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Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Y Awards $20,000 to Turn Bright Ideas into Community Service Projects Nationwide

CHICAGO — Impacting change in your community is often a group effort. Whether it’s a local youth sports team, a few co-workers or a school or church group, millions of volunteers take time out of their day each week to give something back to their community.

The Y wants to recognize the role of volunteers and highlight that anyone, anywhere can make a significant impact in their community with a strong, inspiring idea. As part of its My Fresh Page Project, the Y will award a total of $20,000 to 10 individuals or groups with the most inspiring community improvement or service project ideas.

The Y’s My Fresh Page Project invites individuals across the country to submit their idea for a community improvement or service project to carry out in their hometown. Every day until October 24, visitors to the ymca.net/freshpage will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite idea.

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After the voting period closes, the Y will review the most popular ideas and award 10 grants of $500, $2,500 or $5,000 to help winners launch their projects.

What kind of ideas are good candidates for the My Fresh Page Project? Great examples are those that embody the Y’s areas of focus:

  • Empowering the development of children and teens 
  • Supporting and improving community health and well-being
  • Creating opportunity to assist individuals or organizations in need within the community

For more details and official rules regarding the Y’s My Fresh Page Project, visit YMCA.net/freshpage and YMCA.net/somuchmore to learn about how you can work with your local Y to make an impact in your community. By serving as a community connector, the Y provides opportunities for people to give back through service, volunteering and advocacy.

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PepsiCo Unveils New Water-Modeling Tool at World Water Week

The Inter-American Development Bank’s Hydro-BID Tool Forecasts Water Availability in Latin America and the Caribbean; Highlights Continued Impact and Sustainable Solutions Developed with the PepsiCo Foundation’s $5 Million Grant to AquaFund

PURCHASE, N.Y., Sept. 3, 2014 — Today at the Stockholm International Water Institute’s annual World Water Week, PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) announced the company’s latest Water Report and unveiled Hydro-BID, a ground-breaking data management and modeling tool developed in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that estimates the availability of freshwater in water-scarce regions throughout Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The IDB’s Hydro-BID is an open-source modeling tool that has the potential to forecast water availability and supply in the LAC region under virtually any climate, population and land use scenario. To date, the tool has projected water supplies in Brazil, Peru, Haiti and Argentina, and is expected to impact more than three million people across the LAC region by 2017.

PepsiCo Foundation’s $5 Million grant to IDB’s Aquafund is contributing to fund pilot projects, in partnership with the governments of Switzerland and Austria, in five countries and will reach approximately 500,000 beneficiaries by the end of 2015. While some projects are aimed to improve access to safe water and sanitation services for scattered communities in extreme poverty, other projects like Hydro-BID present an unparalleled effort to develop a suite of watershed modeling tools that could be applied worldwide.

In addition to aiding countries with water budgeting and water-resource planning, Hydro-BID helps policymakers and communities prepare for floods and droughts. “Contrary to popular belief, floods and droughts are foreseeable phenomena that governments and communities can prepare for,” said Dr. Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm, Hydrologist and Water Resources Engineer at IDB. “Not only will Hydro-BID help communities prepare for natural disasters, but it will also help public utility and water managers get a better handle on water planning and budgets. Through the support of partners like the PepsiCo Foundation, the IDB is able to develop and implement innovative solutions and approaches like Hydro-BID that will forecast water availability, aid infrastructure projects, and drive local and regional economic goals.”

As a global food and beverage company dependent on water-intensive agricultural activities, PepsiCo seeks to drive water efficiency in its operations and throughout its supply chain, as part of the company’s public commitment to help protect and conserve global water supplies. In fact, water stewardship is a critical component of PepsiCo’s approach to sustainable business development—what it calls “Performance with Purpose”—and one way the company strives to “future-proof” the business in today’s competitive, resource-scarce world.

“Water is a critical global resource and few challenges are as significant as the global water crisis,” said Dan Bena, Senior Director, Sustainable Development and Operations Outreach at PepsiCo. “Water is also a central part of our business, and we know that we need to be water stewards in order to sustain our business and the communities of which we are a part.”

To learn more about PepsiCo’s Water Report, partnerships, holistic water stewardship and measurement framework around safe water investments, click here: http://www.pepsico.com/Purpose/Environmental-Sustainability/Water

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $66 billion in net revenue in 2013, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our goal to deliver top-tier financial performance while creating sustainable growth in shareholder value. In practice, Performance with Purpose means providing a wide range of foods and beverages from treats to healthy eats; finding innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment and reduce our operating costs; providing a safe and inclusive workplace for our employees globally; and respecting, supporting and investing in the local communities where we operate. For more information, visit: www.pepsico.com

About the PepsiCo Foundation

Established in 1962, the PepsiCo Foundation is the philanthropic anchor of PepsiCo, responsible for providing charitable contributions to eligible non-profit organizations. The Foundation is committed to developing sustainable partnerships and programs in underserved regions that provide opportunities for improved health, environment and education. For more information, please visit: http://www.pepsico.com/Purpose/Global-Citizenship

About the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

The IDB is the main source of multilateral financing and expertise for economic, social and environmental sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Its evolving development agenda prioritizes reducing poverty and inequality, ensuring sustainable development, addressing sustainable energy and climate change, addressing the special needs of the poorest countries, promoting regional integration, and fostering development through the private sector. The IDB offers exceptional opportunities for partnership in areas of high social impact, leveraging its unique financial strength as the largest source of development financing, history of collaboration with regional governments, and commitment to accelerating development in Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information, please visit: www.iadb.org/partnerships

About AquaFund

AquaFund provides grants that contribute to the achievement of the water-related Millennium Development Goals and the targets established under the IDB’s Water and Sanitation Initiative. It facilitates investment in water supply and sanitation, water resources management, solid waste management, and wastewater treatment in Latin American and the Caribbean. AquaFund resources can be used for technical assistance, policy and capacity development, knowledge creation and dissemination, project preparation and community pilot projects. Government entities, water and sanitation service providers (public, private, mixed-capital, cooperatives), and academic and research institutions are eligible to receive AquaFund grants. NGOs may be eligible at the request of governments. For more information, please visit: www.iadb.org/aquafund

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More Stars Stand Up To Cancer This Friday, September 5th – 8:00 PM ET AND PT / 7:00 PM CT

Robert Downey Jr., Melissa McCarthy, Steve Carell, Sofia Vergara, Ben Falcone, Kevin Bacon, Anna Kendrick, Tony Goldwyn, Dave Grohl, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Gad, Giada De Laurentiis, Jaime King, Mira Sorvino, Joe Manganiello, Jordana Brewster, Alison Sweeney, Amanda de Cadenet, Charlie Wilson, & Diem Brown Join the One-hour Telecast

SU2C Airing on 32 Broadcast and Cable Networks; Streaming on Hulu and Yahoo

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http://www.standup2cancer.org | facebook.com/su2c | Instagram: @SU2C | Twitter: @SU2C

LOS ANGELES / NEW YORK – September 3, 2014 – This Friday, September 5th (8:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT) Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), will stage its fourth biennial fundraising event. Robert Downey Jr., Melissa McCarthy, Steve Carell, Sofia Vergara, Ben Falcone, Kevin Bacon, Anna Kendrick, Tony Goldwyn, Dave Grohl, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Gad, Giada De Laurentiis, Jaime King, Mira Sorvino, Joe Manganiello, Jordana Brewster, Alison Sweeney, Amanda de Cadenet, Charlie Wilson, and Diem Brown, will be part of the star-studded appeal to help build public support for SU2C’s groundbreaking translational research that can provide patients with new therapies to save lives now. They join previously announced participants including Gwyneth Paltrow, Katie Couric, Reese Witherspoon, Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Jon Hamm, Kiefer Sutherland, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Mark Harmon, Rob Lowe, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Tony Hale, Dane Cook, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Marg Helgenberger, Matt Passmore, Rob Riggle, Italia Ricci, Ethan Zohn and Bree Turner. Special musical performances include: The Who, Jennifer Hudson, Lupe Fiasco & Common, Ariana Grande, and Dave Matthews Band.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Joel Gallen of Tenth Planet Productions will co-executive produce the September 5th broadcast, live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, along with ABC Family, American Forces Network, AXS TV, Bravo, Cooking Channel, Discovery Fit & Health, E!, Encore, Encore Espanol, EPIX, ESPNEWS, FOX Sports 2, FXM, HBO, HBO Latino, ION Television, LMN, Logo TV, MLB Network, National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, Palladia, Pivot, SHOWTIME, Smithsonian Channel, Starz, TNT and VH1 are donating one hour of simultaneous commercial-free primetime for the nationally televised fundraising special on Friday. In addition, the show will stream live on both Hulu and Yahoo.

Instead of the traditional phone bank staffed by celebrities, the September 5th telecast will feature a “digital lounge” on the set, hosted by Yahoo News Global Anchor Katie Couric. Stars in the digital lounge will reach out to viewers via phone, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms through an exciting new campaign called “We’re Calling You” that SU2C’s supporters can sign up for, as of today, at werecallingyou.org.

In the on-stage digital lounge, Katie Couric will tap into the Facebook Mentions Box, which allows supporters to share their connection to cancer and receive real-time responses from celebrities. Other celebrities in the digital lounge will participate in Facebook Q&As, using their own pages to respond live to fan questions. Facebook and Instagram will also have a presence on the star-studded red carpet on September 5th with a photo experience that will capture the stars as they make their way into the Dolby Theatre, sharing those images and videos with fans. All of this, and much more, can be followed on Stand Up To Cancer’s social media feeds (facebook.com/su2c | Instagram: @SU2C | Twitter: @SU2C).

In addition to Facebook, an array of digital and social media platforms and influencers— ranging from Shazam, reddit, Nerdist, Tumblr, Yahoo, Hulu, AOL, and The Huffington Post— are helping support SU2C this year.

For the first time, there will be a Canada-inclusive co-broadcast of the 2014 telecast, which will air simultaneously on all four major English-language Canadian networks: CBC, City, CTV and Global, along with Canadian services AMI, CHCH, CHEK, Fight Network, Gusto TV, Hollywood Suite and TLN. All funds received from the Canadian general public during the broadcast will be directed towards the creation of collaborative research teams, as well as education and awareness programs conducted in Canada.

The first three SU2C telecasts took place on September 5, 2008, September 10, 2010 and September 7, 2012, and were made available to more than 190 countries. To date, more than $261 million has been pledged to support SU2C’s innovative cancer research programs. Since 2008, SU2C has funded 12 “Dream Teams” of researchers and two translational research teams, as well as 26 young innovative scientists whose high-risk, potentially high-reward projects are aimed at ending cancer’s reign as a leading cause of death worldwide.

SU2C was founded on the belief that collaboration would play an integral role in advancing cancer research. To date, Stand Up To Cancer has brought together more than 750 of the best and the brightest research scientists from 112 institutions in six countries to work together in order to save lives now. SU2C-funded researchers have planned, launched or completed more than 140 clinical trials.

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About Stand Up To Cancer

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease. As SU2C’s scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress.

Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, and Ellen Ziffren. All current members of the CFA were co-producers of the 2012 televised special. The late co-founder Laura Ziskin executive produced both the Sept. 5, 2008, and Sept. 10, 2010, broadcasts. SU2C was formally launched on May 27, 2008. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., has served as SU2C’s president and CEO since 2011.

In addition to “Visionary” donors Major League Baseball, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, MasterCard, and The Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research, other major donors and collaborators that are currently engaged with SU2C include Genentech, Prostate Cancer Foundation, American Cancer Society, The Safeway Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CVS Caremark, KWF (The Dutch Cancer Society), St. Baldrick’s Foundation, Lustgarten Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Sean Parker Foundation, Fox Family Cancer Research Funding Trust, Fifth Third Bank, Melanoma Research Alliance, Cancer Research Institute, Room Key, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Laura Ziskin Family Trust, Farrah Fawcett Foundation, and Siemens. For more information on Stand Up To Cancer, visit www.standup2cancer.org.

About the Entertainment Industry Foundation

Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that serves as the collective philanthropy for the television and film businesses. EIF has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to support programs addressing critical health, education and social issues. For more information, visit www.eifoundation.org

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RepRisk to Provide ESG Risk Analytics and Metrics to Impact Investors

New Partnership with Mission Markets will Offer the Benefits of Comprehensive ESG Business Intelligence to U.S. Investors

ZURICH and NEW YORK, September 1, 2014 – RepRisk, the leading provider of business intelligence on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks, and Mission Markets, a US-based impact investing platform, announced today a partnership that will provide Mission Markets’ investors with comprehensive ESG business intelligence.

RepRisk’s ESG data and metrics will be integrated into Mission Markets’ impact investing platform, which serves as an independent capital marketplace and community network to connect investors with companies that offer financial, social and environmental returns.

Ken Marienau, CEO of Mission Markets, commented: “Market intelligence is key in driving investment decisions and adding RepRisk to our research and data offering was an obvious choice. Providing RepRisk’s ESG risk data on the Mission Markets platform allows our clients to access in-depth analysis that can help them gain a clearer understanding of the potential financial impact of ESG issues.”

Alexandra Mihailescu Cichon, Head of Business Development & Marketing at RepRisk, stated: “An increasing global awareness of ESG issues, coupled with the hyper-transparency and hyper-connectedness of today’s society, has created an unprecedented need for the integration of ESG risk analysis into all aspects of business. We are excited to partner with Mission Markets to provide impact investors around the world with tools and solutions that address this need and enable smarter, more informed investment decisions.”

About Mission Markets

Mission Markets provides an online impact marketplace connecting investors with companies that offer positive financial, social, and environmental returns. Investors can select direct private placements, impact funds, and debt securities through the company’s affiliated broker dealer, Bendigo Securities, LLC member FINRA/SIPC. Mission Markets’ platform enables members to share information and collaborate on impact investing. For more information, please visit: www.missionmarkets.com

About RepRisk

RepRisk is the leading provider of business intelligence on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks. Originally a due diligence tool for the financial sector, RepRisk runs the most comprehensive database on the ESG risks related to companies, projects, sectors and countries.

On a daily basis, RepRisk systematically collects and analyzes criticism, controversies and negative incidents related to an unlimited universe of companies and projects worldwide. It does so in 14 languages from thousands of public sources and third parties including international and local media, government agencies, NGOs, newsletters, blogs and more.

The RepRisk database currently includes information on over 44,000 companies, 10,000 projects, 7,000 NGOs and 6,000 governmental bodies. These numbers are continuously growing as relevant ESG information is added.

RepRisk data supports transparency, ensures compliance with internal and international standards, and equips the user with material and actionable information that supports decision-making. The use of RepRisk business intelligence allows companies and financial institutions to proactively assess ESG issues that may present financial, reputational and compliance risks. For more information, please visit: www.reprisk.com

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The Fuel Music Management Founder, President Tony Patoto Named To Rising Above Ministries Board of Directors

Patoto Tapped To Help Bring Awareness, Support For Ministry Serving Special-Needs Families Nationwide

Tony Patoto, Founder and President of The Fuel Music Management Co. has been named to the Board of Directors of Rising Above Ministries, in an announcement by the ministry’s Chairman of the Board and CEO, Jeff Davidson. Well-known within music industry circles internationally, Patoto has significant experience in artist management, brand development, record production and distribution.

“I am so excited to have a visionary like Tony Patoto join our team,” said Davidson, whose son has profound special needs and disabilities. “Tony brings a wealth of creativity, talent and a demonstrated ability to develop brands, teams and organizations. He is going to be a tremendous asset to Rising Above Ministries.”

“Rising Above Ministries is an awesome organization that is growing rapidly and serving seriously handicapped kids and their families,” says Patoto. “The people at Rising Above deal with the horrific statistics of family breakdown and the residual effects for handicapped kids that is tearing apart families. It is an amazing organization that provides tools and support to families, to help them become whole and unified.”

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About The Fuel Music

The Fuel Music & Management, LLC, is one of the leading independent distributors of music, CD’s, tapes and vinyl records internationally and enjoys a growing base in artist merchandise sales. Based in Tennessee, the Fuel team brings nearly 50 years of combined music industry experience in record label operations (Furious? Records), record distribution and marketing (EMI Label Group), and artist management for artists ranging from upstart bands to GRAMMY and Dove Award nominated, multi-platinum artists. More information on the company can be found at www.thefuelmusic.com.

About Rising Above Ministries

Rising Above Ministries is a Tennessee-based non-profit organization serving special-needs families nationwide. Rising Above operates three divisions within its ministry, conducting events, conferences, retreats and other faith-based activities for families of individuals with special needs. In addition, the organization establishes affiliates to serve the special-needs community across the country, and works with churches with to develop, train, resource and equip them for special needs ministry.

Currently the ministry operates 15 affiliated groups across the country and an expanding array of on-line services for the special needs community. For more information, go to risingaboveministries.org.

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The Worthy Collection Partners with Ovarian Cancer National Alliance to Commemorate National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

— Fashion-for-Fundraising Campaign Unites Apparel with Philanthropy to Support Ovarian Cancer, Help Save Women’s Lives —

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 2, 2014 – This year, an estimated 22,000 women in the U.S. will get ovarian cancer, according to a just-published study by the American Cancer Society. Of these, two-thirds may die*1. To honor National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, The Worthy Collection, a charity-influenced apparel brand, has teamed up with The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, a non-profit that helps raise awareness of ovarian cancer, on a fundraising promotion to support the deadliest gynecologic cancer.

Each day this month, The Worthy Collection will put a spotlight on this little-understood health concern by selling themed merchandise – including graphic tees and tops, totes, mugs and pillows — from its designed collection. The company will donate a portion of the proceeds of each purchase to the Alliance to support this difficult-to-detect but deadly disease. One-of-a-kind apparel by the Collection’s talented designers reflects the color teal—the symbolic color of ovarian cancer.

Each apparel item represents a personal choice in support of women’s health and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, and is available for purchase starting today at WorthyCollection.org.

“By collaborating with the Alliance and spreading awareness of ovarian cancer, we hope to impact many women’s lives,” said Chris Worthy, Founder of The Worthy Collection. “The Alliance is a powerful voice for everyone touched by ovarian cancer, and we’re proud to be associated with national awareness month.”

Continued Worthy: “Consumers today are using apparel as a means of self-expression to demonstrate their commitment to giving back, and we hope they’ll ‘buy teal’ to support this worthy charity. The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance is a powerful voice for everyone touched by ovarian cancer, and we’re honored to partner with them. Through our September campaign, we’re doing our part to raise hope for much-needed treatments for this little-understood cancer.”

The campaign is the latest creation of The Worthy Collection. Previous life-changing causes included: women’s rights, orphans, at-risk youth, small business entrepreneurs, clean water and many more.

About National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month:

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month—a time of year dedicated to raising awareness of the deadliest gynecologic cancer. All women are at risk of developing this cancer, and one in 72 will be diagnosed in her lifetime. Since there is no early detection test for ovarian cancer, women are encouraged to make sure they are not another statistic and learn the most common symptoms:

* Bloating Pelvic or abdominal pain * Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly * Urinary symptoms *

To learn more about The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance’s efforts, visit: www.ovariancancer.org.

About The Worthy Collection:

The Worthy Collection is a charity-influenced apparel brand focused on creating positive change throughout the world by coming together with non-profit organizations and charities by supporting them through their passion for fashion. The Worthy Collection partners with twelve different charity organizations each year and launches a unique campaign to raise funds for causes. We offer great style, boutique design and graphic delivery on our clothes. For more information, please visit: http://worthycollection.org.

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NFIB Jobs Statement: Ho-Hum Hiring in the Small Business Sector

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 2, 2014Chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following statement on August’s job numbers, based on NFIB’s monthly economic survey that will be released on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. The survey was conducted in August and reflects the responses of  598 sampled NFIB members:

THIS REPORT TEXT COMPARES AUGUST FINDINGS TO JULY FIGURES.

“NFIB owners increased employment by an average of 0.02 workers per firm in August (seasonally adjusted), the 11th positive month in a row but basically a “zero” net gain. Small business owners aren’t adding much to the job growth statistics. Seasonally adjusted, 13 percent of the owners (unchanged) reported adding an average of 3.4 workers per firm over the past few months. Offsetting that, 9 percent reduced employment (down 3 points) an average of 3.2 workers, producing the seasonally adjusted net gain of 0.02 workers per firm overall, hardly different from flat even, but still positive. The large reduction in the percent of owners reporting reductions in employment is a welcome development.

The remaining 78 percent of owners made no net change in employment. Fifty-six percent of the owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months and 46 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions.

Twenty-six percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 2 points, suggesting no change or a modest reduction in the unemployment rate. Sixteen percent reported using temporary workers, up a point and up 2 points over the past two months.

Hiring plans faded however, suggesting weaker job creation ahead. The net percent of owners planning to increase employment fell 3 points to a seasonally adjusted net 10 percent. Historically, this is not associated with periods of strong employment growth.

The economy grew at a 1.1 percent rate in the first half, so not a lot of new workers were needed to produce such a small gain in output. July and August have not been gangbuster months either, so the need for more workers in general is not a pressing matter for small business owners. Outside of healthcare where the government has a heavy hand, it is hard to see where there might be a lot of strength in hiring.”

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2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship Winners Announced

$129,000 in prizes awarded to five young poets

CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine are pleased to announce the five recipients of the 2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships: Hannah Gamble, Solmaz Sharif, Danez Smith, Ocean Vuong and Wendy Xu. Among the largest awards offered to aspiring poets in the United States, the $25,800 scholarship prize is intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry and is open to all U.S. poets between 21 and 31 years of age.

“Each of this year’s winners is a poet whose work engages with the events that unfold before us every day,” said Don Share, editor of Poetry magazine, announcing the 2014 winners. “Their work resounds both on and off the page, and refreshes, as well as fulfills, the dictum that literature is news that stays news.”

Established in 1989 by Ruth Lilly to encourage the further writing and study of poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship program has dramatically expanded since its inception. Until 1995, university writing programs nationwide each nominated one student poet for a single fellowship; from 1996 until 2007, two fellowships were awarded. In 2008 the competition was opened to all U.S. poets between 21 and 31 years of age, and the number of fellowships increased to five, totaling $75,000. In 2013, the Poetry Foundation received a generous gift from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund to create the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships, which increased the fellowship amount from $15,000 to $25,800.

“This is a phenomenal group of young poets,” said Poetry Foundation President Robert Polito. “Their aesthetics and concerns are various, but each is singularly gifted. I’m reminded of Emerson’s sparkling words to Whitman—‘I greet you at the beginning of a great career, which yet must have had a long foreground somewhere, for such a start.’”

Hannah Gamble is sending out her second book of poems. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Review, The Believer, Poetry, Court Green and Rattle. She lives in Chicago, where she is an artist-in-residence at the Museum of Science and Industry, and has recently completed a screenplay about a Midwestern community college that offers an associate’s degree in not getting raped.

Born in Istanbul, Turkey, to Iranian parents, Solmaz Sharif holds degrees from the University of California–Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, and New York University. Her first published poem, included in A World Between: Poems, Short Stories, and Essays by Iranian-Americans (George Braziller, 1999), was written at the age of 13. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, the Kenyon Review, jubilat, Gulf Coast, Boston Review, Witness and other publications. The former managing director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Sharif has had her work recognized with a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, scholarships from NYU and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass. Most recently, she was awarded an NEA fellowship and a Stegner Fellowship. She is currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University.

Danez Smith is the author of [insert] Boy (YesYes Books, forthcoming) and the chapbook hands on ya knees (Penmanship Books, 2013). Smith is the recipient of fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, Cave Canem, VONA (Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation) and elsewhere. He is a founding member of the multigenre, multicultural Dark Noise Collective. His writing has appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Beloit Poetry Journal, Kinfolks and elsewhere. In poetry slam, he is a 2011 Individual World Poetry Slam finalist and the reigning two-time Rustbelt Individual Champion, and was on the 2014 championship team Sad Boy Supper Club. He was the festival director for the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam in 2014. He holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he was a First Wave Urban Arts Scholar, and was born in St. Paul, Minn.

Ocean Vuong has received honors from Kundiman, Poets House, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation (Italy), the Elizabeth George Foundation and the Academy of American Poets as well as a 2014 Pushcart Prize. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Nation, Boston Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Guernica, TriQuarterly and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the 2012 Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he lives in Queens, N.Y.

Wendy Xu was born in Shandong, China, in 1987. She earned a BA from the University of Iowa and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst. Her debut collection, You Are Not Dead, was published in 2013 by the Cleveland State University Poetry Center, and her writing has appeared in The Best American Poetry, Hyperallergic, Gulf Coast, Denver Quarterly and elsewhere. Xu lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

About the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit poetryfoundation.org.

About Poetry Magazine

Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Monroe’s “Open Door” policy, set forth in Volume 1 of the magazine, remains the most succinct statement of Poetry’s mission: to print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre or approach. The magazine established its reputation early by publishing the first important poems of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg and other now-classic authors. In succeeding decades it has presented—often for the first time—works by virtually every major contemporary poet.

Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry on Facebook at facebook.com/poetryfoundation or on Twitter @PoetryFound.

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World Hope International Named Award Nominee in Securing Water For Food Grand Challenge for Development

WHI’s Greenhouses Revolutionizing Output Project, a partnership with the Pennsylvania State University Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Program, improves water sustainability to ultimately boost food security and help alleviate poverty

ALEXANDRIA, Va., September 2, 2014World Hope International (WHI), in partnership with Penn State’s Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Program (PSU-HESE), today announced that its Greenhouses Revolutionizing Output Project (GRO) has been named an award nominee in the Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge for Development. Founded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Securing Water for Food program aims to identify and accelerate innovative technologies and market-driven approaches that improve water sustainability ultimately helping to boost food security and alleviate poverty.

“Water scarcity and its impact on food security is one of the most pressing development challenges of the early 21st Century,” said Khanjan Mehta, Director for the PSU-HESE Program. “As partners with World Hope International on the GRO Greenhouses joint venture, we know this has the potential to transform livelihoods, health and food security for farmers currently living on less than $2 a day. We’re honored to receive this award and look forward to using the funds and recognition associated with it to mobilize the project and bring it to scale in the most poverty-stricken countries in the world.”

In lieu of water supply becoming more limited, there is an urgent need to conserve and make use of every drop of water to foster food security. The GRO Greenhouses project will invest in “Affordable Greenhouses,” a new greenhouse concept designed, developed and field-tested by PSU-HESE. Studies by the university have shown that greenhouses effectively reduce evapotranspiration by 30 percent when compared to open-field conditions, and the water use per unit yield can be lowered by up to 61 percent through the usage of a controlled irrigation system inside the greenhouse. Furthermore, the growing season under greenhouse and drip irrigation can be extended from 6 to 12 months, increasing crop yields up to 300 percent, compared to crops grown in an open field without drip irrigation. Greenhouses also allow farmers to extend their growing seasons so they can grow produce to markets when prices for produce are higher.

However, conventional small-scale greenhouses are expensive, high-maintenance and difficult to construct. Affordable Greenhouses cost under $500 per unit, and can be constructed in just two days by two trained technicians. Additionally, the Greenhouses last over 5 years on average and are portable and expandable, enabling farmers to increase capacity as their profits rise. These structures are proven to be more affordable, durable and scalable than traditional greenhouses used around the world.

The GRO Greenhouses project specifically targets women farmers in Sierra Leone and Mozambique, where over 70 percent of the work force is engaged in small scale agriculture or agricultural trading. Through WHI’s existing network in these two countries, smallholder farmers will learn how to intensify their farms and grow vegetables year-round so as to augment their livelihoods and stem urban migration. There will also be a particular emphasis on nutrition for pregnant women and new mothers.

“Many people in these countries live traditional lifestyles in remote areas, far removed from the technology, commerce, water supply and infrastructure of modern cities. By utilizing our existing network of Village Partnerships, we’re able to reach smallholder farmers in these rural areas and train and empower them to transition their subsistence crops into commercial scale farming using the new technology of Affordable Greenhouses,” said John Lyon, World Hope International’s President. “We’re proud to partner with PSU-HESE on the distribution and execution of this innovative greenhouse concept, which we hope will combat hunger, provide food security and promote income generation in rural Sierra Leone and Mozambique.”

World Hope International’s John Lyon and PSU-HESE’s Khanjan Mehta accepted the award at World Water Week on September 1, 2014 in Stockholm, Sweden. Khanjan Mehta also presented on the benefits of GRO Greenhouses at the same conference.

To learn more about the Securing Water for Food program, visit www.securingwaterforfood.org. For more information on World Hope International, call 703-923-9414 or visit www.WorldHope.org.

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UT Austin Raises Record $856 Million in Final Year of $3 Billion Campaign to Support Students and Excellence

AUSTIN, TexasThe University of Texas at Austin has successfully completed its historic Campaign for Texas by raising $856 million in 2013-14, an amount believed to be the largest ever raised by any Texas institution in a single year.

During the eight-year campaign, which ended at midnight on Aug. 31, the university received an estimated $3.1 billion in gifts, pledges and donations. It was the largest capital campaign ever conducted in Texas and among the most successful campaigns ever completed by a public university in the United States.

“Our alumni and supporters have given the greatest gift a university could ever seek: They have helped ensure that future generations of UT students will be able to learn, grow and prepare for the future at a university that remains one of the nation’s premier public research institutions,” said university President Bill Powers. “We are grateful for every gift we received during the Campaign for Texas, many of which will help our faculty change the world through their research and scholarship.”

Among all public and private institutions, the university is ranked No. 27 in the world by Times Higher Education.

The campaign coincided with the university’s efforts to strengthen its undergraduate core curriculum, launch the School of Undergraduate Studies, raise its four-year graduation rates and develop programs to help first-generation college students. It was built on the vision of the Commission of 125, a group of esteemed alumni and supporters who, in 2004, laid out a vision for UT Austin’s growing excellence.

“The campaign’s goal of $3 billion was accomplished despite one of the worst economic times since the Great Depression,” said UT Austin alumnus Kenny Jastrow, who chaired both the Commission of 125 and the Campaign for Texas. “Thank you to our alumni and friends who had the vision and commitment to help the university we all love succeed.”

Every gift — from loose change collected by a UT Elementary kindergarten student to large-scale lead gifts — has helped advance the university. The university has reached new heights with the launch of the Dell Medical School, major transformations of the Moody College of Communication and Butler School of Music, and expanded collections at the Harry Ransom Center and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

Students benefited from the construction of new buildings, state-of-the-art classrooms and cutting-edge research spaces throughout the Forty Acres, including the College of Liberal Arts Building, the Belo Center for New Media, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall, and those under construction, including the Engineering Education and Research Center and the McCombs School of Business’ Rowling Hall.

Other highlights of the campaign:

  • The university received 403 gifts of $1 million and greater. More than 226,000 distinct donors have donated a total of $105,688,825 with individual gifts of less than $1,000.
  • Nearly 90 percent of contributions supported academic efforts, and 10 percent supported athletics initiatives.
  • Planned-gift designations more than doubled to 1,232, a 111 percent increase since the start of the campaign. The designations represented $485,056,050 in future gifts.
  • More than 846 new student scholarships were established.

“UT students have benefited immensely from the campaign, which created new scholarships and helped build new classrooms and lab space,” said Student Government President Kori Rady, a senior in the Moody College of Communication and College of Liberal Arts. “Students also helped make this campaign a success by contributing to the university like never before.”

Check out the slideshow here for a snapshot of the university’s achievements over the past eight years.

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