The excitement at Asia Initiatives is palpable as board members, interns, and volunteers make the final push in preparation for our annual fundraiser, Monday, October 14, 2013. The event will be held at the Starrett Lehigh Building, 601 West 26th Street, New York, and there are numerous reasons why you should attend.
M. S. Swaminathan, Indian geneticist renowned for his leading role in India’s Green Revolution and hailed by Time Magazine as one of the 20 most influential Asians of the twentieth century, is flying in from India to be with us. Asia Initiatives will award the M. S. Swaminathan Award for Lifelong Commitment to Social Justice, in his honor, to Jeffrey Sachs, American economist and director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University for his work on the challenges of economic development, environmental sustainability, and poverty alleviation.
Asia Initiatives will also honor Kathy Sreedhar for championing social justice in India for five decades and Dan Morrison for his work as a young social innovator.
You also won’t want to miss bidding on exciting auction prizes—from eye-catching jewelry by Roni Blanshay to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for lunch with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The opportunities are endless. The well-known comedian from Pakistan, Saad Haroon will be our MC, and dinner will be served by Devi restaurant NYC. Other highlights include Indian classical dance performance and live music.
Our goal this year, as always, is to “help a woman rise”. We will also introduce a new and innovative approach that we have been developing for poverty alleviation and opportunity for all, titled Social Capital Credits (SoCCs).
SoCCs addresses the misconception that slum dwellers are poor. Admittedly, money is in short supply among vast segments of the population. That makes them poor according to conventional ways of measuring wealth. But what if we were to turn this thinking on its head and consider nonconventional measures? Underserved communities turn out to be wealthy in something called community capital, which they can potentially exchange among themselves daily in the form of obligations and favors. Community capital creates tremendous value for residents but has not been recognized by any market. We are hoping to change that. And on October 14th, we will tell you more about a novel concept Social Capital Credits (SoCCs) using which we hope to tap into the community capital to empower communities helping them rise out of poverty.
That’s the tip of the iceberg. Mark your calendars for Monday, October 14, to learn more and get involved. Information and tickets at: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/7148153319