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Toronto’s Gain/Jamaica’s Loss, An Athlete With Tons Of Heart, Gareth Henry

6 feet, 172 pounds and handsome, Gareth Andre Theodore Henry is also athletic. His badminton team took bronze in the 2018 Pan Am Men’s Team Championships. And, in the same year, he and his partner, Samuel Ricketts, took gold for men’s doubles at the CAC games, which took place in Colombia. Good-looking enough to be a poster representative for his generation, yet Gareth Henry is so much more than a good-looking and a talented athlete. Gareth Henry has heart and the initiative to do good in a world that has not always done right by him or by those he’s cared for.

Born and bred on the beautiful island of Jamaica, Gareth Henry isn’t as pro-Jamaican as some of his compatriots, sadly, because he has seen the ugly, anti-gay underbelly of the beautiful island nation he hails from. Jamaica remains one of less than 100 countries worldwide, where it is still illegal to live in a consenting same-sex union openly. Now at 39 years of age, and living openly in Canada, Gareth Henry has not forgotten his struggles at home, where he tried even then to live an openly gay life.

The Co-chair of a gay advocacy group that reported hate crimes, Henry had 13 of his friends die because of their sexual orientation. Even the lawmen to whom he was reporting turned on him eventually, angered at his ongoing push for legal change. In 2007, he was beat by a group of police. However, when an officer threatened his life Gareth Henry realized he had to get out of Jamaica. Henry filed for refugee status and moved to Canada. Today, Henry is serving as interim director of the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation. He also works for the non-profit Rainbow Railroad that works to relocate persecuted LGBTQ individuals all over the world. Learn More.

Avaaz Rallies one Million People To Raise Alarm On Mass Extinction Threat

The greatest mass extinction of species in the history of planet earth is happening right now, a dire situation which threatens not just plants and animals but the human race itself.Fighting back against the enormous forces causing this problem will take the efforts of millions of people who must stand up, confront local and world leaders and demand urgent action. One group that is at the forefront of such an effort is Avaaz, the world’s largest online social activist organization.Through the infrastructure of Avaaz, more than one million people have called upon world governments to confront the global extinction crisis.

Avaaz has created a petition that concerned citizens living anywhere on the planet can sign – a document which also outlines an action plan put together by a team of high-profile biodiversity scientists.Avaaz is one of the few organizations in the world that can mobilize and rally huge numbers of people in a short amount of time. It uses the internet as a primary platform to make it simple for anyone to get involved in the major issues of our day.There is no limit to the kinds of problems Avaaz activists are tackling.

Problem with pollution, biodiversity, climate change, poverty, education, political oppression, forced refugee migrations and more are just some of the recent areas where Avaaz has made a big difference and produced positive change.Since Avaaz was founded in 2007, it has raised tens of millions of dollars using a grassroots model, accepting only small donations from millions of people while turning away compromising cash from giant corporations or billionaires.Avaaz is for people like you – an “ordinary, average concerned citizen” who wishes he/she could do something to get involved, to pitch in and help solve some of the most pressing problems facing our world today.Learn More.

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