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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: February 2014

NSA and GCHQ Spying on WikiLeaks, Assange Calls for Special Prosecutor to Investigate

Julian Assange calls for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate the NSA, after documents show US spying on WikiLeaks and its supporters.

Today, documents were published from the national security whistleblower Edward Snowden, detailing US and UK spying efforts against the publishing organization WikiLeaks. One document shows that as far back as 2010 the US National Security Agency added WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to a “MANHUNTING” target list, together with suspected members of al-Qaeda. Another shows that the NSA wanted to designate WikiLeaks as a “malicious foreign actor” in order to expand the NSA’s ability to target WikiLeaks staff, associates and supporters. And a third document, from 2012, demonstrates that the NSA’s UK partner GCHQ also spied on WikiLeaks and its readers.

READ THE ARTICLE AT THE INTERCEPT HERE: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/02/18/snowden-docs-reveal-covert-surveillance-and-pressure-tactics-aimed-at-wikileaks-and-its-supporters/

In response to these revelations WikiLeaks Editor Julian Assange has released the following statement:

’WikiLeaks strongly condemns the reckless and unlawful behavior of the National Security Agency. We call on the Obama administration to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the extent of the NSA’s criminal activity against the media including WikiLeaks and its extended network.

News that the NSA planned these operations at the level of its Office of the General Counsel is especially troubling. No less concerning are revelations that the US government deployed “elements of state power” to pressure European nations into abusing their own legal systems; and that the British spy agency GCHQ is engaged in extensive hostile monitoring of a popular publisher’s website and its readers.

The NSA and its UK accomplices show no respect for the rule of law. But there is a cost to conducting illicit actions against a media organization. We have already filed criminal cases against the FBI and US military in multiple European jurisdictions. The FBI’s paid informant, who attempted to sell information about me and my staff to the FBI, was imprisoned earlier this year.

No entity, including the NSA, should be permitted to act against journalists with impunity. We have instructed our General Counsel Judge Baltasar Garzón to prepare the appropriate response. The investigations into attempts to interfere with the work of WikiLeaks will go wherever they need to go. Make no mistake: those responsible will be held to account and brought to justice.’

The disclosures come after yesterday’s release of two new documents from the long-running US Grand Jury against WikiLeaks. As of November 2013 the United States Department of Justice has stated that the investigation continues.

For background on some of the US intelligence activities conducted against WikiLeaks, see Julian Assange’s affidavit.

For interviews, please contact Trevor FitzGibbon at 202.406.0646 or trevor@fitzgibbonmedia.com

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Contact:
Trevor FitzGibbon
202.406.0646
trevor@fitzgibbonmedia.com

Christina DiPasquale
202.716.1953
Christina@fitzgibbonmedia.com

PenFed Foundation Selects Jane Whitfield as New President and CEO

Nonprofit serving military community welcomes its first female head

February 18, 2014, WASHINGTON — The Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation (PenFed Foundation) has selected Jane Whitfield as its new president and chief executive officer as of March 3. A nationally recognized leader in the nonprofit sector, Whitfield will be the foundation’s first female head. She was selected to lead the organization after a nationwide search. Whitfield will replace Christopher Flynn who will return to his role as senior executive vice president of PenFed (Pentagon Federal Credit Union) until his upcoming retirement.

“Jane is the perfect choice to lead the foundation into the future. She will bring a fresh set of eyes backed up by a sterling resume,” said Col. (Ret) Bill Siegert, board chairman of the PenFed Foundation. “Her decades of work in philanthropy combined with her personal experiences give her a unique perspective on how the PenFed Foundation can grow and flourish. We’re very excited to welcome her aboard.”

After a successful career in sales and marketing, Whitfield moved into the nonprofit world more than 20 years ago, working in senior executive positions with organizations including UC Berkeley School of Law, Graduate Theological Union, and Bay Area Legal Aid. Since founding Whitfield Consulting in 2008, she has worked with foundations, nonprofits, and individual philanthropists to improve leadership development, fundraising, communications, program planning, and evaluation.

Whitfield also comes from a military family. Her father was a pilot in the Navy in World War II, while her brother had a 20-year career in the Army. Her son, Marine Sgt. Matthew Abbate, was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for valor shown in an ambush in Afghanistan’s Helmand province in 2010. Whitfield says her family’s culture of service inspired her to focus her work on veteran’s issues and the challenges faced by the military community.

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“I personally look forward to working closely with Jane,” added Siegert. “I’m confident that with her vision and commitment she will take the foundation to a new level so we can do what we do best even better: serving the men and women of the defense community.”

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About the Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation (the PenFed Foundation)

The PenFed Foundation is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization working to meet the unmet financial needs of military members and their families through supporting wounded warriors and providing the military community with financial management assistance and home ownership aid. Through a unique public-private partnership, the PenFed Foundation joined with the Department of Veterans Affairs to fund the new Lee and Penny Anderson Defenders Lodge, a $17 million project. PenFed (Pentagon Federal Credit Union) covers all labor expenses for the foundation so nearly every dollar donated goes directly to supporting its programs.

To make a donation or learn more about the foundation visit: www.penfedfoundation.org.

Contact:
Alison Beckwith
301-699-0148
media@penfedfoundation.org

Community Foundation of Utah Shows Its Love For Utah Nonprofits on Valentine’s Day At First Annual Utah Fund Social Investors Forum

Salt Lake City, Utah –– On Friday, February 14th, the Community Foundation of Utah showed its love for Utah nonprofit organizations at the First Annual Utah Fund Social Investors Forum held at Westminster on the Draw. Social entrepreneurs The Green Urban Lunchbox and the Salt Lake Bicycle Collective were each given $20,000 in capital to expand their innovative, high impact and sustainable business models.

Of note, the Green Urban Lunchbox received twice the amount requested, underscoring the investment nature of this program
. The Social Investors Forum is the first of its kind in the nation, and another first for the Community Foundation of Utah, fast becoming known as a pioneering grantmaker.

In January, the Community Foundation of Utah received 150 responses to a Call for Investments. In stark contrast to a typical grant application, the Call was only one page long and did not specify a grant amount. Fraser Nelson, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Utah explained, “The responses are a barometer of the needs of our state, and the entrepreneurial spirit that Utahns bring to solving social problems.”

A group of experts reviewed the requests and narrowed the field to six finalists whose projects demonstrated a compelling new idea, a novel approach to solving a social problem, and a commitment to a sustainable funding model. These finalists pitched their ideas 17 representatives from the venture capital, philanthropic, corporate, entrepreneurial and social sectors in front of an audience. The finalists were: AAA Fair Credit Foundation, Canyonlands Field Institute, The Green Urban Lunch Box, The Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective, Spy Hop Productions and the Utah Nonprofits Association.

The Green Urban Lunch Box was awarded $20,000 in support of their Fruit Share program, which gathers fruit from urban trees, and shares the bounty three ways: one third of the fruit is given back to the tree owner, one third to food banks and one third is used to produce jams sold at local farmers markets, sustaining the organization. The Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective received $20,000 for their Earn-A-Bike program. Here, youth earn their bike by building it. Reconstructed and repaired bikes are also sold to the public, creating a revenue source for the Collective.

Jeramy Lund, Board Chair of The Community Foundation of Utah, stated, “We are pleased to be able to support these social enterprises. They share our commitment to sustainability, impact and innovation, and demonstrate a new way to meet social needs.”

In addition, the Community Foundation of Utah is encouraging others to invest in these and other efforts uncovered through the Call for Investments. Lund added, “True to what the Community Foundation of Utah is all about, we look to leverage our charitable giving expertise and help connect philanthropists with projects that have the potential to change our community. We would love to all these worthy projects funded.”

A compendium of all requests for support has been made available on the Community Foundation of Utah’s website (www.utahcf.org) , informing government, foundations, investors and the community about both needs and the social innovators dedicated to meeting them.

About The Community Foundation of Utah

The Community Foundation of Utah is a catalyst for philanthropy that is visionary, diverse, and inclusive. The Utah Fund is the grant-making fund of the Community Foundation of Utah, built by and for the people of our state. It leverages the giving of many individuals to support programs and services are hard to find, unique, and selected for their innovation and impact. You can support the Utah Fund by making a donation at www.utahcf.org.

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Contact:
Fraser Nelson, Executive Director
Community Foundation of Utah
(801) 559-3005
fraser@utahcf.org

Unite4:Good And Variety Announce “Unite4:Humanity,” An Event To Celebrate Good, Giving And Greatness Around The Globe

Event Will Honor Excellence in Philanthropy Among Everyday Heroes and Entertainment Industry Stars

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February 12, 2014 – (Los Angeles, CA) unite4:good (www.unite4good.org), the global movement for humanity, announces the first ever unite4:humanity event in Los Angeles on February 27th to be held at the Sony Lot in association with Variety (www.variety.com). This star-studded event will be held during Hollywood’s biggest week and will serve to amplify the unite4:good mission of promoting positivity, inspiring charitable engagement and empowering acts of kindness and service in order to create a positive shift in our global society. Everyday heroes selected by unite4:good’s Founding Affiliates and coaltion4:good will be honored alongside the entertainment industry’s brightest stars and some of the world’s most influential leaders in media, politics, business and philanthropy.

The night will include the presentation of the Unity Recognition Award to President Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States. The Award recognizes an outstanding individual who has used their voice to unite people around the world and create longlasting, sustainable and positive impact.

Variety Magazine will present a series of unite4:humanity awards to entertainment industry icons who have created positive, inspirational or socially conscious media and entertainment in the areas of film, television and music.

“The purpose behind this unite4:humanity event is to create awareness about the unite4:good movement, which asks each and every individual to create positivity around them, and to engage in acts of kindness and service. It is an honor to bring together these extraordinary everyday heroes with some of the most recognizable and philanthropic individuals, organizations and businesses in the world,” said Anthony Melikhov, Founder of unite4:good. “The evening is a celebration of goodness, with every dollar raised committed to sustaining both the movement and the programs we have put into place with all of our coalition non-profits. With Variety as our partner, we believe that this will be a night to remember for all.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with unite4:good on their inaugural unite4:humanity event. Variety has a long-standing commitment to supporting the philanthropic endeavors of the entertainment community and we applaud unite4:good’s ongoing efforts in encouraging the industry to engage in acts of kindness and service and for celebrating their efforts,” said Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, Publisher, Variety. 

Additional highlights of the evening will include:

  • Five everyday heroes will be awarded $25,000 unite4:good grants to further the work they are doing to positively impact their local communities in the areas of Arts, Animal Welfare, Environment, Health and Human Services and Youth Development. Beginning February 10th, the public will be asked to visit unite4good.org to vote, with the recipient of the most votes receiving an additional Impact Grant of $50,000. All five outstanding citizens will be recognized on stage during the evening.
  • The evening will serve as the official launch of the unite4:good social media platform for good, enabling local and national organizations to create profiles and interact with inspired, likeminded individuals from around the world to raise funds and awareness, create calls to action and launch initiatives. The online platform will pass 100% of all donations through to the charities and additionally reward individuals who “do good” through unite4:good’s relationship with corporate partners.
  • The night will highlight unite4:good’s coaltion4:good, which includes 15 Founding Affiliate organizations who have each received a unite4:good grant to create programming. These organizations include: ASPCA, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Conservation International, Do Something.org, the Eva Longoria Foundation, Exploring the Arts, Feeding America, the Joyful Heart Foundation, Keep a Child Alive, Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative, Partnership for a Healthier America, Points of Light, The Trevor Project and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

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For more information, please visit unite4good.org. Please join the conversation online at Facebook: facebook.com/unite4good.org and Twitter: @unite4good using hashtags #U4Gunite4humanity #unite4good.

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About unite4:good

unite4:good is a revolutionary global movement that will establish a new standard whereby acts of kindness and service become so idolized that everyone chooses to make them a part of their daily life. Through empowering action, creating new programs and uniting individuals and organizations in innovative ways, we will provoke positive and lasting change on a global scale. unite4:good will encourage everyone to inspire, empower, share and love. (unite4good.org).

About Variety:

Variety and Variety.com provide the industry with the most comprehensive coverage of film, television and the digital space. With respected and experienced news reporters in Los Angeles, New York and around the world, Variety marries its historic coverage of the entertainment business with a recently revamped website and weekly print magazine offering readers the in-depth news coverage needed to remain competitive in the ever- changing entertainment industry. The Variety Group – Variety, Variety.com, Variety Insight, LA 411, NY 411 – is owned by Variety Media, LLC, a division of Penske Media Corporation.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

For: unite4:good
Shaila Arora
Shaila@arorapr.com
310.717.8255

For: unite4:humanity
PMK•BNC
Jennifer Kearney
Jennifer.kearney@pmkbnc.com
310.854.4789

Unite4:Good And Variety Announce “Unite4:Humanity” Award Recipients

Alicia Keys, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Selena Gomez to be Honored and Five Everyday Heroes to Receive the unite4:humanity Inspiration Award and Grant

February 14, 2014 – (Los Angeles, CA) unite4:good (www.unite4good.org), the global movement for humanity, announces Alicia Keys as the Music Visionary Award recipient, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the Creative Commitment in Television Award recipient and Selena Gomez as the recipient of the Young Humanitarian Award at the first ever unite4:humanity event in association with Variety (www.variety.com). In addition, five everyday heroes will be presented with the unite4:humanity Inspiration Award and grant during a very special ceremony at the Sony Lot in Los Angeles on Thursday, February 27.

Grammy® Award-winning musical icon, Alicia Keys, will be honored for her work as an activist and Founder of Keep A Child Alive (www.keepachildalive.org), which has provided treatment, love and support to families in Africa affected by HIV/AIDS for over a decade. Keys will also take the stage for a very special musical performance. Emmy® Award-winning actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus will be honored for her support of and work with Heal The Bay, utilizing her influence, skills and voice to promote the philanthropic cause. Selena Gomez will be honored for her involvement as a UNICEF Ambassador and use of her influence to the youth community to help promote the cause.

Through a selection process that began in December 2013, each of unite4:good’s Founding Affiliates identified an everyday hero who is furthering its mission in a local community and through their own efforts. Out of the 15 remarkable individuals nominated by the Affiliates, five were selected by an impartial committee to receive the unite4:humanity Inspiration Award in the categories of the Arts, Animal Welfare, Environment, Health and Human Services/Public Benefit and Youth Development/Education. Each recipient will be presented with a $25,000 grant to further their good work.

Between now and February 19, the stories of the five Inspiration Award recipients will appear on
http://www.unite4good.org/inspiration-awards. The public is asked to visit the site, learn about the recipients, and vote on which humanitarian should receive the unite4:humanity Impact Grant, an additional $50,000 grant that will be presented on stage to a surprise winner at the event.

Background on Inspiration Award recipients and Impact Grant nominees:

Category: Health and Human Services/Public Benefit

  • Cherie Jamason, nominated by Feeding America

Jamason joined the Food Bank of Northern Nevada 25 years ago. With her leadership and expertise, the Food Bank has grown from a grass-roots food assistance program to a nationally recognized anti-hunger organization, providing services throughout the state of Nevada and a portion of Eastern California. Under Cherie’s direction, hunger issues have been brought to the forefront, garnering both attention and action. Cherie successfully implemented the “Nevada Child Nutrition” initiative, which provides summer food and after-school meal programs for low-income children throughout the state, a regional food stamp outreach program and nutrition education for at-risk schools. Jamason also secured the Commodity Supplemental Food Program for Nevada.

Category: Arts

  • Kathy Eldon, nominated by Points of Light

Eldon has worked as a teacher, journalist, author, film and television producer on three continents. Inspired by her son Dan, a Reuters photojournalist killed in Somalia in l993, she launched Creative Visions Foundation in 1998, which has nurtured hundreds of “creative activists” who use arts and media for social change. Kathy’s Creative Visions Productions has produced many acclaimed films including: “Soldiers of Peace,” a CNN special about the Children’s Peace Movement in Colombia; “Global Tribe,” a PBS series featuring grass-roots creative activists; and “Extraordinary Moms,” an OWN special featuring Hillary Clinton, Christiane Amanpour and Julia Roberts. Currently, she is developing “Best Care Possible,” a PBS documentary about compassionate end-of-life care in America. 



Category: Environment

  • David Schwartz, nominated by DoSomething.org

Schwartz is the co-founder and Campaign Director of Real Food Challenge (RFC), a national student movement to create a healthier, just and sustainable food system. Through student-led campaigns, RFC has shifted over $55 million in annual university food purchases to local, ecological, fair and humane farms and food businesses. David regularly leads national youth summits and leadership trainings — in 2013, RFC programs involved more than 100,000 young people on over 306 college campuses. David was selected as a 2010 Echoing Green Fellow for his social enterprise leadership and was honored as a semifinalist at the 2011 VH1/Do Something Awards.

Category: Youth Development/Education

  • Dr. Flint Fowler, nominated by Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Dr. Fowler is President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis. Flint has impacted the lives of children and teens through his work with INROADS/St. Louis, Operation Teamwork; Upward Bound and Boy Scouts. He continues to support youth development through his organization, which serves more than 8,000 young people in five club sites and five elementary schools. He is active with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and served on several planning committees, including the Commission for the Second Century and the National Commission on Impact. He received both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Washington University and a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University. He is a graduate of the Management Program and Thomas Garth Executive Leadership Program.

Category: Animal Welfare

  • Jane Hoffman, nominated by ASPCA

Jane Hoffman helped found the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals (created to apply creative, targeted solutions to NYC’s homeless animal crisis) in 2002 and has served as President and Chair of the Board of Directors ever since. Working pursuant to a 10-year strategic plan and with 150+ rescue groups and shelters that now participate in the Alliance (ranging from the ASCPA, a founding supporter, to small neighborhood-based rescue groups), the collaboration has succeeded in reducing euthanasia at local shelters by 81 percent. Hoffman is an attorney, formerly with Simpson Thacher and Bartlett, and was in private practice specializing in taxation, executive compensation and estate planning. Hoffman continues to speak extensively around the country on the public/private partnership as a replicable model for bringing together animal welfare groups to develop creative solutions to combat animal overpopulation and animal control issues.

For more information, please visit: www.unite4good.org
Please join the conversation online and vote for a nominee at: http://www.unite4good.org/inspiration-awards
Please join the conversation online at Facebook: facebook.com/unite4good.org and
Twitter: @unite4good using hashtags #U4Gunite4humanity #unite4good.

                                                                              ###

About unite4:good

unite4:good is a revolutionary global movement that will establish a new standard whereby acts of kindness and service become so idolized that everyone chooses to make them a part of their daily life. Through empowering action, creating new programs and uniting individuals and organizations in innovative ways, we will provoke positive and lasting change on a global scale. unite4:good will encourage everyone to inspire, empower, share and love. (unite4good.org).

About Variety

Variety and Variety.com provide the industry with the most comprehensive coverage of film, television and the digital space. With respected and experienced news reporters in Los Angeles, New York and around the world, Variety marries its historic coverage of the entertainment business with a recently revamped website and weekly print magazine offering readers the in-depth news coverage needed to remain competitive in the ever-changing entertainment industry. The Variety Group – Variety, Variety.com, Variety Insight, LA 411, NY 411 – is owned by Variety Media, LLC, a division of Penske Media Corporation.

Back for an Encore: The REAL Change Project—Artists for Education Returns for Second Season

— Pitbull, Jennifer Hudson, Ludacris, Tony Bennett and More Celebrate Education Superstars in Annual Television Special —

New York, NY (February 14, 2014)REAL Change Productions LLC, a premiere production and entertainment consultant company, today announced the return of The REAL Change Project—Artists for Education. Back for its second season, the annual television special in partnership with AdoptAClassroom.org combines celebrities with philanthropy, exclusive musical performances, touching one-on-one interviews and more. The REAL Change Project Season 2 is scheduled to air during back-to-school season on September 8 and will feature performances and interviews from world-renowned artists including Pitbull, Jennifer Hudson, Ludacris, Tony Bennett, Matthew Morrison, Jason Mraz and Lady Antebellum.

During its debut last year, The REAL Change Project—along with partner AdoptAClassroom.org and 2013 sponsor Office Depot—raised more than $1 million to help provide students across the country with the resources they need to succeed. Hosted by award-winning singer and actress Vanessa Williams, The REAL Change Project’s inaugural show featured performances and interviews from artists including Pitbull, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Quincy Jones, Jason Mraz, Redfoo, Matthew Morrison and Lady Antebellum.

The premier season’s success also had an international impact, funding the construction of two schools in Guatemala through generous donations to Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit organization that strives to provide quality education to underprivileged children in third world countries. Pala Preschool and Primary School as well as Pasac Palacal Preschool and Primary School are both located in the Boca Costa region of Guatemala and are dedicated to The REAL Change Project presented by Office Depot.

“We are awed and inspired by what The REAL Change Project achieved in just its first year, benefiting students and educators in the United States and abroad,” said Liam Murphy, Founder and CEO, REAL Change Productions LLC. “We have an incredible cast of artists lined up for our second season and are both excited and confident that together, we can extend our reach even farther, inspire others to help and change more lives for the better.”

The REAL Change Project looks forward to bringing further awareness for AdoptAClassroom.org and Pencils of Promise, improving educational environments and opportunities for students both in the United States and around the world.

About REAL Change Productions

REAL Change Productions, LLC (RCP) is a premiere production/consultant company established in 2008. RCP focuses on the creative and business sides in television, film, music and special social platforms that complement the world and create change.

Founder and CEO Liam Murphy is the son of two career public school teachers and created the television special The REAL Change Project—Artists for Education to help bring to light educational programs that are helping children, teachers and schools. The REAL Change Project annual television special will inspire the nation to create change.

About AdoptAClassroom.org

Founder James Rosenberg was a mergers and acquisitions attorney when he was mentoring a student at a school for pre-Kindergarten aged physically and mentally delayed children. James was astounded by the lack of resources in the classroom, especially in contrast to the wealth in corporate America that he witnessed in his professional life.

Inspired to “do something,” and with the assistance of law school friend Max Holtzman, James started AdoptAClassroom.org to provide members of the community with an easy way to help teachers. James left his law job in 1998 and has devoted his full time to the mission ever since.

Today, AdoptAClassroom.org increases the opportunity for student success by empowering teachers with community partners and funds to purchase resources for the classroom.

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CONTACT
Tricia Manzanero
Tricia@rosengrouppr.com
646-695-7046

Baruch College And City College Of New York Host 1st Annual Idea Brewery Hackathon

NEW YORK, NY – February 14, 2014The Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship at Baruch College and the Zahn Center for Entrepreneurship at the City College of New York (CCNY) held the first annual Idea Brewery Hackathon on February 7. A total of 28 students from both colleges signed up to participate in the one-day competition, where they generated innovative product ideas that will make life better through the use of a mobile app, website, augmented reality or 3D printing.

Eight teams presented their ideas to a panel of judges for the chance to win $1,000. The winner was Team 5, who developed the app “Then and Now.” The team consisted of Crae Sosa, a chemical engineering undergrad from CCNY, Arthur Autz, a biomedical engineering graduate student from CCNY, and Esther Lykes, an Entrepreneurship undergrad from Baruch College. The app focused on augmented reality and would appeal to tourists and history buffs.

The winning team (Team 5) of the 1st Annual Idea Brewery Hackathon.
From L-R: Arthur Autz, Crae Sosa, both from CCNY, and Esther Lykes of Baruch College.

Haytham Elhawary, Executive Director of the Zahn Center for Entrepreneurship at the City College of New York, said: “City College is known as an engineering school, not a business school. Students at Baruch’s Field Center are business students. We thought it made perfect sense to bring these groups together. The hope is that [through participation in the Idea Brewery Hackathon] these students will get excited about entrepreneurship and continue to develop their idea. They are also encouraged to go on to participate in the SmartPitch Challenge.”

As noted by Monica Dean, Administrative Director of the Field Center for Entrepreneurship, “Over the course of nine hours, 11 women and 17 men participated in an exercise that enabled them to generate new business ideas. Many of the students only met their teammates 15 minutes before the start of the competition. I was amazed that they were able to come up with complex and innovative ideas over the course of just a few hours.”

Students were given a list of web and technology resources and executives from The Rise Group, a professional training and coaching company, presented workshops throughout the day to assist the teams with idea generation, narrowing down their options, and presenting their pitch. Mentors, including both Baruch and CCNY faculty and Small Business Development staff members with expertise in 3D printing/business, finance, mobile/web, marketing, tech & augmented realty, were also on hand to help students.

Camille Santistevan, Education & Outreach Manager for the Center for Advanced Technology at CCNY mentored students throughout the day. She said, “I could see that the students were getting too much into the mechanics of their idea – how it would actually work. But today’s event is all about selling an idea.”

The competition, which was planned by Field Center Fellow Faith Fraser, required the teams to present a four-minute pitch that addressed: the need/problem in the consumer market, how their idea would make life better, their target market, and how they would launch and scale their idea.

“The reason Team 5 won is because they presented an emotional plea that was also logically easy to understand,” said one judge, Ray Garcia, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Field Center for Entrepreneurship, who is also a graduate of the School of Engineering at CCNY.

Other teams presented ideas that included a product that would reduce water waste in showers and a website based on community networking that would allow for resource sharing in poor communities.

Garcia, along with fellow judges Dr. Joseph Barba, former Dean of the Grove School of Engineering at CCNY, and Edward Rogoff, The Lawrence N. Field Professor of Entrepreneurship and the Chair of the Department of Management at Baruch College, scored the teams based on 1) The novelty and innovativeness of the idea 2) The impact/potential to address the problem on a large scale 3) The Pitch – the ability to clearly articulate the idea 4) The cohesiveness of the team and 5) The compelling use of research (primary and/or secondary).

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About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 5 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Manny Romero
(646) 660-6141 
manuel.romero@baruch.cuny.edu

Celene McDermott
(646) 660-6134
celene.mcdermott@baruch.cuny.edu

The 2014 Henry R. Kravis Prize In Leadership Honors Helen Keller International For Its Worldwide Fight Against Preventable Blindness

HKI’s global programs save millions from blindness and death

CLAREMONT, Calif., Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Claremont McKenna College announces today that Helen Keller International, whose mission is to combat the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition, has won the ninth annual Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership. The Kravis Prize carries a $250,000 award and recognizes extraordinary leadership in the nonprofit sector. Kathy Spahn, President and CEO of Helen Keller International, will be presented with The Kravis Prize during ceremonies on March 13, on the CMC campus. The Prize celebrates the accomplishments of its recipients and shares best practices with others.

Founded in 1915 by Helen Keller and George Kessler, Helen Keller International (HKI) is among the oldest international nonprofits devoted to preventing blindness and reducing malnutrition. Headquartered in New York City, HKI works in 22 countries around the world. In the U.S., Helen Keller International combats vision impairment by providing impoverished and at-risk school children free vision screenings and prescription eyeglasses, in many cases mitigating poor academic performances. Its screening programs in Los Angeles County have resulted in over 216,000 vision screenings and close to 22,000 pairs of free prescription eyeglasses to schoolchildren in need.

“It is an incredible honor and a privilege to have been selected for the Kravis Prize,” said Kathy Spahn, President and CEO of Helen Keller International. “In addition to recognizing the successes we have achieved in saving sight, improving health and reducing child mortality, this award celebrates the importance of sharing the practices behind those successes so that the impact of the work – saving sight and lives – can be multiplied.”

“Helen Keller International’s worldwide expansion benefitting the most vulnerable populations is a testament to HKI’s real and measurable impact,” said Henry R. Kravis ‘67, co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., and founder of the Kravis Prize. “There is much to be learned from Helen Keller International’s transformative and encouragingly successful work. Their research in nutritional blindness more than four decades ago revealed how something as simple as a vitamin A capsule could mean the difference between sight or blindness––between life and death,” Mr. Kravis said.

Marie-Josee Kravis, chair of the Kravis Prize Selection Committee, said HKI’s leadership in this area has been pivotal. “This nonprofit’s irrepressible, extraordinary human spirit is only matched by its dedication to the exceptional work continued by its torch bearers, despite challenging realities. We are grateful for their remarkable work to change lives all over the world, including the lives of young people right here in U.S.”

Of the estimated 285 million people who are blind or visually impaired, 80 percent of cases are preventable, according to The World Health Organization. Nearly two billion people suffer from malnutrition caused by a lack of basic nutrients, which stunts physical and mental health and causes blindness. Each year, an estimated 500,000 children go blind as a result of vitamin A deficiency. The deficiency also compromises the immune system and can increase the risk of diseases such as malaria, diarrhea and measles. As such, half of those children will die within twelve months of going blind.

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HKI has been reducing blindness and child mortality through the distribution of vitamin A capsules to children and lactating mothers around the world since 1972. Last year alone, HKI reached 50 million children in Africa and Asia by providing them twice-yearly life- and sight-saving treatments of vitamin A, for just $1 per child per year. The World Health Organization estimates that vitamin A supplementation reduces deaths in children ages 6 to 59 months by nearly 25 percent.

In addition to vitamin A and mineral supplementation, Helen Keller International works to prevent blindness by training medical staff to perform corrective surgeries to treat bacterial eye infections and in fighting Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). Its Homestead Food Production program teaches gardening and nutritional self-sufficiency and has benefited more than one million households in Africa and Asia. Together, HKI’s cost-effective programs are preventing malnutrition and infections and diseases, restoring vision, improving learning opportunities, and reducing mortality rates among millions of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Read more about the Kravis Prize and best practices of its recipients in the Stanford Social Innovation Review: www.ssireview.org/nonprofit_fundamentals

About The Kravis Prize

Established in 2006, The Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership conducts a rigorous due diligence and selection process to choose an annual recipient. A formal Award Ceremony celebrates the recipient’s accomplishments and $250,000 is directed to a nonprofit organization designated by the recipient. The Prize aspires to impact the nonprofit sector overall by lauding strong performances and sharing recipients’ best practices with others.

The Prize is administered by Claremont McKenna College and Marie-Josee Kravis and Henry R. Kravis. Mrs. Kravis, an economist, is a Senior Fellow of the Hudson Institute; Mr. Kravis, founding partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., is an alumnus and trustee of Claremont McKenna College. The Prize is affiliated with the Kravis leadership Institute, one of CMC’s 10 distinguished research institutes. To learn more about Claremont McKenna College, please visit the College’s website.

About Helen Keller International

Founded in 1915, Helen Keller International’s mission is to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. HKI combats the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition by establishing programs based on evidence and research in vision, health and nutrition.

Learn more about HKI at: http://www.hki.org

SOURCE Claremont McKenna College
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The Move Project to Host Bicycle Fundraising Event in Indianola for Clean Water

INDIANOLA, Iowa (March 8th, 2014) – On March 8, 2014 The Move Project, in connection with the Indianola YMCA, is hosting their first annual Indoor Water Ride. This event is part of their annual signature event, The Water Ride. Ride for a cause, and help raise the funds needed to install a clean water well in Ghana, West Africa. 100% of the proceeds will be allocated to water projects in Ghana.

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. in the lobby of the Indianola YMCA, located at 306 East Scenic Valley Ave., Indianola IA 50125. The ride will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the YMCA’s cycling studio. You do NOT have to be a current YMCA member to participate in this event – everyone is welcome! Riders will register for one-hour increments and the event will run for six hours in total. All riders are welcome to sign up for more than one time slot.

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Last year’s ride helped us fund a well in Ghana. We will continue installing additional wells in Ghana, as well as trenching water lines to reach people throughout the community to prevent the continued use of contaminated water sources. The network of wells will also serve as locations for sanitation training to introduce basic sanitation standards in the communities.

Register today!
www.themoveproject.org/water
Date: March 8th
Time: 10:30 – 4:30
Location: Indianola YMCA
Registration: www.themoveproject.org/water

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About The Move Project:

The Move Project is a non-profit organization that is joining in the alleviation of poverty; freeing slaves, providing shelter to the homeless, and providing access to food and water to those without. The organization maintains a sharp focus on these three basic areas of need through local and global partnerships and providing a clear call to action.

About The YMCA:

The YMCA is a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. We work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to make a positive change in their life.

TrafficWatch Needs Your Help To Save Lives Donate Now Through Indiegogo

Roads are dangerous. Fact! Driving a car is like driving a killing machine. Fact! The Roads Need to be safer for less accidents to happen. Fact! Driving can be a joy not a danger thanks to TrafficWatch.

Immediate Release: 12th February 2014. TrafficWatch has launched a campaign on Indiegogo to make the roads safer around the world and they are calling on drivers and passengers a like to help with the campaign and raise money.

The campaign launched on Indiegogo is an important one, it is to further develop TrafficWatch, a service that one day you may well need or could even save your life. TrafficWatch is not just a normal campaign on Indiegogo, it is an important campaign, one of the most important campaigns you could imagine, because it is about saving lives. If Traffic Watch can save just one life, then the campaign and the service has done its job, but it will do more than that.

An early version of Traffic Watch which is still in development can be found at www.trafficreportnow.com and as you will be able to see you can report traffic issues. This website and service needs developing, it needs expanding to its full capabilities and that is where you and Indiegogo come in.

TrafficWatch is and will become a powerful data-bank of driving misconducts and traffic related incidents which happen on a daily basis. How many times have you seen a driver cut you off the road? Well now you can put those details into the data bank and if you have a video of the incident you can upload it to their databank as well.

If you have a court case coming up against a driver who has caused you injury, you can check with TrafficWatch and see if that driver and car are on their records for bad driving which will help your court case and show the courts that this driver is not a good driver.

It is about time we made our roads around the world safer and by just donating some money, you could make a difference and you could say to your children, “I helped make the roads safer by making TrafficWatch a reality”.

Donate today through Indiegogo at igg.me/at/trafficwatchme and let’s make our roads safer.

Contact:
Bahareh Shah.
Campaign Manager
bahareh@trafficwatch.me
(647)799-8929

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