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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

Philanthropy

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.

Lambda Legal Receives First-Ever Million Dollar Match Pledge to Support Future LGBT Equality Work

Advocacy Group Launches Campaign Urging Supporters to Say #IDO for Marriage Equality and Beyond

(Chicago, April 23, 2015) – Today, just five days before the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in the case for marriage equality, Lambda Legal’s Board Co-Chair Karen Dixon announced that she and her wife Nan Schaffer are donating a $1 million match to the organization that will support future work to achieve equality for LGBT people and people living with HIV. The largest match in organizational history, Dixon and Shaffer are challenging people across the country to meet the match and ensure that Lambda Legal will receive the full $1 million – directly turning the donation into important legal and advocacy work.

From now until the Supreme Court decision date (presumably late June), Dixon and Schaffer will be matching donations – dollar for dollar – as well as online actions that show support for equality. A full list of actions and ways to participate can be found at www.lambdalegal.org. People from across the country are saying “#IDO” in a new campaign video, created by the organization. Throughout the campaign, supporters and celebrities will be sharing their “#IDO” message – showing the united front of the LGBT equality movement.

“Even as we’re poised to win what we hope will be a big victory for marriage, we have well-funded opponents who are more determined than ever to turn back our advances,” said Dixon. “And the day after marriage equality is legal in all 50 states, employment discrimination against LGBT people will remain rampant, too often leaving exceptional workers suddenly holding a pink slip. We need to increase our team of experienced lawyers and advocates to make sure that if you post your wedding photos on Facebook, you won’t be fired the next day.”

Since Lambda Legal’s founding, they have had one singular mission: achieve the full civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV. In recent years, there has been a groundswell of support for marriage equality and many groups have devoted a lot of resources to that. On this issue, Lambda Legal has led the way, working in the courts and the courts of public opinion for decades. However, they have also consistently led the fight in protecting and advancing the rights of the LGBT community and those living with HIV in all aspects of their lives. Marriage is an important battle – and bigger fights are still to come.

“I am proud that Lambda Legal’s decades of victories have helped bring us so close to a victory on marriage equality, and immensely grateful that Karen and Nan have the vision and generosity to fuel the battles our attorneys fight every day in the courtroom,” said Kevin Cathcart, Lambda Legal’s Executive Director. “We are far from done – our Legal Help Desk gets thousands of calls every year from people facing discrimination across the country. Our opponents aren’t done either and we need to defend our freedoms against their attacks and so-called religious freedom laws. This kind of gift is transformational – it lifts up our work and our organization and invites others to join us.”

From now until the Supreme Court decision date (presumably late June), Dixon and Schaffer will be matching donations – dollar for dollar – as well as online actions that show support for equality. A full list of actions and ways to participate can be found at www.lambdalegal.org. People from across the country are saying “#IDO” in a new campaign video, created by the organization. Throughout the campaign, supporters and celebrities will be sharing their “#IDO” message – showing the united front of the LGBT equality movement.

“Karen and I believe that Lambda Legal is the best organization to safeguard our marriage victories, to stop anti-gay opponents like Indiana’s Governor Pence from turning back the clock for civil rights, and to carry on in the fight to see us all respected equally under law,” Nan Schaffer added about the gift. “As a couple, we were able to say “IDO” to one another because Lambda Legal fought for that right. Now we are saying “IDO” to the future of equality for everyone.”Dixon chimed in. “Every donation will be doubled by our challenge match, so please say “IDO” by giving generously to Lambda Legal now. Please make us pay to ensure equality for all!”

Visit www.lambdalegal.org to show your support by saying “#IDO.” Say “#IDO” for people across our country who need allies and supporters.

OWC Wind & Solar Energy Production to Exceed 100% of Its Nationwide Energy Consumption Needs

OWC Product Philosophy of Maximizing Resources Successfully Extended to Business Sustainability Initiatives

Woodstock, IL – April 22, 2015Other World Computing (OWC), a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, announced today on Earth Day that as part of the company’s sustainability program, it will soon produce enough on-site wind and solar power to cover all energy needs for four facilities in three states (Illinois, Texas and Nevada), becoming completely energy independent due to its adoption of alternative energy sources.

OWC provides customers with products that allow them to maximize the longevity of their technology products and to improve the performance of those products. Since 2003, OWC has worked to extend this approach to its business operations, with the result that the company currently recycles 97 percent of its solid waste materials; received LEED® Platinum Certification by the Green Building Certification Institute in 2010; and will soon reach its goal of generating more power than it consumes.

Energy Independence

OWC has focused on facility efficiency to reduce energy requirements with technologies such as geothermal heating and cooling systems and on-site renewable energy production for the provision of energy needs. The company kicked off its alternative, on-site energy generation program with the installation of a Vestas V39-500kW wind turbine in 2009, and quickly became the first manufacturer/distributor in the U.S. to become 100% on-site wind powered. OWC’s headquarters in Woodstock, Illinois currently generates more power than is consumed at this location, where approximately 176 of OWC’s 215 team members operate from today. The excess power flows out to the local power grid, providing a renewable source of energy to other energy consumers in McHenry County.

OWC has also adopted solar power as an energy source. In late 2012 and early 2013, OWC opened two new locations in Texas, and soon installed solar panels on the roof of its downtown Austin location. Energized at the beginning of 2014, the highly efficient panels installed now generate approximately one-third of the power consumed by this three-story building, including the majority of power that is consumed by the third floor occupied by OWC. As in Woodstock, excess power that accrues during low usage periods is put out onto the Austin Energy grid. The project not only solidified OWC’s reputation as a leader in utilizing green technology, but it also helps to explain why the tech firm has fit in so well since it expanded into Austin about three years ago.

Even factoring in a total of four operational centers in three states, OWC’s current solar and wind generation still provides for approximately 88% of its total annual power needs, and OWC stipulates that any remaining power be purchased from available local renewable power providers. The goal is to generate beyond the need of the organization at large. To achieve this, a new project has already commenced to utilize the roof of the 37,000 square foot Woodstock HQ operation for solar generation. Following the completion of this project, expected by early summer 2015, OWC will not only generate more power than is used at its four facilities, but will also add excess, clean wind and solar energy to the local power grid, and be able to continue to self-power as OWC continues to expand to new facilities in the future.

“Everything we do at OWC is about going further,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO of Other World Computing. “Taking technology further, enabling existing technology to go further with better performance and greater lifetime of productive use, and going further in support of our customers and their technology needs. Using proven technology to see our natural resources go further and reduce consumption and waste benefits the world we all share for today and our children tomorrow.”

The Illinois headquarters also benefits from a geothermal heating and cooling system. Water is pumped into geo-wells set more than 200 feet into the ground, moving from the building to below ground level and then back, day after day, year after year. If the water becomes warmer in the summer when passing through the building, it will give up that heat to the earth, 200 feet below the surface, where it is always a range of 47 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit. The process works in the reverse during cold weather months, preheating the air for the heating system so the system doesn’t have to heat air from the outside, which could be at zero degrees Fahrenheit or colder. For more information on OWC’s geothermal system, please visit http://eshop.macsales.com/green/points/energy.html.

PR-owc-wind-turbine-Earth-Day-2015Recycling

Starting with an aggressive corrugated box recycling program in 2003, OWC has expanded its solid waste recycling program to include all paper, plastic, and aluminum cans. The total of recorded recycled solid waste in 2005 was 32.5 tons. After moving to its new facility in 2008, OWC’s tally of recycled solid waste from 2008 to 2015 reached an impressive total of 287.3 tons — materials that otherwise would have become part of the solid waste stream.

Non-recyclable materials such as food materials from the staff lunchroom go into a solid waste compactor, but only after being monitored to extract any recyclable materials. And a composting program for a new onsite employee garden has further reduced food waste, resulting in a compactor box only needing to be removed about every 11 months. Imagine having your trash picked up only once a year!

OWC continues to work at bettering its 97 percent solid waste recycling record by only using recyclable plastic and aluminum containers in company vending machines. OWC also takes “green” even further by helping with local fundraising efforts, through donating aluminum cans to a local animal shelter and used printer toner cartridges to local schools. And by using native plants in landscaped areas, OWC helps conserve water.

pr-owc-monitoring-Earth-Day-2015Green Buildings

As part of its mission to design its new Illinois headquarters to be “green” from the ground up, OWC participated in the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. The result was that the new OWC corporate campus was awarded LEED® Platinum Certification in March 2010 by the Green Building Certification Institute, the highest achievable level. Out of more than 14,000 LEED projects engaged worldwide since the program’s inception, OWC is one of less than 300 to achieve the Platinum standard. With this recognition, OWC also became the first privately owned light manufacturing/assembly building in Illinois to obtain LEED Platinum status. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.

In September 2010, OWC’s headquarters earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR® rating for building operations that perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency. OWC continues to upgrade existing buildings for even more energy efficiency, such as recently installing high-efficiency air-conditioning units in its Austin facility, as well as special dual-reflective window film that blocks up to 66 percent of the sun’s heat.

“Today on Earth Day, we remind ourselves of the importance of respecting the environment. We at OWC are proud of our dedication to a greener planet with LEED and Green Initiatives and are committed to preserving the environment with non-polluting sustainable wind turbine and solar energy solutions,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder & CEO, Other World Computing.

The OWC Trust Advantage®

  • Over 25 years of product design and innovation
  • OWC tested for compatibility, speed and reliability
  • Comprehensive step-by-step installation and support videos
  • 24/7 award-winning, U.S.-based technical support

About OWC

OWC is the manufacturer and upgrade provider of choice for Apple and PC enthusiasts and has been providing OWC memory upgrades for Apple computers since 1989. For the last decade, OWC has been building SSD upgrades specifically for Apple computers, winning multiple awards while also earning accolades for OWC External Drives and OWC Optical Drives. OWC memory, SSDs and a growing number of our products are designed, engineered and manufactured in Austin, TX. Widely recognized for its exemplary customer service, OWC provides extensive US-based technical support for Mac and PC users around the world. As a member of the Apple Developer Program, OWC also produces a catalog of upgrades and accessories, having served the Apple community worldwide since 1988.

OWC’s industry awards include:

  • Videomaker Best of CES 2015 Spotlight Award for OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock
  • 2015 CES Innovations Honoree for OWC ThunderBay 4 External Storage Solution
  • Storage Visions, Visionary Product Award 2015 for OWC Envoy Pro mini, a SSD thumb drive
  • Inc. 5,000 “Fastest Growing Privately Owned Companies in America” list honoree 2007–2013
  • Reseller Ratings Elite Member 2009-2014
  • About.com Readers’ Choice Award winner for best Mac Peripheral Reseller
  • Business Intelligence Group 2013 Green Tech Company of the Year
  • American Business Awards “Stevie” Gold (2012) and Silver (2014)
  • Better Business Bureau Top Rating of A+ 2010–2014

 

Defending the Weak Is the Duty of the Strong

Retired military officer joins the fight to end sex trafficking

DENVER – Sex trafficking is a violation of basic human rights and impacts millions of adults and children worldwide. Imagine if there was a way to put an end to this crime once and for all.

Attention grabbing, crime thriller novel “Guardian Angel” dramatizes sex trafficking and other transnational crimes as a covert agent and his small support team fights to find, fix and finish a worldwide sex trafficking operation. With author Francis Murphy’s intelligence analyst experience in the Air Force, he brings a realistic approach to the tactics and techniques of terrorists, criminals and nation-states.

“The first-person narrative approach enables readers to submerge themselves into the story; to experience the action from the main character’s perspective and be the person who actually discovers the criminal’s identities and then deals with them,” Murphy said.

This border crossing, action-packed read will surely open the eyes of readers to the serious crimes our world faces today.

“Guardian Angel”

By Francis Murphy

ISBN: 978-1-4808-1448-6

Available in softcover, hardcover, e-book

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Archway Publishing

About the author

Francis Murphy holds a master’s degree in international relations. For 14 years he worked as an intelligence officer for the Air Force and 10 years as a defense contractor. Murphy has three children and three grandchildren. He and his wife currently live in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

World Assurance Group Announces FINRA Approval Of Corporate Name Change To Power Clouds And New Ticker Symbol: PWCL

World Assurance Group, Inc. (www.worldassurancegroup.com) (OTC Pink: WDAS) today announces FINRA approval of the Company’s corporate action request changing its name to Power Clouds Inc. (www.PowerClouds.com) FINRA also approved a change of its ticker symbol to “PWCL” with an anticipated effective date at the open of the market on April 24, 2015.

“We are very excited that now both our name and our ticker symbol reflect the solar power and green energy focus of the business from now on. We feel that changing the name and symbol following the acquisition of the three Power Cloud operating companies in March, sends a clear message to the markets and customers alike that we are now a successful plant development and power generation company. Being a public company brings more funding options to the business in addition to the innovative model we have used to build the plants so far,” said the Company’s CEO & President, Roberto Forlani.

Mr. Fabio Galdi, Company Chairman, stated, “This is another key step in our transition to the Power Clouds business. With hard assets expected to exceed $15 million following the purchase of fully operational, revenue producing, power plants in Romania and Japan, Power Clouds is now well positioned to exploit additional projects already identified. We constantly examine our options to increase shareholder value and will continue to explore all available options, which may include a spin out of Cellad and World Media & Technology Inc. at a suitable time in the future.”

Mr. Forlani concluded, “In order to maintain continuity and to aid in a smooth transition for the investment community from the ticker symbol “WDAS” to “PCWL,” the Company will summarize Power Cloud’s accomplishments to date in a press release to be distributed on Friday, April 24, 2015 under the “PCWL” ticker symbol.”

About Power Clouds Inc.

Power Clouds develops renewable and sustainable energy projects worldwide and engages in planning, creating and managing photovoltaic plants all over the world. It identifies optimal locations for its solar plants and then supports these projects with the coordination of business development activities and the strategic resources of engineers, suppliers, skilled builders and partner companies. With operational plants in Romania and activities in Japan and other worldwide locations, the company has a core team of experts and project managers operating at international level, who have specific expertise in photovoltaics, the green economy and who have a proven ability to deliver the highest technical and cutting-edge solutions.

For further information about how the Power Clouds model works, see www.PowerClouds.com

New Profit Commits $2 Million in Funding & Strategic Support to Help MLT Dramatically Increase Impact

Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) is fundamentally transforming America’s talent pipeline for the private and social sectors by equipping underrepresented minorities with the coaching, skills, and relationships that accelerate their rise to senior leadership.

April 21, 2015 (Boston): New Profit, a pioneering venture philanthropy fund working to break down barriers to opportunity in America, will invest $2 million over the next four years to support MLT as the nonprofit organization scales its efforts to transform the face of leadership in America.

Today, Black, Hispanic and Native American minorities represent 30% of the U.S. population, but hold less than 3% of senior leadership positions and 1% of corporate board seats. Over the last 12 years, MLT has worked to close this leadership gap by identifying and providing high-potential underrepresented minorities with a winning professional playbook, one-on-one coaching and door-opening relationships to accelerate their paths to senior leadership. MLT has created a thriving network of more than 4,000 rising leaders and is transforming the diverse talent pipelines at its partner organizations, including more than 100 leading corporations, nonprofits and graduate business schools.

social-media-MLT-1

MLT’s bold vision is to develop a new generation of diverse talent in America – 1,000 senior leaders and 10,000 more in the pipeline – by 2030. MLT is not only changing the careers and life trajectories of the individuals it serves, but its rising leaders are also creating a multiplier effect that allows them to have a profound impact on their organizations, communities and society as a whole.

“If we fail to develop a large and growing segment of our talent pool who will represent over 50% of our population within 25 years, we are setting ourselves up for dire social and economic inequity,” said John Rice, founder and CEO of MLT. “We see developing top minority talent as a national imperative, which will only strengthen our organizations and ensure our nation remains competitive,” said Rice.

MLT’s programs take talented minorities on a career journey that 95% describe as “life-changing.” More than 95% of MLT’s college fellows receive fast-track jobs prior to graduation, compared to about 20% of all undergraduates. MBA admission rates at the top ten business schools are three times greater for MLT’s “MBA Prep” fellows than other applicants, and 40% of the underrepresented minorities at Harvard Business School, Wharton, Kellogg and Columbia are MLT fellows. Seventy-five percent of professionals who participate in MLT’s mid-career advancement program are promoted within one year of program completion.

“MLT’s approach is transformative for individuals and organizations. Our investment will help them scale to further build a network of diverse leaders who are driving critical change throughout America,” said Elizabeth Riker, a New Profit senior partner who has been leading the engagement with MLT and a member of its board since New Profit’s initial $800,000 investment in 2006. “The dramatic growth in impact that we have seen during our time supporting MLT gives us confidence in John Rice’s vision and insight and the capability of his leadership team, and we are excited to be re-investing in the next phase of MLT’s growth and impact.”

The new funding from New Profit will be unrestricted and supplemented by hundreds of hours of strategic support delivered in collaboration with Deloitte. The strategic support program, which will be overseen by Riker, focuses on three areas: 1. executing the organization’s strategic plan to dramatically widen and deepen impact; 2. implementing a new measurement and evaluation plan; and 3. supporting the development and growth of the senior leadership team and the board of directors to continue to build the capabilities required for the next phase of growth.

“What distinguishes New Profit from other social investors is their holistic approach to helping organizations scale their impact. New Profit’s original investment in MLT, along with their advice and connectivity, was critical to helping us transform the careers and lives of thousands of individuals and get our organization to where it is now. New Profit has remained a valued strategic partner, and we’re thrilled that they’ve decided to reinvest in MLT to take us to the next level of scale and impact,” said Rice.

Learn more about MLT by visiting www.ml4t.org

Learn more about New Profit by visiting www.newprofit.org

Princeton Power Systems Energizes the Microgrid Market in Cuba, Haiti, and the Caribbean

Princeton Power’s Solar Microgrids Provide Economic and Health Benefits to Developing Island Nations 

Princeton, NJ – April 23, 2015 — Princeton Power Systems – a leading global designer and manufacturer of technology products and embedded software for energy management, microgrid operations, and electric vehicle charging – has made moves to expand efforts in the Caribbean and developing island nations, leveraging its base of operating projects in Jamaica, Haiti, the Bahamas, and Bermuda, with an eye toward building collaborations in Cuba.

Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Darren Hammell visited Cuba in April with a delegation from the New Jersey Technology Council.

“Like many nations in the Caribbean, Cuba has a stated goal of developing renewable energy sources and reducing its reliance on imported fuel,” Hammell said. “Princeton Power Systems was invited to Cuba to learn about opportunities and to discuss distributed solar and energy storage technologies that could play a significant role in Cuba’s future energy production.”

Haiti is also looking toward expansion of renewables and distributed generation, especially since the earthquake in 2010 that severely damaged its infrastructure and left roughly two thirds of the country without access to electricity. Especially in rural areas, economic and human development is handicapped by lack of reliable electricity, which affects health and safety, and limits opportunities for education and entrepreneurship. In areas without electricity, people often rely on burning kerosene, charcoal and wood.

Princeton Power Systems has worked with Home Control, a leader in home automation, renewable energy, and audio engineering for residential, commercial, and industrial customers with a focus in the Caribbean and Haitian market, for several years developing the market, and recently launched a distribution partnership enabling Home Control to develop commercial and residential projects with Princeton Power products.

“This is an ideal time to introduce solar power into Haiti on a large scale,” said Gerard Boulos, president of Home Control. “Since the earthquake in 2010 damaged Haiti’s electrical grid, solar lanterns have become increasingly common. Constructing solar-powered microgrids is the logical next step. Haiti’s government has a goal of bringing solar electricity to rural areas. Solar power can improve the economic well-being of Haiti while supporting public safety, health and education.”

Haiti has a massive untapped solar energy potential, according to a report by Climate Investment Fund. There is high solar irradiation across the nation throughout the year. Solar Microgrids with storage can often be designed, built, and operating in less than three months, making them the fastest way to bring reliable electricity to rural areas. Princeton Power and Home Control have projects operating in Haiti today, and the distribution partnership will allow efficient replication of these successful case studies.

Princeton Power Systems’ patent-pending Energy Management Operating SystemsTM (EMOS) and bi-directional converters have been used by many high-profile clients, including microgrids on Alcatraz Island in California and Annobon Island in Equatorial Guinea.

About Princeton Power Systems

Princeton Power Systems, based in New Jersey and founded in 2001, designs and manufactures state-of-the-art technology solutions for energy management, microgrid operations, and electric vehicle charging. The company is a global leader working with customers and partners across North America, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. It manufactures UL- and CE-certified power electronics that are used in advanced battery operations and alternative energy, with built-in smart functions for ancillary services. The company solves power issues to allow continued growth of distributed renewable energy by providing energy storage solutions that are proven to work, even in harsh environments. Princeton Power Systems builds integrated systems and designs, commissions and operates microgrids for leading organizations including Fortune 500 automakers and industrial companies. It also works with nonprofit organizations. The company proudly manufactures its products in the USA. More information about Princeton Power Systems is available at www.princetonpower.com.

About Home Control

Home Control is a company providing home automation, audio engineering, and renewable energy in Haiti. Originally founded in 1990 in Miami, Fla., the company relocated to Haiti and has now been in business there for 19 years. Its founder and president, Gerard Boulos, has been interested in renewable energy since the 1970s.

VICE Media, Knight Foundation and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism Innovators Fund Now Open For Applications

$500,000 Fund to support and train journalists on new storytelling techniques

Applicants can visit http://bit.ly/1DuYSEP for more information and to apply for the program

NEW YORK, NY (Apr. 22, 2015) — The Knight-VICE Innovators Fund is now open for applications from journalists and others seeking to adopt new ways of storytelling for the next generation of news consumers. VICE Media and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced an investment of $500,000 in the new initiative in collaboration with City University of New York’s CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in December with the aim of propelling innovation and experimentation in journalism.

Today, the application is live at http://bit.ly/1DuYSEP.

Awardees will be able to leverage the best-in-class production and storytelling ability of VICE News along with the vast resources of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism to support the development and and distribution of their work. Finalists will spend three days a week with VICE News staff and two days at the CUNY J-School for up to three months.

Projects may encompass a range of journalism tools from investigative techniques to new presentations styles or ways of telling stories. Above all, the Fund is looking for applicants who have specific projects that have the potential to create a substantial impact to serve a global, connected audience.

“This is an amazing opportunity for journalists from all over the world to get uniquely trained, both at VICE and at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. I can’t wait to start reviewing the applications,” said Sarah Bartlett, dean of the CUNY Journalism School.

“Providing new avenues for journalists and others to engage people around news and pressing issues that affect communities around the world is essential to pushing the field forward,” said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism. “The Knight-VICE Innovators Fund was developed with this in mind—it will serve as a path for news providers to take advantage of new storytelling tools in the digital age, update their skills, and ensure that innovation in reporting is the norm.”

Finalists will be determined by a select group of judges from each of the three organizations.

The deadline for applications is June 1st.

About VICE Media

VICE is a global youth media company and the industry leader in producing and distributing the best online video content in the world. Launched in 1994 as a punk magazine, VICE now operates out of 36 countries, and has expanded into a multimedia network, including the world’s premier source for original online video, VICE.COM; an international network of digital channels; a television & feature film production studio; a magazine; a record label; and a book-publishing division. VICE.com

About the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism opened in 2006 with a commitment to blend traditional journalistic values with new forms of storytelling that embrace digital technology. Its innovative curriculum offers multimedia-focused Master of Arts degrees in journalism, entrepreneurial journalism, and social journalism in the heart of the nation’s media capital. It also offers a one-semester Advanced Certificate in Entrepreneurial Journalism and a summer intensive digital journalism workshop series focused on emerging skill sets.

Journalism.cuny.edu

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.

For more, visit: KnightFoundation.org

Civil Rights and Federal Contractor Communities Unite In Celebration of 50 Years of Equality at Work

September 24, 2015 Day-Of Milestone Anniversary Event Presented by The OFCCP Institute to Honor Civil Rights Community and the American Workplace

April 22, 2015, WASHINGTON D.C. – On September 24, 1965, the Nation took a historic step towards equal employment opportunity when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed and issued Executive Order 11246 (“EO 11246”). On September 24, 2015, in commemoration of that historic day, The OFCCP Institute (“The Institute”), a national nonprofit employer association based in Washington, D.C., will host and celebrate the 50th anniversary of this significant civil rights milestone with a black tie gala event at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in our Nation’s Capital.

Receiving widespread support from the civil rights community, corporate supporters include The Memorial Foundation, builders of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the National Civil Rights Museum. The OFCCP Institute has announced that 100% of the proceeds raised from the event will go towards the EO 11246 Equality at Work Scholarship Fund, benefitting high school students. The black tie reception and dinner will feature a “Who’s Who” from the civil rights community among its keynote speakers, honorees, and event attendees. The event will also honor the federal contractor community’s achievements in furthering the goal of equality in the American workplace.

Signed more than two years after the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and more than a year after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became the law of the land, EO 11246 charged the Secretary of Labor, a Cabinet-level official with strong enforcement authority, with the responsibility of ensuring equal opportunity for minorities in federal contractors’ recruitment, hiring, training and other employment practices. Until that time, such efforts had been in the hands of various Presidential committees. EO 11246 further reinforced the requirement that federal contractors not discriminate in employment, and that they take affirmative action to ensure equal opportunity based on race, color, religion and national origin. Amended by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967 to protect women from employment discrimination, and most recently by President Barack H. Obama in 2014 to protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, EO 11246 continues to lead America’s success in achieving equal employment opportunities in the American workplace.

Said David S. Fortney, Co-chair, The Institute, “Executive Order 11246 paved the way for historically underrepresented groups to be given an equal chance to compete for jobs in the American workplace. For 50 years federal contractors have led successful efforts to eradicate unlawful workplace discrimination and to encourage all to seek employment opportunities. The OFCCP Institute is proud to honor these significant achievements that have benefited America.”

Said Harry E. Johnson, President, The Memorial Foundation, “The 50th Anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 11246 is an historical event for the civil rights and federal contractor communities, ultimately creating a more equitable workplace in the United States. We join The OFCCP Institute and the civil rights community at large in commemorating this truly meaningful action with this much-deserved anniversary event later this year, and encourage others within the civil rights and federal contractor communities to join in the celebration.”

About Executive Order 11246:

Executive Order 11246 prohibits federal contractors and federally–assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, who do over $10,000 in Government business in one year from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. The Executive Order also requires Government contractors to take affirmative action to ensure that equal opportunity is provided in all aspects of their employment.

About The OFCCP Institute:

The OFCCP Institute (“The Institute”) is a national nonprofit employer association based in Washington, DC. The Institute trains and educates federal contractors in understanding and complying with their affirmative action and equal employment obligations. The Institute also addresses related human resource management strategies to assist employers in creating and maintaining diverse organizations free from workplace bias. The Institute is not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

GOT GUTS? Time to Get Your Bike Out and Get Your Guts in Gear — The Ride for Crohn’s and Colitis

Registration Is Now Open for the 2015 Rides in New York and Ohio

PEEKSKILL, NY — (Marketwired – April 22, 2015)Get Your Guts in Gear, The Ride for Crohn’s and Colitis, (GYGIG), has opened registration for its 2015 Rides. Now in its 12th ride season, GYGIG continues to create and produce unique cycling events that provide a supportive community of people from around the country who are affected in some way by Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or ostomy surgery. This year’s Rides will take place in New York’s Hudson Valley beginning and ending on West Point Military Academy on June 13th-14th and in Ohio on Sandusky Bay on August 14th-15th.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are painful, medically incurable diseases that attack the digestive system. As many as 1.4 million American adults and children suffer from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. 50,000 children are affected by IBD, and that number is growing.

GYGIG creates an environment where those impacted by these diseases — patients, family members, friends and caregivers — join cyclists and fitness enthusiasts as riders or crew to accomplish an important goal in a fun, challenging and energetic environment. Participants are given all the necessary tools to help them on their journey, including fundraising support, training advice, and assistance.

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“Our events are more than bicycle rides, and are unique in the IBD and ostomy communities” says Gary Beckman, Board President of Get Your Guts in Gear. “GYGIG creates a positive, life-altering experience for participants, many of whom are on a journey with this often invisible disease. We not only raise funds. We create a sense of community that inspires and empowers participants long after our events are done. “

“IBD is a serious lifelong condition for which there is currently no cure,” explains Dr. Anthony Weiss, an assistant Professor of Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, where he has served as the Associate Director of the Gastroenterology Training Program, and Director of the Gastroenterology Clinic. “While everyone wants a medical cure for these diseases, GYGIG’s Rides, along with the empowerment and connections they create, help sustain a healthier, more positive way of living with these often isolating diseases today”.

There is a registration fee of $35 per day and a $325 fundraising minimum for all riders.There is no registration fee or fundraising minimum to volunteer on Saturday and a $35 registration fee and no fundraising minimum for Sunday volunteers.

In 2015, GYGIG will continue its mission of creating events and fostering experiences that inspire and empower people touched by digestive diseases, forming communities focused on well-being. This year’s Rides will benefit Get Your Guts in Gear, Inc., the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, and the United Ostomy Associations of America. These worthy charities have a wide reach within the targeted community.

About Get Your Guts in Gear

Get Your Guts in Gear – The Ride for Crohn’s & Colitis (“GYGIG”) is an independent, national, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates and produces cycling events to raise awareness of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and related conditions, and empower those affected. GYGIG also raises funds that benefit and support IBD and ostomy organizations and patient advocacy groups. Now in their 12th year, they have produced 25 rides in 6 states and donated more than $1.5 million to a number of organizations who are committed to providing advocacy, research, awareness and empowerment within the IBD and ostomy community.

To find out why it is more than a ride, please visit, www.igotguts.org.

Impact Makers Gifts Equity to Nonprofits In Order to Expand Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy

Impact Makers Hits $1 Million Impact Milestone

Richmond, Virginia, April 21, 2015 — Impact Makers has gifted the company’s equity ownership to two nonprofit organizations, The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia and Virginia Community Capital. The company took this action, a first amongst social enterprises, in order to preserve and grow its philanthropic mission. The gift also is helping enable The Community Foundation (TCF) and Virginia Community Capital (VCC) to create funds that support charities and invest in B Corps and other companies with a social mission. The Community Foundation now owns 70% of Impact Makers and Virginia Community Capital has a 30% interest.

Impact Makers is a for-profit IT consulting firm that has realized significant growth, making the Inc 500 fastest growing companies list for three consecutive years. As a founding B Corporation, the company has focused on simultaneously helping to improve the community while supporting its clients’ success. Impact Makers has a very unique social impact business model which requires the company to contribute all of its profits over the life of the company as well as pro bono consulting services to charities in the communities that it serves.

The volunteer Impact Makers Board of Directors is retaining the governance of the company and will continue to select the company’s charity partners. Impact Makers announced today that it had achieved a $1 million milestone in its cumulative community impact of financial contributions and pro bono support since the company’s founding in 2006. The company’s CEO and Founder, Michael Pirron, also announced Impact Makers’ goal of creating a $100 million cumulative impact by 2024.

“I started Impact Makers with fifty dollars, a laptop, and one contract with the idea of living my values through my work,” said Pirron, Impact Makers CEO and Founder. “That idea now has grown into a successful consulting company where more than 75 people share those values. We are working together with a common mission of helping our communities by leveraging our business model. Now, we can take this even further by growing Impact Makers, and increasing our charitable support, while we also help to enable other socially minded companies to do the same.”

According to Jane Henderson, President and CEO for VCC, “We are excited about this transformational, generous gift and the opportunity it gives us to team up with other like-minded, mission based organizations – The Community Foundation and Impact Makers. VCC is looking forward to launching and leveraging the Impact Makers’ Social Enterprise Program, as it will enable us to cultivate and expand social enterprises, such as B Corps. This will ultimately help us enhance lives and communities across Virginia through debt, equity, and grants as we grow this innovative program.”

“In just nine years, Impact Makers has become a leader and model for success among social venture corporations in the Richmond region. Now, Impact Makers is breaking new ground in Virginia by having the confidence to fully commit to its mission by engaging with long term partners in The Community Foundation and Virginia Community Capital,” said Darcy Oman, President and CEO of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia. “We are honored to play a part in ensuring that the company’s already impressive philanthropic legacy will continue in perpetuity.”

Bart Houlihan, Co-Founder of B Lab said “This is a true first in the B Corporation and social enterprise world – the gifting of an entire company to nonprofits so that those organizations can offer more philanthropy and fund more social entrepreneurs in their communities. We are thrilled to have two of our certified B Corps, Impact Makers and Virginia Community Capital, working together in this way.”

Impact Makers found the inspiration for its creation from Newman’s Own and its “all profits to charity” business model. “Paul Newman was among the first to promote the idea of businesses doing well by doing good,” shared Bob Forrester, CEO of Newman’s Own. “Impact Makers now has created a similarly innovative model that we hope other enterprises will emulate.”

About The Community Foundation

The Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia was founded in 1968 to provide stewardship for permanent endowments that enhance the lives of area citizens. Since that time, the Foundation has grown substantially, reflecting both the vision of its leaders and the extraordinary philanthropic spirit of the people of Richmond and Central Virginia. Today, the Foundation is the largest of Virginia’s 27 community foundations.

Through our work, we strive to create a stronger and more vibrant region, now and for generations to come. We work with donors to build endowment, partner with nonprofits to address needs through grantmaking, and provide leadership on important community issues. Visit tcfrichmond.org.

About Virginia Community Capital

With offices in Christiansburg, Richmond, and Springfield, Virginia Community Capital (VCC)

can help businesses prosper by providing the innovative and flexible capital, investment opportunities, and advisory services they need. Beyond traditional financing options, VCC offers funding, expertise, and leadership vital to successful community projects, small businesses, and mission investments. In partnership with our for-profit CDFI bank, Community Capital Bank of Virginia, VCC offers loan capital and bank lending which help promote vibrant local communities throughout Virginia. Visit vacommunitycapital.org.

About Impact Makers

Impact Makers is a management and technology consulting company based in Richmond, Virginia. The company provides services in Management and IT Consulting, Program and Project Management, Digital Services, Governance, Risk and Compliance, and Healthcare Solutions. Impact Makers is a for profit company that has gifted its ownership to the community and contributes 100% of its net profits to charities over the life of the company. Impact Makers’ charity partners are Rx Partnership, Family Lifeline, Peter Paul Development Center and FLiPM (Future Leaders in Project Management). Impact Makers also is a founding B Corp and received for the third consecutive year a Best for World designation. The company also has made the Inc 500 Fastest Growing Companies list for the past three years. See impactmakers.com.

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