July Ambassador – Elizabeth Lesser
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2012 05:33 Written by Urban Zen Tuesday, 26 June 2012 12:38
We are delighted to introduce you to our July Ambassador, Elizabeth Lesser. Elizabeth is the co-founder of Omega Institute, the United States’ largest life-ling learning center focusing on health, wellness, spirituality, creativity, and social change. The Omega Institute will also be home to our UZIT program this fall, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about this collaboration.
Elizabeth is the New York Times best-selling author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow and The Seeker’s Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure (both from Random House). For more than 35 years Elizabeth has worked with leading figures in the fields of healing—healing self and healing society. Her work past work at Omega included leading the organization, developing its curricula, teaching, and writing the yearly Omega catalog, a reference book that describes the work of some of the most eminent thinkers and practitioners of our times.Learn More
May Ambassador – Christy Turlington Burns
Last Updated on Friday, 11 May 2012 11:35 Written by Urban Zen Tuesday, 8 May 2012 03:37
In celebration of all mothers everywhere and the advancement of maternal health, we are delighted to honor Christy Turlington Burns as our May Ambassador.
With nearly thirty years at the forefront of the fashion industry, having graced every magazine cover from Vogue to Time, Christy has established a diverse career as a model, writer, entrepreneur, spokesperson, advocate, and filmmaker. Philanthropy and service have long been a part of Christy’s personal and professional mission to make a lasting impact on the world. In 2005, Christy became an advocate for maternal health for both CARE and (RED). In 2010, she completed and debuted her documentary film, NO WOMAN, NO CRY, about the global state of maternal health, at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City and on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on Mother’s Day 2011. Concurrent with the debut of her documentary, Christy launched Every Mother Counts, an action and mobilization campaign designed to educate and support maternal, newborn and child health.Learn More
April Ambassador – Dr. Paul Farmer
Last Updated on Friday, 20 April 2012 12:38 Written by Urban Zen Friday, 20 April 2012 12:38
Medical Anthropologist and physician Paul Farmer has dedicated his life to treating some of the world’s poorest populations, in the process helping to raise the standard of health care in underdeveloped areas of the world. The brilliant example he has provided in the medical arena has been an inspiration to Urban Zen and our well-being initiative and we are honored to have Dr. Farmer as our Ambassador for the month of April.
As a founding director of Partners In Health ( 1987), an international charity organization that provides direct health care services and undertakes research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty, Dr. Farmer and his colleagues have successfully challenged the policymakers and critics who claim that quality health care is impossible to deliver in resource-poor areas.
Only adding to our long list of reasons to be inspired, is Dr. Farmer’s lifelong commitment to Haiti, which began in 1983 when still a student, working with villages in Haiti’s Central Plateau, determined to bring modern health care to the poorest people in the Western Hemisphere. Starting with a one-building clinic in the village of Cange, Farmer’s project has grown to a multiservice health complex that includes a primary school, an infirmary, a surgery wing, a training program for health outreach workers, a 104-bed hospital, a women’s clinic, and a pediatric care facility. It has become a model for health care for poor communities world wide.
Born in Massachusetts into a family of six children, Farmer grew up in Florida. He received a bachelor’s degree from Duke in 1982, and both an M.D. and Ph. D. in Anthropology from Harvard in 1990. He has written or co-written over 100 scholarly papers, as well as books including Infections and Inequalities ( 1998), and Pathologies of Power ( 2003).
In 2003 author Tracy Kidder wrote a best selling book about Farmer and his work, Mountains Beyond Mountains: the Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World. This book brought international attention and support to Farmer’s work.
Among the numerous awards Dr. Farmer has received in the last decade is the Heinz Award for the Human Condition. Its citation reads, “To say that Dr. Paul Farmer is a life saver does not begin to describe the impact of his work. Dr. Farmer and his extraordinary organization have been a force in making the world confront the health care needs of those who historically have never had access to proper care. Because of his dedication and compassion, critical health care services are now being administered around the globe to people who previously would have been left untreated.”Learn More