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

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

General

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

Premiere Exhibit of Fashion Artwear Launches in NYC to Inspire Social Change and Environmental Stewardship

Proceeds of Activist Designer Tatiana Pagés’ Fashion Art Wear will Benefit AID FOR AIDS Charity

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 27, 2014 – Tatiana Pagés, a Chilean-Dominican New York-based activist designer, is proud to announce the premiere exhibit of LAIO, a sustainable artwear collection at a chic pop-up gallery located at 58-60 Ninth Avenue, in the heart of the Meatpacking District. The exhibit, as well as exciting events, demonstrations and parties, will run from Wednesday June 4th through Wednesday June 11th. This unique exhibit is part of a movement that aims to increase environmental awareness and promote social change through design. Sixty percent of each item sold will be donated to AID FOR AIDS, a charity that strives to help communities at risk of HIV and the global population at large.

“I find inspiration through the unexpected, I enjoy taking something that most people consider to be trash and turning it into something beautiful – that is the essence of LAIO” stated Pagés. She continued to say “I am proud and pleased to show my art to the people of New York City, the fashion capitol of the country!” Each piece of jewelry in the LAIO collection is handcrafted and beautifully designed, providing high-end fashion to the wearer as well as a positive impact on local communities, women in need and the global environment. Pagés teaches jewelry making workshops to underprivileged women around the globe, including those in jail, with the goal of passing along a skill to earn income, serving as a business model for women in need. According to Pagés, “It is important that my designs impact people in a positive way, otherwise I am just making ‘things.’ The world has enough things, I want to inspire and help people, which is why partnering with AID FOR AIDS was important to me.”

“For the past three years Tatiana has been an active member of AID FOR AIDS (AFA), she has combined her vast artistic knowledge, passion and creativity, in order to help us grow and therefore, continue to spread AFA’s message and keep it relevant” noted Jesus Aguais, Executive Director and Founder of AID FOR AIDS. “She’s a true visionary, and inspiration for all!” AID FOR AIDS is a non-profit organization committed to empowering communities at risk of HIV and the population at large by developing their abilities and capacities in comprehensive prevention through access to treatment, advocacy, education and training to improve their quality of life and reduce stigma and discrimination.

Additional activities and events happening throughout the week will include workshops, panel discussions, jewelry making demonstrations and more. Proud sponsors of select events include CIROC Ultra Premium Vodka and Moscow 57. Work from local artists will also be on display, all with the common goal of supporting art, design and local communities. LAIO is an acronym that stands for once in a lifetime spelled backwards, and it reminds us to think about what is ephemeral and what will endure. LAIO provokes a change in thinking, and encourages a modification in behavior. It inspires us to make mindful decisions to best support our planet.

About Tatiana Pages:

Often referred to as a global innovator, Tatiana Pagés combines her love of design, art, branding, social responsibility, and sustainability to create innovative movements and unique pieces. Her diverse experience as an entrepreneur, business owner, strategist, and activist designer, as well as brand visionary, has given her a unique perspective in the way she approaches projects.

As CEO and Chief Creative Officer of the New York City based Greencard Creative, Pagés has gained important consumer insights that help her build local and international brand movements. Her LAIO collections include Laiospresso, Illiterate Paper, and The Origomu Project. The Origomu Project is Greencard Creative’s social responsibility platform – a global movement that seeks to inspire environmental action through design. Meaning “folding rubber” in Japanese, Origomu reevaluates waste by transforming plastic six-pack rings into imaginative pieces of wearable art. Origomu’s designs have been featured in Vogue Latin America and Vogue Mexico, the Department of Education’s Visual Arts program, the museum at FIT, and Cirque du Soleil’s VIP tent.

Mission Markets Launches New Platform to Support Impact Investing

** Mission Markets, Inc. ** New technology platform provides broader investor access, a community of members, and information on Impact Investing, and impact fund offerings for the first time **

New York, June 2, 2014 – Mission Markets, Inc., which operates a marketplace for impact investing, today announced the launch of its new technology platform. (See Twitter #InvestForImpact) This platform provides institutional investors the opportunity to research and make investments focused upon favorable social and environmental outcomes. It also offers any member, from student to Wall Street executive, access to a broad repository of articles, research, data, blogs, forums, and media that provide information about impact investing. Impact Investing is the term used to describe securities designed to achieve both a financial return and a positive social or environmental return.

”Impact investing’s time has come. Investors in all categories are seeking investments aligned with their personal values. They believe it is important to earn good financial returns, but it is also important investments support favorable social and environmental outcomes. These outcomes might include improvements in education, health, community development, or sustainability. Mission Markets provides access to information, technology, and investment offerings to help investors make informed choices,” said Ken Marienau, Mission Markets CEO.

An exciting feature incorporated in this technology release is the inclusion of limited partnerships and impact fund products. These investment securities enable members to invest in professionally managed portfolios of companies focused upon targeted impact investing themes. The funds, and others to be offered soon, provide scalable investments for institutional investor portfolios, while also providing a more diversified investment for individual investors. Some of the impact funds (e.g. TriLinc Global Impact Fund and Greenbacker Renewable Energy Fund) are publicly registered securities, which allow qualified individual investors who may not meet the “accredited investor” tests to initially invest as little as $2000.

Mission Markets’ experience in impact investing is shared with a broad range of investors on this new platform. With the launch of Mission Markets new capabilities, individual, advised, and institutional investors have a marketplace to find companies that support their social or environmental investment objectives.

About Mission Markets™

Mission Markets, founded in 2009, is the leading financial marketplace for impact investments. It provides an impact investing marketplace where institutional, advised, and self-directed investors can invest in companies with a strong social or environmental mission. The company helps impact-focused organizations grow by supporting a broad range of financial products, including direct private placements, impact funds, and structured debt securities. Securities products and services are offered through Mission Markets’ affiliated broker-dealer, Bendigo Securities, LLC (member FINRA/SIPC). For more information, visit http://www.missionmarkets.com.

New Resolution Urges State Officials to Address Impact of Children’s Exposure to Adverse Experiences, Trauma

(Sacramento, CA – May 29, 2014) California legislators have introduced a resolution urging state officials to identify solutions that address the impact of adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress, and reduce children’s exposure to such trauma. Assembly Concurrent Resolution 155 is authored by Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra (D-39) and co-authored by Assemblymembers Bonta, Bradford, Buchanan and Calderon. The resolution is co-sponsored by the Center for Youth Wellness, Children Now and Californians for Safety and Justice, and was announced today during a legislative hearing on trauma informed community health practices.

“Far too often, the impact of trauma in our children’s lives goes unnoticed and unaddressed,” said Asm. Bocanegra. “ACR 155 emphasizes our commitment to ensuring that all kids have a chance to thrive. It is more effective and less costly to positively influence the architecture of a child’s developing brain than to attempt to correct poor learning, health and behavior later on.”

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic experiences, such as abuse, neglect and household dysfunction, which can result in toxic stress and have a profound effect on a child’s developing brain and body. Research shows that exposure to childhood trauma is surprisingly common; a study of over 17,000 Californians found that two-thirds reported at least one adverse childhood experience, while 20 percent of participants reported three or more ACEs.

“Every parent, pediatrician and policymaker should be familiar with the words ‘toxic stress’ and ‘adverse childhood experiences,” said Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, founder and CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness. “The data around ACEs and their impact on children’s long-term health exposes the scope of the problem and the opportunity we have to heal. By identifying effective solutions and interventions to prevent ACEs and heal toxic stress, we can make kids healthier and build stronger families and communities.”

Exposure to adverse experiences is linked to increased risk for lifelong health and behavior problems. For example, research shows that an individual with four or more ACEs is more likely to have a stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer and diabetes. A person with four or more ACEs is also likely to experience depression, be more suicidal, or be an alcoholic.

“Trauma in its many forms can profoundly affect children’s healthy social, emotional and physical development, and their ability to learn and thrive,” said Ted Lempert, president of Children Now. “California must ensure that every child has access to evidence-based preventive and intervention programs to reduce the impacts of ACEs on individuals and inflated costs to our health care and public health systems.”

The resolution supports research-based solutions to reduce children’s exposure to adverse experiences, and calls for investments in preventive healthcare and mental health and wellness interventions to achieve a healthy and prosperous California.

“Addressing the impact of trauma on children is not just a response to violence but also a step toward preventing future trauma,” said Lenore Anderson, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice. “The right interventions can help a vulnerable child avoid future exposures to violence that could otherwise have devastating effects on their ability to stay in school, stay healthy and stay out of trouble.”

To view Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 155, please visit:

http://bit.ly/Six7iB

About Californians for Safety and Justice

Californians for Safety and Justice, a project of the Tides Center, is a nonprofit bringing together crime survivors, business and community leaders, policymakers, law enforcement, health professionals, educators and crime-prevention experts to replace prison and justice system waste with common sense solutions that create safe neighborhoods and save public dollars. Through collaborations, policy research and analysis, toolkits and trainings, and community engagement, we are working to build a justice system that improves public safety and health without draining resources from our schools, hospitals and other community needs. www.SafeandJust.org

About Center for Youth Wellness

The Center for Youth Wellness believes that health begins with hope. We are a health organization imbedded within a primary care pediatric home serving children and families in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood in San Francisco. We heal children’s brains and bodies piloting the best treatments for toxic stress and sharing our findings nationally. We have the power to revolutionize pediatric medicine and transform the lives of countless kids – giving them a fair shot to grow up healthy and succeed in life. www.CenterforYouthWellness.org

About Children Now

Children Now is the leading, nonpartisan, umbrella research, policy development, and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children’s health and education in California. The organization also leads The Children’s Movement of California. www.ChildrenNow.org

Projects Abroad Introduces New Childcare Initiatives

New Care Management Plans Aim to Increase Quality of Education and Support Given to Children in Underdeveloped Communities

A volunteer with children at a childcare placement in Ghana

NEW YORK – May 29, 2014 – Childcare projects have consistently been a popular option among volunteers seeking to do voluntary work abroad. International volunteer organization Projects Abroad offers a variety of childcare projects in orphanages, care centers, special needs centers, and kindergartens around the world that give volunteers the chance to do meaningful work with children in need.

Our mission for our childcare projects throughout the world has always been to provide sustainable educational support, care, and protection to disadvantaged children and vulnerable groups to enhance their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. Volunteers travel abroad safe in the knowledge that the work they do with Projects Abroad will benefit children immediately and in the long-term, even after they have left the project. Earlier this year, Projects Abroad sought to increase this support in childcare placements across the globe by implementing more detailed initiatives for each destination.

Care Management Plans are created based on the needs of each destination and establish Projects Abroad’s goals for the year and list the actions necessary for achieving these goals. This also has the added benefit of giving volunteers the guidance they need to make the most significant impact possible on the lives of the children they work with.

“The main goal at all of our childcare placements has been to do work that continuously improves the quality of children’s lives,” says Christian Clark, Deputy Director for Projects Abroad USA. “Implementing the new Care Management Plans allows us to evaluate our impact more carefully at the end of each year, so we can set new and improved goals moving forward. With the help of our partners and volunteers, we can give children in underdeveloped communities the best quality education and care possible.”

For more information on Childcare projects with Projects Abroad, visit www.projects-abroad.org/volunteer-projects/care

About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.

Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 29 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States.

For details on volunteering abroad, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at www.projects-abroad.org

Build Ur Impact Teaching Powerful Life Skills for After Graduation to Underserved Youth

The Bay Area Northern California social venture is leading young people into discovering better opportunities.

World Wide Web – May 1, 2014 – The underserved population of the Bay Area are getting necessary help with Build Ur Impact that teaches life skills workshops derived from founder Cory Roberson. The group’s fundamentals are based on: Innovation, Money/Finance, Personal Resilience, Adept Thinking, Community Service, and Travel. The group works with local non-profit organizations to provide young people with tools to embrace their own personal vision toward a better future.

Build Ur Impact is committed to improving the lives of underserved youth across the Bay Area. The website for the organization is located at http://www.buildurimpact.com.

Cory Roberson is a social entrepreneur, businessman, author, and agent of change in local and global communities. He has built a consulting business and worked with more than ten community service and educational programs serving youth around the world including schools in China and South Korea.

Cory Roberson shares his experiences with his learners in the areas of creativity, money, life challenges, education, travel, and starting a business. He delves into the inspirational stories that make the journey a work of motivation with people he’s met along the way. Cory’s goal is to lead others into turning ideas into a structure that generates a return – not always measured in terms of capital.

Build-Ur-Impact believes there are many young people within communities today who need a platform for implementing their goals and forging through to success. The group has established itself within the youth-oriented non-profit sector and is contributing added resources to the cause.

Cory Roberson is a man who understands firsthand what can take place in the life of a child and has personally witnessed the remarkable transformation in a child’s life when given access to knowledge. In his book, “Don’t Play Around, Write it Down,” Cory discusses his methods for turning ideas into a structure by thinking in terms of business and impact. Cory Roberson and Build Ur Impact are successfully inspiring others at the intersection of vision and practical thinking.

Learn more by visiting http://www.buildurimpact.com

Facebook: #BuildUrImpact
Twitter: @BuildUrImpact

Deal Forum at Conference to Give Social Entrepreneurs Access to Impact Investors

Social entrepreneurs attending the Social Enterprise and Crowdfunding Conference can qualify in advance for an opportunity to be mentored in developing their pitch to the Investor Panel at this special Deal Forum by the Wayne Brown Institute.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – May 27, 2014 – Mission-driven entrepreneurs attending the Social Enterprise and Crowdfunding Conference now have the opportunity to apply for two slots to pitch accredited impact investors at the conference. The special Deal Forum will be run by the Wayne Brown Institute.

Entrepreneurs interested in pitching investors at the conference are invited to visit www.waynebrowninstitute.org/deal-forum-application/ to apply for the program, which will include being placed with aDeal Maker Team from the Institute for the selected entrepreneurs to be mentored in preparing for the pitch. Nonprofit leaders are also invited to attend the conference.

“Entrepreneurial companies that have completed our program in the past have gone on to raise billions of dollars,” said Brad Bertoch, President of the Wayne Brown Institute. “We’re excited to apply our proven mentoring process and proprietary Deal Forum model to the social impact space at the Social Enterprise and Crowdfunding Conference.”

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“We’re thrilled to give entrepreneurs at our conference an opportunity to access professional investors who can coach them on their capital raises live,” said Devin Thorpe, conference host and “Champion of Social Good” at the Your Mark on the World Center. “All conference goers will have the chance to hear both selected companies pitch and receive feedback from the investor panel.”

About the Wayne Brown Institute: For over three decades, the Wayne Brown Institute (WBI), a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, has been a premier resource for both entrepreneurs seeking funding and for investors who want to help promising young companies achieve their potential. WBI has become the most efficient, cost effective, economic development organization in the country. For more information visit www.venturecapital.org.

About the Social Enterprise and Crowdfunding Conference: The Social Enterprise and Crowdfunding Conference 2014 (SECFC14) will be held September 26, 2014 at Snowbird, Utah. Expert speakers, philanthropists, venture capitals and other impact investors from across the country will join us. To register or for more information visit www.secfc.co.

About the Your Mark on the World Center: The Your Mark on the World Center champions social good by writing about, advocating for and advising those who do good in the world. Founder Devin Thorpe writes for Forbes, covering social entrepreneurship and impact investing. For more information visit www.YourMarkOnTheWorld.com.

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Grammy Foundation® Grant Program Awards $200,000 for Music Research and Sound Preservation

Funds Will Provide Support for Archiving and Preservation Programs and Research Efforts that Examine the Impact of Music on Human Development

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (April 23, 2014) — The GRAMMY Foundation® Grant Program announced today that more than $200,000 in grants will be awarded to 15 recipients in the United States to help facilitate a range of research on a variety of subjects, as well as support a number of archiving and preservation programs. Research projects include a study on memory retention through music in patients with Alzheimer’s disease; and the benefits of music training in strengthening the ear to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. Preservation and archiving initiatives include a project to preserve more than 650 rare interviews with country music performers and professionals spanning 1959–2000; and the preservation of more than 250 original transcription disks of the historic radio series “The Goldbergs.” A complete list of grant awards and projects is below. The deadline each year for submitting letters of inquiry is Oct. 1. Guidelines and the letter of inquiry form for the 2015 cycle will be available beginning May 1 at www.grammyfoundation.org/grants.

“Over the course of its history, our GRAMMY Foundation Grant Program has awarded more than $6 million to more than 300 worthwhile initiatives,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation. “Our grantees are noteworthy for the range and ambition of their endeavors, and this year’s group includes such varied initiatives as the preservation of 400 recordings of innovative performances by pioneer composers and performers of jazz, world music and new music to a project that will be the first to identify how music can facilitate stroke patients’ abilities to understand everyday speech. We are proud that the GRAMMY Foundation Grant Program can be a philanthropic leader in the areas of archiving, preservation and scientific research.”

Generously funded by The Recording Academy, the Grant Program provides funding annually to organizations and individuals to support efforts that advance the archiving and preservation of the recorded sound heritage of the Americas for future generations, as well as research projects related to the impact of music on the human condition. In 2008, the Grant Program expanded its categories to include assistance grants for individuals and small- to mid-sized organizations to aid collections held by individuals and organizations that may not have access to the expertise needed to create a preservation plan. The assistance planning process, which may include inventorying and stabilizing a collection, articulates the steps to be taken to ultimately archive recorded sound materials for future generations.

Preservation Implementation

Country Music Foundation, Inc. — Nashville
Awarded: $10,810
The project will help preserve 650 rare and historic interviews with country music performers, songwriters, and industry personnel recorded between 1959 and 2000 by transferring existing CD-Rs to WAV files. Interviews address country music’s transition from its folk roots to a commercial idiom and from rural to urban settings; its adaptation to media; the social diversity of country music performers and audiences; and changing sounds and styles.
www.countrymusichalloffame.org

Creative Music Foundation, Inc. — Woodstock, N.Y.
Awarded: $11,600
The goal of the CMS Archive Project is to finalize the restoration of historically and artistically important audiotapes from the Creative Music Studio’s archive of more than 400 recordings of innovative performances by pioneer composers/performers of jazz, world music and new music. The CMS Archive of recordings is unique in its artistic breadth and depth. The archive will be housed at the Columbia University Library in New York City for research and educational purposes.
www.creativemusicfoundation.org

New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture — New York
Awarded: $20,000
The New York Studio School’s extensive, historically significant lecture archive captures intellectual currents and cross-currents over 50 years with audio and video recordings of artists, musicians, poets, critics, historians, and scholars. The goal of this project is to digitize the audio portion of the archive, which spans 25 years and includes 790 lectures on audio reels and cassettes, in order to ensure long-term preservation and accessibility of this unique cultural resource.
www.nyss.org

The Regents of the University of California — Los Angeles
Awarded: $19,350
UCLA Film & Television Archive holds 600 original transcription disks of the historic radio series “The Goldbergs.” More than 250 of these disks contain rare, culturally important episodes not available online or at any other institution. Currently, these disks are in need of preservation and thus inaccessible.
www.cinema.ucla.edu

Special Collections and Archives, Albertsons Library, Boise State University — Boise, Idaho
Awarded: $11,747
Idaho is underrepresented in the history of Western music. Special Collections and Archives has a collection of 225 acetate discs and reel-to-reels of Ione Love Thielke’s recordings of her taking regional poetry and putting it to her music, her radio programs, and recording local musicians. By digitizing and making the recordings freely available online, researchers and the public will have access to a portion of never-before-accessible Idaho music.
library.boisestate.edu/special

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience — Seattle
Awarded: $13,114
The Wing will preserve 251 Chinese opera tapes recorded from 1960 – 1975. Several operas were recorded in one of the oldest Chinese opera clubs in the country, Seattle’s Luck Ngi Musical Club. The tapes will be cataloged and digitized, enhancing their permanent collection by enabling the museum to better depict the history and culture of the Chinese-American community through this classical art form via their exhibitions and research. www.wingluke.org

2014 GRAMMY Foundation Grant Program.

Preservation Assistance

Corporacion de las Artes Musicales/Pablo Casals Museum — San Juan, Puerto Rico
Awarded: $5,000
The Corporacion de las Artes Musicales/Pablo Casals Museum will identify deterioration factors in this unique musical documentary collection and design strategies to safeguard and preserve the musical heritage of Latin American and Puerto Rican symphonic composers and musicians from the Casals Festival and the Puerto Rico Symphony, founded by maestro Pablo Casals, in 1956. These measures will allow the collection to be accessible to researchers, music students and the general public and put Puerto Rico at the forefront of musical conservation along the Caribbean.
www.cam.pr.gov

Genesee Valley Council on the Arts — Mt. Morris, N.Y.
Awarded: $5,000
Since 1976, ethnomusicologist and State University of New York Geneseo Professor James Kimball has conducted extensive recording and fieldwork of traditional music and musicians in New York State. The resulting archive contains approximately 900 hours of unique audio and video recordings of master folk musicians. The project will focus on the description, cataloging and stabilization of the recordings, in preparation for a long-term preservation project with SUNY Geneseo.
www.livingstonarts.org

Jim Metzner — Kingston, N.Y.
Awarded: $4,992
The goal is to prepare a sound archive for preservation, focusing on DATs, which are most at risk. Preparation involves organizing, labeling, cataloging, stabilizing and refining an existing database. The collection includes music and ambient sound field recordings from around the world since the ’70s. Jim Metzner has produced LPs, CDs and several award-winning radio series with recordings from Boston, Brazil, Cuba, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, San Francisco, and Turkey .
www.jimmetznerproductions.com

Texas Folklife — Austin, Texas
Awarded: $5,000
Texas Folklife has an archive of audio recordings of Texas folk and traditional arts performances, field recordings, and interviews dating from 1984. With this phase of the project, they will hire consultants from the University of Texas School of Information Sciences for the planning, assessment, and preparation of their archive holdings. Ultimately, they hope to make this archive available for researchers, folklife enthusiasts and the general public alike.
www.texasfolklife.org

Scientific Research

Arizona State University Foundation — Tempe, Ariz.
Awarded: $19,464
Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, and more than 1 million Americans currently have language impairments (i.e., aphasia) due to stroke. This project will be the first to identify how music can facilitate stroke patients’ abilities to understand everyday speech. These findings will provide new avenues for aphasia rehabilitation and for effectively communicating with stroke patients with aphasia.
neuroimaging.lab.asu.edu/

University of California, Davis — Davis, Calif.
Awarded: $20,000
Recent studies suggest that Alzheimer’s disease patients retain memory for music from their past, despite poor performance on standard assessments of memory function. Research methods that can explain this apparent sparing of memory remain lacking. This project will validate, in adults with memory loss and age-matched controls, a semi-structured interview method for quantitatively comparing music-evoked and traditionally cued autobiographical memories.
atonal.ucdavis.edu/projects/memory_emotion/index.shtml

University of California, San Francisco — San Francisco.
Awarded: $19,636
Musical rhythms serve to focus attention at select time points by forming expectations for future events. This ability to anticipate stimuli is a fundamental feature of cognition, resulting in optimal perceptual and memory performances, which are known to decline in elderly adults. This project will assess rhythm training as a means to mitigate age-related declines in anticipatory attention, perception, and memory.
www.gazzaleylab.ucsf.edu

University of Maryland, College Park — College Park, Md.
Awarded: $20,000
This project will explore why musicians show advantages in second-language learning as adults, particularly in learning the sound structure of new languages. It will investigate how “low-level” advantages in auditory processing and “high-level” advantages in sound category learning are related to musical training and speech sound learning. This work has implications for musical instruction, second-language learning and our general understanding of auditory cognition.
lmcl.umd.edu

University of Memphis and the University of Memphis Research Foundation — Memphis, Tenn.
Awarded: $20,000
This project will examine the potential benefits of musical training in strengthening the ear and preventing noise-induced hearing loss. Minute sounds produced in the cochlea, otoacoustic emissions, will be used to noninvasively measure hearing health and physiological function. Comparison between musician and non-musician listeners will assess whether long-term musicianship can change the ear’s vulnerability and/or susceptibility to acoustic trauma.
www.memphis.edu/acnl/

The GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1988 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the music industry and cultural community as well as the general public. The Foundation works in partnership year-round with its founder, The Recording Academy, to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage. In recognition of the significant role of teachers in shaping their students’ musical experiences, The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation have partnered to present the Music Educator Award. Open to current U.S. music teachers in kindergarten through college, the first Music Educator Award was presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception during GRAMMY Week 2014. For more information about the Music Educator Award, please visit GRAMMYMusicTeacher.com. For more information about the Foundation, please visit www.grammyfoundation.org. For breaking news and exclusive content, please like “GRAMMY in the Schools®” on Facebook, follow the GRAMMY Foundation on Twitter (@GRAMMYFdn), and join us on Instagram (@GRAMMYFdn).

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National Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Conference to Address Cutting Edge Issues

US SIF to Host Fourth Annual Conference:

“Markets, Mission and Materiality”

May 20-21, 2014 in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON — US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment will host its fourth annual conference, “Markets, Mission and Materiality” in Washington, DC, May 20-21.

Compelling topics for the investment industry and sustainability practitioners include:

  • Whether millennials are more interested than other investors in sustainable and impact investing;
  • New strategies and products in fixed income, community and impact investing;
  • How activists and company executives are working to build more sustainable companies;
  • The investment case for reducing income inequality;
  • Advancing ESG integration in investment practice;
  • The state of sustainable investment in European and Asian markets; and
  • Financing the shift from fossil fuels as well as addressing food security in the context of climate change.

More than 330 conference attendees have already registered. Conference speakers include experts in investment, business and public policy, including;

  • Anna Bernasek, Journalist and Author, The Economics of Integrity;
  • Headley Butler, President and CEO, Landon Butler;
  • Dave Castillo, CEO, Native Home Capital;
  • Elyse Cherry, CEO, Boston Community Capital;
  • Tom Daschle, Former Senate Majority Leader;
  • Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director, Wallace Global Fund;
  • Michael Jantzi, CEO, Sustainalytics;
  • Saru Jayaraman, Co-Director and Co-Founder, Restaurant Opportunities Center;
  • Erika Karp, CEO, Cornerstone Capital, Inc.;
  • Michael Lind, Policy Director, Economic Growth Program, New America Foundation;
  • Will Oulton, Global Head of Responsible Investment, First State Investments;
  • Andrea Phillips, Vice President, Goldman Sachs;
  • Dawn Rittenhouse, Director of Sustainable Development, DuPont;
  • Jessica Robinson, CEO, the Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA);
  • William Rosenzweig, Managing Partner, Physic Ventures, LP;
  • Jennifer Silberman, Vice President of Corporate Sustainability, Hilton Worldwide;
  • Liesel Pritzker Simmons, Principal and Co-Founder, The Blue Haven Initiative; and
  • Laurie Spengler, President and CEO, Enclude.

Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF, said “We are excited to be hosting our fourth national conference next week. With hundreds of attendees joining us, 35 generous sponsors, and more than 50 diverse and excellent speakers, we expect a thoughtful and provocative conference that addresses many issues that are important to sustainable, responsible and impact investors.”

Additionally, on May 20, immediately before the conference, a training will be held on the Fundamentals of Sustainable and Responsible Investment at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. Fundamentals is an introductory course for investment advisors, planners and other financial professionals who want to learn the basics of sustainable and responsible investment.

New to this conference is a Student Scholarship Program, a special educational program of the US SIF Foundation in collaboration with its Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. Seven undergraduate and graduate students with demonstrated interest in a career in sustainable investment have been awarded complimentary registrations to attend the conference. These scholarships are made possible through the support of Campbell Soup Company.

The seven students selected for the scholarships are:

Marc Anthony Carr: The American University School of International Service, Masters in Social Enterprise with a focus on impact investing

Aashna Desai: Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, International Studies and Business with a concentration in Finance

Lisa Fillingame: University of Wisconsin, International Studies and Spanish

Bridget Realmuto: Columbia University, Sustainability Analytics, focusing on sustainable finance and investing

Candice Ruiz: University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School for Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), International Development

Alexandra Sutton: Duke University, Nicholas School of the Environment

Alex Zorniger: Tufts University, International Relations and Entrepreneurship

Brief biographies of all the scholars can be found on the US SIF website.

The conference is sponsored by 35 companies including UBS, McDonald’s, Bloomberg, Boston Common Asset Management, Cornerstone Capital, Inc., Neuberger Berman, Pax World Investments, TIAA-CREF, and Trillium Asset Management. For additional sponsor information, please click here.

For full conference agenda details, including a list of breakout sessions, please click here.

For registration information, please click here.

WHEN:

US SIF annual conference plenaries and breakout sessions will be open to the press on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. EDT and Wednesday, May 21, 2014 from 8:35 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT.

WHERE:

Capital Hilton, 1001 16th St., NW, Washington, DC.

TO PARTICIPATE:

Attending news organizations and reporters must RSVP by Friday, May 16, 2014 by contacting Megan Smith of US SIF at 202-747-7820 or msmith@ussif.org.

Survey: Financial Professionals Offering Fossil-Free Portfolios Up 50 Percent from 2013 To 2014

SRI Conference Poll Confirms Growth of Focus, Interest in “Low Carbon” Investments

NEW YORK CITY AND COLORADO SPRINGS – May 14, 2014 – The number of investment professionals in the U.S. offering fossil fuel-free portfolios to investors jumped by more than 50 percent over the past year —from 22 percent to 36 percent among those polled—amidst signs of growing retail and institutional investor interest in such choices, according to The SRI Conference 2014 Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey released today by First Affirmative Financial Network.

The 2014 Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey is being released in advance of the 25th annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, the largest annual meeting of responsible investors and investment professionals in the U.S. The SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com) takes place November 9-11, 2014 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Based on 587 responses primarily from SRI investment professionals, the survey also contains these highlights:

  • 76 percent of respondents believe that there are growing risks associated with investing in fossil fuel extractors/manufacturers.
  • A growing number of SRI professionals see 2014 as the year that investors will rethink their investments in fossil fuels, as compared to last year (72 percent in 2014 vs. 67 percent in 2013).
  • About half (49 percent) of survey respondents say institutional investors are interested in fossil fuel free investing. More than three-fifths (62 percent) responded that retail investors want fossil-free investing choices.
  • Many more survey respondents (56 percent) are concerned about “stranded asset” risks to investors created by climate change than those who are not (14 percent). Fewer than one-in-three (30 percent) either don’t know or are unsure about this “carbon bubble” risk.
  • First Affirmative President, Steve Schueth, producer of The SRI Conference, said: “If there is a hot topic around SRI office water coolers, this is it. The 2014 Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey results confirm that interest in fossil fuel free investment strategies is on the rise. We expect this to be a major topic of discussion at The SRI Conference in November.”

Looking forward, Schueth said: “In my view, the growing drumbeat of responsible investors seeking investment strategies with little or no exposure to coal, oil, and gas extraction companies will only increase as more evidence of the negative effects of climate disruption reverberate from the recent IPCC and National Climate Assessment reports, and as more analysts and investors understand the stranded asset risk equation.”

The full survey findings are available online at: http://www.sriconference.com/documents/SRIC14FossilFuelDivestmentSurveyResults.pdf.

The SRI Conference 2014 Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey was conducted between April 14 and May 2, 2014. More than 3,000 SRI industry professionals were asked to weigh-in on 14 questions regarding fossil fuel free investing and related investor concerns. The survey was completed by 587 industry investment professionals, including advisors, asset managers, institutional investors, and representatives of SRI investment companies, community development financial institutions, and social research/proxy voting organizations.

ABOUT THE SRI CONFERENCE

The 25th annual SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com), the leading North American forum for investors and investment professionals involved in sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investing, is November 9-11, 2014 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado (http://www.broadmoor.com/). For more information about the conference or about supporting the conference as a sponsor, please contact Krystala Kalil, at 888-774-2663 or Krystala@SRIconference.com.

Conference participation is open to all SRI industry practitioners, investment professionals, institutional investors, and related organizations and individuals. The conference experience features an outstanding series of educational sessions and a focused opportunity to network with hundreds of like-minded individuals, organizations, and industry leaders.

ABOUT FIRST AFFIRMATIVE FINANCIAL NETWORK

First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC (http://www.firstaffirmative.com) is an independent Registered Investment Advisor (SEC File #801-56587) offering investment consulting and asset management services through a nationwide network of investment professionals who specialize in serving socially conscious investors. First Affirmative produces The SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com).

Big White Wall Launches in the U.S.

Multi-Award Winning Digital Behavioral Health and Well-Being Service for People in Psychological Distress Makes U.S. Debut

Washington, D.C.Big White Wall (BWW), a 24/7 digital behavioral health and well-being service, provides a clinically-supported, safe and secure online collaborative platform, with guidance from experienced facilitators or “guides,” for individuals 18 and above where they are empowered to improve their psychological and emotional well-being.

First launched in the United Kingdom in October 2007, Big White Wall was established to help individuals get support, take control and feel better, by creating an anonymous and safe space to share and access personalized pathways to recovery via a supportive online community and proactive self-management services, facilitated by experienced guides.

“What sets Big White Wall apart is the way it combines social networking principles with a choice of evidence based self-help interventions offered by BWW and trusted third parties to provide personalized support and recovery pathways,” said BWW Founder and CEO Jen Hyatt. “By doing this in a way that provides the utmost respect for and protection of an individual’s privacy, it addresses concerns over the initial stigma associated with individuals seeking help for behavioral health problems while also broadening access.”

Big White Wall has a large peer support community that, at present, primarily is made up of members from the UK. As Big White Wall builds its community in the U.S., it is offering new members three months free membership. New members will have until July 31, 2014 to join and receive three months free membership.

In 2013, Big White Wall was named a High Impact Innovation by the UK National Health Service, an accolade reserved for only the best new health initiatives. In 2014, Big White Wall was further lauded as the best eHealth solution developed by an SME (Small and Medium Sized Enterprise) across the whole of the European Union.

Big White Wall offers a range of proactive behavioral health self-management support services, including highly creative self-expression. In the service’s signature offering, members use powerful images, drawings and words to make vibrant and expressive “bricks” that are posted to the Big White Wall, where they can choose to share and discuss the underlying “story” of their pictures and words in an anonymous, peer-supported setting.

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Sample bricks posted to the Big White Wall by members in the UK, demonstrating the highly creative self-expression aspect of BWW’s signature service offering.

Other anonymous behavioral health support services include:

  • Outreach and connection to guides for advice and reinforcement of self-help principles.
  • Guided Support: Evidence-based digital group courses – offered by BWW and trusted partners – for behavioral and physical health conditions including depression, anxiety, smoking cessation and other topics.
  • Extensive “Useful Stuff” resources to help members self-manage a variety of conditions causing psychological distress.
  • Networking based on peer support including the ability to make positive, online connections with other BWW peers.
  • Interactive surveys that help members determine which self-help resources to utilize or to seek support for professional services when ready.

To ensure the safety, engagement and anonymity of its members, BWW employs a team of Wall Guides (facilitators), who are charged with monitoring and reviewing all new content generated by members on the site 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“With an ever-increasing need for behavioral health services and no increase in the size of the workforce equipped to provide them, Big White Wall has proven to be a crucial behavioral health support option, successfully augmenting existing services,” said Hyatt. “And by providing an environment in which members feel safe and supported while retaining their anonymity, it has the unique ability to appeal to the many people—an estimated 50 percent of all persons with behavioral health conditions—who will never go in person to visit a health professional for fear of the stigma.”

With over 20,000 members in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and a host of accolades and commendations, the Big White Wall has seen encouraging results from past and present members. An independent review of BWW found that 95 percent of members reported one or more improvements in wellbeing, 80 percent reported self-managing their psychological distress, and 73 percent disclosed a significant personal issue for the first time. During a pilot period of just three months, about 50 percent of members showed a significant improvement in symptoms, with an average 30 percent reduction in depressive symptoms and 34 percent reduction in anxiety symptoms.

Given its ability to enhance population based behavioral health through this evidence based online support pathway, BWW’s arrival in the States couldn’t come at a better time. In March 2014, the annual County Health Rankings and Roadmaps study (a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program) found an acute shortage of mental health care providers in some areas of the country.

“The arrival of Big White Wall in the U.S. reflects the growing practice of sharing high-value innovations across national boundaries, and the recognition that behavioral health is of paramount importance in meeting the needs of people with chronic conditions of all types,” said Dr. Molly Joel Coye, Chief Innovation Officer for UCLA Health System and Chair of Big White Wall’s Board of Directors. “BWW encourages people to take a larger role in their own care, by enabling them to take proactive steps and providing them with enhanced choice and personalized services, while protecting their privacy. And it does all of this within the scalable, and critical, context of building community and connectedness as integral features of mental wellbeing.”

For Founder and CEO Jen Hyatt, an award-winning social entrepreneur based in the UK, Big White Wall is the latest in a series of successful social purpose ventures in over twenty countries. Hyatt has received numerous honors and awards for her work, and has been published widely. In 2013, she was recognized by the Health Service Journal as one of the top 50 innovators in healthcare, and one of 14 ‘Women to Watch in 2014‘ by Disruptive Women in Health Care. When Hyatt founded BWW in 2007, it was the world’s first online community for improving emotional health.

For more information about the Big White Wall visit www.bigwhitewall.us.

To set up an interview with Founder and CEO Jen Hyatt, please contact Robin Strongin.

Contact:
Robin Strongin
202-263-2917
rstrongin@amplifypublicaffairs.net

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