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Monthly Archives: May 2017

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Nestlé Waters North America Announces $6 Million Investment in Closed Loop Fund

Joins with Other Leaders to Jump-Start Recycling Programs across the United States

Press Release – Stamford, Conn., May 22, 2017: Nestlé Waters North America today announced it is investing $6 million as part of a shared effort among business, government and community partners to fund comprehensive recycling infrastructure and programs in cities across the United States.

Nestlé Waters will join the ranks of some of the world’s largest companies – including 3M, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Keurig Green Mountain, PepsiCo and the PespiCo Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Walmart, and the Walmart Foundation – as part of Closed Loop Fund, a $100 million social impact investment fund committed to finding a national solution to the critical recycling gap in the U.S.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 75 percent of the waste stream in the U.S. is recyclable, but only 30 percent actually gets recycled. Aside from the environmental impacts, municipalities and businesses in the U.S. spent over $5 billion in 2015 disposing of waste in landfills. Much of this waste, such as PET plastic, is in demand among manufacturers as raw material for everything from textiles to packaging.

“The United States has one of the lowest recycling rates of any industrialized country, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. The U.S. has an opportunity to lead the way in recycling, while creating jobs, economic growth, and a more sustainable future,” says Nelson Switzer, Chief Sustainability Officer at Nestlé Waters North America. “As a company, we are on a very deliberate journey toward zero landfill waste in our products and operations, so I can think of no better opportunity than working collectively to ensure these recyclable materials are transformed from garbage to the valuable resources that they are.”

To date, Closed Loop Fund has diverted more than 100,000 tons of recyclable content, and the 11 projects currently funded are poised to divert 4 million tons by 2025. In that same timeframe, the Fund aims to:

  • Eliminate more than 40 million tons of greenhouse gas;
  • Divert more than 20 million cumulative tons of waste from landfills;
  • Provide a $40M economic benefit to municipalities;
  • Prove replicable models that will help unlock additional investment in recycling.

“Nestlé Waters’ commitment to Closed Loop Fund is a significant investment in creating shared value across the recycling supply chain,” said Rob Kaplan, Managing Director of Closed Loop Fund. “The investment will enable people to recycle more, and efficiently turn those packages into new products. It will save taxpayer dollars and improve the recycling system.”

This investment in Closed Loop Fund is just the latest in Nestlé Waters’ efforts to help shape products and systems that contribute toward sustainable consumption, and help the company achieve zero environmental impact by 2030. Having pioneered the lightweight bottle, the company has reduced the plastic content of its bottles by over 60% since 1994. Just last month, Nestlé Waters reached a critical milestone in its use of recycled plastic content (rPET), announcing that 9 out of 10 of its California-born Arrowhead® Mountain Spring Water bottles incorporate 50% post-consumer recycled plastic content. As a result, 1.8 billion bottles have been kept from landfills, and the 86 million pounds of recycled plastic has saved 69,660 tons of carbon emissions – the equivalent of 39,000 round trip flights from New York to Los Angeles.

About Nestlé Waters North America

Nestlé Waters North America provides people with an unrivaled portfolio of bottled waters for healthy hydration. Brands such as Nestlé® Pure Life®, Poland Spring®, Perrier®, and S. Pellegrino® have driven Nestlé Waters North America to be the third largest non-alcoholic beverage company by volume in the U.S. Based in Stamford, Connecticut with over 8,500 employees nationwide, Nestlé Waters is committed to reducing its environmental footprint across operations. The company is also committed to creating shared value and being a good neighbor in the 140 communities where it operates in the U.S.

About Closed Loop Fund

Founded in 2014, Closed Loop Fund is a social impact investment fund that provides cities and companies access to the capital required to build comprehensive recycling programs. Closed Loop Fund aims to invest $100 million by 2020 with the goal to create economic value for cities by increasing recycling rates in communities across America. Closed Loop Fund brings together the world’s largest consumer product, retail, and financial companies committed to finding a national solution to divert waste from landfills into the recycling stream in order to be used in the manufacturing supply chain. Key supporters include 3M, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, Keurig Green Mountain, Nestlé Waters North America, PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. For more information, visit

Third Annual Summer Dream Helps Fulfill End-of- Life Dreams for Terminally-Ill Young Adults

Annual event supports Dream Foundation’s mission of touching lives, meeting essential needs and providing inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life

Press Release – Santa Barbara, Calif., May 22, 2017 – Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, will host its third annual Summer Dream fundraiser – a fresh, summer-themed fashion show and cocktail party benefiting Dreamers ages 18 to 40 – at Nesbitt Estate in Carpinteria on June 3 from 4pm – 7pm. This year’s Summer Dream will include a fashion show featuring Calypso St. Barth and local designers Catherine Gee, K. Frank, Lole, Miller’s Oath, Rocha Swim, and Tropical Affair. The evening will feature a live performance by Brandi Lentini, special appearances by local best-selling authors, The Double Energy Twin and Judi & Shari Zucker, and complimentary offerings courtesy of Patron Tequila, Summerland Winery, Topa Topa, Heat Culinary, and Rori’s Artisanal Creamery. KEYT-TV’s Chief Meteorologist and long-time Dream Foundation supporter, Alan Rose will delight as emcee once again.

The evening will also include a raffle, silent auction, and entertainment by Aqualillies, the synchronized swimming group. Tickets for Summer Dream are available for purchase at for $100 each.

“Summer Dream is a wonderful event to educate our local community about our mission, goals, and most importantly our Dreamers,” says Dream Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Kisa Heyer. ”Many are surprised to learn that almost 20 percent of our Dreamers are between the ages of 18 and 40. We hope this illumination will lead to a greater understanding and urgency to support Dream Foundation and final Dreams that are providing inspiration, comfort and closure to thousands each year.”

The event is made possible through the generous support and dedication of this year’s Event Chair Arlene Montesano. Summer Dream recognizes its Golden Sponsors Belle & Daniel Cohen, The Little One Foundation, Hutton Parker Foundation, Soogie & Don Kang and Jim Nigro, Shine Sponsors: Eric Early, Nina & Eric Phillips, Elizabeth & Kenny Slaught, and Sun Potion, Copper Sponsors: Alex M. Early, Chris Lancashire, and The Early Air Way, Aqua Sponsors: Ann & Richard Schoenberg, B-low The Belt,The Grokenberger Family and Hollye & Jeff Jacobs and Event Sponsors: Aqualillies, Blue Star Parking, Heat Culinary, Ursula & Pat Nesbitt, Patron Tequila, Summerland Winery, and Sun Potion.

One hundred percent of the proceeds of Summer Dream will be allocated to fulfill the Dreams of terminally-ill young adults, 18-40 years old.

About Dream Foundation:

Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, fulfills final Dreams that provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life. With the support of a nationwide network of volunteers, hospices, health care organizations and committed donors, Dream Foundation has given life to more than 27,000 final Dreams over the past two decades and has never turned down a qualified applicant. The Foundation is proud to maintain Charity Navigator’s four-star rating—its highest—for sound fiscal management ensuring its donors and partners that their investment will be used wisely. Dream Foundation receives no state of federal funding—we rely solely on private donations. To support our mission please visit

Students Issue $8,495 in Grants to Six Local Organizations

Grants to Fund Programs Working towards “Educating and Inspiring Youth for a Healthier, Brighter Future”

Press Release – State College, PA – A group of Centre County high school students awarded $8,495 to six local non-profit organizations as the culmination of their year-long participation in Centre PACT (Philanthropic Actions Created by Teens), a program of Centre Foundation.

“I am tremendously excited about the impact our funding will make for all the organizations we have chosen to support,” said Aja Kukic-Bartoo, a member of Centre PACT.

In September, the students kicked-off the program by selecting the theme of “Educating and Inspiring Youth for a Healthier, Brighter Future,” which guided their granting decisions in April.

“Since September, these amazing students have rolled up their sleeves and learned about philanthropy in a very hands-on way, learning everything from granting to fundraising,” said Molly Kunkel, Executive Director at Centre Foundation. “They have made such an impact, and in the areas that really speak to them. It’s been so inspiring to watch these young philanthropists grow during the course of this program.”

After creating their own grant application process and putting out a request for proposal, the students reviewed the applications. Finalist organizations received a site visit from a cohort of the students so that they could view the program up close, see the impact, and ask the staff questions.

“The grant application process and site visits allowed the students to learn more about the nuts and bolts of granting, as well as provided them with a window into how non-profits operate,” explained Kunkel.

The students began the year with a $1,000 granting pool provided by Centre Foundation and $2,000 from a recently opened endowment fund for their group, but quickly realized their appetite for impact was much larger. So, they began a prospecting campaign that ultimately raised $5,495 from 37 community supporters.

“The students’ dedication to expanding their impact was commendable, allowing them to make grants to six organizations,” said Kunkel.

Students, parents, community supporters, and non-profit representatives were on hand for a check presentation party, which also marked the end of the program’s second year.

Centre PACT students Joanna Switala and Emma Riglin presented $750.00 to Front & Centre Productions of Philipsburg.

“I’m excited about giving money to Front & Centre Productions,” noted Riglin. “I have experienced their program and their impact. They truly provide great programs for youth in Centre County, especially Philipsburg which is so important.”

“It is an honor to be receiving a grant from the amazing young philanthropists of Centre PACT,” said Stephen Switala, Executive Director of Front & Centre Productions. “We are excited to utilize the grant to offer a Children’s Choir to our community as another outlet for youth creativity through the arts. INSPIRE Children’s Choir will offer young vocalists the opportunity to sing with others while spreading a message of inspiration, self-worth, and encouragement through music.”

Ann Marie Paul and Kukic-Bartoo presented $872.50 to Darren and Anne Narber of Penns Valley Youth Center (PVYC), which serves 6th – 12th grade students in the Penns Valley area. The funding will establish a new Integrative Arts Program, helping students to strengthen their success in and out of the classroom.

This was the second year that PVYC received a grant from Centre PACT students. Darren Narber noted his appreciation for the growing relationship with Centre PACT students, whose financial support has positively impacted students attending PVYC.

Joey Feffer, Patrick McNutt, and Katherine Kim presented $872.50 to Debbie Lower and Gail Addison-Guss of Park Forest Preschool (PFP) for the Love of Arts program. This grant will provide funding to enhance the music and art programs with more instruments, art easels, and other materials needed for open-ended arts activities.

Kim remarked that this grant would “give every kid the opportunity to become the best that they can be.”

“With this grant, the children at Park Forest Preschool will be painting, dancing, playing instruments, and singing to creatively support the development of the whole child,” said Addison-Guss, board chair of PFP.

Bella DiNallo, Brontë Clingham-David, and Grace Handler presented $1,000.00 to Marisa Vicere of the Jana Marie Foundation (JMF), also a second-time recipient of a Centre PACT grant.

Paul added that “it’s really great that the Jana Marie Foundation’s JAM sessions are now fully funded because they are the first co-ed creative expression programs that Jana Marie Foundation has.”

“We are so grateful for the support of Centre PACT,” said Vicere, President of JMF. “Because of their ambition and dedication to improving Centre County, Jana Marie Foundation can continue our efforts to enhance creative thinking and mental well-being of adolescents, ages 11-17, by offering J.A.M. Sessions. Art, music, and creative expression are lifelong sources of resilience, self-confidence, and happiness. Thanks to Centre PACT, young people will have the opportunity to experience the benefits of creative expression.”

Nick Feffer, Saoirse Hopp, and Will Wagner Henne presented $2,000.00 to Andrea Fisher of the Youth Service Bureau (YSB) for the Neighborhood Outreach program.

“After visiting the Youth Service Bureau site and hearing about all the work they do in the community, I feel very confident in granting this money to their program and believe it will make a very positive impact,” said Jackie Saleeby, reflecting on the students’ site visit to YSB.

“Their program to reach out to less privileged children could change their lives so early on,” added Centre PACT student Caroline Sparrow.

Fisher commended the students’ efforts, noting that the grant will provide six months of program funding. The Neighborhood Outreach program sends staff into the field to interact with at-risk youth who experience family strife and poverty. The YSB staff members provide healthy snacks, activities, mentoring, homework help, and hope.

The final grant of the evening was presented by Sparrow, Saleeby, and Joy Zhu. The students presented a $3,000.00 grant to Bella Bregar and Barb Alpert of the ACRES Project, which provides support for individuals with autism.

“The ACRES project is close to my heart because I have a family member with autism,” Clingham-David shared. “Knowing that I can improve the lives of people like her in my own community is very important to me.”

“After going on a site visit and meeting people involved with ACRES, I am excited to see the impact their after-school activity will have, both in the short-term and long-term,” reflected McNutt.

“We are so humbled to receive this grant,” said Bregar, Executive Director of ACRES Project. “It will allow us to provide a nine-week social group program, free of charge to young adults or high school students. It will provide a safe space to discuss and learn about friendship, social differences, and how to handle uncomfortable social situations. We are so excited to be able to offer this group.”

Perfect attendance awards were also presented to Emma Riglin and Joanna Switala, students from the Philipsburg-Osceola School District who travelled to State College for the monthly Centre PACT meetings. Graduating high school seniors included Nick Feffer (Dartmouth, Biology), Joey Feffer (Harvard, Math), Emma Riglin (Pennsylvania State University, Public Relations), and Katherine Kim (Carnegie Mellon University, Biology).

Two Class of 2017 – Penn State students who helped found the Centre PACT program and served as collegiate advisors for the past two years were also recognized, Carver and McQuillin Murphy. The Murphys saw the program grow from a concept, to a pilot program with seven students raising $5,000, to this year’s program with 18 students.

Centre County high school students may apply to join Centre PACT during fall recruitment, which will begin as schools reopen in August and September. For more information, please visit

Centre Foundation’s mission is to inspire and facilitate a culture of giving to create a more vibrant community.

SDSU’s Newest Residence Hall Certified LEED Silver

South Campus Plaza achieves international sustainability recognition for its sustainable operating practices.

Press Release – SAN DIEGO, Calif. (May 22, 2017) — San Diego State University’s new residence hall at South Campus Plaza has been certified as LEED Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council. The designation recognizes the building for its sustainable operating practices.

The two resident towers of South Campus Plaza opened in January 2017, and include water and energy efficiency features that reduce the building’s impact on the environment. Among the features are a sophisticated lighting control system with occupancy sensors, photo-sensors for daylight harvesting and 100 percent LED lighting. The buildings also have an intelligent and automated heating and cooling system, as well as large windows and water-saving shower heads in the resident rooms.

With the South Campus Plaza residence hall located in a short walking distance from the SDSU Transportation Plaza, residents have easy access to both campus and public transportation options, reducing their reliance on motor vehicles. The buildings also provide special parking for drivers of low emission vehicles and a secure, covered bike storage locker for residents.

SDSU’s recent major renovation to Zura Hall was also certified LEED Silver. But residence halls are not the only buildings on campus to have been recognized for their sustainability. The Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union is among the only buildings in the world rated Double LEED Platinum. SDSU’s Children’s Center, Storm and Nasatir Halls, Aztec Recreation Center and Mission Bay Aquatic Center are also on the list of SDSU buildings with LEED certifications.

SDSU has set a goal that all new construction and major renovations at a minimum achieve LEED Silver designation.

The university recently approved its own Climate Action Plan, which lays out campus-wide environmental goals, including achieving operational carbon neutrality by 2040 and complete carbon neutrality by 2050. This plan also addresses other sustainability issues, including water, waste and food.

“South Campus Plaza captures a breadth of sustainability issues while improving quality of life for students, faculty, staff and the broader community,” said Tom Abram, assistant director of campus sustainability for SDSU Facilities Services. “From energy and water efficiency to transit-oriented development and sustainable commuting, this project exemplifies the work that we need to accomplish to meet our carbon neutrality goals.”

South Campus Plaza also houses a number of retail shops. The first one, Trader Joe’s, just opened last week. Several other shops are expected to open over the summer.

About San Diego State University

San Diego State University is a major public research institution that provides transformative experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its more than 36,000 students. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in 91 areas, master’s degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 22 areas. Students participate in research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, internships and mentoring, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. The university’s rich campus life features opportunities for students to participate in, and engage with, the creative and performing arts, a Division I athletics program and the vibrant cultural life of the San Diego region. For more information, visit

Georgia Tech Students Win Toyota and Net Impact’s National Competition with App Concept for People Who Use Wheelchairs

Next Generation Mobility Challenge Inspired Millennials to Solve Mobility Issues

Winning students will have Summer Internships through Net Impact in Partnership with Toyota to Develop their Idea

Press Release – Plano, TX (May 22, 2017) – Earlier this year, a team of students at Georgia Tech realized that there was a critical gap in transportation services for people who use wheelchairs – and they wondered if the solution could be in the palm of their hands.

Today, the students’ concept for an app-based service to address this issue, “Para Pickup,” has been named the winner of the Next Generation Mobility Challenge. The Challenge is a national competition from the Toyota Mobility Foundation and Net Impact to inspire millennials to use design thinking to solve mobility issues. Nearly 600 students participated at 15 events across the country.

The winning team pitched an app-based, para-transit taxi service that gives people who use wheelchairs a safe, affordable and flexible way to get around. This concept would supplement current public para-transit transportation services, which are affordable, but can be inflexible and slow. You can view a video of their concept at this link and a demo at this link.

“We know that in Atlanta alone, people with disabilities take over 2,200 rides on public transportation [a day]. We talked to people with special needs in the community and learned that they have limited ability to travel independently or make spontaneous plans. There is a real need for flexible, affordable alternatives, especially for those who can’t afford a wheelchair accessible vehicle. We developed Para Pickup to help wheelchair users go wherever they want, whenever they want,” said Sally Xia, a member of the winning team.

“At Toyota, we are invested in creating better ways for people to move around, with a focus on helping communities with limited mobility to do more,” said Kristen Tabar, vice president, Technical Strategy and Planning Office, Toyota Motor North America, Research and Development. “The Para Pickup team spotted a problem that needs solving and came up with a smart, well thought-out plan to open up more opportunities for people who use wheelchairs. Congratulations to the team on their big win and please keep up the good work!”

“Net Impact’s goal is to give young people the tools to take on social challenges through creative thinking and entrepreneurship,” said Liz Maw, CEO of Net Impact. “Para Pickup took a thoughtful approach to understanding community needs and building a service that addressed them. We’re very proud of the team and look forward to seeing the progress they make!”

The multidisciplinary team of students included Sally Xia (Masters in Digital Media), Riley Keen (Masters in Industrial Design), Pranav Nair (Masters in Industrial and Product Design), and Kris Weng (Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering). The students have accepted summer internships through Net Impact in partnership with Toyota at the company’s North American headquarters in Plano, TX. They will support the Social Innovation team and continue to develop “Para Pickup” for the Toyota Mobility Foundation, which works to address mobility challenges around the world. The winners may then be considered for funding to bring their idea to life from the Toyota Mobility Foundation.

The Para Pickup team was chosen as winner by judges at Toyota and Net Impact based on six different categories: clarity of goals and objectives, clarity of project design, impact to society, feasibility, creativity and the team’s potential to implement the project. Additionally, the public weighed in on the winner through online voting, where Para Pickup also took first place.

About the Next Generation Mobility Challenge

Launched in 2015, the Next Generation Mobility Challenge is a competition from Toyota, the Toyota Mobility Foundation and Net Impact to inspire millennials to develop solutions for critical mobility needs in local communities and around the world. Held at fifteen university campuses across the country, the challenge invites multi-disciplinary teams of students to participate in design sprints to develop solutions for mobility issues related to social equity and inclusion. Local transportation and technology experts from Toyota and universities provided feedback and real-world perspective to the students’ concepts. In 2016, nearly 600 students participated.

Toyota is executing the challenge through Toyota Motor North America and the Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF), which was created by Toyota in 2014 to help more people go more places – safely, easily and sustainably – so they can live better lives no matter where they are.

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM), creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to advancing mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. Over the past 60 years, we’ve produced more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 44,000 people (more than 34,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold almost 2.6 million cars and trucks (2.45 million in the U.S.) in 2016 – and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.

Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support non-profits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more places. For more information about Toyota, visit

About Toyota Mobility Foundation

The Toyota Mobility Foundation was established in August 2014 to support the development of a more mobile society. The Foundation aims to support strong mobility systems while eliminating disparities in mobility. It utilizes Toyota’s expertise in technology, safety, and the environment, working in partnership with universities, governments, non-profit organizations, research institutions and other organizations to address mobility issues around the world. Programs include resolving urban transportation problems, expanding the utilization of personal mobility, and developing solutions for next generation mobility.

About Net Impact

Net Impact is a global community of students and professionals who aspire to be effective drivers of social and environmental change. Our programs—delivered from our headquarters in Oakland, CA, as well as globally through our 275+ chapters—connect our members to the skills, experiences and people that will allow them to have the greatest impact. With over 100,000 members, Net Impact takes on social challenges, protects the environment, invents new products and orients business toward the greater good. In short, we help our members turn their passions into a lifetime of world-changing action. Visit

More Than 31 Million People Displaced Within Their Own Country In 2016

Press Release – Monday, 22 May 2017 (Geneva/New York): Conflict, violence and disasters caused 31.1 million new internal displacements in 2016, according to a new report released today by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

“In 2016, one person every second was forced to flee their home inside their own country. Internally displaced people now outnumber refugees by two to one. It is urgent to put internal displacement back on the global agenda,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the NRC.

Of the 6.9 million new internal displacements caused by conflict in 2016, 2.6 million took place in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Global Report on Internal Displacement. The Democratic Republic of the Congo was the country worst affected, with a spike of 922,000 new displacements during the year alone. Next were Syria (824,000), Iraq (659,000), Afghanistan (653,000), Nigeria (501,000) and Yemen (478,000). As of the end of 2016, a total of 40.3 million people were displaced within their own country as a result of conflict and violence, some of whom having been displaced for decades.

“Certain countries drop off the international agenda only to re-emerge a few years later with significant numbers of new displacements,” said Alexandra Bilak, Director of IDMC. “This was the case for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which highlights how the failure to address the underlying causes of conflict and crisis results in cyclical patterns of displacement.”

Disasters displaced three times more people than conflicts. Most of the 24 million new disaster displacements recorded in 2016 were linked to sudden-onset weather hazards such as floods, storms, wildfires and severe winter conditions. Disaster displacement occurs mostly in low and lower-middle income countries, and is expected to increase in the future with the impacts of climate change and more extreme weather.

“Despite internal displacement being the starting point of many onward journeys, it has been overshadowed by the current global focus on refugees and migrants. We need to acknowledge that, without the right kind of support and protection, a person internally displaced today may become a refugee, an asylum seeker or an international migrant tomorrow,” said Bilak.

Yet more aid was spent last year on refugee resettlement within donor countries than in the countries where displacement crises originate.

The Global Report on Internal Displacement shows that displacement will continue unless we direct funding and political attention to the underlying drivers of poverty, state fragility and global environmental change.

“To the extent that the Global Report on Internal Displacement holds up a mirror, the reflection it projects is one of international indifference, lack of accountability and states’ failure to protect their own people,” said Bilak.

What is the difference between an IDP and a refugee?

The main difference between IDPs and refugees is that internally displaced people remain within the borders of their own country. Refugees have crossed an international border in search of refuge, and this gives them legal refugee status which entitles them to certain rights and international protection. However an IDP is not a legal status because IDPs are still under the jurisdiction of their own government and may not claim any rights additional to those shared by their fellow citizens.

About us

IDMC was established by the Norwegian Refugee Council in 1998. Monitoring internal displacement caused by conflict, violence, human rights violations and natural disasters worldwide, IDMC is widely respected as the leading source of information and analysis on internal displacement throughout the world.

Follow IDMC on social media:
Twitter: @IDMC_Geneva

YWCA USA to Celebrate Extraordinary Women Leaders at Women of Distinction Awards Gala

Hosted By Melissa Harris-Perry

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Press Release – Washington, D.C. (May 19th 2017)YWCA USA will celebrate the achievements of extraordinary leaders and organizations who serve as role models for women and girls at the Women of Distinction Awards Gala during the YWCA USA National Conference on Friday, June 16, 2017, at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C.

Melissa Harris-Perry will be the host of the gala event. Ms. Perry is Professor and Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, the Director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South, and the Executive Director of the Pro Humanitate Institute at Wake Forest University.

National Domestic Workers Alliance will be presented with the Advocacy and Civic Engagement award; Nordstrom will receive the Corporate Partnership award; New York City Council’s Young Women’s Initiative will receive the Girls/Women Empowerment award, and Charlene A. Carruthers will receive the Dorothy I. Height Racial Justice Award.

About the Women of Distinction Awards

The YWCA USA Women of Distinction Awards honor women from across the United States who have demonstrated excellence, leadership and integrity in their fields and in the community, serving as role models for other successful women. Nominations from YWCAs across the United States were submitted to identify leaders whose work has truly made an impact on women’s economic empowerment and racial justice.

The YWCA USA Women of Distinction Awards include honorees for contributions in four key areas of public life: 1) Civic Engagement 2) Business 3) Philanthropy and 4) Military/Veterans Affairs.


YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families each year. Learn more:

BH Investment Group and TECHO Launch “Home4Home” A “One-for-One” Model Program With a Target Impact of 500 Homes for the Most Impoverished Communities in Latin America

New Philanthropic Model Calls Upon Developers to Match Sales for the Construction of New Homes Throughout 19 Latin American Countries

Press Release – MIAMI (April 24, 2017) – Miami-based BH Investment Group and global nonprofit TECHO announce the creation of Home4Home, the largest international one-for-one housing platform connecting real estate leaders with Latin American families in need.

Argentine-born Andrés Klein, Founder and President of BH Investment Group, has made the first commitment to the program.

It is the mission of Klein’s partnership with TECHO to inspire US and Latin American developers to match sales with giving; for each property sold, developers are asked to donate one transitional house in one of the 19 countries where TECHO has successfully operated for 20 years.

“Home4Home brings together an important and organized mission for those of us who have achieved success in real estate,” says Klein. “I feel it is our responsibility to come together as an industry and help change lives.”

The model program allows for industry leaders throughout the Americas to join forces for a common cause: reduce poverty. The one-for-one structure is also high impact and surpasses other efforts that allocate dollars.

“Home4Home is not a single partnership, but a program that is inclusive, scalable and has the power to leave a footprint in the industry,” said Diego Firpo, CEO of TECHO. “Partners of the program will be recognized as socially responsible, which will in turn raise the business standards of the industry.”

TECHO has been working alongside slum residents and empowering communities in Latin America for the last 20 years, providing an immediate solution to their most basic needs.

How the program works:

  • With each sale, the developer donates one transitional house to TECHO
  • Developer communicates with their buyer to select a country where the home is built (of the 19 where TECHO operates)
  • TECHO moves forward to build a transitional house in the specified country, handling the sourcing and construction
  • A package with a photo and letter from the beneficiary family is sent to the developer and buyer, along with a miniature replica of the house that was built

All donations will be tax deductible and made through a 501(3)(c) charitable organization. Interested developers are invited to join the initiative. For more information, please visit 

L’Oréal USA Hosts Mentoring, Career Readiness and Scholarship Presentation Series for Young Women Through New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women’s Annual Role Model Program

Role Model Program Alumna Hazel-Ann Mayers, Esq., Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Simon & Schuster, Inc., delivered Keynote Address

Press Release – NEW YORK, NY, May 16, 2017— During Spring Break last month, L’Oréal USA hosted seven high school and 34 college students at its new Hudson Yards headquarters for the New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women’s Annual Role Model Program designed to provide students with a realistic understanding of various professions, to learn practical workplace skills and to allow them to shadow professional women in their chosen careers.

“Our theme this year was ‘Dream, Believe, Achieve,’” said Cecilia Nelson, L’Oréal’s Assistant Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion. “The Annual Role Model Program gives L’Oréal USA an opportunity to showcase one of our core values which is to support programs that empower women and girls by exposing them to information and experiences that help foster their personal and professional development.”

“As part of our multi-year partnership, we are proud to have awarded more than $20,000 in scholarships each year to the Role Model Program students over the past 18 years,” Ms. Nelson noted.

The four-day program included workshops and presentations by professionals in the fields of beauty, social and professional etiquette, dressing for success, social networking, financial literacy, life skills, leadership, personal growth, and presentation skills. The week concluded with a dinner featuring an inspiring keynote by Role Model Program alumna Hazel-Ann Mayers, Esq., Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Simon & Schuster, Inc. Ms. Mayers graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Law from the City College of New York and earned a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

“People sometimes look at me strangely when I say I spend my spring break facilitating our Signature Role Model program; however, as I witness the transformation in the young women over the four days, I know my commitment is worthwhile. We are making a difference in the lives of future leaders. This program truly demonstrates the motto of the Coalition “Leadership By Example,” said Cheryl Green-Foster, President of the New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women.

The students participated in an intensive series of professional and personal development workshops that offered information, tools and lessons about the realities of the workplace. The college students spent three full days with mentors while the high school students attended business and cultural presentations, which this year include visits to WBLS-FM and to Black Fashion Designers, an exhibition The Museum at FIT.

The 2017 program began on Monday, April 10 with registration, orientation and an opening reception followed by “Have A Beautiful Day,” a skin, hair care and make-up presentation featuring L’Oréal USA brand executives. Miss Black Georgia USA, Shaunii Rawls, whose mantra is, “I AM, I WILL, AND I CAN,” was the motivational guest speaker. Dinner included a “Dining Etiquette” workshop facilitated by Tatia Adams Fox, Founder and President of The New School of Etiquette.

On Tuesday, April 11, “Professional Development Day,” the college students shadowed mentors in the fields of business, public policy, computer science, medicine, engineering, law, accounting, finance, architecture, and psychology among other careers. The high school students visited WBLS-FM for a tour and lunch hosted by WBLS Community Liaison Samuel W. Fields Public Relations and were given a live, on-air “shout out” during host Shaila Scott’s “Midday with Shaila” program. In the afternoon, the full cohort returned to L’Oréal USA headquarters for the interactive workshops and presentations: “Dress for Success” presented by Keara Richardson, an attorney and fashion consultant; and Social Networking: “Brand You,” presented by Role Model Program alumna Natalee Facey, an empowerment speaker, wellness expert and transformation coach.

On Wednesday, April 12, “Personal Development Day” featured a visit to the Black Fashion Designers exhibition at The Museum at FIT in the afternoon and later in the day, a ‘Money Matters’ workshop from the “Financially Lit” team at Mansa Musa Money led by president Briana Jones and instructor Sam Floyd.

“Personal Development Day” concluded with a presentation by powerhouse life skills, leadership, personal growth and presentation skills coach Dr. Stacie N.C. Grant, Designer & Chief of the multi-media platform Destiny Designers University®, followed by a panel discussion with Asha Boston, filmmaker, Dinner Table Documentary; Ed Bullock, Bullock Innovation Group and former Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion for L’Oréal; Mia Hall, Mia Hall 19; Taquetta Lawrence, The Young Brown Collective; Tuwisha Rogers, One Solution; and Role Model program alumna Tequilla White.

The week of workshops and job shadowing culminated on Thursday, April 13, “Insights Day,” with a closing ceremony, program review and scholarship presentation.

College Scholarship winners were:

  • 1st place—Emily Dickens, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • 2nd place—Joanna Abaraoha, City College of New York (CCNY)
  • 3rd place—Danielle Walker, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Evelyn Payne Davis Scholarship—named in honor of one of the Coalition’s founders and first President and awarded to students who have had to overcome many obstacles in their educational pursuit— went to Emma Sackeyfio, a Harlem native of Ghanaian descent who is a senior at CCNY.

High School Scholarship winners were:

  • 1st  place—Melissa Hidalgo
  • 2nd place—Alexandra Maceda
  • 3rd place—Marianna Diallo

The Role Model Program was co-chaired by Cheryl Green-Foster and Advisory Board member Sharon Long.

L’Oréal USA’s initial grant to the New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women in 1999 enabled the expansion of the Role Model Program beyond Manhattan, into Brooklyn and Queens, to students at Medgar Evers College and Queens College. Since then, the program has further expanded to include York College, LaGuardia Community College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and now also includes high school students from Women’s Academy of Excellence in the Bronx.


L’Oréal USA is the largest subsidiary of the L’Oréal Group, the world’s leading beauty company. L’Oréal USA manages a portfolio of more than 30 iconic beauty brands, including Garnier, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Kérastase, Lancôme, La Roche-Posay, L’Oréal Paris, and Yves Saint Laurent Beauté. L’Oréal USA also serves as the international hub for the product development and marketing strategy for L’Oréal’s 18 American brands: Baxter of California, Carol’s Daughter, Clarisonic, Dermablend, Essie, IT Cosmetics, Kiehl’s, Matrix, Maybelline New York, Mizani, NYX Professional Makeup, Pureology, Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Redken, Softsheen-Carson, SkinCeuticals and Urban Decay. Generating more than $6 billion in sales annually, L’Oréal USA is committed to growth through sustainable innovation, driven by the company’s Sharing Beauty With All ambition for sustainable development across the Group’s value chain. The company is headquartered in New York City, employs more than 11,000 people, and operates administrative, research, manufacturing and distribution facilities across 14 states, including Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Washington. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @LOrealUSA.

New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women

The New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women is a non-profit organization addressing social, economic, political, cultural and other issues of concern to Black women in the five boroughs of New York City and beyond. The organization, the founding chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for its members, as well as women and families in the local communities and the larger city, state and nation.  Follow us on Twitter or Instagram and Facebook

Dream Foundation’s 7th Annual Flower Empower Luncheon Brings Community Together

Annual event honored and celebrated the volunteers and sponsors of beloved local program

Press Release – Santa Barbara, Calif., May 19, 2017 – More than 200 local community members gathered yesterday for the 7th Annual Flower Empower Luncheon at the picturesque Klentner Ranch in Carpinteria. This annual event raises funds and acknowledges the volunteers, sponsors, and growers who make Dream Foundation’s Flower Empower program a success. The luncheon was emceed by Flower Empower Luncheon committee member, program supporter and volunteer, KEYT Channel 3’s Alan Rose and Rose’s KEYT colleague and fellow Flower Empower volunteer Alys Martinez. The luncheon featured stunning views, a silent auction, raffle, and delectable cuisine courtesy of Rincon Catering. This year a live auction was introduced into the program with the help of long-time Dream Foundation supporter Andrew Firestone that included a private wine experience at Jaffurs Wine Cellars as well as a tropical getaway at the Sheraton Waikiki Resort and a visit to the set of CBS’ hit show, “Hawaii Five-0!”

Dream Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Kisa Heyer and Flower Empower program coordinator, Valerie Banks honored and awarded the 2017 Flower Empower program sponsors: Laurel Barrack, Diane & Tim Brown, Kate & Arthur Coppola, Hollye & Jeff Jacobs, Nissrin Mahmoud & Bob Fuladi, and Shelley & Paul Schulte, whose donations will help fund the program this year. Also acknowledged were Ed Van Wingerden, Grower of the Year and Steven Shulem and Sheri Parker, Volunteers of the Year. Honored in memoriam were William Pattis, Angie Redding, and Michael Towbes who were staunch supporters of the Flower Empower program.

“Flower Empower is an invaluable program to our community,” says Dream Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Kisa Heyer. “It reminds us that even the smallest gestures can make a lasting impression. We would love to see the program grow beyond Santa Barbara and bring happiness to others.”

The afternoon festivities would not have been possible without the support of the community and sponsors including Colleen Barnett-Taylor & Michael Taylor, Lisa & George Hagerman, Montecito Bank & Trust, Amie Parrish, and Justine Roddick & Christina Schlieske.

Flower Empower is a volunteer-driven program that delivers hope and compassion—in the form of beautiful bouquets—to those in need. Several days each week, groups of volunteers prepare dozens of arrangements using donated flowers and make deliveries to hospitals, hospices, cancer centers, and personal residences. In addition to abundant bouquets, flower recipients enjoy fresh-baked cookies, fine chocolates, and handmade cards. Flower Empower receives no federal or state funding and relies solely on corporate and individual contributions and grants.

About Dream Foundation:

Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, fulfills final Dreams that provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life. With the support of a nationwide network of volunteers, hospices, health care organizations and committed donors, Dream Foundation has given life to more than 27,000 final Dreams over the past two decades and has never turned down a qualified applicant. The Foundation is proud to maintain Charity Navigator’s four-star rating—its highest—for sound fiscal management ensuring its donors and partners that their investment will be used wisely. Dream Foundation receives no state of federal funding—we rely solely on private donations. To support our mission please visit

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