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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Api Podder

New Proxy Resolution Urges Exxon Mobil To Return Capital To Shareholders In The Face Of Global Climate Change & Carbon Asset Risk

Arjuna Capital and As You Sow File Shareholder Proposal Asking Exxon Mobil to Return Capital to Shareholders Rather than Invest in High-Cost High-Carbon Projects.

BOSTON AND OAKLAND– (November 25, 2014) – In a first of its kind proposal, Shareholders Arjuna Capital/Baldwin Brothers Inc. and As You Sow seek increased dividends or share buybacks from Exxon Mobil given structural challenges facing the industry — historically high capital expenditures, decreasing profitability, and global climate change. This represents the first shareholder proposal asking a company to return capital to shareholders in light of climate change risk.

Exxon Mobil wrote a report in response to Arjuna Capital and As You Sow’s shareholder proposal this spring on the potential for stranded assets associated with climate change. Exxon ignored major risk factors projected by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Wall Street energy analysts regarding stranded carbon assets – i.e. that the company’s most-costly projects may become uneconomical in a low demand or low oil price environment.

The new shareholder resolution calls on Exxon Mobil (XOM) to protect investor value by “increasing the amount authorized for capital distributions to shareholders through dividends or share buy backs,” rather than invest in high-cost, high-carbon oil projects.

Exxon Mobil has maintained that none of its carbon assets will be stranded, based on projections of unabated global energy demand and a belief that global governments will not take meaningful action to curb global warming. Despite pressure from shareholders, the company has failed to stress test the impact of governments reacting appropriately to limit climate disruption to agreed upon international targets.

The recently announced U.S./China agreement to reduce carbon emissions stands in contrast to Exxon’s outlook and could cut demand substantially. The International Energy Agency (IEA) states that, “No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2° C goal” needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.

In addition to the likelihood of reduced demand, the cost of oil and gas exploration and development is dramatically increasing and Exxon Mobil is making extremely risky bets on new energy exploration that run counter to the assessments of leading market experts.

According to Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI), 39 percent of Exxon Mobil’s potential capital expenditures through 2025 requires an oil price of $95 per barrel to be economical, and 17 percent requires a price of $115 per barrel. By the end of 2025, CTI expects high cost projects to represent 35 percent of Exxon Mobil’s potential future production.

The resolution states: “In light of the climate change related risks of decreasing profitability and stranded asset risk associated with planned capital expenditures on high cost unconventional projects, Exxon Mobil commit to increasing the amount authorized for capital distributions to shareholders through dividends or share buy backs.”

Natasha Lamb, Director of Equity Research and Shareholder Engagement at Arjuna Capital said, “This proposal is breaking new ground by asking Big Oil not to break ground on high-cost, high-carbon projects. Exxon Mobil should return capital to shareholders rather than gamble with investor resources. A fossil fuel volume play in the face of global climate change is simple folly. We should not be in a rush to find and burn all the carbon we can, regardless of cost and irreversible climate impact, but instead focus on value, figuring out how to do more with less.”

“Exxon has taken a public position that demand for oil will continue to grow, no matter how warm the globe gets, no matter how harsh the impacts of that warming, and regardless of technology changes allowing for cheaper, cleaner renewable fuels,” said Danielle Fugere, President of As You Sow. “The recent U.S.-China accord on carbon emission reductions is just the latest indication that ExxonMobil’s view of the world does not square with reality. Our goal is to protect shareholders from the clear and inevitable changes to the global economy that mean ExxonMobil is likely to have substantial stranded carbon assets if it continues on its current path.”

The shareholder proposal notes that “(m)assive production-cost inflation over the past decade has made the industry particularly vulnerable to a downturn in demand.” The Arjuna Capital and As You Sow proxy resolution cites the following analyst reports:

  • According to Bloomberg, capital expenditures by the largest oil companies has risen five-fold since 2000, yet overall industry production is nearly flat.
  • Goldman Sachs notes in the past two years no major new oil project has come on stream with production costs below 70 dollars per barrel, with most in the 80-100 dollar range, raising the risk of stranded, or unprofitable, assets.
  • Kepler Cheuvreux declares a “capex crisis” as companies invest in higher cost, higher carbon unconventional crude to stem conventional crude decline rates. Since 2005, annual upstream investment for oil has increased 100 percent, while crude oil supply has increased 3 percent.

For the full text of the Arjuna Capital/As You Sow shareholder resolution, go to: http://www.asyousow.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/exxonmobil2015carbonbubble.pdf.

This proposal reflects increasing investor concern about the issue of stranded assets and builds on a shareholder initiative started in 2013 and coordinated by Ceres, in which shareholders representing $3 trillion in assets under management, asked 45 companies for increased disclosure about whether they are implementing strategies to address carbon-related risk and avoid stranded assets.

Last year, shareholders built on this campaign by filing resolutions at 10 fossil-fuel companies. The resolutions sought reports from companies on the risk of stranded assets associated with the increasing likelihood of action to prevent climate change. Filings included a successful withdrawal of a resolution to Exxon by Arjuna Capital and As You Sow in which Exxon agreed to prepare a report on its risk of stranded assets. Exxon released the report, acknowledged the growing problem of climate change, but failed to admit to any potential for stranded assets. Last year, As You Sow also filed carbon asset risk resolutions at Chevron, Anadarko, Hess, and CONSOL Energy.

This year, shareholders will continue to file resolutions seeking greater disclosure and action to address the risk of stranded assets from structural changes associated with higher cost supplies and reduced demand.

Arjuna Capital is the sustainable wealth management platform of Baldwin Brothers Inc., an SEC-registered independent financial advisory firm established in 1974. For more information visit www.arjuna-capital.com.

As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. For more information visit www.asyousow.org.

Utah Votes via Social Media on The Community Foundation of Utah’s New Look for “Love Utah Give Utah” Day of Giving Campaign

CLEARLINK donated design and digital marketing expertise as a way to creatively give back to communities across Utah.

Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) November 25, 2014 – After two weeks of voting via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, powered by CLEARLINK and akavit, today The Community Foundation of Utah unveiled the new Love Utah Give Utah logo. Nearly one-thousand votes were cast, with a social media reach of over 100,000 people.

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The winning Love Utah Give Utah logo

Chosen by the online public, the new logo design is part of getting Utah ready for an even bigger and better 2015 fundraising campaign. The new look will help Love Utah Give Utah develop a strong identity, and more clearly identify the campaign as one of The Community Foundation’s efforts to benefit the people, places and causes of Utah.

Five logo designs were submitted by local Salt Lake City web designers at CLEARLINK. Adam Palcher, Senior Designer at CLEARLINK designed the winning logo. “I wanted to help Love Utah Give Utah expand its reach in the coming year and evoke a feeling of community, while reflecting the unique aspects of Utah,” said Palcher a 6 year web designer and 3 year CLEARLINKer.

CLEARLINK, a Salt Lake City based marketing and sales leader and long-standing partner of the Community Foundation of Utah, donated design and social media marketing services as a way to creatively give back to the local non-profit community. CLEARLINK and Akavit’s social media strategy did more than drive “Likes.” The voting campaign focused on connecting people active on social media to The Community Foundation of Utah’s movement to make Utah a better place.

“It was important to us that Utah communities had a voice in the new look for Love Utah Give Utah,” said Blair Hodson, Director of Initiatives at The Community Foundation. “We appreciate the donors and sponsors in our state and want them to be proud of our efforts. The support of local businesses like CLEARLINK in this effort reflects the commitment to giving-back that runs deeply throughout Utah.”

The 2015 Love Utah Give Utah day of giving is set for March 26, and will harness the non-profit community and all their champions in unison for 24 hours of fundraising. Organized by the Community Foundation of Utah, Love Utah Give Utah 2014 raised $1,058,839, gathering 15,311 donations from 10,562 unique donors and benefiting 460 schools, universities and non-profit organizations throughout the state of Utah.

Non-profits and schools who would like to take part in the 2015 event can register in January 2015. Watch for further details from The Community Foundation of Utah.

About CLEARLINK:

CLEARLINK partners with the world’s leading brands to increase their reach, drive and fulfill valuable transactions, and deepen insight into consumer behavior. CLEARLINK has delivered millions of customers to its brand partners over the past ten years through its customized marketing, sales and analytics platform. CLEARLINK, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah and established in 2003, employs over 1,200 local sales, technology and marketing professionals. For an opportunity to join the growing CLEARLINK family, visit http://www.clearlink.com/jobs.

About The Community Foundation of Utah and Love Utah Give Utah:

The Community Foundation of Utah is a catalyst for philanthropy that is visionary, diverse, and inclusive. For more information go to http://www.utahcf.org.

About Akavit:

Akavit bridges the gap between a traditional marketing agency and a software development company. Seven years and countless awards in, Akavit’s fingerprints are all over the newest trends of the global digital landscape. Delivering technical solutions on par with the best software development companies, while taking into account strategic, marketing and business objectives to create big ideas. Akavit builds stunning digital experiences that sell. It’s in our DNA. http://www.akavit.com

Celebrity Ambassadors Goldie Hawn, Vanessa Hudgens, Louise Roe, Catt Sadler, Navid Negahban, Paul Hipp, Shoshana Bean Host 10th Anniversary Of The Gorgeous & Green Gala – Emerald City – Benefiting Global Green USA

San Francisco’s sold-out gala raises over $400,000 and unites eco-conscious celebrities and Bay Area luminaries for a dazzling evening benefiting Global Green’s sustainability initiatives, programs and critical projects and celebrating Gorgeous & Green’s 10th Anniversary

San Francisco, October 13 – On Friday, October 10, 2014, Global Green USA’s 10th annual star-studded Gorgeous & Green Gala – Emerald City – was held at the LEED-certified Bently Reserve and celebrated designer eco-fashion, sustainable technologies and eco-conscious initiatives. The sold-out event raised over $400,000 from the evening’s ticket sales and live auction which will benefit Global Green USA’s national programs devoted to implementing smart solutions to climate change, including waste diversion and building green and resilient communities.

“I’m grateful to the event’s co-hosts — to everyone who came out to support us and made this extraordinary event possible,” said Les McCabe, President and CEO of Global Green USA. “As a result, Global Green USA can develop programs and initiatives that help communities build sustainably and channel important resources right here in the Bay Area and nationally.”

Co-chairs and environmental advocates Zem Joaquin, Nadine Weil, Christopher Bently and Wendy Schmidt welcomed guests to the Emerald City gala, the dazzling star-studded evening showcasing the re-imagined green sustainable city. The historic Bently Reserve was festooned with sustainable Emerald inspired design, silky fabrics and sparkling motifs curated by Blueprint Studios. Acclaimed honorary hosts actress Goldie Hawn, actress Vanessa Hudgens, actor Navid Negahban, actor Paul Hipp, actor Austin Butler, fashion host and lifestyle expert Louise Roe, Host of E! News Catt Sadler and Broadway star and recording artist Shoshana Bean attended the event and lent their support towards Global Green’s mission.

“Zem and I were delighted to co-chair the Gorgeous and Green Gala together for our tenth anniversary year,” stated Nadine Weil, founder of Heart of Green who wore an eco-couture gown by Oliver Tolentino and jewelry by Lang Antiques and Ashley Morgan Designs. “Our goal was to show that you can live a glamorous lifestyle, and it can be completely eco-conscious from the fashion, to the décor, to the delectable food and cocktails.”

“The event exceeded our incredibly high expectations and we cannot thank our fabulous supporters enough,” said Zem Joaquin, editor at large of Home and Lifestyle for Huffington Post and founder of ecofabulous.com. “We were honored to celebrate the life-affirming work that we are doing at Global Green every day.”

The benefit featured musical performances of “The Wizard and I” and “Defying Gravity” by Broadway star and recording artist, Shoshana Bean, famous for her portrayal of Elphaba in the Broadway musical WICKED, as well as live performances by Gregangelo’s Velocity Circus. Guests enjoyed the Emerald City photo booth by Drew Altizer with Wizard of Oz costume options and a VIP Gifting Suite featuring an array of eco-conscious brands. Guests were also treated to an elegant locally-sourced organic meal prepared by Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with two Michelin Stars for her restaurant Atelier Crenn, with a first course prepared by Parke Ulrich, Executive Chef of Epic Roasthouse and Waterbar, and mouth-watering desserts from Ethan Howard, Executive Pastry Chef at Cavallo Point.

The menu for the evening included a savory first course as a Barrel Cut Short Rib Salad featuring Bently Ranch Meats, Cardamom Roasted Cauliflower, Marinated Grapes and Levain Lace as well as a vegan entrée of Coconut flan, Yuzukosho, Grains, Smoked Avocado, Tomato Compote and Fall Fermented Vegetables and Herbs from Chef Crenn’s garden. For dessert, Chef Ethan Howard prepared a delicacy of Green Apple & Celery Verrine with honey mousse paired with an emerald-hued Dulcey Macaron. J. Lohr Vineyards, a certified California sustainable vineyard & winery, served varietals from their limited-release, tasting room-only portfolio sustainably-farmed on their Paso Robles estate including the 2013 J. Lohr Gesture Viognier and the 2011 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon. The Emerald City was a carbon neutral event courtesy of Wildlife Works Carbon and a target zero waste event with greening assistance by Taste Catering.

The eco-couture fashion show, curated and styled by Lily Achatz and co-produced by Clarissa Nicosia and Lily Achatz, thematically invoked the Gorgeous & Green Emerald City in the world-famous film “The Wizard of Oz” and showcased models by Stars Model Management in eco-couture gowns by Oliver Tolentino and sparkling green, vintage couture looks from eBay including the finale gown by Antonio Berardi made famous by Gwyneth Paltrow. Also starring on the runway were top ethical designer Daniel Silverstein, two gowns sustainably made by Nina Ricci for Connie Nielsen, and local conscious fashion designers Karen Caldwell, AZADA by Tara, and Myrrhia Fine Knitwear. The models rocked handbags by Simon + Krull and Rosa Candelario as well as exquisite precious jewelry by local designers Kim Deterline and Ashley Morgan Designs featuring reclaimed metals and gemstones from non-conflict, clean mines. Chantecaille and Mercer Street Salon provided expert makeup and hair for the runway fashion show and also worked their magic on actresses Vanessa Hudgens, Goldie Hawn and Shoshana Bean to give them fabulous looks for the Emerald City. DJ David Carvalho from Boutique DJs provided the soundtrack for the sensational show which showcased how being green can be the most glamorous.

Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VWoA) and Global Green joined efforts by auctioning off the first 2015 all-electric Volkswagen e-Golf at the 10th year anniversary celebration. Volkswagen gave Gorgeous & Green Gala guests the exclusive opportunity to be the first person in America to own the 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf, the brand’s first fully electric, zero tailpipe emissions vehicle in the U.S. market. One of the most efficient electric vehicles in its class, the e-Golf features a 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery, a range of up to 100 miles per charge, an electric motor with 115 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque, and one of the largest interiors in its class. The handsome car greeted guests upon arrival and was on display in front of the Bently Reserve on a green carpet. The auction, hosted online at www.charitybuzz.com/vwegolf, gave bidders the opportunity to be the first owner of the brand’s first all-electric model before retail sales in the United States begin later this year. Bids will continue to be accepted at www.charitybuzz.com/vwegolf until 3:30 p.m. ET on October 29, 2014, when the winner will be revealed. All auction proceeds benefit Global Green USA’s efforts to advance smart solutions to climate change.

The spirited live auction at Gorgeous & Green also featured an original painting by artist Zio Ziegler, a retreat at Post Ranch Inn, a made-to-measure suit by Klein Epstein & Parker in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, a stay at the eco-luxurious Cavallo Point, and a week at the One&Only Palmilla Resort, voted the top resort in Mexico’s Baja region for the last decade by readers of Conde Nast Traveler.

Featured sponsors of the event included: Bently Enterprises, The 11th Hour Project of The Schmidt Family Foundation, Volkswagen e-Golf, nrg energy, eBay, ecofabulous, Stars Model Management, Elisabeth Thieriot, Ashley Morgan Designs, PG&E, Chantecaille, Mercer Street Salon, Pureology, Taste Catering, Bently Ranch Meats, Blueprint Studios, Glodow Nead, Leftwich Event Specialists, Everything Audio Visual, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Defiant Whisky, 360 Vodka, MateVeza, VEEV Spirit, One&Only Resorts, Post Ranch Inn, Simon + Krull, Klein Epstein & Parker, Cavallo Point, Zio Ziegler, Step Into My Green World, Earth Friendly Products, TATCHA, Supergoop, Wildlife Works, Juice Beauty, Escama Studio, Green Toys, Replete Skincare, FSHN Magazine, Hotel Vitale, Lang Antiques, Miette, California Caviar, Korbel Organic Brut Champagne.

ABOUT GLOBAL GREEN:

Global Green USA is dedicated to helping the people, places, and the planet in need through catalytic projects, transformative policy, and cutting-edge research. Global Green USA’s signature programs include greening affordable housing, schools, neighborhoods, and cities as well as rebuilding communities — such as New Orleans and areas of New York and New Jersey — that have suffered from the impacts of climate change, sea level rise, and environmental degradation. Global Green USA is the U.S. affiliate of Green Cross International, which was founded by President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993 to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future. For more information, visit globalgreen.org and follow us @globalgreen. Contact: Tina Vennegaard 310 581 2700 x118 TVennegaard@globalgreen.org.

ABOUT THE BENTLY RESERVE

The Bently Reserve is one of San Francisco’s most prestigious event venues ideal for meetings, special occasions and weddings. With more than 14,000 square feet of meeting and event space, this state of the art LEED certified building features a visually stimulating fusion of contemporary and classic San Francisco. Deeply influenced by Greco-Roman architecture, this 1924 Beaux-Arts “Banking Temple” boasts opulent marble, grand staircases, ornate molding and original colorful murals, complemented by contemporary furnishings and state-of-the-art technology. Centrally located in the heart of downtown in San Francisco’s bustling Financial District, the Bently Reserve is surrounded by renowned restaurants, hotels and shopping. It is one mile to the Moscone Convention Center, 14 miles (30 minutes) to San Francisco International Airport and 18.5 miles (40 minutes) to Oakland International Airport. For more information, call (415) 294-2226 or visit www.bentlyreserve.com. For our latest news, visit us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/bentlyreserve and follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/bentlyreserve. For more information, visit www.bentlyreserve.com.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Comcast NBCUniversal Announce Major Partnership and the Launch of the My.Future Technology Initiative

Partnership is Comcast NBCUniversal’s Largest with the Nonprofit; My.Future Provides Hands-On Technology Training to Equip Youth with Skills Needed to Succeed in Digital Age

ATLANTA & PHILADELPHIA – November 13, 2014Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Comcast NBCUniversal announced today that they have entered into a five-year national partnership valued at tens of millions of dollars in cash and in-kind support. This is the largest partnership between Comcast NBCUniversal and BGCA and includes the launch of My.Future, a new technology initiative designed to teach Club members about our digital world and ignite their passion for technology.

Comcast NBCUniversal is the Presenting Sponsor of My.Future, which is available to the nearly 4 million youth served by more than 4,100 Boys & Girls Clubs. My.Future allows Club members to select from more than 40 activities that reinforce digital literacy, including areas of exploring the web, communicating with others digitally and building media. Additional experiences allow members to explore advanced topics, such as robotics, coding and game design. My.Future is part of BGCA’s Great Futures Campaign, launched in July to call attention to the crisis facing kids and elevate the role of out-of-school time in reversing negative trends and empowering more youth toward success through enriching after-school and summer programs.

is seen at , on Friday, April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas

To celebrate this exciting announcement, Comcast NBCUniversal has renovated four Boys & Girls Clubs, located in Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, with state-of-the-art technology that reflects today’s mobile environment, including computers, tablets, smartboards, digital cameras, music studio tools and video-editing technology. In addition to providing this new technology to each of these Clubs, the Comcast Foundation also provided on-site renovations, including new paint, furniture and structural repairs.

“Today’s young people are digital natives, born into a world where technology is ever-present and constantly changing. In order to ensure great futures for all our youth, it is our job to keep up to date with technology and make sure it reaches the communities that need it most,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of BGCA. “Through our partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal, My.Future will give Club members the technology skills needed to pursue promising careers and thrive in today’s digital world.”

“We are proud to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to teach youth about the endless possibilities that technology offers, while helping to bridge the digital divide,” said David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation. “We have supported local Boys & Girls Clubs for nearly 15 years because they truly make a difference in the lives of children across the country, inspiring youth to reach their full potential through hands-on programs that encourage children to explore and innovate.”

Additionally, through the new partnership, Comcast will provide in-kind support that will include national airtime for BGCA’s public service announcements to communicate the benefits Boys & Girls Clubs provide to youth most in need during out-of-school-time.

By partnering with BGCA, Comcast NBCUniversal is harnessing the power of technology and the Internet to expand digital literacy and help conquer the digital divide. Since 2011, Comcast and the Comcast Foundation have dedicated more than $200 million in cash and in-kind support to fund digital readiness initiatives nationwide, reaching more than 1.75 million people through non-profit, digital literacy partners, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

According to STEMConnector.org, STEM jobs in the U.S. are expected to grow nearly twice as fast as other fields by 2018. There will be more than 8 million STEM jobs in the U.S. by 2018, but 3 million of them may go unfilled because of a lack of people with required skills. The project-based learning experiences that are a part of My.Future will introduce more young people to STEM-related activities to help address this large, unmet need.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

About the Comcast Foundation

The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities. The Foundation has three community investment priorities—promoting service, expanding digital literacy, and building tomorrow’s leaders. Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated more than $153 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/community.

First MDGs’ Multiversity Medal Hallmarked by the United Nations’ IDDR-WSDPD Convergent Celebrations 2014

Featured News Article on the Historic UN-IDDR Observance 2014.
By: Dr. Dass U.

Disasters can occur anywhere, anytime, at any location, to any society. The past few decades have witnessed a significant increase in natural disasters. According to the UN statistics, nearly 400-500 natural disasters and calamities take place annually. Major vicissitudes and overall global variations like climate change, loss of biodiversity, constant and rapid environmental degradation, ozone forfeiture mutilations and global warming are the key reasons and causative emancipations to disasters increase. The devastative consequences of such cataclysms, that are posed with the detrimental damages to the global communities, their infrastructures and in their overall socio-economic set-ups, are becoming exceedingly and alarmingly high. Asia’s 2004-Tsunami alone, devastated over 6 countries, leaving over 3 million as homeless, hundreds of thousands as displaced and, with a toll rate exceeding ….

In view of the aforementioned corresponding facts, the United Nations designated an International Observance Day for Disaster Reduction, in 1989 with the approval by it’s General Assembly. The UN General Assembly sees the IDDR as a way to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Originally celebrated as per resolution 44/236, 22 December 1989, the UN General Assembly decided to designate 10/13 as the date to celebrate the IDDR (resolution 64/200, 21 December 2009).

International Day for Disaster Reduction is a day to celebrate how people and communities are reducing their risk to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of DRR. It’s also a day to encourage every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations.

The 2014 theme for the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction “Resilience is for Life”, is part of a ‘Step Up Initiative’, that started in 2011 through 2014.

The step-up initiative 2011-2014 focuses on a different group of partners every year leading up to the World Conference for Disaster Reduction in 2015.

This year the focus of the International Day for Disaster Reduction was on older people, including their needs and what they contribute to better planning and understanding of disaster risk in their communities. IDDR 2014 intended to switch on and amplify this critical issue now and for the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.

As the year 2014, categorically marks the conclusive year for the ‘Step-up Initiative’, as well as the second-last round up for Hyogo Framework of Action, the celebrations got an extraordinary extended elegance. The day and the theme “Resilience is for life” were used to boost age-inclusive disaster risk reduction across the world from Kathmandu to Canberra, and from Addis Ababa to Beijing.

Various organizations, groups and institutions around the world celebrated the UN-IDDR from 11/13 through end of the month, followed by workshops, seminars and symposiums. Since the role of science cannot be over-sighted in the DRR contexts, the fortnight-long celebrations, followed by a 10 days Post-HFA Thematic Confluence, concluded up by a convergence of IDDR to the UN’s World Science Day for Peace and Development UN-WSDPD-2014 observance.

A record tweeting–over 4.3 million tweets were propelled up and sent to UTC on IDDR-2014 in a thunderclap announcement in support of age inclusive disaster risk reduction.

People found themselves in a transformative sort of company alongside the UN family, the Kofi Annan Foundation, the International Telecommunications Union, the World Meteorological Organization, the Tear Fund, ODI, the Axa Research Fund, UNESCO-SAARC Academic Alliance Sri Lanka, Inspectorate for Emergency Situation Petrodava Romania, Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA), SAIRI Research Initiative Pakistan, NARRI Consortium Bangladesh, Plan International Laos and several others UNISDR’s partner for this year’s campaign.

Indonesia marked IDDR-2014 by piloting a National Conference on Community Based DRR, organized by Indonesia’s Disaster Management Society, in collaboration with Plan International.

Plan International also organized a National Symposium on DRR and Resilience, in Kathmandu. Nepal.

Saritsa Foundation, India organized workshops in Mumbai and Maharashtra, for older people (Seniors and Super Seniors) to raise social awareness for the needs of such people to protect their lives and make use of their valuable experience to develop resilience.

The Lisbon City Council through the Civil Protection Department Portugal, celebrated this year’s International Disaster Reduction Day with a Seminar where the public entities invited, shared their experiences about emergency planning, citizenship in a disaster environment and the role of local communities in disaster risk reduction.

In Washington DC, Peggy Keller MPH, Director of Community Preparedness and Resilience, Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Administration, DC Department of Health made a DRR presentation on ‘Resilience for the Whole Communty’.

ODI organized the IDDR event with keynote presentations from: Silvia Stefanoni, Director of Policy and Strategy, HelpAge International, and Tom Mitchell, Head of Climate and Environment.

In Nepal, there held an earthquake simulation at a home for older persons.

In the UK, there held the London launch of HelpAge International’s new report “Resilience in an Ageing World” hosted by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

The Department of Disaster Management under the Ministry of Home & Cultural Affairs, Bhutan has been observing the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction every year since 2008 in close collaboration with School and communities to raise awareness on DRR, creating social responsibility and mobilization of general public to get involved and take ownership of the future Disaster Risk Reduction Initiatives. This year too, the day was observed in Punakha Dzongkhag, presided by Dasho Dzongdag (Governor) of Punakha Dzongkhag.

In Viet Nam, a major DRR educational event took place. Save the children International, in collaboration with the Viet Nan government organized a series of lectures on DRR measures at Conference Centre of Tien Giang People Committee.

The 5th Conference of the International Society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRiM 2014) took place at Western University, London, Ontario, Canada, from 10/30 to 11/1 2014. The theme of conference was “Building Disaster Resilient Communities”.

The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) supports disaster preparedness activities in the nine most disaster-prone regions throughout the world. Efforts are focused on building resilience of vulnerable communities.

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and HelpAge International issued a joint call for greater involvement of older persons in disaster management efforts worldwide in order to bring down death tolls among those over 60.

HelpAge International’s CEO Toby Porter joined UNISDR’s Head of Regional Office, Sharon Rusu, for the main global event in Rustenburg, South Africa, hosted by the South African government.

UNISDR and HelpAge International are calling on governments to sign up to Charter 14 for Older People in Disaster Risk Reduction and commit to specific inclusion of older persons in all facets of disaster management planning with a strong emphasis on early warnings and evacuation procedures.

In a reference-passage, the official citation of DRR-HFA Manifesto-2014 of UN’s Step-up Initiative being concluded by IDDR-2014, states, that, “As a testament of the meritorious renderings that made some ‘difference’ in DRR executional framework reprieves in the aftermaths of Asian Tsunami-2004—the highest-observed devastating catastrophe of the recorded history of last millennium’s natural cataclysms.

Besides the utmost wreckage-desolations, that quite austerely devastated and shattered almost 9 main oceanic sectors of Asia, including the hard-hit coastal zones of Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and Sumatra, and its unprecedented scale of destruction, Tsunami-04 brought forth a way to measure the real impact factor in terms of the actual ‘on-ground renderings’ conceded thereupon.

A selection slate was made with a view to reckon-surmise the real ‘on-ground impact factor’ of different institutional entities, relief projects and individuals with reference to the UN-HFA and DRR perspectives. The selection slate draped a summing p of 17 out-scored projects and 21 organizations. Amongst them are, the Oxfam, Save the Children, SOS, Rotary International, MAVSO Intl, Shadow Intl., and some regional and local organizations.

In order to typify the ‘difference’ introduced thereupon, an opinion poll was customizedly commissioned in hard-hit areas, in order to have the affectees their own say for– ‘who did what for them’— that brought some meant-content for them in the aftermaths of the crucial most catastrophe.

The outcome of ‘Tsunami Opinion Polls’, coupled with inter-institutional and academic consensus, evoked the unanimity in lieu of a historic resolution for instituting KAKHTAH multiversity medal, named after those who became responsible for bringing forth some real ‘difference’ during the hard test of human solidarity, through their meritorious renderings.

“‘The highest impact factor (IF), particularly in DRR perspectives, is the actual ‘On-ground IF’ of the ‘Humanitarian et Meritorious’ renderings—which do speak for themselves and, deservedly worth to be solidified in history archives’ testimonials for the centuries and generations to come” the UNESCO-SAARC HFA Confluence IDDR-2014, hereby adopts the resolution and acclaims under the UN resolutions and conventions on the subject, entailing the DRR/HFA, for posthumously instituting a multiversity ‘KAKHTAH’ scholarship medal for outstanding doctoral and post-doctoral research studies on DRR”, says HFA-DRR Manifesto 2014 .

The multiversity ‘KAKHTAH’ scholarship gets its standing-ovation to be named after two institutional entities and two individuals; 1- Kofi Annan – the former UN secretary general, who paid prompt visits in far-remote affected areas with an aim to have a first-hand knowledge of the ground situation. He himself prompted for the actual circumstantial state-of-affairs, instead of relying on the executive summaries–rightly setting a new custom and tradition in the hierarchical pyramids, 2- Helen Keller Intl- a US based international organization that immediately incited the emergency humanitarian services in Tsunami’s Indonesia’s hardest-hit regions, saving the lives where needed right by the moment of need, 3- Tzu-chi Intl- a multi-regional NGO from Taiwan, having one of the largest networks with representations and physical presence in almost all continents throughout the world, whose volunteers remained on-board for over three years for long-term Tsunami relief works, 4- Aurangzeb Hafi- an independent multi-disciplinary arch-researcher and philanthropist from Pakistan, who foremostly conceptualized, directed, and almost single-handedly kept-paced all major research projects concerning the disability related constituencies and ivories during Tsunami. On account of ‘disability inclusiveness’ trend-settings, Prof. Hafi can justly and righteously be credited for pioneering the cutting-edge concepts of pre-birth multiple disabilities risk assessment, embryonic toxicity and teratogenic proneness factor analysis among pregnant women and the disability+pregnancy inclusive special protocols in cataclysmic emergencies and DRR modus of executional frameworks.

The new-fangled scholarship medal is proclaimed to be bestowed onto an entire-some accretion of over 1900 global academic ivories. The medal escorted with a 2.7 Million GBP scholarship, would be bequeathed on a biennium basis, for estimable post-doctoral research works of deservingly significant virtues, in the areas of disaster management, catastrophic policy lay-outs, cataclysmic forecasting and calamity prevention methodologies.

The seven members conferring jury for KAKHTAH medal, that includes national and regional academic celebrities, would be chaired by Justice(R) S.S. Paru, L.L.D., D.Litt., from Indonesia. Sri Lanka’s ombudsman Dr. Wickrema Weerasooria, who had been Sri Lankan High Commissioner in New Zealand and Australia, and has served federal and state ministries in various capacities for over fifteen years would be serving as the senior assessor of jury. The jury would take all noteworthy research works of relevance into deliberations on a biennium basis, in order to subjugate scholarship worthiness of the research.

Special annotation notes of thanks have been made to the Government of Sri Lanka, for the approval of conceding a three-days KAKHTAH-DRR postal stamp, and establishing a KAKHTAH Tsunami Forecasting Centre, in the names of benevolent stalwarts.

Special acknowledgements, on account of furthering the DRR goals in HFA and Post-HFA perspectives, were made for the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN, which helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.

On the occasion of IDDR 2014, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a message highlighting the relevance of including elderly people in disaster reduction: “When a natural disaster hits, older persons suffer disproportionately high levels of death and injuries. This tragic trend must be reversed… Disaster planning must take account of the reduced mobility experienced by many older persons. The needs of older persons should also be taken into account in early warning systems, social protection mechanisms, evacuation and emergency response plans, and public awareness campaigns…On this International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, let us remind ourselves that building Resilience to disasters has no time limit in one’s life; it starts in youth and grows more important as we age.”

Dr Rick Brennan, WHO’s Director of Emergency Risk Management and Humanitarian Response, said that, “We’re seeing a proliferation of many different types of crises in recent years,”. “…..Hard experience shows us that older persons aren’t receiving the care and support they require. This issue needs stronger action”, mentioned further the WHO’s Director.

In a keynote message for 2014-IDDR, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva, seized the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) as an opportunity to reflect on the risks and dangers in one’s community. “We must not forget the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. They are often most exposed to disasters and suffer the most from their consequences,” she said in her note on IDDR.

UNISDR Head, Margareta Wahlström, said: “The older person is often invisible in our communities until they show up in the mortality figures after a disaster event. Demographic change means we are living in an ageing world. It is important to include older persons in disaster management for both their improved protection and to make full use of their experience, skills and knowledge in support of that.

“The world needs to become more acutely aware of how to protect older persons as the climate changes and the ageing population is exposed to more extreme events. For instance, thousands of people die every year in heat waves and older persons living in poverty are among the most vulnerable. Inclusion of their needs and social protection measures are vital to the success of disaster management in the years ahead.”

HelpAge International’s Chief Executive, Toby Porter, said, “Older people bear the initial brunt of disasters often because they cannot flee”.”The mental fall-out from disasters is huge. Older women and men are ready to help others but are often too proud to help themselves.”

Toby Porter described further that “To turn this around, governments and disaster management agencies need to address older people’s vulnerabilities and tap into the years of experience, knowledge and skills that they bring to help reduce the effects of disasters.”

The Canadian Minister Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, acknowledging the United Nation’s IDDR, stated that, “The International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) highlights the importance of including all members of society in taking action to reduce the risk of disasters.

“The theme for this year’s IDDR is ‘Resilience is for Life.’ Resilience means the capacity of all citizens to cope and recover during an emergency. This year, the IDDR campaign focuses on engaging seniors in disaster risk reduction efforts”……”From the tragedy at Lac-Mégantic, to the recent floods in Alberta, Manitoba, Northern Ontario and New Brunswick, Canadians know all too well that disasters can have devastating effects on our communities. The tragic fire at L’Isle-Verte seniors’ residence in early 2014 demonstrates the importance of addressing the needs of vulnerable populations in emergency planning”.

According to the world statistics, there are some 868 million people aged over 60 – that’s 12% of the global population. By 2050, it is estimated that there will be nearly as many people aged 60 or over as children under 15: 2.02 billion compared with 2.03 billion, according to the world statistics.

The statistics-based, facts correspondingly invoke the irrepressible essentiality of a mandatory and obligatory call for disasters’ preparedness at all levels, i.e. the governments, the NGOs, the private sectors and the public segments, all have to step up for an ‘Integrative Preparedness’ for Disasters Risk Reduction (IP-DRR). The IP-DRR’s cross-disciplinary and cross-sectorial model of disasters management, was first conceptualized and introduced by an independent Pakistani multi-disciplinary researcher Professor Qadhi Aurangzeb Hafi, who foremostly brought forth and orchestrated the concepts of ‘disability-inclusive and pregnancy-inclusive protocols’ in disasters management policy frameworks, during the first epidemiological assessment appraisals of Tsunami 2004. Now the IP-DRR modus-operandi has become recognized internationally to be formally adopted as a principal operative modality for Post-Hyogo Framework of Action, by the UNESCO-SAARC Initiatives for Disasters Risk Reduction.

IDDR celebrations that ended up by the concluding term of UNESCO-SAARC DRR Confluence by 11/10/2014, consisted of 23 formal academic sessions, over 67 workshops and 49 high-level round the table panel discussions.

Well-attended by the academic luminaries across the planet, IDDR-2014 celebrations embraced more than 3000 policy papers on disasters management policy frameworks. The research précis of policy frameworks are primed for UN-HFA and other segments of relevance.

References & Related Links:
www.unisdr.org/2014/iddr
www.preventionweb.net
www.narri-bd.org
http://www.iucn.org
www.unesco-saarc-drr.org

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.abnewswire.com/pressreleases/first-mdgs-multiversity-medal-hallmarked-by-the-united-nations-iddrwsdpd-convergent-celebrations-2014_19069.html

National Urban League Celebrates the 58th Annual Equal Opportunity Dinner, A Star-Studded Affair Honoring McDonald’s President and CEO, Don Thompson and R&B Legend, Valerie Simpson

November 13, 2014 (New York, NY) – The National Urban League hosted its 58th Annual Equal Opportunity Dinner (EOD) on November 12, 2014 in New York City. At the event, held in the heart of Times Square at the New York Marriott Marquis, president and CEO of the National Urban League, Marc H. Morial thanked and bid farewell to outgoing National Urban League board chair John D. Hofmeister and welcomed new chairman, Michael F. Neidorff. Neidorff, who currently serves as chairman, president and CEO of Centene Corporation – was also the Gala Chair.

The dinner honored Don Thompson, President and CEO of McDonald’s Corporation, who received the 2014 President’s Award for his outstanding leadership and corporate stewardship. Grammy Award winner Valerie Simpson received the EOD Arts Award for her unparalleled contribution to music and R&B legend Freddie Jackson performed a stirring tribute to her.

In recognition of their generous support of the National Urban League, Wells Fargo was inducted into the League’s Five Million Dollar Hall of Fame and AT&T and UPS into the Ten Million Dollar Hall of Fame.

The dinner was hosted by Caroline V. Clarke, executive director of Black Enterprise and host of Black Enterprise Business Report, and David Ushery, anchor reporter of The Debrief with David Ushery on NBC 4 New York. Mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran provided entertainment throughout the evening with stirring renditions of classics from the critically acclaimed The Motown Project.

The evening closed out with an EOD Post Gala Affair hosted by the National Urban League Young Professionals and Dessert Reception with music by DJ mOma.

Stella & Dot Foundation to Support Military Families for the Holidays with Buy One, Gift One Program

SAN FRANCISCO, NOVEMBER 5, 2014 – Stella & Dot Foundation announced today the launch of a ‘Buy One, Gift One Program’ for the holidays in support of military families through a new partnership with military organizations throughout North America. The Stella & Dot ‘Buy One, Gift One Program’ effective November 1st through November 30th will gift accessories to active duty members, female veterans, military wives and their teenage daughters during the holiday season. Since the program’s inception, Stella & Dot has gifted over $1 million in product.

Stella & Dot will distribute jewelry through targeted programs including; MOAA (Military Officers Association of America), donating to the MOAA spouse program to gift accessories to recently deployed service members, military spouses and women veterans of all ranks and services; MFRC-NCR (Military Family Resource Center – National Capital Region) providing gifts to enhance the quality of life for Canadian Forces families.

“This holiday season, we wanted to give a gift of our deep gratitude to the military families who give so much to us all. Our hearts are with every family that moves frequently and spends so much time apart to serve our country.” said Jessica Herrin, Stella & Dot CEO and Founder.

“The Military Officers Association of America’s Spouse Programs is honored that Stella & Dot has invited us to partner with them to thank our military families for the sacrifices they make” said Christine C. Gallagher, Deputy Director, Spouse and Currently Serving Programs. “With their generous donation, we are able to gift Stella & Dot jewelry to military spouses, mothers and daughters of our nation’s heroes.”

Stella & Dot Buy One, Gift One Items:

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Through the purchase of a scarf, Stella & Dot will donate an assortment of accessories as gifts to warm hearts during the holiday season.

To purchase a scarf from the collection or for more information, please visit: www.stelladot.com.

About Stella & Dot:

Stella & Dot is a boutique-style jewelry and accessories company reinventing the home-based, flexible entrepreneurship opportunity for the modern woman through its social-shopping business platform. Stella & Dot offers its on-trend, celebrity and editorial-coveted product line exclusively through a growing network of trained independent consultants (Stylists) across North America, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland and France. With a mission to give every woman the means to style her own life, Stella & Dot celebrates the collective spirit and recognizes its leaders through executive training, exclusive sales rewards, and a community that gives back to our home and abroad. Stylists earn sales commissions by selling at private in-home trunk shows and online with a best-in-class and innovative technology platforms. For more information, visit www.stelladot.com.

About The Stella & Dot Foundation:

The Stella & Dot Foundation engages and inspires our community to affect positive change in the lives of women and their families. In addition to our year-round global charity partner, Every Mother Counts, Stella & Dot also celebrates Autism Awareness Month in April, Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, and supports military families through our Buy One, Gift One program in November. To date, the Stella & Dot Foundation has raised over $1.6 million towards causes important to our community. Together, through the donations made possible by the sale of our foundation accessories, our collective small acts add up to make a big impact.

About Military Officers Association of America (MOAA):

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is the nation’s largest officers association with more than 380,000 members from every branch of service, including active duty, retired, National Guard, Reserve, and former officers and their families and survivors. MOAA is a nonprofit and politically nonpartisan organization and an influential force in promoting a strong national defense. MOAA represents the interests of service members and their families in every stage of their lives and careers, and for those who are not eligible to join MOAA, Voices for America’s Troops is a nonprofit MOAA affiliate that supports a strong national defense. For more information, visit www.moaa.org or www.voicesfortroops.org/.

About MFRC-NCR (Military Family Resource Center – National Capital Region):

The Military Family Resource Centre–National Capital Region (MFRC-NCR) is a home away from home for families. MFRC governed by a volunteer community-based board of directors and is the only local not-for-profit organization that directly supports the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) families in the National Capital Region, which consists of 11,000 military members (Regular and Reserve) 8,000 spouses and 9,000 children. The MFRC-NCR is committed to enriching the lives of our community by providing relevant programs and services that empower, encourage and strengthens our military families, aided by community partnerships. MFRC-NCR offers services, such as emergency short-term housing units, workshops and support groups, respite and emergency childcare, and mental health services are available to military families at all times, especially in difficult times. For further information, please visit www.mfrc-ncr.org

P&G and Walmart Team Up with Chicago Bears Defensive End Jared Allen in Support of Veterans

CHICAGO, Ill. – Nov. 11, 2014 – In honor of Veteran’s Day, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Walmart partnered with Jared Allen, defensive end for the Chicago Bears, and his foundation, Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors, to help better the lives of Chicago veterans through the support of the Eddie Beard Homeless Veterans’ Housing Program (Vet House).

On November 11, Allen visited a local Walmart store to stock up on P&G products for the Vet House, an organization dedicated to providing interim housing for honorably discharged veterans. Allen then made a personal appearance and a special delivery to the Vet House.

Additionally, P&G and Walmart provided a year-supply of much-needed products for the Vet House including Bounty®, Oral-B®, Old Spice®, Tide®, Crest®, Scope®, and Charmin®.

Jared Allen

Jared Allen

Jared Allen

Jared Allen

“We house approximately 15 veterans at any given time at the Eddie Beard Vet House,” said Jackie Edens, Executive Director for Inner Voice, Inc. “We provide a range of services, and are always in great need of supplies.”

Supporting veterans is a very important cause for Allen. With family members who are veterans, Allen started his foundation, Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors in 2009 following a USO trip to U.S. Military Bases in the Middle East. The mission of the organization is to provide financial assistance and support to injured veterans by building and/or renovating handicap accessible homes to support wounded warriors.

“I’m happy to have this opportunity to work with P&G and Walmart on a cause that’s near and dear to my heart,” stated Allen. “Our wounded warriors have sacrificed to protect our freedom, and this is one important way of recognizing them for their service and saying thank you.”

Both Walmart and P&G have longstanding traditions of giving back to the men and women who serve in the U.S. Military. “We recognize the significant sacrifices these individuals, along with their families, make in support of our country,” stated Tim Marrin, P&G spokesperson. “We are pleased to support the Eddie Beard Vet House with Jared Allen.”

For additional information, photos, videos, and more, visit: http://smnr.akamediainc.com/jared-allen-supporting-veterans/

Space Foundation Congratulates ESA on Successful Landing of Rosetta’s Philae

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 12, 2014) – After a 10-year journey, Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft made history today when its lander Philae successfully attached to its destination, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The European Space Agency (ESA) launched Rosetta aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle in March 2004 out of the space center in Kourou, French Guiana.

While not the first spacecraft to visit a comet, Rosetta is the first to orbit one and the first to send a lander to a comet’s surface. Rosetta’s instruments will study the comet from orbit, while Philae will collect samples from the surface and take close-up photos.

“Today’s successful landing by Rosetta’s Philae lander, a major contribution to this mission by the German Space Agency (DLR), at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is a tremendous accomplishment. We congratulate our partners at DLR and ESA for achieving yet another milestone during this ambitious mission,” said Space Foundation Chief Executive Officer Elliot Pulham.

It is hoped that Rosetta’s findings will help scientists uncover some of the mysteries about how our solar system was formed. It is expected that the study of elements that make up 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko will give scientists insight into the very earliest beginnings of our solar system. The spacecraft is named for the Rosetta Stone that allowed the deciphering of hieroglyphics and provided clues about ancient Egyptian civilization.

Follow the Rosetta mission at www.esa.int/ESA.

About the Space Foundation

The Space Foundation partners with space agencies around the world, including ESA and DLR. This fall, the Space Foundation and DLR hosted the fourth meeting of the U.S.-Germany Aerospace Roundtable (UGART) in Frankfurt, attended by representatives of 30 industries and 20 agencies. The meeting included a visit to ESA’s Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt for a detailed briefing on the Rosetta mission.

The Space Foundation is the foremost advocate for all sectors of space, and is a global, nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs and major industry events, including the annual Space Symposium, in support of its mission “to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.” Space Foundation World Headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA, has a public Discovery Center, including the El Pomar Space Gallery, the Northrop Grumman Science Center featuring Science On a Sphere® and the Lockheed Martin Space Education Center.

Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation has a field office in Houston, and conducts government affairs from its Washington, D.C., office. It annually publishes The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity and through its Space CertificationTM and Space Technology Hall of Fame® programs, recognizes space-based innovations that have been adapted to improve life on Earth. Visit www.SpaceFoundation.org, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube, and read our e-newsletter Space Watch.

JA Worldwide Unveils New Online Program To Ignite Teen Interest In Science & Technology Careers

JA Worldwide and Alcoa Foundation Team Up to Implement Global STEM Education Initiative for Teens

Boston, Mass.JA Worldwide (JA) today announced a new partnership with Alcoa Foundation to launch a global curriculum that will bring enhanced STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education to middle and high school students. JA Worldwide received a $750,000 investment from Alcoa Foundation to create JA Assembling Your Career, a program comprised of supplemental STEM career sessions for students in JA markets across the globe.

The international job market is becoming increasingly dependent on qualified applicants with formal STEM education. Recent predictions show that 85 to 95 percent of jobs will require STEM skills by 2020. JA Assembling Your Career encourages students to think about how their current skills and interests will serve them in future high-growth, high-demand careers. JA Assembling Your Career contains three interactive, STEM-focused activities that can be used by volunteers or teachers in the classroom as stand-alone activities, or as an enhancement to existing high school JA programs.

“The international job market is becoming increasingly dependent on qualified applicants with formal STEM education. In fact, recent data from the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training shows that 85 to 95 percent of jobs will require STEM skills by 2020,” said Sean C. Rush, president and chief executive officer of JA Worldwide. “Junior Achievement believes in the boundless potential of youth. Through our partnership with Alcoa Foundation we can bring customized STEM education and career readiness tools to youth and help inspire a new generation of scientists, engineers and manufacturers.”

Piloted internationally in 2013, JA Assembling Your Career’s first implementation sites include Brazil, France, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, with expansion into additional countries planned for future years. Additionally, the JA Assembling Your Career curriculum will be made available to other partners such as Skills USA, a career and technical student organization, and Project Leap, a leadership development program for nonprofit industry professionals, to further expand its reach.

Alcoa Foundation works with partners to inspire future STEM innovators and introduce students to manufacturing, showcasing the creativity and career mobility that the industry offers. JA Assembling Your Career promotes the importance of STEM skills on an international scale and help middle and high school students understand the global career opportunities available to them in manufacturing.

“The Alcoa Foundation partnership with Junior Achievement is helping young people around the world imagine a new path for their future,” said Esra Ozer, Alcoa Foundation president. “Together, we believe that by exposing more students to STEM programs, they can learn the skills needed to be successful in their future careers.”

For more information on JA Assembling Your Career, click here. To learn more about the Alcoa Foundation, please click here.

About JA Worldwide (Junior Achievement)

JA Worldwide is one of the largest global NGOs dedicated to addressing fundamental social and economic challenges of young people by educating and empowering them to transform their future and own their economic success. Through cutting-edge, experiential learning in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship, JA Worldwide effectively broadens the canvass of possibility for young people and enriches their ability to contribute to the strength of their families, communities, and economies. The 121-country JA Worldwide network is powered by 400,000 volunteers and mentors from all sectors of society, reaching 10.6 million students around the world. Visit www.jaworldwide.org for more information.

About Alcoa Foundation

Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $470 million. Founded 62 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $590 million. In 2013, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow’s leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2013, a record 62 percent of Alcoa employees took part in nearly 1,300 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 505,000 people and 1,900 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit alcoafoundation.com and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.

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