Monday, August 17, 2009

GOOD News: Members Compel Fast-Food Giant to End Discrimination

August 10 - August 16

Victory: Members Compel Fast-Food Giant to End Discrimination

Hey Changemakers,

Another week, another victory for activists.

Early this week,'s Gay Rights blog revealed that Canadian fast-food giant Tim Hortons was sponsoring an event this weekend through one of its stores in Rhode Island supporting the anti-gay organization National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

NOM is the group that has called gays and lesbians a threat to children, openly promotes discrimination, and is leading the charge to take away the rights of gays and lesbians to marry in Maine.

So what happened when the news broke of a beloved Canadian brand sponsoring an anti-gay event in the United States? members took action.

In less than a day, nearly 2,000 people from the U.S. and Canada sent emails to executives at Tim Hortons through an online petition on, reminding the company that it isn't in their best interest to let their name be used as a sponsor for discrimination.

Seventeen hours after the petition launched, Tim Hortons responded: the company's Director of Public Affairs contacted us to say it had decided to pull its name from the list of sponsors for the anti-gay event, and not provide any financial or in-kind donations to groups looking to take away the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

Kudos to Tim Hortons for the swift reversal in favor of equality, and to the two organizations that initially brought the news to our attention, the Providence Daily Dose and Truth Wins Out. This was a collective effort, and once again shows the power of people with nothing more than an internet connection and healthy dose of passion to make real change.

For more news and commentary from the world of change this week, see the summaries below.

Top Actions This Week

Keep health reform moving forward!
by Consumers Union of the United States
Take action »

Help Stop McDonald's Cruelty Now!
Take action »

Stop Deportation of Dream Student Herta Llusho
by Mo A
Take action »

Start a Petition »

Health Care Lies
The health care fight has turned rather ugly, and lies about reform are spreading via anonymous email chains. Universal Health Care guest blogger Nita Chaudhary, Campaign Director at, writes an article that tackles some of the strangest fabrications about the health care reform. Here are the real facts that you need to know. (Read more)

Vegetarians and Global Warming
Will eating less meat help curb global warming? Stop Global Warming blogger Emily Gertz tries to get to the bottom of that question this week by looking at whether meat consumption, especially beef, has a negative impact on our changing climate. The answer is largely "yes," with the caveat that it depends mostly on how the beef is raised. And no, factory farms are not the answer. (Read more)

Innovative Crime Reduction
Seventy percent of those released from California prisons each year commit another offense - the highest recidivism rate in the nation. Criminal Justice guest blogger Kamala Harris, currently the District Attorney of San Francisco and a candidate for Attorney General of California in 2010, writes about an innovative approach she has taken in San Francisco to cut the rate of re-offense among non-violent criminals to 10%, reducing crime and saving the state the more than $35,000 it costs each year to house a prisoner. (Read more)

Slave Labor at Chipotle?
The foil on your thick, juicy Chipotle burrito might be hiding a secret ingredient: slavery. End Human Trafficking blogger Amanda Kloer uncovers that the fast-food restaurant famous for its Mexican food refuses to pay the farmworkers who pick their produce a living wage or take steps to ensure their suppliers are slave-free. Everyone loves a good burrito, of course. But good burritos aren't enough if the food is tainted by slave labor. (Read More)

Expecting to Fail
What happens when society expects us to fail? Social Entrepreneurship blogger Nathaniel Whittemore looks at that question from the perspective of the Millennial generation, and comes to a stark conclusion: The expectations that a society has for young people in any particular position, whether it's as a teacher in an inner city or as a member of a poor community, have a profound impact on the way those people come to see themselves. It may be time for some serious reframing of our thinking. (Read more)

As always, you can find a full rundown the top articles this week from each of our 18 blogs by visiting Blog for Change.

Until next week!

- The Team

Posted by:

Jerin Alam

National NOW Young Feminist Task Force

NOW-NYS Young Feminist Task Force Chair

National Organization for Women (NOW)

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