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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

“Erase The Hate” Announces “Change Makers” Selected For Social Impact Campaign’s Innovative Accelerator Program

Nonprofit Start-ups For Erase The Hate Accelerator Include Athlete Ally (NY, NY), The Better Arguments Project (Washington, DC and Boston, MA), Data For Black Lives (Boston, MA), EmbraceRace (Amherst, MA), Equality For HER (Brooklyn, NY) and Pathos Labs (Denver, CO)

Press Release – NEW YORK, NY; FEBRUARY 5, 2018 – Erase The Hate, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s social impact campaign recently launched to fight hate and inequality in America, has announced the six nonprofit start-up Change Makers chosen for its inaugural Erase The Hate Accelerator program. The Accelerator, a central component of the overall campaign, is an innovative program that identifies, supports and funds emerging activists – Change Makers – and fast-tracks their ideas toward greater impact. It provides grants; coaching and mentorship from leaders in the field, including the campaign’s Advisory Council members; and skill-based support from the NBCU Cable Entertainment’s Employee Volunteer Corps.

Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, founded Erase the Hate at USA Network more than two decades ago. Now she is leveraging her entire portfolio of top cable networks, studios and digital businesses to amplify Erase The Hate’s mission to encourage a new generation to take action against hate, intolerance and inequality in America. Erase The Hate is proud to partner with the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, Civic Nation, to help carry out this mission.

Erase The Hate will host the Change Makers in New York City beginning Monday, February 5th, for an Accelerator immersion week with a curriculum custom-built to address the needs of each organization. The week will include workshops focused on strategic planning, rapid prototyping, fundraising and storytelling, as well as featured guest speakers: Brittany Packnett; Nick Fellers, Founder & President of ForImpact; and Chip Heath, Stanford professor and author. Change Makers will also meet with mentors and funding advisors including the members of the Erase The Hate Advisory Council, and be teamed with Erase The Hate Employee Volunteer Corps members, Cable Entertainment employees who have raised their hands to provide ongoing targeted, skill-based support for each Change Maker. The Accelerator immersion is being facilitated by Uncharted, a nonprofit organization that works with entrepreneurs to tackle complex social issues.

“These six groups are tackling the kinds of systemic change it will take to create an America where everyone feels safe from hate and discrimination,” said Brittany Packnett, Vice President of National Alliances at Teach For America and Erase The Hate Advisory Council member. “Supporting these Change Makers will only take their great work to the next level, and hopefully inspire even more Americans to do their part and join this critical movement.”

The six Erase The Hate Accelerator Change Makers are:

  • Athlete Ally (New York, NY)
    Athlete Ally educates and activates athletic communities to eliminate homophobia and transphobia in sports, and to use their platforms to speak out for LGBTQ equality locally and globally. The program was founded by Hudson Taylor, a three-time All-American wrestler at the University of Maryland. Since its founding, Athlete Ally has attracted more than 150 professional and Olympic athletes as Ambassadors of the organization; established student-run Athlete Ally chapters with over 50 colleges and universities; and continues to organize athletes, teams and leagues to advance LGBTQ inclusion within sport and under the law.
  • The Better Arguments Project (Washington, DC and Boston, MA)
    The Better Arguments Project equips Americans to reach across political, cultural and economic divides to have arguments that bring us closer together rather than drive us further apart. The project centers on the simple idea that America doesn’t need fewer arguments, it needs better arguments, encouraging people to understand themselves and each other, ask great questions, and learn how to talk as well as listen. With a special focus on high school students, the program is a collaboration between two non-profits: The Aspen Institute Program on Citizenship and American Identity; and Facing History and Ourselves.
  • Data for Black Lives (Boston, MA)
    Data for Black Lives (D4BL) inspires people with expertise in science and tech to put their knowledge to work fighting discrimination and promoting equality. The program, co-founded by Yeshimabeit Milner, Lucas Mason-Brown and Max Clermont, seeks to build a network of “movement scientists” — scientists, engineers, coders and mathematicians committed to using data to create measurable, positive change in the lives of black people.
  • EmbraceRace (Amherst, MA)
    EmbraceRace supports parents, caregivers, educators and other caring adults to raise children who are thoughtful, informed and brave about race. The organization was founded by Melissa Giraud and Andrew Grant-Thomas, whose experience as social justice workers and educators, and as partners and parents to children of color, inspired them to create this community of support and to identify, curate and create the kind of tools they struggled to find for themselves. Through resources, discussions and networks, EmbraceRace aims to foster resilience in children of color and to nurture cross-racial inclusivity and empathy in all children, to raise kids who think critically about race and racialized patterns of inequity, and to support kids and adults to be racial justice advocates for all children.
  • Equality for HER (Brooklyn, NY)
    Equality for HER empowers those who identify as women to combat violence and inequality. The effort was founded by Blair Imani, whose experience as a black, bisexual, Muslim woman inspired her to create a platform for the voices and perspectives of women who don’t fit neatly into traditional identity boxes. By creating resources, lesson plans, toolkits and explainers on key issues facing people who identify as women — from sexual assault and interpersonal violence to gender diversity — Imani hopes to invite more Americans into the conversation, and to chart the path toward a more inclusive world.
  • Pathos Labs (Denver, CO)
    Pathos Labs creates empathy-based virtual reality experiences to challenge assumptions and increase interpersonal understanding. Founder Romain Vak, the son of Iranian and French immigrants, believes that when we engage with those with whom we might not otherwise interact, perspectives and biases begin to change. Building on the success of its previous VR experiences (“Strangers,” and “My Beautiful Home”), Pathos’ upcoming film project, “The Other,” with its accompanying curriculum, seeks to bring viewers face-to-face with those who represent different identities in America.

Erase The Hate’s Advisory Council, thought leaders who are helping to combat prejudice on critical fronts, worked together to select the six Change Makers. The council members are: Rebecca Cokley, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Wadi Gaitan, Press Secretary, The LIBRE Initiative; Vanita Gupta, President and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition; Garrett Johnson, Co-founder and Executive Director, Lincoln Network; Alexis McGill Johnson, Executive Director and Co-Founder, The Perception Institute; Suhail A. Khan, Senior Fellow for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Institute for Global Engagement and Director of External Affairs at Microsoft Corporation; Maria Teresa Kumar, President and CEO, Voto Latino; Janice Min, Strategist, Eldridge Industries; Janet Murguía, President and CEO, UnidosUS, Ana Navarro, Republican Strategist and Commentator, Brittany Packnett, Vice President of National Community Alliances, Teach For America; Ashley Spillane, Senior Advisor, Democracy Fund; and Brian Walker, Culture & Entertainment Advocacy Director, Color of Change.

Visit www.EraseTheHate.org to learn more about the campaign, the Accelerator and the Change Maker organizations.

Originally launched at USA Network in 1994 by a team led by Bonnie Hammer, Erase the Hate was an Emmy Award-winning social impact campaign founded to combat hate and discrimination in America. The new Erase The Hate has been reinvented in urgent, timely and impactful ways to address inequality and the epidemic of hate spreading at an unprecedented pace online and in our communities, and to support and encourage action taken by a new generation. The campaign now extends across Hammer’s entire Cable Entertainment portfolio which includes USA Network, SYFY, Bravo, Oxygen, E! Entertainment, and Universal Kids, as well as Hollywood studios Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios, and digital businesses Craftsy and Priv.

About NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment

NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment is a portfolio of top cable brands comprising two entities: The Entertainment Networks group including USA Network and SYFY; and the Lifestyle Networks group including Bravo Media, E! Entertainment, Oxygen Media, and Universal Kids. The portfolio also includes the Hollywood studios Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios, and digital businesses Craftsy and Priv. NBCU Cable Entertainment is a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

About Civic Nation

Civic Nation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing some of our nation’s most pressing challenges through organizing, engagement and public awareness. It does this by working with public and private partners to build tools and campaigns that turn great ideas into action. Civic Nation’s newest initiative, to combat hate and promote greater understanding among people in the United States, is sponsored by the Democracy Fund.


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