NYC Make America Again! T-Shirt Project

In May 2013 NPR’s Planet Money started a Kickstarter campaign to make a t-shirt and tell the story of how it was made. Planet Money T-Shirt Kickstarter campaign

Using labor from places such as Bangladesh and Columbia each t-shirt costed about $12.42.

T-Shirt costs

We at StartUpTown will be making our own t-shirt using as many high-quality local inputs as possible to demonstrate the Economic Impact Rating. Our efforts will be featured in a documentary called I Could Be….

Economic Impact Rating

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Documentary Addressing Inequity in America

StartUpTown Weekend - NYC

September 2014 Harlem NYC

Make America Again!
Then Your Light Will Rise

And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday. ~ Isaiah 58:10

Hope Community Services

HOPE Volunteer Coordinator Sue Gedney, 2013 New York State High School Chess Champion Joshua Cola, 94 years old volunteer Iris Freed and Terrance Jackson. HOPE Community Services is the largest food pantry/soup kitchen in Westchester County. Photo:

Following in the footsteps of people such as Jack London, George Orwell, and Steve Jobs, Terrance Jackson spent over two years homeless in New Rochelle, NY and discovered the power of empathy to fuel innovation and creativity:

I believe that empathy – the imaginative act of stepping into another person’s shoes and viewing the world from their perspective – is a radical tool for social change and should be a guiding light for the art of living. Over the past decade, I have become convinced that it has the power not only to transform individual lives, but to help tackle some of the great problems of our age, from wealth inequality to violent conflicts and climate change.

It is important to understand what empathy is and is not. If you see a homeless person living under a bridge you may feel sorry for him and give him some money as you pass by. That is pity or sympathy, not empathy. If, on the other hand, you make an effort to look at the world through his eyes, to consider what life is really like for him, and perhaps have a conversation that transforms him from a faceless stranger into a unique individual, then you are empathising. ~ Roman Krznaric

Roman Krznaric - Empathy

RSA Animate – The Power of Outrospection –

During this time as a homeless person, Terrance developed a event something like a Harlem version of SXSW called StartUpTown Weekend. This will include the Health is a Human Right Concert at the Apollo.

100% Free Healthcare

Apollo Theater marquee

Health is a Human Right Concert – September 2014

Health is a Human Right

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including … medical care.” Article 25 (1)Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), 1948.

September 2014

At the World Famous Apollo Theater

A part of

StartUpTown Weekend

Make America Again!

According to a Daily News article, “Another unhealthy year for Harlem:”

  • Central Harlem had the highest death rate of any community in the city with 8.8 deaths per 1,000 people in 2009, compared with 6.1 deaths per 1,000 people citywide.
  • East Harlem ranked third in the city with a rate of 8.3 deaths per 1,000 people.

According to another report by the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, the child poverty rate is 35.8% for Central Harlem and 44.2% for East Harlem. Compared to city-wide of 30.0% and 22.1% for Manhattan.

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GOTV Using NationBuilder

New Rochelle NAACP

StartUpTown will be working with the New Rochelle NAACP branch on a Get Out To Vote (GOTV) effort for the New Rochelle School Board election on May 20th.

One of the major issues that we will be addressing is religious literacy. Americans are very religious, but we know very little about religion. In a USA Today article, “Americans get an ‘F’ in religion,” Boston University Professor Stephen Prothero offers a remedy:

Prothero’s solution is to require middle-schoolers to take a course in world religions and high schoolers to take one on the Bible. Biblical knowledge also should be melded into history and literature courses where relevant.

Stephen Prothero on The Colbert Report

BU Professor Stephen Prothero on The Colbert Report

For this election, we are looking to do the type of mailings and door-to-door canvassing suggested by this New York Times article:

Before the 2006 Michigan gubernatorial primary, three political scientists isolated a group of voters and mailed them copies of their voting histories, listing the elections in which they participated and those they missed. Included were their neighbors’ voting histories, too, along with a warning: after the polls closed, everyone would get an updated set.

After the primary, the academics examined the voter rolls and were startled by the potency of peer pressure as a motivational tool. The mailer was 10 times better at turning nonvoters into voters than the typical piece of pre-election mail whose effectiveness has ever been measured.


We will be using the NationBuilder platform.

The New Rochelle School Board budget passed in 2013 was $239.5 million. What we learn can be used in the September primaries, the general election in November, and next year’s School Board election.

Click here to download brochure that will handed out at the New Rochelle NAACP branch meeting.

Power Comes From Faith

Discussing his book David and Goliath, in an interview, Malcolm Gladwell states:

Power comes from faith.

Power comes from faith

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. ~ Matthew 21:21

Go Make Something Happen ~ Seth Godin

In a review of David and Goliath, Seth Godin states:

The point [of Malcolm Gladwell’s book] is that we are ALL capable of doing great work, ALL capable of doing work that matters, ALL capable of heroism. Why then, do some succeed and others never even try?
Silicon Valley works for the very reason that a broken inner-city fails. Because of cultural expectations. People become heroes when they’re surrounded by a culture that allows them to dream it’s possible.
Surrounding our young people in a culture that allows them to dream to become heroes.

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