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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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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.

Celebrating Women Who Make It Happen!

This International Women’s Day, meet CAMA member Jenipher, whose determination to go to school has opened new opportunities for her, her family, and her community.

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Jenipher’s story began in a familiar way: a single-parent family with more needs than resources, and a child with more promise than opportunity, in a country where poverty still keeps many girls out of classrooms. Her story might have proceeded along a typical path — leading to early marriage, early motherhood and no education. But it didn’t.

At the age of 8, Jenipher was forced out of primary school after a government program that covered school fees ended, and she was sent to Dar es Salaam to work.

“I worked as a maid while waiting for my primary school test results,” Jenipher shared. “When we were notified that both my brother and I were selected to attend the same school, my mother consulted with relatives about how to cover the costs.”

Jenipher’s mother faced the same decision countless families in rural Tanzania face. As was common, Jenipher’s family believed that an educated boy’s earning potential was greater.

“The entire family agreed. There was not enough money to send both of us to school. So they chose my brother.”

Understanding her family’s challenge, but unwilling to accept the fate it foretold, Jenipher took the money she had earned as a maid and registered herself for secondary school. Soon after starting her studies, at the age of 15, she walked into the local district education office to advocate for her own education. The District Committee placed Jenipher on Camfed support, ensuring her opportunity to complete secondary school.

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Since demonstrating such remarkable courage and resilience, Jenipher has continued to write a story for herself that decisively answers any questions about the value of educating a girl. After joining Camfed’s alumnae network — CAMA — she has taken up numerous leadership roles within her community. She has served as a volunteer Learner Guide assisting students with life skills, held CAMA officer positions within her district, and started several businesses of her own. She is now her family’s primary source of income, providing for basic needs as well as constructing a new brick home. Jenipher’s community appointed her the Camfed District Coordinator for Tanzania’s Morogoro and Kilombero Districts. In this professional role, she’s able to help identify other vulnerable girls whose full potential is yet to be unlocked.

Her family now sees the extraordinary abilities that might have been lost had Jenipher’s story continued in a different, more common way.

“I knew she could be someone, but life was too difficult to dream very high of what she might become,” her mother said. “I’m happy with the course of Jenipher’s life now. And I know she’ll continue to help others with her blessings.”

“I am now the living example of why families should educate their daughters,” Jenipher concludes. “We are now changing communities by showing what happens when you educate a girl.”

As we mark this year’s International Women’s Day, you can help unleash the potential of more young women like Jenipher and honor a special woman in your own life. By making a gift, you are investing in future leaders who are ready to change their lives, their families, their communities, and — together — the world. Please give today.

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Star Career Academy Launches New Programs at New Jersey Campuses

CHERRY HILL, NJ, March 6, 2015 – Star Career Academy will launch a new Business Office Administration program at two of its New Jersey campuses, located in Brick and Clifton.

“We are adding the Business Office Administration program to meet the community need for more trained professionals in this field,” said Sandi Gibson, Chief Executive Officer of Star Career Academy. “Our students will be prepared for a broad range of entry level jobs in wide variety of business environments.”

In the Business Office Administration program, students will be prepared for a dynamic, task-oriented office position by learning the basic foundation and technical skill sets required for entry-level employment. The student will learn most aspects of a business enterprise and be able to develop, edit and format business documents. Study basic computer functions and programs, including proficiency with keyboarding, word processing and spreadsheet applications. They will develop ways to improve customer satisfaction; strategies for office management, organization and communication; and professional skills appropriate for a workplace environment.

Business Office Administration provides the training to work in a number of different career fields, because business is business; only the product or service you’re involved with changes. This program will help the student hone basic business instincts and pursue career opportunities in any field where people with sharp business skills are required.

The Brick and Clifton locations also offer Medical Assistant and Dialysis Technician programs and the Brick campus also offers Surgical Technology.

About Star Career Academy

With eight schools in three states, Star Career Academy is a New Jersey-based family of private, post-secondary career schools providing career training for in-demand fields such as medical, cosmetology and culinary arts. Whether it is in Star’s commercially designed kitchens, salons or clinical labs, our facilities are designed to give students the experience they need to be confident in a new career. Star Career Academy is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). For important consumer information, visit www.starcareer.edu.

Announcing Sammy’s Dream Big Day Experience!

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“Dream and do big, one step at a time!” -Sammy Rabbit

It’s a Habit and Sammy Rabbit are delighted to launch our new Dream Big Day website and kickoff Sammy’s Dream Big Experience! We invite you to join us and bring the LEAD IT YOURSELF Sammy Dream Big Day Experience or Sammy Dream Big Family Night Experience to your local school or youth organization.

Alana Golden, Education and Outreach Coordinator,  CA Department of Business Oversight

Alana Golden, Education and Outreach Coordinator,
CA Department of Business Oversight

What is Sammy’s Dream Big Day Experience?

Sammy Rabbit’s Dream Big Day Experience is a strategic, interactive, education experience, almost anyone, any age, anywhere can lead. It’s an opportunity to discuss and discover big dreams as well as some of the money habits and skills required to make big dreams come true! The experience targets kids 5 and up. It consists of FOUR STEPS:

Sammy Rabbit’s Dream Big Day Experience is a strategic, interactive, education experience almost anyone, anywhere can lead. It’s for kids 5 to 10 and consists of the following FOUR STEPS:

  1. STORY TELLING and READ ALOUD ** Sammy’s Big Dream Storybook
  2. DISCUSSION
  • Dream Big Reader-Leader shares their big dream(s)
  • Ask kids to share one of their big dream(s)
  • Ask kids if graduating from college or trade school is one of their big dreams
  • Discuss connection between practicing great money habits and making big dreams come true(3) ACTIVITIES and MUSIC
  • Kids

** Dream Big Reader-Leader shares their big dream(s)
** Ask kids to share one of their big dream(s)
** Ask kids if graduating from college or trade school is one of their big dreams
** Discuss connection between practicing great money habits and making big dreams come true(3) ACTIVITIES and MUSIC
** Kids
— Create their own Dream Big Statement
— Set one goal
— Listen to and/or sing music from Sammy’s Dream Big Song Collection
— Review Sammy’s 12 Steps for Making Big Dreams Come True(4) INVITATION
** Invite kids to keep learning with FREE activities in Sammy’s Dream Big Resource Center

The purpose of Sammy’s Dream Big Day Experience is fourfold:

  1. Inspire and empower kids to dream big and in the process build their confidence and esteem
  2. Teach kids great money (and reading) habits early so they become self reliant
  3. Discuss the importance of college, college saving and being a life-long learner
  4. Make it easy and fun for anyone, any age, anywhere to participate in the experience and empower children-families!

Sammy’s Dream Big Day Experiences are vital to children-families and their futures because:

  1. Adult money habits form by age 7 – see Cambridge research
  2. The Dangerous State of Americans’ Savings – see NY Times
  3. A 30 million word gap exists between children raised in low and high income homes – see Rice research
  4. Messages are systematically and relentlessly being poured into kids heads and hearts that are toxic to their dreams and futures – see New York Times
  5. Music enhances learning? – see Hopkins research
  6. Children begin learning in the womb – see Penn State research
  7. Reading aloud to children is important from infancy through high school – see NAEYC report
  8. Teach them to dream big – see Maynard Webb, Chairman Yahoo, Founder Webb Family Foundation
  9. Dreams are the Fuel of Your Future- see Peter Guber, CEO, Mandalay Entertainment, Owner Warriors, Dodgers, etc.

 

Students Turn Scholars and Researchers

SDSU’s Student Research Symposium, March 6 and 7, recognizes students’ outstanding scholarly research accomplishments.

SAN DIEGO – (Friday, March 6, 2015) – Was Hitler destined to lose World War II? What are the possible therapeutic benefits of paint balling for active duty military? Is there an easier way to navigate interactions the next time you’re out painting the town red?

Get some insight into these three questions and others from the 472 research presentations being showcased at San Diego State University’s eighth annual Student Research Symposium (SRS) on March 6 and 7.

“Through the research symposium at SDSU, students are given the opportunity to investigate topics that spur intellectual curiosity relevant to today’s society,” said Student Research Chair Keven Jeffrey. “They have the ability to not only become intellectual peers of their professors, but to push themselves academically in getting closer to achieving their career goals.”

Recognized by FORBES as one of “America’s Most Entrepreneurial Universities,” SDSU’s SRS gives undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s eight colleges the opportunity to shed light on and expose theories in their respective fields of study. The event begins at 8 a.m. on March 6 and 7 in Montezuma Hall and throughout the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

Over the course of two days, attendees are invited to listen to 10 minute oral, poster or exhibit presentations themes including “LGBT Concerns,” “Social Media & Identity,” “Relationships,” “Drug, Discover & Development” and “Visual, Performing, Creative Arts & Design.”

“The fact that I am given the opportunity to conduct research with Bey-Ling Sha, Ph.D., APR, in my field of study is such an honor,” said Elpin Keshishzadeh, an SDSU public relations student. “It allows me to build an intellectual relationship that I wouldn’t have had the chance to create if it wasn’t for the SRS.”

Ten presidential awards worth $500 each will be made to recognize outstanding achievement in original scholarship. Graduate and undergraduate student award winners will go on to represent SDSU at the California State University Student Research Competition in May. In total, more than 50 cash awards will be given in recognition of outstanding presentations for performance during this year’s symposium.

About San Diego State University

San Diego State University is a major public research institution offering bachelor’s degrees in 89 areas, master’s degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 21 areas. The university provides transformative experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its 34,000 students. Students participate in research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. The university’s rich campus life features opportunities for students to participate in, and engage with, the creative and performing arts, a Division I athletics program and the vibrant cultural life of the San Diego region. For more information, visit www.sdsu.edu.

Family Research Council Urges Mormon Church to Rethink Utah SOGI Measure

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints held a joint press conference with Utah-based homosexual activists to advocate for Utah Senate Bill 296, a supposed “compromise” measure on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement:

“The legislation as it was unveiled today is based on a fundamental misconception that religious liberty can co-exist with unrestrained sexual liberty. As President Obama’s choice for the EEOC Chai Feldblum said, ‘Gays win; Christians lose.’

“As we’ve seen time and time again, something has to give under these mandates —and that ‘something’ is almost always religious freedom.

“Family businesses shouldn’t have to face the threat of government fines or punishment simply for operating in accordance with their belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. The stories of Barronelle Stutzman, along with Aaron and Melissa Klein, are only two of the countless stories in which these mandates are being used to trump religious liberty. Where is the tolerance of different views?

“I disagree with the assertion that this legislation will strike a balance between the special rights measures and religious liberty, those of us closest to the issue understand how impossible that is,” Perkins concluded.

Cleveland Museum of Art Receives $20 Million Campaign Gift

Trustee Scott Mueller Becomes One of the Largest Donors in Museum’s History

CLEVELAND, OH (March 5, 2015) – The Cleveland Museum of Art announced today a $19 million campaign challenge gift from Trustee and Dealer Tire CEO Scott Mueller, age 51, which nearly completes the institution’s decade-long capital fundraising effort. When combined with Mr. Mueller’s initial campaign commitment of $1 million, three $1 million restricted gifts and his annual contributions, at more than $23 million, he ranks among the top donors in the museum’s history.

“Mr. Mueller’s historic commitment represents the capstone of our capital campaign. We are simply in awe of his generosity and believe that these gifts further establish his standing among Cleveland’s storied philanthropists,” said Cleveland Museum of Art Director William M. Griswold. “Mr. Mueller’s giving has impacted so many dimensions of the museum’s work and reinforces everything we’re trying to accomplish.”

In September 2014, Griswold announced a $10 million challenge gift from an anonymous donor. Now confirmed to be from Mr. Mueller, the challenge commitment has nearly doubled to $19 million. With more than half of the requisite match funds raised in the last quarter of 2014, the museum expects to close the books on the capital campaign in 2015.

The historic $320 million renovation and expansion capital project was completed in 2013 on time and under budget. New features of the museum include the 39,000 square-foot Ames Family Atrium, three new wings, the renovation of the 1916 building, a 33 percent increase in gallery space, the award-winning Gallery One interactive learning center, updated visitor amenities and more.

The challenge gift comes alongside an additional $2 million from Mr. Mueller—$1 million to support the acquisition of contemporary works for the collection and $1 million to fund contemporary art exhibitions and publications. Mr. Mueller had previously given $1 million in support of contemporary acquisitions.

“I have supported the Cleveland Museum of Art for a number of years in recognition of its renowned collection,” said Mr. Mueller. “But these gifts are also intended to incentivize the institution in its pursuit of outstanding contemporary art acquisitions and research as well as the presentation of work by new and emerging artists. Moreover, I have no doubt that under Bill’s visionary leadership, our newly expanded museum will enter its next century with every tool necessary to deliver unmatched experiences to Cleveland audiences and beyond.”

The museum will acknowledge Mr. Mueller’s contributions by naming the suite of contemporary galleries and East pavilion in his family’s honor.

Jerry Seinfeld Hosts Inaugural Los Angeles Fatherhood Lunch To Benefit Baby Buggy®

With Nearly $250,000 Raised, Baby Buggy Fatherhood Initiative Sets Sights On Expansion

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – On Wednesday, March 4, Jerry Seinfeld hosted Baby Buggy’s inaugural Los Angeles Fatherhood Initiative Lunch at Palm Restaurant in Beverly Hills. The luncheon raised nearly $250,000 towards Baby Buggy’s ongoing efforts to support fathers in need. In the United States, 1 out of every 4 children under age five lives in poverty. Forty-three percent of families living in poverty are headed by a single mother, which contributes to their economic challenges. In fact, children in father-absent homes are 4 times more likely to be poor than children in two-parent homes1, and for these reasons, Baby Buggy decided to expand its reach to focus on fathers.

Seinfeld spoke about the partnership between Baby Buggy and fatherhood programs, and the success of his wife Jessica’s nonprofit started 14 years ago. The audience also heard from Alan-Michael Graves, Director of Project Fatherhood at The Children’s Institute, Inc. (CII) who explained that most of their fathers don’t have resources, and that Baby Buggy’s donations, along with the fatherhood program services, help make fatherhood present on a daily basis. Three fathers from the Fatherhood Program at CII were present and shared their personal experiences with guests.

Jerry Seinfeld Hosts Inaugural Los Angeles Fatherhood Lunch To Benefit Baby Buggy

Jerry Seinfeld Hosts Inaugural Los Angeles Fatherhood Lunch To Benefit Baby Buggy

Jerry Seinfeld Hosts Inaugural Los Angeles Fatherhood Lunch To Benefit Baby Buggy

Jerry Seinfeld Hosts Inaugural Los Angeles Fatherhood Lunch To Benefit Baby Buggy

“I was honored to share this day with amazing fathers whom I also call friends,” said Seinfeld. “The work that Baby Buggy does is instrumental in a father’s life, and in the lives of their children, and I am grateful that so many people came out to support it.”

Guests at the luncheon included Baby Buggy Founder and Board President Jessica Seinfeld, in addition to Jason Alexander, Judd Apatow, Jason Bateman, Seth Green, Kevin Hart, Jay Leno, Bill Maher, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michael Richards, Bob Saget, Dax Shepard, Michelle Trachtenberg, James Van Der Beek, George Wallace, David Walton, and more. The event was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, rag & bone, and United Talent Agency, with additional support from Esquire. The event was generously underwritten by Bruce Bozzi and Palm Restaurant. Fatherhood Leadership Council members and lunch guests promoted the initiative by posting photos with #BabyBuggyFatherhood @LoveRecycled.

“The combination of the gear we provide and the services offered by our partners has shown incredible positive results helping fathers on their journey to becoming better dads,” said Baby Buggy Vice President of National Programs, Dr. Laurel Parker West. “Because of our generous supporters we will be able to add four new fatherhood program sites, expand our services and provide more meaningful experiences for fathers and their children, and measure the impact of our work to ensure our partnerships are working smarter and are highly tailored for our dads.”

In total, through its two New York and Los Angeles events, the Baby Buggy Fatherhood Initiative has raised nearly $500,000. Since May 2010, Baby Buggy has distributed 338,060 items through 17 different programs to over 20,383 dads and their children. In Los Angeles, the Baby Buggy Fatherhood Initiative works with fathers through The Children’s Institute, Inc. (CII), a non-profit serving at-risk children and families affected by child abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and gang and community violence. CII’s Project Fatherhood includes thirteen different programs offered at different locations in the Los Angeles area. These culturally diverse programs offer a comprehensive range of services including individual and family counseling, job training, financial literacy, healthy marriage workshops, anger management training, parent-child enrichment activities, legal workshops and consultations, as well as employment assistance.

The Baby Buggy Fatherhood Leadership Council is comprised of fathers who are deeply passionate about their own role as dads, and they will help raise funds and awareness for the initiative. Council members include Jerry Seinfeld (Chair), Jason Alexander, Jason Bateman, Neil Blumenthal, Matt Bomer, Bruce Bozzi, Rob Buccini, Ty Burrell, David Burtka, Christian Carino, Matt Cherwin, Camille Chidiac, Common, Mark Consuelos, Shawn “Pecas” Costner, Victor Cruz, Matt Damon, Robert Downey, Jr., Eric Eisner, Jack Essig, Spike Feresten, Alex Gorsky, David Granger, Simon Halls, Neil Patrick Harris, Kevin Hart, Hugh Jackman, Mitch Jacobs, Jaha Johnson, Woody Johnson, Boris Kodjoe, Jay Leno, Greg Lippmann, Blaine Lourd, Steve Mosko, Nas, David Neville, Rob Prinz, Michael Richards, Bob Saget, Adam Scott, George Shapiro, George Stephanopoulos, Steve Stoute, Michael Strahan, Michael Tiedemann, James Van Der Beek, Dwyane Wade, Marcus Wainwright, George Wallace, Howard West, Mel Woods, and Jeffrey Wright.

ABOUT BABY BUGGY

Founded by Jessica Seinfeld in 2001, Baby Buggy takes an innovative, child-focused approach to curbing generational poverty. By tying access to critical child gear items to parental enrollment in anti-poverty programs, Baby Buggy provides for the safety and health of a child while parents get the long-term support they need to help lift the family out of poverty. To date, Baby Buggy has provided over 8 million items to more than 139 anti-poverty program sites in 17 markets. For more information, visit www.babybuggy.org. Baby Buggy received its fourth 4 Star Rating from Charity Navigator in 2014.

You can follow Baby Buggy on Twitter and Instagram at: @loverecycled and on Facebook at Baby Buggy

President Barack Obama to Address City Leaders at National League of Cities Congressional City Conference

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama will address city leaders at the National League of Cities’ (NLC) annual Congressional City Conference Monday, March 9 in Washington.

The following statement may be attributed to National League of Cities President Ralph Becker, mayor, Salt Lake City, Utah:

“It is a great honor to have President Obama address city leaders at the National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional City Conference next week in Washington. Since the very beginning of his Administration, the president has been a close friend and ally of America’s cities. Through local/federal partnerships and numerous joint initiatives, he continues to recognize the critical role municipal governments play in promoting economic development, building transportation infrastructure, protecting the health of our residents and improving the lives of our young people. The president’s top appointees at the highest level include an unprecedented number of former local elected officials.

“President Obama’s visit comes at a time when federal leaders are ‘going local’ by partnering with cities on initiatives that build stronger communities and improve the lives of our residents. NLC and our members have worked closely with the Administration on programs including Let’s Move! Cities, Towns & Counties and My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge. In addition, NLC has productive formal partnerships with the Departments of Education, Interior and Housing and Urban Development. We look forward to both seeing President Obama next week and continuing to collaborate with his Administration to strengthen the connections that unite all levels of government working to make our communities, and our country, stronger.”

Vivint Partners with Autism Speaks as Nationwide Safety Sponsor

Vivint Gives Back Foundation Funds Home Safety Research and Provides Smart Home Technology for Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

PROVO, Utah (March 3, 2015) – Vivint, a leading provider of smart home technology, today announced a partnership with Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. As the corporate safety partner, the Vivint Gives Back foundation has pledged $300,000 in funding for home safety research, as well as home security and automation systems for families of children with autism.

Of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), roughly half attempt to elope from a safe environment — a rate nearly four times higher than an unaffected sibling. According to research from the Interactive Autism Network, wandering was ranked among the most stressful ASD behaviors by parents of elopers. Nearly half of these parents reported sleep disruption as a result.

“As experts in home security, Vivint Gives Back brings a unique focus and dedication to the safety of children,” said Holly Mero-Bench, director of the Vivint Gives Back foundation. “Our system alerts parents if a door has been opened, and lets them know specifically which door, immediately pointing families in the right direction if their child has left the house. Those first few minutes can be life-saving.”

Vivint smart home systems not only protect families from intruders, but also alert them to what is going on inside their homes. Video cameras provide flexibility for parents to view children throughout the home using a phone or other mobile device. Sensors can alert parents when a child leaves a bedroom, enters a bathroom or opens a kitchen cabinet.

“We’re grateful to Vivint for its commitment to the autism community,” said Alec Elbert, chief strategy and development officer for Autism Speaks. “Safety is a priority for all parents, but children with autism can be more vulnerable. Vivint’s support is vital to addressing the issue of wandering.”

To showcase technology as the solution for home safety, Vivint is a key sponsor of the Autism Speaks’ 2015 Autism Investment Conference (AIC2015) next week, March 10-11, 2015 in Boston.

* Interactive Autism Network Research Report: Elopement and Wandering (2011)

About Vivint

Vivint is a leading provider of smart home technology. Vivint delivers services through a cloud-based platform that integrates a wide range of wireless features and components to provide simple, affordable home security, energy management and home automation. Vivint’s Home Automation package and Advanced Security package have received the Consumers Digest “Best Buy” rating. Dedicated to redefining the home experience with intelligent products and services, Vivint provides services for nearly 900,000 customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.vivint.com.

About Vivint Gives Back

The Vivint Gives Back program helps to alleviate hardship and restore hope for families in need. The program focuses on enhancing the lives of children with intellectual disabilities through simple, intelligent products and services. The company’s employees and owners contribute time, money, and volunteer hours to perform services for these children. Since its creation in 2008, Vivint Gives Back has donated $9 million and more than 150,000 service hours to local communities, as well as those in need around the world.

About Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $525 million to its mission, the majority in science and medical research. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 60 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.

Atlantic Media And Allstate Launch The Renewal Awards To Highlight Local Innovators Driving Positive Change In Their Communities

Awards Will Recognize Six Americans with Allstate Grant Funds Totaling $60,000

Northbrook, Ill. and Washington, D.C. (March 5, 2015) — Atlantic Media and Allstate today introduced The Renewal Awards, a new program that will spotlight and reward innovators who are improving their communities from the ground up. The awards are a new editorial extension of The Next Economy series from Atlantic Media’s National Journal and The Atlantic, which explores the creative ways Americans are using innovation to solve problems at the local level. The Renewal Awards launch today with a call for public nominations at RenewalAwards.com.

“Despite the partisan stalemate in Washington, the evidence is that we are living through a golden age of grassroots initiative and problem-solving. Creative new solutions are emerging from non-profit organizations, businesses, local governments and innovative partnerships that bring together all of these institutions,” said Atlantic Media Editorial Director Ron Brownstein. “Through The Next Economy and now The Renewal Awards, Atlantic Media is committed to identifying and celebrating the best of these local innovators, as they do their part to help renew the country.”

The Renewal Awards will accept nominations throughout 2015 for the people and organizations whose projects and ideas are driving measurable change in communities. The six finalists will consist of four general recipients, selected by a panel that will include Atlantic Media editorial staff and outside judges, an “Allstate Youth Empowerment” recipient, selected by Allstate, and one “Reader’s Choice” recipient, selected by The Next Economy audience. The winners will each receive $10,000 in grant funding and an all-expenses paid trip to Des Moines, Iowa, in early 2016 for a summit on local innovation with national and local leaders.

“We’re a network of thousands of small businesses. We know that great ideas start at the local level,” said Tom Clarkson, West Territory President for Allstate. “There are innovative people across the country who are making a difference on social issues and getting results. The Renewal Awards are our opportunity to spotlight these local innovators, and spread their good ideas to benefit other communities. This awards program is about celebrating innovators and involving more people in brainstorming and generating creative ideas that will change our communities for the better across the country.”

To kick-off The Renewal Awards, Atlantic Media and Allstate will host a national event in Denver on March 11 about the transformative work already shaping that city and others like it. Keynote speakers include Bill Basl, Director of AmeriCorps, and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. Attendees will draw from local and national startups, incubators, community groups and government. This will be the first of several events held around the country as part of the initiative that will explore how local innovators and community leaders are grappling with their most pressing challenges –and making the most of opportunities.

The Renewal Awards is the latest project from The Next Economy series, a seven-year partnership between National Journal, The Atlantic and Allstate. The series encompasses reporting from National Journal and The Atlantic, the Heartland Monitor Poll (which explores Americans’ shifting economic attitudes and experiences), and national and local events.

Public nominations and official contest rules for The Renewal Awards are available at RenewalAwards.com.

Shareable link: http://www.nationaljournal.com/press-room/atlantic-media-and-allstate-launch-the-renewal-awards-to-highlight-local-innovators-driving-positive-change-in-their-communities-20150305

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