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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: August 2018

On 15th Anniversary Of Baghdad Bombing, UN Humanitarian Chief Renews Call For Protection Of Aid Workers And Civilians

In remembrance of humanitarians killed in the line of duty, a ‘living petition’ was launched calling on world leaders to take action to protect civilians and aid workers.

Press Release – (New York, 17 August 2018) World Humanitarian Day 2018 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, in which 22 UN staff and other civilians lost their lives. Each year on 19 August, the humanitarian community remembers humanitarian workers who lost their lives in the line of duty and pays tribute to those who deliver aid to vulnerable communities in some of the world’s most dangerous crises.

Last year, 139 aid workers were killed, 102 were wounded and 72 were kidnapped in the line of duty. This marks the 5th year in a row that more than 100 humanitarians lost their lives on the job and is the highest recorded annual death toll since 2013 when 156 were killed.

“It is unconscionable that each year civilians and aid workers who are trying to help them are killed and maimed in conflict zones with utter impunity. We need this to end,” said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock.

In 2017, out of 42,972 people reportedly killed or injured by explosive weapons, 31,904, or three out of every four victims, were civilians — a 38 per cent increase compared with 2016. More than 26,000 civilians were killed or injured in attacks in just six conflict-affected countries in 2017, the UN Secretary-General noted in his recent Protection of Civilians report. Reversing the high numbers of civilian casualties in conflicts will require sustained advocacy.

Governments and non-state armed groups have clear legal obligations to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, protect aid workers and ensure the safe and unimpeded passage of supplies in armed conflict. “It is imperative that we continue to hold men with guns and power accountable when civilians and aid workers are illegally targeted,” Mr. Lowcock said.

More than 2 million people participated in the #NotATarget campaign last year. Building on that success, the UN and humanitarian partners launched this week a ‘living petition” calling on world leaders to take action to protect civilians and aid workers. Global Citizens are asked to ‘sign’ the petition with their selfies through a custom website that innovatively transforms their 2d selfies into 3d portraits of solidarity. The faces of citizens will be displayed on an installation that was unveiled at UN Headquarters today. The installation will remain in place throughout the UN General Assembly, which begins in September.

“The thousands of faces that make up the living petition will be on the display are to remind world leaders of their legal obligation to protect civilians in conflict,” Mr. Lowcock added.

About World Humanitarian Day

In an effort to raise awareness of humanitarian assistance worldwide and to pay tribute to the people who risk their lives to provide it, the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 designated August 19 as World Humanitarian Day.


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Baltic Sea Water To The Rescue Of Drought-Hit Islands In Stockholm Archipelago

Press Release – Stockholm, August 17, 2018 – Is Baltic sea water the new gold? Can the sea water become the lifeline for the drought-threatened hundreds of thousands of people who live along the Baltic coast or each summer visit the hundreds of archipelago islands?

The answer to the above questions is a likely yes, thanks to world-leading Swedish technology being used in a unique project on the island of Sandhamn designed to help save the island’s threatened water reserves and tourism-driven economy. The project has seen Bluewater, a world leader in water purification technologies and solutions, join with the local Värmdö municipality and the Royal Swedish Yacht Club KSSS to help beat climate change-driven water shortages.

“Two high performing Bluewater water purifying stations have gone on stream in Sandhamn capable of daily providing 14,000 liters of chilled still or sparkling water taken directly from the Baltic sea,” says Anders Jacobson, President and chief strategy officer company Bluewater.

Anders Jacobson said Bluewater has installed the water stations at its own cost to deliver water free of charge to thirsty island residents or tourists. The water stations will showcase solutions are already available to the acute problem faced by many islands and coastal communities in the Baltic Sea.

The Bluewater water stations also complement a unique water harvesting system developed by the company earlier this summer for the royal yacht club that is designed to meet the needs of the many hundreds of visiting yachtspeople who flock to the island every year. Using water pumped directly from the sea, the system is already delivering over 45,000 liters of water a day.

We find it extremely positive that Swedish technological ingenuity can help Sandhamn at a time when drinking water access threatens both local residents and their tourist driven livelihood, said Deshira Flankör, chairperson of Värmdö Municipal Council . She added that it was excellent that business and local government can cooperate and find ways to tackle common problems facing communities.

“We will follow the project closely to find similar solutions for the rest of the archipelago.”

Bluewater founder and CEO Bengt Rittri says the water stations are good example of how human ingenuity can achieve a balance between sustainability, environmental integrity and still spur local economic growth.

“Bluewater harnesses its own patented second-generation reverse osmosis technology to remove practically all pollutants from water sources, using purifier units that are incredibly compact, use little electricity and require minimal maintenance,” Bengt Rittri added.

Bluewater is a world leading water purification company with its global headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Bluewater innovates, manufactures and comercializes compact water purifiers for residential, business and public use that harness the company’s patented reverse osmosis technology to remove virtually all pollutants from tap water, including lead, bacteria, pesticides, medical residues, chlorine and lime-scale. Please visit us at www.bluewatergroup.com

Follow us for water-related news on Facebook, Twitter and Wechat (Search ID: Bluewater). Journalists and bloggers can follow our press releases and blogs at http://www.mynewsdesk.com/us/bluewater. And everyone is welcome to enjoy our themed Bluewater music playlist on spotify at BluewaterPure Radio.


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National Health Foundation Partners With Meal-Delivery Service Fitness Kitchen LA To Bring Healthy Food To LA’s Homeless

Press Release – Los Angeles, Aug. 16, 2018 – In its quest to improve the health of underserved communities and boost nutrition for those without homes recovering from illness, National Health Foundation (NHF) is teaming up with healthy meal delivery subscription service Fitness Kitchen LA to provide food at two of NHF’s recuperative care facilities, including its soon-to-be-opened Pico-Union location in downtown Los Angeles.

NHF is one of the leading providers of recuperative care in Los Angeles County, offering those without homes a safe place to heal once they are discharged from area hospitals. Fitness Kitchen LA is one of the top nutrition-focused daily meal delivery services in Southern California, known for its high quality, fresh and affordable prepared meal program offerings.

The unique partnership allows NHF to provide nutrient-rich meals to its clients for nearly the same cost of NHF’s previous food service arrangements. Under the agreement, Fitness Kitchen LA will prepare and deliver family-style meals each day to NHF’s Pico-Union and mid-city facilities.

“NHF is committed to doing everything in our power to enhance dignity and create the conditions in which every person we serve has opportunities to thrive,” said Wade Trimmer, executive director of housing and homeless services for NHF. “Individuals who are experiencing homelessness deserve the very best. Getting the private sector and like-minded partners involved is one way of getting this done.”

“Just because you are without a home doesn’t mean you don’t deserve nutritious, healthy food,” said Fitness Kitchen LA Co-founder Tom Aaron, whose team is working with NHF to design low-cost, nourishing meal plans for its facilities. “At Fitness Kitchen LA, we are very passionate about promoting nutrition and delicious food for all, and this partnership allows us to both spread that message and give back to the community at the same time.”

NHF’s new 62-bed recuperative care Pico-Union facility is scheduled to open in October 2018, with a goal of setting a new standard for how both recuperative care and homeless shelters deliver services to clients. In addition to serving highly nutritious, family-style dining delivered by Fitness Kitchen LA, the new facility will also feature more home-like amenities such as semi-private rooms vs. dorm-style, and regular visiting hours for clients’ families and loved ones. There will be a community garden on-site that will be available to both clients and neighbors to use.

Recuperative care has been shown to be significantly more cost-effective than extended hospital stays. Homeless patients use hospitals at a much higher rate than housed patients, with lengths of hospital stays twice the average. Without a place to recover, many homeless clients end up back in the emergency room within 30 days. Recuperative care not only offsets the financial impact to hospitals, but also reduces hospital readmissions by as much as half. A hospital stay in California currently averages $3,300 per day, compared to an average of $250 per night for recuperative care.

The new NHF Pico-Union facility will be a redevelopment of a 100-year-old sanitarium currently vacant on the site. The renovation project is being done in partnership with HomeAid Los Angeles, with etco HOMES serving as the project’s build captain. A grand opening and celebratory block party is planned for October 12.

About National Health Foundation

Founded in 1973, National Health Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation that works within communities to eliminate barriers to health, address the root causes of poor health, and advocate and empower under-resourced communities to find solutions that lead to lasting change. Embracing the guiding philosophy that health begins where we live, learn, work and play, the organization’s advocacy and work focuses on four key areas: housing, food access, built environments and education.

About FITNESS KITCHEN LA

Fitness Kitchen LA is a daily diet meal service that delivers delicious, nutritious chef-prepared cuisine, including custom wellness meal programs, a la carte options, and provides catering services. The expert team at Fitness Kitchen LA combines their knowledge of nutrition, fitness and gourmet cuisine to create the most nutritious meals to support a variety of wellness goals.


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VolunteerMatch and Verified Volunteers Join Forces

Strategic partnership brings comprehensive background screening to more than 120,000 organizations & millions of volunteers

Press Release – FORT COLLINS, Colo. and SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Whether it’s parents supporting their child’s sports team or individuals lending a hand after a natural disaster, volunteers perform an essential service – particularly when budgets are stretched thin. This support is welcomed by the thousands of organizations who rely on volunteers to fulfill their missions – yet it also adds to the daunting administrative tasks around recruitment, as well as to ensuring a safe and secure environment for everyone involved. That’s why VolunteerMatch, the web’s largest volunteer engagement network, and Verified Volunteers, the leading background check platform tailored to the specific needs of the service sector, have partnered to provide greater protection for these organizations and the populations they serve.

“VolunteerMatch is all about making it easier for good people and good causes to work together to make a difference,” said Greg Baldwin, CEO, VolunteerMatch. “That is why we are partnering with Verified Volunteers, to help create more safe spaces to volunteer.”

Together, VolunteerMatch and Verified Volunteers aim to help organizations minimize risk and safeguard their people, assets and reputation through a high-quality background screening program and access to a library of resources designed to establish screening best practices and improve volunteer management. Through their VolunteerMatch dashboards, organizations can easily connect with Verified Volunteers and request a comprehensive background check that allows potential volunteers to order and control their information using Verified Volunteers’ secure platform. These screening services are available to all VolunteerMatch organizations including more than 120,000 government agencies, hospices, hospitals, nonprofits and schools.

“Our shared commitment to helping so many wonderful organizations successfully carry out their good work really makes this the perfect partnership. By joining forces, we aspire to have an even greater impact,” says Katie Zwetzig, Executive Director, Verified Volunteers. “For instance, we know through our own research that background check quality is increasingly important for nonprofits, yet the appropriate level of risk mitigation is still not being met by current screening programs. By joining forces with VolunteerMatch, we can provide education and guidance to greater numbers of organizations on how to address these critical gaps.”

Verified Volunteers’ screening platform, with self-service features, sharing capabilities and management tools, enables the VolunteerMatch community to:

  • Ease administrative burdens. Volunteers order and control their own background checks using a secure, online platform.
  • Give their volunteers the option to pay – or ask for an optional contribution. With budgets stretched thin, this option can preserve valuable funds by allowing (or requiring) volunteers to pay for all or part of their screening.
  • Receive complimentary monthly updates. While other background checks are “one and done,” Verified Volunteers provides the added security of monitoring volunteers for new criminal records during the first year.
  • Accept background checks from previously vetted volunteers. Within the Verified Volunteers network, volunteers who have previously been vetted with one organization can store and share their existing background check with other organizations at no additional cost. In addition, if a volunteer background check is shared with another organization, the organization that initiated the original check can earn rebates.

About VolunteerMatch

VolunteerMatch believes everyone should have the chance to make a difference. As the web’s largest volunteer engagement network, serving over 120,000 participating nonprofits, 150 network partners, and 13 million annual visitors, VolunteerMatch offers unique, award-winning solutions for individuals, nonprofits and companies to make this vision a reality. Since its launch in 1998, VolunteerMatch has helped the social sector attract more than $12 billion worth of volunteer services. Learn more about VolunteerMatch at VolunteerMatch.org, and follow @VolunteerMatch.

About Verified Volunteers

Verified Volunteers helps nonprofit organizations gain confidence in their volunteers by delivering thorough, compliant background checks using a sophisticated suite of federal, national, state and local criminal locator tools. Extensive expertise in screening and compliance best practices helps clients recruit the best volunteers to maintain a safe environment and positive reputation. By enabling volunteers to order, manage and share their background checks via a secure online platform, Verified Volunteers creates a community of vetted volunteers. Verified Volunteers is backed by Sterling Talent Solutions, one of the world’s largest background screening companies and is partnered with Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.


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Television Academy Foundation Announces New Board Of Directors Members

Actor Benito Martinez, Netflix VP Cindy Holland and WME Partner Sean Perry Join Board of Television Academy Foundation

Press Release – (NoHo Arts District, Calif., Aug. 15, 2018) – The Television Academy Foundation today announced three new members to its board of directors: actor Benito Martinez (American Crime/How to Get Away with Murder), Netflix’s Vice President of Original Content Cindy Holland and WME Partner Sean Perry.

“We are honored to welcome three distinguished members of the television community to the Foundation’s board of directors,” said Madeline Di Nonno, chair of the Television Academy Foundation. “With their collective professional experience, our incoming members will play a vital role in our efforts to expand the Foundation’s educational programs, aimed at increasing diversity and inclusivity within the television industry, and help build a significant endowment for the growth and sustainability of The Interviews: An Oral History of Television online archive.”

Veteran actor Benito Martinez recently garnered critical acclaim for his role as the undocumented immigrant Luis Salazar in John Ridley’s anthology series American Crime. He is perhaps best known for his award-winning portrayal of Los Angeles police captain turned politician David Aceveda on the FX police drama The Shield. His other work includes recurring roles on hit television shows including How to Get Away with Murder, The Blacklist, House of Cards, Sons of Anarchy, The Leftovers and Supernatural.

A Television Academy member since 2002, Martinez served as co-chair of the Academy’s diversity committee in 2012. He is also an active participant in and supporter of Foundation events including its annual Emmys® Golf Classic, College Television Awards and Vocational Day for Foster Youth.

Cindy Holland is vice president for original content at Netflix and was named one of the Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People of 2018. A 16-year Netflix executive, she is responsible for acquiring and launching original series for over 130 million global subscribers. Holland and her team have launched award-winning and acclaimed dramas, comedies, documentaries and docu-series.

Sean Perry is a partner at WME and helped to form Endeavor’s non-scripted television division, which includes syndication, reality television, international distribution and broadcast hosting. His client roster includes Blake Shelton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jenny McCarthy, Steve Wilkos, Tom Bergeron, Tony Robbins, Reba McEntire, as well as producers and production companies including Banijay Studios, Critical Content, Tinopolis and World Wrestling Entertainment. Over his career, Perry has packaged such shows as 1,000 Ways to Die, America’s Best Dance Crew, Extreme Makeover, Hardcore Pawn, Kitchen Nightmares, MasterChef, The Steve Wilkos Show and more.

About the Television Academy Foundation

Established in 1959 as the charitable arm of the Television Academy, the Television Academy Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of television while educating and inspiring those who will shape its future. Through renowned educational and outreach programs, such as The Interviews: An Oral History Project of the Television Academy Foundation, College Television Awards and Student Internship Program, the Foundation seeks to widen the circle of voices our industry represents and to create more opportunity for television to reflect all of society. For more information on the Foundation, visit TelevisionAcademy.com/Foundation.


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American Nuclear Society And Discovery Education Launch Advanced STEM Initiative To Inspire The Next Generation Of Energy Innovation Among Nation’s Youth

— Initiative supports educators in meeting Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) by helping today’s students understand the role of nuclear science, technology and innovation in our modern world —

Press Release – Silver Spring, Md. (Wednesday, August 15, 2018) – The American Nuclear Society (ANS) and Discovery Education today announced the launch of Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World™, a new partnership designed to educate today’s students about the important role of nuclear science in the modern world. Reviewed by a national panel of independent educators and nuclear science experts, Navigating Nuclear guides students to examine the ways nuclear energy powers our world from multiple perspectives and explores current, real-world applications of nuclear processes. Aligned to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Navigating Nuclear encourages students to explore applications of nuclear science including energy, medicine, geology and astronomy. The program aims to help students explore current, real-world applications of nuclear energy and its role in future advancements.

The American Nuclear Society is excited to collaborate with Discovery Education in creating this curriculum,” said ANS President Dr. John E. Kelly, who recently retired from the Office of Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, as Chief Technology Officer. “Our members are passionate about promoting awareness and understanding of nuclear science and technology. Navigating Nuclear brings educators and students curriculum content that has been vetted by engineers, scientists and other professionals who are experts in a wide range of nuclear fields.”

Available to any teacher and designed to empower educators with tools to enhance students’ understanding of the role nuclear science plays in the fields of power generation, medicine, space exploration, food preservation and molecular science – Navigating Nuclear provides dynamic digital lessons, STEM project starters and career profiles. An upcoming immersive Virtual Field Trip, which debuts during Nuclear Science Week this fall, will go behind-the-scenes at Arizona’s Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, the largest power plant in the United States.

“My class and I are looking forward to Navigating Nuclear as it will give us real-time access to STEM professionals and demonstrates first-hand the real-world applications of our classroom lessons,” said Jessica Donaldson, pre-engineering teacher, Berkeley County School District, Moncks Corner, S.C. “I hope to introduce my students to some of many STEM career paths that are in their reach and open their eyes to the role science plays in our everyday world.”

Navigating Nuclear: Exploring Our World will explore topics such as:

  • Facts about nuclear power
  • How energy is stored in the nucleus
  • Fission and fusion
  • Naturally occurring and human-made radiation
  • How reactors produce electricity
  • Advanced nuclear reactors of the future

“Empowering students to explore anabolic principals, as they hone their research abilities and study of scientific breakthroughs, will ultimately help improve lives,” said Sukesh Aghara, Ph.D., associate professor of chemical engineering, Francis College of Engineering. “I’m proud to join ANS and Discovery Education to engage in insightful conversations about STEM, and help students match their skills and interests to exciting new opportunities in nuclear science.”

In addition to the digital learning tools, the program’s careers module will expose students to nuclear science-related occupations. Navigating Nuclear’s Virtual Field Trip will explore how nuclear technologies are generating electrical power, and producing carbon-free energy across the nation and around the world. Overall, the initiative seeks to empower teachers to discuss a range of topics, from how energy is stored in an atom’s nucleus to how that energy transforms into the electricity that powers our lives.

“Empowering students with hands-on learning opportunities inspires a life-long commitment to solution-seeking and unlocks the potential of a new generation of young scientists,” said Stacie Kronthal, vice president of corporate education partnerships, Discovery Education. “As many states now require nuclear science education as part of the NGSS guidelines, this initiative empowers educators with immersive digital tools and virtual experiences that encourage the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.”

Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World resources are available at navigatingnuclear.com, and are also available through Discovery Education Streaming and Science Techbook. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @DiscoveryEd.


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Entrepreneur Magazine Selects Youngest Ever Cover Star With 13-Year-Old Female For September 2018 Issue

Michigan’s Candy Queen Alina Morse leads a new generation bringing fresh perspectives to old industries

Press Release – NEW YORK, August, 14, 2018 – Entrepreneur, the media powerhouse at the forefront of the culture, mindset and the lifestyle of entrepreneurship for over 40 years, announced today that 13-year-old Alina Morse would be the magazine’s youngest ever cover star with the release of its latest issue: “Young Millionaires: Meet the next Generation of Leaders.” Morse projects to sell $6 million at retail this year with her all-natural candy that cleans your teeth business. The September 2018 issue is on newsstands now.

“The sooner we embrace young entrepreneurs’ imagination and ability to question everything, the better we’ll all be,” said Jason Feifer, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur Magazine.

Days ahead of entering the eighth grade, Morse’s image on the cover of Entrepreneur shines a bright light on the next generation of entrepreneurs that are already building thriving, innovative businesses.

“I never dreamed I’ve ever be on the cover of a magazine, yet alone be scaling as fast as we are,” said Morse. “All I’ve ever wanted to do was help people and make them smile. We are changing minds and candy eating patterns and with the help of Entrepreneur, giving more consumers awareness to healthier options and inspiring kids just like me that you can do anything.”

Morse’s company, the #1 tooth-friendly candy in the USA, has also expanded internationally after launching in 2015 when she was merely nine years old. Her line, which includes Zollipops®, Zolli® Drops, and Zaffi® Taffy, is all natural, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, non-GMO and supercharged with Xylitol, Erythritol (healthy sugar alternatives) and other smile friendly natural ingredients, including magic teeth cleaning crystals.

She is making gains in a giant industry, counting major chains like Amazon, Kroger, Walmart and Whole Foods as buyers of her Zolli® candy line. Zolli Candy is a woman-owned and cause-based, giving away 1-MM this year alone through the “One Million Smiles” campaign, helping to fight America’s most chronic childhood disease – tooth decay.

To learn more about the healthy, after-you-eat-treat, visit: http://zollipops.com.


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Global Agreements Bring New Life to Voluntary Carbon Markets

Press Release – Aug 15, 2018 WASHINGTON, DC | Voluntary carbon markets are heating up as companies and consumers are taking action on climate change. After years of at-times sluggish activity, Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace’s new report called Voluntary Carbon Market Insights: 2018 Outlook and First-Quarter Trends finds that supply and demand for voluntary carbon markets hit record-highs in 2017, at 62.7 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (MtCO2e) and 42.8 MtCO2e, respectively.

The report also tracks voluntary activity at a time of great potential for regulated carbon markets, as nations are figuring out how to implement both their own Paris Agreement commitments and a global cap on cross-boundary airline emissions. Many are looking to voluntary markets for guidance, and some are incorporating voluntary carbon markets into their strategies.

“We’ve been tracking voluntary carbon markets for more than a decade, and it’s been about that long since we’ve seen this much potential for growth,” says lead author Kelley Hamrick, cautioning that much of the optimism is contingent on the degree to which compliance-driven markets accept or recognize offsets generated under voluntary systems.

The voluntary market has the potential to grow and evolve in several different ways:

  • Regulators could allow offsets produced for the voluntary market to be bought and sold in compliance markets under the Paris Agreement and the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
  • Voluntary offsetting could accelerate emissions reductions in sectors that are not covered by existing compliance markets, or in countries without compliance markets, provided agreements are reached to avoid double claiming.

“Voluntary and compliance markets are usually treated as two different things, but a decision to allow voluntary offsets into a compliance market could vacuum up existing supply and create a powerful incentive for new projects,” says Hamrick. “In the meantime, voluntary market participants aren’t waiting idly for a government decision; they are exploring ways to integrate new technologies like blockchain into tracking and registration schemes, and starting to bring carbon-accounting rigor to the many additional benefits – like biodiversity and gender equality – brought about by carbon projects.”

Even without the compliance-driven tailwind, voluntary offsetting has grown dramatically in recent years, as household names like Microsoft, Disney, and Lyft have incorporated offsetting into their sustainability strategies. The voluntary carbon markets have also pioneered technical advancements to quantify, verify, and track emissions reductions activities around the world. Governments from California to Colombia have taken notice and integrated some of these elements into their compliance carbon markets.

Since voluntary trading of carbon offsets first took off in the late 2000’s, demand for voluntary carbon offsets has increased more than 140-fold, from just 0.3 MtCO2e in 2008 to 42.8 MtCO2e in 2018. These voluntary carbon projects have helped to reduce, sequester, or avoid more greenhouse gasses than were emitted by Australia’s entire energy sector in 2016 – more than 437 MtCO2e.

About Us: Ecosystem Marketplace, an initiative of Forest Trends, is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC that focuses on increasing transparency and providing reliable information for ecosystem services and payment schemes.


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National Domestic Workers Alliance Awarded Grant from TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund to Support Survivors of Sexual Harassment and Related Retaliation in the Workplace

Press Release – (New York, NY) – Today, the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund announced the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) as the recipient of a grant to support low-wage workers who have experienced sexual misconduct or related retaliation in the workplace. NDWA will use this grant to support domestic worker survivors of sexual violence through know-your-rights trainings and leadership development. The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, which is housed and administered by the National Women’s Law Center Fund (NWLCF), awarded eighteen grants to organizations around the country to build on its commitment to support survivors of sexual harassment and retaliation across all industries and connect them to attorneys and public relations experts.

Domestic workers and care workers makeup one of the fastest growing industries in the country, yet this mostly immigrant and woman of color workforce continues to face immense barriers to seeking justice against sexual violence. That is why NDWA is committed to reaching over 250 domestic across the New York and New Jersey areas through its innovative and community-based domestic worker leadership program, “Groundbreakers.” The grant will allow NDWA to create and deliver trauma-informed and culturally appropriate trainings to get at the root of sexual violence in the domestic work industry.

“The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund believes that no worker at any job should ever have to endure abuse for a paycheck,” said Sharyn Tejani, Director of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. “We want all survivors to know that there are available resources to help them deal with sexual misconduct. The projects awarded today have the potential to change lives, and I could not be more excited for the work that lies ahead.”

“We are thrilled and honored to receive a grant from the TIME’S Up Legal Defense fund to support survivors in the care and cleaning workforces.” said Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. “We know that courage is contagious. We believe that courage of those most vulnerable in our economy can lead us to the strongest solutions to violence and harassment at work. This support will bring us closer to that vision.”

The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund received more than 120 applications for these funds. The applications proposed a broad range of diverse public engagement projects, including those offering targeted resources for Latinx workers, Asian immigrants, transgender workers, domestic workers, farmworkers, retail workers, restaurant workers, hotel workers, poultry workers and more.

Awardees were determined based on organizations’ community ties, planned outreach to low-wage workers in target populations, demonstrated commitment to advocacy on behalf of workers’ rights—and with attention to geographic distribution across the United States and diversity in populations served.


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Amida Care Hosts Music, Dance, and Fitness Event as Part of Soul Summit Music Festival with Support of NYC Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo

Free Community Wellness Event Promotes Healthy Living

Press Release – New York, NY – On August 12, Amida Care, a not-for-profit New York community health plan, hosted a free “Music, Fun and Dance” event at the “Soul Summit Music Festival” at Fort Greene Park Conservancy in Brooklyn. The afternoon included an interactive dance and exercise class with fitness instructor Nakisha Ross of Alwayz Fit 4 Lyfe. This event is part of Amida Care’s “Live Your Life” program, designed to keep healthy and active lifestyles at the center of New Yorkers’ everyday lives. The event was made possible with support from NYC Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo (Brooklyn District 35).

“Amida Care puts the whole person at the center of everything we do. While doctor’s appointments and prescribed medications are necessary components of being healthy, especially for those living with chronic conditions, we know that this is only part of a healthy lifestyle. Our ‘Live Your Life’ events encourage New Yorkers to address their social, physical, and emotional needs. We’re grateful for the support of NYC Council Majority Leader Cumbo to help promote health and wellness in Brooklyn,” said Doug Wirth, President and CEO of Amida Care.

Amida Care holds monthly Live Your Life wellness events throughout the five boroughs of New York City, where members and their guests learn about ways to get and stay healthy. In addition to dance and fitness classes, the events cover topics such as healthy cooking, art therapy, meditation, aromatherapy, and more.

“Amida Care really goes above and beyond for their members to make sure they have access to programs such as ‘Live Your Life’ events that emphasize a healthy, active lifestyle. I’m excited and proud to partner with them to encourage the Brooklyn community to live their best life,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo.

Amida Care Inc. is a not-for-profit health plan that specializes in providing comprehensive health coverage and coordinated care to New Yorkers with chronic conditions, including HIV and behavioral health disorders, and people who are of transgender experience or homeless (regardless of HIV status). Amida Care has a wide network of health care providers throughout New York City and is the largest Medicaid Special Needs Health Plan (SNP) in New York State. For more information, visit www.amidacareny.org.


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