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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

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This category includes articles that apply to social good in general and may include policy, practice and other stories relevant to everyone.

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LiveBeyond Christmas Catalog Encourages People to Give Beyond

Press Release – DALLAS, December 4, 2017 – As Christmas gift-giving time approaches, a faith-based non-profit working to improve conditions in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, has some unique gift suggestions in its annual Christmas catalog. Each year, LiveBeyond determines the greatest needs among the people it serves and invites Americans who really have no need of another thing to gift something desperately needed on behalf of their loved ones. This year’s list features a unique set of gifts that will provide great meaning to those who give it and those who receive it in Haiti, improving their way of life and expanding the Kingdom of God.

“Our mission has always been to help Haitians live beyond oppression, poverty and illness,” said Dr. David Vanderpool, the founder and CEO of LiveBeyond. “This year we are challenging people to give beyond the traditional gifts to leave a lasting impression on a person’s life and make a real, physical difference. Christmas is not just about giving and receiving, it is about those who need it most and sharing the love of God.”

Some of the gifts featured in the catalog include an opportunity to sponsor a special needs child in the Johnny’s Kids program, an academic sponsorship and chickens that are used to teach locals how to raise them sustainably while providing expectant mothers with a source of necessary protein. Other gift opportunities include a clean delivery kit that prevents infection during childbirth, hygiene kits and the chance to provide school supplies such as paper, pencils, desks and books.

“A chicken or school supplies may not seem like something that makes a big difference but they truly are a blessing and help a lot of families and children who otherwise may not get the care or education they need. In some instances, it is lifesaving,” said Dr. Vanderpool. “Unlike most Christmas gifts which typically end up sitting on a shelf or inside a closet after the holiday, these gifts will be put to good use and have a lasting effect, that helps Haitian people today and sets the tone for a better future.”

In addition to the Christmas catalog, the LiveBeyond store features t-shirts and other items that make great Christmas gifts and help people in Haiti. All of the profits from the online store go toward the organization’s efforts to transform the heart of Thomazeau, Haiti.

A full list and details about each of the Christmas gifts can be found at http://livebeyond.org/givebeyond.

LiveBeyond is a faith-based, humanitarian organization improving lives of the poor in Thomazeau, Haiti, with sustainable solutions in medical and maternal health care, clean water, education, and agricultural and economic development. It was founded by Dr. David Vanderpool, a trauma surgeon who has worked for more than 20 years responding to humanitarian disasters around the world. For more information, visit www.livebeyond.org.


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Bayat Foundation Receives Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice

Afghanistan’s Leading Private Philanthropy Received Honor At December 10th Ceremony

Press Release – KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Bayat Foundation (www.bayatfoundation.org), Afghanistan’s largest private, non-profit Health, Education and Social Development Organization, announced today that The Bayat Foundation has been selected by The Harmony Foundation as a recipient of the 2017 Mother Teresa Memorial International Award For Social Justice.

Dr. Ehsan Bayat – Co-Founder of The Bayat Foundation, and Chairman of The Bayat Group (www.bayat-group.com) – and his wife, Mrs. Fatema Bayat – Executive Director of The Bayat Foundation – jointly accepted the award from Mr. Shri Tushar Arun Gandhi, great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi; Dr. Abraham Mathai, President of Harmony Foundation; and Mr. Jerry Jose, Head of Human Resources at ICICI Lombard.

The ceremony was attended by a number of dignitaries such as Mr. Mohammad Sarwar Danish, Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; Ms. Yasuko Shimizu, Chief of Mission for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; and Mr. Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. Other 2017 honorees included Ms. Priyanka Chopra – Indian actress, singer, film producer, and philanthropist – and prolific Japanese architect and Pritzker Prize recipient, Mr. Shigeru Ban for his dedication to creating humanitarian designs that combine the needs of refugees with sustainability.

Established in 2005 by The Harmony Foundation to honor Mother (Saint) Teresa’s lifetime of service to the ‘Poorest of the Poor,’ The Mother Teresa Memorial International Award For Social Justice has been bestowed on Dr. Bayat and The Bayat Foundation, in recognition of The Bayat Foundation’s leading, exceptional and successful efforts to provide the neediest Afghans with food, clothing, health care, education, clean water and other critical and basic building blocks of life, that every human being requires for their protection, preservation and progress.

The Harmony Foundation was established in 2005 by Dr. Abraham Matai. The mission of The Harmony Foundation is to establish peaceful relations and social harmony between communities throughout the world. Prior recipients of Mother Teresa Memorial International Award For Social Justice, include His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, Nana Akufo-Addo, the Former President of Ghana, Doctors Without Borders, and H.E. Bin Zayed Al Nayan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, The United Arab Emirates.

“Saint Teresa of Calcutta embraced the commandment to love, and serve, and improve the lives of the poorest of the poor, as the sacred work, and the sole mission of her life, and we accept the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award For Social Justice with tremendous humility and gratitude,” said Dr. Ehsan Bayat, the Co-Founder and Chairman of The Bayat Foundation.

“In 2006, when my wife Mrs. Fatema Bayat and I started The Bayat Foundation, we had a simple, but powerful wish—we wanted to help provide Afghans with healthcare, education, clean water—the basic necessities of life,” Dr. Bayat said.

“Today, I am proud to note that The Bayat Foundation has sponsored over 300 projects in Afghanistan, including the construction of thirteen hospitals, which have cared for 2,000,000 Afghan mothers and their children” Dr. Bayat said. “We have been blessed by this opportunity to serve Afghans, and every day we try our best to live out the wisdom that Mother Teresa gave to the world, when she said ‘The Greatest Good is what we do for one another.'”

About the Bayat Foundation:

Since 2005, the US-based Bayat Foundation, a 501 c (3) charitable organization, has promoted the well-being of the Afghan people. Founded and directed by Ehsanollah Bayat and Fatema Bayat, the Foundation has contributed to more than 300 projects dedicated to improving the quality of life for the youth, women, poor, and elderly of Afghanistan; including construction of 13 maternity hospitals that have now treated over 2,000,000 mothers and babies.

Projects have included the construction of new facilities and sustainable infrastructure in needy regions, and the promotion of health, education, economic, and cultural programs. In addition to his charitable initiatives, Ehsanollah Bayat founded Afghan Wireless (AWCC) in 2002, which was the first GSM wireless and Internet Service Provider in Afghanistan, and later established Ariana Radio and Television Network (ATN), which includes Ariana Radio (FM 93.5). For more information, please email info@bayatfoundation.org.


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Groundswell Announces Liberation Fund Grants: $1.35 million to Boost Grassroots Organizing Led by Women of Color and Transgender People of Color

Fifteen prominent women of color movement leaders team with Groundswell to recommend thirty organizations for Liberation Fund grants.

Press Release – Groundswell is proud to announce $1,350,000 in grants for 30 organizations in its inaugural round of grantmaking through the Liberation Fund, a joint project of Groundswell Fund (a 501c3) and Groundswell Action Fund (a 501c4). Grantees were recommended for funding by 15 leading women of color movement leaders who serve as advisors to the Liberation Fund, including Alicia Garza, Linda Sarsour, Mary Hooks, Isa Noyola and Ai-jen Poo, among others.

In today’s political environment, it is more vital than ever that we organize to hold public officials accountable in their home districts to defend and advance the rights of vulnerable communities. Grassroots organizing efforts led by women of color and transgender people of color are at the forefront of these efforts, leading smart and effective multi-issue campaigns that build a vibrant grassroots base of support and leave no one behind.

Statement from Vanessa Daniel, Groundswell Executive Director:

“Groundswell has teamed up with 15 of the most prominent women of color leaders in the country to bridge a longstanding gap that exists between the funders in this country and the grassroots organizing work that is offering the boldest and most effective solutions to white supremacy and misogyny. Since the election, billions of dollars have flowed into progressive movements, and nearly all of it is going to large national organizations. While many of these organizations play an important role in the social change ecosystem, they cannot protect communities or advance bold change on their own. Most of us don’t believe in trickle-down economics, so why do we fund trickle-down social justice? The Liberation Fund gives funders and donors an easy way to support powerful change that is surging up from the grassroots.”

The Liberation Fund uplifts and supports the strongest of these organizations across the country with a demonstrated track record and commitment to racial and gender justice on issues ranging from: economic and environmental justice; to LGBTQ, immigrant and Native sovereignty rights; to halting gender-based violence, climate change, mass incarceration, immigration detention and deportation, and anti-Black and anti-Muslim forces, among other key issues.

501c3 grantees on the inaugural docket include:

Black Mesa Water Coalition; BreakOut!; CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities; Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM); The Marsha P. Johnson Institute; Mujeres Unidas Y Activas (MUA); Racial Justice Action Center; Southerners On New Ground (SONG); Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP); and TransLatin@ Coalition.

501c4 grantees on the inaugural docket include:

Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) Action; Black Progressive Action Coalition (BPAC); BYP100 (Black Youth Project Not for Profit); Californians for Human and Immigrant Rights Leadership Action Fund (CHIRLA Action Fund); Domestic Worker Legacy Fund; Jobs With Justice; Montana Native Vote; Mpower Change Action; ROC (Restaurant Opportunities Centers) Action; Southwest Workers Union; and Texas Organizing Project.

The path to large-scale progressive change in this country is one of bold, multi-issue, solidarity-based organizing represented by these organizations who are lighting the path that social movements writ large must travel in order to win. The Liberation Fund encourages more donors and foundations to help leading organizations turn that light up even brighter by donating to the fund or directly to its grantees.

Statement from Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter:

“The Liberation Fund will make it easier for donors and funders to identify and resource some of the most effective and innovative organizing at the grassroots led by women of color and transgender people of color. To elevate women of color and trans people of color at a time when our communities are under extreme duress is not only smart but essential for our survival. There’s never been a better time for donors and funders to put their money directly where change is happening.”

Liberation Fund grants have been awarded at the recommendation of the fund’s advisors by 15 prominent women of color leaders from various U.S. social justice movements from environmental, racial and economic justice, to immigrant, Native and transgender rights: Ai-jen Poo, National Domestic Workers Alliance; Alicia Garza, National Domestic Workers Alliance & Black Lives Matter; Angelica Salas, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA); Bamby Salcedo, The TransLatin@ Coalition; Dr. Charlene Sinclair, Center for Community Change; Cindy Wiesner, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance; Chrissie Castro, Native Voice Network; Denise Perry, Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD); Elle Hearns, Marsha P. Johnson Institute; Isa Noyola, Transgender Law Center; Linda Sarsour, Mpower Change; Mary Hooks, Southerners On New Ground; Miya Yoshitani, Asian Pacific Environmental Network; Sarita Gupta, Jobs With Justice; and Saru Jayaraman, Restaurant Opportunity Center (ROC) United.

To find out more, please visit: www.groundswellfund.org and www.groundswellaction.org


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Koret Foundation Announces New $10 Million Arts and Culture Initiative

Initiative Supports Bay Area Cultural Institutions, Local Arts, Music, And Culture Ecosystem

Press Release – SAN FRANCISCO (December 13, 2017) — The Koret Foundation has established a $10 million multi-year Arts and Culture Initiative. Continuing its longstanding support of innovative and dynamic cultural organizations making an essential contribution to a vibrant Bay Area, the foundation established the new initiative to better address the changing landscape of cultural participation.

Through the initiative, the foundation will fund programs and strategies that expand opportunities for students to participate in arts and music education (both in-school and at the arts institutions), enable new and diverse audiences to access the arts, and build organizational capacity, stability, and resilience.

“We are delighted to announce the grantees for our new Arts and Culture Initiative,” said Dr. Michael J. Boskin, President of the Koret Foundation. “We believe that in a time of great change in the nonprofit cultural sector, it is important to support bold ideas that catalyze innovation and build the next generation of artists and art enthusiasts.”

Grantees include San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Symphony, SFJAZZ, San Francisco Ballet, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Oakland Museum of California, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (de Young Museum), Cal Performances, San Francisco Opera, Stanford Live, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

The initiative will also support a group of 42 small to mid-sized nonprofit arts and culture organizations throughout the Bay Area. These organizations, as well as all included in the initiative, play a critical role in the Bay Area’s vibrant arts ecosystem and offer a variety of programs that are rooted in their respective communities.

A main focus of the initiative is to help these organizations pilot and expand arts education programs. “Koret’s visionary support was integral to the creation of San Francisco Opera’s new Opera ARIA Music Performance Residency,” said the Opera’s General Director Matthew Shilvock. “The program, which gives students the opportunity to rehearse and perform side-by-side with members of the SFO Orchestra, is one of the first of its kind for an opera company.”

“Increasing access to culturally relevant, participatory, and welcoming experiences that attract diverse, local community members is part of our DNA,” said Lori Fogarty, Oakland Museum of California’s Director and CEO. “Koret’s support of these types of programs, like the weekly Friday Nights @ OMCA, helps to advance our strategic goals by bringing new audiences to the museum.”

Details about each grantee and the purpose of each grant follows below:

  • Asian Art Museum of San Francisco will receive $2,000,000 for the new Koret Education Center capital campaign as part of the museum’s larger renovation and expansion.
  • Berkeley Repertory Theatre will receive $225,000 to pilot a new arts education program in Berkeley Unified School District that pairs civics with new play development.
  • Cal Performances will receive $620,000: $225,000 to expand the Cal Performances classroom program in Oakland Unified School District, $120,000 for co-presentation support with Stanford Live, and $275,000 to support the organization’s new programming stream to engage new and existing audiences both inside and outside of the theater.
  • The Contemporary Jewish Museum will receive $750,000 to support designated Jewish Peoplehood exhibitions for young adults and families.
  • Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco will receive $600,000: $525,000 to pilot a new children’s learning exhibition at the de Young that helps the museum better understand the role of arts in the development of creativity and problem-solving, as well as $75,000 to support the Friday Nights program, which helps to develop new audiences.
  • The Oakland Museum of California will receive $225,000 to support free community and family programs that reach new audiences, specifically those in the local neighborhoods.
  • San Francisco Ballet will receive $750,000: $375,000 to support the expansion of the Dance in Schools and Communities (DISC) program, and $375,000 for audience development initiatives, including the new Unbound: A Festival of New Works, Sensorium, and various engagement programs and tactics.
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music will receive $150,000 to support expansion of its Conservatory in the Schools program, which provides mentoring and music education to San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) students.
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will receive $1,000,000: $850,000 to support the museum’s K-12 arts education programs in the Koret Education Center and $150,000 to develop a new partnership and intern program with City College of San Francisco as part of a large Diego Rivera exhibition in 2020.
  • San Francisco Opera will receive $990,000: $600,000 to support core opera revival and $390,000 to develop and pilot an innovative new music residency and mentorship program with SFUSD that utilizes San Francisco Opera Orchestra musicians.
  • San Francisco Symphony will receive $1,000,000 to expand the Music and Mentors program, increasing both breadth and depth by growing the number of SFUSD students that receive music education as well as developing a group of music educators and mentors.
  • SFJAZZ will receive $150,000 to support School Day Concerts, a free student matinee series, as well as the Koret Discover Jazz series, a jazz appreciation course for adults.
  • Stanford Live will receive $750,000: $270,000 toward headliner artist support, $195,000 to expand K-12 arts education programming in the Ravenswood School District, $165,000 toward the Koret Jazz Project, Stanford Live’s jazz programming stream with performances in the new, intimate Bing Studio, and $120,000 toward co-presentation support with Cal Performance.

Additionally, grants totaling $1,000,000 were awarded to the following organizations:

42nd St. Moon Theatre Company
Marin Symphony
Alonzo King LINES Ballet
Marin Theatre Company
Arts Loan Fund of Northern California Grantmakers
Music in Schools Today
UC Berkeley Arts Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Music@Menlo
Bayview-Hunters Point Center for Arts and Technology
ODC/San Francisco
The UC Theatre
Performing Arts Workshop
Brava! For Women in the Arts
PlayGround
California Jazz Conservatory
Portola Valley Theatre Conservatory
Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University
San Francisco Art Institute
Classical KDFC
San Francisco Film Society
Community Arts Stabilization Trust
San Jose Museum of Art
CounterPulse
San Francisco Performances
Dancers’ Group
San Francisco Shakespeare Festival
Diablo Ballet
Smuin Ballet/SF
East Bay Center for the Performing Arts
Stanford Jazz Workshop
Gray Area Foundation for the Arts
Stern Grove Festival
Galería de la Raza
The Crucible
Headlands Center for the Arts
TheatreWorks
Joe Goode Performance Group
Women’s Audio Mission
La Peña Cultural Center
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana
Youth Speaks
Magic Theatre

About the Koret Foundation:

Based in San Francisco, the Koret Foundation is committed to strengthening the Bay Area community and nurturing the continuity of the Jewish people worldwide. Since its founding in 1979, Koret has awarded over $500 million in grants to an array of outstanding organizations doing important work in these areas.

For more information about the Koret Foundation, please visit http://www.koret.org


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Rowland Hall-St. Mark Teacher Named Utah Educator of the Year

Press Release – DES MOINES, IOWA (December 13, 2017) – The National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) is proud to announce Mike Shackelford from Rowland Hall-St. Mark is the 2017-2018 Utah Educator of the Year.

From more than 5,000 member coaches and teachers across the country, Mike Shackelford was selected as the Utah Educator of the Year because of his unwavering commitment to speech and debate education. His passion for speech and debate has enhanced the quality of education in Utah and beyond.

“Speech and debate changes lives,” said National Speech & Debate Association Executive Director J. Scott Wunn. “Mike Shackelford has provided outstanding leadership in helping students improve their communication skills, build confidence, and increase critical thinking skills. All of these skills will better prepare students for college, a career, and a successful life after school.”

To be nominated for this prestigious award educators must coach and teach speech and debate, have a minimum of 5-years’ experience in the classroom, demonstrate broad contributions to the field of education, provide support and mentorship to the speech and debate community, and model the established NSDA Coach Code of Ethics.

Additionally, each State Educator of the Year award winner will be considered for the 2017-2018 National Educator of the Year Award. The national award winner will be announced on National Speech and Debate Education Day on March 2, 2018.

“We couldn’t be more proud to recognize the hard working, passionate, and dedicated educators who do so much for the speech and debate community, and their students,” said Wunn. “Every day, they empower young people to use their voice. They are making a huge impact on the lives of others.”

To learn more about the award process, visit www.speechanddebate.org/educator-of-the-year.

About the National Speech & Debate Association

The National Speech & Debate Association is the largest interscholastic speech and debate organization serving middle school, high school, and collegiate students in the United States. The Association provides competitive speech and debate activities, high-quality resources, comprehensive training, scholarship opportunities, and advanced recognition to more than 150,000 students and coaches every year. For 90 years, the National Speech & Debate Association has empowered more than 1.5 million members to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals, and honorable leaders in our society. For more information, visit www.speechanddebate.org.


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Central Park Conservancy Names Elizabeth Weinberg Smith President & CEO

Press Release – New York, NY — The Board of Trustees of the Central Park Conservancy has named Elizabeth Weinberg Smith President and Chief Executive Officer, effective March 1, 2018. Elizabeth “Betsy” Smith has served on the Board of the Central Park Conservancy since 2014 and sits on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Urban Parks, the Conservancy’s educational arm.

Ms. Smith previously served as NYC Parks Assistant Commissioner during the Bloomberg Administration, with responsibility for the Agency’s large and highly diversified concession portfolio as well as its annual roster of all major special events on City parkland. In addition, she managed relationships with an expanding portfolio of conservancies and other public-private partnerships, serving as principal liaison with the Agency. During her tenure, she also oversaw the marketing and corporate sponsorship departments as well as numerous special projects focused on strategic planning, staffing models, and branding. Since leaving NYC Parks at the end of the Administration in 2013, Ms. Smith has remained an involved and avid supporter of urban parks and open space, serving as a Board Member of Friends of the High Line and the Open Space Institute, and Vice Chair of New Yorkers for Parks, in addition to her role on the Central Park Conservancy’s Board of Trustees.

“Betsy is a dedicated advocate of urban parks in general and Central Park in particular,” said Thomas L. Kempner, Central Park Conservancy Chairman of the Board. “After conducting an extensive search, it was clear to the Board and to me that Betsy’s impressive management, government, philanthropic, and parks experience makes her uniquely qualified to lead the Central Park Conservancy ― and continue to increase the impact of its mission in the future.”

Betsy Smith stated, “I am so pleased at the prospect of working with the superb team whom I have known and admired for many years. Their work to restore Central Park has made it one of the most impactful cultural institutions in the City and one of the most beloved urban landscapes in the world. I hope to build on the team’s success and find new ways to secure the Conservancy’s future as a steward of Central Park and champion of world-class urban park management. It will be an honor to lead the Conservancy and partner with NYC Parks to pursue that mission on behalf of every New Yorker and park visitor.”

Retiring Conservancy President & CEO Douglas Blonsky added, “Our Board of Trustees has made an outstanding decision to entrust leadership of the Conservancy to Betsy Smith, whom I had the pleasure of working with during her time at NYC Parks and later as a Conservancy Trustee. Her forward-thinking guidance during the formation of our Institute for Urban Parks is one great example of her ability to create positive change and inspire planning in consideration of future generations of park users.”

“With her distinguished record of public service ― specifically at NYC Parks ― Betsy will provide inspiring leadership to the Central Park Conservancy,” said Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Under Doug’s epoch-defining leadership, the Conservancy strengthened its partnership with NYC Parks and shared its expertise with parks across our city. We look forward to Betsy’s vision and intelligence further developing this deeply beneficial relationship.”

Prior to joining NYC Parks, Ms. Smith had a 25-year career in finance. She started her professional career in commercial banking at JP Morgan before transitioning to venture capital and private equity management at Prospect Group Inc. and at the family offices of Harry F. Oppenheimer and the Rockefeller Financial Group. She later ran client services and finance at Sotheby’s before joining the Bloomberg Administration in 2002.

In addition to her involvement in parks and open space, Ms. Smith is the Vice Chair of her alma mater, Scripps College. She is also the Vice Chair of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Chair of the Library of America. Ms. Smith has two daughters and lives in New York City with her husband Rick Cotton.

About the Central Park Conservancy

The mission of the Central Park Conservancy is to restore, manage, and enhance Central Park in partnership with the public. The Central Park Conservancy aspires to build a great organization that sets the standard for and spreads the principles of world-class park management ― emphasizing environmental excellence ― to improve the quality of open space for the enjoyment of all. The Central Park Conservancy is committed to sustaining this operating model to provide a legacy for future generations of park users.

In 2013, the Central Park Conservancy formed its Institute for Urban Parks, which aims to share its learnings, expertise, and stewardship practices with other urban park managers in communities around the city, country, and world.

Since its founding in 1980, the Central Park Conservancy has invested nearly $1 billion into Central Park ― and raises 75 percent of the annual funds needed to care for the Park.

Learn more at centralparknyc.org


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Space Foundation Board Selects Chris Kraft to Receive the 2018 General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award

Press Release – COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 11, 2017) – Each spring, during its Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, the Space Foundation confers its highest honor – the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award.

For 2018, the Space Foundation Board of Directors has chosen to honor Christopher Columbus “Chris” Kraft, Jr., the first U.S. human space mission flight director, credited with establishing NASA’s Mission Control operations.

Kraft was nominated for the award by Apollo 13 Commander CAPT James A. Lovell, Jr., USN (Ret.), who wrote in his nomination letter about Kraft:

He established NASA’s Mission Control Center and was the chief flight director for the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions. Essentially, he was the creator of the way NASA conducts space missions. He is the perfect individual to receive the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award.

In announcing the selection of Kraft, Space Foundation Board Chairman Gen. William L. Shelton, USAF (Ret.), said of Kraft, “Chris Kraft is an absolute legend in manned spaceflight. As we look back on the incredible accomplishments of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, the Space Foundation is delighted to honor a key father of those successes.”

About Chris Kraft

Chris Kraft compared his role as flight director to conducting an orchestra, not necessarily knowing how to play each instrument, but knowing how to bring them together to create music. He had a childhood interest in music and played bugle in an American Legion drum-and-bugle corps, later becoming the Virginia state champion bugler.

He also had an early interest in baseball and played in college at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (now Virginia Tech). Initially, he studied mechanical engineering, but on the encouragement of a professor, he graduated in 1944 with one of the first aeronautical engineering degrees conferred by the Institute.

In 1945, he was hired by the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In 1958, Kraft was selected as one of the original members of the Project Mercury Space Task Group.

From 1961 to 1966, Kraft was flight director for the Mercury missions and many of the Gemini missions. He was the director of flight operations for the Apollo program until 1970, when he became the Manned Spacecraft Center deputy director.

Kraft established manned spaceflight rules that controlled every aspect of the mission, dictating that the astronauts obey the direction of mission control, and allowing the flight director “…to take any necessary action required for the successful completion of the mission.”

He served as director of the Johnson Space Center from 1972 until his retirement in 1982. He remained active as an aerospace consultant, and his autobiography – Flight: My Life in Mission Control – was published in 2001.

About the Award

Honoring its late, long-time chairman, Gen. James E. Hill, USAF (Ret.), the award recognizes outstanding individuals who have distinguished themselves through lifetime contributions to humankind through exploration, development and use of space.

The award luncheon is sponsored by Boeing, and will be held on Wednesday, April 18, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, site of the Space Symposium. Information about luncheon tickets is available at www.spacesymposium.org/register.

About the Space Symposium

The 34th Space Symposium is slated for April 16-19, bringing together thousands of space professionals from the world’s leading spacefaring countries to discuss and plan the future of space. See the agenda and registration information at www.spacesymposium.org.

About the Space Foundation

Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is the world’s premier organization to inspire, educate, connect, and advocate on behalf of the global space community. It is a nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs, and major industry events, including the annual Space Symposium. Space Foundation headquarters is in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA, and has a public Discovery Center, including El Pomar Space Gallery, Northrop Grumman Science Center featuring Science On a Sphere® and the Lockheed Martin Space Education Center. The Space Foundation has a Washington, D.C., office and field representatives in Houston, Los Angeles and the Florida Space Coast. It publishes The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity, and through its Space Certification™ and Space Technology Hall of Fame® programs, recognizes space-based innovations that have been adapted to improve life on Earth. Visit both of our websites – www.SpaceFoundation.org and DiscoverSpace.org – and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.


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Aisha C. Moodie-Mills to Leave Victory Fund and Victory Institute; Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker Now at the Helm

Press Release – Washington, DC – Today Victory Fund and Victory Institute announced the resignation of President & CEO Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, and that former Houston Mayor Annise Parker will be the new leader of the organizations. The transition comes as both organizations prepare for the enormous opportunities in the 2018 election cycle – with more LGBTQ candidates running for elected office than ever before. Mayor Parker’s experience as a former elected official, as well as decades of experience leading numerous organizations, will position Victory Fund and Victory Institute to be a vital player in electing LGBTQ people in the years ahead.

“As the first openly LGBTQ mayor of Houston, Annise understands the challenges inherent in running and winning elected office, and she’s ideally positioned to help us fulfill our mission now and in the future,” said One Victory Board Chair Kim Hoover. “During Aisha’s tenure we grew the organization’s leadership initiatives to ensure LGBTQ people from across the country were prepared to run for office and be a voice for our community. We invested in game-changing campaigns and took on anti-equality incumbents with historic LGBTQ candidates, and won. And we strengthened and grew our network of LGBTQ elected officials, who work tirelessly to be the change we want to see in the world. We are grateful for her leadership, and now we are excited to build on her great work and use Annise’s experience and expertise to ensure Victory Fund and Victory Institute have an even greater impact moving forward. And she is eager to get started.”

“Victory played such an important role in my political career, beginning with my run for Houston City Council through my campaign for mayor, and I am thrilled about the opportunity to lead the organizations and help other LGBTQ elected officials win and make change,” said Mayor Parker. “2018 could be a historic year for our community – with more openly LGBTQ people running for office in more places – and I am confident we will be a difference-maker in helping these candidates across the finish line. I appreciate all Aisha has done to take the organizations to the next level, and am honored to continue to build on that success.”

“Over the last two years I’ve been fortunate to lead an incredible team at Victory, and together we have achieved great progress in in our efforts to elect LGBTQ candidates across the country,” said Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, President & CEO of Victory Institute. “We witnessed a surge in the number of LGBTQ people from across the country who want to run for office and be our voice in the halls of power – and it has been so personally rewarding for me to have helped historic candidates win elections thought impossible just a few years ago. Most importantly, I am proud that we’ve positioned the organizations for growth at a critically important time – a turning point in our movement to build LGBTQ political power and wield it on behalf of equality. I am so happy that such a capable leader like Annise will be continuing the vital work of Victory Fund and Victory Institute, and look forward to supporting the organizations as they continue to secure representation for our community.”

Mayor Parker will begin serving as President & CEO of Victory Fund and Victory Institute on Monday, December 11.


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National Dream-Granting Organization Board of Directors

Santa Barbara resident Daryl Stegall joins Board of Dream Foundation

Press Release – Santa Barbara, Calif. –– Today, Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, announced the appointment of Ms. Daryl Stegall to its National Board of Directors. As a member of the Board, Stegall will assist with overseeing Dream Foundation’s activities as well as assisting with fundraising to ensure that Dream Foundation has the ability to fulfill its mission of serving final Dreams to terminally-ill adults.

“Daryl’s passion for Dream Foundation, its mission, and its thousands of Dreamers has been unwavering,” said Kisa Heyer, Dream Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer. “Her dedication and experience make her a perfect addition to the esteemed Board and we are delighted to welcome her.”

Stegall has held several positions in the corporate sales and marketing arenas, including roles at Xerox Corporation and American Advertising. Most recently, Stegall served as a marketing and communications consultant in the clinical skincare industry, where she was instrumental in developing and implementing a skincare program for patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation that is currently implemented in several nationally-recognized cancer centers.

In addition to her current role on Dream Foundation’s Board of Directors, Stegall is an advisory board member of the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara and has been actively involved in many organizations including the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Ganna Walska Lotusland, and Crane Country Day School. Stegall has previously held board positions at the Laguna Blanca School, the International Spirit of Life Foundation, Science of Skincare, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Sarah House and the Phoenix chapters of Make-A-Wish Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball.

“I am always humbled when I have the opportunity to meet a Dreamer or learn about a Dream. They are rarely elaborate requests. More often than not, they are fairly simple: a wheel chair ramp so they can enjoy the park during their last days, a comfortable mattress, an airplane ticket home to spend what little time they have left with loved ones, or gathering family together for a final reunion. This is just a small sampling of the Dreams that I have come to know and I am honored to help Dream Foundation continue to grant these very important end-of-life Dreams.”

Ms. Stegall has been an active supporter of Dream Foundation since 2005 and served as the organization’s Dreamland Gala Chair in 2016 and 2017.

About Dream Foundation:

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


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UNICO National Donates $50,000 to a Hospital in Rieti, Italy Devastated by an Earthquake in 2016

Press Release – FAIRFIELD, N.J., Dec. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — UNICO National, the largest Italian American Service Organization in the country, has donated $50,000 its members raised after the August 2016 earthquake near Amitrice in central Italy to the Azienda Sanitaria Locale Rieti Hospital. UNICO National President Tom Vaughan said “This was an effort started last year by Immediate Past National President Dominick Nicastro. I want to thank Dominick and all of our members for their generous donation which will go directly to a local hospital in Rieti.”

UNICO National Foundation President John DiNapoli, who orchestrated the donation, said that “the funds will go exclusively for the purchase of medical equipment and repairs to the hospital facility.”

UNICO National, founded in 1922, has local chapters throughout America. Its volunteer members support charitable, educational, and community service projects while promoting Italian heritage. www.unico.org.


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