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Welcome to Evoke—a place to start conversations, amplify new voices, and forge stronger bonds between change-makers.

I’m glad you’ve joined us, and I’m excited about what we’ll learn from each other.
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A group of women sit around a campfire at night with the moon in the background.
November / December 2019

A Note from Melinda

What does changing the world look like?

There’s no one answer, of course. It looks like different things at different times in different places. But if there’s anything we do know, it’s that it’s not a solitary activity.

Change—the kind of change that’s truly transformational—requires people coming together, amplifying each other’s voices, affirming each other’s aspirations, multiplying each other’s power.

This month we’re exploring the theme gather. It’s a word I love because it carries such warm connotations of community and togetherness. But I also love that it describes how something that starts small can become much bigger.

That’s my hope for Evoke, too—that it will always be a place where we can gather, but also a place where we can grow.

What's Inspiring Me

World Polio Day

In 1988, the World Health Assembly set a goal to eradicate the disease and formed the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Since then, immunization efforts have reduced the number of wild polio cases by more than 99 percent. This past August, Nigeria—the last polio-endemic country in Africa—reached three years without a single case of wild polio.

That happened largely thanks to the fearless efforts of some 20,000 courageous women—community volunteers who go door-to-door to administer vaccinations to children. These women are on the front lines of the global fight against polio. On World Polio Day, I celebrated these true heroes fighting to #EndPolio once and for all.

How Smart Start is Empowering Girls in Ethiopia

While visiting Ethiopia earlier this month, I learned about Smart Start, a program from Adolescents 360. In rural areas with traditions of early marriage and pregnancy, Smart Start is empowering adolescent girls to think differently about how many kids they want and when they want to have them. All of the girls I met from the program told me they want to be mothers—and they want to be good ones. And now, they see family planning as a stepping stone to that and everything else they dream of.
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Artificial Intelligence for Social Impact

I’m inspired by the launch of Open Learning. It’s a free new program from AI4ALL that helps educators teach students how to use artificial intelligence to tackle problems they’re passionate about. AI is going to change our world—it’s up to us to make sure that change is for the better.