Ross Bleckner Becomes a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador

Question: What is a UN Goodwill Ambassador?

Bleckner:    I am getting appointed an Ambassador of Goodwill at the United Nations because I just finished being part of a program that was basically a pilot program that I went on a mission with the UN Office of Crime and Drugs in child trafficking and the International Criminal Court Victims Trust Fund.  And what they were trying to do was essentially go to Northern Uganda and re-socialize and have the story be told through art making to see if that was a viable way of telling the story of children who had been formally abducted soldiers, boys and girls who had been formally abducted into sexual slavery, essentially, for a rebel army called The Lord’s Liberation Front.  That’s, now, roving around Northern Uganda and the Southern Sudan and kidnapping children.  So I went… They asked me as the first artist to go, the Under-Secretary-General, and start a program at a refugee camp, a very large, internally displaced person camp, an IDP it’s called, where people from Uganda actually live in this refugee camp that they could keep them under guard essentially so that the kids don’t get kidnapped.  So I was just there, I just got back.  That was 2 weeks.  And I basically painted with the kids.  And there’s going to be an exhibition at the United Nations, May, of all the work.  And it’s going to be for sale and the money will go to help them reconstruct their lives and essentially send them back to school.  So that’s a program that they want to get going around Africa.

The painter speaks about his work with the United Nations Office of Crime and Drugs in Uganda.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

The dos and don’ts of helping a drug-addicted person recover

How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.

Videos
  • Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
  • Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
  • As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
Keep reading Show less

The most culturally chauvinist people in Europe? Greeks, new research suggests

Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.

Image: Pew Research Center
Strange Maps
  • Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
  • Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
  • British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less