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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 about nonprofit organizations and NGOs that are actively working to accomplish a social mission. The work of foundations that primarily work as grantors to other nonprofits is covered in Philanthropy.

Rare Genomics Institute (RG) President Jimmy Lin Appointed to Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Advisory Panel on Patient Engagement

— Jimmy Lin will help leveraging RG global expertise to guide PCORI’s patient-centered research efforts —

Washington D.C., June 30, 2015 – Rare Genomics Institute (RG) today announced that Jimmy Lin, RG President, has been appointed by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) as a member of its Advisory Panel on Patient Engagement.

Jimmy Lin will join other members of the panel in applying his experience and expertise to help PCORI refine and prioritize research funding priorities and ensure that the work PCORI supports centers on the outcomes that matter to patients and other healthcare decision makers.

“Rare Genomics Institute fully supports the enormous work PCORI is doing to close the gaps in evidence to improve key health outcomes,” said Jimmy Lin, MD, PhD, MHS, President of the Rare Genomics Institute. “Appointment to the Advisory Panel on Patient Engagement is a great honor and an excellent opportunity for RG to offer our global expertise, technology and patient engagement experience to promote personalized approach to rare ailments through sophisticated genetic sequencing.”

PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions.

Dr. Lin was selected on the basis of his formidable track record, expertise, and ability to contribute to the panel’s tasks and responsibilities. Panel members represent a broad range of healthcare stakeholder groups and perspectives, including patients, family caregivers, clinicians, drug and device makers, and researchers, among others.

Jimmy Lin, MD, PhD, MHS, is a 2012 TED Fellow and Founder & President of Rare Genomics Institute, the world’s first platform to enable communities to leverage cutting-edge biotechnology to advance understanding of rare diseases. Previously, Dr. Lin was a medical school faculty member at the Washington University in St. Louis and. While at Johns Hopkins, he led the computational analysis of the first ever exome sequencing studies for any human disease. Dr. Lin has numerous publications in Science, Nature Genetics, Nature Biotechnology, and Cell and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, BBC, TIME, CNN, and the Huffington Post.

More information about the Advisory Panel on Patient Engagement, including its scope of work and a list of all members, is available on the PCORI website:

Partnership Formed to Foster Entrepreneurship in the Greater Hartford Region

Hartford, Conn., June 29, 2015 – reSET, The Social Enterprise Trust ( and the MetroHartford Alliance have entered into a strategic partnership to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the Greater Hartford region.

“Connecticut has long been a center for innovation, and it is vital that we offer adequate start-up resources as we compete for jobs, capital and talent for our City and Region. This partnership will not only champion entrepreneurship but also facilitate collaboration among resource providers and entrepreneurs throughout Hartford and the entire Region, leading to even greater support for those seeking to start their own business,” said Oz Griebel, president and CEO, MetroHartford Alliance.

The partnership and initial funding of $100,000 will enhance reSET’s programs and resources at its new 1429 Park Street location in the Parkville section of Hartford. Therecently opened reSETBusiness Factory is housed in a repurposed factory at the corner of Park Street and Bartholomew Avenue.

reSET offers entrepreneurs space to co-work and incubate their businesses; supportive programs, including a 16-week business accelerator; mentoring via an Entrepreneur-in-Residence; regular office hours with government, accounting and business development, finance, and legal professionals; and funding for businesses from early-stage to scaling. reSET serves all entrepreneurs but specializes in social enterprise.

“With twice the square footage than we had at our previous location, we’re now able to offer entrepreneurs more cost-effective co-working and private office space, ample free parking and across-the-street access to Parkville’s CT fastrak station, and there’s room for us to grow,” said Ojala Naeem, director of operations for reSET. “Thanks to support from the Alliance, and hopefully others, we’ll also be bringing a café and media lab to our members.”

“This partnership will allow us to expand our programming, and to offer entrepreneurs services that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible,” said Kate Emery, founder and CEO of reSET. “We’re so very grateful to the Alliance for their support and funding, and perhaps even more so for the power of this partnership to help us reach more entrepreneurs and to make Hartford the ‘go-to’ place for entrepreneurs of all stripes!”

About reSET

reSET is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the social enterprise sector. Its strategic goals are threefold: to be the “go-to” place for impact entrepreneurs, to make Hartford known as Impact City, and Connecticut the Social Enterprise state.

reSET serves all entrepreneurs, but specializes in social enterprise ― impact driven business with a double or triple bottom line. In addition to providing coworking space, accelerator and mentoring programs, reSET aims to inspire innovation and community collaboration, and to support entrepreneurs in creating market-based solutions to community challenges. reSET’s goal is to meet entrepreneurs wherever they are in their trajectory and to help them take their businesses to the next level.

Tapping Into The Teen Experience At Beaches Resorts

Beaches Resorts Teen Advisory Panel Review Brand and Are First to Experience #IslandImpact, a New Student Service Hours Program

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA – Members of the Beaches Resorts Teen Advisory Panel (TAP) gathered last week at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa for their first official meeting and comprehensive site inspection of facilities and exclusive Beaches Resorts brand offerings. TAP members were also the first to participate in Island Impact, a new program that allows students to earn community service hours while on vacation, an initiative inspired by the members.

According to Chief Teen Officer, Sabrina Stewart, teens are not passive guests but often have exacting opinions about the family vacation. “Ask us,” says Stewart. “We know what we like, what excites us and we want to be part of the planning process.”

Stewart played host to the teens, escorting them on a comprehensive visit at the resort that included a review of different room categories, restaurants, watersports and Beaches’ signature opportunities such as visits to the Xbox Play Lounge and Club Liquid. CTO Stewart also presided over a brainstorming meeting on ways that Beaches might address issues important to teens such as places to gather without set hours, different programming for tweens and older teens and new food trends. Teens also expressed an interest in the trend of voluntourism and were the first to experience Island Impact.

Created by Beaches Resorts in partnership with the non-profit Sandals Foundation and facilitated through Island Routes Caribbean Adventures, Island Impact gives full time students the opportunity to earn up to 10 community service hours while vacationing at any Beaches Resorts in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos. Opportunities to serve include: “Reading Road Trip,” a literacy outreach campaign in conjunction with locally supported schools; beach, park or community clean-up projects; computer skills tutoring and mentorship; assistance at special interest local youth camps and “Pack for a Purpose®,” an opportunity to collect and deliver five pounds of much-needed school and toiletry supplies. Five service hours are awarded per once weekly voluntourism excursion and five for Pack for a Purpose. Eligible students receive a certification of completion for their efforts, which can be applied to their school’s community service requirements.

TAP members who visited Turks and Caicos began their visit “Packing for a Purpose,” and each filled and traveled with a backpack full of school supplies such as pens, pencils and colored paper for Ianthe Pratt Primary, a local Providenciales school for children ages 5 to 12 years. The TAP members had the opportunity to deliver their supplies in person and visited the local students as part of “Reading Road Trip”, also an experience under the overall Island Impact voluntourism umbrella.

“We had an amazing week learning what makes Beaches Resorts such a great place for teens to vacation, and of all the things we did – Island Impact with the Sandals Foundation will always be one of my greatest memories,” said Beaches TAP member and star of ABC’s hit comedy Black-ish, Marcus Scribner.

Island Impact officially begins July 1, 2015. To participate and be eligible to earn community service hours, teens must be full-time students, registered guests of Beaches Resorts and at least 13 years of age. A parental waiver must be signed for students under 18 years. There is a non-refundable US$25 per person, per excursion fee which covers roundtrip transportation and material costs. For more information and to book an Island Impact experience, go to starting July 1st.

Designed as a forum for influential teen members to provide real insight into making the Beaches Resorts Luxury Included® experience even better, the new Teen Advisory Panel met for the first time at Beaches Turks & Caicos earlier this week. Click here to see how TAP members spent their time.

ORBITAL SYSTEMS AB ‘Shower of the Future’ is Space Certified Technology

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 25, 2015) – The Space Foundation’s international Space Certification program has added a new technology. ORBITAL SYSTEMS’ “Shower of the Future” shares the same water purification technology that NASA uses in space. As one of many components in a larger closed loop system, ORBITAL SYSTEMS has modified and brought forward a new solution that makes the system commercially suitable for Earthly water applications for non-potable use. It is manufactured and supplied on demand to ORBITAL SYSTEMS made in the U.S.

What began as an academic joint project between Mehrdad Mahdjoubi, ORBITAL SYSTEMS’ CEO and Founder, and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston has since evolved into a young and growing company. The project was led by the Habitation and Exploration Missions and Systems Office at NASA/JSC, together with the School of Industrial Design at Lund University in Sweden, and was focused on bringing forward design concepts relevant for Mars missions.

With support from Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding from Johnson Space Center, Argonide Corporation tested and developed its proprietary nanofiber filter media. Capable of removing more than 99.99 percent of dangerous particles, such as bacteria, viruses and parasites, the media was incorporated into the company’s commercial NanoCeram water filter and inducted into the 2005 Space Technology Hall of Fame.

Built on a unique approach to recycling water in domestic applications, ORBITAL SYSTEMS strives to set a new higher standard for domestic water consumption. The team is supported by an advisory board which includes current Systems Engineer at NASA, Larry Toups, designer and professor Claus-Christian Eckhardt and Skype founder Niklas Zennström, who is also an investor in the company.

Learn more about ORBITAL SYSTEMS AB and the ‘Shower of the Future’ by visiting: and

About Space Certification

Products and services that display the Space Certification seal are guaranteed to have stemmed from, or been dramatically improved by, technologies originally developed for space exploration or to have significant impact in teaching people about the value of space utilization.

Developed and administered by the Space Foundation, the Space Certification program serves three purposes:

  • Providing a unique marketing edge for Space Certification partners
  • Demonstrating to the public how space technologies now improve life on Earth
  • Making space knowledge more interesting and accessible to everyone

There are three classifications of Space Foundation Certified Products:

  • Certified Technology Products – Products or services that directly result from space technology or space program development or advances in space technology
  • Certified Educational Products – Products used in educational environments to stimulate interest in and knowledge about space
  • Certified Imagination Products – Entertainment products, games or toys that increase interest in and excitement for space and inspire new generations to take an active interest in space

A global, nonprofit organization, the Space Foundation is a leader in space awareness activities, educational programs that bring space into the classroom, major space industry events and space research studies, analyses and publications, all in support of its mission “to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.” Headquartered in Colorado Springs, the Space Foundation has an office in Washington, D.C., and a field office in Houston.

For more about Space Certification, go to; for more information on the Space Foundation, visit

Chair of Women’s Learning Partnership Board of Directors to be awarded 2015 United Nations Population Award in the individual category

Bethesda, MD — Dr. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, current Chair of Women’s Learning Partnership’s (WLP) Board of Directors and a former Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has won the 2015 United Nations Population Award in the individual laureate category. The United Nations established the award in 1981 and is presented annually “for the most outstanding contribution to the awareness of population questions or to their solutions.” The award is scheduled to be presented at the United Nations in New York City on June 26.

Dr. Thoraya Obaid (Kingdom of Saudia Arabia) was selected as a 2015 laureate “in recognition of her outstanding dedication and commitment to raising awareness of population issues, with a particular focus on the rights and empowerment of women, girls and young people, including successfully advocating for the expansion of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to address maternal health and save the lives of women; for her pioneering leadership in promoting issues related to sexual and reproductive health in a culturally sensitive manner in conformity with internationally recognized human rights; and for her visionary leadership in including the voices of young people and institutionalizing their role in the work of the United Nations as well as for strongly supporting the establishment of an international network of youth advocates for sexual and reproductive health,” according to the UNPFA information 2015 award program notes.

Dr. Obaid led the UNFPA from 2001 to 2010. As UNFPA Executive Director, she introduced a focus on culture to the Fund’s development work, linking gender, universal values of human rights and values of the human worth promoted by all religions and found in all cultures. She is Chair of WLP’s Board of Directors. Obaid also holds the distinction of being one of 30 women to be appointed as full members 2013-2016 to the Kindgdom of Saudia Arabia’s Parliament (Shura Council) for the first time in that country’s history. A recipient of numerous awards, in 2004 Forbes named her among the world’s 50 most powerful Arab women. Since her retirement, Dr. Obaid has been residing in Saudi Arabia.

The Award Committee for the United Nations Population Award, which made the selections, is chaired by the Czech Ambassador to the United Nations, Edita Hrdá. Other members include Bangladesh, Côte d’Ivoire, Denmark, Grenada, Jamaica, Qatar, Tanzania, Nigeria and Pakistan. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin are ex-officio members.

Past laureates selected by the Committee included individuals and organizations, such as Bill and Melinda Gates, Dr. Mahmoud Fathalla, Dr. Allen Rosenfeld, the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and the Population Council.

About Women’s Learning Partnership

WLP is a non-profit international women’s rights organization comprised of 20 autonomous women’s rights CSOs and dedicated to training and supporting women in the Global South, primarily in transitioning and developing societies, to become leaders and advocates for a just, peaceful world where women’s full human rights are realized and protected. Through this partnership we promote universal human rights, advance democracy, and strengthen civil society, and empower and transform women and youth to harness their tremendous potential as leaders in their families, communities, and societies for a more equitable world. Over the past decade, WLP’s programs and training materials, published in twenty languages, have reached thousands of women in over forty countries, strengthening local organizations to become self-sustaining and to empower women’s movements across the globe. For more information, please visit

myFace is Proud To Host Races For Faces 2015!

New York City – Please join us on Sunday, July 26th at 9:00 AM for a fun-filled family day in beautiful Riverside Park on the Upper West Side of Manhattan to raise money and awareness for people living with facial anomalies. We will have fun for children of all ages including exciting games, family activities and raffles, arts and crafts, and many surprises!

We will walk through beautiful Riverside Park starting at the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial at 85th Street, walk up to 101st Street, go down on the waterfront and walk back to 83rd Street where we go back into the Park for closing ceremonies.

Riverside Park: Registration at 9 am

Bring your family, friends and dogs and walk to raise awareness of those living with facial anomalies!

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Patient Anibel with myFace Executive Director, Carolyn Spector, at Races for Faces 2014

Anibel, 9, (pictured above) was born with Nager syndrome and is receiving probono treatment in New York City, at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center, funded by myFace. Anibel will be one of the many children afflicted with a craniofacial condition walking at this year’s Races for Faces on July 26th. Nager Syndrome displays several or all of the following characteristics: underdevelopment of the cheek and jaw area, down-sloping of the opening of the eyes, lack or absence of the lower eyelashes, kidney and/or stomach reflux, hammer toes, shortened soft palate, lack of development of the internal and external ear, possible cleft palate, underdevelopment or absence of the thumb, hearing loss, and shortened forearms, as well as poor movement in the elbow. Children like Anibel receive numerous invasive and complex surgeries by the age of 9. Aside from dealing with all of the physical and mental strains that come with living with a craniofacial condition, children like Anibel suffer from bullying, as well as shunning by their peers and often by teachers and/or other adults who feel inadequate to care for a child born with and/or living with a facial deformity. Anibel was a victim of bullying this past school year. Often with tears in her eyes, Anibel’s mom, Lenica, recounts the moment in which her daughter came home from school after being called a “freak” by schoolmates during a game of connect-four. “It was very sad moment”, tells Lenica “but situations like these are important for us as a family so we can learn to educate others and raise awareness for children like Anibel.” Lenica and her daughter Anibel will walk at this year’s Races for Faces in the hopes that others hear Anibel’s story. In Lenica’s words, “We hope that all of our family and friends walk this year and get involved in raising awareness for the craniofacially afflicted community – it’s time everyone hears our story.”


  • 49% are age six or younger; 36% ages 6-18; 15% ages 19 or older
  • 70% are from families living at or below the poverty level and receive treatment at little or no charge
  • 95% remain in care that spans an entire childhood costing into the hundreds of thousands

We walk to support our friends and family born with a craniofacial condition
We walk to raise awareness and to help spread the myFace mission.

This year our goal is to raise $150,000!

Event map

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Incredible Unseen Video Footage Of Aftermath Of 2015 Nepal Earthquake Released Today By Effect.Org To Draw Attention To The Charity’s Ongoing Need For Donations As July’s Monsoon Season Approaches

  • Brand New Video Clips Include Interviews With Rescued Nepalese After Their Recovery As Well As Some Of The Only Footage Captured By Drones Just After The Earthquake Hit
  • Effect.Org Has Harnessed The Power Of Social Media To Help Deploy Aid To Where It Is Most Needed And Uniquely Each Of Their Aid Drops Is Tracked And Proved By GPS Co-Ordinates
  • Their Team Of Volunteers On The Ground In Nepal Dubbed ‘Nepal Rises’ Are Proving Themselves As One Of The Most Efficient Non-Profits And Working With Locals Means They Can Narrow Down Locations Of The Missing And Have More Information About Sourcing Supplies
  • Full Documentary Film Can Be Seen Now At www.Nepalrises.Com Where People Can Also Donate

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The charity has today released incredible unseen footage taken from its brand new documentary “Nepal Rises”, highlighting the aftermath of the 2015 Nepal earthquake, and drawing attention to the ongoing need for donations throughout the monsoon season in July. Available to view now at, the powerful and emotive film brings to light the terrible destruction that resulted in the loss of thousands of lives, and how one unlikely group of local volunteers stood above the rest to help rebuild Nepal.

While in a production meeting in New Delhi, India on April 25th, filmmakers Casey Allred, Chris Davis and Lindsay Daniels were wrapping on their film “Stolen Innocence”, a documentary revealing the untold stories of sex trafficking, when the quake hit Nepal. Having worked extensively in Nepal the past six years, the team quickly organised film equipment and were on the first flight to Nepal to find lost friends. They had already learned of the passing of one close friend, Google employee Dan Fredinburg, who was climbing Everest to promote “Stolen Innocence”.

Nepal Earthquake // Exclusive Drone Footage Reel from Effect International on Vimeo.

The aftermath of the destruction was incomprehensible, as entire villages were destroyed. Buildings were demolished throughout the city and thousands were trapped inside the mounds of rubble. Locals and rescue teams rushed into the unstable destruction to dig out any possible survivors. As aftershocks continued, fear took over. Only a few remained to help the people buried under the mass piles of rubble. They were able to capture heroic footage of people pulling out survivors from the rubble.

Casey and his crew responded to the immediate need, however the supplies that they brought with them quickly depleted. Their small team of four quickly grew as Nepali volunteers joined the efforts. This was further strengthened when Nepali software developers teamed up with Casey and his crew, and together they used technology to create a bot (automated software application) that they used to scan social media for urgent requests around the country. The website Nepal Rises ( was created from scratch in eight hours by a team of local engineers and on its launch the volunteers grew from the original 6 to over 300+ people.

The Nepal Rises team are proving themselves as one of the most efficient non profits on the ground in Nepal – though not set up for disaster relief, working with locals means that they can narrow down locations of the missing, and have more information about sourcing supplies. One donor arrived at the Nepal Rises offices and left $1,200USD, commenting that bigger, traditional organisations have ‘no idea’ how to deal with the emergency situation in comparison to Nepal Rises. They also operate a completely open and transparent system where the team track and log each of their aid drop missions using GPS coordinates. This can be seen on their website and also here.

Phase one is complete: Nepal Rises have distributed 18,000kg food, mobilized 562 volunteers, purified over 1 million litres of water, and reached over 180,000 people with life-saving aid. Nepal Rises now switches to Phase two. Monsoon season will come in July. With the monsoon comes risk of cholera and other waterborne disease, sanitation risks and contaminated drinking water. The focus is now on providing Nepali with clean drinking water, as well as temporary, earthquake proof classrooms for school, to create some normality for young children.

Now the biggest focus is sharing this brand new documentary with as many people as possible, so that people understand the urgency, watch the full documentary at and donate.


9/11 Tribute Center Building Corporate Tribute Benefit Reception

(New York, NY – June 22, 2015) On June 24, the 9/11 Tribute Center is hosting a benefit reception at One World Observatory, at the top of One World Trade Center, with Zurich North America, honoring their work in Building Corporate Tribute and establishing the annual KAMP Award, an innovative corporate responsibility program that instills corporate values while engaging employees and recognizing their accomplishments.

In 2002, Zurich North America created the KAMP Award as a living legacy to honor four employees lost on 9/11—John Keohane, Peggy Alario, Kathy Moran and Lud Picarro. KAMP is an acronym for their last names. The award recognizes Zurich colleagues for outstanding achievements, and is an enduring way to remember and inspire others to make a difference. The reception will celebrate companies who have helped sustain Lower Manhattan.

“It’s critical that we remember the tragic events of 9/11 and pay tribute to those who lost their lives,” said Tracy Lampert, Zurich North America Commercial chief of staff who oversees the KAMP program. “We’re proud that our KAMP Award continues to honor our fallen colleagues each year while inspiring our employees to make a difference. Being recognized for a program that’s so close to our hearts is truly a special honor.”

Since 2006 the 9/11 Tribute Center has provided a place for survivors, family members who lost loved ones, first responders and people who live and work in Lower Manhattan to demonstrate resilience by sharing their personal stories. The Tribute Center empowers those who were directly impacted by the events of 9/11 to educate the public to prevent acts of terrorism. Through programs and exhibitions, the 9/11 Tribute Center offers “Person to Person” history, linking visitors who want to understand and appreciate the historic events with those who lived them. The Tribute Center provides an understanding of the loss and impact of 9/11 while inspiring the power of resilience and recovery.

Hors-d’oeuvres and an open bar will be available throughout the evening, and as well as a silent auction, featuring donations from Delmonico’s Restaurant Group, Walt Disney World Theme Park, Equinox Fitness, Spirit Cruiselines, United States Tennis Association, New York Giants, New York Jets, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New York Mets, New York Yankees, and New Jersey Devils.

For more information about the 9/11 Tribute Center and to reserve tickets, visit

About the 9/11 Tribute Center

The 9/11 Tribute Center is a visitor center opened in 2006 by the September 11th Families Association, a not-for-profit corporation. 9/11 Tribute Center offers visitors to the World Trade Center a place where they can connect with people from the 9/11 community: family members of lost loved ones, survivors, first responders and people who live and work in Lower Manhattan. Through walking tours, exhibits and programs, the 9/11 Tribute Center offers “Person to Person History,” linking visitors who want to understand and appreciate the historic events with those who experienced them. Visitors learn factual information about the events, the identity of 2,973 people killed in the attacks, the unprecedented rescue and recovery operations and the tremendous spirit of support and generosity that arose after the attacks. Personal gallery and walking tour experiences are available for student and group visits. Learn more about 9/11 Tribute Center programs, visit

About Zurich

In North America, Zurich is a leading commercial property-casualty insurance provider serving the global corporate, large corporate, middle market, specialties and programs sectors through the individual member companies of Zurich in North America, including Zurich American Insurance Company. Risk engineering services in the United States are provided by The Zurich Services Corporation. Life insurance and disability coverage issued in all states except New York is issued by Zurich American Life Insurance Company, an Illinois domestic life insurance company. In New York, life insurance and disability coverage is issued by Zurich American Life Insurance Company of New York, a New York domestic life insurance company. For more information about the products and services it offers and people Zurich employs around the world, go to 2012 marked Zurich’s 100-year anniversary of insuring America and the success of its customers, shareholders and employees.

CRS Responds to Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Si’

BALTIMORE, MD, June 24, 2015 – In response to Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) released two policy statements which address mitigating the causes of climate change and adapting to its often devastating effects on people around the world –- particularly the world’s poor and vulnerable.

Both statements call for the United States to play a leadership role in addressing this critical issue, which is already impacting millions of people CRS assists around the world.

To mitigate climate change, the first policy statement calls on the United States to “exercise… global leadership to achieve a legally binding, transparent and accountable global climate change treaty.” As the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases and premier economic and political power, the United States has a critical role to play at the December 2015 Climate Summit in Paris. An agreement in Paris is urgently needed as an expression of solidarity with those suffering now and an acknowledgment of our moral responsibility to future generations.

“The Obama administration can catalyze action by playing a highly visible role, convincing the international community of the United States’ commitment and ability to ratify the agreement, and encouraging ambitious commitments from other nations,” the document states.

The paper further calls for the United States to develop a clear and transparent road map toward the stated goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26% to 28% by 2025.

In a second policy statement, CRS addresses the need to support people in developing nations to adapt to the effects of climate change. “As Pope Francis so eloquently stated, we do not have separate problems of environmental degradation and poverty, but a single complex social and environmental crisis,” said Lori Pearson, senior policy advisor at CRS.

The statement on adaptation calls for US leadership in addressing that crisis, including through increased climate finance to support the needs of the 3 billion people most at risk to the effects of climate change. The statement calls on the US to fulfill its promise of $3 billion over 4 years to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GCF is a newly established global institution designed to support both adaptation and mitigation in developing countries – countries with limited financial and technical capacity to address a problem which they did little to create.

CRS is already witnessing the negative effects of climate change on the vulnerable populations we serve in our work overseas – particularly on smallholder farmers who feed most of the world’s population. “Over the last decade, we have had to adjust our programming to address the increasing effects of climate change in the communities where we work,” the paper states.

“Poverty and injustice exacerbate the effects of a changing climate in these poor communities,” the paper notes. Food security is a primary concern. Poor farmers are often farming on already degraded land, which is less resilient and able to compensate in the face of flood or drought. Shifting rainfall patterns, droughts and floods, as well as higher temperatures increase the vulnerability of these farmers. All of these changes are contributing to reduced crop yields and a rise in the number of pests, affecting both crop and human health. Unaddressed, climate change will ultimately affect global food security.

The policy statements call for urgent action and financial support, with attention to “people centered” approaches which adhere to principles of transparency, accountability, local ownership and participation of civil society.

Additional resources:



McGowan Charitable Fund’s Diana Spencer Joins National Archives Foundation Board of Directors

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Archives Foundation, the non-profit partner of the National Archives and Records Administration, today announced the election of Diana Spencer to its Board of Directors. Spencer has served as Executive Director of the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund since May 2006.

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Diana to the board,” said Archives Foundation board chairman A’Lelia Bundles. “From our work together through the years on the annual McGowan Forums, we already know she is a most collegial and thoughtful partner. We look forward to her expertise and her positive spirit.”

As its first full-time Executive Director, Spencer launched a PBS documentary entitled Long Distance Warrior, which highlighted former CEO of MCI William McGowan and the battle with AT&T over a monopolized telecommunications industry. The film debuted in 2010 at the National Archives and was distributed via PBS stations across the country.

During her tenure, Spencer has helped the Board launch of the McGowan Fellows Program, a full scholarship program for ten second-year MBA candidates at leading universities. With her team and university partners, the McGowan Fund holds an annual Symposium on Business Leadership & Ethics, with the overarching goal of raising the dialogue from corporate profitability only, to profitability, social impact, and responsibility.

In 2013, Spencer helped create a program to prevent early childhood obesity. Healthy Way to Grow, delivered by the American Heart Association, works with childcare providers and families to improve nutrition, hydration, screen time, and exercise. It is the first program launched simultaneously across all McGowan Fund communities.

Prior to her role at the McGowan Charitable Fund, Spencer served as the Director of External Relations at the University of Pittsburgh, where she educated the public and government about therapies in regenerative medicine.

Long-time supporter and Board Member Sue Gin McGowan, who passed away last year, and her late husband William McGowan were tireless partners in the Foundation’s efforts to engage and reach young people, and the professionals and parents who teach them. Generosity through the support of the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund has left an indelible mark, providing support for free educational programming to diverse audiences from across the nation and the world and helping the Archives share with the more than 1 million annual visitors from around the world the historical significance and modern relevance of the records of our democracy.

The 290-seat state-of-the-art William G. McGowan Theater is a critical component of the National Archives Museum. The theater allows the Archives to offer important year-round programming, such as lectures and panel discussions, book signings, films, workshops and symposia on a variety of topics, as well as the annual “McGowan Forum on Women in Leadership” and “McGowan Forum on Communications.” The expansion of the National Archives to both UStream and YouTube in recent years increased online viewership and audience reach, placing the William G. McGowan Theater in the digital world as a resource for civic learning.

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