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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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and corporate social responsibility.


SeedEquity Ventures



This category includes stories about philanthropy, typically covering the generosity of individuals, families, groups of individuals and foundations (nonprofits primarily in the business of funding other nonprofits.

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Himalayan Cataract Project Semi-Finalist for $100 Million Grant

Second Suns tells the true story of the people and history behind the Himalayan Cataract Project – Publisher donates a portion of the proceeds for every copy sold

Press Release – New York (Feb 24, 2017)Second Suns by David Oliver Relin tells the story of the invention of a remarkable surgery that cures blindness and of those working to make it available to the world’s neediest through the charitable work of the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP), a nonprofit that was just named one of eight semi-finalists in 100&Change, a global competition for a single $100 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Second Suns is the story of two doctors, Dr. Geoffrey Tabin and Dr. Sanduk Ruit, who came together to develop a pioneering, 10-minute surgery to treat cataracts—an entirely curable disease and a leading cause of avoidable blindness, afflicting more than 18 million people worldwide—for less than $25 per person. The Experiment has published this remarkable story in paperback for the first time, and, moreover, is donating a portion of the proceeds from every book sold to HCP.

“Reading Second Suns, it’s impossible not to feel that the work of Drs. Ruit and Tabin is among the most important work being done by anyone, anywhere on our planet,” says Matthew Lore, publisher of The Experiment. “Seeing that this new edition gets into the hands of readers everywhere is one way we as the publisher are helping to support the HCP’s far-reaching initiatives to eradicate preventable blindness. But we wanted to do more, hence our deciding to donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each copy. We are thrilled that The MacArthur Foundation has also recognized the importance of HCP’s work by naming them as a semifinalist for this historic grant.”

The Himalayan Cataract Project has worked since 1995 to develop sustainable solutions for needless blindness throughout Asia and Africa. The organization first developed its systems in Nepal, where the prevalence of blindness has fallen by two-thirds since the early 1990s.

“The 100&Change grant could enable the Himalayan Cataract Project to reach the tipping point to eliminate needless blindness on a global scale,” says Dr. Geoffrey Tabin, the Co-Founder of the Himalayan Cataract Project, and protagonist in Second Suns.

In June 2016, the MacArthur Foundation launched the 100&Change competition, offering a $100 million grant to fund a single project that makes measurable progress towards solving a significant global problem. The winner will be announced later this year.

Second Suns: Two Trailblazing Doctors and Their Quest to Cure Blindness, One Pair of Eyes at a Time is available for sale at all retailers and at

The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation Celebrates Legendary Star’s 85th Birthday With Video Fundraiser To Be Matched By Close Friend Kathy Ireland’s Firm

Press Release – LOS ANGELES, Feb. 23, 2017 — In honor of what would have been Elizabeth Taylor’s 85th birthday on February 27th, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) is releasing a short video today to celebrate her incredible legacy.

Dame Elizabeth’s close friend, Kathy Ireland, for whom she was a mentor in creating her leading lifestyle design firm, kathy ireland® WorldWide (kiWW®), has pledged kiWW’s matching donations up to $100,000 “to carry forward this most compassionate woman’s dedication to those impacted.”

“Elizabeth’s passion and courage in finding a cure for AIDS was ferocious,” says Ireland of her close friend and mentor. “She was a glamorous Hollywood icon, and yet she chose to take a path in life that would alienate her from so many, because she knew that to watch people suffer from this disease and not do anything about it, is unconscionable. And she gave it her all and became one of the most powerful activists of all time. Before Elizabeth, people were dying of AIDS, after Elizabeth, people are living with HIV. We all must continue the work of this beautiful and courageous woman.” Committed to carrying on the fight against HIV/AIDS, Kathy was recently named an Ambassador to ETAF.

Photo courtesy kathy ireland® WorldWide (kiWW®)

The video reflects on one of the most unforgettable figures of the big screen, diving into Elizabeth Taylor’s unique and multifaceted fame, and the path that led her from actress to activist.

Philanthropist, artist, and actress Miley Cyrus generously narrated the video as a nod to their shared experiences growing up in the public eye. As child actresses, both women lived lives captured by headlines and chose to use their platforms to advocate fearlessly for the rights of the most marginalized communities.

Click HERE to watch the moving video tribute on ETAF’s YouTube channel.

Please help continue to carry Elizabeth Taylor’s torch and donate to ETAF in honor of her birthday by going to or you can text LOVE to 27722 to donate $10.

SOURCE The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation

The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation

Video Narrated by Miley Cyrus

Related Links

The Love Project Launches A Social Movement Based On Love

Press Release – February 23, 2017 (New York, NY) – The Love Project, a new social activation campaign whose mission is to address the need for love in the world, and to amplify and inspire love, was unveiled today. With its untapped potential to unite, the campaign is based on the view that love is the foundation for a happier, more beautiful world.

The Love Project is an extension of Revlon’s Love is On campaign, which launched in 2014, and reflects the brand’s belief in the power of love and the diversity of beauty. ‎

This is the beginning of a social movement campaign that will continue through upcoming collaborations and calls-to-action to spread more love in the world. The campaign previews with a 30 second video, featuring “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga, posted exclusively on the singer’s social channels. This video will be followed by a commercial spot directed by Brett Ratner and starring Lady Gaga, Pharrell Williams and Ellen DeGeneres, that will air during The 89th Academy Awards broadcast on Sunday, February 26th. The commercial will initiate a call-to-action to help spread more love in the world, inviting anyone who is inspired by love to visit and create custom, shareable content that symbolizes what love means to them with the hashtag #Lovein3Words.

Visitors will also be invited to support Born This Way Foundation, From One Hand to AnOTHER, The Trevor Project and/or the Women’s Heart Alliance (the “WHA”), all founding not-for-profit partners of The Love Project.

“The Love Project is the beginning of a social movement which aims to inspire more love, acceptance and caring in the world,” said Carlos Barreto, Revlon Senior Vice President Marketing. “At the heart of this campaign is the belief that all people are beautiful and that love can create a better world.”

Revlon has committed one million dollars in combined charitable contributions to the following founding not-for-profit partners; WHA, which is dedicated to women’s heart health, to Born This Way Foundation, which is committed to building to a kinder and braver world by empowering young people, From One Hand to AnOther, which aims to provide at risk kids with educational tools and resources, and to the Trevor Project which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

In addition, to amplify the #LoveIn3Words message, Revlon has teamed with Amazon as the first-ever beauty company to do a shipping box takeover. Select Amazon fulfillment centers are shipping customer orders in Revlon-branded boxes featuring the #LoveIn3Words call-to-action for a limited time.

Consumers can join the Love Project movement by visiting to create their custom #Lovein3Words to post on their social channels, make a donation or inspire others to join in and help spread the love. As the campaign unfolds, consumers will learn more ways in which they can choose love and inspire others to do the same.

About Revlon:

Revlon is a global cosmetics company regarded as an industry innovator and color expert. Revlon’s LOVE IS ON brand mission and CHOOSE LOVE campaign help empower and inspire women around the world to be proactive in choosing and celebrating love. Founded in 1932 with revolutionary opaque nail enamel, Revlon today offers consumers in 130 countries and territories a range of superior mass market color cosmetics for the face, eye and its heritage lip and nail. The Revlon portfolio includes Revlon ColorStay™, Revlon PhotoReady™, Super Lustrous™ and Ultra HD™.

About Born This Way Foundation:

Led by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2012 to support the wellness of young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world. To achieve these goals, Born This Way Foundation leverages rigorous academic research and authentic partnerships in order to provide young people with kinder communities, improved mental health resources, and more positive environments – online and offline. Learn more at:

About From One Hand to AnOTHER

From One Hand To AnOTHER Inc. (FOHTA), is a 501C3 Not for Profit Organization that was established by Pharrell Williams in 2008 in his hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia. FOHTA began its community outreach with a school supply giveaway, and over the last 9 years it has grown into a six-week summer camp program that reaches over 1,000 predominately at-risk and low-income students in grades two through eight. Our mission is “To change the world one kid at a time by providing them the tools and resources to meet their unique potential.” – Pharrell

FOHTA’s vision is to expand educational opportunities to empower our participants through fun, project- based learning; while inspiring curiosity and increasing their enthusiasm for learning. For more information, please visit

About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25, and provides a wealth of educational resources for youth-serving adults. For more information please visit

About The Women’s Heart Alliance:

The Women’s Heart Alliance (WHA) was formed to raise awareness, encourage action and drive new research to fight women’s heart disease. It’s a unique collaboration between two of America’s leading medical institutions—the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center—and two major philanthropists and leaders in business and entertainment, Barbra Streisand and Ronald O. Perelman. Learn more at, and on Facebook @Womens Heart Alliance, Twitter @WHA and Instagram @womensheartalliance.

FPWA Appoints Emily Miles To Chief Program And Policy Officer

Miles to Work with Stakeholders in the Community and Human Services Sector Efforts to Increase Upward Mobility for New Yorkers

Press Release – Thursday, February 23, 2017 (New York, NY) – Non-profit sector leader Emily Miles has been appointed Chief Program and Policy Officer at FPWA, one of New York’s leading non-profit organizations aimed at alleviating poverty and advancing upward mobility. As Chief Program and Policy Officer, Miles will lead the development, implementation and evaluation of all policy, advocacy and programmatic activity working with multiple stakeholders in the community and human services sector. Miles will provide strategic programmatic leadership to ensure FPWA’s policy agenda, programs and related initiatives align with the agency’s mission to benefit New Yorkers in need and member agencies that serve them.

According to Jennifer Jones Austin, the CEO and Executive Director of FPWA: “We are thrilled to be able to draw from within our ranks to promote an exceptional talent. Emily brings a wealth of policy experience to this position after having successfully led several campaigns and initiatives that continue to drive FPWA forward to ensure the promise of opportunity can be realized.”

“I am excited to be taking on this new role at a critical time for our city and country,” said Miles. “I look forward to continuing to strengthen and advance FPWA’s work to promote opportunities for upward mobility to all New Yorkers in partnership with the FPWA team, our member agencies, and our allies across the state.”

Miles’ leadership at FPWA has evolved over a period of four years where prior to her promotion, she was the Director of Policy, Advocacy and Research, and oversaw the development and implementation of FPWA’s policy agenda. In this position, Miles played a lead role in the development of several campaigns and initiatives focused on increasing economic equity across New York City and State, including the launch of #15andFunding and Restore Opportunity Now campaigns aimed at increasing wages and funding for the human services sector, as well as playing a lead role in releasing a joint study with UJA Federation of New York and Catholic Charities focusing on the expansion and implementation of key anti-poverty policies. In 2015, Miles was honored to be named a Next Generation Leader by the Human Services Council and a Top 40 Under 40 Rising Star by New York Nonprofit Media.

Prior to joining FPWA, Miles worked in the Obama Administration in the Office of the Vice President and in the U.S. Department of Education, managing gender-based violence initiatives; coordinating federal inter-agency workgroup activities targeted at reducing violence against women and girls; and organizing broad-based support for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Miles also brings to FPWA a strong background in education, having started her career as a public middle school teacher, working in both Georgia and Maine as a teacher and gifted and talented program coordinator.

About FPWA

FPWA is an anti-poverty, policy, and advocacy nonprofit with a membership network of nearly 180 human-service and faith-based organizations. FPWA has been a prominent force in New York City’s social services system for more than 95 years, advocating for fair public policies, collaborating with partner agencies, and growing its community-based membership network to meet the needs of New Yorkers. Each year, FPWA helps close to 1.5 million New Yorkers move up the economic ladder. Visit us at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Hadassah Foundation Awards $330,000 in Grants to Israeli Organizations to Empower Girls and Women in Israel

Press Release – (NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 22, 2017) – The Hadassah Foundation, which invests in social change to empower women and girls in Israel and the United States, has awarded $330,000 in grants to 21 Israeli organizations that enhance economic opportunities for women in Israel, it was announced by Julie Morris, chair of Hadassah Foundation.

Founded in 1998 by Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA), the Hadassah Foundation is a philanthropic pioneer in the fields of improving economic security for low-income Israeli women and developing leadership and self-esteem programs for adolescent Jewish girls and young women in the United States. In 2017, the Foundation is marking its “Chai” (18) anniversary and more than $7.6 million in grants to over 90 nonprofit organizations, devoted to improving the lives the girls and women in the United States and Israel.

In 2016, the Foundation made grants totaling $545,000—it awarded $365,000 to 21 Israeli organizations which work to support Israeli women from all walks of life, as well as $180,000 to six organizations in the United States as part of its initiative to strengthen leadership development opportunities for young Jewish women in Israel and the United States.

Julie Morris, chair of the Foundation, states, “Our 2017 grantees are striving to make Israel a more equitable place for women, and lifting motivated women out of poverty.”

In addition to two first-time grantees, the Foundation also awarded “sustaining” grants for the fifth consecutive year. These grants provide general operating support to four long-term grantees that have played a particularly critical role in promoting the economic security of women in Israel.

The 2017 grants were awarded to the following organizations:

Legal Aid

  • Bar Ilan University, The Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant): Provides legal counsel to women seeking a divorce. It works proactively to improve policy and practice by educating future family lawyers to safeguard women’s rights and advocating for changes in Israeli family law.
  • Center for Women’s Justice, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant): Pursues precedent-setting litigation and legal advocacy on behalf of women who have suffered unjust treatment, discrimination, or whose basic human rights have been infringed upon when seeking a divorce.
  • Itach-Maaki—Women Lawyers for Social Justice, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant): Public interest law organization working on behalf of low-income Israeli women. Itach-Makki helps women file employment-related lawsuits and form peer support groups and educates the public about issues affecting women.

Policy Education and Coalition Building

  • Adva, $10,000: For the Negev Forum of Women Business Leaders, which aims to increase the economic power of Bedouin and Jewish businesswomen from more than 20 Negev communities, who will receive training and mentoring so they can plan and implement civic initiatives that increase women’s economic opportunities.
  • Isha L’Isha, $15,000:  For an advocacy project that has two goals: to change laws and policies so as to increase the participation and success rate of women-owned businesses in tenders issued by the Haifa Municipality, and to advocate for the direct employment of women in custodial jobs for that municipality, rather than employing them as contractors through an outside employment agency, as is currently the case.
  • New Israel Fund, Shatil, $15,000:  For the Advancing the Rights of Women in Public Housing program, which aims to protect the rights of single mothers in public housing—an estimated 77% of the families in public housing are headed by single women—and expand eligibility criteria so that more such families can get housing support.
  • Yedid, $8,000: For the Single Mothers for Change, which strives to provide greater economic security for low-income single mothers. Working with a network of more than 800 low-income single female parents, YEDID will educate and advocate for public policies to improve the economic security of single parents and their children, focusing specifically on Israel’s child-support law.

Workplace Discrimination

  • The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, $25,000: For the Enhancing Security in the Workplace project, which will enable it to implement an anti-sexual harassment code at several leading Israeli employers, with the goal of making this a model program for other Israeli workplaces.
  • Merchavim, $15,000:  For the Arab Teacher Integration in Jewish Schools Initiative, which places Arab Israelis trained as teachers—the vast majority of whom are female—in Jewish Israeli schools. This program aims to reduce the high level of unemployment of female teachers in the Arab sector, address a shortage of teachers in Jewish Israeli schools, and promote intergroup relations.

Employment Conditions of Low-Income Women

  • Kav LaOved—Worker’s Hotline, $20,000:  For a legal assistance and advocacy program to improve working conditions of 60,000 migrant caregivers working in Israel, 80% of whom are women and the vast majority of whom are working under problematic conditions.
  • Workers’ Advice Center—Ma’an, $25,000:  For the Arab Women in Agriculture program, which enables Arab Israeli women who live in the periphery to take on agricultural work under improved circumstances—including guaranteed (and properly documented) pay at at least the legal minimum wage.

Asset Building

  • Economic Empowerment for Women, $5,000 (Sustaining Grant):  For the promotion of asset development among low-income women who manage microenterprises, based on the U.S. model of the Individual Development Account.
  • Project Kesher Israel, $12,000:  For financial training to women from the former Soviet Union, who, due to language and cultural issues, do not know how to manage their finances or work with Israeli financial institutions.

Business Training & Entrepreneurship

  • Microfy, $18,000:  For a women’s business forum for nascent business owners from South Tel Aviv.
  • PresenTense, $24,000:  For the Yazamiot Venture Accelerator, an eight-month program that will train 15-20 ultra-Orthodox women entrepreneurs to launch small or social businesses, or grow existing ones.

Vocational Training and Job Placement

  • The Israel Women’s Network, $25,000:  For the Towards Integrating Women in the Male Trades project, which aims to close the gender gap which exists in the Israeli workforce in general, and in mid-level professional trades in particular, by integrating women into positions typically defined as “male trades,” such as electricians, carpenters, drivers, and more.
  • Machshava Tova, $20,000:  For a program that trains low-income women in app (application) development, so they can gain a foothold in the rapidly developing mobile telephone data field.
  • The National Council of Jewish Women Research Institute for Innovation in Education at Hebrew University, $25,000:  For the Training Ethiopian Women for the Workforce as Educators in the Pre-School Sector program, which will enable these women to bring much-needed income into their lower-income homes.
  • Tishreen, $25,000:  For a job readiness program for Arab Israeli women from the Southern Triangle region.
  • Women’s Spirit, $5,000:  For the Seeds of Growth program, which will provide 400 women victims of violence of prime working age (20-60) with tools and support to reintegrate successfully in the employment world and achieve financial independence.

Leadership Development

  • WEPOWER, $25,000:  For a program to support women completing their first five-year term as city council members to run for a second term, since, traditionally, half of such women do not run for second term.

About The Hadassah Foundation

The Hadassah Foundation, founded in 1998 by Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA) is an investor in social change to empower girls and women in Israel and the United States. For more information, visit

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA) is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With 330,000 members, associates and supporters Hadassah brings Jewish women together to effect change and advocate on critical issues such as medical care and research, women’s empowerment, and the security of Israel. Through the Hadassah Medical Organization’s two hospitals, the world-renowned trauma center and the leading research facility in Jerusalem, Hadassah supports the delivery of exemplary patient care to over a million people every year. HMO serves without regard to race, religion or nationality and earned a Nobel Peace Prize Nomination in 2005 for building “bridges to peace” through equality in medical treatment. For more information, visit

Surge In Philanthropy From African-Americans As Demographics Shift

Press Release – WASHINGTON D.C. – As the ethnic makeup of America changes, the face of philanthropy is changing dramatically. The role of African-Americans in philanthropy is not only keeping pace but exceeding expectations when it comes to giving.

This will be one of the major topics of exploration in this year’s Non-Profit Thursdays in Washington, D.C. The Beltway gathering on Thursday, March 2 brings together an exclusive group of top Executive Directors and CEO’s of America’s $3 million-dollar a year plus charitable organizations to explore how to successfully fund-raise based upon the latest data.

Bank of America – Merrill Lynch is the sponsor of Non-Profit Thursdays, which was created by Philanthropic expert M. Gasby Brown , CEO and Co-Founder of the newly created Bridge Philanthropic Consulting (BPC), the nation’s largest full service African-American owned fundraising firm.

The rise of an African American/Women owned firm like BPC shows how the realities of philanthropy have truly changed,” says Reggie Van Lee, a celebrated philanthropist, Fortune 1000 former executive and winner of New York University’s C. Walter Nichols Award for community service. “Looking at the Study, I am excited to see the hard data matching what we have observed in the Black community for many years.

Bridge Philanthropic Consulting’s subject for Non-Profit Thursday is “The 2016 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy Unpacked”: ‘How to use it to raise money!'” – but a special emphasis will be on the new data regarding African-American High Net Worth Giving and a discussion on High Net Worth Philanthropy in general with special guest Erin Hogan, Vice President, U.S. Trust.

“The 2016 U.S. Trust and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy provide a profile of High Net Worth philanthropy in the African American community. This a first and we welcome the information!” says M. Gasby Brown, CEO and co-founder of Bridge Philanthropic Consulting. Non-profit heads will receive expert advice on how to work with the unique trends and challenges faced by charities seeking major gifts. Brown is also a faculty member of the renowned The Fund Raising School at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Overall, there are a lot of reasons for optimism for non-profits as U.S. demographics shift. As far back as 2003 it has been documented that African-American households give 25% more of their discretionary income to philanthropic activities than Whites and the “2016 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy” suggests that those figures increase as community members join the ranks of the wealthy.

There is also an unbroken legacy in the Black church of giving tithes and offerings that has instilled a sense of organic philanthropy in the African American community. African-Americans who attend church are 25% more likely to give than their peers who don’t attend church services. “I became involved in philanthropy through a family tradition that goes back to the church,” says Dwayne Ashley, the other Co-Founder and President of Bridge Philanthropic Consulting, “my great grandmother was a mid-wife. When families could not pay her they often gave her portions of their land which she in turn donated to create one of first black schools in Heflin, Louisiana. Eventually, the school became a church where generations of my family and neighbors attend to this day.”

But, while black donors are generous, they do have separate traditions surrounding giving than other ethnic groups. For instance, African-Americans indicated in the “2016 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy” that they are significantly more likely to give at any level if their families have a history of giving. Also, while white donors tend to look to wealth management experts for advice in giving, donations in the African-American community tend to begin with counsel from religious organizations. Peers of givers tend to play a higher role in decision making among African-American philanthropists, as well.

These and other topics connected to the rising tide of African-American philanthropists will be explored at Non-Profit Thursdays on March 2 and promise a snapshot of the field of philanthropy that is shifting even as the ethnic makeup of America becomes more diverse.

The 12- page survey was randomly distributed to 20,000 households in High Net Worth areas of the U.S. Results were based on a nationwide sample of 1400 households worth $1 million or more (excluding the value of their home) and /or a household income of $200,00 or more.

Wallace Foundation Names New Director of Learning and Enrichment

Giselle “Gigi” Antoni, president and CEO of Big Thought in Dallas, is a respected national leader in arts, enrichment

Press Release – New York, N.Y. (February 23, 2017)The Wallace Foundation announced today that it has selected a new director of learning and enrichment who will oversee one of the foundation’s key grant making areas.

Giselle “Gigi” Antoni, president and CEO of Big Thought in Dallas, a nonprofit organization that focuses on building partnerships that close the opportunity gap through creative out-of-school time programs, will join Wallace after May 1, said Will Miller, the president of the foundation. Antoni will succeed Nancy Devine, the current director of enrichment and learning, who is retiring.

“We’re delighted that Gigi will be joining Wallace,” said Miller. “As a leader, she has helped Big Thought make a big difference not just in Dallas, but also nationally as an example of what collaboration and consensus-building can accomplish in youth development at the scale of an entire city. Her expertise, focus on system-level change, and commitment to evidence and continuous learning will help Wallace advance its mission.”

As director of learning and enrichment at Wallace, Antoni will supervise a unit of five staff, and lead an interdisciplinary team responsible for strategy and implementation of initiatives in areas including social and emotional learning, summer learning and afterschool system-building. Miller noted that Big Thought has been a Wallace grantee in arts education, summer learning, and social and emotional learning, giving her a valuable perspective on the foundation’s approach.

“It’s a great honor for me to join the staff of The Wallace Foundation,” Antoni said. “I have seen how the foundation’s work has helped my community build more accessible, equitable and sustainable learning systems for children. I look forward to drawing on my experience as part of a team working to help other communities expand opportunities for children.”

Antoni has served as the leader of Big Thought and its predecessor organization, Young Audiences of North Texas, for 21 years; before that, she spent five years as its artistic director. Prior to that, she was a teaching artist for Children’s Arts and Ideas. During her tenure, Antoni led Big Thought through a major overhaul to deepen the impact of its programming serving children in poverty. Its programs serve 130,000 of Dallas’ most marginalized youth year-round, with in-school and community-based programming during the school day, after school and during the summer. She also led an in-depth, citywide research and planning process that increased access and the breadth of out-of-school programming in Dallas.

Her contributions have been recognized through major awards and honors, including the Founder’s Award from the National Summer Learning Association and the Champion of Change for Arts Education by the White House.

Antoni has been a keynote speaker at national conferences including Grantmakers for Education, the Afterschool Alliance and 21st Century Learning Community Centers. She has consulted with and conducted trainings for UNESCO, Charleston, S.C., Baltimore, Md., Memphis, Tenn., Chicago Funders Forum and the Harvard School of Education. She has co-authored three publications including “More than Measuring: Program Evaluation as an Opportunity to Build the Capacity of Communities” and “Collaboration & Sustainability in Arts Education,” and is the author of numerous op-eds, essays and white papers.

Antoni is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University and the Drama Studio London at Berkeley, and studied social work at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Miracle Flights Rings in the New Year with Record Flight Count

588 Flights Coordinated in January 2017 for Kids in Need of Distant Medical Care

Press Release – LAS VEGAS, Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The nation’s leading medical flight charity, Miracle Flights, welcomed the New Year with 588 life-saving flights during January 2017. This marks the highest January flight count in the charity’s three-decade history—A New Year’s resolution worth celebrating!

The nonprofit transports patients from all over the U.S, as well as all over the globe. In January 2017 alone, Miracle Flights serviced patients from 31 states and 8 countries, including Peru, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Highlights include 68 flights from California, 39 from Florida and 34 from Texas.

To-date, the charity has celebrated 106,058 flights and covered over 59 million miles. Miracle Flights has helped patients with rare and life-threatening medical conditions gain access to distant medical care for over 30 yrs. Plane tickets are provided at no cost to the families and as many times as necessary.

Mark E. Brown, CEO of Miracle Flights, said, “The New Year is about new beginnings. Whether it’s a patient’s 1st or 100th flight, Miracle Flights gives families hope for a healthier future. This year our New Year’s resolution is to help even more families, so if you know anyone in need of medical care far from home, please refer them to us.”

About Miracle Flights

Miracle Flights is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free medical air transportation via commercial airlines throughout the United States. With over three decades of service to families in need, Miracle Flights has coordinated more than 100,000 flights and counting. For more information about Miracle Flights, to request flight assistance, or to make a donation, call 800-359-1711 or visit Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Connect With Your Animal Spirit At Retreat In Florida Primate Sanctuary

Press Release – Gainesville, FL – International animal protection organization, In Defense of Animals, is pleased to announce a one-of-a-kind retreat at Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary in Gainesville, Florida, featuring internationally renowned guest speaker Rae Sikora. This special event is open to all and will be held in beautiful natural jungle surroundings on the weekend of April 1 to April 2.

“We are so pleased to offer this unique retreat experience in Florida, where you can get away from it all and connect with animals and the environment,” said In Defense of Animals President, Dr. Marilyn Kroplick. “In Defense of Animals is bringing together the most esteemed speakers at the best animal sanctuaries in the world. Don’t miss out; register now to secure your spot.”

Rae Sikora has been a spokesperson for animals, the environment, and human rights for over 30 years. She is co-founder of Plant Peace Daily and the Institute for Human Education, and her programs have been changing people’s vision of what is possible to create in our lives and in the world. Sikora has been recognized for her life-changing work as an official inductee in the North American Vegetarian Society’s Hall of Fame.

“I am delighted to be joining with In Defense of Animals and Jungle Friends for this amazing retreat in Florida which is sure to be the experience of a lifetime,” said Sikora. “Jungle Friends is one of my favorite places to connect with animals and find inner peace. Whatever your background or belief, come along and experience this special event for yourself.”

On Saturday, participants will have a sanctuary tour to meet Jungle Friend’s “Miracle Monkeys,” practice yoga, meditation, and enjoy a delicious animal-friendly lunch. In the afternoon, retreat-goers will enjoy an uplifting and empowering talk about compassion for all living beings from Rae Sikora. A creative blessing ceremony will follow for participants to empathize with animals suffering around the world, celebrate animal companions, honor those who have died, and create a vision of harmony between humans and other animals.

On Sunday, you are invited to visit the Temple of the Universe for a spiritual talk with “The Untethered Soul” author Mickey Singer, and then spend the afternoon volunteering on a special project at the sanctuary.

Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary provides permanent high-quality sanctuary care for monkeys who have been freed from laboratories, kept as pets, or have been confiscated by the authorities. All have suffered physical and psychological trauma, but many fully recover to live happy healthy lives at Jungle Friends.

Retreat Day: Saturday, April 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Volunteer Day (optional:) Sunday, April 2, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary, 13915 North State Road 121, Gainesville, FL 32653
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Mellon Grant Helps University Advance Racial Justice Recommendations

Press Release – February 13, 2017 – A recent $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will help Georgetown carry out its commitment to produce scholarship that helps the nation better understand and address its legacies of slavery, racism and discrimination.

The five-year Mellon grant will assist the university in establishing a center for racial justice, hiring faculty experts in the field, supporting postdoctoral and graduate fellows and funding a series of visiting lecturers.

The grant comes after the release this past September of a report containing recommendations from the university’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation (SMR), which was charged with reflecting on Georgetown’s historic involvement in the institution of slavery.

A second team, the Working Group on Racial Justice, is working on areas addressed by the grant along with exploring how the university may create a home for researching slavery and its legacies, based on the SMR report and major commitments set by the university.

“The university has made a commitment to elevate and accelerate its efforts to address the persistent, enduring legacy of racism and segregation in the American experience,” says Georgetown Provost Robert Groves, a co-chair of the Working Group on Racial Justice. “This grant from the Mellon Foundation is a notable recognition of the importance of that commitment.”


Georgetown President John J. DeGioia established the Working Group on Racial Justice comprising students, faculty and staff nearly a year ago – charging it with exploring and making recommendations on ways in which the university may best produce research and scholarship.

In his Feb. 4, 2016 address, DeGioia asked the working group to address the academic fields related to African American studies and the underlying issues of racial justice in America.

He also noted that much of the “intellectual, faculty and organizational resources” needed to responsibly pursue these objectives were already available at Georgetown.

Robert Patterson, associate professor and chair of African American studies at Georgetown, discusses systemic racism during class. He is also co-chair of the Working Group on Racial Justice.


Robert Patterson, associate professor of African American studies and affiliate professor of English at the university, serves as co-chair of the working group with School of Foreign Service professor Gwen Mikell and the provost.

He believes the nation’s legacies of slavery, racism and discrimination are directly responsible for housing and education inequalities, income and health disparities and inequities within legal and criminal justice institutions.

“The working group views racial justice as a fundamental component of America’s past and present,” says Patterson. “It’s important to seek creative ways of addressing racial justice through research, community engagement and policy solutions.”


This past June, the university expanded its African American studies program into a department and began offering a major to Georgetown students this fall as a result of commitments set forth by DeGioia last year.

“The Mellon grant allows us to focus on our next major commitments,” says Patterson, now chair of the African American studies department. “We’ve launched nationwide searches for several new posts that will add to the department’s core faculty in the next two years.”

Since March, the working group has examined African American and Africana studies programs across the country and convened faculty and staff listening groups to brainstorm about what the center’s mission should be.

“We’re narrowing down what the focus and framework of the center would be and what ways we can continue to advance the work of the Racial Justice Working Group,” Patterson says.


In addition to funding two faculty spots beginning in 2017-2018 academic year, the Mellon grant will help fund two postdoctoral fellows for two-year appointments.

The grant also will go toward the creation of two five-year Patrick Healy Graduate Fellowships, which will be awarded for the 2017-2018 academic year to graduate students in the humanities.

“Our hope is to become a significant producer of doctoral students from racially and culturally underrepresented groups,” Patterson says.

Groves says the university’s commitment to furthering conversations, research and scholarship in these areas is in keeping with the university’s Jesuit and Catholic tradition of educating women and men for others.

“We seek to integrate into our teaching and research all of the lessons that accrue from our efforts to foster racial justice,” he says. “Following this path in our nation’s capital can heighten the impact Georgetown can have in this journey.”


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