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Build 2000


"Mankind United"

Student-founded organization at Trent offers $100 prize for new name at www.mankindunited.org

Think. Discuss. Act.

When it comes to big, global issues like terrorism, poverty, pollution or natural disasters, these instructions seem so simple – and yet it can be difficult to direct our thoughts, to find forums for discussion, or avenues for action.

But take heart. Leonid Urlichich is a Trent University student who refuses to be paralyzed by the magnitude of the world's issues. An international student from Russia who refuses to acknowledge the notion of apathy, he's dead set on finding solutions. That's why he founded Mankind United, a fledgling organization with an ambitious motto: "Global Solidarity for a Safe Future." As Mr. Urlichich says, "If I knew how to save the world, I would; but I started this organization instead."

Mr. Urlichich's passion about the precarious future of humankind is well founded. On October 23, 2002, his father, Yuri, found himself among the 1000 hostages in a Moscow theatre that has become another infamous example of the threat of terrorism in our world. Having survived 70 hours of terror, Yuri Urlichich – a Russian scientist and general director of the Russian Institute of Space Device Engineering – felt a desire to respond to some of the greatest threats to humanity and he shared this vision with his son Leonid.

Now at Trent and enrolled in his second year of the Business Administration program, Leonid Urlichich has founded Mankind United to fulfill his father's dream. The organization's Web site states its call to action: "to provoke thought, and analysis of the potential consequences of human-caused and natural disasters, or anything else that poses a threat to humankind." But one of its first hurdles is to find a name that resonates with a worldwide audience.

Upon arriving at Trent, Mr. Urlichich discovered that the name Mankind United appeared to be exclusive of women, so he's personally funding a contest to raise awareness for his cause and find a new name. A $100 prize is being offered through the organization's Web site at www.mankindunited.org

The site also provides a wealth of information on the origins of the project and how to get involved.

Mr. Urlichich's hope is that the contest will bring more people on board with his global cause. The contest closes March 5, 2005 and all are encouraged to participate.

Posted March 1, 2005

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