Posts tagged with "Nicole Salazar"

Jewelry story illustration by Nicole Salazar for 360 MAGAZINE

Amethyst Stone Meaning, Value & History

Amethysts have been used by humans for millennia as decorative adornments, and this particular example of quartz is widely appreciated for its eye-catching violet hue and its alluring shimmer.

If you are keen to find out more about amethysts, read on for an introduction to everything you could ever want to know about this type of semi precious stone, from its etymology and history to its symbolism and meaning in modern culture.

Creation, location & value

Amethysts are found in several places around the world, sourced from the geodes that are left behind after volcanic activity has occurred.

The largest producer is Brazil, but there are also amethysts mined in places like Madagascar, South Korea, Russia and Canada, to name but a few.

The popularity of amethyst rings for women means that there is always plenty of demand for this gem, and it is the richness of the color which plays the biggest role in determining the value of individual stones. The deep purples of the amethysts mined in Siberia make them amongst the most sought-after and expensive, while also meaning that the carat count is not as relevant to cost as it is with other gems.

Jewelry set with amethysts can still be costly, although this typically comes down to the inclusion of other precious gems and rare metals, rather than the amethyst itself.

History & name explanation

While there is no specific evidence of humanity having interacted with amethysts in the unknowable mists of prehistory, it is safe to assume that any of our ancestors that found it would have been just as enamored with the glittering, shimmering color of these stones.

Thankfully the Ancient Egyptians are well-documented users of amethysts, and would go a step further than 21st century designers by choosing to use them as a medium for engraving. Etching images and symbols into the stones took expert craft skills and is a testament to how advanced this civilization was.

The name itself is actually derived from the language spoken in Ancient Greece, with the literal translation being ‘not drunk’. This entertaining etymology came about because Greeks believed that by wearing an amethyst around their neck, they would be able to stave off the effects of imbibing too much alcohol. Clearly preventing inebriation is not something that amethysts can actually do, but it is intriguing to see what attributes the ancient peoples of the Mediterranean ascribed to these stones.

From these earlier uses, amethysts would continue to spread globally over the course of many centuries, appearing in Britain during the middle ages and even being adopted in the Anglican branch of Christianity specifically because of their alleged anti-intoxication capabilities.

Interpretations & birthstone status

It is not just drunkenness which is legendarily avoided by wearing amethysts; throughout history a number of different capabilities have been associated with these stones.

One claim is that they can be used to ensure that the wearer maintains a level head, even when the circumstances around them might give them cause to go a little haywire.

Others believe that amethyst is packed with healing powers, allowing it to do everything from reducing anxiety and annoyance to pulling people out of pits of despair and grief. It could even improve your memory and make you more ambitious and motivated, if you buy into the more outlandish claims.

Irrespective of your position on the actual abilities amethyst brings to the table, there is no doubting that it is widely known as the birthstone for the month of February. While you do not need to have been born in this window to wear amethyst jewelry, if you are a February baby then it could be the push you need to pick between several precious stones when buying your next piece.

Jewelry uses & synthetic production

We have touched upon the various ways in which amethysts have been harnessed throughout history to enhance and augment jewelry of many types, and it is worth looking at the sheer variety that is on offer today to show how far the industry has come.

It is not common for amethysts to be used in engagement and wedding rings, as well as in everything from necklaces and earrings to bracelets and beyond.

While amethyst is semiprecious in nature, it works well when used alongside diamonds, since the brilliance of the latter’s crisp white reflectivity is a great counterpoint to the deep purples of the former.

Another point to mention is that lab-grown amethysts are a possibility, and are essentially indistinguishable to their naturally-occurring counterparts, without the use of equipment and techniques that are prohibitively expensive for general use. This is less of a problem than in the context of lab-grown diamond detection, for example, since amethysts are not at rare and can be mined with relative ease, as discussed above. Even so, it is worth being aware of this before you buy amethyst jewelry, so that you know exactly what you are getting ahead of committing to an order.

Sister stones

The quartz family of which amethyst is arguably the most famous member is fairly large, and color is the distinguishing factor between the varieties.

If violet is not for you, then yellows of citrine could tick the right boxes instead. The pinky hues of rose quartz is another popular option, while the gothic styling of smoky quartz is an intriguing alternative to the more radiant siblings on show.

Ultimately you need to consider all of your options and use your own aesthetic eye and tastes to determine whether amethyst is the right stone for you. There are also other things to keep in mind, such as the kind of cut that the stone should come in, and the metal in which it should be set to deliver the best results.

There is no wrong choice here, but rather a wonderful world of gemstones to discover, each with its own history, meaning and cultural importance which could sway you if it clicks with your personality.

A Beginner’s Guide To Non-Profit Fundraising

Fundraising forms the core of all non-profits, and it allows them to do the great work which they have been set up for. The reality for most of these organizations however is that fundraising is something which is not always enjoyable. These organizations want to be out there doing great work, yet of course in order to do that they need funds, and for that they need donors. 

Brand new organizations will need to get to work quickly in setting up their fundraising infrastructure, and in doing so they can not only raise funds now, but give themselves the greatest opportunity of counting to do so in the future. 

Identify Your Ideal Donor

Fundraising is about working smart as well as hard and that is why identifying the ideal donor is the first place to start. If you take a blanket approach to this then you will find that you are wasting you time in so many avenues, and that will cost money too. Consider what your organization is trying to do, and then who that speaks to, this will help to identify which group of people are most likely to care enough to put their hands in their pockets. 

Ensure You Have a CRM In Place 

In terms of a nonprofit success pack Salesforce offers the perfect CRM which your company can use to store and manage important data about your fundraising efforts, and about your donors. This is an easy to manage dashboard with will boost your fundraising efforts thanks to smart apps which integrate into the CRM, as well as intelligent use of metrics which can help you to tweak your fundraising strategy. 

Understand What Your Goals Are

Before you begin your approach to fundraising, you have to first set out clear goals. These goals are both for your company and for the donor. Laying out what your monthly costs are, what your desires are and how much money will be required for all of this to be taken care of are crucial calculations to make. 

Market The Non Profit 

There has to be some spending on your behalf and the marketing of your non-profit will be one such area of investment. It is essential that you have an eye on building the brand, so that you can call attention to the great work which you and your company are doing. This is a necessary step which will bring in more donations.  

The Evaluation Process

No matter whether you have just launched the fundraising round or you are in the thick of it evaluation is key. Working out which approach brought the best results with regards to your campaign, understanding what has surprised you along the way – both good and bad – and understanding how to shape your strategy in the future to gain better results, these are all critical in your efforts to raise funds. 

Focus on creating and implementing the most efficient strategy which will bring in the funds which your organization requires.

Nicole Salazar Breaking News Illustration

Partners with Pearl Jam’s Vote-by-Mail Initiative Release Exclusive Face Masks

Today, in observance of National Voter Registration Day, People for the American Way, in partnership with Pearl Jam in their “PJ Votes 2020” initiative, are announcing the release of exclusive, limited edition “Vote” masks by women owned business and change makers Resistance By Design.

People For the American Way, along with Resistance by Design, and several progressive organizations, officially joined Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Pearl Jam’s Take-Three Pledge Initiative on September 9, to encourage their fans to join them to “Vote by Mail, Recruit Three Friends and Don’t Wait in this general election.”

People For is actively pushing for election security during the 2020 election season, as well as safe, secure voting alternatives, including voting by mail, to help ensure that all eligible voters can cast their ballots.

“In what is decidedly the most important election of our lifetimes, People For is doing everything in our power to get as many Americans to vote as possible,” said President of People For the American Way Ben Jealous. “We hope that the release of these masks, in observance of National Voter Registration Day, is a reminder to Americans of the power their vote can have.”

“This unique partnership is a testament to the importance of this moment in time to the future of our nation and democracy,” said Alex Posen and Dahna Goldstein co-founders of Resistance by Design. “As purpose driven artists and business women we are proud to join with Pearl Jam, one of the biggest bands of all time and People For, a leader in democratic advocacy, to get out the message and get out the vote. This mask may cover our mouths, but together we are raising our voices in partnership to change the future of our country.”

Resistance by Design inspires civic engagement through the intersection of art and fashion by creating thoughtful designs that empower everyday activists and amplify social justice movements.

Pearl Jam has had a long history of activism and political involvement dating all the way back to 1992 when they hosted the free “Drop in the Park” concert in Seattle that registered thousands of voters. For nearly three decades, the band has played in countless benefit concerts, been outspoken advocates for progressive causes, and raised and donated millions of dollars to local and global non-profits personally and through their Vitalogy Foundation. Pearl Jam was active in the 2018 general election in its Rock2Vote initiative, which registered thousands of voters in Montana and secured commitments to vote.

About People For the American Way

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: http://www.pfaw.org.

About Resistance by Design

Resistance by Design inspires civic engagement through the intersection of art and fashion by creating thoughtful designs that empower everyday activists and amplify social justice movements. 

Learn more: https://www.resistancebydesign.com/

Community service illustration by Nicole Salazar for 360 MAGAZINE.

Nonprofits in a COVID-19 World: Engaging Stakeholders in Times of Crisis

By Jenny Perez, Executive Director, Herbalife Nutrition Foundation

The ability to quickly adapt to change is a key aspect of running any successful organization. However, in times of crisis, that change can often come quicker than the organization and its stakeholders could imagine. Unfortunately, for nonprofit organizations and their beneficiaries, the COVID-19 global crisis has drastically changed the world. The need in our communities is greater. However, the opportunities for raising much needed funds have been hampered by social restrictions. So how does a nonprofit organization keep their donors engaged in times of crisis?

Communications

Communicating with our stakeholders is an integral part of telling our story. In a normal operating environment, we share with people who know us and those who don’t, who we are and what we do. We explain our challenges and needs, and we celebrate our successes with thanks to donors for their collective support.

But our story, much like the operating environment, has now morphed. We have quickly recognized the need to change how and what we communicate. We understand that donors are being bombarded with information about all the current needs in our society. So rather than get lost in the noise, we are finding a balance of increasing communication without being overwhelming, through impactful storytelling – where donors can clearly see the need and the impact of their donation.  And, we are adjusting the way we raise funds, while continuing to lend support to the organizations that have been a part of our flagship program.

We also understand that there are many who will undoubtedly rise to the occasion, even before we can ask for a helping hand. And for that, we are grateful.

Technology

Our focus at the Herbalife Nutrition Foundation is simple and globally unifying – help bring nutrition to children and families in underserved communities around the globe. So, with donors spread throughout the world, engaging with them can sometimes be a challenge, but that is something we’ve adapted to, and now relish in that global reach.

The challenge we are facing today as a result of COVID-19 is that we are an event-driven organization that raises 90% of funds from events, to one where events have been eliminated. So, since we are limited on the ability to host events and gatherings, and failing our communities is not an option, we must adapt and move forward.

Thanks to technology, we found a way to offer peer-to-peer fundraising tools that allow those who want to help, to create their own fundraisers. Donors can share heartwarming videos about why the cause means so much to them. They can inspire others by snapping photos of their outreach. Without social media, it would be much more difficult to bring a global audience together, to share in our collective work and our reach, helping so many along the way.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

English poet John Donne famously wrote, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” These words are evident in the way people have come together to support each other in these critical times, and the way organizations have stepped up or partnered with others to lend a hand to those in need.

Our partner organizations around the world are doing amazing work and setting examples of how adaptation in times of crisis can be done right – from changing the way they operate daily, to offering services to more than children. For example, SOS’s Children’s Villages is working to educate and reduce the spread of COVID-19, offering psychosocial support and alternative childcare in developing countries. Other organizations like Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), are helping provide meals to children and families who otherwise would go without, while also working to provide adequate technology to students who are now studying from home.

This is who we are and what we do. We adapt and we overcome. We use technology to help us tell our story. And our story will be shared again and again, helping us not only to raise awareness, but allowing us to collect funds that will make an impact in the lives of children and families, all around the globe.

Rodent illustration by Nicole Salazar for 360 MAGAZINE.

CITY RATS × STREETS

By Althea Champion

Thirty-four years after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant meltdown, lush greenery and wild wolves freely inhabit the landscape, uninhibited by the burden of human life’s presence. Nine months after the first reported case of COVID-19 in the U.S., another lifeform—one much less beautiful and romantic—roams the comparatively barren city streets of the U.S.: rats.

In East Coast cities, from New Orleans to Boston to New York City, residents are reporting sightings of rats swarming, scouring the city, capitalizing on the valuable real estate human beings recently left behind in pursuit of the safety of their homes.

The swell of rat turn-out is not simply because the once busy streets they cowered in the shadows of are now empty, but because they are starving and in dire straits. It seems that hard times are not unique to humans during these past few months, but are actually falling on rats, too.

“Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas,” the CDC reported in a May update of rodent-control guidelines in respect to COVID-19. “Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new sources of food. Environmental health and rodent control programs may see an increase in service requests related to rodents and reports of unusual or aggressive rodent behavior.”

According to the Boston Herald, Boston is currently handling an impressive rat problem of their own, with the Allston/Brighton neighborhoods reporting a whopping 88% increase in rodent activity in comparison to last year.

“Boston is experiencing an unusually large surge in rodent complaints during the coronavirus pandemic,” reported Meghan Ottolini of the Boston Herald. “With residents reporting massive infestations in gardens and rats ‘the size of cats’ scurrying down the street in broad daylight.”

The waste that rats once prospered on is no longer available as a result of much frequented restaurants and bars closing their doors. Scraps can no longer be found without extensive searches. Thus, city rats, motivated by their acute distress and changing landscape, are resorting to desperate measures. 

In New York City, where restaurants are permitted to serve patrons outdoors as of June 22, rats are also showing up to dine at the literal heels of customers bating for crumbs, according to The Guardian.

In cities more than ever, the line between wildlife and the human race is slimming. Unlike those who live in more rural areas, animals are not something city folk come in contact with on a daily basis—aside from a dog, cat, and the occasional hamster. 

Perhaps this is changing. Linda Rodriguez McRobbie of The Boston Globe suggests that the urban wildlifes—the coyotes in Chicago and San Francisco, mountain lions in Boulder, and the groundhog in Philadelphias—are perhaps lessening the “artificial division between ‘man’ and ‘nature,'” and maybe that isn’t a bad thing. Perhaps, humans do not have to be separate from nature, and rodents do feature in nature.

It is, after all, the year of the rat.

Nicole Salazar illustrates new web-based application BLEWID for 360 MAGAZINE.

BLEWID

A NEW WAVE SPACE FOR EVERY RACE.

You either ‘blewid out the water’ or you didn’t.

COMING SOON…

A division of 360 MAGAZINE.