Runaway Spoon

Chelsea Clinton and Michelle Nunn Join Forces

May 24, 2017

With federal budget cuts looming for international and domestic aid to the poor and displaced, Chelsea Clinton, vice chair for the Clinton Foundation, and CARE CEO and President Michelle Nunn are lending gravitas to pleas for the Trump Administration and Congress to keep up funds for assistance to the poor.

The appeal was made at the CARE 2017 national conference at the Arena’s Mead Center for American Theater in D.C.  Conferees from most states and from as far away as Switzerland attended the nearly packed theater on Monday.

Chelsea Clinton greeted by Michelle Nunn, in background Amani Al-Khatatbeh (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Chelsea Clinton greeted by Michelle Nunn, in background Amani Al-Khatatbeh

The charitable organization CARE calls what is happening today the “largest humanitarian crisis since World War II.”

“This year’s conference theme, Now More than Ever,” underscores the urgency of action, particularly as we face deep and disproportionate cuts to the foreign assistance program,” said Nunn.

 “With more than 20 million people facing famine conditions in South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia, and tens of millions still displaced by conflict, now is the time for the United States to stand by its commitment to U.S. foreign assistance, which has served as the beacon of American leadership and stability for decades in the poorest communities around the world.”

More than 400 conferees met with members of Congress and their staffs during the week to advocate for foreign assistance and steps to combat extreme poverty worldwide. President Trump’s federal budget was sent to Congress on Tuesday.

Nunn lauded Congress for maintaining the assistance levels at the same in the temporary budget passed weeks ago.  Nonetheless, she said the proposed 2018 budget should be more mindful of the dire needs of the world’s starving and homeless people.

In her remarks, which centered on empowering women and girls, Clinton touched on the importance of hearing the voices of others.

But Clinton said that in listening, “We have to know that sexism is not an opinion, racism is not on opinion, Islamophobia is not an opinion, homophobia is not an opinion, jingoism is not an opinion … In our posture of listening, we have to stand up and speak out.”

She said she is “fiercely proud” that her charitable organization has helped more than 12 million people around the world.

Secretary of Transportation Taiwan-born Elaine Chao, among other topics, addressed the challenges of women and girls everywhere.  She recalled that she came to America on a freighter with her mother and two siblings when she was eight years old.

Participating in a panel was Barbara Pierce Bush, co-founder and president of the public health focused non-profit, Global Health Corps. She is the daughter of former President George W. Bush. Also speaking was Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder and editor of MuslimGirl; Katie Meyler, founder and CEO of More Than Me, and Musimi Kanyaro, president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women.


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Kerry Addresses CARE Leaders: Chelsea Clinton and Barbara Bush Upcoming

May 9, 2017

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed new CARE Chief Operating Officer Heather Higginbottom at the home of board member Ranvir Trehan and his wife Adarsh in McLean, Va, last week. She will report to CARE CEO Michelle Nunn.

Former Sec. of State Kerry and Colleen Nunn (Photo by: Neshan Naltchayan) Former Sec. of State Kerry and Colleen Nunn
With more than 20 million people facing famine conditions and tens of millions still displaced by conflict, Kerry’s remarks were timely and urgent, said Higginbottom.  

"What we do with our charity, with our projection of universal values and our commitment to helping people, is not just altruism. It's helpful, it's charity, but guess what? It's serving the interests of our nation because there's no 'over there' anymore," the former Senator and longtime Georgetown resident said.

Deep budget cuts at the State Department which would greatly affect international aid and lifesaving work have been proposed by the current Administration.

CARE is holding it 2017 conference May 22-24 at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, D.C. 

Kerry address gathering at the Trehans (Photo by: Neshan Naltchayan) Kerry address gathering at the Trehans
Chelsea Clinton, Barbara Bush of Global Health Corps, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and other leaders will join CARE CEO Nunn at the conference. More information is here: www.careconference.org.  

After returning from his military service in Vietnam, Kerry worked for CARE.  Higginbottom, who previously had been in the administration of President Barack Obama as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, started her early career as a key legislative staffer for then-Senator Kerry.

(left) Amb. Vlora Citaku, Laura Liswood, Fredrick Anyanwu, Michelle Kosinski & Beth Solomon (Photo by: Neshan Naltchayan) (left) Amb. Vlora Citaku, Laura Liswood, Fredrick Anyanwu, Michelle Kosinski & Beth Solomon
Among the McLean event greeters and guests were Veena Trehan (daughter of Ranvir); Kosovo Ambassador Vlora Citaku; Laura Liswood, secretary general of the Council of Women Leaders; CNN’s Michelle Kosinski; philanthropic activist Colleen Nunn; Fredrick Anyanwu, associate vice president, Resource Development at CARE; D.C. Democrat leader Christine Warnke; and Beth Solomon, CARE managing director of external affairs. 

Kerry and guest Christine Warnke (Photo by: Neshan Naltchayan) Kerry and guest Christine Warnke


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Cool Sculpture Finds Hot Spot on Georgetown Waterfront

April 30, 2017

Sculpture Barton Rubenstein playfully cuddles a metal bird from the Fiola Mare entrance (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Sculpture Barton Rubenstein playfully cuddles a metal bird from the Fiola Mare entrance

Sculptor Barton Rubenstein and some 100 nature lovers and climate advocates dedicated the spectacular sculpture Mother Earth on Saturday at the Georgetown waterfront on Climate Day Saturday morning. The huge work is near the restaurant Fiola Mare along the Potomac River at the end of 31st Street NW.

Among the guests were  Renato Miracco, cultural attaché at the Italian Embassy, Goran Lithell, deputy chief of Missions at Sweden’s Embassy, on Georgetown’s waterfront, and Joe Sternlieb, CEO/president of Georgetown’s BID.

The event attracted the attention of hundreds of determined joggers, restaurant diners and leisurely walkers enjoying a warm, sunny day.  Most participated in sharing the really fancy Georgetown Cupcakes provided for the occasion.

A display at the Mother Earth dedication (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) A display at the Mother Earth dedication

Mother Earth is a five-meter high stainless steel sculpture with the ethereal likeness of the human profile.

The sculpture was designed by scientist and international sculptor Rubenstein, who with his family began the Mother Earth Project. The Rubenstein Studios are in Chevy Chase, Md.

BID CEO Joe Sternlieb who participated in the Mother Earth Project (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) BID CEO Joe Sternlieb who participated in the Mother Earth Project

Thirty countries are interested in the Mother Earth sculptures. Mother Earth sculptures will be placed this year in Naples, Italy; Jerusalem; Bonn, Germany; Yaounde, Cameron; and Benin in West Africa. Within each city, Mother Earth will be placed ideally next to a water source, such as a river, with the idea that all sculptures face toward the oceans, a body of water connecting all nations.

The sculpture is conceived as a way to incentivize countries to participate in stopping and reversing climate change, thus preserving the environment. The project started in 2015.

Italian official Renato Miracco (left) and Barton Rubenstein (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Italian official Renato Miracco (left) and Barton Rubenstein
Watching ceremonies are Swedish Embassy Official Lithell (right) and a dude attired smartly for the event. (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Watching ceremonies are Swedish Embassy Official Lithell (right) and a dude attired smartly for the event.


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