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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: April 2017

Under 30 Summit EMEA: Sir Ronald Cohen Lays Out Blueprint for Young Entrepreneurs to Create Measurable Change and Improve the World

“We have arrived at an era of making profit with purpose,” said Sir Ronald Cohen, the “father of social business,” at the Forbes Under 30 Summit EMEA

Press Release – April 3, 2017 – Tel Aviv, Israel – Sir Ronald Cohen, Co-Founder of Apax Partners and Chairman of the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group and The Portland Trust, said today at the Forbes Under 30 Summit EMEA that “we arrived at the idea of profits with purpose” during his “Fireside chat” with Forbes’ Editor, Randall Lane.

“What attracted me to venture capital was that I always had my eyes fixed on change,” said Cohen to room of entrepreneurs. “In the case of impact investing today, we’re in an era of defining change. Today the world has already shifted, but most people haven’t noticed it, from measuring risk and return, to measuring risk, return and impact. Life has to be more about just making money. It has to be possible to improve people’s lives and to improve the planet, at the same time as making money.”

Cohen pointed out how investing can have far reaching impact even on issues where governments struggle. “Governments are saying come and show me new ways that we can tackle social issues more effectively. Innovation comes from young entrepreneurs.”

Finally, he concluded by providing the young innovators his one and only key to success. “Start young, think big, stick with it – do those 3 things and you’ll be very successful.”

The Under 30 Summit EMEA convenes the greatest young entrepreneurs and game-changers from America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa to foster world-changing ideas and collaborations. Host cities, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, serve as a perfect backdrop: they are the most entrepreneurial places on the planet, with more startups per capita than Silicon Valley.

New Report – Sex And Labor Trafficking In The United States Redefined In The Typology of Modern Slavery

Polaris defines 25 types of modern slavery, breaking down previous frameworks

Press Release – WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 29, 2017)—Polaris, a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery and help survivors restore their freedom, released a new report today, The Typology of Modern Slavery, that breaks down instances of sex and labor trafficking into 25 distinct categories, detailing the unique trafficker profile, recruitment tactics, victim profile, and method of control for each different subset of modern slavery.

The report is based off the largest data set on human trafficking ever publicly compiled and analyzed in the United States. It restructures previously conceived frameworks around sex and labor trafficking, offering a new, more effective look at the causes and potential solutions to modern slavery in the U.S.


In The Typology of Modern Slavery, Polaris’s research team proposes a classification system that identifies 25 distinct types of human trafficking in the United States, including:

  1. Escort Services
  2. Illicit Massage, Health, and Beauty
  3. Outdoor Solicitation
  4. Residential
  5. Domestic Work
  6. Bars, Strip Clubs, and Cantinas
  7. Pornography
  8. Traveling Sales Crews
  9. Restaurants and Food Service
  10. Peddling and Begging
  11. Agriculture and Animal Husbandry
  12. Personal Sexual Servitude
  13. Health and Beauty Services
  14. Construction
  15. Hotels and Hospitality
  16. Landscaping
  17. Illicit Activities
  18. Arts and Entertainment
  19. Commercial Cleaning Services
  20. Factories and Manufacturing
  21. Remote Interactive Sexual Acts
  22. Carnivals
  23. Forestry and Logging
  24. Health Care
  25. Recreational Facilities

“One of the primary challenges to ending modern slavery has been the lack of data to understand the problem,” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris. “The Typology of Modern Slavery offers a new map to understand how human trafficking manifests throughout the country.”

“Perpetrators of human trafficking often operate in the shadows, making it a challenge to interrupt the systems that support them,” said Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman. “This report provides a comprehensive look at the typology of modern slavery that will help prosecutors protect victims and pursue criminals.”

“These are the tools that survivors and advocates need to revolutionize a movement and put an end to modern slavery,” said Rebecca Bender, survivor advocate and CEO/Founder of the Rebecca Bender Initiative. “With a better understanding, we will have a better chance to help people fight these systems of control and oppression.”

“Polaris analyzed more than 32,000 cases of human trafficking to develop a classification system that identifies 25 types of modern slavery,” said Jennifer Penrose, Data Analysis Director at Polaris. “From escort services to traveling sales crews, the ways humans are exploited differ greatly, as do ways to combat the problem.”

The report relies on data gathered from Polaris-operated hotlines between December 2007 and December 2016. During that time period, Polaris received reports of 32,208 cases of potential human trafficking and 10,085 potential cases of labor exploitation. The Typology report offers the next step in creating a world without slavery. Polaris invites survivors, practitioners, and experts in the field to help refine this classification system and make it even more accurate and robust by contributing cases, data, and firsthand experiences beyond those included in the report.

Funding for the Typology report was provided through a grant from Google, a longtime partner to Polaris and supporter of anti-human trafficking work throughout the world. On Monday, Polaris was awarded the 2017 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship from the Skoll Foundation, which recognizes organizations that disrupt the status quo, drive sustainable large-scale change, and are poised to create an even greater impact in the world.


Cornish College Of The Arts Presents Cornish Dance Theater Spring 2017 Concert

Faculty and guest choreographers’ works focus on female empowerment, protests, and human rights for season finale.

Press Release – SEATTLE, WA – Cornish Dance Theater, the performing ensemble of the 100-year-old Dance Department at Cornish College of the Arts, ends the season with the Spring 2017 Concert. This year, the Cornish Dance students perform the choreography of Leigh-Ann Cohen-Hafford, Wade Madsen, Karen O’Branovich, Alia Swersky, and Deborah Wolf.

Located in Seattle, Washington, Cornish College of the Arts’ Dance Department was established in the 1916/17 academic year, making it the oldest continuing dance department in North America. Incipient modern dance forms as well as classicaly training were part of the curriculum from the very beginning. The many dancers who studied at Cornish include Bonnie Bird, Merce Cunningham, Robert Joffrey, Ezra Dickinson, Syvilla Fort, Amy O’Neal, Dana Sapiro, Louise Soelberg, and many more.

For the Spring 2017 Concert, Cornish graduate Alia Swersky’s site-specific piece will take place in the Cornish Playhouse courtyard prior to the stage production – “the sad sanctuary” explores the myriad ways women gather and inhabit space together, with special attention to notions of support and witness. Leigh-Ann Cohen-Hafford’s contemporary ballet piece “RISE!” tackles global violence towards women and is a call to rise and dance for defiance and revolution. The theme of female empowerment continues in Wade Madsen’s modern piece, “Alice,” which is an exploration of the women’s movement in the late 1960s interpreted through the story of Alice in Wonderland. Deborah Wolf’s piece uses dance and vocalizations to investigate ideas of oppression and freedom. In “A Joyful Breath,” Karen O’Branovich’s sweeping jazz piece, Bossa Nova and the Ziegfield Follies are reimagined and synthesized into an utterly modern and luxurious extravaganza!

Cornish Dance Theater Spring 2017 Concert

April 21 at 8:00 p.m. (site-specific piece in Playhouse courtyard to run from 6:45-7:30 p.m.)
April 22 at 2:00 p.m. (site-specific piece in Playhouse courtyard to run from 12:45-1:30 p.m.) and 8:00 p.m. (site-specific piece in Playhouse courtyard to run from 6:45-7:30 p.m.)
Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center

Tickets: $15 general, $7 seniors, $5 Cornish staff, students & Cornish alumni
Presented with support from the Bossak Heilbron Charitable Foundation

The Saturday, April 22, matinee performance will be followed by an informal question and answer period with Cornish Dance students. For more information on how to purchase tickets please visit or call 800.838.3006. For TeenTix ($5 Tickets for ages 13-19) visit

More About 2017 Spring Cornish Dance Theater Choreographers

Leigh-Ann Cohen-Hafford has been teaching student and professional dancers for over 20 years, with over 13 years at Cornish Preparatory Program. She was Artistic Director of Conservatory Ballet of Washington and Director of the Ballet Department at Washington Academy of Performing Arts. She served as a dance faculty member at Oakland University, MI and assistant coach at Ballet British Columbia. She has taught master classes and guest classes across the USA and Canada. As a performer, Cohen-Hafford danced principal roles in numerous classical ballets, as well as in works by some of the most eminent contemporary choreographers including Ashton, Balanchine, Butler, Cranko, Tetley, and Forsythe. She was fortunate to work personally with many of these choreographers as well as with distinguished ballet directors, teachers and choreographers. She toured and performed extensively nationally and internationally with companies in North America, including Ballet BC, Ballet Jorgen, Metropolitan Ballet Theater and Pennsylvania Ballet, and was an invited guest artist for numerous schools and companies. Cohen-Hafford has a diploma in Dance Training from George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto and an advanced certificate in Spanish dance. Her choreography has been performed by companies in Canada and the United States and she has choreographed and staged for Cornish Preparatory Dance’s Spring concerts and the Nutcracker.

Wade Madsen has been teaching in the Seattle area for over 37 years. He has taught at Cornish College of the Arts for over 31 years and premiered nearly 33 dances for Cornish Dance Theater. Madsen currently teaches community classes at Velocity Dance Center. He finds new growth and stamina as a teacher with various workshops and performances throughout the country. He has taught at the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop since 1982. His company, Wade Madsen and Dancers, has premiered over 200 works since 1977. A former member of the Bill Evans Dance Company and Tandy Beal & Company, Madsen has received choreographic grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington State, King County, Seattle Arts Commission, Artist’s Trust, and Allied Arts. In 2012, Madsen was honored by Velocity Dance Center for his body of work as a choreographer and teacher. He has received the ‘Outstanding Teacher of the year’ award three times during his teaching career at Cornish. He has teaching ranges from all levels of modern technique, choreography, modern partnering, Repertory, collaboration study and his work on the College dance company. His work has been produced internationally and in Seattle by the Allegro! Dance Festival, Seattle Dance Project, On the Boards, Bumbershoot, Rockhopper Dance, d-9 dance collective, Dance Gallery and Bellingham Repertory Dance in Bellingham, Spectrum Dance Theater, and Seattle Opera. Wade has been a touring company member with the Dayna Hanson group since 2004 and was recently seen in ‘The Improvement Club,’ a film based on the 2012 touring production of ‘Gloria’s Cause’ by Dayna Hanson.

Karen O’Branovich grew up as a competitive figure skater, but after participating in musicals in college she fell in love with performing on stage and has been dancing ever since. After college, she moved to New York City where she worked as a figure skating instructor in Central Park, and was eventually hired to instruct Jazz and Tap at Steps on Broadway. She also performed within Steps’ Professional Training Program. In her career as a dancer, she’s been a member of several professional modern and tap companies in Arizona, New York City, and Seattle, has performed locally with oaklanDrive, Redd Legg Dance, Badmarmar Dance, and is currently a proud member of MarloArizDance directed by Marlo Ariz. O’Branovich is now the Assistant Director of eXit SPACE School of Dance in Seattle, WA where she teaches dancers of all ages. She presented a piece in Full Tilt 2016 at Velocity Dance Center, and is an Adjunct Faculty member at Cornish College for the Arts teaching Jazz in their Dance Department. O’Branovich is excited to be presenting a new work in their 2017 Spring Cornish Dance Theater concert. A huge fan of MGM-era musicals, O’Branovich strives to bring that effervescent feel into the present while keeping the art of Jazz dance alive.

Alia Swersky is a movement artist, performer and teacher, engaged deeply in the vital act of dance improvisation. She graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in 1998 with a BFA in dance and has been an adjunct faculty member at Cornish since 2005. She has taught at Velocity’s Strictly Seattle Festival and the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI). She was a long time Co-artistic director of Dance Art Group (DAG), a non-profit organization that promotes the practice and appreciation of dance and somatic education in the Seattle area, including the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation. Influences and inspiration come from her many years being immersed in movement practices and performance. Specific forms include contact improvisation, release/somatic techniques, yoga, Authentic Movement, Tuning Scores, Aikido, Buddhist meditation, and many pivotal dance partners and teachers. Swersky danced and toured nationally and internationally as a member of the LeGendre Performance Group. She has also collaborated and performed in the works of many Seattle artists some of which include The Maureen Whiting Company, Khambatta Dance Company, Jurg Koch, KT Niehoff, and Salt Horse. Swersky has been actively teaching, performing, and creating improvisational and choreographic works in Seattle since 1998.

Deborah Wolf began her professional career performing with the State University of New York at Brockport’s Company in Residence. Shortly thereafter she joined Concert Dance Company of Boston, New England’s premier modern repertory company, performing works by over 50 choreographers including Merce Cunningham, Laura Dean, David Gordon, Wendy Perron, Bebe Miller, Mark Morris, and Randy Warshaw. She became CDC’s Resident Choreographer and eventually added CDC’s Artistic Directorship to her duties. Other performance credits include Seachange Theater Ensemble, New York Chambre Dance Ensemble and Peter DiMuro and Associates. A recipient of a Massachusetts Artist Foundation Fellowship and seven Finalist Awards in choreography, Wolf has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Boston and Somerville Arts Lottery Councils, Seattle’s Artist Trust, and 4Culture. Deborah has choreographed for the Boston Ballet, the Boston Symphony Youth Concert Series, and numerous other companies both in New England and Seattle. Producer and performer of her own choreography through WolfWorks, she has also been produced by among others: Boston’s Dance Umbrella, Boston Dances, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Series, New England Choreographers’ Showcase, and in Seattle area by Velocity’s Strictly Seattle and Under Construction, Rockhopper’s On the Side, Dance On Capitol Hill’s Choreofest and Intimate Works, Eastside Moving Company, Men in Dance/Against the Grain Festival of Dancing, Powell/Scott’s Composer/Choreographer #6, Lehua Dance Theater, Evoke Productions’ Full Tilt, Bellingham Repertory Dance Company and On the Boards’ 12 Min Max Mainstage and Northwest New Works Festival. Her choreography was selected for the A.W. A. R. D. Show! 2009 administered by the Joyce Theater Foundation, performed at On the Boards, and was a finalist for the event by audience selection. Her teaching credits include Harvard University, Rhode Island College, Boston Ballet, SUNY/Brockport, and currently as Professor of Dance at Cornish College of the Arts. She has served on the boards of d9 Dance Collective, Velocity Dance Center and as a panelist for New England Foundation for the Arts, Seattle Arts Commission and the Seattle Fringe Festival. Deborah received her BA in Dance from State University of New York/Brockport. Wolf was recently included in the Dancing Over 50 Project,, and is a co-producer for the Men in Dance Festival.

About Cornish College of the Arts

The College’s founder Nellie Cornish, and the many teaching artists who have followed her, believed in education through exposure to all the arts. This approach continues to inform the College’s curriculum and community involvement today. Cornish’s holistic approach to education promotes experimentation, discovery, and innovation, giving artists the creative intelligence they need to thrive in their disciplines and beyond.

Under the leadership of Dr. Victoria Watts, the Cornish Dance Department takes a holistic approach to education that addresses the heart and mind as well as the body. Dancers are given the tools to create a sustainable life in dance: strong, anatomically sound technique; versatile performance skills; choreographic craft and creative voice; teaching and technical production experience; and knowledge of the business of dance.

A Shot Website Connects Photographers and Environmental Non-Profits

Peak Design Leads Effort to Enable Creative Community to Give Back

Press Release – San Francisco, CA (March 30, 2017) — Peak Design, makers of essential carry equipment and camera accessories, is proud to further the company’s commitment to environmental causes with the launch of Give A Shot: a website that connects photographers and videographers with environmental non-profits in need of visual content. Currently accepting applications from non-profits associated with Peak Design partners, 1% For The Planet, and The Conservation Alliance, Peak Design hopes Give A Shot will bridge a vital gap in the environmental community while enabling visual artists to give back in a meaningful way.

Give A Shot is entirely free and easy to use. Non-profit visitors can post their needs for photo and video content, while creatives can easily browse or search for project listings in their physical location or area of expertise. Once connected, non-profits and artists can work directly with each other to finalize details and deliverables.

“What I’m most excited about is making it easier for creatives to take direct action in advocating for the environment and supporting grassroots efforts,” commented Annie Nyborg, Peak Design’s Director of Corporate Responsibility and Community. “Equally exciting is nonprofits getting images and videos that properly and powerfully convey the important work they’re doing.”

Best known for their innovative photography equipment and everyday bags, Peak Design has established a passionate community of fans which it hopes will join them in lending their talents for the Give A Shot program. To encourage non-profit organizations to submit their projects, Peak Design has partnered with 1% For The Planet and The Conservation Alliance to engage a broader network of vetted environmental non-profits.

Peak Design joined 1% For The Planet as a business member in 2016. Kate Williams, CEO of 1% For The Planet commented on the program, “Give A Shot is a very thoughtful and powerful resource that will help so many on-the-ground environmental nonprofits create even more meaningful impacts in the world.”

By giving life to Give A Shot, Peak Design is walking the walk. In early 2017, Peak Design publicly announced a new commitment to limit the company’s impact on the environment and to ensure the brand’s overall growth does not come at the expense of people or the planet. In addition to Give A Shot, Peak Design will once again host its successful SUMMIT event in September 2017 to further foster relationships between the creative, environmental, and business communities for the betterment of the planet.

Anyone interested in Give A Shot is encouraged to contact Peak Design for more details or visit

About Peak Design

Peak Design is a San Francisco based carry brand that specializes in versatile, durable everyday gear for creatives, adventurers, and commuters. Born out of a successful Kickstarter project in 2011, Peak has returned to crowdfunding 6 times to bring over 50 new products to life. The company has raised over $14M via crowdfunding, making them the world’s most crowdfunded consumer brand. Since 2015, Peak Design products have won Gear of the Year awards from National Geographic, Men’s Journal, and Popular Photography, as well top design accolades from IDEA, ISPO, and Good Design. For more information, visit

APOPO Extends HeroRAT Training Programme To Detect Man-Flu In Men

Successful Trials Could Lead The Way To A Cure Within 5 Years

Press Release – APOPO, the non-profit social enterprise which trains rats to detect hidden landmines and tuberculosis in sputum samples, is today adding man-flu detection to its list of specialist services.

After 10 years of scientific research, and a successful 6-month field trial, APOPO is set to launch the first low-cost, high-impact solution to a modern day health crisis. The man-flu virus – an aggressive mutation of the common cold – is feared across the world for its ability to render healthy men helpless, hopeless and hapless. Common symptoms include lethargy, apathy, and an involuntary craving for endless sympathy.

APOPO’s extensive laboratory research on patients living with man-flu, discovered the virus produces a unique ‘scent signature’ that’s undetectable to humans, but which can be identified quickly and easily by a specially trained African giant pouched rat.

Charlie Richter, APOPO’s US Director, commented “The Man-Flu Detection Rat (MFDR) is the culmination of years of research and represents the cutting-edge of scent detection technology. Manflu costs the global economy billions in lost revenue and man-hours annually, and we’re convinced our MFDRs can play a crucial role in helping bring the virus under control. Early detection could point the way to a cure that will alleviate the suffering, not just of men with the virus, but also their families, friends, neighbours, the postman, milkman and anyone else subject to their barrage of self-pity.”

Haylee Ellis, Behavioural Researcher at APOPO, added “It turns out men were right all along. When they get the flu, their immune system goes into overdrive, which explains why their symptoms are much more severe than women’s. Our rats are capable of detecting this immunological hyperactivity, and reliably indicating almost exclusively over samples obtained from males.”

Tonya Allen, President & CEO of The Skillman Foundation, Wins 2017 Nicholas P. Bollman Award

Press Release – Coral Gables, Fla. – Each year, the Funders’ Network recognizes a leader committed to building strong, sustainable, and equitable communities with the Nicholas P. Bollman Award. We proudly announce that the recipient of the 2017 Bollman Award is Tonya Allen, president and CEO of the Skillman Foundation, who has dedicated herself to investing in transformative ideas, removing barriers to opportunity, and improving lives in her hometown of Detroit. Allen was presented with the Bollman Award at the Funders’ Network Annual Conference in Saint Paul, Minn., March 21.

Allen can trace her dedication to the residents of Detroit, and her belief in the power of philanthropy, to her grandmother’s front door. As a child growing up in the Motor City, Allen watched as her grandmother, herself an activist and neighborhood organizer, would welcome those most in need into her Southwest Detroit home.

“Families would come to my grandmother’s house in the middle of the night because their water was out, or they didn’t have heat. And she would always open her door,” said Allen. “What I took from those lessons is that we all are gifted. You don’t have to be gifted with much, but you’re gifted with something. You can help other people even when you have very little.”

The Bollman Award Selection Committee recognized Allen for her determination, drive, and insistence on fostering collaboration and implementing innovative programs.

Allen joined the Skillman Foundation in 2004. She developed the Skillman Foundation’s 10-year, $100-million Good Neighborhoods program, which provides services to meet community-established goals for improving the lives of children and families in a number of Detroit communities. She was one of the driving forces behind the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren, one of the most ambitious educational reform initiatives in Detroit’s history. Allen was also a champion of an initiative aimed at increasing youth employment, Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT). GDYT has evolved from offering just a few thousand jobs to a project that now includes hundreds of partners and co-investors and provides more than 8,000 jobs a year for young people ages 14 to 24.

Learn more about Tonya Allen and her inspiring story helping her hometown of Detroit here.

About the Nicholas P. Bollman Award: The Nicholas P. Bollman Award honors the memory of longtime friend and Funders’ Network co-founder, Nick Bollman, who died in 2007. The values that guided Nick’s life and his work, and his influence on others, personify the values and hopes of the Funders’ Network. We are proud to recognize leaders in the field who continue Nick’s legacy of advancing thoughtful and progressive solutions to a variety of contemporary problems.

About the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities: The Funders’ Network works to inspire, strengthen and expand funding and philanthropic leadership that create environmentally sustainable, socially equitable and economically prosperous regions and communities. For more information, visit

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