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Monthly Archives: December 2014

We Are Neutral Invites You to Offset Your Environmental Impact by Helping Women Plant Trees in Haiti

Trees. In Haiti, they aren’t just trees; they are livelihoods. For you, they’re a meaningful way to reduce your toll on the environment. 

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — We Are Neutral is inviting the global community to participate in a meaningful initiative they’ve been working on in Haiti, a country where 98% of trees have been deforested, soil erosion threatens food production, and women endure the hardship of gender discrimination in their society.

We Are Neutral is a non-profit based out of Gainesville, FL that has helped partners meet their sustainability goals through ‘good doing’ carbon offset initiatives. Some partners include the University of Florida Gators and Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. In the past 7 years, We Are Neutral has planted over 25,000 longleaf pine trees in Florida restoring the original ecosystem, performed over 400 free energy retrofits for low-income renters, and now has community-improving, carbon mitigation projects in Puerto Rico and Haiti.

Their work in Haiti today is called “Fanm Kap Plante,” which means “Women Who Plant” in Haitian Creole; an effort that We Are Neutral has been working on for 4 years with Jane Wynne of Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve in Kenscoff, Haiti to help empower a group of one hundred women to help re-green their area. We Are Neutral is furthering this work, but now they want to give others an opportunity to participate that has a positive social and environmental impact through trees.

By planting mainly fruit and jimba trees, Fanm Kap Plante is a growing solution to the problems of soil erosion, discrimination, and deforestation in Haiti. The roots of trees stop erosion, the fruit trees are too valuable to be cut down for firewood, and the fruits provide food for women to eat and sell. Also, jimba trees regrow quickly enough, providing a continuous source of firewood for cooking. This is important considering Jane Wynne’s Reserve is constantly being threatened by people in need of firewood for income and fuel.

While helping women’s immediate needs, these trees help our global environment; your environment. Consider the fact that one mango tree absorbs 15 tons of carbon throughout its lifetime. Now consider the environmental impact of your everyday life. With this connection in mind, participating is a simple but influential way that anyone can make a positive environmental contribution since cooperation directly results in planting trees. Here are five ways that anyone can do that:

  1. You can buy unique, hand-made greeting cards or ceramic jewelry on their Etsy site. Meaningful gifts for the holidays! We Are Neutral will be selling greeting cards crafted with hand-made recycled paper by women in Haiti. They will also be selling ceramic jewelry, hand-made and donated by an American artist. To purchase these items on their Etsy site, please visit: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheGivingPot
  2. You can buy a tree ($10)!  Buying a tree in honor of someone for the holidays is a great gift. We Are Neutral is accepting donations now till 12 AM on January 1st, 2015 online: http://goto.gg/18738.
  3. You can Text-To-Give. To donate $10 to buy a tree, text “GIVE 18738” to 80088 (Note that your donation will be made to the GlobalGiving Foundation – Plant 1,000 Trees To Help Women In Haiti. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. You must reply YES to confirmation message. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Text STOP to 80088 to STOP. Text HELP to 80088 for HELP. Message and data rates may apply.  Msg&Data rates may apply. Full Terms: mGive.org/T. Privacy Policy: goto.gg/privacy.)
  4. You can learn more and share their cause with your network. Please visit, http://www.weareneutral.com/women-who-plant/.
  5. You can “like” their Facebook page and their cause posts. Please visit, http://www.facebook.com/weareneutral

 

The 2015 Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom will be awarded to the National Museum of Women in the Arts

WASHINGTON — The Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom has chosen to honor the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), located in Washington, D.C., with its annual award. NMWA will be the first organization in the United States to be presented this award. The prize will be awarded to the museum during an official ceremony on January 9, 2015, taking place at Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris.

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NMWA was founded in 1981 with the singular mission to bring to light remarkable women artists of the past while also promoting the best women artists working today. Through its programming, NMWA directly addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art, therefore assuring great women artists a place of honor now and into the future. NMWA remains the only museum in the world solely dedicated to recognizing women’s creative achievements. The museum champions women through the arts with its collections, exhibitions, educational outreach and public programming, advocating for equity for women by shining a light on excellence.

Chaired by Josyane Savigneau (writer and journalist for Le Monde) and accompanied by founding president, Julia Kristeva (professor at Paris Diderot University, writer and psychoanalyst) and Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir (honorary president), the jury consists of public figures from the world of arts and literature. The Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom was created to mark the 100th anniversary of Simone de Beauvoir’s birth by honoring women, men and associations who, in the spirit of Simone de Beauvoir, fight to defend women’s rights wherever they are comprised. The prize is supported by the Institut français, the Mairie de Paris and Paris Diderot University.

By awarding the Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom, the jury wishes to make a contribution to international solidarity, reaffirm women’s rights around the world, guarantee protection for those who currently risk their lives and stand alongside them to defend the ideals of equality and peace.

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“The National Museum of Women in the Arts is extremely honored to receive the prestigious Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom,” said NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling. “NMWA is dedicated to providing a platform for women’s free expression and filling the void in recognition of women artists past, present and future. The museum empowers women and girls through inspirational examples in the arts and connects great art and ideas by women to people around the world.”

Renowned feminist artist Judy Chicago has long supported the museum. “My study of women’s history made me acutely aware of the fact that women’s achievements, along with too much of women’s cultural production, have been erased, marginalized, under-recognized or in other ways diminished. My understanding of this tragic loss led me to devote my life to creating art that could help change this situation so that women’s accomplishments would become a permanent part of our cultural heritage,” said Chicago. “When Wilhelmina and Wallace Holladay founded the National Museum of Women in the Arts, I became a staunch supporter. I long for the day when women around the world are accorded equal rights, equal pay and equal recognition in all aspects of human life. Until our art museums, schools and universities fully integrate women’s history, experiences and perspectives into their collections and curricula, we desperately need our own institutions so that our contributions will be honored in the same way as men’s have been. My congratulations to the museum on this well-deserved award.”

“NMWA deserves to be selected as it is a completely unique place in the world, which shelters women artists, their works, their history and their narratives; encourages research and a critical point of view; and welcomes curators like me who try to change the paradigms in art history,” said Camille Morineau, independent curator behind elles@centrepompidou, an 18-month exhibition showing only works by women artists from the Centre Pompidou and the curator of the current Niki de Saint Phalle exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris. “I am proud to have been part of that history and hope to be part of its future evolution. Bravo!”

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Founded in 1981 and opened in 1987, NMWA is the only museum solely dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in the visual, performing and literary arts. The museum’s collection features 4,500 works from the 16th century to the present created by more than 1,000 artists, including Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Alma Thomas, Lee Krasner, Louise Bourgeois, Chakaia Booker and Nan Goldin, along with special collections of 18th-century silver tableware and botanical prints.

NMWA seeks to continue to engage new audiences and future generations through new programmatic initiatives highlighting the power of women and the arts as advocates for advancing ideas and solutions to society’s most critical issues, especially those affecting women and girls. Launched in 2014, the Women, Arts and Social Change initiative focuses on women as leaders in harnessing their expressive abilities to raise awareness and engage communities around today’s pressing issues, creating pathways for lasting changes.

For more information about NMWA, visit nmwa.org, Broad Strokes Blog, Facebook or Twitter.

NMWA International and National Committees

In 1984, NMWA created its network of national and international committees. The museum currently has 18 outreach committees (ten in the United States and eight abroad) with more than 2,000 dedicated members throughout the United States and around the world and continues to expand its network. The committees host regional programs and serve as ambassadors for the museum. Committees such as Les Amis du NMWA in Paris host significant programs that promote women artists, offer new educational experiences and broaden the museum’s membership. NMWA has 16,000 members and devoted supporters from all 50 states in the United States and from 22 countries.

Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986), French philosopher, novelist, essayist and author of The Second Sex in 1949, was a major theorist and feminist of the 20th century. She defended women’s freedom through her writing and public stand on issues concerning women.

The Simone de Beauvoir Prize

Created in 2008 to mark the 100th anniversary of Simone de Beauvoir’s birth on January 9, 1908, the prize is awarded each year to laureates who are elected by an international jury. The prize is supported by the Institut français, the Mairie de Paris and Paris Diderot University.

In January 2014, the Simone de Beauvoir Prize was awarded to Michelle Perrot and in 2013 to Malala Yousafzai.

The jury of the Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom

Members:

Josyane Savigneau, president of the Simone de Beauvoir Prize jury and journalist at Le Monde
Julia Kristeva, founding president Simone de Beauvoir Prize, professor at Université Paris Diderot, writer and psychoanalyst
Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir, honorary president of the Simone de Beauvoir Prize jury
Élisabeth Badinter, philosopher
Gérard Bonal, writer
Constance Borde, co-author of English translation of Le Deuxième Sexe de Simone de Beauvoir
Denis Charbit, professor of French civilization at University of Tel Aviv
Cécile Decousu, PhD candidate, Université Paris Diderot
Annie Ernaux, writer
Claire Etcherelli, writer
Madeleine Gobeil-Noel, former director of Arts and Cultural Life at UNESCO
Sihem Habchi, former president “Ni pute ni soumise”
Liliane Kandel, sociologist
Ayse Kiran, PhD, University of Haceteppe, Ankara, Turkey
Claude Lanzmann, writer, filmmaker and director of the magazine Les Temps Modernes
Bjorn Larsson, writer and professor at University of Lund, Sweden
Liliane Lazar, International Simone de Beauvoir Society, professor at Hofstra University
Annette Lévy-Willard, writer and journalist at Libération
Anne-Marie, senator and president of Conseil des Femmes, Wallonie, Belgium
Frédéric Maget, writer
Sheila Malovany-Chevallier, co-author of English translation of Le Deuxième Sexe de Simone de Beauvoir
Kate Millett, American writer, painter and sculptor
Yvette Roudy, former French minister for women’s rights, 1981–86
Danièle Sallenave, writer
Alice Schwarzer, writer
Margaret Simons, professor of philosophy, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, U.S.
Annie Sugier, president, International League of Women’s Rights
Linda Weil-Curiel, lawyer
Anne Zelensky, writer president of the League of Women’s Rights, co-founded with Simone de Beauvoir

Receives National Endowment For The Arts Grant In Support Of Its May 2015 Concert And CD Recording Of The Road Of Promise

New York, NY – National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu has announced that The Collegiate Chorale is one of only 919 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The Collegiate Chorale will receive a $30,000 grant in support of its May 2015 concert and CD recording of Kurt Weill and Franz Werfel’s musical epic, The Road of Promise.

The Road of Promise is a new concert adaptation of Kurt Weill and Franz Werfel’s 1937 epic musical spectacle, The Eternal Road. A dramatic mix of opera, musical theater, and pageant play, The Road of Promise tells the story of a young boy left in the care of a Rabbi and his congregation in the wake of a pogrom. To calm the boy’s fears and help him understand his faith and heritage, the Rabbi recounts ancient biblical tales, and as he does, the stories of Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Rachel, Moses, Ruth, Saul, and David all come to life. The Road of Promise will run from May 6-7, 2015 at Carnegie Hall. Tickets are $30-135 and go on sale January 8, 2015.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “I’m pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Art Works including the award to The Collegiate Chorale. The arts foster value, connection, creativity and innovation for the American people and these recommended grants demonstrate those attributes and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives.”

“We’re very honored to be receiving this grant for our production of The Road of Promise…it’s the first NEA grant that The Chorale has received, and we are so appreciative of the vote of confidence it represents in our tackling this very ambitious project. We are so excited to be bringing this piece of music drama to life in its new form, and to be documenting our live performances so this important piece can be enjoyed by listeners throughout the world.”Ted Sperling, Artistic Director

Art Works grants support the creation of art, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,474 eligible applications under the Art Works category, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 919 are recommended for grants for a total of $26.6 million.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov. Follow the conversation about this and other NEAfunded projects on Twitter at #NEAFall2014.

The mission of The Collegiate Chorale is to enrich its audiences through innovative programming and exceptional performances of a broad range of vocal music featuring a premier choral ensemble. Founded in 1941 by the legendary conductor Robert Shaw, The Chorale has established a preeminent reputation for its interpretations of the traditional choral repertoire, vocal works by American composers, and rarely heard operas-in-concert, as well as for commissions and premieres of new works by today’s most exciting creative artists. The many guest artists with whom The Chorale has performed in recent years include: Stephanie Blythe, Victoria Clark, Nathan Gunn, Thomas Hampson, Angela Meade, Kelli O’Hara, Eric Owens, Rene Papé, Bryn Terfel and Deborah Voigt. Last season’s highlights included Eric Owens, Arturo Chacón-Cruz, and Julianna Di Giacomoin Arrigo Boito’s Mefistofele at Carnegie Hall, and the New York premiere of David Lang’s battle hymns with members of the Veteran Artist Program and the Manhattan Girls Chorus at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

For more information about The Collegiate Chorale, visit www.collegiatechorale.org.

The Collegiate Chorale’s 2014/2015 season opened with the NYC Premiere of Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) in December at Carnegie Hall, featuring Eric Idle, Victoria Clark, Marc Kudisch, Lauren Worsham, and William Ferguson with Conductor/Director Ted Sperling and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. In February 2015, the company will present Handel’s Susanna at Town Hall, featuring Isabel Leonard, Daniela Mack, Javier Abreu, and Zachary James with Conductor James Bagwell, Director Ted Sperling and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. The season concludes with the US Premiere of The Road of Promise in May 2015 at Carnegie Hall, featuring Anthony Dean Griffey, Mark Delavan, Philip Cutlip, Lauren Michelle, Megan Marino, and Justin Hopkins with Conductor/Director Ted Sperling and Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

Hundreds of Law Enforcement, First Responders, Clergy and Businesses Sign Onto Amici Supporting Florida Marriage Ban Challenge

Chiefs of Police, city and county governments among signatories in Friend-of-the-Court briefs before 11th Circuit Court of Appeals

In more than 25 unique amicus briefs that have been or will be submitted this week to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, scores of first responders, law enforcement officials, states, cities, faith leaders and businesses urge the court to end Florida’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The briefs show the depth and diversity of support for the plaintiffs in the Florida cases and for the freedom of gay and lesbian couples to marry.

Florida is one of 15 states where same-sex couples do not have the fundamental right to marry. On Aug. 21, a District Court judge ruled that Florida’s marriage ban is unconstitutional, but the ruling was stayed until Jan. 5, 2015. Just last week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to extend the stay, refusing to delay the freedom to marry in Florida. The stay will now expire on Jan. 5, even as the appeal in the Florida marriage cases proceed in the 11th Circuit. An oral argument in Atlanta, where the 11th Circuit is based, is not yet scheduled.

Some of the notable briefs that have been or will be submitted include:

First responders and law enforcement: More than 200 first responders and law enforcement signed on to a brief, including Chief Jane Castor, Chief of Police, Tampa Police Department; Chief David Frisby, Police Chief (Ret.), Monticello Police Department; Chief Sharon Lippman, Battalion Chief (Ret.), Tallahassee Fire Department; Chief Walt McNeil, Police Chief (Ret.), Tallahassee Police; and Cindy Dick, Fire Chief (Ret.), Tallahassee Fire Department.

“I have worked beside and supervised lesbian cops. They did the same job and paid the same dues as I did. They deserve the same legal rights and protections that I enjoy,” said Chief Frisby.

Clergy and Religious Leaders. Leo Frade, Bishop of the Diocese of Southeast Florida, Trinity Cathedral, Episcopalian, Miami; and Rev. Gloria Van Houten, United Church of Christ Minister and Member of The Open and Affirming Ministry Team, Sarasota, are among the more than 200 signers of a religious communities brief.

“Jesus saw fit to conduct his first miracle at a wedding at Cana in Galilee,” said Bishop Frade. “As I near the end of my tenure here as Bishop of Southeast Florida, I hope my last miracle will be to marry two friends in Christ who have been prevented from doing so for far too long.”

Businesses. Major American companies located in Florida, Alabama and Georgia, including Delta Air Lines, Inc.; Alcoa; Bloomberg; Levi Strauss & Co.; CBS Corporation; eBay, Inc.; General Electric Company; Marriott International, Inc.; Pfizer, Inc.; Symantec Corporation; Viacom Inc.; Deutsche Bank AG; Electronic Arts Inc.; Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group, LLC; Staples; Sun Life Financial U.S.; Target; United Therapeutics; and SHS Management, LLC, signed onto a business and employers brief. The brief also includes dozens of small businesses across the three states and argues: “State laws and constitutions denying marriage to gay and lesbian citizens are bad for our businesses. Amici are forced to bear unnecessary costs, complexity, and risk in managing our companies, and we are hampered in our efforts to recruit and retain the most talented workforce possible—all of which places us at a competitive disadvantage. Our success depends upon the welfare and morale of all employees, without distinction.”

Cities and Counties. Representing cities and counties across Florida, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Orange County, Alachua County, City of Coconut Creek, City of Gainesville, City of Hallandale Beach, City of Key West, City of Miami Beach, City of Orlando, City of St. Petersburg, City of South Miami, City of Tallahassee, City of Tampa, City of West Palm Beach, City of Wilton Manors and Village of Biscayne Park signed onto a brief.

“Miami Beach is proud to lead the government voice for marriage equality in Florida as the only party – public or private – to appear in every single appeal challenging Florida’s denial of marriage,” said Robert Rosenwald, First Assistant City Attorney for Miami Beach. “Now 16 large local governments join us in arguing that Florida’s prohibition on marriage for gay and lesbian couples impedes our ability to fulfill our core mission of providing for the health and welfare of our residents.”

“The breadth and depth of these amici briefs demonstrate the groundswell of support for the freedom to marry,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida. “A Federal district court in Florida has now joined the 60 other state and federal courts – including four federal appellate courts – who over the past year have affirmed the freedom to marry and held the denial of marriage to be unconstitutional. We believe when the 11th Circuit justices consider this case and makes note of the diversity of support, they, too, will affirm the right of everyone to marry the person they love.”

The Florida cases before the 11th Circuit are Armstrong v. Brenner, filed by private counsel, and Secretary, Florida Dept of Health v. Grimsley, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida on behalf of SAVE, an LGBT organization in Miami, and almost a dozen married and unmarried same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry or respect for their marriages legally performed in other states.

“Our Painted Lady” Raises $16,000 For The Wounded Warrior Project™ Via Charitybuzz

Hand Painted 1985 Rolls Royce By Mixed Media Artist Ben Moon

Car and art enthusiasts bid on “Our Painted Lady,” a 1985 Rolls Royce Silver Spur hand-painted by mixed media artist Ben Moon, at Charitybuzz.com from December 1st -17th. The online charity auction site confirmed the winning bid of $16,000 with 100% of the proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project™.

Ben Moon was selected by New York car collector, Frank Marzano to paint his signature white and black designs onto the exterior of his 1985 Rolls Royce Silver Spur. The “Lady”, as the Marzano Family calls the Rolls, was prepped with a special paint known as “plastic dip”, to have the properties of an artist’s canvas, leaving the original black paint untouched.

Moon explains how it all came together, “It started in a garage with a few sharpies and a wild idea. Over the last few months, ‘Our Painted Lady’ has taken us on a wild ride to places we never could’ve dreamed of, and along the way, changed each of us forever.”

The 1985 Rolls Royce Silver Spur is in great condition with only 37,000 miles and valued at $30,000. “Our Painted Lady” has made several high profile appearances to throughout 2014 leading up to the auction to raise awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project™ including high-profile Hamptons soirees, various charitable events in Long Island, Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week, The 41st Annual Village Halloween Parade and most recently, the Veteran’s Day Parade in New York City.

The proceeds from the auction will support a full range of programs and services for this generation of injured veterans and their families. Of supporting such a worthy cause, Frank Marzano said, “I hope Ben Moon and I can work on another project for charity in the future. The whole experience was heartwarming and I want to thank all of those involved including Mr. Richard Tschemia of Viera, Florida for the winning bid.” Marzano continued, “This money will help the great men and women who serve our country deserve help to get back on their feet and I am happy that I can do my part in giving back to them.”

Photographer Neil Tandy, who documented the journey from the beginning, contributed two one of a kind photographs on stretch canvas which also raised money for WWP, bringing in an additional $525.00.

The Wounded Warrior Project helps hundreds of thousands of service men and women deal with the physical and emotional injuries inflicted by war. The 20 programs and services provided by WWP are uniquely structured to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement.

For more information on “Our Painted Lady” please go to:
http://www.ourpaintedlady.com/
http://www.worldofbenmoon.com/

**All photography is copyrighted by Neil Tandy/Image Photographers Inc. and may not be edited or manipulated in any way, except for cropping to fit media formats. Please credit as follows: Photography courtesy of Neil Tandy**

**Ben Moon and Marzano Family would like to thank Adriana Marie & Co., DonJoe Auto Body, Excel Aire, Neil Tandy, Soldier Ride, Steven Talkhouse, Skrapper, Stacey Meyer, William Quigley, and the City of New York for letting “Our Painted Lady” participate in the 2014 Village Halloween Parade and the Veteran’s Day Parade.**

About Wounded Warrior Project TM

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project™ (WWP) is to honor and empower wounded warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.

About Charitybuzz

Charitybuzz raises funds for nonprofits around the globe through online auctions with the world’s most recognizable celebrities and brands. Featuring access to acclaimed actors and musicians, business and political leaders, star athletes, luxury travel, couture fashion, rare memorabilia and more, Charitybuzz brings its online community of bidders exclusive opportunities to live their dreams and make a difference. Since launching, Charitybuzz has raised more than $130 million for charity. To learn more, visit www.Charitybuzz.com, like us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Charitybuzz or follow us on Twitter at @Charitybuzz.

Love And Terror: Being An Advocate For Peace In The War-Torn Middle East Comes At A Cost

Houston, TX, December 19, 2014 – Frank Romano, PhD, has seen it all in his quest to bring sustainable peace to the Middle East. For decades, through interfaith grassroots efforts to open up communication, he has brought Jews, Muslims and Christians together from all corners of the world in support of peace.

Romano tells the remarkable story of his journey in Love and Terror in the Middle East (AB Film Publishing). A 4th edition of the book, it includes a chapter dedicated to a recent event where he was trapped in the middle of rioting Palestinians, following the killing of a Palestinian youth by Israeli soldiers, and barely escaped with his life.

Frank Romano’s story began decades ago with a move from California to France to study philosophy. He later ventured to Morocco on his way to the Middle East, where he was to participate in the interfaith peace movement. In his quest for the universal religion, which at first he thought might be Islam (meaning “peace”), he soon realized that what he found had little to do with peace and more to do with radicalism. After daring to ask questions relating to Islam and women, he was wrongly accused by Muslim extremists of being a Zionist spy and was imprisoned. This ultimately led to a spiritual awakening and, eventually, to his escape.

It was through meditation after this journey that he found truth about religion – and this truth continues to be the source of power that compels him to bring Jews, Muslims and Christians together to celebrate their shared similarities and begin to build on a platform of the belief in one God. His vision has always been about creating dialogues and breaking down barriers. “Organizing interfaith groups is critical to creating a platform for those dialogues to take place,” says Dr. Romano.

Constantly surrounded by war, his journey has been fraught with sacrifice. Friends and fellow activists have been brutally murdered. He has been attacked by settlers, harassed by Israeli soldiers and arrested by Palestinian police. In his personal life it has cost him his marriage, another long term romantic relationship, and impacted his role as a father. In spite of the danger and sacrifice, Dr. Romano – lawyer, author, speaker and professor of law, literature, history and philosophy of law – continues to be an advocate for peace in the Middle East.

For more information on Dr. Romano’s book or his ongoing drive for peace, please visit:
http://www.frankromano-loveandterror4.com (book)
http://www.frankromano363.blogspot.com/ (blog)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwQ-TYRDIVI (Interview)

Available at Amazon.com and major online outlets
Love and Terror in the Middle East, 4th edition
By Frank Romano
AB Film Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-0989706865

Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas and Shawn Mendes challenge YOU to change the world with We365

— IPG Mediabrands joins forces with international charity, Free The Children, for a fourth year on global month long campaign to challenge young people to change the world —

New York, NY (December 19, 2014) – Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas and Shawn Mendes are giving back this holiday season by starring in a global philanthropic advertising campaign powered by IPG Mediabrands in support of the first-of-its-kind digital platform for social good, We365.

A digital community, We365 helps users make a positive change in the world, every day of the year. As depicted in the global ad campaign, We365 allows users to take daily challenges to make the world a better place.

This year’s campaign features three of the world’s most influential celebrities – Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas and Shawn Mendes – encouraging people to sign up for We365 and complete challenges in support of the issues they care about. Lovato, Jonas and Mendes will take turns sharing examples of challenges in the ad campaign including eating a hot pepper for global warming and shaving your head for cancer. Throughout the campaign, these three superstars will be issuing challenges for We365 users to complete. Furthermore, thanks to the generous support from sponsors, every download of We365 will even help provide goats that give back to families in developing countries.

“We’re so happy to be partnering with Free The Children again this year and have the chance to change the lives of families around the world with this campaign; our favorite holiday tradition at IPG Mediabrands. This type of work showcases the strength of our global network and our commitment to the causes that matter in the international community,” said Matt Seiler, Global Chief Executive Officer, IPG Mediabrands.

“This is the fourth year in a row we’ve worked with IPG Mediabrands and we could not be more thankful for their incredible generosity, as well the support we have received from Demi, Nick and Shawn in engaging youth to use their phones for good with the We365 app,” said Craig Kielburger, Co-Founder of Free The Children. “We365 is a space for young people to inspire and be inspired by other like-minded young people and we can’t wait to see what challenges these world-changers come up with.”

Lovato, Jonas and Mendes have performed at multiple We Day events, and in some cases have traveled all the way to Kenya with Free The Children. We Day is the movement of our time – a movement of young people leading local and global change, and all three of these superstars have generously shown their support for the organization through their eagerness to be involved. Their participation in the We365 ad campaign is one more way they are demonstrating their passion for and commitment to inspiring young people.

“Working with Free The Children has been an incredible experience and I’m so excited to use We365 to take action and help families overseas,” said Demi Lovato, multi-platinum recording artist, actress and best-selling author. “I truly believe this generation can make the world a better place and We365 is a great way for youth to share random acts of kindness and become empowered.”

“Being a part of We Day is always incredible and I’m really looking forward to issuing my We365 challenge,” said Nick Jonas. “We Day is all about encouraging and inspiring our youth to get involved in local and global issues, but We365 really helps to promote change every single day by making it easy to rally your friends around the causes you care about.”

“I love being part of We Day, so I’m really looking forward to getting online and issuing my We365 challenge,” said Nick Jonas, multi-platinum recording artist. “We Day is all about inspiring and encouraging youth to get involved in local and global issues, but We365 is what helps make change happen every single day of the year by making it easy to rally your friends around the social issues you care about whether it’s diabetes awareness, animal rights or building schools overseas.”

“I’m really psyched to be issuing We365 challenges for some causes that are really close to my heart,” said Shawn Mendes, multi-platinum recording artist. “We365 is all about focusing on the power of what we can all do together to make a difference, and it’s a super easy way for young people to start changing the world using something as simple as their cell phones.”

We365 is a one-stop shop for youth to take action, providing a central hub to collect and track volunteer hours, applaud and reward young world-changers, encourage social activism and help them connect with other like-minded, young individuals. This free app offers a positive environment for young world-changers to connect and share ways they are making a difference in the world.

IPG Mediabrands will deploy the campaign across five continents and all screens, engaging their media partners to donate free advertising space throughout the course of the campaign, from December 26 through January 26. The PSA is co-produced by Door Knocker Media and Philymack Inc. and directed by Black Coffee. Sajo Garcia Alcazar (SGA) Advertising in Puerto Rico affiliated with Initiative and BPN San Juan led the creative strategy for the campaign. Sister IPG creative agencies around the world are also supporting the campaign with local execution, adaptation and trafficking services.

Last year’s campaign reached 3.8 million Likes on Facebook and over one million Twitter followers. As a result of this widespread awareness, the campaign generated $1.5 million for Free The Children and provided one million children with school supplies.

Watch the PSA here

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Zen Sports to Boost Player Performance at Boca Bowl

Boca Raton, FL – December 16, 2014 – Boca resident, philanthropist, businesswoman and author, Barb Schmidt intends to transform how athletes achieve the level of stellar performance required to bring home championships, when she launches Zen Sports at the inaugural Boca Bowl on Tuesday, December 23 at the FAU stadium.

In addition to fostering peak performance, the Zen Sports program is designed to alleviate the negative stressors that prompted the NFL to adopt a new personal conduct policy last week. Responding to concerns about the stress athletes face – both positive and negative – Schmidt developed the Zen Sports curriculum to facilitate focus, master coping skills and develop leadership.

Zen Sports delivers a practical, easy path for athletes to manage the tremendous stress they’re under so they can perform at their absolute best: focused, energized and in control. Schmidt will share her expertise on mindfulness and meditation with both NCAA Division 1 teams competing in the Boca Bowl, so they can take the field with the most advantageous mindset.

Schmidt explains, “Meditation is really magical when coupled with exercise. When used this way, you connect to the deep source of energy within you. It boosts energy, improves endurance and helps you stay focused and ‘in the zone.” Schmidt will remind both teams of the success that the Super-Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks enjoyed when they incorporated meditation and yoga into their daily training.

Zen Sports is an educational initiative of Schmidt’s non-profit Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life, a key sponsor of the Boca Raton Bowl, and is based on the principles outlined in her international best-selling book The Practice: Simple Tools for Managing Stress, Finding Inner Peace, and Uncovering Happiness, as well as its companion, The Practice Sports Workbook. Schmidt is also working with the FAU sports organization to implement mindfulness training to their efforts to build a nationally ranked sports franchise. This effort extends the mission of Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life which was created to fund speakers, teachers and projects that spread peace and love throughout the world.

At this year’s inaugural Boca Raton Bowl, Conference USA champions Marshall (12-1) will take on Mid-American Conference champs Northern Illinois (11-2) in what promises to be an exciting game as both teams compete to prove they belong in the big leagues. The FAU (Florida Atlantic University) stadium, with its 30,000 seats, plays host to the big game. ESPN will air the game for those who prefer to catch it from home.

About Barb Schmidt – Barb Schmidt is an international speaker, philanthropist, spiritual mentor, and best-selling author of The Practice. She has devoted more than 30 years to her studies with inspirational leaders such as Deepak Chopra, Thich Nhat Hanh, Scott Peck, Buddhist nun Tenzin Palmo, Thomas Merton scholar James Finley, and Marianne Williamson.

In 2001, Barb brought a larger community into discussions on peace initiatives with her partnership with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies program. In addition to speaking globally, she offers workshops and classes on spiritual practices and hosts events with many notable speakers including the Dalai Lama, Dr. Jane Goodall, Caroline Myss, Dan Millman, Gabrielle Bernstein, Tara Stiles, and James Finley.

About Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life – Believing that “outer peace begins with inner peace,” in 2011, Barb founded Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life to further serve those who seek to live a meaningful, happy life, and to fulfill her passion to bring peace to the world. Through this nonprofit, she teaches The Practice—a three-part guide to practical spirituality in today’s modern, and often chaotic, world.

For more information, visit www.peacefulmindpeacefullife.org and www.barbschmidt.com

About the Boca Raton Bowl – The game will take place at 6pm on December 23, 2014 at the FAU stadium. The game will air on ESPN.

Elementary School Teacher’s Wish To Help Alleviate Hunger This Holiday Season Comes True

Feeding America to Receive $500,000 Donation

KINGSTREE, S.C., Dec. 19, 2014 — What started as a simple wish on Facebook is going to help feed millions of families across the United States. After hearing about Capital One’s holiday #WishForOthers campaign, Maggie Hillman shared her wish on Facebook that fewer families would have to worry about finding food this holiday season. Inspired by Maggie’s post, Capital One is donating five million meals to Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization.

“I have many students who come to school hungry every day. Trying to focus on a math problem or learning how to read is much more difficult to accomplish with a growling stomach,” said Hillman, a beloved and passionate fourth grade teacher in Kingstree, S.C. “Seeing this firsthand, when I heard about #WishForOthers, I was inspired to ask that fewer students and their families across the U.S. struggle to put food on the table.”

To announce the donation, Capital One teamed up with the Rachael Ray Show, through their #9MillionMeals initiative, and surprised Maggie with the news of her wish being granted. Knowing her wish was inspired by a need in her community, Feeding America will direct a portion of the donation to the Lowcountry Food Bank to support its childhood hunger programs, including Kids Cafe, BackPack Buddies, Summer Feeding and School Pantry Program.

“In the United States, nearly 16 million children face hunger, which can have serious implications on their growth and development,” said Leah Ray, Senior Vice President of Development for Feeding America. “Programs like our BackPack Program and school pantries feed millions of children each year, and with support from donors like Capital One, we can provide even more food to more children in need. We are so thankful to Maggie for her wish, which will impact countless little ones and their families this holiday season and all year long.”

ABOUT FEEDING AMERICA

Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

ABOUT CAPITAL ONE

Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., had $204.3 billion in deposits and $300.2 billion in total assets as of September 30, 2014. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has approximately 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 100 index.

The Power to Manage Your Power

A new app developed by an SDSU researcher helps SDG&E customers save energy with real-time data.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Friday, Dec. 19, 2014) — The holidays are an energy-intensive time of year. Whether you hang just a few lights or illuminate the entire neighborhood with a winter wonderland display, chances are your carbon footprint will be just a little higher for the month of December. Scheduling your appliance-related chores for off-peak hours can help ease strain on the local power grid, and could even save you money in lower electric rates down the line. A new app developed by San Diego State University computer engineering professor Yusuf Ozturk makes it easy to know the best time to plug in.

Currently, most San Diego homeowners are billed for their total electricity usage by the local electric utility regardless of time of use. But some consumers with special electricity needs, such as owners of electric vehicles, can opt to be billed using a dynamic pricing model which charges them less for electricity used during off-peak hours and more for usage during peak hours. That’s a model many San Diego businesses already operate under, and it could become an option available to all residents in the near future.

Using electricity during off-peak hours not only saves business owners and some other consumers money, it also may leave a smaller carbon footprint, Ozturk said. “It’s extremely difficult to convince people to cut their overall energy usage very much because you have to wash the dishes, you have to do your laundry,” Ozturk said. “But you can shift your usage from peak hours to non-peak hours pretty easily for most tasks.”

The problem is that most people don’t know when they’re running their appliances at peak hours. Utility bills break down consumers’ usage, but “most users do not look closely at their energy bill, and by the time they see it, it’s too late,” Ozturk said.

But if you could see in real-time the potential benefits of delaying your laundry by a couple of hours, you could significantly change people’s behavior, he said. That’s the goal of his new app, EnergyElastics, available for Android devices for free on the Google Play store.

The Energy Elastics app has been developed to work with customer energy use data downloaded from San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) Green Button. The user-friendly app allows customers to give the app access to their own data via the utility and shows when energy usage spikes at different times during the day. The data goes back two years, offering a look at historical usage patterns.

EnergyElastics breaks your usage down into hourly chunks, calling special attention to peak and non-peak periods, and then forecasts how many fewer pounds of carbon might be emitted if you waited until off-peak hours. For consumers with time-of-use pricing, they can also see how much money they could save.

“Some people care about their spending, some care about their carbon footprint,” he said. “We’re assuming that if you let the user know, they’ll change their behavior.”

Eventually, the app will be able to sync with smart appliances to automatically schedule things like laundry and dishwashing for off-peak hours.

There’s an optional social component to the app, too. The app allows users to build networks with their neighbors and friends, creating an element of competition and accountability.

So if you have a friendly decorating rivalry with the neighbors this holiday season, this year it’s not just about who puts up the most lights—it’s also who can be the greenest while doing so.

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