginia nonprofit Rise Against Hunger worked to fill 50,000 bags of food to serve communities in need. The article notes that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke often about hunger, and was a catalyst for this organization to focus on emergency food relief. In Charlotte, communities are finding assistance from nonprofits like Promise Youth Development, which serves to educate youth about Dr. King’s legacy while advocating for social justice. In addition to providing kids with education and exposure to Dr. King’s teaching, the nonprofit also fosters healing and relationship-building between students and police.

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Rough Transcript

[00:00:00] audio1555325285: This week on a nonprofit newsfeed. We’re talking about some of the events that went on during M l k day as we’re recording this the day after. And Nick I hope you had a great weekend and we’re able to celebrate in your own way. , yes, it was a brisk but lovely weekend here in New York. We hope you’re staying dry and safe out in California.

[00:00:27] But to your point, yes, we want to talk about nonprofits giving back to communities on MLK Day. So yesterday it was MLK Day in Peas, United States and nonprofits across the country are. To give back to communities. One nonprofit in Virginia named Rise Against Hunger Work to fill 50,000 bags of food to serve communities in need.

[00:00:50] Noting that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Himself spoke frequently about the issue of hunger which catalyzed this organization to focus on emergency food relief and in Charlotte. Communities were finding assistance from organizations like Promise Youth Development, which serves to educate kids and young people about Dr.

[00:01:11] King’s lead legacy while advocating for social justice. And recently they started providing kids with healing and relationship, building support between students and police during the ongoing conversation. Police and community relations in America. So I think that M l K Day is a point of reflection, a catalyst to service, and an opportunity for nonprofits to show how they are making their communities safer, more inclusive, and more just.

[00:01:46] Yeah, it’s great to see how the holiday evolves with the times and how it. Be used to spark those types of conversations and social impact activities. And just knowing that people are more primed to, to volunteer and have have those dialogues around this time. And of course moving into, in, in short order Black History Month coming up next month.

[00:02:09] It is good to see also the amount of coverage in the news that we saw.

[00:02:15] Absolutely. All right. Shall I take us into the summary? Yeah. What do we got? All right, George, I’m so excited for this story, not because the main antagonist of this story shares your name, no relation. , but we are talking about . George Santos, famed Republican congressperson from Long Island. Parts of Queens, but , his, George Santos has been in the news recently for as it turns out, fabricating almost the entirety of his resume, professional and personal background.

[00:02:52] But the reason we are talking about him on this podcast is that Santos claimed to have started a animal welfare nonprofit called Friends of Pets United, and apparently, This nonprofit, which was listed as such on an early version of his campaign website in fact, did not exist. Apparently, the only inkling of.

[00:03:17] Any evidence that such an organization existed is a now defunct Facebook page. But the nonprofit was never registered under the i r s never made donations to organizations it claimed to, and as Santo said, the group rescued 2,400 dogs and 280 cats between 2013 and 2018. However, there is absolutely zero evidence at all.

[00:03:43] That such activities happened. This is a ghost organization and I. Leads into a broader narrative about how fake charities are, in fact a real problem. The article we link out to in the [email protected] goes through why this is such a problem because it diverts donations away from legitimate organizations as well as undercuts donors confidence in giving.

[00:04:10] So George, what’s your take on this? And then I’m gonna follow up and ask you what’s your favorite, George Santos? . God, it’s so hard to choose. Not really, no, nothing proud here about how there was failings, I think on several different levels. And if your immediate reaction here is to be angry at George Santos just acknowledge that there are many people creating many fake charities.

[00:04:34] There are also many folks that look to take advantage by lying. Their accomplishments, resume in order to get ahead. And so where does the onus fall? If you’re applying to a job, the hiring manager should check on these things, maybe call a reference. And I suppose if the United States Congress is hiring somebody, voters are hiring somebody, the news outlets, one of the branches of anything that we rely.

[00:05:06] should maybe do background checks. And so I’d say there are a cascade of failures that led to this. And they’re on both sides, really. D nnc opponents that did literally nothing in terms of researching their opponent. Journalists that put that name down without calling a single thing whatsoever, checking anything in IRS records, something that would’ve taken the amount of time.

[00:05:31] a brewing, a cup of coffee would’ve revealed. And then the r n c, which is in an unenviable situation now, of letting someone in who is a categorical liar. And then you can see nonprofits here because nonprofits are frequently used to burnish the reputations of those that need that work done and that.

[00:05:55] Story is on repeat. I would say one of those things, this is in the back of my mind, is whenever I hear now that the specificity of of work, right? You’re out there counting that me number of cats, like there’s a certain, like we’ve helped a lot, we’ve helped over hundreds to say 280 cats. Also why fewer cats than dogs?

[00:06:16] 280 cats versus 2,400 dogs that, I, I don’t know if those numbers would. and then released 3000 cats. Yeah, there’s a lot of numbers here. They’re too specific for me. , this is what I’m, it’s. It’s such a mess. , I can say that in addition to apparently creating a fake nonprofit and not going working at any of the jobs he claimed to have worked or going to school where he claimed to work Santos is in the unenviable position of being under county.

[00:06:54] State and federal investigation in the United States, as well as under a case that was reopened in the lovely country of Brazil. Apparently they’ve been looking for him for a long time, and there he is in the US Congress. So yeah, hold on. Here’s where allegedly, I wanna go back to the cats and dogs though.

[00:07:15] Okay. So in the US approximately 4.1 million shelter animals are adopted each. , you wanna guess the breakdown?

[00:07:26] I don’t know. 50 50 precisely. 2 million dogs. 2.1 million cats. Okay. So going back to those numbers, this is why it’s off, right? How are you that far off in terms of the rescue numbers? 2,400 dogs, 280 cats. I don’t think this guy likes. I think there’s a cat a bias against cats that you should look out for.

[00:07:52] That’s really, that’s a spicy thing. He’s not numbers, right? He’s making up numbers. I will say his compatriot for the New York City mayoral election Curtis Sliwa is famously a cat person and has nine cats and is very pro catt. Maybe just many layers of division and rife and just bizarreness in this story, but, This does take us to our next story.

[00:08:20] Both sad and fun as this one is about a nonprofit organization in Alaska which used $750,000 in federal funds improperly. So the Revive Alaska Community Services Food Pantry is very saying serious questions about how the group. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funds throughout the pandemic.

[00:08:45] Anchorage itself received a hundred million dollars to distribute to various organizations and. For various reasons. But nobody seems to know where this money goes and how that $750,000 helped feed families in Anchorage. There seems to be some just sketchy what happened here in the saga, and there’s more details you won’t get into, but it’s important to be accountable.

[00:09:16] Yeah. And sadly, I think we’re seeing a lot of the, where did the money go now that the, pain of the pandemic has mainly passed from the peak periods and it’s it’s a reminder to, to be documenting these types of things and in your accounting. But this was, this seems pretty question.

[00:09:36] Because they were given three quarters of a million dollars to rebuild a barn that was a food pantry . Instead, the structure was torn down. So you’re like wait a minute. Little different. Not great. But we will go now from not great two. I think is great. George, you threw this article in from the inevitable Pew Research Center that the 118th US Congress, our current Congress is the most racially and ethnically diverse Congress in history.

[00:10:09] So according to Pew Research This is actually the seventh Congress to break that record set by the one before it. And overall, 133 Senators and representatives today identify as black, Hispanic, Asian-American, American Indian, or Alaskan native. According to this analysis. And this is increasing in every Congress.

[00:10:35] Interestingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly I think 80% of these members caucus with the Democrat Party. But that being Said Congress is becoming more representative of America as a whole. Approximately now Congress is approximately 75% white which is, brings it closer in line with the overall US population which is now at 59% white.

[00:11:03] And will soon actually be minority white if demographic trends continue. I’m all for it. Representative Congress, representative democracy, let’s go. Yeah. And the Republicans are making a couple ticks toward the right direction. Previously it was, 17%, 83%. A distribution for non-white lawmakers in terms of the breakdown of diversity in Congress.

[00:11:27] Slight increases there, but overall, it’s just great to see over the past two decades to see this number nearly double. And, clearly tracking US population and you see it in that way. And it’s also a good reminder for what representative democracy will hopefully become as the people representing representatives representing communities will will reflect them.

[00:11:53] Absolutely. All right we will take us now to our last story in the summary. And this comes from Axios and others, and the headline of this article is Greta Thunberg has been detained by police at a German coal protest, and the article comes with a pretty dramatic photo of Greta being. Whisked away by some scary looking cops and riot gear.

[00:12:21] It turns out that climate activist Greta Thunberg was detained today protesting a coalmine expansion in the German coal mining town of. Rath where she was physically removed from the site. Apparently Tomberg was participating in a sit-in near the edge of the mine. A pretty hands-on approach to activism from fellow climate activists.

[00:12:48] But George, I can’t help but being struck how similar this photo seems to the photos of activists. Protesting for clean water particularly adjacent to Native American reservations and communities in the United States, not just a couple years ago. It seems strikingly similar and real interesting to see such tactics taken by activists and protestors.

[00:13:36] I think it’s a Huff one. I like the activism angle here in terms of you have a young person able to command such a powerful presence and message, right? And on the other hand, you have, I think Germany and some other countries making. energy decisions that actually cut off the bridge to sustainable energy.

[00:14:02] And you feel that, especially when you’re dealing with the conflict in Russia, and I’m cutting off various pipeline resources and pieces that, it’s one thing to say you’re going to go on a carbon neutral path, but if you don’t have the plan to get there, all you’ve done is. Given disproportionate power to Russia and other coal generating areas.

[00:14:25] Cause that energy has to come from somewhere. And I think there’s there was a lack of planning and a lot of promising shutting down nuclear power plants of reducing the production without the plan. And so I think the next phase that I honestly hope to see from Thunberg and others are the planned part, not the, just the protest and stop this because the truth is when.

[00:14:46] Drastically increase energy prices overnight, and you create dependencies on governments such as Russia to give them disproportionate of power in the region. You hurt large swaths of humanity and indirectly directly hurt the environment. And protest, but have a plan. And I, I. The green movement can easily have that critique going back 30, 40 years of evolving.

[00:15:11] Hopefully it’s approach to the industry and how you get a path rather than a protest to to green energy. It’s complicated. When I see these types of things, it’s easy to celebrate. Yeah. Close it down. On the other side, like with regard to coal mining you’re not gonna solve this winter’s problem with gold taken from the ground right now.

[00:15:30] has to be processed, has to be pushed through. And so like how, how you’re planning this is also confusing to me. I don’t know a lot of thoughts I have. Yeah, George. I think that’s right. It’s interesting. I was actually recently talking from someone to talk to someone from Germany. And she was saying, By far and away the energy crisis.

[00:15:52] There is the most talked about issue and has been for well over a year now in central Europe. So it’s interesting to get a glimpse into that world. And I think similar in, in other countries, particularly the UK as well. Yeah, an interesting look across the pond into how these issues play out in the public sphere.

[00:16:15] All right. How about a feel good story? Yeah, what do we got? All right. This is from eight news, and it is reporting out of Las Vegas where a local nonprofit is celebrating helping black entrepreneurs on MLK Day. The organization is called Global SoCo, which is a nonprofit dedicated to helping black-owned businesses like the one mentioned in the article, get a boost.

[00:16:43] I think it’s really cool to see community organizations like this working to support black entrepreneurs and black community members. And I think really coincides with the legacy and desire of M L K to see the, that community work together. Real cool stuff. Shout out to them.

[00:17:01] Yeah, absolutely. Love the angle of entrepreneurship and actually helping folks. A leg up in the industry and a good excuse again to, to use m l k to evolve to the needs of the community and where we are in the world. So thanks Nick. I appreciate you giving the summary. Always. Thanks George.