Greg Mortenson and our false ideals about social change
The Greg Mortenson Scandal: One University's Bitter Cup of Tea
The Greg Mortenson We Knew
Greg Mortenson: 60 Minutes
Several weeks ago, author Greg Mortenson found himself in a bit of an unwanted media firestorm. Mortenson wrote the tremendously popular book "Three Cups of Tea" about his time spent in Central Asia in the early 1990s. The work has inspired others to donate to his organization (the Central Asia Institute), which is dedicated to building girls' schools in Pakistan. Unfortunately, it appears that Mortenson may have fabricated some of the details of his original trek to the region, and many literary commentators are quite upset. The other thread of the story belongs to the world of charitable giving, and a number of people are even more upset by the concerns raised about Central Asia Institute's finances than by any unseemly fabrications in Mortenson's book. The USA Today's Sandra Block reported this week that Daniel Borochoff, founder of the American Institute of Philanthropy had requested financial information from the Central Asia Institute in 2009, and found out that the organization did not have any audited financial statements at that time. In a piece for the Christian Science Monitor, Courtney E. Martin and John Cary talk about the problems of "do gooder celebrity" which seem to have incredible influence on certain aspects of the non-profit world, including Mortenson's own organization. It is a story that is still very much playing out, and one that those in the non-profit world will be following closely. [KMG]
The first link will take interested parties to the piece mentioned above, from the USA Today's Sandra Block, about the investigation into the Central Asia Institute. The second link leads to the other aforementioned piece in this Monday's Christian Science Monitor regarding "do gooder celebrity". Moving on, the third link will take users to a piece from last week's Time magazine about an award given to Mortenson by the University of Louisville which is now under review. The fourth link will whisk interested parties to an opinion piece by Dennis Higman (writing for the New West literary website) about his relationship and encounters with Mortenson. The fifth link leads to a recent investigative piece from 60 Minutes on Mortenson and the controversy surrounding his book "Three Cups of Tea" and the Institute. For those who might be considering a gift to a charitable organization, the sixth link leads to the Charity Navigator website. Here visitors can search for information about charities of interest and view top ten lists such as "10 Highly-Rated Charities with Low Paid CEOs".
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