Christy Turlington Burnes Jennifer Burden

Christy Turlington Burns of Every Mother Counts and Jennifer Burden of World Moms Blog at the Social Good Summit in NYC.

What an inspiring week at the Social Good Summit in NYC hosted by the UN Foundation, Mashable and 92Y!  I was lucky enough to meet Caroline Barrett of the UN Foundation at BlogHer in San Diego last month, who invited me to the event.  (Thank you, Caroline!)

The commute from where I live in New Jersey to the Upper East side in Manhattan took me over 2 hours to get to each way.  I travelled with my breastfeeding baby and even one day with both, my baby and my 4 year old. I took trains and buses.

Yes, the commute was more of a challenge than my normal cushy stay-at-home-mom 10 minute drive in my minivan to the grocery store, and my back is killing me, but there are people out there who desperately need our help!  They kept me motivated and going back for more – so worth it!

While there, I tweeted my heart out!  And, so goes the power of social media.  I was tweeting about Scott Harrison of Charity Water and his enthusiasm for raising money and awareness for clean water and my friend in Arizona, @TalkingMakeup, tweets back that he’s a friend of hers from university.  How else can you make those kind of wild connections?

The theme of the week was involving the power of social media around important world causes.  It was incredible what everyone was coming together to do!

Ted Turner, who previously donated a legendary $1 billion to the United Nations which created the UN Foundation, kicked off the summit.  His advice to young people was “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise!”

I don’t think I can ever turn on my kitchen faucet again without thinking about all the people without access to clean drinking water.  Or, watch my daughter play about on my laptop without thinking of the children who were so excited to have access to a computer in developing nations from the One Laptop Per Child presentation.

In my experience, I find it very easy to get caught up in my own bubble.  It’s easy to hang out with people who are similar to you and forget that there are people out there who are without the most basic of needs.  If I think about these people everyday, will that help me work harder to help them?

Another theme of the week was starting off with awareness.

Christy Turlington Burns (Yes, the supermodel and current film maker) and the legendary blogger, Dooce, spoke about maternal health in developing nations – about how just a little bit of education could go a long way and save the lives of mothers and babies around the world.  They are part of the organization called Every Mother Counts that Christy founded.

Their presentation and video really hit home, and I thought – this is just the type of organization that the World Moms would be interested in supporting.  I was lucky to get a chance to talk with Christy after her talk and snap a quick photo.  She was gracious, positive and professional, a true ray of light.  But, I must admit my inner teenager was inside exclaiming, “Oh my god, you just met Christy Turlington!”

The issue of maternal health carried on when after hearing about World Moms Blog, 3 people asked me if I had heard of the Million Moms Challenge that ABC and the UN Foundation had created.  I could definitely say yes, thanks to our WMB writer, Amy Hillis, who sent me a facebook message recently, excited about the challenge and getting out the word on our blog!

(Thanks, Amy!)

Before I knew it, I was not only signed up as one of the million moms, but I was taking a photo with Teri Whitcomb of ABC News (who came up with the idea for the challenge) with the Million Moms sticker on my hand to help raise maternal health awareness.

And from there, I wound up brainstorming with Teri and Holly Hamann of Blog Frog about signing more mothers up for this important cause.  These ladies are ambitious, and their excitement for the challenge is contagious, so I was thrilled to help!

Have you signed up for the Million Moms Challenge for maternal health awareness?  Johnson & Johnson will donate $100,000 after the first 100,000 mothers have signed up!  To be a part of the challenge, click “like” on their Facebook page or go to their web site!

Wednesday night I headed over to a reception hosted by the UN Foundation about their launch of a new vaccination campaign, Shot@Life.  I got to meet the inspiring (and beautifully tall) Morra Aarons-Mele of Women Online, who said a few words about her start in blogging as a political blogger.

The Shot@Life campaign took video of me and my older daughter, and I had to talk about some of the firsts that my daughters have taken.  Oh, I hope I did ok because I was really nervous inside!

I met a lovely woman from the GAVI Alliance (they conduct vaccination programs in developing countries), Helena Chan, during the summit.  Helena had flown in from Geneva for the event, and we had interesting conversations on how GAVI and World Moms Blog could work together in the future.

Helena sent me the invitation for the event that I attended in mid-town Manhattan on Thursday night called Blogging4Good.  The One Moms were there!  We watched an interesting video about Carbon for Water and heard more about the One Moms’ trip to Africa. The event was hosted by ONE, Women Deliver and Vestergaard Frandsen.  It was another great opportunity to learn about social causes and network with foundations and fellow bloggers.

Seeing Chrysula Winegar again at the summit, whom I also first met at Blogher, was refreshing.  She is a woman on a mission!  She spoke at the conference and talked about how her time in South Africa influenced her desire to continue on her path of social good today. Chrysula is one of the friendliest bloggers out there, too!

I hope to talk more about the people and organizations I met with during this amazing week in future blog posts. This is just the beginning of how World Moms Blog can use our voices for social good.  Things are getting exciting!

(**Special thanks to my awesome friend, Monica Guarnaccia, and super supportive husband, Steve Burden, for helping out with my daughters while this stay-at-home mom got to attend the Social Good Summit!) 

Jennifer Burden


World Moms Blog 

Photo credit attributed to the author. 

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post,, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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