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tv   Quadriga - The International Talk Show  LINKTV  July 31, 2016 2:30pm-4:01pm PDT

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♪ ♪ ♪ hello, and welcome to quadriga, where our focus this week is on a series of attacks that have left people here in germany badly shaken. the attacks began with a teenager wielding an ax on a train, and ended with a suicide bombing on the terrace of a wine bar, four attacks in all. there appears to be no direct link between the incidents, but three of the four attackers had come to germany as refugees, and two professed allegiance to islamic state. that has left many germans asking whether the chancellor was mistaken, when a year ago
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she said, "we can do this" as the country took in hundreds of thousands of refugees. our question this week on quadriga, as terror comes to germany, is merkel to blame? we will address that with three people who have been following the situation very closely. it's a pleasure to welcome professor isabella heuser-collier, director of the department of psychiatry at berlin's leading research hospital, the charite, and she says merkel is not to blame for terror coming to germany, but is to blame for not convincingly explaining her solution. it's a pleasure to have alan posener on the show once again, the british german prominent -- commentator at "die welt." andays that dictatorsrs islamic terror are to blame for terrorism. finally, amir musawi of the iraqi tv station al-iraquia tv,
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the author of "bureaucracy of terror," in inside look at islamic state, and he says that merkel needs to be more honest about the fact that germany has to sinfully learn to live with the danger of international terrorism. welcome to all three of you. musawi, given the proximity in time of these thrhree attack, it is tempting to lump them together as a wave of terrorism, but how do you see it? has the country now in fact joined the ranks of your own country, iraq, egypt, turkey, france, belgium, and the u.s., to name just a few of the targets of i.s. terror? amamir: indeed. i think germany is now a target of the terrorists, especially of the so-called islamic state. when you read what they write in the homepage, what we saw from documents, they had a brigade, a german brigade inside i.s., also
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trying to recruit people, not only from europe, but middle east -- from the middle east to win to germany during this microwave, trying to attack merkel. they are really following was going on in the politics inside berlin, and of course they would like to see mass chaos in the countryry. for example, what happened in france, the last time of ththe t ack, it is the quality of attacking in a church. they try to put people against each other, using this mass of people from the middle east, the refugees. melinda: although three of the four attacks involve people who came to germany as refugees, one did not, and in fact that was the deadliest of the attack, namely a young man in munich who actually was propagating hatred against islam, prior to the
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attack, and apparently had sympathies with right-wing radicals. if you look at these four incidents as a whole, don't the differences s between them, the didistinctions, outweigh any parallels? has happened, the reasons for what happened are different, but in the end of the analysis, when we look at the countrtry here in germany, we se a lot of problems, social problems. whether it's immigrants, inside immigrant society, or outside. we see also, i'm looking for some answers about the capability of the security ininside germany. when far away from compared with briritain. germany is still new at how to face this international
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terrorism, and it's a lot of work to do. melinda: we will come back to the issue of solutions in a moment. let me ask you this, professor heuser-collier. if there is a link between all four incidents, couldn't we say it is mental illness? isabella: i don't think it is mental illness at all. mental illness is really, has a certain definition, which they don't actually meet. melinda: two of them were treated in psychiatric hospitals, one as an inpatient over a number of months, who had tried to commit suicide several times, the suicide bomber who -- isabella: yes. but a lot of people who are committing suicide, or threatening suicide, or arare depressed, are not in that sense mentally ill. that you could apply the mental illness to their deeds, what
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they're doing. they are responsible, because they know, even mentally ill people, there are only very few psychotic schizophrenics, maybe, who don't know what they are doing, actually, and w who cannt differentiate between good and bad, and we know we are not, or we should not, kill somebody. killinnocent people, people at random just to proclaim, to put some ideological foundation to our belief. that is wrong, and even mentally ill people, people who got a psychiatric diagnosis, know howw to differentiate between the two. hownda: alan posener,
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strong is the element of ideology in the attacks we saw here? if we take the three attacks that were perpetrated by people who had come as refugees. would you say they are ideologically driven, in the classic sense in which we think of it in terrorist incidents? alan: not in the classic sense. but they are corresponding to a certain tactic we see in many advanced societies. firstly, the self-radicalization via the internet. secondly, doing your own thing. homemade bombs, or in the case of nice, driving a truck into a crowd. we know this from israel. it's interesting, in israel, these self-radicalized became more a part of daily time as organized companym by hamas and has not been able to penetrate israeli security. on the one hand, it might feel difficult to sit next to someone
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who opens a koran and starts to read, does he have a knife on him and so on, which is what they want, and it's terrible, but on the other hand, the fact these are individuals points to the fact that the german security forces, as far as organized, classical terrorism is concerned, are doing quite a good job. i weda: amir musawi, seeing a certain shift in the nature of terrorism itself? as i said, it used to be seen as an ideological act, with a target that t have some e relatn to the cosanan question. charlie hebdo -- the cause in question. shelley hebdo, in france -- charlie hebdo, in france, which published d extreme the derogaty material about islam. these days, it seems to be more of gratuitous targeting of civilians with no connection whatsoever. amir: this is the point, for islamic state right now, in implement a new strategy on the ground. because they are losing ground. and theya, in mosul,
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are about to lose control of the territory y they got control ovr two years. and they still have the al-nusra front. they would like to say, we are losing ground, but we are still there, so they are sending people, inspiring people, and this is what the minister of i.s., he called every person sympathizing with i.s. to begin a self-operation, as he called it, saying, if you are e not abe to joinn us, do something in yor home. this is a new quality of the attack, of the danger, that the police cannot come inside the mind of these potential attackers and understand what's going g on in the next two orr
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three days. this is really something that we still do not know, a dark point. we still have a lot of research about that topic. melinda: the fact is, germany was long spared compared to many european countries, but ththis papast couple of weeks have shon that indeed germany is not immune, as amir musawi told us a moment ago. isabella heuser-collier, what is your impression with how people are coping? the aim of such attacks is clearly to instill fear. are people afraid? isabella: i think it is working, yes, in the sense that i.s. wants to install fear and chaos, by addressing not so stable, amybe -- maybe embittered, maybe these people who always feel they are the short side of life, by addressing them and asking
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them to do, in the country they are in, their self-operations. that installs fear, because everything politicians always tell us is that, you know, the security agencies are working, we are going to increase cyber security, and so forth, but that doesn't seem to be actualllly helping in getting these individuals, who are, yeah, these individuals -- how are we going to detect them? they are not mentally ill, in the sense that they are overtly, you know, that they will draw attention because they are acting crazy. no, they are, you know, sitting there. melinda: interestingly enough, after the first attack by the teenager wielding an axe,
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nearly two thirds of germans in paul's said they -- polls said they still felt the government was doing all it can to protect them. the question is whether that has likely changed with the further attacks that followed that one. we asked some people on the street in berlin h how they are feeling after this week of violence. >> i am not doing anything differently. but it does make me nervous. you feel a bit more suspicious. a bit anxious. >> there has always been terrorism. we just hear about it much faster, because of social media. i will still live the way i want to. >> i love liberty, and the country we have had since 1945, and i want to defend that. >> i feel really sorry for the refugees. belong,ant to sit, to
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to have a better life. i think it is stupid, to be so mistrustful. unfortunately, you do get a bit mistrustful. actually fairly common optimistic statements there, alan posener. would you say that is reflective of society as large? alan: it's why i love berlin. these are berliners, and it's all about the resilience of a big city, which we saw in new york after 9/11, which we saw in london after the attacks, which we have seen in paris. you know, it's obviously not the same thing, shall we say, in smaller towns, or in villages, where people are not used to this kind of situation, not used to dealing with foreigners on a daily basis, and don't know actually someone who looks different, who prays in a , is 99.9% of the time not a danger. this is why you have to love
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civilization, big-city civilization. but i am afraid, of course, that there is a groundswell of real anger among people, even in berlin, who feel they could be protected more. ququite frankly, i don't understand how somebody with an axe can get on board a train in bavaria, or these big words by bavarian politicians and somebody can get on board with an axe? you couldn't in israel. i don't understand how someone could come to a music festival without being controlled. melinda: in that case he was turned away by an enhanced police presence, then made his way to a wine bar. he did not get into the music festival. alan: good. all the better. these are small things we can do, that we have to do. i don't understand, really, how in munich, again in bavaria, one person could start shooting in a mcdonald's and the police said it was three people with long guns, when anybody who watched
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the videos could see it was one person with a shotgun, with a pistol. these are things that should not happen. melinda: i want to come to the bavarian politicians in a minute, but let's go to the federal politicians, because our title asks whether merkel is to blame. the chancellor has been on vacation. she has just interrupted it now, to hold a press conference, speak to t the public. fairly unusual. usually she keeps her vacations pretty holy. amir musawi, you listened to some of that. in youour opening statement, she said she needs to be much clearer about the fact germany must learn to live with this risk. were you satisfied with what you heard from her today? amir: not really. first of all, the timing, from my point of view, from the point she tookk the public, a long t time to react. is supposed to react after two days, or one day
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after the attacking. this is first. second, witith the, with the pot that she said today,, i thinknk some of this point is working already. melinda: she said that, in fact. amir: but the new elements, maybe three or four elements, come in, about c cyber attack. i think merkel, as a chancellor, we know her. after talkingtage to everyone, and she will be the last person putting on the stamp of her politics. whenn this situation, people have heard about what's going on, my daughter, going to kindergarten, they need answers. they are looking for someone, a leader, to put them more feeling of security. melinda: your statement said something similar, isabella
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heuser-collier. you said she needs to be much more direct, much clearer. did you hear the kind of thing she needed to say in this press conference, or was it too little, too late? isabella: i think it was a little too little, too late, yes. what i missed was actually that she first validated the fear, or m, feelingscoming, u of discontent with the whole situation that the germans seem to be having more and more. melinda: her initial words did address that. she didn't go far enough for you? isabella: she did not go far enough for me. you have to be a little more emotional. melinda: not her hallmark, of course. isabella: she's a politician, at the same time. i think she should have really validated those feelings a bit more.
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ae was just taking off laundry list of measures that she claims have been already implemented, months ago. and other measures that should be implemented. i don't know when they w will be implemented. but it was now, just in the last week, that all these things happened. so there's something really disconcerting, because, these things happen, although she said we have everything, everything is being taken care of, don't you worry. it's a bit, i think, paternalistic, or i should say maternal a stick -- maternalistic. melinda: germany's tabloid newspaper, which normally is not the first to praise the chancellor, said they thought it was quite correct of her, that she attended to project an air of calm by remaining on vacation and not creating alarmism. government officials who took
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quite a different approach were those from bavaria. let's listen to what they had to say this week. each attack, each act of terror, is one too many. islamist terrorism has arrived in germany. expecting rightfully that we boldly meet this challelenge. melinda: that was the state from your of bavaria -- premier of bavaria, who said terror has come to germany. he said that quite a few times this week. quite a different approach than the one we heard the chancellor take this morning with her very restrained caution. isn't he actually just inciting even more fear with those words? amir:, to be honest, i am sorry for the guy, because he's trying to attack merkel's politics
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without any attack or with a attack. months ago, he tried to bring this fear to the public about in politics of his partner politics, ms. merkel. merkel stillbout, has the ability to, to manage his statements. in the end, she is the winner. but in this time, we should prepare for the next election, in one year. and i think this kind of thing is to prepare the ground of his political ground in the public about the next election, and of course, he's afraid of the alternative of deutschland, the
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far right party that could gain more population in germany. that's why he is behavingng in this way. i will tell you, he will not succeed in this criticism, because merkel is still able to give answers. also, they are slight answers, but still they are answers, and the population still trusts merkel. melinda: alan:, the measures --alan posener, the measures the bavarians want range from stricter monitoring of refugees, quicker deportation of those who have offended, even if it means deportation into active war zones. deployment of military forces here within the country, if there is a risk of a terrorist incident. are any of those actually likely to significantly reduce the risk? alan: yes. i think they arere. i think all of them are,
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actually. they are all good ideas, andnd merkel, in a slightly watered-down version, presented within her laundry list monitoring conversations, especially monitoring what's going on on social media, and so on, some thing that is anathema to the german left, which just has to be done. as for the army, she also said that they would be maneuvers of police and the army together, which is interesting. nobody asked about that, but it was the main point, the main new point. my personal opinion would be, if we have to use the army, we should use it in your country and syria and so on, to fight isis at the source, and not here. but you know, i am sure that in a situation that we have a major terrorist attack, of course we have to use soldiers, as well as police, simply to control panic and so on. but i prefer to see, one thing that merkel did not say, and that seehofer is not saying,
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that without destroying isis, really destroying it, and resolving in syria, we will not stop these people coming to germany. amir: to be honest, i would not agree with you about that, because destroying an organization, you need ideology, you need answers. you need just -- you don't need just bombs and the army. of course it's very important, but you should have an idea, what's going on after i.s? that's s the big question in ir, because i.s. began to lose ground. i wonder, what goes on after that? in syria, if you take assad outside, what happens next? this is a question that we should answer with bombs and weapons against them in the battlefield, in mosul , manbij, in raqqaqa, in syria, but it the same time we should work with the concept of after. melinda: many of those who
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perpetrated incidents in france as well as here are homegrown terrorists. professor isabella heuser-collier, one thing that the chancellor did not mention was greater mental health support, yet we are told that a large proportion of the population of the refugees who came in last year suffer from serious trauma, need help, and as i said, a couple of the perpetrators here at least had been in psychiatric treatment. what do you think? should there be e greater suppot for mental health? isabella: well, there should bee great support for mental health, but i do think that germany has done so much, and is still doing, we know this at the charite, my department itself is doing mental health work for rerefugees herere in berlin. and not everybody whwho has been throughh this dangerous and life-threatening situations really then becomes a mental health patient. and not everybody who commits
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suicide, or threaten suicide, realally has a a mental health e . so you have to really be very cautious with using these words, and i think it has been done a lot. melinda: let me ask all of you to very briefly answer the question that we posed in our title. the chancellor was very clear in her press conference. she's not thinking about changing her open-door policy. do you think she should? has it been a mistake? one word. isabella: i think she needs to improve it. becausee is not able, the constitution, and i think if she would like to change the politics, i think she needs to change the constitution. alan: keep the door open. fight terrorists. melinda: thank you very much, to all of you, for being with us, and thanks to you all for tuning in. see you soon. ♪ ♪
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announcer: this is a production of china central television americica. walter: how w do you inspirere teens to volunteerer? the numbes araren't good. only a quartrterf americans age 16 and older are making time to volunteteer at leasast once a year, so volunteerism is at a record low in the united states. that's according to a 2014 u.s. bureau of labor statistics report. this week on "full frame," empowering the next generation of volunteers to make an impact worldwide. i'm mike walter coming to you from the heart of new york's times s squarere. les take it "full frame."
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she's a social entrepreneur, an author, and a philanthropist. nancy lublin's online marketing and social media prowess has empowered a new generation of doers. her first foray into the nonprofit world was the founding of dress for success. it gave disadvantaged women a helping hand by providing professional attire, but dress for success was much more than that. it promoted economic independence, networking, and career development tools to help thehem succeed. 15 yearars after its launch, dress for success is now in 19 countries, but more importantly, it has helped over 850,000 women work towards self-sufficiency. named one of the world's 50 greatest leaders by "fortune" magazine and one of schwab's social entrepreneurs of the year, she currently serves as ceo of, one of the
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world's largest organizations dedicated to young people and social change. do something boasts over 6 million online users with each committing themselves to impact their community's causes. she's not done yet. her latest venture is a first, and it's potentially a huge game-changer. it's a crisis text line providing a 24/7 support line for young people who may be grappling with emotional issues. growing rapidly since its creation in 2011, counselors currently receive 15 million texts each day. nancy joins us now to discuss the impact of the next generation of social activism. welcome to "full frame." i don't know how you have time to come to talk to us. you're--yeah, well, let's start--let's start--start there. you started 3 nonprofits. lublin: i apparently have an aversion to making money. i don't... walter: but i was going to say, they've all been successful. i mean, they've done well. um, what got you interested in this? i meanan, did your parents say, "we want you to grow up and be a philanthropist"? lublin: no. they all wanted me to be a lawyer. um, i--in the
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early seventies, if you were a girl with a lot of opinions, everybody sent you to law school, so i went to law school and hated it. it's not a place for entrepreneurs. it's the place where ideas go to die, and i'm an entrepreneur. i think you're--i think i was born this way. i think entrepreneurs are born. i'm not sure they're made. walter: well, dress for success, you started that with 5,000. i mean, i gave the introduction. you know its success. i mean, at the time you ststarted it, did you say, "ok, this is going to end up in, like, 19 countries, and then i'll move on to something else"? i mean, you couldn't have imagined that, i wouldn't think. lublin: no, i didn't--i don't think i imagined it was going to be that big, but i think i always knew i would leave, um, which is a little strange about me. most--most entrepreneurs build something, and they leave in a pine box or a stretcher, right? like, it's your one thing for life, but i--i truly am to my core an entrepreneur. i get bored really easily, um, and i--i'm constantly thinking of new ideas and--and things that should be started. walter:, i've heard you talk about this. um,
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it wasn't when you got there. it was in many respects. i mean, uh, listening to you talk about it almost sounded like it was a disaster. talk to us about why someone who's done very well for herself would want to go in and do something like this? lublin: um, i was 30, and i was getting headhunted for lots of jobs after dress for success, but i don't think anybody was really taking me seriously. i think people think entrepreneurs are crazy, and we are, but i--i think the assumption is that we're really good at vision and we're really good at the creation moment, but we're not great managers, and so i took something really messy, and i wanted to prove that, um, i could execute, and so i purposefully took something that was a disaster, um, and turned it around, so they just laid off 21 out of 22 people. um, there was $75,000 left in the bank, but they were $250,000 in debt. they had no office space. i mean, it was--it was as bad as it gets. walter: and you--you mentioned--i'veve--i've heardrdu
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say this. it was aimed at kids, but it went from, like, 3 to 40 or whatever. it was kind of crazy, wasn't it? lublin: plus parents and teachers, just everybody. so, um, yeah, we had to really focus on making something for someone, which is, i think, what makes companies for-profit or not-foror-profit great. just making something because you have the ability to make it doesn't mean that anyone's going to use it or that it's vavaluable to o someone, and soe really laser focused on teens. there was not an organization in the youth space that didn't require adult, and so our basic rules s at do something are we never require an adult, money, or a car, because that's not how most 16- and 17-year-olds live. walter: but most 16- and 17-year-olds live this w way. at least this is the persona that we give them as a society. they're on--they're texting, or they're playing videogames, and they're disinterested, and yet, you're engaging them. lublin: but texting and videogames does not mean disinterested. it means they're interested in what's coming to them in their pocket and in their phone.
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walter: but that's the--that's the perception of young people, and it's totally wrong, correct? lublin: totally wrong. totally wrong. they're super engaged. they're super engaged, and they're engaged--um, they're switched on to what's going on in the community. they're spending in different ways, so this is the generation that made toms shoes a multi-billion- dollar company. they really care about the planet. they care about social change, and so we're going where they are. we're going on their phones. so we have 3.7, i think, as of today, million members, and we should be 5 million members by the end of this year, and that's really because we're a mobile-first company. walter: but you're kind of turning things on its head in--in many respects, because i know a lot of people are like, "i've got a nonprofit. i'm going to figure out some way to get in front of bill gates, and i'm going to get a big giant paycheck, and life's going to be great," and your whole thing is kids. now, kids, they--they can't say, "nancy, i love this. here's the big check." that's not how it works. lublin: no, i mean, and by the way, if i did have 5 minutes in front of bill gates, he would leave without his wallet, so i would also be happy to have 5 minutes in front of bill gates.
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um, and we don't ever fundraise from young people. we probably could make a lot of money off of our members, but we want their time and their talent, not their treasure. so we're mostly funded by companies who want access to those young people. so we do great campaigns. we're doing a campaign right now to recycle torn and stained clothing, which would otherwise clog landfills, and we work with h&m, and you can drop your clothes off at h&m stores, and we will collect over 400,000 pounds of clothes in about 6 weeks. so it's--these are big-scale campaigns with over 100,000 kids participating. this is--this is big-scale stuff. this is not little bake sales. walter: well, no, it's mount everest. um, i mentioned to you that i--i read the book and was confused by it. talk to us about this "xyz factor," um, and just some of the things that you've learned from young people that are now embedded in here that i can't quite figure out. lublin: so they're different. they're different from us. um, i grew up with two kinds of peanut butter. there was skip,
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and there was jiffy, and i remember it was a big deal when there was crunchy and smooth, and now you have, um, you know, nut-free peanut butter, and you have sodium-free, and fat-free and, like, every--like, 30 different kinds of peanut butter in the store, and i remember having 3 channels on the television, and i had to physically get up and turn the channels, and now forget the thousand cable channels. they're not even watching tv, they're online. it's--it's a very different mindset, and we have found that that translates to workforce, also, that the workplace is different. um, so we wrote a book as a team called "xyz factor" because we keep winning awards of best place to work, and so we wrote a book that explains all our special sauce. walter: you know, the interesting thing is, i stopped listening to you when you said they don't watch tv anymore. it was a spear right through the heart, but we'll move on. maybe i should call your... lublin: online. online. walter: maybe i should text you on your crisis text line, um, which i want to talk to you about, because there's a funny side to you obviously, um, but there's a very serious side to you, because i've heard you talk about some of the texts
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that you've gotten, which are--are quite moving and--and terrible, uh, and what a resource, and what a grereat id. lublin: so we text a lot of kids, right? every week, we're texting them, and it has huge open rates. you open every text you get, and it skews hispanic and urban, so we're getting very diverse kids, and we have these--lots of people doing our campaigns, but this one side effect was, really, the only people you text are your family, your friends, and do something. we have this weird side effect where whenever we send out a text about the comeback clothes campaign with h&m or other campaigns, we will get back a couple dozen text messages having nothing to do with that campaign, but things like, "i'm being bullied, and i don't want to go to school," or "i'm cutting, and i can't stop," and the worst message we ever got wasas, um, probably too gruesome to talk about here, but it--it was an awful situation from a girl having to do with her father. walter: and--and--and abuse. lublin: yeah.
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walter: uh, and we'll just leave it there. and i've heard you talk about this, and obviously, you're very moved by it, but the shocking quality of gettining a text like that, it's--it's a cry for help in a way that you won't get with--with somebody getting on the phone, which you've actually talked about that, where--initially wasn't that the suggestion? call this line, and they don't want to do it. lublin: so when we got that particular message and--and all of the messages before, we would triage it and give people the hotline numbers, and with this girl, it was such a gruesome situation. we gave her the hotline number. we didn't hear back. the next day i said, "send her this hotline number again," and we've actually never heard back from her, and i--to this day, i don't know what happened to her, and, um, to tell us something so personal, so intimate, to strangers, to be that desperate for help, we realized we owed her more and the world owed her more, and so we set out to build a crisis text line, um, so that they could get help 24/7 by text. we spike every
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day during lunch because it's private. so you wouldn't call sitting at lunchtime at school, but you can text us. so you're sitting at a lunch table, and maybe your friends think you're texting someone at the next table. you're actually texting us. um, so it's--to them, text is incredibly private because there's no face to face, there's no sound. they spill their guts to us by the third message, and the kinds of things they're telling us, 30% of the messages, can you guess what our most popular issues are? walter: i have no idea. lublin: so i would have thought it would have been bullying, because it's--it's in the news media a lot. it's suicide and depression. so very--severity, i mean, real issues that they're telling us very quickly, and we're able to get them help very quickly, and because it's by text and we're a tech company basically, we've layered on an algorithm so that if you text in, "i want to die" or "i want to harm myself," that goes code orange, and you go to the top of the queue. so instead of waiting chronologically like when you call another customer service number or a hotline, we don't put you on hold if you're suicidal. we handle you right
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away. so the quality is good. walter: well, i was just going to say that, you know, this--this episode that you talked about and that she never cacame back and you don't know what happened to her, i--i know a lot of people who would be crushed by that and think about that all the time, and yet you turned it into action. lublin: i had to. i had to. walter: um, and it actually--it's a horrible thing that happened, but in many ways, it was a catalyst for something good. lublin: i hope she knows. i mean, i hope that she's seen an interview or read an article somewhere. first of all, i hope she's safe, and then i hope she's seen that she's actually saving lots of other people's lives. we're doing rescues twice a day. we have to send police or emt to a home to intervene in a suicide attempt. i mean, we're literally saving lives every day. walter: so you've seen each side. i mean, you've seen, uh, young kids who are--are willing to move mountains, and then you see them struggling. so what's your takeaway about the landscape out there? lublin: so i'm actually incredibly hopeful. i--i actually think this is a great generation and that these tools like social media, mobile,
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they're going to use for good. some of them will be used for evil or silliness. um, you know, it's lovely that they can get food delivered more quickly and that they can find, you know, hook ups more quickly thanks to tinder. that's fine, but i'm really excited about how these tools are being used for good, um, how facebook has just helped out in nepal, how crisis text line is helping people, um, with their mental health issues, how is pushing millions of kids to do more volunteerism, and they're hungry for it. um, i'm really hopeful. walter: what a pleasure talking to you. lublin: you, too. walter: and keep up the great work. lublin: thanks. walter: i think it's fantastic what you've done so far... lublin: thanks for having me. walter: and--and i'll keep my eye on you. i'm sure there's more great things to come. lublin: thanks. walter: we'll be back with more from new york city in just a moment.
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people choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. most say they simply want to do something good for others. that desire is embodied in our next 3 guests. eliana stanislawski is a campaign chair for the u.s. day of the girl movement. she works tirelessly for girls' human rights. in the process, she celebrates the unique and important contributions of girls. steven rosenthal is the executive director of cross-s-cultural solutionsns. te new york native founded the organization back in 1995. now he's an expert in international development and volunteerism, and riley gallagher knows all about his organization. this past summer, she was involved in their high school volunteer abroad program. she's committed to serving india's most vulnerable children, so much so, she considers the country her home away from home. eliana, steven, riley, welcome to "full frame." eliana: thank you. riley: thank you for having us. walter: steven, why don't i start with you? so you start this organization, and it was
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pretty small at the beginning. take us through the steps, and--and what was your vision, what was your goal when you first started? steven: well, i had visited a friend that was working in the peace corps in kenya just on a holiday, and i was lucky enough to volunteer with him, building a health dispensary in northern ghana--in northern, uh, ghana, and it was a terrific experience, and when i returned back from--from kenya to the united states, people said to me, "i w wish i could vontnteer. i wish that i could do what you did, but i don't have two years of my life to give." so that was the inspiration to start cross-cultural solutions, to give people an opportunity to have a really genuine volunteer experience in a short amount of time. we started in india almost 20 years ago today with one volunteer, and today we're in 9 countries throughout asia, africa, and latin america, and we send thousands of volunteers overseas each year. walter: when you started with that first volunteer, did you ever think you'd be where you are today? steven: no, when we started withth one volunteer, the--the dream was to maybe one day have
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a hundred voluntee g going too inindia. so to go from there to where we are in 20 years, it's bebe an amazining experience. walter: well, we'll talk to one of the volunteers in a moment, but, eliana, let me start with you. school girls unite. talk to me about how you started with that and how that's kind of evolved in terms of what you're doing now. eliana: for sure. so school girls unite is a club at my high school that i joined when i was a freshman. i was new. uh, it's a club that does two things. one, it raises money to sponsor the education of girls living in rural mali, and that's a program that's run by local malian women, and then the second thing it does is it teaches young american high schoolers about human rights and about international issues, and we go to lobby congress and the state department and other types of things because i'm from d.c., so that was an opportunity we had available to us. so we're... walter: what got you interested right off the bat, if i can ask? eliana: uh, i didn't know anybody at my school, and i
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knew the girl who ran that, and i'd always been interest--i always wanted to help people, that was just what i wanted to do, and that seemed really interesting, and then i ended up taking over the club a year later and running it for almost 3 years. walter: oh, my gosh. eliana: so--and it's a pretty small organization. that was one of t the biggest chapters of itit. walter: anand now you know some people at the school. eliana: yeah. walter: obviously. eliana: well, i've skyped with them a few times. they help me with french. walter: fantastic. riley, steven obviously influential in your life. i mean, you jumped right in indiaia. you see it your second home now. i mean, it must have been a life-changing experience. talk to us about your first foray into volununteerism. riley: s see, it was absolutely wonderful, and i've always really had a love for the world and different cultures, and i knew i wanted to volunteer in india because i'd had some experience in india before. i had gone about two years before i went with ccs, but i had an absolutely amazing experience with ccs, and, i mean, we worked with some amazing children in a rural, um, town village in india, and it was just absolutely amazing. working with these children and
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waking up every morning seeing the himalayas out your window, it was just surreal and breathtaking. walterer: so everybody goes wiwh a perception of how the experience is going to be. how did that s square with what really happened with you? riley: i mean, i've always-- walter: was it even better? riley: yeah, obviously. it was wonderful, and i think that you realize when you get there how beautiful the culture is and the people and their sense of community and family, and they're just so close, and the children themselves, working with the children was absolutely amazing, as well, and just seeing that these children were so like the children in the united states and being able to take back things that i learned from the children in india and using them and applying them here, like, their sense of family and community. we really need that more here, and that's something that cross-cultural solutionss really emphasizes. walter: steven, when you listen to her--and she's a great ambassador for you--i mean, it really does speak to why this is so important, because it's not just taking somebody over and helping them. they come back enriched, as well, don't they? steven: that's right, and, yeah, first of all, i couldn't be more proud to have great
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volunteers like riley, uh, and you're right. today, building bridges of understandiding acros cultures is morere important thn ever. you can see in the global challenges that we face that understanding people of other cultures is what really leads to world peace in the end, and so although our volunteers are helping and they're making a differencece in the country, thy also come back, and the change that they embody in terms of their change of perspective and the community around them that they then empower with knowledge of what's going on overseas is what really creates lasting change. walter: one of the things i like about your organization, though, is it's not, "ok, we really know everything here, and we're going to come over, and we're going to show you how to know everything." i mean, you don't come at it with that point of view. i mean, there's--there's engagement there, guidance there. there's ownership there on both sides, which is key, isn't it? i mean, that's huge. steven: that's righght. our philosophy is that local people are the experts, and so the solutions really need to come
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from within the community. so our volunteers are there to lend a helping hand to help in the ways that the local community has deemed as what they need done, and in the process, the volunteers learn, they share. it's really a two-way street. we--we volunteer in the spirit of partnership, not paternalism, and this kind of equal footing is what really builds substantial change. walter: the day of the girl movement, talk to usus about t t and--and kind of your evolution, how you kind of dive in, you're in the club, and then boom, boom, boom, it's--you kind of moved along on that path, haven't you? eliana: yeah. it does kind of seem like it all happened very quickly. so the day of the girl movement, we got the idea from girls who were doing it in canada. they were pushing to make this day an internationally recognized day focusing on girls' rights, uh, and so not just feminism, but the issues of young people, because young people are a group that's often discriminated against, a and i remember hearing the idea and thinking, "what's that going to do? it's not going to do anything." and they were like, "yes, it will, i promise." and
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so there were these older girls who used to be involved with schoolol girls unite who weree really p pushing for this, and then over time, they grew older, and then my generation of activists and volunteers grew older, and it becamee ththis--well, first internationally recognized, and thenen a couple of years ago, we also had presidentnt barack obaa declare it a day of action to focus on issues that are directly affecting girls in our communities, and, you know, there's so much devaluation of femin--feminin--femininity and girls in our communities at home and abroad, and so it's a really good opportunity to take action to change that. walter: but you know what's interesting is--i think you really hit on something. "this isn't going to do anything," and yet it does, and i think a lot of times people feel like they can't take that first step. eliana: absolutely. walter: that it's really not going to... eliana: mm-hmm. walter: so i want all 3 of you to talk about that, because i think that's a--it's a great message for our viewers that, you know, we all kind of get--we sit there and we just--"god, the world is so
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messed up, and what can i do?" eliana: yeah. walter: and, you know, i think you're all a testament to you really can make an impact. so let's start with you. eliana: yeah, i can definitely attest to that because we wanted to view this as an opportunity to make activism and volunteerism accessible to young girls because they're told that they can't do these things, and we want them to know that they can, and so all of our projects are about providing girls with opportunities and tools to make sustainable and tangible change in their communities. so it started with a proclamation project where we were encouraging girls to contact their local governments and have a county proclamation for day of the girl, and in that process, "oh, my gosh, i can make this happen. i know how to work with my government. i know how to change a law. i know how to, you know, make something really big happen in my community." we have tool kits that we've written about how to plan different events, how to do different actions like lobbying governments, planning, fundraisers and benefit concerts. we have--we just released, um, a tool kit this year all about having meaningful and healthy conversations about gender justice with different types of people and how to have--how to
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have those be respectful and useful and healthy, and so what we try to do is use the day to provide girls with the opportunity to explore all these different ways that they can be really involved, and, i mean, it's 100% youth-led. if it's--they look at us, and they say, "oh, wow, the oldest person involved with this is, like, 20 and 21. why can't i do that?" and the answer is there's absolutely no reason why you can't do that, and, yeah, that's all i have to say. walter: wewell, steven, just listening to the two women on the side of you--girls, i should say--it's got to be encouraging for you. i mean, because it does--it make--you can make a huge difference. you can make a dent. steven: yeah, that's true, and it is inspiring to see young people out there making such a difference, and--and it--it's amazing. it can seem like it's very difficult t to make a difference, but when it really comes down to it, you could go on the internet right now, register for a program like ours, and pick where you want to go, how long you want to stay, what you want to do, a
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our luluntee makake real difference. eyey're w worng basically inwowo priry a are, child develoenent aneducucatn and teteracyand ththugh thth, they' s servi, ththeyrere learngng, anthey're m making the world a better place. walter: yeah. riley, you're--you're--you've taken that step, and you can't wait to go back, right? riley: yeah, definitely. i mean, from ccs, i learned, i mean, oftentimes people think that their impact will only be a nominal one, but you realize that even if you're just teaching a child some basic english or their shapes or colors or just teaching them a little bit about how to read, you see that there's an impact that's within these children, and you can see it, and it just happens before you, and it's something that's so moving and so amazing to see, and also, they change you, and the thing about cross-cultural solutionsns is it's not only a cultural immersion, 's cultltur exchange, becae e we'rere ging them setethingbut t th' also givinusus somhingng bk, and weanan feethat, anyouu can see atat, anthatat's somethg g thatou g geto wakeke up to evy y day en y yo'rere with ccs. walter: and u u and had d a chance to chat briefly about
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this before we started the program. home is a key component. coming home, getting reintroduced to your society after being engaged there, people don't think about that, but that's a key part of it, isn't it? steven: that's right. coming home is--is an unexpected challenge for a lot of people. people prepare for culture shock going abroad, but coming home, there's also certain difficulties associated with thatat. at----at cross-cultural solutions, what we like to do is empower people to take what they've learned overseas and bring the world back home with them, to spread what they've learned to friends, families, people around them, take what they've learned and figure out a way to move change forward in your life and be the change that you want to s see in the woworld. so we feel like the--te experience and the opportunity to change doesn't end when you leave, it's just beginning when you come home. walter: you know, eliana, be the change, you're obviously that, but she also used the word--it's a key word--"impact." when you look at the landscape, what--what kind of impact do
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you feel like you've h had with ththis--this drive for----for girls, because, as you said, you know, in other places in the world, you know, they're up against it in many respects? eliana: well, the day of the girl movement is a global movement. i'm only in charge of the united states branch of that movement. globally, it's had a huge impact. you hear about, you know--i mean, it's a united nations official holiday. so unicef, u.n. women, all these huge organizations were organizing these enormous initiatives having to do with international development, um, so that's--i mean, in terms of a global impact, it's definitely on people's radars on an internrnational level. i mean, michelle obama was tweeting about it and talking abouit with people, d,d, you knowwe have lalala ysafzfzai lkining out ititn the news. soso globay, it's definilyly heightening people's awawaress. walter: llll, w'lleave i i there becae i'm spired a motivad just tking tthe 3 of youthanks smuch f comi in. it's beenreat. iana: thk you. riley: tha you. lter: ally appreate it. as o p panel jt showeds, ere e armany unie e vonteer oppounitieavailablto young ople, exriencethat
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empower em to ma an impa on les arounthe worl but thimportance ofinding me to vunteer ia leard value, lesson 're responsisie for paing on t the ne generatioof voluntrs. "fl frame" contritor sand hughes cently jned a oup of milies oa day-ng excursn with thavery goa mind. hughes: the journey begins before sunrise. it's a short trip from los angeles across the mexican border, but for those on this bus who lead comfortable lives in southern california, it's worlds away. >> all right. [indistinct chatter] [woman speaking spanish] hughes: the tired travelers unpack and carry their supplies
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to their destination, casa hogar sionon, an orphanage for about 80 children. corazon de vida, or heart of life, is the organization that sponsors the monthly trips to 12 different orphanages in baja, mexico. carmen escobeldo and her 3 children have madede this trip many times before. carmen: we have everything. you know, we're very blessed with our businessss and our home and material stuff, and i wanted to experience something different. angelica: i was so excited to come. like, i love kids, and i just--like, i realized the first time, like, after i came home from one of these trips, i was, like, sitting alone, thinking, "wow, like, i need--i don't feel alive when i'm not, you know, serving in some way." so i just--i'm hungry for more always, and i'm so glad that she, you know, brought us along. hughes: carmen's youngest son, christopher, was only 14 when he first came to an orphanage with his mom.
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christopher: it's kind of nice to see someone that i look up to like my mom be able to just take the time and really make a change, and it's something that definitely inspired me to--in whatat i want to do as a career, because i wanted to go into environmental sciences, but after experiencing this aspect of--of service, i--i've kinind f changed my direction into environmental justice and activism. man: michelle. hughes: volunteering side by side, parents aren't lecturing their children. they're teaching by example how to give of themselves. susan: i want them to know that regardless of how busy you are, you can give. hughes: on this day trip to tijuana, mexico, there are many families, moms and kids, dads and daughters, and most have been here before. susan leclair has brought both her sons. this trip, 15-year-old chris was
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with her. chris: my mom is a very busy person, so to put aside, like, her work, her family, and her own personal needs, to come down here and, like, give something back, it--it--it's a powerful message, really. it teaches me, like, i need to give back, as well. pacheco-taylor: the main thing with our bus trips is to have people connect with the kids. now, when you have an orphanage of 80 kids, and you only have a few staff members, the kids do not get a whole lot of one-on-one attention, so we always tell our volunteers, "your main role today is to connect with the kids and to play with them, to do arts and crafts, to do games, to really have that interaction." hughes: the interest in meaningful family trips has grown well beyond u.s. border countries like mexico and extends worldwide. it's called voluntourism, mixing pleasure with the passion to help.
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a quick internet search, and you can find opportunities in just about every country of the world, working on disaster relief and conservation projects, taking mission trips in africa, central america, and nepal, enjoy the world, and do good deeds with trips designed spspecifically for familieies. pacheco-taylor: so the beautiful thing about volunteering and h having the opportunity to do, you know, what we're doing with bringing people down to--um, to the orphanage is--you know, usually, people find us on the internet. they get to a point in life where they think, "ok, i--i need to do something outside of my daily, you know, routine. i need to volunteer my work, my time some place." hughes: and according to hilda pacheco-taylor, at that point in their lives, if they have children, it can make for a meaningful family trip. pacheco-taylor: i think what they get is an amazing sense of, you know, connectedness with their parents when they're both helping together. they're
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both looking at this child that needs help, at this child that's abandoned. hughes: a lesson in love that will hopefully last a lifetime. for "full frame," this is sandra hughes in tijuana, mexico. walter: coming up next, a look at the culture of volunteerism in asia. we'll be right back. since 2001, when the united nations designated an internationanal year o of volunteeeers, publicic perceptin of volunteerining in china has evevold, especiaially among youg people. in the past decade, millions have volunteered during key national events in china. that's helped to bring increased awareness and attention to social services and the country's development goals. joining us now to
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discuss the state of vovolunteerism i in china and wt the next generation may bring is dr. yawei liu. he is the director of the china program at the carter center and the associate direrector of the e ca resesearch center in a atlanta, georgia. he's also an adjunct professor of political science at emory u universitity. welcomo "full frame," dr. liu. liu: it's great to be here. walter: let me take a step back to 2001. whahat were somome of e events that ococcurred then, and--and did that really get, basically, a jump--jump-start the whole volunteerism kick there in chinana, do you think? liu: yeah, obviously, that's the year of 9/11, and the united nations knocked on the door and said, "you know, we want to make this year the year of international volunteerism," and the party leaders said, "great. you know, bring it in," and the one of the most famous ladies of china, the iron lady, wu yi, vice premier, cheered the whole effort. so that put volunteerism on the map in china, so to speak, and all the party and state agencies and department, you know, joined the
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chorus, and--and the whole country was mobilized to make this a part of a new china, so to speak. walter: and the u.n. tracks this sort of t thing, and--and they kind of feel that 2008 was kind of a seminal year f for china for two reasons, tragedy and triumph. i mean, this horrendous earthquake that really shook the nation, 70,000 people died, and then the triumph piece of it, the--the olympics coming to beijing. let's take a look at the earthquake first. what did you see happen when it came to thehe government a and to the people after that traragedy? liu: well, obviously, china had a bigger tragedy back in 1976. in 1976, when the earthquake happened, china actually denied all international help, and, of course, chinese people themselves were not able to rush to the zone of--of disaster, whereas when the earthquake in sichuan happened in 2008, you know, this is the age of the internet, so the
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news spread wide and far, and many chinese, you know, they were different from when they were back in 1976. you know, they--they had more resources at theheir fingertips, and t the are more non-governmental organizations. they all wanted to rush in to help, and, of course, because of the lack of coordination, we had more than the government could handle at the time, so--but quickly the government responded, and there was much better and more efficient coordination of the volunteers, and i think the government learned a tremendous lesson, that the society actually can deliver a lot more to where services are needed. walter: and so months later in august, you--you have the olympics. did they harness some of that? i mean, did you see a lot of volunteers at that time, too? liu: no, i think the olympic games was different, becauause olympic games you had the assistance and help for the international olympic games. you know, the chinese send their officials all over the world to the cities where
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olympic games were held. so that was a much more sophisticated process in terms of recruiting, and i think they had more than they really needed. my daughter also wanted to volunteer, and she filed an application online, wanted to go back to china, but she was never able to hear from the committee. walter: heh heh heh! so she missed out on that volunteering opportunity, but a l lot of the young people tooook advantage of it, didn't they? liu: yeah, i think, you know, college students and junior government officials, even higih school students, you know, they took advantage, and according to the u.n. report, you know, 1.7 million volunteers, and if you calculate their volunteer hours, it could be translated to several hundred million u.s. dollars. that's--so, that's a lot the government was able to save. walter: that is a lot. let me ask you about young people and--and what they're eager to volunteer for in china today, do you think? liu: i think the youngng people, it depends on whwhich group of
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young people, whether you're referring to the young people like the high school, where i think they are just way too busy. the study load is way too high for them really to think about seriously volunteering. if you refer to the young people in the universities and colleges, you know, they--they want to be involved. they want to be involved in social services. they want to be involved in terms of going to the countryside. they particularly want to look at migrants in the cities where they don't have equal access to education, to healthcare. you know, they were involved in terms of setting up schools for them, setting up of legal aid centers for them, and many of them, of course, wanted to even go out of china to african countries and other developing countries to volunteer their services. walter: so stepping back to 2008, do you think those--those two critical evevents were building blocks to--for what--where we are not in terms of volunteererism in cnana?
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liu: not really. i think china--because, you know, i--when i was growing up, there was this famous soldier by the name of lei feng. you know, lei feng is about volunteerism, and in 1963, mao zedong and all the other state leaders called the whole country to learn from him. so i wouldn't say 2008 put the building blocks. you know, i mean it was--it was there. it was dormant because of the reform, because of the introduction of the market economy, so people tended to focus more on taking care of themselves, and--so 2008 was a turning point only because, you know, these two events, as you mentioned, one very tragic one, and the other a victorious glorious one, that really, you know, sort of woke up that dormant spirit and--and made people think that, you know, "i probably have more to offer
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to--to the country and to the society." walter: you talked about the government. the government, of course, came out with the china'a's twelfth, this 5-yearar plan in 2011. what were some of the goals elucidated in the plan? liu: well, the plan itself, you know, the twtwelfth, which means--you know, it started a long time ago. it was really a--a soviet legacy of state economic planning every 5 years. what made the twelfth--fifth--5-year plan different from the previous ones was because this is the first one that declared to the whole nation. you know, the plan is not just about gdp. it's not just about economic growth. it is also about creating a more harmonious society. it is about reduction of poverty. it is about making rural residence and urban dwellers more equitable, and that actually has created more
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channels for the society force to be involved, and, of course, you know, volunteerism is a big part of that societal force. walter: can you talk to me about corporate social responsibility initiatives there in china? what are you seeing on that front? liu: i think corporate social responsibility is something that was introduced in china firstly by international corporations like microsoft, like bare, like exxon, and, you know, they're in china, they're doing business, they understand fromom their corporate history, in order for the companies to sustain their development, in order for their product to be popular among any country's people, you have to engage the community at large, and the chinese corporations have learned, and both in china and outside china, the big state enterprises, as well as more private, but also multinationals like huawei and zte, they have
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now all engaged in corporate social responsibility activities. they're engaging the community. they're involved in education, you know, involved in art education. they're involved in poverty reduction, and they have done a good job, and--and i think this is a big part of the internationalization that china is going through. walter: you know, when you look at corporations, they can mobilize so many people and--and point them in--in directions and really make an impact, but we've also seen a dramatic impact t through the ages from grassroots, smaller organizations. are we seeing mumuch of an impact t there? are you seeing that startiting to mobilize, as well, in china? liu: i i think they are growing, and according to the--to the u.n. report, you know, there are multimillion ngos in china. there are also 4 million--i--i think they're talking about 20 to 40 million registered, you know, at different levels, and also 4 million ngos at the
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grassroots level that were never able to register or chose not to register. so they're all there. the--the issue here is how do you make them more engaged? how do you monitor them? how do you create standards that all these ngos will have to apply to their activities and--and programming, but more importantly, how they're going to be protected, and--and how they can easily, in a very public and transparent way, to register with the government and then after the registration to operate independently? walter: you're kind of sitting on the sideline. you have a nice view from where you are. if you were to recommend sosome changes to realllly enhance volunteerism in china, whwhat might t they b? liu: i--i think, first of all, you need to have a law for--for the ngo, how do you register, how you're going to raise your money, how you're going to file with--with the government. you know, it--it--it is like here
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in the--in the u.s., you know, you can have a nonprofit, and basically the internal revenue service is the one that monitors activities of the nonprofit. in china, you don't have such a mechanism, and all the government and party departments and agencies are involved. when--when you have all of them involved, you don't have anybody involved, and--and therefore, there is no centralized guidance on--on this issue. so the national people's congress will have to be quick in promulgating a law so that there will be both regulation and protection, and then the government can always, you know, sort of on the front, but at the same time, give the ngos enough room to move around. walter: dr. liu, thanks so much for joining us from atlanta. it's been great talking to you. liu: it's my pleasure. thank you. walter: when we come back, how one teen's dream to battle discrimination is finding a
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global plalatform. 16-year old ziad ahmed is a bangladeshi-american muslim living in princeton, new jersey. shortly after the september 11, 2001 terror attacks in the u.s., he saw firsthand the misconceptions and prejudice people had about islam. ziad saw a need to speak out, to have a voice not just for himself but for others who felt alone in defending who they are and where they come from. two years ago, he started a website called redefy. it's an online place for young people to share their stories in order to help others defy stereotypes and embrace acceptance. his work is so renowned, he was recognized by the white house. in fact, his efforts earned him a seat at president barack obama's dinner
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table this past summer. he's here to share e more about his journey. pretty incredible journey, i might say, too. ahmed: thank you. walter: welcome to "full frame." ahmed: thank you for having me. walter: so tell me about starting this. what--what was the deciding factor that you felt like you had to do something? ahmed: so i don't think there's any one moment or thing that made me--that prompted me to start redefy, but it was my entire life experiences coming together, realizing that i had to be part of starting and initiating a positive change in this world. that really prompted me to start redefy. so the summer before my freshman year, um, in 2013, i said to myself, "looook, there's this community need." i see so manyny of my friends, so mamany people in t this world being ostracaci, excluded, marginalized because of who they are, where t they come from, and people are just dedefenseless, and--and i've never had a problem speaking up for r myself and defendingng my faith h and my ethnicity and my attributes, but there are so many people who don't have that same confidence. so i thought to myself, how can i better the
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situation? what can i do to make this better? so i went about creating redefy, because even me, myself, like, there were so many m misconceptionss that i held, and even--even as i go through this journey, i learn so much more about the diversity that exists in our world, um, and i wanted to create a platform by which teenagers could really become educated about these issues and engaged in them. so i started this website and reached out to some of my friends to really start this movement, and--and i've been very fortunate to see it b blossom from there.e. walter: ok, but you're a teenager. most teenagers are thinking about going out on a date or perhaps getting a better locker, so, i mean,n, was this a hard sell with other teenagers? like, "why, man? why do we want get all involved in this?" or--or did you find that you had a receptive audience? ahmed: i mean, i'm fortunate to live in princeton, new jersey, and be surrounded by an incredible group of young people and adults, obviously, at princeton university, that are really engaged in issues that are most pertinent to our society. so in that way, i definitely had friends and people who are supporting me from the--from the get-go.
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however, my--my biggest obstacle con--my biggest obstacle in my work continues to be trying to convince teenagers that we can have efficacy despite our age, and--and one message that i want every person who hears me speak to--to really fully understand and comprehend is that our age does not limit our activism and that our voices, despite all else, can be heard, and--and--and if anything, they're heard more because of our age, because we're more vulnerable, because we're more innocentnt, because we know what is happening now. it's real. these issues affect us, and i think that as i do things, like go on cctv, and i--and i inincrease m my visibility, andi use my voice to advocate for justice, people are listening, and more and more teenagers are willing to be involveded because they see firsthandnd with me as anan example that, "he y you knw what? teenagers can make a difference, they are making a difffference, , and we want to e part of this." walter: september 11th, a terrible tragedy here in the united states, and yet we saw so many good things come of it, where people lined up to give blood, and--and that--that--that was early on,
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but then we saw the ugly side of it, which obviously got you interested in doing what you're doing. what happened after that terrorist attack that you started to see in terms of discrimination or just prejudice, people saying things or doing things that really kind of galvanized your interest in doing what you're doing today? ahmed: i mean, i--i--i want to make clear first of all that i'm not justst inspired to do thisis work because of anti-muslim bigotry. bigotry of all forms, like, deeply, deeply, deeply hururts my heart everery time i see it. there are just so many people being discriminated against in this world for thingsgs that they can't control, and--and thatat s why i do this work, not just because of anti-muslim bigotry, but certainly, after 9/11 and in a world where anti--anti-muslim bigotry is so rampant and so normalized. it's a huge issue, and i deal with it every single day of my life, whether it be after an article is written about me, and in the comments there are just disgusting things, saying about how i'm just going go back to isis the next day and
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how my work k doesn't hahave validity because of my faith and that it's a front forr anti-semitism and just gross things because people aren't even willing to click on the links. they just see the word "muslim" and catategorized that with gross thoughts because of the way the media has misconstrued my faith. it's something that i deal with every day and something that i am working towards to defeat, because we cannot continue to paint a people with one brush, whether it'd be muslims, whether it'd be the lgbtq-plus community, whether it'd be any community. we are more than the labels that society y gives us, anand i will keep saying it untl the day i die. walter: what about social engagement, social justice engagemement with teenagers? u , you--i--i was looking at your website. you got a lot of people involved in this, from your school and elsewhere, around the world, in fact. um, talk to me a about the ripple effects. once you started to crcreate this, whehen did you ut to see other teens say, "hey, this connects with me," and identifying with what you were after? ahmed: so, i i think that--originally, it was just
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me and 4 o of my friends, , but en i really saw a lot of people being interested in the wo and being like, "ziad, how can i hehelp? how can i get involved in promoting acceptance and promoting diversity?" and so we created a school representatives t team, and after we did that, we saw people all over the world, a lot of my friends that i've made through summer programs and things of that sort, reaching out and being like, "i want to be a part of this. i want to be a part of this movement. i want to be a part of the solution," and since then and since we've had more ofof a media presesence and as e grow in visibility, now we get applications on--for our team from all over the world from people who have just heard about us through the internet or people who just see one of our tweets that's been retweeted or things like that, and i think social media and the internet has been instrumental in allowing us to amplify our message, because what we can dodo is we can say--we e blish qualality content, we allow for anyone to publish stories, we--we publish--we--we post on social media. we do all these things that can reach a really huge audience. we have almost 2,000 likes on facebook, over 30,000 hits on our website, and we're
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growing every single day, and that allows us to engagage peope from all over the world and really target to the youth because that's who we're trying to engage. walter: so if--if somebody's never gone to your website, what kind of stories are they going to read? what--what are some of the things that they're going to see there? ahmed: well, we hope to be a place where on our website you can see the whole gamut of diversity that exists, and we're trying to get there as we grow a more diverse and more complete team and a more international team, but you'll see stories of people trying to rec--trying to reconcile where they live, with their school, and how people--and their perception to people's faith, and ststories of peoplple sayin, "why do you wear that hijab? what does that mean? y you're a teterrorist," peopople saying, u don'n't belong herere," people saying, "you're not--you're smart for a black k kid or "you don't belong in honors classes because of your race." just--and really m moving stories, reaeally raw, intimimae ststories of teenagers, youth dealing with these issues and having to deal with ththings tht are just completely unfair, people just saying t these uneducated, misinformed, ignorant statements, not necessarily out of malice, but
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just out of severe mis--miseducation. we have a lack of education in----in this country and in this world about minonorities, about hehearing narratives that arare different from our own, and what redefy hopes to be is a platform by which we can educate ourselves about narratives that we would otherwisise be unfnfamiliar wit, uneducated about, and that where i think--that's where i think the power lies. walter: let me ask you about hehere in the united statates, because i think--this will connect with you. i mean, if--if you're here in the u.s. and you want to watch news and you have a certain bias. uh, let's say, i--i tend to go to the right. i'm going to watch fox news because it's basically a mirror. everything that i believe is going to be sent back to me. perhaps i'm on the left, and i watch msnbc and everything--so how do you--you're obviously going to connect with the people that you want to connect with who are like-minded. how do you move over and get the people that really need to get on board and start seeing the world in a different way? ahmed: absolutely, absolutely. so one of the things that i did, because i--i saw that issue from the get-go, is, we--so we recently
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restructured, um, because before it was what you're saying, "you're interested in social justice, come work with us, come see what we have to offer." but now, under our new restructuring, we have a programming team. we have a journalism team. we have an advocacy team. we have all these different teams, so it's like, "hey, you're really interested in prograramming. you can code in c++. come and join our team and be educated through that process." "you're really into writing. you like journalism. come join our team and you could be educated through that process." so what we're trying to do is use people's existing interests and have that intersect with our mission and have people become educated and aware about our work in that way, and hopefully that prompts them to be part of this larger solution. walter: i had the great fortune to meet your mom, who's sitting righght over there, um, whwho is just basically on fumes trying to keep p with you. you're going a hundred miles an houour, but i get the sense that your parents helped shape who you are today. ahmed: absolutely, absolutely. walter: how so? ahmed: i i would not be half the person i am without t my parent. i think that my upbringiging has been the--the key foundation to
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my activism. my parents from--from--from my birth have--have told me that it's my duty to give back to humanity. they took me to bangladesh, and i saw poverty firsthand. they didn't shut off the news. they allowed me to watch the news. they wanted me to be informed about the state of our reaealit, and because of that--because of the exposure that they gave me, the--the tools that they empowered me with, i knew that this--that this world had so many injustices anand that it ws my duty to be part of the solution, that i had to fight for humanity, that i couldn't be complacent in this--in this injustice, thahat as a human being, as part of humanity, it's our responsibility to better it. we can't just sit here a and be lilike, "that's somebody else's job." it's our collective responsibility. we look at syria, we look at the syrian refugee crisis, it's not syria's problem, it's not europe's problem, it's our problem, and my parents inspired that within me because they showed me that we are one people first, and that's whatat we have to rally behind. w wha's most important to all of us is creating a world where a
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safe--where our children can be safe, where our children could be accepted, but the only way that's possible is if we all rally bebehind that same idea. f we all recognize that all of our children deserve to be safe anand accepted, they w will be, because we value each other as human beings, because we stand up for what's right, and because we stand together as humanity. walter: well, we will leave it there. thanks so much for coming on and talking to us. ahmed: thank you so much for having me. walter: and that's it for this week. join the conversation with us on social media. we are "cctv america" on twitter, facebook, and youtube, and now, you can watch "full frame" on our new mobile app, available worldwide on any smartphone for free. get the latest news headlines and connect to us on facebook, twitter, youtube, and weibo. search "cctv america" on your app store to download today. all of our interviews can still be found online at, and let us know what you'd lilike us to tae "full frame" next. simply email us at until then, i'm mike walter in
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new york city, and we'll see you next time. g a:otx1y1y1dd
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and this week, it's oneness: the big picture, you know, where we arere all coming from and where we are all going to, in other words, the grand theory that ties together everything... perhaps. so let's now explore oneness: the big picture with philosopher deepak chopra and author riane eisler. warning: this program may change your life. [ambient instrumental music] ♪ - i'm heading north from san francisco on my way to meet a unique group of scientists, futurists, philosophers, and mystics


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