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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

Monthly Archives: November 2013


Darius Rucker, Sabrina Soto, Jennette McCurdy, Olivia Holt, 
Cedric the Entertainer, Daisy Fuentes and more also lend support to campaign

(Memphis, Tenn. – Oct. 21, 2013)Jennifer Aniston, Robin Williams, Sofia Vergara, Shaun White, Michael Strahan and Luis Fonsi join Marlo Thomas in leadinga star-studded roster of celebrities lending their time and talents in support of the 10th annual St. Jude Thanks and Giving® campaign. St. Jude Thanks and Giving is an unprecedented union of celebrities, media and 60 of the nation’s leading brands and companies that asks consumers to donate while they shop this holiday season and join St. Jude in finding cures and saving children. National television spots and movie theatre trailers featuring the stars alongside St. Jude patients will debut Thanksgiving week and continue running through the end of the year.

This year, a new slate of exclusive online videos starring Darius Rucker, Leslie Grace, Raúl Gonzalez, Pamela Silva Conde and Daisy Fuentes have been created for the campaign. Fans from around the world will be able to view these spots from their tablets and smart phone devices across various social media and popular websites.

“Every year I get the opportunity to meet extraordinary children from St. Jude and be a part of the St. Jude Thanks and Givingcampaign,” said Jennifer Aniston. “The research at St. Jude is shared across the country and helps so many families. This is my 8th year working with St. Jude and it is so rewarding to be a part of the team that helps save children’s lives.”

In addition to the national television and online spots, St. Jude celebrity friends Sabrina Soto, Jennette McCurdy and Olivia Holt have created and designed special gifts that will be for sale during the holiday season on with 100 percent of profits going back to the hospital.

Created in 2004 by Marlo, Terre and Tony Thomas – children of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas – the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign began as a holiday-focused fundraising effort and has grown into an annual tradition that has raised more than $387 million thanks to tremendous public support.

“My father, Danny Thomas, founded St. Jude with big dreams and it was in that light that we created the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign ten years ago,” said Marlo Thomas. “Since the beginning, we have been blessed to have the support from our wonderful family of celebrities. It warms my heart that year after year, they lend their time, talent and generous spirit to help St. Jude raise the funds that allow us to continue our mission of finding cures and saving children’s lives.”

The national television spots will air on network and cable television channels, as well as online, in both English and Spanish. In addition, celebrities will be featured in a 60-second movie trailer that will appear in theatres nationwide – including Regal Entertainment Group, AMC Theatres, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas and many others – as well as on American Airlines and Delta Air Lines flights. All of the spots, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, will debut at in late November.

The campaign receives additional support from celebrity friends Cedric the Entertainer, Lily Aldridge, Mark Steines, Mike Wolfe, Peyton List, Prince Royce, Maná, Banda El Recodo, Carlos Vives, Chino y Nacho, Luis Enrique and Natalia Jimenez in the form of radio spots, social media support, participation in the St. Jude Give thanks. Walkand more.

Throughout the months of November and December, consumers shopping where the St. Jude logo is displayed can make a donation at checkout or purchase specialty items that benefit St. Jude. Those wanting to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude are also invited to donate online at or by phone at 800-4STJUDE. For more information, visit

Amway employees and distributors “mobilize for good” today worldwide

ADA, Mich.Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — As the culminating event in the AMWAY ONE BY ONE® Campaign for Children’s 10 year anniversary, Amway is mobilizing employees and distributors from across the globe today to serve children’s causes they are passionate about. The global event is called Amway Universal Children’s Day.

Since the AMWAY ONE BY ONE® campaign launched in 2003, its focus has been to help children in need. In just 10 short years, Amway distributors and employees have impacted the lives of 10 million children, logged 2.7 million volunteer hours, and raised $190 million for programs.

Over the last three months, Amway employees and distributors have been encouraged to engage in the Amway Universal Children’s Day social media campaign. Through the use of the organization’s websiteblogFacebookand Twitter, participants have been able to read inspiring stories from around the world. Employees and distributors also will chronicle their participation in Amway Universal Children’s Day by using the #amwayonebyone on Instagram photos and videos.

“The passion our employees and distributors possess for serving others, especially children, is truly inspiring,” said Amway Vice President Todd Woodward. “Amway Universal Children’s Day provides the perfect forum for us to all come together on one day and serve – on a global scale.”

Although the projects undertaken will vary widely in scope and complexity, they have one central message – transforming the world starts by committing to help children, one by one.

Amway employees and distributors that have committed to a specific cause include:


  • Amway Thailand and the Thai Society Foundation will create the “Amway Rak Nong” (Amway Loves Children) project in collaboration with the Border Patrol Police bureau, to donate more than 22,000 winter jackets to underprivileged students in remote schools.
  • Amway Colombia, MexicoCosta Rica and El Salvador will organize a home building and renovation project with Habitat for Humanity.
  • Amway Indonesia will support children with cancer, by organizing a “Creativity Corner” in local children’s hospitals which will include a tour for volunteers, then working with children on projects including music, drawing and crafts.


  • In the United States, up to 4,000 Amway World Headquarters employees will partner with 15 nonprofits on 22 separate service projects ranging from building bikes and assembling hygiene kits to packing sack lunches and creating bookcases.

About the AMWAY ONE BY ONE Campaign for Children
The AMWAY ONE BY ONE® Campaign for Children program rallies the resources of Amway distributors and employees around the world to make a difference in the lives of children in every market in which the company conducts business. Since the AMWAY ONE BY ONE® program launched in 2003, it has provided hope and opportunity to 10 million children and donated $190 million to children’s causes worldwide. The number of employee and distributor volunteer hours logged since 2003 totals more than 2.7 million. For information, visit

About Amway
Alticor / Amway is the world’s #1 direct selling business, ranked by 2012 global sales of $11.3 billion in the Direct Selling News Global 100, and based on the efforts of more than 3 million Amway distributors and more than 21,000 employees in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide. Founded in 1959 by entrepreneurs Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel, and based in Ada, Michigan, U.S., Amway offers consumer products and business opportunities that are supported by a global agribusiness, manufacturing and logistics supply chain. More than 900 scientists, engineers and technical professionals work in 75 R&D and quality assurance labs worldwide to support product development and create a culture of scientific excellence. Top-selling brands for Amway are NUTRILITE® vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements, ARTISTRY® skincare and color cosmetics, and eSpring® water treatment systems. For company news, visit

12 Elite Business and Civic Leaders to be Honored with 2014 Horatio Alger Award

Since its inception in 1947, Horatio Alger Association has annually inducted Members who have demonstrated exceptional perseverance and achieved great success despite significant personal adversity.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 18, 2013) – Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced the recipients of its prestigious 2014 Horatio Alger Award. This annual award recognizes exceptional leaders – all with a commitment to philanthropy and higher education – who have overcome significant personal challenges to achieve success. 

Based upon their demonstrated perseverance, work ethic and determination to succeed, Horatio Alger Association will honor the following 12 individuals with lifetime membership into the organization:

  • Lee R. Anderson Sr., owner and chairman, APi Group, Inc.
  • David M. Cote, chairman and CEO, Honeywell
  • N. Murray Edwards, chairman, Canadian Natural Resources Limited
  • Robert Blyth Goergen, founder and chairman, Blyth, Inc.
  • Patricia L. Herbold, vice president and secretary, Herbold Foundation and Former United States Ambassador, Republic of Singapore
  • Randall Dee Hubbard, chairman, managing director, BIGHORN Golf Club
  • Mike Jackson, chairman and chief executive officer, AutoNation, Inc.
  • Jerral (Jerry) Wayne Jones Sr., owner, president and general manager, Dallas Cowboys
  • Thomas  V. McKernan, chairman of the board, Automobile Club of Southern California
  • David L. Steward, founder and chairman, World Wide Technology, Inc.
  • Peter W. Stott, president, Columbia Investments, Ltd.
  • J. Ronald Terwilliger, chairman emeritus, Trammell Crow Residential Company 

“Horatio Alger Association is built on the key principle that with hard work, determination and resilience, one can succeed despite facing incomparable personal hardships,” said Tony Novelly, president and CEO, Horatio Alger Association and 2000 Horatio Alger Award recipient.  “The 12 new Horatio Alger Members selected for the Class of 2014 are extraordinary individuals who reflect the truth of that principle and who will inspire our Scholars to pursue their dreams.  We could not be more pleased to welcome this impressive class into the Association as lifetime Members.  Undoubtedly, each will uphold and perpetuate the mission of this proud organization.” 

Each Horatio Alger Award recipient will be inducted as a new Member during the Association’s annual three-day induction ceremonies, which will be held in Washington, D.C., in April 2014.  In addition to honoring these outstanding leaders, Horatio Alger Association will also recognize its 2014 National Scholarship recipients, providing an opportunity for Scholars and Members to meet and exchange stories of their respective perseverance and success. 

In addition to presenting its annual award, Horatio Alger Association administers one of the largest, privately-funded scholarship programs for at-risk students in the United States and Canada.  Funding for its scholarships, which annually provides more than $9 million to selected students in need, is wholly supported by private donations from Association Members and friends.  

For more information about Horatio Alger Association and its newly selected Class of 2014, please visit

Prolific inventor, tech visionary Dean Kamen honored with the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award at The Tech Awards 2013

Ten international innovators recognized for using technology to benefit humanity at renowned annual Silicon Valley gala

SAN JOSE, CA – November 14, 2013 – Dean Kamen, who is responsible for breakthrough inventions in medicine and clean energy and is widely hailed as a mentor to hundreds of thousands of youth around the world as founder of FIRST®, received the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award before more than 1,400 Silicon Valley technorati Thursday at the 13th annual The Tech Awards Gala. 

“Technology and innovation only mean something if they have an impact on people’s lives,” Kamen said. “I strive to inspire the younger generations to continue innovating.”

Kamen’s DEKA Research & Development Corporation is responsible for several pioneering inventions including a portable dialysis machine, a vascular stent, and the iBOT – a  motorized wheelchair that climbs stairs. Kamen also led teams in the development of devices such as the Segway® Human Transporter, an insulin pump for diabetics, portable energy and water purification devices for the developing world, and a prosthetic arm for maimed soldiers. 

While an undergraduate, Kamen developed the first portable infusion device to deliver drug treatments that previously required round-the-clock hospital care.

Founded in 1989 by Kamen, FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), is dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use and enjoy science and technology. This year FIRST will serve more than 300,000 young people, ages 6 to 18, in more than 60 countries around the globe.

Sponsored by Applied Materials, Inc., the global humanitarian award honors individuals whose broad vision and leadership are focused on combating humanity’s greatest problems.

Kamen joins an impressive roster of past award recipients of the global humanitarian award that includes Infosys founder N.R Narayana Murthy, social entrepreneur Jeff Skoll, education and cross-cultural dialogue advocate Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Nobel laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Applied Materials’ Chairman Emeritus James C. Morgan, who inspired the award a decade ago.

“Dean Kamen personifies the spirit of a global humanitarian,” said Mike Splinter, Executive Chairman of Applied Materials. “He is a gifted inventor, who at a young age was encouraged to explore and think beyond limits, a quality he now instills in students all around the world. I congratulate Dean and all the laureates honored tonight for using technology to make a positive difference.”

Presented by Applied Materials, The Tech Awards has recognized 267 laureates since its inception in 2001. The pioneering work of these laureates has included building a “solar suitcase” to provide emergency lighting and power for medical procedures, developing an eco-techniques toolkit that improves the living conditions in rural communities and the creation of a heat-sensitive label for vaccine vials to ensure people receive potent immunizations.

The Tech Awards Gala also included awards recognition for 10 laureates whose life-changing work impacts people in nearly every corner of the globe. For their commitment to applying technology in practical ways to resolve some of the world’s most challenging issues, the laureates were given a week filled with unique Silicon Valley business experiences and training and an unrestricted cash award up to  $75,000. Judging for The Tech Awards is conducted by Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology and Society (CSTS). The CSTS acts as an independent party that organizes and convenes expert judges representing academia and the public and private sectors.

The Tech Museum of Innovation President Tim Ritchie challenged the night’s attendees to discover “what problem do you care so much about that you are willing to dedicate your life to solving. It’s a privilege to live in a community that both wants to, and believes it can, change the world,” Ritchie said. “I look forward to seeing the wonderful things we can do together. I look forward to taking on big problems with the kind of gritty optimism that characterizes this valley.”

Hosted by stage actor and Santa Clara University professor Aldo Billingslea, the gala unfolded against the backdrop of an exhibition specially curated for The Tech Awards that included some of the world’s most iconic photos projected on towering screens. The night’s special highlights included the reading of an original poem written for The Tech Awards by the nation’s fifth presidential inaugural poet, Richard Blanco; a presentation on Leonardo DaVinci, one of the world’s foremost innovators, by Fritjof Capra, author, physicist and systems theorist, and a moving solo vocalist performance by Broadway-bound Archbishop Mitty senior Myha’la Herrold.


Intel Environment Award

Antrix Corp./ISRO: Sujala Project




Microsoft Education Award

Globaloria: Invent. Build. Share.

United States

Enova: Learning and Innovation Network


Katherine M. Swanson Young Innovator Award



OPI: Yo Propongo


Nokia Health Award

D-Rev: Brilliance


Nazava Water Filters


Flextronics Economic Development Award

Kilimo Salama: Syngenta Foundation

Kenya, Rwanda

Potential Energy


Key sponsors supporting The Tech Awards include Applied Materials, Inc., Flextronics, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, Nokia, Swanson Foundation, Polycom, Qatalyst, Ann and John Doerr, Seagate, Accenture, NASDAQ OMX, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young, GoDaddy, Google, KPMG, The Sathaye Family Foundation, Charmaine and Dan Warmenhoven, Wells Fargo, Xilinx, Advocate Creative, Aramark, Bain & Company, Radha Basu – Frugal Innovation Lab, Berrett-Koehler, Blackbird Tavern, Ryan Campbell – PureMatter, Dazian, Forbes, Brienne Ghafourifar – Entefy, Gerry Hansen –  Coaching and Consulting, Elizabeth Hausler – Build Change, Hayward Quartz Technology, Jamieson Ranch Vineyard, Kay Kleinerman – Voice Matters, KQED, San Jose Marriott Hotel, McCune Audio Visual, Karen Mullarkey, NBC Bay Area, Ruder Finn, Tom Seres –,, Silicon Valley Business Journal, Stanford Social Innovation Review, SunEdison, TIME, Silicon Valley Business Journal, and Susie Wise – Institute of Design at Stanford.

About The Tech Museum of Innovation

The Tech Museum of Innovation is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Tech —located in the Capital of Silicon Valley —is a non-profit, experiential learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing applied technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge presented by Cisco, our annual team-design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, The Tech endeavors to inspire the innovator in everyone.

About Applied Materials

Applied Materials, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMAT) is the global leader in providing innovative equipment, services and software to enable the manufacture of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic products. Our technologies help make innovations like smartphones, flat screen TVs and solar panels more affordable and accessible to consumers and businesses around the world. Learn more at

Fountain Gallery Will Auction 100 Works by Artists with Mental Illness

MAD ABOUT ART Benefit is “A Black and White Affair”

NEW YORK CITY – November 14th, 2013 – MAD ABOUT ART, Fountain Gallery’s Annual Art Auction and Benefit, will take place on Thursday, November 21, 2013, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, at Cedar Lake, located at 547 West 26th Street in Manhattan. This year’s event is “A Black and White Affair,” featuring striking black and white décor; the 500 guests expected to attend are requested to wear black and white cocktail attire. One hundred original artworks will be presented at auction to benefit the member-artists of Fountain Gallery, New York City’s premier venue representing artists living with mental illness. Singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega is the special musical guest.

MAD ABOUT ART will honor two recipients of the Esther Montanez Award: Bart McDade – Vice President, Director of Operations, NY, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank; and Faith Ringgold – artist, author and activist. The Esther Montanez Award was established to honor the memory of Fountain Gallery’s founding director, Esther Montanez, who was a tireless advocate for people with mental illness throughout her many years of service as Director of Special Projects for Fountain House, Fountain Gallery’s parent organization, until her death in 2006. The Award is presented in recognition of outstanding service to Fountain Gallery.

Honoree Faith Ringgold has donated an art piece to the auction, as have artist William Wegman (a past Fountain Gallery honoree) and artist M.J. Levy Dickson.

The auction is curated by Sasha Nicholas, an independent curator and art historian who is a longtime member of the Fountain Gallery steering committee. Among the art mediums represented in the auction are: acrylic, oil and watercolor painting; collage and mixed media; woodcut; and digital photography.

Event Chairs are:John P. Casaly, Rick Froio, Carmel and Brett Fromson, Dario Gristina, Leslie Harwood, Rich Hiler, Louis J. Mantia, Bonnie and Frank Pratt, Jerry Schumm, Gabriel Stefania. Ms. Harwood and Messrs. Froio, Gristina and Schumm are past Fountain Gallery honorees.

Individual ticket price is $250. Sponsorship levels range from $500 to $25,000. For tickets and information, contact Robyn Marks at 212.582.0341,ext. 1288, or

About Fountain Gallery

Founded by Fountain House in 2000 as a not-for-profit exhibition space for its member-artists living with mental illness, Fountain Gallery sells original artworks and collaborates with a wide network of artists, curators and cultural institutions. Embracing artists who are emerging or established, trained or self-taught, Fountain Gallery cultivates artistic growth and makes a vital contribution to the New York arts community. Agnes Gund, President Emerita of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), has commended the Gallery as “a place where you can view fine works of art made by a group of excellent artists.”

About Fountain House

Fountain House is a global leader in creating an approach that responds concretely to the social impact of living with mental illness. It offers a place where, every day, hundreds of members – people living with serious mental illness – choose to come to contribute their talents, learn new skills, access opportunities, and forge friendships. The “therapy” of Fountain House is its working community.

Artworks by Gallery artists can be viewed at:

For information about Fountain House:

Fountain Gallery
                702 Ninth Avenue at 48th Street
                New York City 10019
                Hours: Tues-Sat 11-7; Sun 1-5
                More than a gallery. A movement.


Special “Katie” Correspondent Cameron Hughes Travels To Denver, Detroit, New York, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. To Involve and Engage Communities 

November 15, 2013 – “Katie Challenge for Change” is a weeklong programming event airing the week of November 18-22, 2013, in which the show will travel to five cities across the country and challenge communities to create positive changes, both big and small. With the help of Katie’s special correspondent Cameron Hughes, the show partners with local charities in Denver, Detroit, New York, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. with one mission in mind — to inspire, involve and engage communities to help make a difference in their hometowns.

Description: Katie_Challenge_For_Change_Vertical.jpg

The “Katie Challenge For Change” air schedule: 

  • Monday, November 18 – Phoenix, Arizona
  • Tuesday, November 19 – Denver, Colorado
  • Wednesday, November 20 – Detroit, Michigan
  • Thursday, November 21 – Washington, D.C.
  • Friday, November 22 – New York, New York

On Monday, November 18, the show will collaborate with the world’s first food bank based in Phoenix, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, which was recently struck hard by the government shutdown and food stamp cutbacks, to try to obtain 1 million meals to help the community make it through the winter.

On Tuesday, November 19 “Katie Challenge For Change” will be in Denver, joining forces with several local troops from The Girl Scouts of America to assist those affected by the devastating floods that hit the region in September.  The show and the Girl Scouts partner with Coats for Colorado to help by aiming to collect 500,000 winter coats at an Avalanche hockey game and other locations throughout Denver.

Next stop is Detroit on Wednesday, November 20 where the show teams up with Alternatives for Girls, encouraging the community to come together to adopt one child’s Christmas list for $30.00 and/or make a donation with a goal to fulfill 200 lists. 

On Thursday, November 21, “Katie Challenge for Change” makes its second to last stop in Washington, D.C. where the community is urged to enrich the lives of inner city youth by making a donation of art supplies or donate any dollar amount in the attempt to stock the shelves at the Life Pieces To Masterpieces organization for a full year. 

On Friday, November 22, “Katie Challenge for Change” completes its mission to challenge communities in New York City, where participants are persuaded to make the effort to collect 1,000 turkeys in a community-wide “Turkey Crawl” organized throughout NYC for collaborating organization, The River Fund. 

“Katie” airs across the country in national syndication.  Check your local listings for time and channel or go to

Philips Selects Revolutionary Intravenous Solution as Winner in Innovation Fellows Competition for its Potential To Save Millions of Lives

Andover, MA, USA  November 14, 2013 – Philips North America today announced Fosmo Med, developer of the Maji Intravenous (IV) saline bag, as the grand prize winner of the first-ever Philips Innovation Fellows competition, revealing the technology as the next big, meaningful innovation in health and well-being.  The new IV solution technology has the potential to save millions of lives worldwide from dehydration-related diseases, such as cholera.

Maji is a revolutionary field hydration system for IV use that is shipped without water. Once on site, forward osmosis technology converts local water — even if it’s not clean — to a sterile solution without requiring any electrical power.  An estimated 16 Maji bags can be shipped for the same cost as one traditional IV saline bag, saving up to $500 for every 14 units shipped.* 

“We’re very excited to be named the winner of the Philips Innovation Fellows Competition,” said  Ben Park, chief executive officer and founder of Fosmo Med. “Maji will enable many more IV bags to be shipped for the same cost, stored safely and transported to remote sites.  The potential life savings could be in the millions annually.” 

“We are thrilled to name Fosmo Med as the grand prize winner and to support them as they work to take Maji to the market,” said Greg Sebasky, chairman of Philips North America. “As a company committed to meaningful innovation, it is gratifying to find a social enterprise that has the potential to revolutionize the medical device industry with a simple, forward-thinking solution.” 

“Maji shows Fosmo Med’s commitment to providing affordable healthcare and well-being above all else,” added Sebasky. 

Fosmo Med was selected from among hundreds of entries to the Innovation Fellows Competition. The company secured funding from the public through the crowd funding portion of the competition on Indiegogo, global web-based crowd funding site, and, once named a finalist, the Maji IV saline bag was named the “most meaningful” innovation by Philips employees. In addition  to $60,000 in prize money, Fosmo Med will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Philips’ USA headquarters to meet with Philips leadership for mentor and whiteboard sessions to support development of the Maji IV. 

Other finalists in the competition included Breath AcousticsFilterwatchGame Face Gear andZG-1: LED. Each of the finalists received a $10,000 cash prize, in addition to the funding raised through Indiegogo. 

About Royal Philips:

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2012 sales of EUR 24.8 billion and employs approximately 114,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located


New York, NY – Gedenk, the not-for-profit organization formed by Grammy award-winning musician and humanitarian Miri Ben-Ari, has teamed up with the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers to create the Gedenk Award for Tolerance as part of the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.  Miri Ben-Ari for the first time talks about how music helped her break her silence by sharing her personal story with the Huffington Post.
Five national Scholastic Award recipients will be selected to receive the special award, which includes $1,000, for their original work of writing or art. The goal is to encourage young people to use literary and artistic outlets for self-expression while considering their roles in creating a more tolerant world. Students are asked to create original written pieces or works of art that reflect upon the lessons learned from the Holocaust and other genocides and attempt to raise awareness of the importance of increasing tolerance to safeguard a peaceful society.
According to Ms. Ben-Ari, currently CEO of Gedenk, “We are pleased to collaborate with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards on this campaign. It’s not easy to encourage young people to learn about atrocities such as the Holocaust, but this unique and creative approach has engaged them to embrace tolerance.”
Coinciding with the Scholastic Awards campaign, Gedenk is celebrating the launch of their newly designed website, The site is a hub of information and a nexus for young people to explore the themes of Gedenk’s mission of tolerance. The site will feature forums, blogs, video content, and interactive dialogue that encourage visitors to become a supportive community and share how they have fought back against intolerance. Gedenk is a word that means, “remember” in Yiddish. In that spirit, site visitors can contribute to the virtual memorial by adding a name and message in honor of anyone who endured a form of genocide.
Gedenk was established in 2006 to promote awareness about how ignorance, bigotry and hatred have and can ultimately result in genocide, even in a civilized society. The Jewish Holocaust began with commonplace acts – simple acts of intolerance, prejudice, and bigotry between neighbors, such as those that many of us are used to seeing and ignoring every day. Gedenk strives to empower young people, giving them the tools to stand up for themselves, their peers and their community against intolerance of all kinds.
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program is the longest-running, most prestigious recognition and scholarship initiative for creative teens. The Awards program and the Gedenk Award for Tolerance are open to any public, private, parochial or home-school student in grades 7-12 in the U.S., Canada, and American schools abroad. Submissions are now being accepted and the deadlines vary slightly by region, from mid-December 2013 through mid-January 2014. 
Gedenk is excited to team up with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers after similar partnerships have successfully helped carry Gedenk’s mission on a global level. In 2011, Gedenk partnered with MTV/Viacom and Public Interest, to launch three public service announcement campaigns titled “The Holocaust happened to people like us” which received extensive coverage from the major networks. The Scholastic Awards have supported and encouraged the creativity of teens for 90 years, and in 2013 received more than 230,000 submissions from students everywhere.  Collectively with Gedenk this special award will recognize and celebrate the exceptional vision and impact of the youth of today. 
About Miri Ben-Ari,a Grammy Award-Winning violinist/producer, originally from Israel, has helped sell millions of records by collaborating with other Grammy award-winning artists such as Kanye West, Jay Z, Wyclef Jean, Alicia Keys, Wynton Marsalis, Britney Spears, Maroon 5, Donna Summer, Janet Jackson and Armin Van Buuren. Her album “The Hip Hop Violinist”/ Universal Records features many of these collaborations.  Ben-Ari has been the face of many promotional campaigns, including;  Reebok‘s “I Am What I Am” global print and TV advertisements, VodafonePepsi Coca-Cola and now Harman Kardon (products include headphones and home theatre systems). Miri Ben-Ari is the founder and chairman of “Gedenk”and  a “Goodwill Ambassador of Music” at the United Nations.  Her yet to be titled forthcoming album will be released in 2014. For more information about Miri Ben-Ari visit:  
For more information on Gedenk or how students can submit their work for the Gedenk Tolerance Award visit:
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