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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: October 2016

MassMedia Client TeamHealth Donates $25,000 to Local Charity

Las Vegas Emergency Physicians Conference Attendees Select Miracle Flights as Winning Charity

Addison, Nolan, Johan, Eliana and Elijah are just some of the children that have benefited from Miracle Flights operations.

Addison, Nolan, Johan, Eliana and Elijah are just some of the children that have benefited from Miracle Flights operations.

Press Release – LAS VEGAS, (October 27, 2016) – MassMedia Corporate Communications is proud to announce that TeamHealth, the country’s leading provider of outsourced hospital-based clinical and administrative services, will contribute $25,000 to Miracle Flights, a charity that provides free commercial airline tickets so children and their families can obtain special medical care.

“It is truly an honor to represent a company whose work saves countless lives every year and whose charitable endeavors make the world a better place to live,” said Kassi Belz, president of MassMedia. “TeamHealth has a long tradition of community stewardship, and that corporate spirit comes shining through again with its donation to this worthy cause.”

Las Vegas-based Miracle Flights received the most votes from attendees at the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) conference, held October 16-19 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Visitors to TeamHealth’s booth not only discovered how TeamHealth delivers the highest quality staffing, administrative support and management across the full healthcare spectrum, but also learned about the critical work performed by five different Las Vegas-based charities.

Attendees then were encouraged to choose a magnet from the voting board and deposit it into the collection box corresponding to the charity of their choice. Miracle Flights received the most votes among the finalists which also included, Sunrise Children’s Foundation, Three Square Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“TeamHealth’s generous contribution will expand our mission to fly seriously ill children and their parents to medical specialists and treatment appointments around the country,” said Miracle Flights CEO Mark E. Brown. “The donation translates to more than 32,000 air miles and helps ensure access to critical care for children and adults with serious and rare diseases.”

About MassMedia

Founded in 1997, MassMedia is a regional public relations, advertising and marketing agency whose knowledge, strategic insights and innovative programs have developed brands, communicated clients’ messages and influenced consumers for a wide variety of clients, products and services. The firm’s clients include HealthCare Partners Nevada, Valley Electric Association, Inc., McDonald’s, The PENTA Building Group and Colliers International – Las Vegas. To learn more about MassMedia, please visit

About TeamHealth

At TeamHealth (NYSE: TMH), our purpose is to perfect our physicians’ ability to practice medicine, every day, in everything we do. Through our more than 19,000 affiliated physicians and advanced practice clinicians, TeamHealth offers outsourced emergency medicine, hospital medicine, critical care, anesthesiology, orthopedic hospitalist, acute care surgery, obstetrics and gynecology hospitalist, ambulatory care, post-acute care and medical call center solutions to approximately 3,400 acute and post-acute facilities and physician groups nationwide. Our philosophy is as simple as our goal is singular: we believe better experiences for physicians lead to better outcomes—for patients, hospital partners and physicians alike. Learn more at

About Miracle Flights

Miracle Flights is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free medical air transportation via commercial airlines throughout the United States. With more than three decades of service to families in need, Miracle Flights has coordinated more than 100,000 flights and counting. For more information about Miracle Flights, to request flight assistance, or to make a donation, call 800-359-1711 or visit

Veteran Owned BOMB Coffee Supplies Premium Java with a Purpose

During the month of November, they’re donating 22% of all sales to help reduce the number of veterans who take their lives each day.


Press Release – BOMB Coffee is a veteran owned company whose carefully roasted, 100% Robusta beans deliver a satisfying sip and the highest caffeine jolt available in the world.

BOMB Coffee delivers a supercharged explosion of flavor and caffeine in every cup. Their beans are handpicked, ensuring the highest quality possible, and then carefully roasted for a bold flavor that’s never bitter.

Unlike other brands that use a blend of beans, BOMB Coffee has selected only premium, naturally grown Robusta beans due to their intense caffeine content. In fact, they deliver twice as much caffeine on average than the typical cup of coffee without compromising on flavor.

“As veterans of both the Navy and Air Force, the well-being of our brothers and sisters in arms is always front and center in our minds,” states co-founder Robert Pricipato. “When we launched BOMB Coffee we wanted to not only make something different and fun, but also use it to help others.”

This November, BOMB Coffee will be donating 22% of all sales to help raise awareness and inspire support for the 22 veterans that take their life every day.

“Every day over 20 veterans take their life out of fear, traumatic brain injuries, or PTSD,” states co-founder Pricipato. “It’s an epidemic that no one wants to talk about, but one we can fight with more support and access to better resources.”

BOMB Coffee is available in a bagged, ground and whole bean form as well as convenient cups for use with Keurig machines.


BOMB Coffee opened its doors for business in July 2016 when four veterans joined together to develop the world’s strongest coffee with BOMB flavor. Their high-quality beans are sourced from small family owned farms located on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats mountain range in India. They are then roasted, packaged and distributed in the USA.

For additional information, please visit

South Pole Group Welcomes Senior Sustainability Experts To its Global Team

Marie Christine Bluett, William Garrett, and Rob Rosenberg join the global sustainability solutions provider

Press Release – Zurich, Switzerland, 27 October 2016 – South Pole Group is proud to announce that Marie Christine Bluett, William Garrett and Rob Rosenberg have recently joined the company as senior experts in the fields of carbon & renewable energy, sustainability supply chains, and sustainable investments to further develop the growing portfolio of sustainability products and services.

The announcement comes on the back of the envisaged entry into force of the Paris Agreement on the 4th of November, 2016. The Agreement requires both public and private sector actors to openly report and account for their actions on emission reductions and on the implementation efforts of their national climate action. These requirements, coupled with the obligation of governments to keep the average global temperature rise below 2-degrees Celsius, will continue to drive global demand for South Pole Group’s sustainability solutions.

Marie Christine Bluett starts as the company’s new Head of Renewables Portfolio Management. Prior to joining South Pole Group, Marie accumulated profound experience at Statkraft, focusing on the sales trading of Guarantees of Origin in Europe as well as overlooking the launch of global I-REC projects. Since 2014, Marie has been an active board member of RECS International, allowing her to closely follow RE developments worldwide. Marie will continue to develop the Group’s offering of renewable energy projects and products.

The Group’s growing Consultancy & Services unit welcomes senior consultants William Garrett and Rob Rosenberg, both of whom will be based in South Pole Group’s London office. With a robust background in forestry and over 20 years of experience in technical leadership and multi-national project management, William will further develop the Group’s offering in the area of sustainable supply chains. William’s previous work includes supporting the development of several community-based land use carbon offsetting projects, including three registered Plan Vivo projects at Camco, and independent consulting work for the Government of Nepal in the context of establishing Nepal’s reference level for REDD .

Rob joins the office with extensive expertise in financial services and corporate sustainability, including sustainable finance, UK pension fund governance, solar investment and sustainability reporting. He will contribute to the further growth of the Group’s sustainable investment advisory unit. Rob’s previous work experience includes 5 years at Ernst & Young (EY), where he carried out consulting work across financial risk and sustainable investment, specialising in topics such as ESG integration into investment portfolios, investments in renewables, and sustainability reporting. Before leaving EY, Rob managed the compilation of the 2015 Sustainability Report for EY Financial Services, which recently went on to win the Best Sustainability Report at the annual Ethical Corp Responsible Business Awards.

Renat Heuberger, CEO of South Pole Group, says: “I am very excited to welcome our new colleagues on board. We foresee the Paris Agreement further catalysing the global demand for our products and solutions, and are excited to have found such professionals to help us drive our strategy of continuous innovation in the field of sustainability. The extensive expertise that each of our new colleagues brings from their respective fields makes them a crucial addition to our global team. These appointments are also a sign of our commitment to provide and implement high-quality sustainability solutions for both private and public sector clients.”

Electrolux Recognized As World Leader for Action on Climate Change, Sets New Renewable Energy Target

Press Release – Electrolux has been identified as a global leader in responding to climate change by CDP, the international not-for-profit that drives sustainable economies. Electrolux said today it is among an exclusive group of companies worldwide that have been awarded a position on the CDP’s Climate A List for 2016. The company also unveiled a new target to grow the share of renewable energy used in its operations to 50%.

“Improving our climate impact is a core part of Electrolux sustainability framework For the Better, and CDP’s assessment is one of the most important external references showing we are at the forefront of the industry,” said Henrik Sundström, Head of Sustainability Affairs at Electrolux.

The Electrolux Group has a target for a 50% reduction of carbon emissions by 2020. Two key factors in reaching this goal are improving the energy efficiency of appliances, as usage represents around 80% of the climate impact, and efficiency improvements in operations, which already save Electrolux some 400 million SEK annually.

“We are now increasing our efforts to use more energy from renewable sources,” Sundström said. “This year, we’ve signed an agreement to only use renewable electricity in our European manufacturing of major appliances, and are moving forward with setting new goals for the rest of the world. Our ambition is that half of Electrolux energy should come from renewable sources by 2020. This means we have to more than double the share of renewable energy from today.”

CDP runs a global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts. Thousands of companies submit annual climate disclosures to CDP for independent assessment against its scoring methodology. Electrolux is among 9% of participating corporations to be recognized for its actions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change in the past reporting year.

CDP’s chief executive officer Paul Simpson says: “We congratulate the 193 A List companies that are leading the charge towards our low carbon future. Companies are key actors in enabling the global economy to achieve its new climate goals, and the leadership of this group points the way for others to take bold action and capitalize on the many opportunities that await.”

Read more about the Climate A List here. Read more about Electrolux work For the Better here.

Electrolux is a global leader in home appliances and appliances for professional use, based on deep consumer insight. We offer thoughtfully designed, innovative and sustainable solutions, developed in close collaboration with professional users. The products include refrigerators, ovens, cookers, hobs, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, air conditioners and small domestic appliances. Under esteemed brands including Electrolux, AEG, Zanussi, Frigidaire and Electrolux Grand Cuisine, the Group sells more than 60 million products to customers in more than 150 markets every year. In 2015, Electrolux had sales of SEK 124 billion and 58,000 employees. For more information go to

Frank + Oak Launches 50/50 Founders’ Fund in Partnership with General Assembly

The forward-looking brand champions equality in entrepreneurship

Press Release – NEW YORK, NY — October 26, 2016 — Frank + Oak, the rapidly expanding retail innovator, announces the 50/50 Founders’ Fund, a disruptive program in partnership with General Assembly that equally helps female and male founders building tomorrow’s world by supporting their entrepreneurial journey. As a natural extension of Frank + Oak’s mission to champion daring in moments that matter, 1% of every item sold will fund seed-stage grants of $10,000 in addition to support and access to educational opportunities to female and male founders advancing transformative ideas in social enterprise. Several times a year, an independent board will award 50% of the grant funds to female founders and 50% to male founders – not one cent less.

“The brands and experiences we chose to invest time and money with say something about our values. We believe that the entrepreneurial spirit drives us forward and that our customers overwhelmingly share that belief. We’re getting our customers involved by contributing 1% of each purchase that they make,” says Frank + Oak Chief Marketing Officer Eric Alper.

Frank + Oak has always admired entrepreneurs and their pioneering spirit. As the lifestyle brand of the creative class, Frank + Oak has frequently made entrepreneurs and innovators the heroes of its campaigns, among them A-Trak, Philippe Cousteau, Danny Bowien, Dave 1, Adam Garone, Jennifer Puno, Elizabeth Plank and others. With the launch of its very first womenswear lineup, Frank + Oak sought to transcend mere storytelling and take action to support equality in social enterprise.

By committing to support equal opportunity to both female and male entrepreneurs, Frank + Oak and General Assembly are proudly partnering to counter the sizeable gender gap in entrepreneurship and startup funding. According to CrunchBase, only 15.6% of companies receiving funding from 2009 to 2014 had female founders.*

“We’re at a pivotal juncture in our economy where the old paradigms no longer work. Our competitiveness as a society depends not on big, slow-moving businesses, but on nimble innovators with purpose at heart. We’ve partnered with General Assembly, the pioneering school for 21st century skills, to nurture these doers and support equal access to opportunity,” says Frank + Oak Co-Founder & CEO Ethan Song.

“Education, careers, and opportunities in technology should not be limited to any one demographic or sector. We’re honored to have Frank + Oak as another partner supporting our scholarship program, the Opportunity Fund, to help ensure that anyone who is willing to work hard and follow their passions has a chance at a meaningful career pursuing work that betters the world,” indicates Matthew O. Brimer, Co-Founder at General Assembly.

First-time social entrepreneurs residing in the US or Canada are eligible to apply for a comprehensive package of grants and support. For complete terms and conditions, and to apply now, visit

Details of the program

  • Frank + Oak will provide a minimum of 4 x $10,000 grants to social entrepreneurs in the US & Canada for its first funding round
  • 50% of the grant funds will go to female founders and 50% to males
  • Grant winners will have access to an advisory team of world-class entrepreneurs and to educational credit with General Assembly – the leading school for 21st century skills spanning digital marketing, coding, data science and beyond
  • Frank + Oak will also fund two fellowships to General Assembly’s Opportunity Fund which provides full educational stipends and support for underrepresented groups
  • This is an ongoing program funded by a 1% contribution from every SKU Frank + Oak sells with grants to be awarded several times per year

*The Crunchbase Women in Venture Report. TechCrunch. 19 April 2016.


Offering style and advice for the moments that matter, Frank + Oak is a destination for customers who want to live and dress well. By coupling considered product design with advice through immersive digital, in-store and content experiences, Frank + Oak has transcended its role as a retailer and is redefining the shopping experience. Constantly evolving and looking towards to the future, Frank + Oak offers premium design and world class customer service to its growing ranks of nearly 3 million members. You can experience the Frank + Oak brand through, shipping to over 40 countries worldwide and 16 Frank + Oak stores across North America.


General Assembly (GA) is a global educational company on a mission to empower a global community to pursue work they love. Focusing on the most relevant and in-demand skills across data, design, business and technology, GA is confronting a skills gap through best-in-class instruction and providing access to opportunities. GA works with students online and in person across 25 campuses in 6 countries. GA also works with employers to help companies source talent, assess talent and transform talent. Additionally, GA’s focus on affordable and accessible education combined with our education-to-employment approach is helping to create a diverse talent pipeline.

Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky Receives Grant from the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation

Press Release – Covington, Ky. – The Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky (ESNKY) has received a grant in the amount of $20,000 from the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, a foundation that emphasizes passion and commitment to our community.

“With winter quickly approaching, this money from the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation comes at a pivotal time for the ESNKY,” said Kim Webb, Executive Director of ESNKY. “A grant of this magnitude will fund operational expenses for 13 of the 150 days of our life saving winter program.”

A check presentation is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 27 at 10:30am at ESNKY, located at 634 Scott Blvd., Covington.

“To receive a grant for operational support will allow us to continue to be the only life saving shelter in the winter for those individuals that are homeless in NKY,” Webb continued. “We will again open our doors on November 1 and remain to be the only shelter that helps those that are actively addicted, accepts direct referrals from hospitals, jails and local law enforcement agencies along with being handicapped accessible.”

Last winter, ESNKY sheltered 513 individuals from November 1 – March 31. That is an average of 84 guests that would have otherwise slept on the streets of NKY.

ESNKY expects to continue to see an increase in those that need emergency shelter due to underemployment, addiction, unemployment or those simply not able to afford housing in our region.

“We rely heavily on donations like this one to stay operational,” Webb stated. “We provide an important service to individuals living in the northern Kentucky area, and appreciate all the support that we have received from The Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation.”

ESNKY will be holding an Open House scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 26th from 5-8pm during which the community can tour and learn about our services.

Landmark Report Shows Global Wildlife Populations on Course to Decline By 67 Per Cent By 2020

WWF calls on governments to fast-track action on conservation, climate change and sustainable development

Press Release – New data released by WWF and ZSL (Zoological Society of London) today reveals that overall global vertebrate populations are on course to decline by an average of 67 per cent from 1970 levels by the end of this decade, unless urgent action is taken to reduce humanity’s impact on species and ecosystems.

Global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have already declined by 58 per cent on average since 1970. This is an average annual decline of two per cent, with no sign yet that this rate will decrease. Populations that have been impacted by human activity include those of African elephants in Tanzania, maned wolves in Brazil, hellbender salamanders in the USA, leatherback turtles in the tropical Atlantic, orcas in European waters and European eels in UK rivers.

The Living Planet Report 2016 is the world’s most comprehensive survey to date of the health of our planet. It highlights how human activities including deforestation, pollution, overfishing and the illegal wildlife trade, coupled with climate change, are pushing species populations to the edge as people overpower the planet for the first time in Earth’s history. However, widespread ratification of the Paris agreement on climate change, new restrictions on the international trade in threatened species including pangolins and African grey parrots, and conservation measures that are leading to increases in global tiger and panda populations indicate that solutions are possible.

Mike Barrett, Director of Science and Policy at WWF-UK said:

“For the first time since the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, we face a global mass extinction of wildlife. We ignore the decline of other species at our peril – for they are the barometer that reveals our impact on the world that sustains us. Humanity’s misuse of natural resources is threatening habitats, pushing irreplaceable species to the brink and threatening the stability of our climate.

“We know how to stop this. It requires governments, businesses and citizens to rethink how we produce, consume, measure success and value the natural environment. In the UK, this demands a serious plan to strengthen protection for habitats and species and new measures to fast track low-carbon growth. Britain, like all developed nations, must take increasing responsibility for its global footprint. December’s conference on the UN Convention on Biological Diversity would be a good place for the UK government to signal that it’s serious about helping tackle the global loss of species.”

Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International said:

“Across land, freshwater and the oceans, human activities are forcing species populations and natural systems to the edge. We have the tools to fix this problem and we need to start using them if we are serious about our own survival and prosperity.”

Professor Ken Norris, Director of Science at ZSL said:

“Human behaviour continues to drive the decline of wildlife populations globally, with particular impact on freshwater habitats. Importantly, however, these are declines – they are not yet extinctions – and this should be a wake-up call to marshal efforts to promote the recovery of these populations.”

Food production to meet the needs of an expanding human population is a key driver of the overfishing, hunting and destruction of habitats that is causing biodiversity loss. The Living Planet Report details the enormous strain agriculture places on freshwater systems, accounting for 70 per cent of water use and a substantial loss of wetlands. While large food industry interests have demonstrated they can feed the world, the report makes clear that the challenge now is to do so sustainably.

This year, international scientists recommended that humanity’s impact on the Earth is now so profound that a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene – needs to be declared. And in the UK, the RSPB’s State of Nature 2016 report shows that over the last 50 years, 56 per cent of native species have declined.

New Study Shows Congo is Run as Violent Kleptocracy

In-depth report shows D.R. Congo is not a “failed state,” as it functions highly efficiently for ruling elites, certain commercial partners who profit immensely; Paradigm shift is needed by policymakers to use financial, legal pressure tools to target leaders most responsible for violence, corruption, and undermining democracy.

Press Release – October 27, 2016 (Washington, DC) — In a major report released today, the Enough Project shows that the Democratic Republic of Congo is not a “failed state,” exposing a highly functioning system of violence and corruption structured to allow President Joseph Kabila and his close associates to maintain power and profit from natural resource deals at the expense of country’s development.

The comprehensive study that analyzes Congo’s political economy over the past 130 years, “A Criminal State: Understanding and Countering Institutionalized Corruption and Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” authored by Sasha Lezhnev, the second in the Enough Project series “Violent Kleptocracy: Corruption and Conflict in East and Central Africa,” will be presented at an event today in Washington, DC, and will be livestreamed at 10 a.m. EDT.

Sasha Lezhnev, report author and Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “It is time for a paradigm shift on policy thinking on Congo. Supporting Congolese reformers to transform the country requires a strategy to tackle the violent kleptocratic system head-on. The U.S. and Europe must impose significant consequences for the leaders that maintain it, in particular by using the tools of financial pressure normally reserved for countering nuclear proliferation. Congo’s business deals are made in U.S. dollars, thus touching the international banking system, so the international community has powerful leverage it is not using nearly enough.”

The current crisis in the DRC, the report argues, is the latest iteration of a longer pattern of violence and corruption and urges policymakers and the international community to respond with financial pressure tools that directly target those leaders benefiting from the violent kleptocratic system.

Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “For too long, Congo’s entrenched systems of theft and violence have been left to thrive. That has led to the death of millions of civilians, and now an acute constitutional crisis at the highest level of power. It has also spurred a mass popular movement demanding that Kabila must go, asserting the rights of the people to a democratic transition. There has never been a more important time for policy makers to view Congo as a hijacked — not a failed — state, and use the financial and legal tools at their disposal before this crisis reaches a fever pitch.”

Lezhnev added: “U.S. and international policy goals on Congo should be to create accountability for financial and human rights crimes; and to create new leverage for peace, human rights, and governance reforms. This would comprise a new, unique financial pressure approach that would create real leverage in support of processes that can bring change in Congo. The aim would be to freeze those committing atrocities and undermining peace out of the international financial system.”

The Congolese government has increased repression in recent months. In September, a government crackdown on demonstrations to hold elections on time killed over 48 protesters, according to the United Nations. Over the past 18 months, numerous democracy activists have been jailed and radio, international human rights advocates have been kicked out of the country, and radio and TV stations have been shut down.

Report recommendations:

1. Financial pressure: For a policy of financial pressure aimed at reforms, the United States and other actors within the international community should combine the use of anti-money laundering measures with widened, enforced targeted sanctions designations. This would comprise a new and unique financial pressure approach that would create real leverage in support of processes that can bring change in Congo.

  • Implementing anti-money laundering measures
  • Enacting higher-level and robustly enforced targeted sanctions

2. Accountability: The International Criminal Court (ICC), the United States, Central and East African nations, and European states should use judicial tools to target the facilitators of violence, prosecute corruption-related crimes, and bolster atrocity crimes cases with a strategy to target assets stolen by those responsible for serious crimes to impose real accountability.

  • Targeting the facilitators of violence and prosecuting pillage
  • Seizing criminally derived assets
  • Prosecuting corruption-related crimes

3. Good governance and transparency: The overall objective of policymakers should be a reformed, functional state that is responsive to Congolese citizens’ needs. While pursuing financial and legal pressure to create immediate costs for current corrupt and violent behavior, the U.S., European, African, Asian, and multilateral institutions should support long-term democratic and transparency processes, governance reforms, and needed capacities by taking the following steps:

  • Reforming aid, focusing on including strong anti-corruption provisions.
  • Pressing for the publication of financial reports and audits of state-owned companies such as Gécamines and the China contract
  • Strengthening EITI implementation and urge completion of the Mining Code review
  • Supporting civil society with increased legal aid, protection, and capacity building

The report analyzes Congo’s political economy over the past 130 years, revealing seven main pillars of violent kleptocracy that have been used in various forms to rule the country, from the days of King Leopold II to the present.

  1. Let the security forces pay themselves. Mobutu said, “You have guns, you don’t need a salary.”  In order to prevent being overthrown by force, the regime allows army commanders to become wealthy by exploiting resources and citizens, thus fueling cycles of conflict.
  2. Stay in power, or possibly lose everything. Leaving office can mean that regime-connected elites lose their ill-gotten gains and immunity from prosecution. Pro-democracy movements are thus repressed, often violently, as they are threats to the corrupt system.
  3. Ensure there is little to no accountability for regime-connected elites. Impunity is the glue that holds the system together. Judicial systems target regime opponents or low-level figures, not high-level perpetrators of corruption or human rights abuses.
  4. Create parallel state structures and co-opt rebel groups to weaken political threats. Parallel chains of command are set up to ensure loyalty; rebels are brought into the army without vetting or real integration. The bloated army then commits abuses and collaborates with armed groups.
  5. Ensure that high-level officials benefit from corruption. If appointed to a military post or government office, the official is expected to pass payments up the chain. This system, “rapportage,” has led the real tax burden for Congolese citizens to be around 55 percent.
  6. Personally profit from natural resource deals, underspend on services, and hijack reforms. The regime receives bribes from certain outsiders to sell resources at very low prices, then outsiders flip them for large profits, depriving the Congolese state of massive revenue. Transparency reforms such as the Extractive Indsutries Transparency Initiative (EITI) help a bit, but the main vehicles for corruption—state-owned companies and their foreign shell company partners—remain opaque. The government deliberately underspends on public services, as its focus is on patronage.
  7. Confuse everyone by creating uncertainty on policies in order to increase corruption. The government creates institutions that contradict its own laws or policies, and state agencies impose and collect their own taxes, which increases predation.

LINK TO THE FULL REPORT: (French translation of executive summary also available)

EVENT DATE TIME: Thursday, October 27, 2016 | 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. EDT

EVENT LOCATION: 1333 H Street NW, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20036



The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at

Cigna To Bring More Health Resources to Communities Nationwide

  • Go. Know. Take Control. Health Improvement Tour begins Oct. 29 in Phoenix
  • Mobile clinics will deliver free nationwide biometric screenings and health coaching 
  • Goal is to elevate health awareness and help identify potential health issues
  • Cordani Family Foundation donating funds for screenings at universities and underserved communities

Press Release – BLOOMFIELD – October 26, 2016 – Cigna (NYSE: CI) is revving up its community health and wellness efforts and announced today it will sponsor a cross-country Go. Know. Take Control. Health Improvement Tour. The multi-city tour will kick off Oct. 29, 2016 in Phoenix, delivering health screenings and health coaching free-of-charge throughout the remainder of 2016 and into 2017.

Across the country, Cigna will bring mobile clinics for biometric screenings to communities where people can learn their blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and body mass index (BMI) – which Cigna calls the Core Four. These are the key health numbers that underlie the majority of health costs, as evidenced in recent Cigna studies showing that knowing the Core Four can identify risks for major chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Health coaches will be onsite to help people understand their Core Four numbers and explain how to take follow-up steps.

The Health Improvement Tour is Cigna’s latest demonstration of its mission to improve health, well-being and sense of security. To help provide access to care for those in need and extend the reach of the tour, the Cordani Family Foundation – begun by Cigna CEO and President David M. Cordani – is donating funds to pay for the costs associated with bringing these screenings to universities and underserved communities. The Cigna Foundation will assist in outreach to these underserved communities.

“Knowing these Core Four numbers is fundamental to a person’s ability to take control of his or her health. Supported by health coaches, knowing these foundational numbers can dramatically impact quality of life and personal health expenses. Through the Health Improvement Tour, we’re meeting people where they are, right in their communities, so we can have a direct impact on helping them improve their health and well-being. All health care is local and personal, and this is a great way to help consumers where they work, play and live,’’ Cordani said.

Cigna’s intent behind the Health Improvement Tour is to elevate health awareness and to help people catch chronic or acute conditions at an early stage while they are treatable. The tour spreads the Go. Know. Take Control message of Cigna’s America’s TV Doctors campaign, which debuted in September across a multi-media, multi-channel platform. The campaign encourages all Americans to have an annual checkup as the first step in learning their key health numbers and accessing the preventive care covered by most health plans.

The Health Improvement Tour is an expansion of Cigna’s corporate responsibility and philanthropic efforts to bring industry-leading health and wellness programs to communities throughout the country. Cigna’s innovative approach focuses on engaging individuals in their health, addressing each person across the spectrum of his or her physical, mental, emotional and financial needs, and partnering with health care professionals.

Cordani has a long-standing commitment to the principles of expanded affordable access to health care for all, and, under his leadership, Cigna has grown its presence on the insurance marketplace for individuals. Cordani has been a consistent voice in Washington, D.C. to build a sustainable health care system, and most recently led Cigna’s opioid program to help curb the nation’s drug epidemic. His passion for wellness is exemplified by his personal involvement in the Cigna Health Awareness Tour of 2006, a cross-country bicycle tour that carried the message of wellness directly into communities, and through his participation in numerous charitable bike rides and races. Cordani also has served as a running guide for members of the Achilles team of wounded warriors at the Boston Marathon and the Walt Disney World® Marathon.

“The Health Improvement Tour embodies all that it means for Cigna to be a health service company, moving beyond insurance for sick care to helping people understand their health risks and prevent chronic disease, which robs too many people of their full participation in a high quality of life,” Cordani said.

About Cigna

Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 90 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit

About the Cigna Foundation

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After Four Years, Six Urban School Districts Have Made Significant Progress In Building Pipelines to Develop Effective School Principals

Top District Leaders and Novice Principals Both Reported Improvements

Press Release – WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 26, 2016) – After four years, six large urban school districts made significant progress in building stronger principal pipelines, according to a new independent study of The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative. The study especially noted direct benefits to novice school principals by raising the quality of their training, hiring, evaluations, mentoring and other support during their crucial first years on the job.

“To a striking extent, all six districts carried out the kinds of policies and practices called for by the Principal Pipeline Initiative,” said lead author Brenda Turnbull of Policy Studies Associates. “The result has been that both superintendents and novice principals are already reporting changes for the better.”

Superintendents and other top district leaders reported in interviews with the study team that principal candidates were showing leadership strengths, especially in improving instruction. Surveys of novice principals also showed that over time, a higher percentage of new principals said that their skills were an “excellent” fit for their schools’ needs.

Building a Stronger Principalship: The Principal Pipeline Initiative in Action is the fifth and final implementation report from The Wallace Foundation‘s $85-million Principal Pipeline Initiative, launched in August 2011. The multi-year evaluation is being conducted by Policy Studies Associates and the RAND Corporation. A report by RAND Corporation, to be released in 2017, will look at the costs associated with building pipelines; and a culminating report, to be published by PSA and RAND in late 2018, will analyze student achievement in schools led by “pipeline” principals.

“This report is something of a milestone, first because it confirms that districts can successfully implement meaningful changes in a complex system of hiring and developing leaders, and second because the resulting principal pipelines quickly produce benefits for both districts and principals,” said Will Miller, president of The Wallace Foundation. “The work of these six large urban districts offers important lessons for other districts across the country that want to prepare and place effective principals in all their schools.”

Offering the foundation’s analysis of its major pipeline project, Wallace also released its own Perspective entitled “Building Principal Pipelines: A Job That Urban Districts Can Do,” which concludes that other districts can take on building pipelines of school leaders due to the success of the six districts in constructing important aspects of a principal pipeline. The report includes considerations for both districts and states interested in building pipelines. Though primarily a district responsibility, “states could play a major role in encouraging the development of pipelines,” the report notes, due to state powers such as licensing principals, overseeing preparation programs and approving degree programs at universities. “States could assert these powers more aggressively to improve pre-service training, hiring, and performance evaluation and support – each a key pipeline element,” the report adds.

The six districts participating in the initiative are: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, N.C.; Denver Public Schools; Gwinnett County Public Schools, Ga. (near Atlanta); Hillsborough County Public Schools, Fla. (Tampa); New York City Department of Education; and Prince George’s County Public Schools, Md. (near Washington, D.C.). At least half the students in each district are from low-income families.

The Policy Studies Associates report details how six districts strengthened the four key parts of “principal pipelines:”

  • Defining and actively using job standards that anchor preparation programs, hiring and evaluations;
  • Reshaping pre-service preparation through new or revamped in-house programs and partnerships with other providers, including internships;
  • Tightening hiring by requiring candidates to demonstrate skills, creating talent pools and using data to match principals with the right schools; and
  • Providing new evaluations and better on-the-job support through mentors, coaches and the revamped principal supervisor role.

District actions made a difference to the novice principals, according to surveys. As the districts worked to eliminate hiring decisions based only on recommendations and interviews, novice principals more often said the new more rigorous hiring processes gave them a chance to show their skills in practical demonstrations. Over time, they also gave higher ratings to their principal supervisors, a position that districts revamped so the supervisors managed smaller caseloads of principals. A key finding was that as districts shifted the focus from administrative compliance to helping principals succeed as instructional leaders, principal supervisors took on important responsibilities of on-the-job evaluation and support for principals.

In addition, novice principals had positive perceptions of new standards-based evaluation systems. Principals also expressed enthusiasm about their mentors and coaches, describing them as “lifelines” who provided hands-on help vital to principals’ “immediate survival.”

“This report provides the broader field with a solid understanding of how principal pipelines work and a demonstration of their feasibility as well as benefits,” said Elizabeth Ty Wilde, senior research and evaluation officer at The Wallace Foundation. “Given the complexities of the steps involved in developing principals, it’s hard to image how districts that want consistently effective principals can develop them without a well-organized pipeline pathway.”

Another innovation by the districts was the development of leader tracking systems, which captured individual, longitudinal data on aspiring and novice principals’ experience, performance and competencies. This data system helped districts make informed decisions on hiring, placement and succession planning.

At the same time, the report makes clear that the six districts consider their efforts a work in progress. Some important aspects of pipeline building, such as improving professional development, are unfinished. And others have proved to be particularly complex, long-term undertakings, notably upgrading university-based training (as opposed to district-provided training) for aspiring principals.

Over the course of the initiative, district leaders also took steps to systematically select, induct, and coach assistant principals, because 70 percent of novice principals came from the assistant principal ranks. At the same time, district leaders wondered if the job should be restructured because much of assistant principals’ work had little to do with instructional leadership.

“These reports are particularly timely because districts and states are currently developing plans for their work under the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act,” said Jody Spiro, Wallace’s director of education leadership. “These reports offer new evidence about the feasibility and value of building pipelines, and the new law provides significant funding opportunities for districts and states to support school leaders.”

To read the new report, click here. The first report in the Policy Studies Associates series described the districts’ plans and first-year activities; the second report analyzed the preparation and support for school leaders offered by districts and their partners. A third report examined how districts were faring three years into the initiative. A fourth report looked at principal evaluations and support to help principals improve.

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