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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

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Devin D. Thorpe



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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Teresa Woodruff Named Dean Of The Graduate School

Also assuming role of associate provost for graduate education, effective Sept. 1.

  • Renowned scientist has long studied female reproductive health and infertility
  • Helped spur NIH to require its scientists to include both sexes in their research
  • ‘I am committed to mentorship and training of the next generation of scholars’
  • Winner of Presidential Award for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring

Press Release – EVANSTON, Ill. — Teresa K. Woodruff, the Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of the Women’s Health Research Institute at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has been named dean of The Graduate School and associate provost for graduate education at Northwestern, effective Sept. 1.

An internationally recognized expert in ovarian biology, Woodruff is an alumna of Northwestern and of The Graduate School (TGS), and she has spent 32 years as a member of the Northwestern community in various roles. She succeeds former dean Dwight McBride, who left the University this summer to join Emory University as provost.

“This is an amazing opportunity, and I am deeply committed to the mentorship and training of the next generation of scholars,” Woodruff said. “I have firsthand experience with the life of a graduate student at our institution and the opportunities our students have during their training and their career afterward.”

“It’s a real honor and pleasure to be able to lead The Graduate School,” she added. “I understand the needs of diverse training environments, ranging from the humanities and social sciences to the performing and professional arts and to the basic and medical sciences.”

Woodruff is vice chair of research (OB/GYN) and chief of the division of reproductive medicine in science at Feinberg. She also is professor of molecular biosciences in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and professor of biomedical engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering. In addition, she is the director of the Center for Reproductive Science and director of the Oncofertility Consortium. In 2006, she coined the term “oncofertility” to describe the merging of two fields: oncology and fertility.

“I’m delighted to serve with Jonathan Holloway, our new provost, and to work on his agenda to support the research and learning environment at our institution,” Woodruff said. “I’m also delighted that President Schapiro and Provost Holloway value the science I do, and I’ll continue to work on women’s health, reproductive research and oncofertility.”

Woodruff has helped change the way research is funded in America, working to spur the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish a policy last year that requires the consideration of sex as a biological variable in basic science and preclinical research.

This policy marks a fundamental shift in the way researchers must evaluate sex in the use of subjects and cells in their design of experiments.

“Teresa Woodruff’s pioneering fertility research and advocacy to preserve the fertility of cancer patients have transformed the lives of numerous cancer survivors, who can now look forward to conceiving children,” Northwestern President Morton Schapiro said.

“On a different front, her efforts to ensure the inclusion of male and female cells in basic and translational research helped change the way the National Institutes of Health funds research. Now NIH-funded scientists must be inclusive in their research, providing more accurate results that will lead to better therapeutics and treatments for both men and women,” he said.

Northwestern Provost Jonathan Holloway said, “I am delighted that Teresa Woodruff has agreed to serve as the next dean of The Graduate School and am excited to have her join my team in the Provost’s Office. Given her impressive track records as a scientist, researcher and innovator, I know that she will make major contributions to graduate education at Northwestern.

“During the selection process, Professor Woodruff’s appreciation for graduate students and the central role they play in the academic life of the University was made clear time and again,” Holloway added. “She is going to be a stalwart defender of the graduate student experience at Northwestern and, I’m sure, will become a national leader in conversations regarding the direction of graduate education at leading research universities.”

Woodruff has long been an advocate for education, diversity and inclusion — not only at the professional level but also with high school students. To this end, she founded and directs the Oncofertility Saturday Academy (OSA), one of several high school outreach programs that engage girls in basic and medical science.

That kind of inclusive and transformational approach to education will also help characterize some of her work, strategy and goals at TGS.

“We will continue to recruit the most talented and creative students who have the potential to not only engage with the world but to change it.” Woodruff said. “We want to create an environment in which their learning, discovery, understanding and creativity can flourish. We’re not here to simply train students in the knowledge that currently exists, but to prepare and inspire students to transform the world of our future and create the new tools and ideas that will enhance all of our lives.”

“I’m passionate about increasing the number of applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds,” she added, “and, in fact, I have developed a whole series of programs, including a successful high school pipeline program with students and teachers, to ensure that we have a broad and diverse group of learners.”

In her new role, Woodruff succeeds Dwight McBride, the Daniel Hale Williams Professor of African American Studies, English and Performance Studies at Northwestern, who led The Graduate School since 2010 in initiatives that resulted in unprecedented progress in the recruitment of minority students, increased financial and academic support for graduate and doctoral students and helped create a much greater sense of community at the school.

“In my view, The Graduate School thrived under the leadership of Dean McBride, and the team that he put in place is outstanding,” Woodruff said. “We have recruited high-caliber students, enlarging the demographics of the cohort, and I look forward to building on this foundation of strength.”

As a reproductive endocrinologist, Woodruff has spent the better part of her research career focusing on female reproductive health and infertility. She is founder and director of the Oncofertility Consortium. With the consortium, Woodruff established a national team of oncologists, fertility specialists, social scientists, educators and policymakers to translate her research to the clinical care of women who will lose their fertility due to cancer treatment.

As an educator and mentor, Woodruff works hard to encourage young women to pursue careers in the sciences and has developed the Women’s Health Science Program for High School Girls and Beyond. The program at the Feinberg School targets primarily African-American and Latina girls from disadvantaged backgrounds in Chicago. The young women can study at four different Northwestern academies: cardiology, physical science, infectious disease and oncofertility.

Woodruff’s program for mentoring urban minority high school girls for college and careers in science and health was awarded the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring by President Barack Obama in 2011.

Widely recognized for her work, Woodruff holds 10 U.S. patents, and was named in 2013 to Time magazine’s “Most Influential Persons” list. Some of her recent awards and honors include the Journal of Women’s Health Award for Outstanding Achievement in Women’s Health Research (2017), election to the College of Fellows at the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2017) and the Society for Endocrinology Transatlantic Medal (2017).

She also received the Beacon Award from Frontiers in Reproduction (2013), the Vision and Impact Award Honoring Women Who Change Lives from the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science (2012), an Alumni Association Merit Award from Northwestern (2012), the Distinguished Woman in Medicine and Science from Northwestern (2009), Feinberg School’s Faculty Mentor of the Year (2009) and the Alumnae of Northwestern Award (2008).

Woodruff received a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of medicine and health.

Read more about Professor Woodruff’s work and its impact:

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YWCA: Justice for Charnesia Corley

Press Release –


This week, dashcam footage was released from an invasive, lengthy roadside body cavity search of then-20-year-old Black college student, Charneshia Corley, who was pulled over on June 21, 2015 in Houston for allegedly running a stop sign. The video shows Corley being searched with the rear passenger-side door open, partially obscuring the camera’s view; she is examined on the ground, naked below the waist, for about 11 minutes. A federal civil rights lawsuit against Harris County alleges that after Corley protested the invasive search, deputies forcibly threw her on the ground “while she was still handcuffed, pinned her down with her legs spread apart, threatened to break her legs and without consent penetrated her vagina in a purported search for marijuana.”

Two of the deputies involved in the body cavity search were charged last year with “official oppression”, but the charges were dropped earlier this month; a third was never charged at all. In response to a previous incident, Texas lawmakers passed a bill that prohibits officers from conducting roadside body cavity searches without a search warrant; the measure went into effect a few months after Corley’s arrest.


“We are heartbroken and outraged by what happened to Charnesia Corely who suffered a horrifying sexual assault by Texas police officers in 2015 and has received no justice to date. While we commend the state of Texas for changing the laws regarding roadside searches, we believe justice was not served to Charnesia. We know that racial profiling, violence, and state-sanctioned sexual assault by police is a common occurrence for Black women and girls in this country. Officers are rarely held accountable for violence against women of color – this must change. We are joining the call for an independent investigation as an avenue to justice for Charnesia. Without justice and accountability, life-threatening misogyny and racism will continue to endanger the lives of women of color.”


“The sexual assault that Charnesia Corely endured should never have happened, plain and simple. That Texas law changed following her case even more clearly illustrates how unjust this assault was. Black women are too often presumed guilty and met with violence simply because of the color of our skin. This type of bias, whether it’s intentional or not, has no place in Houston. Together with 215 YWCAs across the country and YWCA USA, we are committed to eliminating racism and empowering women, so that violence like this does not continue.”


YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.

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Sustainability Thought Leaders and Innovators to Come Together at Yale University

Preeminent event provides unprecedented access for participants with industry experts

Press Release – NEW HAVEN, Conn., Aug. 07 /CSRwire/ – Sustainability professionals from around the world will gather at Yale University this September 12-15 for four days of thought-provoking lectures and interactive discussions at the Yale Sustainability Leadership Forum.

The Forum’s small class size fosters an environment of idea sharing and gives participants and speakers an opportunity to interact one-on-one. Speakers are distinguished thought leaders and innovators drawn from Yale’s renowned Law School, School of Management, and School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, as well as leading practitioners in government and industry. They collectively offer an essential set of strategies and sustainability principles to guide our institutions, governments, businesses, and society.

The Director of the Forum, Professor Daniel C. Esty, brings decades of groundbreaking thinking on environmental law, policy, sustainability innovation, and public-private partnerships to the Forum.

Video: Professor Esty discusses the Forum’s agenda, speakers, benefits for participants, and why you can’t miss this incredible educational experience:

Yale Faculty returning to teach again this fall are standouts in the field of sustainability. Professors William Nordhaus, Marian Chertow, Gary Brudvig, E. Donald Elliott, and Bradford Gentry specialize respectively in carbon pricing, industrial ecology, molecular biophysics and biochemistry, environmental law, and land conservation. Each of their modules will examine current trends in their disciplines, along with sustainability principles and strategies for innovation.

New speakers joining the Forum bring an equally rich set of insights to share. The U.S. State Department’s former top climate change lawyer and a key architect of the Paris Climate Agreement, Susan Biniaz, will teach a module on climate change negotiations. David Lubin, a world leader in the field of corporate performance management will teach a module on sustainable investing. Other speakers include Kenneth Gillingham, Julie Zimmerman, Anthony Leiserowitz, and Andrew Winston, who will teach respectively on the latest innovations in energy and environmental economics, green design, climate change communications, and corporate sustainability management.

To view the agenda, click here. To view the speaker line-up, click here.

Participants of the 2016 inaugural Forum praised the depth and breadth of the candid discussions and felt confident that they left Yale inspired and armed with a myriad of innovative and practical takeaways. “The Forum was an excellent opportunity for me to receive a compact overview of the main trends and challenges in our quest to transition to sustainable societies. Listening to and engaging with some of the field’s brightest minds and leading scholars was both inspiring and an opportunity to calibrate some aspects of my work so that I can be more effective and successful,” said Tanja Srebotjnak, Hixon Professor of Sustainable Environmental Design at Harvey Mudd College.

Jonathan Steinberg, State Representative at the Connecticut General Assembly, echoed that sentiment, saying, “If sustainability is truly the defining framework for this century, this forum is an invaluable medium for grasping the critical issues and opportunities which will determine our planet’s continuing viability.”

YSLF is designed to advance sustainability thought leadership and to inspire sustainability action. To learn from leaders in the field and other sustainability professionals, apply for the 2017 program here. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis and space is limited.

For more information on the Forum and to apply, please visit

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Recovery Unplugged® Launches “What Track Are You On?” Powerful Digital Campaign During September’s “National Recovery” Month

“I Got This” track by Grammy-winning performance songwriter & guitarist, Richie Supa

Featured within video, thought-provoking Social media and display message campaign

Press Release – FT. LAUDERDALE, FL – (August 1, 2017) Today, as 23 million in the U.S. are currently addicted to drugs and alcohol which is now the leading cause of death to those under age 25, Recovery Unplugged®, an addiction treatment center that uses music as a catalyst towards the effective treatment of substance abuse leaps forward to showcase an effective solution by launching a powerful addiction awareness campaign capturing a thought provoking video, quick-wit phrased social media and display messages during September’s National Recovery Month.

The video opens to an on-screen caption, RECOVERY UNPLUGGED presents, while the camera shoots upward at New York City apartment complex while both the track name, I Got This appears on the screen and the track begins to play the soothing Island flare-guitar and vocal sounds by Richie Supa. I Got This, also written by Richie Supa, Creative Music Director at Recovery Unplugged® is a Grammy-winning performance songwriter & guitarist. Supa has written songs for Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Pink and many others has also been sober for 28 years. He describes meeting weekly with recovery clients, “They are in denial and I hear addicts say ‘I thought I had this, but they didn’t’ which is all part of the addiction disease.” Supa talks about his technique for songwriting describing that songs have to be relatable and unfiltered.

“I’ve lived every line in this song and focus on keeping it real,” says Supa. “The music approach at Recovery Unplugged® is making sustainable recovery a reality. Addicts can’t see living without a fix. By asking ‘what track are you on?’ we’re providing people with a choice. We’re saying, choose music.”

The overall campaign was created by Ari Merkin, advertising agency and brand development company which shot the video portion in New York City during June 2017 with the sense of urgency to help Recovery Unplugged launch an upfront direct message campaign during this heightened and escalated period of the country’s addiction issues.

The video begins with the sounds of a lighter flint wheel being rolled back as you hear the water bubbling of a marijuana bong – which grabs your attention as the video showcases a man inhaling and coughing on a bong hit as he leans back relaxed on the sofa singing the lyrics, “I get high seven days a week so damn twisted I can hardly speak, I’m fine – I ain’t worried – I got this…”

As the music continues to play and the lyrics start to match the subject profile, the video rolls into a variety of addiction vignette stories: From the stoner– to a male addict roaming the streets of New York City scratching his arms and hungry to make a purchase from his drug dealer. The video moves onto a girl who is dancing the night away at a nightclub and then seen stumbling down the nightclub halls to reach a bathroom as she hovers over a toilet. Music continues to play, “Yeah yeah – you can’t tell me nothing – yeah yeah, I ain’t got a problem – denial – It’s my style, I got this…”. From there, the video moves to a man wearing a collared shirt and tie as he’s typing on his office computer and begins to move through the empty hallways looking to make sure no one is nearby as he goes into a remote area to shoot up. “Oh I’m playing Russian roulette – oh, you know the higher I get – but swear I got this all under control – so leave me alone…”

As the scenes progress, the camera moves to an older woman in bed as she starts singing looking hung over and unhealthy as a man in the room starts to get dressed: “Last night I drank till I blacked out – my clothes fell off and I don’t know how – shit happens – I’m laughing – I got this”.

As the music continues playing, “Yeah yeah, I know I’m in trouble, yeah yeah – hand me a shovel, I’m fine – I GOT THIS….” Each vignette quickly shows individual stories reach the same place of overwhelming loss of control and emptiness: From the man roaming the streets being seized by undercover police officers; to the girl in the night club huddled over a toilet; to the woman in bed as she begins to grieve her loss of control; to the man on the sofa who goes outside to look over the city as he appears to be searching for himself; to the office worker, passed out on the floor of the private area who now appears he’s overdosed. The video closes with a message from Recovery Unplugged®, that says, “‘I Got This,’ is one of 60 original songs we’re using to help clients recognize and conquer their addiction.” And then, “What Track are you on?”

Additionally, the unique thought-provoking social media and display message campaign includes:

  1. Nobody Ever Died from a Music Overdose.
  2. Heroin enters through a single vein, music enters through all of them.
  3. You’ll Swear we should sell music by the gram.
  4. Long Live Rock & Roll. And You.
  5. The first step is admitting you Hate Smashmouth.
  6. Heroin, $50 | Music .99
  7. Come on Over. We’ll Do Some Lines (with a visual of a music sheet)

v Needle: A medical device used to illegally inject Heroin

Needle: A stylus used to play phonographic records

v Score: To succeed in buying or obtaining an illicit drug

Score: The written form of a musical composition

v Hit: The single dose of an illegal drug

Hit: A highly successful song

v Refrain: To abstain from having that which one desires, such as drugs or alcohol

Refrain: A recurring melody such as the chorus of a song

v Rock: Slang for crack cocaine

Rock: A popular form of music

While the campaign showcases the drug addiction epidemic in reality, Recovery Unplugged® showcases the solution. “We’re providing further awareness options of effective and unique treatment,” says Chief Strategy Officer of Recovery Unplugged, Paul Pellinger.

“The challenge with traditional treatment is that clients are forced to rely on fear, consequences and relapse protocols versus a more proactive approach that includes recovery triggers”. The music helps them learn to communicate emotionally. The process of utilizing music becomes a catalyst for an emotional connection to the soul where long lasting change occurs. When we work with addicts using all aspects of music, from the lyrics, the vibration, live performances, etc. … it breaks down defenses, motivates and facilitates the recovery process,” adds Pellinger.

In addition, the Recovery Unplugged® program is designed to adapt to individual needs. Although addicts tend to have much in common, people’s fundamental differences can be overlooked in some treatment environments. Recovery Unplugged® works to establish a better understanding of the individual and his or her needs for a full recovery. Clients engage in a full continuum of care including detox, residential treatment day/night treatment intensive outpatient programming including community housing and transitional living. Many people working in addiction rehabilitation report that recovering from drug addiction often involves at least one relapse, and that many users will backslide multiple times. A frequently used and often misleading National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) statistic states, “40-60% of people addicted to substances recover and remain sober. However, there is no precise statistic that calculates an average relapse rate after addiction rehab program completion. Professionals do agree that most addicts will enter addiction treatment programs that use some form a “12 Step” program again and again without achieving long-term sobriety.

About Ari Merkin, LLC:

Ari Merkin LLC is a handful of highly recognized agency types who have received countless accolades for creativity and effectiveness and “best of show” honors at virtually every major advertising award competition. The agency helps to solve big problems and accelerate growth for a select number of brands – working closely with in-house brand teams to deliver inspired thinking from planning through production. Ari believes that every brand has a voice, that creativity can solve anything and that you don’t need a big agency system to deliver big brand ideas.

About Recovery Unplugged®:

Recovery Unplugged® Treatment Center is an addiction treatment organization with facilities in Florida and Texas offering a music-based approach to treatment and recovery from chemical dependency. The centers combine traditional and cognitive behavioral approaches that use music, performance and appreciation as catalysts to break down emotional barrier to inspire and motivate the change necessary for lasting sobriety. Recovery Unplugged® is committed to providing hope and healing, using music to help individuals suffering from addiction all over the United States.

Since opening in 2013, Recovery Unplugged® has achieved client completion and long-term sobriety rates of over 90 percent and a long-term sobriety rate over five-times the national average. Independent studies confirm over the last two years that the Recovery Unplugged® treatment model is a proven method. Research has revealed an extremely low AMA rate (the rate at which patients leave a program against medical advice) of less than 9% compared to the national average of 39%. For more information call (855) 906-2980 or visit

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Impact Community Capital Names Michael Lohmeier As Chief Investment Officer; Matthew Berg As Senior Vice President & Counsel

New Appointments to Senior Management Team Will Support Company’s Expansive Five-Year Impact Investing Growth Strategy

Press Release – San Francisco, CA (August 16, 2017) – Impact Community Capital (ICC) announced today the appointment of two new additions to its senior management team: Michael Lohmeier, Chief Investment Officer and Matthew Berg, Senior Vice President & Counsel. Both Lohmeier and Berg will report to President and CEO Jeff Brenner, and will be key players in bolstering ICC’s expansive five-year impact investing growth strategy.

Established in 1998, ICC has provided nearly $1.5 billion in financing directed to benefit low-income families and communities. Projects include affordable multifamily housing, community healthcare facilities, childcare centers and other community facilities serving families and communities in 38 states plus the District of Columbia. ICC was founded by a consortium of insurance companies to facilitate investments in projects that specifically benefit low-income families and communities.

“I am excited to have two high-quality professionals with the investing expertise and commitment to impact investing that we have found in Mike and Matt,” said Brenner. “ICC is implementing a five-year strategic plan to deliver quality investments in scale to institutional investors seeking to add impact to their investment portfolios and we are excited to add Mike and Matt to the management team that will drive our success.”

Lohmeier has built an impressive track record in the impact investing space during his 20-year career. As Managing Director for Wespath Benefits and Investments, Lohmeier oversaw all aspects of the organization’s $21 billion investment portfolio of public equity, fixed income, real estate and positive social purpose (PSP) investments. He was instrumental in growing the PSP program, which was developed to promote affordable housing and community development for disadvantaged communities while delivering competitive returns, to over $2 billion during his tenure. Lohmeier will be responsible for developing and executing ICC’s investment strategy, including managing existing investor relationships, developing new investors and structuring new investment funds.

Berg brings to ICC a wealth of experience in finance and commercial real estate. As an Associate at Dechert LLP, Berg advised investment banks, hedge funds, private equity funds and insurance companies on nationwide commercial real estate acquisition and dispositions. ICC has been a leading innovator in securitizing affordable housing mortgages, and Berg’s experience at Dechert advising CMBS securitizations significantly expands ICC’s ability to deliver capital in scale to address the critical need for affordable housing and community investment in our country.

About Impact Community Capital LLC

The first word and last name in impact investing, Impact Community Capital LLC is a pioneer in the impact investing space. ICC is reshaping and refining investment opportunities for investors seeking to add impact to their portfolios. ICC was founded by leading insurers to promote socially responsible investments in underserved communities, making it an early leader in making investments that facilitate social change long before “Impact Investing” began its move to the mainstream. ICC pioneered pooling and securitization of community investment portfolios to direct large amounts of capital for affordable housing and used federal New Markets Tax Credits to invest in community childcare and healthcare facilities. It is owned by the following insurance companies: Allstate Insurance Company, Farmers Insurance Exchange, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Pacific Life Insurance Company, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, and 21st Century Insurance Company. For more information, call (415) 981-1074, or visit

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More Than 9 Million People Already Displaced Globally In 2017

Press Release – Wednesday, 16 August 2017 (Geneva): Conflict, violence and disasters have caused more than 9 million new internal displacements globally in the first half of 2017, according to new estimates released today by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

Of the 9 million new internal displacements, 4.6 million were caused by conflict, a figure which is already two-thirds of last year’s total. The countries with the highest new internal displacement by conflict are: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): 997,000; Iraq: 922,000; Syria: 692,000; the Philippines: 466,000; Ethiopia: 213,000; Central African Republic (CAR): 206,000; South Sudan: 163,000; the Gambia: 162,000; Afghanistan: 159,000; Nigeria: 142,000; Yemen: 112,000; and Somalia: 70,000.

The deteriorating situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has resulted in almost a million (997,000) new displacements in the first half of the year. The total figure of those displaced by conflict in the country now stands at 3.7 million, which is an increase of around two million new displacements on June 2016, and remains the highest in Africa. The conflict has spread to new areas and eight of the country’s 26 provinces are now affected by violence.

Iraq follows closely with 922,000 new displacements, mainly due to the waves of offensives on Mosul. Extensive damage to the city means that those displaced are unlikely to be able to return in the near future. In Kirkuk governorate, which is still under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), clashes in the Hawiia district resulted approximately 37,000 displacements.

692,000 new displacements also took place in Syria, where over the first six months of the year, fighting between government and non-government forces intensified in several governorates, including the offensive on Raqqa City, triggering large waves of displacement.

In the Philippines, 466,000 new displacements were reported in connection with ongoing tensions and armed conflict on Mindanao Island, concentrated mainly in and around Marawi city. More than 350,000 people are estimated to be displaced in the city and surrounding region.

There are also deepening concerns about other African countries, with high figures being recorded in CAR where violence has escalated since September 2016 because of clashes between the country’s various armed groups. Unrest in Ethiopia is also on the rise, with armed groups trying to take down the government, and violence now tripling in size since the last big period of unrest in 1997. With over 213,000 new displacements in the first half of 2017, the total number of people internally displaced by conflict in Ethiopia has now risen to more than 588,000.

Disaster displacement continues at an unabated pace too: already more than half the number of relevant disaster events were reported by end-June 2017 as compared to the total of 2016, but only around a fifth of new displacements were recorded: 4.5 million new displacements across 350 events. While comparably low, however, these numbers are equally concerning as sudden-onset seasonal storms and floods in South and South East Asia as well as the hurricane season in the Americas are still to come and numbers can be expected to rise exponentially, like in previous years.

The disasters triggering the highest numbers of new internal displacements were: floods in the southern provinces, China, in June: 858,000; tropical cyclone Mora, across Bangladesh, India and Myanmar, in May and June: 851,000; Visayas and Mindanao floods, in the Philippines, between January to March: 381,000; rainy season, in Peru, between January to June: 293,000; tropical cyclone Enawo, in Madagascar, in March: 246,000; Oroville Dam flood, in the US:, in February: 188,000; Maguindanao floods, in the Philippines, in May: 182,000; tropical cyclone Dineo, in Mozambique and Botswana, in February: 147,000; typhoon Merbok (known locally as Bai Miao), in China, in June: 117,000; and Monsoon floods, in Sri Lanka, between May to June: 104,000.

The two largest events of displacement by flooding in China and by Cyclone Mora in Bangladesh, Myanmar and India are stark reminders of the fact that the concentration of populations in flood plains and on hazard prone coastlines combined with high levels of vulnerability result in large numbers of new displacements – and will continue to do so in the face of climate change.

Large-scale new displacements in the Philippines, Peru and Sri Lanka also took place in the context of seasonal flooding. “This shows us that seasonal, to be expected, weather patterns still result in large numbers of new displacements year after year, clearly illustrating that we are not investing enough in reducing vulnerability and exposure. While preparedness, early warning and evacuation systems may have improved over the years, the overall risk of being forced out of your home and becoming displaced in these countries has not been reduced.” says Bina Desai, Head of Policy and Research at IDMC.

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Trucost Launches Global Carbon Pricing Tool

New tool helps companies understand the risks and opportunities of increasing carbon regulation in different countries

Press Release – LONDON, AUGUST 15, 2017: Trucost, part of S&P Dow Jones Indices, has launched the Corporate Carbon Pricing Tool for companies, to help them to assess exposure to evolving regional carbon pricing mechanisms. The insights are designed to help companies better understand the potential business case for greener products and business models, for example to prioritize regional investment in green technology, resource efficiency or different product strategies.

The tool combines a company’s greenhouse gas emissions and financial performance data with Trucost’s regional carbon pricing information to provide insights on carbon pricing risks out to 2030. Trucost has curated a global database of current carbon regulations, emissions trading schemes, fuel and other taxes, and potential future carbon pricing scenarios designed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 2°C or less.

The tool models the progressive closure of the spread between carbon prices today and in the future, considering science-based scenarios and climate change commitments. It also comes preloaded with available competitor data, allowing companies to benchmark and compare financial risk exposures.

Libby Bernick, Global Head of Corporate Business, Trucost, part of S&P Dow Jones Indices, said: “Companies are trying to make sense of the pace at which legislators in different countries, states and cities are implementing carbon regulations. Because these regulations could drive up the cost of fossil-fuel-based energy and carbon-intensive raw materials, increasing operating costs and reducing profit margins, companies need robust data and analytics to help inform financial decisions over investments in energy efficiency, low-carbon innovation and renewable energy. Trucost’s Corporate Carbon Pricing Tool provides a solution for companies that want to get ahead of carbon regulation and continue to grow their businesses.”

For more information about Trucost’s Corporate Carbon Pricing Tool, please visit


Trucost is part of S&P Dow Jones Indices. A leader in carbon and environmental data and risk analysis, Trucost assesses risks relating to climate change, natural resource constraints, and broader environmental, social, and governance factors. Companies and financial institutions use Trucost intelligence to understand their ESG exposure to these factors, inform resilience and identify transformative solutions for a more sustainable global economy. S&P Global’s commitment to environmental analysis and product innovation allows us to deliver essential ESG investment-related information to the global marketplace. For more information, visit


S&P Dow Jones Indices is the largest global resource for essential index-based concepts, data and research, and home to iconic financial market indicators, such as the S&P 500® and the Dow Jones Industrial Average®. More assets are invested in products based on our indices than products based on indices from any other provider in the world. Since Charles Dow invented the first index in 1884, S&P DJI has become home to over 1,000,000 indices across the spectrum of asset classes that have helped define the way investors measure and trade the markets.

S&P Dow Jones Indices is a division of S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI), which provides essential intelligence for individuals, companies, and governments to make decisions with confidence. For more information, visit

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James Risen To Join First Look Media And The Intercept

Two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner Named Director of First Look Media’s Press Freedom Defense Fund and The Intercept’s National Security Columnist

Press Release – NEW YORK, NY – August 14, 2017 – James Risen, the award-winning journalist and best-selling author, is joining First Look Media to play a unique dual leadership role. He will help defend threatened journalists and whistleblowers while also continuing to investigate and write about national security and other national and international issues for First Look’s investigative news organization, The Intercept.

Risen has been named the Director of First Look Media’s Press Freedom Defense Fund, which supports journalists, filmmakers, whistleblowers and news organizations pursuing legal fights where a substantial public interest, freedom of the press, or related human and civil rights are at stake. Risen will also join The Intercept as Senior National Security Correspondent. Risen will write a reported column on national security and other national issues, as well as help lead investigative reporting projects at The Intercept.

Risen recently left the New York Times after nearly 20 years reporting on the most critical national security issues of our time, including the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Bush Administration’s invasion of Iraq and the proliferation of abuses, such as unwarranted government surveillance and torture, in the guise of the global the war on terror. Risen won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for his stories about the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program, and he was a member of the New York Times reporting team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting for coverage of the September 11th attacks and terrorism.

Risen also waged a seven-year battle against the government, risking jail after first the Bush Administration and later the Obama Administration sought to force him to testify and reveal his confidential sources in a leak investigation. Risen never gave in, and the government finally backed down.

“There is no journalist better equipped to cover the national security scandals and abuses of the Trump era than Jim Risen,” said Intercept Editor-in-Chief Betsy Reed. “In addition to his role spearheading our investigative national security coverage from Washington, Jim will write regular columns for The Intercept confronting, among other topics, the secretive machinations of the national security state and its lethal consequences at home and abroad. We’re honored and thrilled to have the country’s leading national security journalist bring his vast experience and vision to our team at this critical time.”

As director of First Look Media’s Press Freedom Defense Fund, a newly created role, Risen will help lead the organization as it seeks to provide assistance to journalists who face legal threats from the United States government or foreign governments for their work, as well as for whistleblowers who face legal threats when they are accused of talking to reporters. Recently, the Press Freedom Defense Fund announced its support for the legal defense of Reality Winner, accused of leaking a top-secret NSA document on Russian election hacking to The Intercept.

“I am incredibly excited by this amazing and unique opportunity to combine my journalism with efforts to defend press freedom,” said Risen. “I am honored to help lead the fund as both America and the world face unprecedented threats to freedom of the press, while also writing and reporting and helping Betsy Reed and her incredible team continue to turn The Intercept into one of the most important investigative reporting outlets in the nation.”

“We’re honored to have such a staunch press-freedom advocate serve as the guiding voice of our Press Freedom Defense Fund,” said Michael Bloom, President of First Look Media. “Jim is not only a respected journalist who was prepared to sacrifice his own freedom to protect a source, but a very real example of how the press can challenge those in power who misuse laws to fulfill a political agenda.”

Risen is a graduate of Brown University, where he majored in history. He also received a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He began his career as a reporter at The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, and later worked at The Miami Herald, The Detroit Free Press and The Los Angeles Times. He joined The New York Times in 1998, where he worked until earlier this summer. He is the author of four books: Wrath of Angels: The American Abortion War; The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA’s Final Showdown with the KGB; State of War, The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration; and Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War.

He will continue to be based in Washington, D.C., and will begin in September.

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The Great Americans Shoot 2017 Aims for another Record-Breaking Event for Special Forces Charitable Trust and Other Military Nonprofits

Three American Military Heroes Join Patriotic Americans Outside of Los Angeles for Skilled Sporting Clays Shoot and Other Competitions as a Salute to Our American Warriors

Press Release – NEWHALL, CA – The Fourth Annual The Great Americans Shoot will take place at the Oak Tree Gun Club in Newhall, CA from September 29th through October 1st, 2017.

Once again, the event organizers and participants are aiming to surpass the previous Great Americans Shoot’s fundraising record, making this year’s event the largest fundraising clay shoot in history. This philanthropic sporting clay shoot benefits the Special Forces Charitable Trust (SFCT) ( and multiple other military nonprofits that provide support to active duty Service Members, Veterans, and their Families. Nearly $4 million has been raised for charity since the Shoot’s inception in 2014.

Half of the proceeds from this one-of-a-kind event will go to SFCT to support its mission to provide meaningful and sustainable support, through programs and services, to the United States Army Special Forces, past and present, and their Families. The other half of the proceeds will be given to the designated charities of the top five fundraising teams. The event is comprised of 20 five-person shooting teams that have each committed to raising $50,000.00. Each team also includes a “6th Man” from within the Special Operations Community, who will join the shooting competition as an honorary team member. In addition to the main event, there will be a 3-Gun Competition where lucky civilians will be able to support military charities of their choice and compete with teams of two “professionals” from the Special Operations Community.

The Great Americans Shoot 2017 ( is co-chaired by three American military heroes: former Special Forces Nate Boyer, retired Navy SEAL George Severence, and retired Marine Reconnaissance Master Gunnery Sergeant John Croft. Each of these inspirational men expresses a deep appreciation to all participants and donors, who show incredible patriotism for our great country.

“You are the reason we are so brave,” says Boyer, who has had multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan during his 10 years with United States Army Special Forces. “We know that people like you have our backs while we are downrange, and that our families will be taken care of while we are deployed.”

This is exactly what these American citizens aim to do through this event; they fundraise to support these Soldiers and their Families as they sacrifice to protect the freedoms that we enjoy every day.

Severence, who served on the front lines in the War on Terror, explains:

“This is not like World War II, when just about every American family was directly touched by the conflict. To all potential donors, many of whom have no direct relationship with the military, I say thank you for understanding what our families face.”

As conflict in the world increases, deployments have become significantly more frequent; yet, many Americans have been fortunate enough not to have had their lives directly impacted by this global change: this is because of the strength, sense of duty, and sacrifices of the United States military and their Families. As Americans, it is our duty and our privilege to support them, though they do not ask for anything.

Croft, who spent 20 of his 27 years in the United States Marine Corps in Marine Reconnaissance, elaborates:

“We are trained to do our job and to be self-sufficient. If there is an issue at home, we are not the types to go looking for assistance. Organizations like the Special Forces Charitable Trust and other military nonprofits provide critical resources in a quiet and respectful way, and we are extremely grateful to them and their donors.”

“The Great Americans Shoot continues to grow each year, raising money and awareness for these deserving military nonprofits,” said David T. Guernsey Jr., Executive Director of the Special Forces Charitable Trust. “We are proud to have great co-chairs like Nate, George and John this year, and we anticipate a record turnout. It’s a wonderfully patriotic and meaningful way for people to say “thank you” to our military warriors and their families.”

To participate in or to support the Great Americans Shoot 2017, please contact SFCT at 860-767-1510 or donate via the SFCT website:

About Special Forces Charitable Trust:

The mission of Special Forces Charitable Trust (SFCT) is simple but direct. Special Forces Charitable Trust provides meaningful and sustainable support, through programs and services, to the Special Forces Community, past and present, and their Families. SFCT is a certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, please call 860-767-1510, email or


Michigan Ross and Detroit Entrepreneurs Join Forces to Create Social and Economic Value for Food Ventures

U-M Business Students and Local Food Entrepreneurs will spend one week developing business ideas, culminating with a Detroit-centric showcase

Press Release – Ann Arbor, Mich. – August 14, 2017 — The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business announced today the 2017 Impact Challenge. Organized by the Sanger Leadership Center, the Impact Challenge is one of the most immersive and collaborative programs of its kind among top business schools. More than 400 first-year Full-Time MBA students will embark on a journey involving complex problem-solving, innovative business development and true social impact.

They will spend the next four days working with 15 Detroit-based food entrepreneurs to co-create business solutions and provide insights for their ventures. Michigan Ross is once again partnering with FoodLab Detroit, a local incubator for food entrepreneurs and initiatives, and FoodPlus Detroit, a local organization promoting a more sustainable metropolitan food system. The challenge is an opportunity for students to lead, collaborate and create viable, impactful solutions and deliverables in a high-pressure situation. Participating entrepreneurs include Nathan Hannon of Pizza Plex, Lateisha Dowell of Flaky Bakes, Meiko Krishok of Guerilla Food, Melissa Heath of Radical Plants, and Viana Rickett and LaMont Mitchell of SOULO Culinary Ambition.

“Ambiguity, complexity and intensity are key focus areas in the Impact Challenge. Every student will play a different role associated with a quadrant of the Michigan Model of Leadership,” said Jeff Domagala, Associate Director at the Sanger Leadership Center. “The most successful teams from this year’s challenge will be the ones that have best demonstrated working together and mastered leading without formal authority. Communication will be a key ingredient to the students’ success.”

The program will conclude with the Impact Challenge Showcase on Thursday, August 17, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Ross School of Business. The Detroit-themed event will include a presentation of the students’ work, free food provided by Slows Bar BQ and others, live music, educational stations about sustainability and food production in Detroit and more. Attendees will also be able to vote for the best student ideas. The event is free and open to the public.

“Learning to collaborate on the design of a business model may be the most important lesson for creating advantages that FoodLab members’ businesses need to transform their ideas into a profitable reality,” said Devita Davison, Executive Director of FoodLab Detroit. “By applying an action-oriented approach, FoodLab and the University of Michigan are inspiring a new generation of Michigan Ross students and Detroit-based food entrepreneurs on how businesses do strategy and innovation.”

Sponsors for the 2017 Impact Challenge include General Motors and PNC Bank. This is the seventh year of Impact Challenge, but Michigan Ross has held service projects in Detroit as part of new students’ orientation, for more than 20 years. Last year, the Challenge included a Shark Tank-style pitch competition, where students presented business solutions related to healthy food consumption. Previous challenges include a crowdfunding campaign that supported the launch of the Brightmoor Maker Space, students creating business solutions to address social issues in Detroit, a back-to-school fair helping more than 3,000 Detroit students and parents prepare for the new school year, and raising more than $65,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“The Challenge is a leadership launching point for every student who takes the time to reflect on what they learned about themselves and any insights they gained by working with others,” said Domagala.

Follow all of the Impact Challenge action on Snapchat (search “Michigan Ross”), as well as Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #RossImpact. To RSVP for the Impact Challenge Showcase, click here and to learn more about the Impact Challenge, visit

About Michigan Ross

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today’s dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business’ mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.

Ross is consistently ranked among the world’s leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the BBA, MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.

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