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In 2014, Bill McKibben received the Right Livelihood Prize, often referred to as the ‘alternative Nobel.’ His book The End of Nature, written thirty years ago, is considered the first mainstream book about climate change. McKibben is the founder of 350.org, a climate change movement that has organized climate rallies in nearly every nation in the world, and was instrumental in launching the fossil fuel divestment movement.

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When Cheryl Gray initially heard about the new program, she thought it must be too good to be true. A nonprofit organization was planning on awarding 20 African American single mothers $1,000 each month for a year, provided they lived in public housing. The women would be allowed to use the money however they wanted.

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Unless you work in the world of NGOs, you've probably never heard of Bangladesh's BRAC. But don't let that mislead you: the organization has close to 100,000 full-time staff, 8,000 working outside of of their home country. And in the last year alone, BRAC worked to educate more than a million children, and lent money to nearly eight million striving people.

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As a youngster growing up in California's Salinas Valley, Fabiola Moreno Ruelas dealt with more than her share of hardship. She saw her father deported, and her family routinely struggled with housing and basic needs, at one point facing eviction.

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In 2018, Nigeria overtook India as the nation with the largest population living in extreme poverty. Among the many problems the rapidly growing country faces is energy security: the country's power grid has failed half a dozen times already in 2019.

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When Ali Takata and her husband moved to Austin from the San Francisco Bay Area three and a half years ago, she was immediately struck by the lack of diversity. "I was surprised by how white Austin felt," she says. But Takata soon realized that Austin wasn't particularly white--it was just very segregated.

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Here at Billions Rising we have always emphasized self-reliance, and solutions that empower those in poverty to better themselves and their communities. One organization that is doing great work in this area is Street Business School, a non-profit that works with other orgs to provide next-level entrepreneurial training for women.

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When she was just a second grader, Nujoud Merancy visited an air traffic control tower on a school field trip, an event that kindled the young girl's interest in aerospace; later, she was inspired by the Apollo missions. And incredibly, today she is working on an enormous mission of her own: sending the first woman to the moon by 2024.

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It's the central theme of the American narrative: the journey of impoverished, oppressed immigrants to this country in search of security, prosperity and a better life for their children. It's a big part of what makes America what it is, and in a nation chock full of immigrants, it ought not be a controversial subject.

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