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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: June 2015

IWMF Announces Inaugural Grantees Of The Howard G. Buffett Fund For Women Journalists

$2.3 Million to be Awarded to Women Journalists Through 2024

Next Round of Funding Open for Applications from June 15 – July 27

Washington, DC – The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is proud to announce the first group of 2015 grantees in the inaugural funding round of the Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists. Nine trailblazing women journalists were selected from a stellar pool of 650 applicants representing media projects based in over 100 countries.

“We are in awe of the talent and diversity of ideas represented in the hundreds of applications we received from around the world for this Fund,” said IWMF Executive Director Elisa Lees Muñoz. “The strength of the proposals truly reflects the bold aspirations of women journalists.”

Inaugural IWMF Grantees | Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists

Lily Casura is awarded a $19,500 grant to complete a multimedia project examining homeless female veterans in the U.S. Casura is a freelance writer and the founder of the award-winning Healing Combat Trauma website, created to address the issue of combat veterans and PTSD. Her work has appeared in Texas Tribune, Huffington Post, Agence France-Presse and other media outlets. She is a chapter author in Healing War Trauma: A Handbook of Creative Approaches (Routledge).

Priyanka Dubey is awarded a $1,800 grant to help her complete her book on the crisis of rape in India. Dubey is an independent journalist based in New Delhi. She covers human rights, gender, conflict and development in India. Her work has been published in Yahoo Originals, Tehelka, Hindustan Times and Scroll. Her work has been recognized through several national and international awards including the 2015 Knight International Journalism Award, the Kurt Schork Award in International Journalism, and Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Indian Journalism.

Rahima Gambo is awarded a grant of $8,400 to pursue a multimedia web project about students in Northeastern Nigeria, who have been impacted by the Boko Haram insurgency. She will also participate in Hostile Environments & Emergency First-Aid Training (HEFAT). Gambo is a freelance visual journalist based in Abuja, Nigeria. She was a 2014 Magnum Foundation fellow and her images can be seen in The New York Times, Time Lightbox, Leadership Newspaper, The Nation Newspaper, City Limits and other media outlets.

Iris Kuo and her team are awarded a grant of $9,500 to create a multimedia research tool and web app, LedBetter, to increase access to information on gender in corporate leadership. Kuo reports for Argus Media, an international energy wire based in Houston, Texas, and was recently selected as one of 10 2015-2016 Knight-Bagehot fellows at Columbia University. Previously, she led green energy investment coverage for the tech news outlet VentureBeat and reported for The Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong.

Victoria McKenzie is awarded a grant of $2,500 to pursue an investigative reporting project on water access in rural Colombia. Decades of failed water projects in Colombia’s northernmost department of La Guajira suggest the need for closer evaluation of aid and development effectiveness. McKenzie is a human rights and global health reporter based in New York City, focused on international aid and development. She has covered political corruption in Colombia for Vice News and Colombia Reports.

Pascale Müller and her team are awarded a grant of $10,000 to implement a skills-building workshop for female journalists in the Middle East and North Africa. The program will be hosted in Cairo, Egypt. Müller is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Germany and coordinator of Middle East and North Africa Committee (MENAC) of the European Youth Press (EYP). She has written for Jordan Times, Syria Deeply, ProJourno and the German daily Tagesspiegel. She mostly writes about MENA politics, women’s rights and terrorism.

Katie Orlinsky is awarded a grant of $15,000 to complete a photography project exploring climate change and environmental issues in Alaskan communities. Orlinsky is a photographer and cinematographer from New York, she has photographed personal projects, assignments and documentaries all over the world. Orlinsky regularly works for The New York Times, The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera America, a variety of international magazines and non-profit organizations such as Too Young to Wed, an organization and campaign to end child marriage around the world.

Alice Su is awarded a grant of $3,000 grant to complete Hostile Environments & Emergency First-Aid Training (HEFAT). Su is an independent journalist based in Amman, Jordan. Her work focuses on refugees, religion, China and the Middle East, and has been published in The Guardian, The Atlantic, BBC News, Foreign Policy, Vice News, WIRED and Al Jazeera America, among other outlets.

Tennessee Jane Watson and her team are awarded a grant of $36,000 to complete an audio documentary examining childhood sexual abuse in the United States. Watson is a documentary artist and educator who has produced nationally distributed radio features, award-winning films, oral histories, public sound installations and youth media projects. Across disciplines her practice is defined by a collaborative and community-based approach.

Three additional funding rounds will be completed in 2015, and a total of $230,000 will be awarded to applicants this year. The next application period will be open from June 15 – July 27, 2015.

At least $2.3 million will be awarded to grantees over the next 10 years. The opportunities this Fund will empower are critical to transparency, democracy and embracing the diversity of voices reporting across all media platforms. The only prerequisite is that grantees are female journalists working full-time either for a specific media outlet or as a freelancer.

The Fund was established by the IWMF in 2014 with the generous support of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to promote the work and advance the contributions of women in the media working around the world.

Learn more about the Fund, sign up for updates, and submit proposals during the application period for future funding rounds at

Follow the progress of IWMF grantees @IWMF, #IWMFfund, #IWMFgrantee.

About the IWMF

For 25 years, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) has been dedicated to strengthening the role of women journalists worldwide. The media is not truly free and representative without the equal voice of women. Our work celebrates the courage of women journalists who overcome threats and oppression to report and bear witness to global issues. Through our programs and grants we empower women journalists with the training, opportunities, and support to become leaders in the news industry.

The National Urban Technology Center’s 20th Anniversary Gala Awards Dinner

Celebrating 20 years of breaking barriers by improving lives, teaching critical life skills & empowering youth with technology

New York, NY (May 2015) – On Wednesday, June 17th The National Urban Technology Center will host its 2015 gala benefit celebrating Urban Tech’s 20 years of service connecting students and families to digital literacy, financial literacy,comprehensive health education and life skills that are critical to academic success. Over 300 corporate and community leaders who have all pledged their support of the organization’s vital mission will attend Urban Tech’s gala.

The National Urban Technology Center has thrived, grown, and expanded since they were first established in 1995. When the program first began they were aiming to close the digital divide by providing computers and technology to schools and community-based organizations. Striving to utilize technology as a teaching tool for digital and emotional literacy, they created the Youth Leadership Academy (YLA), an award-winning, web based e-learning curriculum that uses technology, animation, music, and games to engage students in the learning process and equip them with essential skills to become productive, self-fulfilled, and achievement-oriented leaders. YLA draws students into a highly stimulating digital world that motivates them to improve self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making through simulation and role-playing activities. Students are motivated to prevent anti-social behaviors, such as bullying, become life-long learners and leaders, and develop the skills essential to success in a 21st century global environment. Urban Techhas trained thousands of students in over 850 schools and community based organizations across the United States, including more than 100 New York City public schools and afterschool programs.

This year’s gala will be held at Gotham Hall, an exquisite venue in the heart of New York City known for its style and sophistication. Proceeds from the event will benefit The National Urban Technology Center and go towards supporting youth by giving them the capacity for positive behavior and academic success.

The evening begins with a VIP cocktail party at 6pm, followed by the dinner and awards ceremony, and an exciting silent auction. Maurice DuBois, award winning anchor of “CBS 2 News This Morning” and the weekend edition of “CBS Evening News,” will serve as our Master of Ceremonies for the evening alongside E! Entertainment News personality, Alicia Quarles.

This year The Urban Tech Gala has assembled another group of distinguished honorees including four-time Oscar nominee and Golden Globe award winner Annette Bening, who will accept the Humanitarian Award; Douglas McNeely, Managing Director of BlackRock, who will accept Urban Tech’s Community Leadership Award; and Russell Simmons, business magnate and co-founder of the music label Def Jam, will accept the Visionary Award for his philanthropy and activism.

There will be anexciting silent auction with amazing items such as a week long stay in Saint Thomas, Madonna concert tickets, Keith Lloyd custom-designed men’s and women’s couture and more.

Countless notable celebrities and personalities have taken part in previous galas including Michael Bloomberg, Mariska Hargitay, Ambassador Carl Spielvogel, Senator Kirsten Gillibrands, Senator Thomas Daschle, Patti LaBelle, Blair Underwood, Star Jones, Judy A. Smith, Richard Kind, Boris Kodjoe, Nicole Ari Parker, Daphne Rubin Vega, Lori Stokes, B. Smith, Miss USA Olivia Culpo, Callie Thorne, Lynn Whitfield, John Starks, Cynthia Rowley, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Hill Harper, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and Tatum O’Neal.

The event will be held at Gotham Hall in Midtown West. It is located at 1356 Broadway, New York, NY.


The National Urban Technology Center (Urban Tech), a not-for-profit educational corporation, transforms lives through the power of technology by giving youth the capacity for positive behavior and academic success. Urban Tech achieves its mission by teaching students essential life skills, and by training and coaching parents and educators to support social and emotional learning. Urban Tech’s flagship programs, The Youth Leadership Academy® (YLA), The Financial Education Network (FEN) and SeedTech®, are delivered online to enhance the ability of schools and after-school programs to reach and effectively teach all students.

Activate Instruction Migrates Online Learning Content To Gooru

Free, personalized online tool makes high-quality resources available to all

SAN FRANCISCO – In a move to make high-quality educational content easily available all in one place, the Girard Education Foundation announced today the migration of its high-quality, teacher-created resources on Activate Instruction to Gooru.

As the public education system evolves toward supporting students’ personalized needs, online learning tools have emerged that allow teachers to customize instruction. Often the tools available either meet some of the teachers’ needs or are prohibitively expensive. Through the migration, users will be able to access Activate’s resources via Gooru, which will give educators a free platform to find high-quality resources as well as the ability to run real-time analytics on student performance and engagement.

“Every student is unique and learns differently. When school starts this fall, teachers can use Gooru to easily personalize lessons for their students,” said Michele Hansen, President of the Girard Education Foundation. “Gooru’s enhanced, free K-12 content will support a variety of innovative educational models and facilitate the growth of competency-based learning.”

Content migrating from Activate has been largely built and published by high-performing public charter schools, such as Summit Public Schools and High Tech High. Summit, for example, will contribute more than 16,000 comprehensive Common Core-aligned resources for students in sixth through 12th grades in October, and High Tech High has already contributed over 4,000 resources. Teachers and students using Gooru can now adapt these high-quality resources for their classrooms. In addition, Gooru offers a wiki-assessment system with millions of questions teachers can use to assess student learning. Gooru’s resources are contributed by credible online sources and educators from over 60 public school districts, including Riverside, Santa Ana and Val Verde.

“At Gooru, our goal is to empower teachers and students with the tools they need to access high-quality resources and real-time data analytics,” said Gooru CEO and founder Prasad Ram. “By adding Activate content to Gooru, we’re increasing the strength of our community. This partnership adds quality resources to Gooru, giving all educators more digital options to meet students’ unique needs.”

In recent years, K-12 education has moved toward competency based education which focuses on supporting students to learn at their own pace, which requires highly personalized and technology-supported instructional methods like Gooru. Around the country, schools using this approach are documenting student success. And this approach is growing. Over 100,000 lessons have been shared on Gooru, with thousands created by the community every month.

Throughout the summer, the Girard Education Foundation will work closely with educators to transition Activate’s educational resources to Gooru, with the goal of having most of Activate’s content on Gooru by mid-August. In addition to the free assessment capabilities Gooru offers, school systems that use learning management and student assessment tools from companies such as Agilix, Illuminate Education, Canvas and Haiku Learning will be able to close the feedback loop and support personalized learning with data analytics on Gooru by mid-August.

Migrating content is the first step in transitioning Activate users to Gooru. Free online training will be offered to familiarize Activate users with Gooru. Dates and times for these trainings will be announced in the summer and posted on Activate and Gooru’s websites.

About the Girard Education Foundation

The Girard Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that aspires to advance K-12 education through innovative educational initiatives. The foundation is based on the belief that meaningful change requires commitment, passion, and risk-taking. Working with partners who share this belief, the foundation takes a collaborative, goal-oriented approach to advancing education.

About Gooru

Gooru ( believes education is a human right. We are building an open and collaborative online community of educators, learners, partners, and developers to facilitate personalized learning for every student. To empower educators everywhere, Gooru provides tools to discover standards-aligned K-12 resources, customize content, and monitor student progress with data analytics to adapt the learning experience for each student. Founded as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Gooru has and always will be a mission-focused organization whose products are free of cost and ads.

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