The Activist is the communications arm of the Pamela and Ajay Raju Foundation. It serves as a social change agent by identifying and incubating ideas and organizations that advance our civic mission. The watchwords of The Activist are: Engage, Educate, and Empower. As a platform for embracing and amplifying the voices of visionary change-makers in the Philadelphia region, The Activist will engage a citizenry eager to play a role in shaping the region’s future, offer insights, information and inspiration to help make sense of the common issues we face, and empower individuals and groups to develop and deploy solutions. In addition to highlighting Foundation-supported initiatives, the Activist will offer a platform and forum for like-minded rebels to attract attention and amplify their impact. Our op-ed corner will give voice to radical thinkers from unheralded quarters, and we will salute and support those taking on vested interests and demanding change. The Activist is not an outlet for bomb throwers but a platform for world builders, those who shape the contours of their objects through the prism of inclusivity and grit. Acknowledging the present reality of scarcity while devoted to a future of shared abundance, the Activist is guided by the principle that, if the horizon is distant, the journey must begin now.


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Activism Spotlight

“Project Ventilator”: Our response to COVID-19






COVID: Japan Vs. United States

There are a lot of possible explanations for why Japan has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic better than the United States. It’s possible that the Japanese are more used to wearing masks, that the government used contact tracing more effectively to contain outbreaks… But according to Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist, and the dean of the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, one of the main reasons Japan is coping with the coronavirus more successfully than the United States is for a different reason entirely: their obesity rate.


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Where does Philadelphia stand, compared to other cities of similar sizes?

Philadelphia has lagged behind cities of similar size in its preparedness and response to COVID-19. Phoenix, with a slightly higher population, saw half of Philadelphia’s infection rate. San Antonio, with a slightly lower population, saw an infection rate roughly a fifth of Philadelphia’s. Phoenix and San Antonio might have prepared for a longer period, but objectively speaking, the two southern cities have been more successful in combating the virus than their similarly-sized counterpart. As the pandemic progressives, conclusive data will begin to illuminate the examined phenomenon in a brighter light.