Stephen McDow

Home » Advocacy In Action

Category Archives: Advocacy In Action

Stephen’s Featured Advocacy Video


Join NOW: Co-Ops Are Inclusive Places For Rural & Urban Dwellers

Cooperatives enterprises have a long history of making a economic and social impact for people around the world. Please learn more about cooperatives and then join one in your community. You have many choices, a credit union, grocery store, bakery, brewery, housing and more. Below are a few resources to help you connect.

Learn About Cooperatives

Inclusive Economy


South Sudan Situation Report No. 79

In a recent  a recent report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):

  • A humanitarian barge departed Bor on 16 March. The barge was
    South Sudan Situation Report No. 79

    South Sudan Situation Report No. 79

    carrying over 1,000 mt of relief items to Malakal.

  • So far in 2015, 214,950 children (37 per cent girls) have been reached with education support in South Sudan.
  • There were reports of localized population displacement following fighting in Greater Upper Nile as well as inter-communal violence in Lakes State.
  • Humanitarian partners have reviewed service provision in Mingkaman in order to rationalise them and prioritise life-saving assistance.

Read more: South Sudan: Crisis Situation Report No. 79.

Serve Now: Never Forget Millions In South Sudan Are Homeless!

  • An estimated 1.5 million people have been uprooted in fighting that started with a political impasse in mid-December 2013 between President Salva Kiir and former Vice-President Riek Machar. The conflict also sent nearly 100,000 civilians fleeing to UN bases around the country. UN Mission South Sudan
  • At least 40,000 people who fled fighting in South Sudan are staying in horrific conditions at a UN camp. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)
  • “Being a father is always about being able to provide for your son, sending him to school or a good hospital if he needs it.  But how can you say you’re a father when you’re just sitting here? I am just ashamed of being a father here. It would be better if we didn’t have to leave to be refugees. The world needs to support people in their lives so South Sudan can be developed and there can be peace in this world,” Gatluack Choul, South Sudanese Refugee


Related Articles

Serve Now: South Sudan Children Are Plagued By Hunger, Disease & Insecurity

A nation in crisis!

  •  400,000 plus people left Southern Sudan because of hunger and diseases like Cholera. OCHA South Sudan (Read More)
  • “With the situation the way it is currently, people in South Sudan do not get scared of death anymore.” Abila Tom Reuben – Voice for Change (VOA NEWS) (Read More)
  • 3.5 million (estimated) South Sudanese people are facing crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Read More)
  • 235,000 children under the age of five will requite treatment for severe acute malnutrition. UNICEF (Read More)

South Sudan needs your help! Visit the Council on Foreign Relations and connect with an organization! Search: Humanitarian Relief Organizations. (Learn More)


Related Information

Serve Now: Fight Against Hunger & Disease In South Sudan!

OCHA South Sudan recently reported:

“…606,230 children aged 6 to 59 months have been screened for acute malnutrition since January, including 8,900 [As of July 2014]. Seven percent were identified with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and 13 per cent with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM).”

The children of #SouthSudan need your love and support! Visit the Council on Foreign Relations and connect with an organization! Search: Humanitarian Relief Organizations (Learn More).

Related Information

ACT NOW: Please Help Pastor Dave Owens Raise Money To Replace Embassy Church DC’s 45 Year Old HVAC & Furnace


Pastor Dave Owens, Embassy Church DC

Pastor Dave Owens, Embassy Church DC

Please help my friend Pastor Dave Owens of Embassy Church DC raise money to replace his 45 year old HVAC and furnace. Pastor Dave is a humble and mighty warrior in the church, and a man I am proud to consider a friend.

Seven years ago, when my oldest son was 2 years old, Rebecca and I came across Embassy Church DC while searching for multicultural churches within Washington, District of Columbia’s city limits. Upon the first visit, I recall a noticeably warm and homelike feel to the church. Everyone greeted and hugged us, as if we were old friends, offered us a breakfast snack, and took time to have a personal conversation. The sanctuary, at the time, had traditional church pews and flags, representing a variety of countries around the world, hanging from the wall. The worship service consisted of a contemporary Christian style, with a multicultural praise and worship team. I recall all of my worship senses being touched on that Sunday. The only other time I saw a church so diverse was when we attended Bridgeway Community Church in Columbia, Maryland. What made Embassy Church DC so appealing was that it was 20 minutes from our home in Washington, DC versus 45 minutes to Columbia, Maryland – A very important gas savings for a young family.

Elders, Embassy Church DC

Elders, Embassy Church DC

Once service ended, Pastor Dave came to us and warmly greeted Rebecca, my son, and me. But, not only did he greet us, he actually wanted to know about us personally. Rebecca and I left his church feeling very welcomed and excited to go back for a visit.

After becoming regular visitors, Pastor Dave approached me before service one Sunday and asked if we could have lunch one day. We exchanged numbers and planned a day and time to get together. Pastor Dave invited us to join him at Bambu DC Asian Cuisine on Macarthur Boulevard in Northwest, Washington, DC. The food didn’t disappoint us either. But the food wasn’t what impacted me most – And as most of you know, I LOVE fabulous dinning. What impacted me the most was that Pastor Dave and I seemed to click, at least from my perspective. We both agreed that diversity and a focus on multicultural ministry was very important. Why? Well, it’s America, and the most segregated day of the week is Sunday. Pastor Dave and I both agreed that it was important for all followers of Christ to stand as one body, with one praise, and one voice. We also agreed about the importance of church missions trips. Rebecca even told Pastor Dave about her weeklong trip to Juarez, Mexico with our former church, World of Life Christian Center, located in Lone Tree, Colorado.  No – I couldn’t go because I had to stay home and watch our oldest son. But I was there in spirit.

Eventually my family moved away from the area and Pastor Dave and I kept in touch on Facebook. That brings me to now, seven years and one additional child later! One Sunday Rebecca, my family I, which now includes an additional person, decided to visit our old friend. It was like a small reunion. Pastor Dave first saw me while he was practicing in the sanctuary with his praise and worship team. In true Embassy Church DC fashion we were greeted by two lovely members and again offered a breakfast snack. Nothing had changed, well…besides the fact that Pastor Dave removed the traditional church pews for more contemporary style seating. Pastor Dave said that it gave him more flexibility for church events. Before church began that Sunday, Pastor Dave walked up to us, gave us a warm greeting, and asked us to reintroduce ourselves to the church once service began. After service, Pastor Dave invited us out for lunch as he did seven years ago. After grabbing some sandwiches, at his favorite Georgetown restaurant, we went to Rosslyn, Virginia to the Marine Corps War Memorial and had a lovely time catching up.

Pastor Dave is one of the most humble and real pastors I know. He will never shy away from offering tough Christ centered counsel. Again, I am proud to call him a friend in a time of my life where many transitions are occurring. I encourage you to open your heart and wallet to help this great servant of the Lord replace his 45 year old HVAC and furnace. Yes…45 years!

ACT NOW (Closed)

Embassy Church DC

Embassy Church DC


Take A Stand: Arm Yourself With Tools To Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

Research shows that children are sexually abused most between ages 8-12 and occurs in rural, urban, and suburban areas, among all ethnic groups. Often abuse is allowed to continue for generations because of bullying to maintain a code of secrecy. You’ve all heard the code, “No one needs to know.” A code that is broken now that I’m a parent. Unlike my household growing up, I turned “no one needs to know” into “no secretes in my house.” The above YouTube post My Story: Sexual Abuse is a good example of how child sexual abuse starts.

“No one needs to know,” is a statement that haunted me from the ages of 6 to 17. At 17 I was able to free myself from that toxic environment and shape the life I wanted. However, the shame and guilt I carry as an adult has shaped me into the advocate and protector I am today. I choose to turn my experience into action because we as a society need to explore ways to address child sexual abuse. If we fail to act, the data published in Healthy Place – American Mental Health Channel will continue:

  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men report that they were sexually abused as a child;
  • Many African Americans think that child sexual abuse is more typical among white people;
  • Statistics show that blacks are sexually victimized in childhood at about the same rates as whites;
  • African-American women are less likely than white women to involve police in cases of child sexual abuse. Fears about betraying the family by turning abusers into “the system” and distrust of institutions and authorities often lead blacks to remain silent about “family business;”
  • Boys are also abused: About 14 percent of all young victims of sexual assault are male, according to police reports. Twenty percent of sexual abuse of boys is committed by women. Among African Americans, homophobia perpetuates the denial of sexual abuse of boys;
  • Black women report being more severely abused with greater force. They also report “more upset, greater long-term effects and more negative life experiences” from sexual abuse than white women. Among the effects: post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse (drug abuse), self-mutilation and more;
  • Young and troubled: Adolescents commit 23 percent of all sex offenses. Experts say young abusers are more responsive to treatment than adults;
  • Child sex offenders tend to victimize more often than other sexual offenders. Seventy percent of child sex offenders had between one and nine victims; 23 percent between 10 and 40 victims;
  • Quiet as it’s kept: Child sexual abusers operate in silence and isolation, the tools they use to target and control their prey. Few tend to be violent, which makes them difficult to catch and thwart.

America needs to pull together and bring light to this silent epidemic. We could drastically lower the percentages of anti-social behavior that is acted out in violence, drugs, and repeat sexual abuse within all American families.

I remember when I was a kid growing up I vowed to protect my own kids if I had them. And I do have two wonderful boys. I can’t help but to feel sick with worry that some twisted person will try to do something to my boys. It’s because of them that I choose to stand up. My boys ARE and WILL be protected.

If you are a victim of child sexual abuse and you choose to stand up expect to be bullied. The poster in the YouTube video told us how everyone blamed her mother for the abuse. She also went on to tell us how her friends joked about the abuse she experienced. I agree with the YouTube poster that the mother is not to blame. Additionally, I understand the anger you feel when family and friends want to place blame in the wrong places. The first time I spoke out about abuse I received the COLD shoulder from just about everyone I knew. In fact, some people thought I was using my story to somehow gain sympathy for being out of work. At least that was the common response I heard from the ‘peanut gallery’ while living in Massachusetts. That notion was and is R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S.

As you begin the journey of taking a stand, remember those who seek retaliation for your abuse usually are those carrying the most guilt about it happening. They often feel like you are telling your story to get back at them. Just make sure you express that you are standing up for yourself and protecting your children from sexual abuse.

Arm yourself today friends and make sure your child, or a child you know, is protected from child sexual abuse. Tomorrow will be too late.

Free Resources

ACT NOW: Ask President Obama To Fully Support CHGME Funding – A Proven Medical Training Program!



President Obama, Speaker Boehner, and Majority Leader Cantor (left-to-right).

President Obama, Speaker Boehner, and Majority Leader Cantor (left-to-right).

President Obama and Congress continue to debate the American budget in Washington. They all agree spending taxpayer dollars on ineffective programs is a waste of money. However, let’s encourage President Obama to propose full funding for the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program in his 2015 budget. CHGME is an effective program that must be fully funded in order to provide and maintain access to care for the millions of children now covered by the Affordable Care Act.

President Obama said in his 2014 State of the Union address that he, “wants to…concentrate funding on proven programs that connect more ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs.” 

Speak Now For Kids recently reported:

For more than a decade, the CHGME national program has helped children’s hospitals across the country train 6,000 pediatricians and pediatric specialists a year to care for kids with critical health needs. The 55 hospitals that receive CHGME in the United States train nearly half of all pediatric residents, including 45 percent of general pediatricians and 51 percent of pediatric specialists.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, with the adoption of the Affordable Care Act, “additional residency slots and increased funding for doctor training will ensure that Americans have access to care, not just an insurance card.” 

About CHGME:

Young physician providing care!

Young physician providing care!

  • Children’s hospitals receiving CHGME funding train nearly half of all pediatricians and pediatric specialists.
  • In 2013, the president’s budget recommended $88 million for the CHGME program – just one-third of the $265 million eventually appropriated by Congress.
  • Supporting CHGME at $265 million will ensure that pediatricians are trained to care for children in communities across the country.


Visit: for more!

Visit: for more!

ACT NOW: Ask The Senate To Pass Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Bill Through 2018

Hello –

I received this action alert asking advocates like you and I to urge the Senate to pass the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME bill (S. 1557). The bill would extend funding through 2018 according to the alert released by the team at Speak Now For Kids. Below is the action alert:

Thank you for your recent help to successfully urge the Senate to pass the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) bill (S. 1557), extending the program’s funding through 2018. Your help was invaluable, and made a big difference. Now, it’s the House’s turn to act on this important legislation.

We are so close to this important benefit for pediatric health reaching President Obama’s desk for signature into law. This is the final step in what has been a two-year process for reauthorizing the CHGME program.

Please help us fight for access to pediatric specialty care by contacting your Member of Congress NOW.

Why is the CHGME program important? For more than a decade, the CHGME national program has helped children’s hospitals across the country train more than 6,000 pediatricians and pediatric specialists to care for kids with critical health needs.

How can you Act Now for Kids?

Send a letter to your Member of Congress NOW.

Learn more about the issues on our website.

Join our community of champions and start participating in the conversation.

 Thank you again for continuing to support children’s hospitals and taking action to protect the future of our kids’ health.

-The Speak Now for Kids Team

Visit: for more!

Visit: for more!

ACT NOW: Support Stephen McDow’s Efforts To Raise Money For Ride For Food

Stephen McDow

Stephen McDow

Can you believe it? I’m helping Open Table raise money for our program by participating in Ride For Food on September 15, 2013. All money raised will help Open Table better serve their guests who are experiencing hardship. Any donation you can make will be appreciated. I have set a goal of $1,000.

Thanks to a generous financial backer I will join Team Open Table at 7:30 am on the campus of the Noble and Greenough School. I’ve personally committed to 12 miles.

Your support is encouraged and appreciated in advance. Together, we can make an impact in the lives of individuals in need of food relief.

According to a report by Massachusetts based Project Bread and data collected from the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture):

“The food insecurity rate in Massachusetts has grown by over 43 percent since the start of the recession in 2008. This is the highest rate recorded in the Commonwealth since this data was first collected in 1995.”

In an article published recently by the Associated Press:

“Poverty is spreading at record levels across many groups, from underemployed workers and suburban families to the poorest poor. More discouraged workers are giving up on the job market, leaving them vulnerable as unemployment aid begins to run out. Suburbs are seeing increases in poverty [too].”

Dr. Cornell West of The Poverty Tour says, “You can’t lead people unless you love people and you can’t save people unless you serve people.”

What is the depth of your love and quality of your service for people, specifically poor people? Show your love and donate today by clicking the link below.

DONATE (Closed)



Stephen McDow