Author Archives: danibanh

Group 2: Writing for Crowdfunding

Kasey and I seem to have a mutual affection for writing. The composition of language was something that seems to be a challenge we both enjoy. However we did not anticipate the difficulty we would have when writing for a crowdfunding campaign.

Kasey as well as myself had never been faced with the task of writing to garner donations. We had previously written about causes, and we had both previously had experience writing persuasively, but this assignment required a much different approach and skill set. Continue reading

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Blackfish Writes Sea World’s Obituary

Blakfish_quad_Web_400_300_85Blackfish since its release has drawn an immense amount of attention, thanks in large part, to its popularity amongst celebrities and inexorable social media presence. Blackfish follow the life of Tillikum, an orca that was involved with the death of three of his trainers, a consequence of his captivity. The documentary does a masterful job of detailing the dangers and inhumanity of whales in captivity–from their capture to their monotonous existence of being imprisoned in a pool. The whole narrative is set at an alarming pace, marked by a stark sense of doom and danger–the documentary reads more as a terrifying thriller movie. It is in equal parts entertaining, disturbing, and profoundly moving–in a word perfect documentary filmmaking.

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CARE for Syria

I have expressed before that I am interested in all things related to education reform. Whether it be public school reform in the United States, or making access to education available in the third world–I maintain that education is the biggest catalyst for positive social change. This is what lead me to discover CARE Organization.

CARE operates internationally in a variety of different projects that range from ameliorating social injustice, to providing on-the-ground relief and assistance in natural disasters. I was immediately impressed with their campaign to end child marriage, through providing girls with an education. This effort is a part of their Women Empowerment campaign that addresses a host of women’s issues; including ending violence against women, ending child marriage, and educating men on how to champion women’s’ causes in their communities. Although these efforts are extraordinary, I was also drawn to their humanitarian efforts in emergency situations. CARE expertly address three different levels of aid, first long term solutions addressing social injustice. Second immediate action for communities that are in a state of emergency. Lastly instilling a sense of strength and resilience in the communities they interact with, to better prepare for future hazards. Continue reading

What the World Needs Now

Nelson Mandela once said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” As rhetorically clichéd it is for me to begin this post with a quotation from a great mind, this sentiment seems to have been forgotten. Religious tensions, racism, sexism, repression, institutionalized oppression; essentially a myriad of varying social issues that stretch across the world wide social milieu are matters of misunderstanding. That is not to say that I trivialize these ongoing battles for equality as simple minded “misunderstandings”. Rather they are the groundxo_tablet-above-head level consequences of decades of politicized and systematically promoted inequality. This planet is the most populated it’s ever been, and the wealth disparity is at history’s most extreme. It is 2015 and astonishingly we are still dealing with the growing pains of social progress in rampant and deeply rooted social norms of discrimination and bigotry. Yet we still seem to look at the world around us and muster enough enthusiasm to congratulate ourselves for all of our “progress”. Perhaps, I am being overzealous in my criticisms of social change but that is only a sad and jaded result of my young and slightly underdeveloped observations. However I acknowledge the need for social reform, and the best way to begin is with education. Education is the catalyst for many life skills yet it is seldom recognized for its power to instil a sense of empathy and understanding. The initiative of One Laptop Per Child is an effort to provide a digital tablet to students in poverty stricken regions where compulsory primary education is unfortunately not a reality. The innovative tablet allows children to interact with their academic and personal interests in a current form of technology. It provides assistance with traditional schooling, while updating it to a more current interface and platform on the tablet. By providing educational experiences to children in need, we essentially democratize the foundation for social reform and progress. To ensure and promote international social equality in the future, we must start with primary education.

A vagabond who’s allergic to avocados…

My name is Danielle Banh, I am an art school drop out in the midst of a quarter life crisis with a dark sense of humor. I was born and raised in Southern California (a little beach town called Huntington Beach) so naturally I have an affinity for salt water, ironic excessive positivity, and fad diets. I have the obnoxious tendency to speak about myself in the third person—but Danielle’s friends find it to be an endearing quality. The first concert I ever attended was Cher’s farewell tour, and I have since had a strange and unyielding fascination with decades I will never see. Thus my professional and academic pursuits usually include anything that necessitates unhindered nostalgia, curiosity, and the acceptance of ambiguities that arise from attempting to understand our past. I find the Internet to be as terrifying as it is beautiful; I suppose sublime is the proper adjective for that. I have a particular fondness for vulgarity, and paradoxes. I consider moral absolutism to be utter bullshit, yet speak exclusively in hyperbolic phrases. I am (at this moment) appalled with the ease it took me to compose multiple phrases beginning with the word “I”. So to conclude, this has been an introduction as well as my own exercise in concision and restraint.

Amsterdam.