Category Archives: Book Review

Apolis = “Global Citizen”


Who knew this sophisticated and well-dressed corporation was lingering in the great city of Los Angeles? This Certified B Corporation has invited everyone to become a Global Citizen. “Living and breathing social enterprise that equips and empowers people through opportunity. Apolis is a pioneer in the socially responsible apparel industry and creates opportunity by forming unique manufacturing partnerships around the globe.”

Global CitizenshipThey “believe that the commonality between currencies, flags and languages is people. It is people who are the innovators, the advocates, and the revolutionaries. Apolis is a small group of social entrepreneurs who believe that the most valuable practice in creating lasting change is by investing in people.”

Their Model: “Apolis co-creates products with manufacturers and directly allows the market to determine the future of each item [they] produce. It is a hands-on model to provide people access to opportunity called “advocacy through industry.”

Advocacy Through IndustryTheir “model of “Advocacy Through Industry” is a revolutionary way to harness the power of business to create social change. This model is founded on the simple idea that people can live better lives when they are given equal access to the global marketplace.”

History“In 2004, brothers Raan and Shea Parton founded Apolis with a simple idea that business can create social change. Their travels abroad immersed them in personal stories of struggle and survival and inspired them to create a business model that bridges commerce and economic development. Along with their commitment to global advocacy, they also understand the importance of sourcing and manufacturing locally. Whether it means partnering with manufacturers in Uganda, Peru, Bangladesh, or around the corner in Los Angeles, the Partons have used their model of “advocacy through industry” to empower people to determine their own future.”

Shop Advocacy:

Bangladesh  Uganda  India  Peru  Honduras  and  Middle East



To learn more about Apolis, click here.

All content and graphics from Apolis Global.


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Women Hold Up Half the Sky

I’ve had this book on my list for such a long time, but I’ve been in countries with bookstores that don’t carry it for such a long time (copyright issues; I know I know Amazon…I’d rather support my local bookstore though….). Since I can’t read it, check out what others are saying about it:

“It’s impossible to exaggerate the importance of this book about one of the most serious problems of our time: the worldwide abuse and exploitation of women. In addition to describing the injustices, Kristof and WuDunn show how concerned individuals everywhere are working effectively to empower women and help them overcome adversity. Wonderfully written and vividly descriptive, Half the Sky can and should galvanize support for reform on all levels. Inspiring as it is shocking, this book demands to be read.”
Anne Rice

“I think it’s impossible to stand by and do nothing after reading Half the Sky. It does what we need most, it bears witness to the sheer cruelty that mankind can do to mankind.”
George Clooney

“I read Half the Sky in one sitting, staying up until 3 a.m. to do so. It is brilliant and inspirational, and I want to shout about it from the rooftops and mountains. It vividly illustrates how women have turned despair into prosperity and bravely nurtured hope to cultivate a bright future. The book ends with an especially compelling ‘What you can do’ to exhort us all to action.”
Greg Mortensonauthor, Three Cups of Tea

“Women facing poverty, oppression, and violence are usually viewed as victims. Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s Half the Sky shows that unimaginable challenges are often met with breathtaking bravery. These stories show us the power and resilience of women who would have every reason to give up but never do. They will be an inspiration for anyone who reads this book, and a model for those fighting for justice around the world. You will not want to put this book down.”
Angelina Jolie
(Quotes from cited from this website.)
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“52 to 26 and 26 to go.”

I just finished reading a monumental book entitled “Fast Living: How the Church Will End Extreme Poverty” by Scott C. Todd, PhD. Todd is one of the “chief architects” of 58:, a non-profit organization. 58: is an organization dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty by the year 2035.

The mission of 58: and Todd’s purpose for writing Fast Living, is to “move [readers] to expect that Christians, by God’s grace and power, will [sic] bring an end to extreme global poverty in the next twenty-five years.”*

So what is extreme global poverty exactly? $1.25–Todd attaches this monetary value to the term. Those who live in extreme global poverty have less than $1.25 to live on each day. In 1981, 52 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. Today, about 26 percent do (about 1.5 billion).

While this number may appear to be staggering, Todd optimistically notes that in just one generation, extreme poverty has already been cut in half. With all the resources and gifts that the current Christian Church has been blessed with, he challenges Christians to dare to do the possible–to finish the race against extreme poverty.

Todd argues, “there is a difference between working toward ending poverty and believing it is possible. And there is a difference between believing it is possible and expecting it to happen.” In other words, Christians should not be thinking about how to “manage” poverty; Christians should be thinking about how they will eliminate it. The Church is more than capable of eliminating extreme poverty; it just lacks the motivation to accomplish it.

So how do we become motivated to end extreme poverty? By fasting with more than just a purpose; by fasting to give. Todd calls Christians and non-Christians alike to fast from food, golf, shopping, coffee, or some other and donate what would have spent to help the poor. With just this small gesture (he goes into much more detail and justifications in the book so READ IT!), Todd believes that by the year 2035, extreme poverty will cease to be a reality and fade into the memory of the past. With just this small gesture, we CAN back our words with action, we CAN make the possible a reality, we CAN end extreme poverty.

Interested? Learn more about the book, the film, or the organization.

*All quotes taken from Fast Living: How the Church Will End Extreme Poverty by Scott C. Todd, PhD

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The Whistleblower

In 1998, Kathryn Bolkovac was just an ordinary cop living an ordinary life in Lincoln, Nebraska when she happened upon an ad stapled to the bulletin board at the police headquarters. Little did she know that this ad would change her life. It said: “International Police Task Force–Bosnia.” Less then a year later after signing with DynCorp (a United States based private military provider), Bolkovac was on a plane to Sarajevo to help bring humanitarian and judicial aid to the newly formed Bosnia and Herzegovina. She could not have imagined what awaited her upon her arrival. Teamed up with both the International Police Task Force (IPFP) and the United Nations (UN), Bolkovac passionately advocated for women’s human rights before ultimately being asked to join a UN project called “Effectively Addressing Violence Against Women.” Soon afterwards she discovered that women Continue reading

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The Transformation of an Exotic Dancer

Reading through the first few pages of the book, I was introduced to a whole new way of life. A lifestyle far from what I have ever been used to. Scars and Stilettos, written by Harmony Dust, offers an honest portrayal of a young girl lost in the exotic world of stripping and her transformation to a whole new life.

Harmony opens up her past and provides a heart wrenching book that draws you closer to her emotional struggle. Through a vivid description of her life in the sex industry, you are not only drawn to the unknown lifestyle but captivated by Harmony’s authentic conflicts; her battles with abandonment, exploitation, and sexual and emotional abuse. Harmony exposes the realities and constant battles within the industry, not the glamorous entertainment that Hollywood portrays.

Beginning in the early stages of her life, Harmony introduces us to the fundamentals of how it all started. At the young age of nineteen, she grazed the back rooms of clubs, working her way up and earning more money. She openly shares the toxic relationships that introduced her to this dark world and reveals the life she held while stripping. While most of the book provides deep details of her exotic lifestyle, it also introduces her transformation and how she escaped.

Continue reading

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