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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


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

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Welcomes New Board Officers for Hospital and Foundation

Press Release – St. Petersburg, Fla. – September 20, 2017 – Johns Hopkins All Children’s welcomes new officers to its two community boards for the hospital and foundation. The Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees guides the vision of major hospital decisions and is led by Sandra Diamond, partner at Williamson, Diamond & Caton Law Firm. The Johns Hopkins All Children’s Foundation Board of Trustees is responsible for guiding fundraising and is led by Courtland James, EVP, Eagle Asset Management.


  • Sandra Diamond Chair Partner, Williamson, Diamond & Caton Law Firm
  • William R. Lane, Jr. Vice Chair Partner, Holland & Knight
  • Jack W. Kirkland, Jr. Treasurer Director, Tax Group, CBIZ Kirkland, Russ, Murphy & Tapp
  • Darryl LeClair Secretary CEO/President/Chairman, Echelon, LLC


  • Courtland James Chair EVP, Eagle Asset Management
  • Bonnie Strickland Secretary President, The Strickland Property Group
  • Alex Shouppe Vice Chair EVP, Brown & Brown of Florida, Inc.
  • Ray E. Newton, III Treasurer Private Investor

About Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg is a leader in children’s health care, combining a legacy of compassionate care focused solely on children since 1926 with the innovation and experience of one of the world’s leading health care systems. The 259-bed teaching hospital, ranked as a U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital, stands at the forefront of discovery, leading innovative research to cure and prevent childhood diseases while training the next generation of pediatric experts. With a network of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Outpatient Care centers and collaborative care provided by All Children’s Specialty Physicians at regional hospitals, Johns Hopkins All Children’s brings care closer to home. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital consistently keeps the patient and family at the center of care while continuing to expand its mission in treatment, research, education and advocacy. For more information, visit

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New Study Reveals 214 Million Women Have an Unmet Need for Modern Contraception

DKT International highlights World Contraception Day as increased education and access to reproductive health services remains crucial

Press Release – Washington, D.C.: New data released by The Guttmacher Institute shows that of the 885 million women living in developing countries hoping to avoid pregnancy, 214 million of those are not using contraception. DKT International, one of the largest providers of contraceptives and family planning services in the developing world, stresses the importance of World Contraception Day (September 26), held annually to raise awareness and improved access of contraceptives for women worldwide.

“DKT remains committed to increasing access to high quality and affordable contraceptive services. As always, our goal is to give couples the resources they need to choose if and when to become parents.” says Christopher Purdy, CEO and President, DKT International. “As a part of its commitment to FP2020, DKT will continue leveraging its social marketing expertise using culturally relevant marketing and educational campaigns to increase the accessibility, availability, and affordability of a wide variety of modern contraceptives.”

The new data also estimates that of the 206 million pregnancies in 2017 in developing regions, 43% are unintended- either unplanned or undesired.

  • DKT’s program in the Democratic Republic of Congo recently purchased a boat to expand its contraceptive sales into the far reaches of the Congo river. This sales expansion is in tandem with the expansion of the “Batela Lobi Na Yo” youth program to increase access to and understanding of family planning in new provinces, including Equateur, North Kivu, Kassai, and Badundu. These efforts are supported by media campaigns on Facebook and YouTube. On July 29th, DKT DRC co-sponsored DKT’s Red One Festival where they raised awareness about contraceptives, sold reproductive and sexual health products, and educated the crowd of over 4,000 about available methods.
  • DKT Mozambique’s fixed and mobile mobile clinics increase access to contraceptives and reproductive health services. From January 2017 to July 2017, the clinics have served nearly 35,000 clients. Mobile units and trailers have increased underserved and rural populations’ access to sexual and reproductive health services and products. Almost 4,000 of the visitors to mobile clinics were first-time users.
  • Social media campaigns for condoms, emergency contraception, and IUDs have been well-received in Egypt. One video advertisement for DKT Egypt’s line of emergency contraception, Contraplan II, was viewed more than 430,000 times.
  • DKT’s recent exclusive partnership with Ipas to license the Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) kit, now enables DKT to provide and facilitate access to the world’s most utilized, safe, and effective abortion care in countries where it is not restricted, including places where DKT does not currently operate.

“We will continue implementing out-of-the-box tactics and activities to engage, educate, and reach youth populations with messaging of family planning where they need it most,” adds Purdy.

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Digital Impact Grants $200K to Drive Digital Data Research & Innovation for Global Good

Stanford PACS initiative expands its growing network of partners internationally with grants to seven social impact organizations across Africa, Europe, and the U.S.

Press Release – Stanford, CADigital Impact, an initiative of the Digital Civil Society Lab at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS), has awarded more than $200,000 in grants to seven international and U.S. social sector organizations working to advance the safe, ethical, and effective use of digital resources for social good around the globe.

The selected grantees represent the second cohort in the Digital Impact Grants program (formerly Good Data Grants), which launched in 2016 with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The program aims to support advancement and research in the safe, responsible use of digital resources among nonprofits, foundations, and other civil society organizations, with a focus on projects that have broad application for improving knowledge, practices, and outcomes across the global social sector.

Selected from a competitive proposal process drawing 100 applications from organizations in 26 countries across 6 continents, the grantees and their funded programs include:

African Minds
Open Data Intermediaries and Economic Ownership Rights
Cape Town, South Africa

Ariadne – European Funders for Social Change and Human Rights
Research and decision-making framework for philanthropic organizations sharing grants data for human rights and social change projects
London, United Kingdom

Gamified Digital Security Training
Palo Alto, CA

Data for Action: Bringing Responsible and Secure Data Practices to Community Surveys (click here to visit program site)
Johannesburg, South Africa

Data Orchard
Data Evolution +
(click here to visit program site)
Hereford, United Kingdom

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems
Avoiding Discrimination in Automated Decision Making and Machine Learning
Tübingen, Germany

Pro Bono Net
Legal Empowerment Data Literacy and Governance Initiative
New York, NY

Grant awards range from approximately $17,000 to $40,000 and will fund both new and ongoing work and research to be conducted over the course of the grant year through fall 2018. Grantee projects will address key issues affecting digital civil society today, including digital security, data governance, automated (algorithmic/machine) decision-making, open data, and more.

Digital Impact is excited to be partnering with a promising cohort of organizations to pursue our goal of building a higher impact social sector, and framework for digital civil society, that not only leverage the power of digital data but are rooted in shared values and safe, responsible practices,” said Lucy Bernholz, Senior Research Scholar at Stanford PACS and Director of its Digital Civil Society Lab, which houses the Digital Impact initiative. “We are thrilled that this year’s applicant pool represents 26 countries, with winners from 4 nations and 3 continents. The better we are at building a network of global partners and communities, the stronger and more sustainable the resulting framework for digital civil society will be.”

The awards announcement comes amid the Digital Impact World Tour, a series of collaborative international conferences, held across six continents, exploring the opportunities, challenges, and responsibilities inherent to digital data use in the global social sector.

With Digital Impact Grants opening to global applicants for the first time in 2017, the program received applications from organizations in 77 cities across North and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Like the ongoing work of the 2016 Digital Impact Grants cohort, the projects spearheaded by this year’s grantees will be publicly shared for the benefit of the social sector at large.

Grantees will attend the Stanford Social Innovation Review’s nonprofit data conference at Stanford University on February 15-16, 2018, and they will present the outcomes of their work to the Stanford PACS community in late 2018.

Digital Impact has shared an interactive data visualization of the projects and ideas proposed through the 2016 Digital Impact Grants cycle, and will add to it through this and future cycles with the goal of spurring additional collaboration, ideation, and investment in the field.

Applications for the third cycle of a planned three-year Digital Impact Grants program will open in Spring 2018.

For more information, view the full announcement and the original Request for Proposal via Digital Impact.

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Science of Identity Foundation Contributes for Hurricane Harvey Relief

Press Release – AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Science of Identity Foundation has donated $2,500 to the Red Cross ® and $2,500 to SEWA International for the Hurricane Harvey relief fund.

Founded in 1977 by Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda, the Science of Identity Foundation teaches ancient yoga wisdom, mantra meditation, and other techniques to help individuals achieve mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.

Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda has often said that the true yogi is one who cares about both the material and spiritual well-being of others.

Other yoga groups affiliated with Science of Identity Foundation, have also volunteered their services, either through monetary contributions, or on-the-ground relief efforts in south Texas.

About Science of Identity Foundation

Founded in 1977, Science of Identity Foundation teaches the practice of meditation and kirtan—along with timeless yoga wisdom—to help individuals achieve greater spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing. Passed down for centuries through an unbroken line of self-realized teachers, this ancient and authentic process of self-discovery can be practiced by anyone.

Official Websites

Connect with Science of Identity Foundation

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Gene Editing Technology Developer Awarded $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize

Feng Zhang Recognized for Commitment to Invention, Collaboration and Mentorship

Press Release – CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (September 19, 2017) – Dr. Feng Zhang, a pioneer of the revolutionary CRISPR gene editing technology, TAL effectors, and optogenics, has just been announced as the recipient of the 2017 $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the largest cash prize for invention in the United States. Zhang is a core member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, an investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, James and Patricia Poitras Professor in Neuroscience at MIT, and associate professor in the departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Biological Engineering at MIT.

Zhang and his team were first to develop and demonstrate successful methods for using an engineered CRISPR-Cas9 system to edit genomes in living mouse and human cells and have turned CRISPR technology into a practical and shareable collection of tools for robust gene editing and epigenomic manipulation. CRISPR, or Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, has been harnessed by Zhang and his team as a groundbreaking gene-editing tool that is simple and versatile to use. A key tenet of Zhang’s is to encourage further development and research through open sharing of tools and scientific collaboration. Zhang believes that wide use of CRISPR-based tools will further our understanding of biology, allowing scientists to identify genetic differences that contribute to diseases and, eventually, provide the basis for new therapeutic techniques.

Zhang’s lab has trained thousands of researchers to use CRISPR technology and since 2013 he has shared over 40,000 plasmid samples with labs around the world both directly and through the nonprofit Addgene, enabling wide use of his CRISPR tools in their research.

Zhang began working in a gene therapy laboratory at the age of 16 and has played key roles in the development of multiple technologies. Prior to harnessing CRISPR-Cas9, Zhang engineered microbial TAL effectors (TALEs) for use in mammalian cells, working with colleagues at Harvard, authoring multiple publications on the subject and becoming a co-inventor on several patents on TALE-based technologies. Zhang was also a key member of the team at Stanford that harnessed microbial opsins for developing optogenetics, which uses light signals and light-sensitive proteins to monitor and control activity in brain cells. This technology can help scientists understand how cells in the brain affect mental and neurological illnesses. Zhang has co-authored multiple publications on optogenetics and is a co-inventor on several patents related to this technology.

Zhang’s numerous scientific discoveries and inventions, as well as his commitment to mentorship and collaboration, earned him the Lemelson-MIT Prize, which honors outstanding mid-career inventors who improve the world through technological invention and demonstrate a commitment to mentorship in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“Feng’s creativity and dedication to problem-solving impressed us,” said Stephanie Couch, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. “Beyond the breadth of his own accomplishments, Feng and his lab have also helped thousands of scientists across the world access the new technology to advance their own scientific discoveries.”

“It is a tremendous honor to receive the Lemelson-MIT Prize and to join the company of so many incredibly impactful inventors who have won this prize in years past.” said Feng Zhang. “Invention has always been a part of my life – I think about new problems every day and work to solve them creatively. This prize is a testament to the passionate work of my team and the support of my family, teachers, colleagues and counterparts around the world.”

The $500,000 prize, which bears no restrictions in how it can be used, is made possible through the support of The Lemelson Foundation, the world’s leading funder of invention in service of social and economic change.

“We are thrilled to honor Dr. Zhang, who we commend for his advancements in genetics, and more importantly, his willingness to share his discoveries to advance the work of others around the world,” said Dorothy Lemelson, chair of The Lemelson Foundation. “Zhang’s work is inspiring a new generation of inventors to tackle the biggest problems of our time.”

Zhang will speak at EmTech MIT, the annual conference on emerging technologies hosted by MIT Technology Review at the MIT Media Lab on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

Nominations for 2018 $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize

The Lemelson-MIT Program is now seeking nominations for the 2018 $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize. Please contact the Lemelson-MIT Program at for more information or go to:


Celebrating invention, inspiring youth

The Lemelson-MIT Program celebrates outstanding inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.

Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, and his wife Dorothy founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation and administered by the School of Engineering at MIT, an institution with a strong ongoing commitment to creating meaningful opportunities for K-12 STEM education. For more information, visit


Based in Portland, Oregon The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives. Inspired by the belief that invention can solve many of the biggest economic and social challenges of our time, the Foundation helps the next generation of inventors and invention-based businesses to flourish. The Lemelson Foundation was established in the early 1990s by prolific inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy. To date the Foundation has made grants totaling more than $200 million in support of its mission. For more information, visit

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Reading Team Founder Wins International Education Award

Press Release – NEW YORK CITY, September 20, 2017, 9:15 am, EST – Reading Team founder Maureen Rover has won the World of Children Education Award for 2017, which will be applied toward the continuing enrichment and expansion of the organization’s early literacy programs in Harlem. Ms. Rover is one of five international recipients selected for the award this year, each of whom have lead high-impact programs in health, education, protection, humanitarianism, and more.

After a rigorous vetting process, Ms. Rover was chosen from thousands of applicants for her, “Extraordinary contributions to the education of children, providing them the platform from which to become fully productive members of society, according to World of Children Board of Governors. “Ms. Rover,” said the board, “is boosting elementary school literacy rates by instilling a lifelong love and enthusiasm for reading in children from New York’s disadvantaged communities.”

Valued at $50,000, the 2017 Education Award includes an opportunity for the Reading Team to receive an additional $35,000 through the World of Children’s 1:2 matching campaign, running through October 25.

World of Children was founded in 1998 and provides funding and recognition to support life-changing work for children by discovering and elevating effective change-makers for children worldwide. Each year, it names award winners in five categories: Education, Health, Humanitarian, Protection and Youth Awards. Since 1998, World of Children has dedicated $11.5 million to programs for children, led by more than 100 Honorees, working in over 50 countries. Some are leading programs with a global reach.

Since opening its doors in 2001, the Reading Team’s focused instructional approach has helped more than 8,000 youngsters achieve substantial and lasting academic success through focused and unique literacy-immersion programs.

At two program locations in Harlem, it serves more than 800 children each year from Pre-K through 8th grade who are at high risk of reading failure. Its mission is to enable these children to become strong and enthusiastic readers, writers, listeners, and speakers and to develop the skills, habits, and behaviors that will support their success in school and in life.

Verifiable data show that in their first year in one of the Reading Team’s programs, children gain on average more than 55 percentiles in reading ability. Each year, 80 percent of them pass the New York State English Language Art Exam. Further, their test scores and reports cards in middle and high school years demonstrate that Reading Team children sustain these gains, build on them, and outperform their classmates.

Ms. Rover founded the Reading Team when she read that barely 30 percent of 3rd- 5th graders in New York City passed New York State English Language Arts Exam. The organization has grown from teaching 72 students in 2001 to more than 800 today in its four core programs: Preschool, School-Day, After-School, and Bridge.

World of Children will honor the recipients at the annual World of Children Awards 2017 on Thursday, November 2 at 583 Park Avenue in New York City.

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Penn Researchers Identify New Target, Develop New Drug for Cancer Therapies

New approach blocks key growth enzyme as well as the process that causes resistance to current treatments


Press Release – PHILADELPHIA – Opening up a new pathway to fight cancer, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found a way to target an enzyme that is crucial to tumor growth while also blocking the mechanism that has made past attempts to target that enzyme resistant to treatment. Researchers were able to use this finding to develop a drug that successfully inhibits tumor growth of melanoma as well as pancreatic and colorectal cancer in mice. The journal Cancer Discovery published the findings online this month.

The target is an enzyme called PPT1, which controls both the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), a major regulator of growth in cancer cells, as well as a process called autophagy, a built-in resistance mechanism which allows cells to survive when under attack by breaking down unneeded parts and recycling them to stay alive. Numerous drugs that target mTOR are approved by for cancer patients by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but targeting mTOR with these currently available inhibitors turns on autophagy, thus making the tumor resistant.

“What we learned in this study is that mTOR and autophagy aren’t opposed to each other as previously thought. They’re actually complementary, because autophagy provides the nutrients that allow mTOR to direct growth, while mTOR shuts off autophagy when the nutrients aren’t needed,” said co-senior author Ravi K. Amaravadi, MD, an associate professor of Hematology Oncology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center.

That yin and yang relationship takes place in a part of the cell called the lysosome. Previously, it has taken two drugs to stop both processes, but by focusing on drugs that hone in on the lysosome more efficiently, researchers have found one drug that can block both.

“We know that autophagy is an important mechanism for cancer resistance, but there are very few ways to block it. This is the first targeted approach to inhibiting the lysosome in order to block autophagy,” Amaravadi said.

The drug that makes it work is called DQ661, and it specifically targets the PPT1 enzyme that controls both mTOR and autophagy. This study suggests drugs that target PPT1 in this way could one day improve outcomes for cancer patients. DQ661 is a dimeric form of the antimalarial drug quinacrine – meaning it has two molecules of quinacrine bound together with a special linker.

“It turns out that both what is linking them and how they are linked are crucial to why this works,” said the study’s co-senior author Jeffrey D. Winkler, the Merriam Professor of Chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. “In this study, we were able to tailor the chemistry so that the drug specifically targets PPT1 in the lysosome.”

The lead authors of the study were Vito W. Rebecca, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in Amaravadi’s lab, Michael C. Nicastri, a graduate student in Winkler’s lab, and Noel McLaughlin, PhD, who was a postdoctoral researcher in Winkler’s lab at the time of the research. Winkler says the ability to work across multiple disciplines is what led to the discovery.

“As (Amaravadi) and his team tried to solve the autophagy problem, they came to us for help in developing a better form of quinacrine, which is what we have in DQ661,” Winkler said.

While the approach has clear clinical benefits, researchers still need to develop these compounds into drugs that are suitable for human patients, which will be the focus of their efforts moving forward.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01CA169134, P01 CA114046, P30 CA016520, SPORE P50 CA174523, 1R01CA198015, CA016672, P30CA010815).

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More than 300 Companies Commit to Set Ambitious Science-Based Climate Targets, Including 50 U.S. Businesses

Adobe, NIKE Inc., Merck and Telefónica among latest companies to join the Science Based Targets initiative ahead of Climate Week in New York

Press Release – NEW YORK (September 18, 2016) – More than 300 global companies have now committed to set emissions reduction targets through the Science Based Targets initiative. This year, more than 90 new companies have joined, demonstrating that the private sector is committed to aligning their efforts to tackle climate change with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Ahead of Climate Week, a surge of top apparel companies are announcing their commitment to set science-based targets, including Gap Inc., NIKE Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., GUESS, EILEEN FISHER Inc. and VF Corporation. Upwards of 90 percent of apparel brands’ emissions are from the value chain. Since apparel companies share many of the same suppliers, taking steps to reduce supply chain emissions can improve collaboration and create efficiencies across the industry.

Other new companies committed to set science-based targets include Cummins, Epsom, Mahindra Sanyo, Merck, CVS Health, Olam, Telefónica, Veolia Environnement, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation and more. Companies that have joined the Science Based Targets initiative to date represent an estimated USD $6.5 trillion in market value, roughly equal to the NASDAQ stock exchange, and are responsible for 750 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, comparable to 158 million cars being driven for one year. The companies span 35 countries and represent a wide range of sectors including manufacturing, power, retail, consumer goods, technology, chemicals, apparel, hospitality and banking.

Lila Karbassi, Chief, Programmes, UN Global Compact, one of the Science Based Targets initiative partners said: “As more and more companies see the advantages of setting science-based targets, the transition towards a low-carbon economy is becoming a reality. Businesses now working towards ambitious targets are seeing benefits like increased innovation, cost savings, improved investor confidence and reduced regulatory uncertainty. This is becoming the new ‘normal’ in the business world, proving that a low-carbon economy is not only vital for consumers and the planet, but also for future-proofing growth.”

So far, 50 U.S. companies have committed to set science-based targets, which is more than any other country. This demonstrates that the American business community is stepping up to drive climate action forward and confront the global challenge of climate change. U.S. companies participating in the Science Based Targets initiative represent USD $2 trillion in market value and are responsible for 166 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. Mars, which is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, last week had its target approved by the initiative.

“Mars is very pleased to have our Sustainable in a Generation Plan targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, which we believe sets a new standard for responsible business growth,” said Kevin Rabinovitch, Global Sustainability Director, Mars. “We are using science to set long-term absolute greenhouse gas targets covering our entire value chain and look forward to others joining us.”

The Science Based Targets initiative is a partnership between CDP, WRI, WWF and the UN Global Compact. Businesses who commit have two years to develop science-based targets, which are then closely reviewed by the initiative’s team of experts. Only targets that meet strict criteria are approved. Importantly, companies setting science-based targets must seek to not only reduce emissions in their own operations, but also within their value chains, which can move entire industries toward more efficient and greener supply chains. The initiative is also one of the We Mean Business coalition commitments.

As of today, a total of 71 science-based targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, including 40 this year. Companies that have recently received approval on their science-based targets include Adobe, Colgate-Palmolive, CVS Health, Eneco, Givaudan, HP Inc., Kering, Kirin Holdings, Marks & Spencer, Mars, Nestlé, Tesco and more.

“Addressing issues like climate change and the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future takes collaboration across our supply chain and with our industry peers,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health. “Our commitment to developing science-based emissions reduction targets demonstrates our ongoing responsible growth strategy and the measurable actions we are taking to reduce our environmental impacts.”

For more information visit:


“At Cummins, we are focused on helping the world meet energy and environmental challenges by providing clean, fuel efficient and dependable power for our customers with the least environmental impact possible,” said Brian Mormino, Executive Director of Worldwide Environmental Strategy and Compliance at Cummins. “Using the science–based target approach will help us set our next greenhouse gas reduction goal in line with what is needed to respond to a changing climate.”

“Operating sustainably has been important to Adobe since our inception,” said Vince Digneo, Sustainability Strategist, Adobe. “We support the transition to a low-carbon economy, and we’re proud to join the Science Based Targets initiative to set and act on emissions targets for each of our sites, allowing us to grow our business while using less to do it.”

“Las Vegas Sands Corp. embarked on the next phase of our global Sands ECO360 sustainability strategy by establishing ambitious and meaningful science-based targets for emissions reduction,” said Katarina Tesrova, Vice President, Global Sustainability, Las Vegas Sands Corp. “We now have a clearly defined pathway to contribute to the global effort of combating climate change, and are proud to be the one of the first hospitality companies to do so.”

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YWCA: Protect the ACA

Press Release – Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Lindsey O. Graham (R-SC), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) released new legislation that proposes to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed amendment caps Medicaid funding and rolls it into block-grants for states; allows states to waive critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and threatens the provision of essential health benefits. It also drastically cuts funding for Medicaid expansion and for the financial assistance that helps low and middle-income families afford coverage; and restricts access to comprehensive reproductive health care.

In contrast, the ACA provides a healthcare lifeline to 9.5 million women who could not otherwise afford health insurance. The ACA includes coverage, affordability, and accessibility provisions that are critical to women’s health, and has been particularly beneficial for women of color, whose uninsured rates have dropped dramatically.


“The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson legislation released today is a remix of the dangerous public policy we have seen in other efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Any health care legislation must protect the gains that women, girls, and communities of color have already made with the ACA. The current proposed legislation would exacerbate remaining inequities and create new ones. Millions of Americans who have found relief from the ACA cannot afford for policies to regress.”


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.

YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than 150 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more:

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Lifehouse Announces New Board Members, Retirement of Donna Vazifdar

Press Release – SAN RAFAEL, CA (September 13, 2017) – Lifehouse, a Marin County-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support services to individuals with developmental disabilities, has announced the appointment of Alan Brayton and Bruce W. Burtch to its Board of Directors. Alan Brayton is a returning board member who served Lifehouse from 2008 – 2014. Bruce W. Burtch is joining the board for the first time.

“We are thrilled to have Al return to the Lifehouse board and are very excited to begin working with Bruce,” said Nancy Dow Moody, President and CEO of Lifehouse.

As a long-time supporter of Lifehouse, Al Brayton is both an attorney and winemaker. He lives in Marin County and is one of the founders of the law firm Brayton Purcell LLP, and the founder of Paradise Vineyards and Thirty Seven Wines. With over twenty-eight years of experience, Al Brayton is recognized as one of the West’s leading attorneys representing injured individuals and their families in all types of personal injury, products liability and mass tort litigation. He also enjoys a national reputation as one of the foremost attorneys representing victims of asbestos-related disease and has represented clients from virtually every state.

Bruce Burtchis is recognized nationally and internationally as a pioneer and leading expert in the field of cross-sector partnerships and cause marketing. He served as Public Affairs Manager for Marriott Corporation, Public Relations Director for the United States Olympic Committee, VP and General Manager of Schulberg Mediaworks, Director of Marketing and Communications for the American Red Cross Bay Area, and a two-year special assignment as the President of Xerox Global Services. Bruce is also the author of “Win-Win for the Greater Good,” the definitive “how-to” guidebook on building cross-sector partnerships. A resident of Marin County, Bruce has served on the Board of Directors and Advisory Boards of many nonprofit organizations, including serving as President of the San Francisco Special Olympics.

Additional members of the Lifehouse Board of Directors include Marsha Treadwell, PhD, Chair; Dr. Joseph Spinelli, Vice Chair; Eric Aanes, Treasurer; Lia Economopoulos, Secretary; Nancy Dow Moody, President & CEO; Daniel Engel; Jacquie Gribens; John Kalb; LaDawn Reichling; James Ricks; Paul Smith; Justin Tedford and Nancy Toney.

In addition, longtime board member Donna Vazifdar is retiring after nine years of serving Lifehouse. Vazifdar joined the Lifehouse Board of Directors in 2008. After holding the roles of secretary and director, she served two years as Board Chair. Vazidar completed her nine-year term in June of 2017.

“We are so grateful to Donna for the support and guidance she provided during her time with us,” said Dow Moody. “We wish her the very best in her next endeavor.”

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