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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: February 2018

The Atlantic Terminal Tenants’ Association and Amida Care Host Black History Month Event in Brooklyn with Support from NYC Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo

Free Community Event Highlights Dance and Healthy Living Activities

Press Release – New York, NY – On February 24, Amida Care, a not-for-profit New York community health plan, co-sponsored the fourth annual Black History Month Event organized by the Atlantic Terminal Tenants’ Association. The program, held at Brooklyn Memorial Baptist Church, featured activist/speaker Colia Clark and the Brooklyn Love Institute of African Drummers & Dancers with Raphael Sanders, which led a special African music and dance workshop. This event is part of Amida Care’s “Live Your Life” program, a concerted effort to keep healthy living at the center of people’s everyday lives. NYC Public Advocate Letitia James and Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez attended and made remarks at the event. The event was made possible by support from New York City Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo.

“Amida Care has gone ‘above and beyond’ to ensure New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds receive the best level of care – from head to toe. Through their holistic approach and innovative programming, Amida Care has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to community building. As a result, the residents of Central Brooklyn are informed and empowered to make healthier life choices year-round. I am proud to work with such a great partner in galvanizing families throughout my district to ‘live your life’ in the best way possible,” said Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo.

“We know that health care is so much more than doctor’s visits and medication. That’s why our ‘Live Your Life’ events incorporate all facets, physical, mental, and spiritual, of a person’s wellness. We’re thankful for the support of Majority Leader Cumbo, who has made health in Brooklyn a priority,” said Doug Wirth, President and CEO of Amida Care

Amida Care holds monthly Live Your Life wellness events throughout the five boroughs of New York City, where members and their guests learn about ways to get and stay healthy. In addition to dance and fitness classes, the events cover topics such as art therapy, healthy cooking, meditation, aromatherapy, and more.

Amida Care Inc. is a not-for-profit health plan that specializes in providing comprehensive health coverage and coordinated care to New Yorkers with chronic conditions, including HIV and behavioral health disorders, and people who are homeless or of transgender experience (regardless of HIV status). Amida Care has a wide network of health care providers in the five boroughs of New York City and is the largest Medicaid special needs health plan (SNP) in New York State. For more information, visit

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Travel Company and Nonprofit Announce Upcoming Hikes Around the World to End Poverty

Press Release – HAILEY, Idaho, Feb. 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Make A Difference (MAD) Now, a nonprofit organization that provides quality education and care to vulnerable youth, and Adventures Within Reach, a travel company offering international treks and cultural tours, have announced a list of upcoming charity hikes for 2018 and 2019 around the world that will raise money for vulnerable children and schools. To learn more about the climbs and upcoming events visit:

The organization’s upcoming charity hikes offer a wide range of charity climbs which include:

The W Circuit of Patagonia, hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, Everest Base Camp in Nepal, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and the Dolomites in Venice. All of the Make A Difference (MAD) hikes have one goal: To help end poverty with quality education.

“Most people in the USA and Europe don’t realize how fortunate they are to be able to attend school from a young age. For example, in Tanzania, a child has to purchase mandatory uniforms, their desk and chair, lunch as well as pay for school fees before they can attend school. Add in being an orphan and/or from extreme poverty and the ability to stay in school becomes even more challenging. Raising funds for quality education and care is a great way to help children invest in themselves without creating long-term dependence,” states MAD’s Founder, Theresa Grant-Narasimhan.

Stephanos Antoniades, a climber that has completed three charity hikes and will be leading his second charity hike in September 2018, first started doing them to lose weight. “I lost 35 lbs. when I started training for my first charity hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2012. Beyond getting fit and feeling better about yourself, it’s such a great achievement when you are helping students across the globe achieve their dreams of staying in school so they can pursue a sustainable career.”

MAD also offers a Charity Rewards Program for participating in their series of hikes around the globe that eventually offers up to $1,000 discount on future climbs.

Discover how you can offer a helping hand while hiking the world by going to:

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45 International Music Festivals And Conferences Pledge To Tackle Gender Inequality

Keychange initiative encourages gender balance In music by end of 2022

Press Release – PRS Foundation’s International Keychange initiative gathers politicians, artists and the music industry at the Canadian High Commission this evening to celebrate a milestone moment on the journey to decreasing the gender gap in music. In a pioneering move, 45 international music industry conferences and festivals including four leading Canadian events have made a pledge towards achieving or maintaining a 50/50 gender balance across their festivals by 2022 (including live line-ups, conferences and commissions). They are:

53 Degrees North (England), Aldeburgh Festival (England), Blissfields (England), Bluedot (England), Borealis (Norway), BreakOut West (Canada), By:Larm (Norway), Canadian Music Week (Canada), Cheltenham Jazz Festival (England), Cheltenham Music Festival (England), Eurosonic Noorderslag (Netherlands), FOCUS Wales (Wales), Granada Experience (Spain), Hard Working Class Heroes (Ireland), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (England), A2IM Indie Week (USA), BBC Music Introducing Stages (UK), Katowice JazzArt Festival (Poland), Kendal Calling (England), Liverpool International Music Festival (England), Liverpool Sound City (England), Manchester Jazz Festival (England), Midem (France), Norwich Sound and Vision (England), North By North East (Canada), NYC Winter Jazzfest (USA), Off The Record (England), Oslo World (Norway), Pop-Kultur (Germany), BBC Proms (England), Roundhouse Rising (England), Spitalfields Music (England), Swn (Wales), Trondheim Calling (Norway), Waves Vienna (Austria), Westway LAB (Portugal), Wide Days (Scotland), Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival (France)

This follows the gender balance commitment proposed by Keychange’s founding festival partners which are Reeperbahn Festival (Germany), BIME (Spain), Iceland Airwaves, Way Out West (Sweden), Musikcentrum Sweden, Tallinn Music Week (Estonia), MUTEK (Canada) and The Great Escape (UK).

For more information on Keychange visit here and for PRS Foundation visit here.

Keychange is a pioneering international initiative supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union which is empowering women to transform the future of the music industry and encouraging industry conferences and festivals to achieve or maintain a 50:50 balance by 2022. By bringing together like-minded festivals and conference programmers committed to positive action, Keychange aims to create much needed long-term change in live music and beyond.

Vanessa Reed, CEO of PRS Foundation said:

“We support diverse talent across every programme we run at PRS Foundation. 40% of our grantees in 2017 were from a BAME background and 53% featured female artists. Our focus on gender equality in 2018 aligns with the centenary for some women being given the vote in the UK. 100 years on, the push for gender parity across society continues and with increased public awareness of inequalities across the creative industries we have an opportunity to respond and commit to tangible change in music. The Keychange network of female artists and industry professionals and the festival partners’ idea of establishing a collective pledge will significantly accelerate change. I hope that this will be the start of a more balanced industry which will result in benefits for everyone.”

Alex Schulz, Founding Partner, Reeperbahn Festival said:

“Reeperbahn Festival is proud to be a founding Keychange partner because we recognise the barriers that women are facing in the music industry and we know that our festival stages aren’t as balanced as we would like them to be. Keychange is promoting a shift that will ultimately be good for our festivals and good for the industry as a whole. I hope that many more festivals will have joined with us by the end of this year, making this a global movement.”

Festivals are making a commitment relative to their own event, engaging with the gender balance pledge in a way that best makes sense to their programme and music genre, including through their line-ups, conference panels or commissions.

To date, the Keychange programme has included a series of popular panels and showcases at Reeperbahn Festival, BIME, Iceland Airwaves and most recently Eurosonic to explore how men and women can work together to accelerate change and to promote role models for the next generations. As well as announcing the 60 strong network of Keychange artists and innovators from across Europe, these panels have featured leading men and women including Garbage’s Shirley Manson, artist Nadine Shah, Reeperbahn Festival director Alex Schulz, President of Iceland Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, PRS Foundation CEO Vanessa Reed and more.

This milestone moment at the Canada High Commission is only the beginning for the Keychange initiative as it strives to engage further festivals in the gender balance pledge in the coming months. The time for a shake up in the music industry has come. The Keychange festivals are firmly at the forefront, paving the way for progress across the industry as a whole.

High profile ambassadors of Keychange include Shirley Manson, legendary producer Tony Visconti, Madrid’s indie rockers Hinds, German singer-songwriter Alexa Feser, Publisher Paulette Long OBE and more. Find their quotes of support here.

Alongside the festival campaign, Keychange is supporting a network of artists and innovators who are invited to international festivals to take part in a series of showcases, collaborations and a programme of creative labs. By investing in talent and collaborating with a broad range of music industry partners, Keychange aims to create a better more inclusive music industry for present and future generations.

Keychange is led by PRS Foundation, supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, in partnership with Musikcentrum Sweden, Reeperbahn Festival, Iceland Airwaves, BIME, Tallinn Music Week, Way Out West, The Great Escape and MUTEK.

It will include, later this year, an event in Brussels at the European Parliament, at which Keychange partners will present a manifesto based on contributions from Keychange participants, partners and associate festivals.

For more information on Keychange please visit here and for PRS Foundation please visit here.

Quotes from participating festivals:

“We have always aimed for a 50/50 gender balance with our music projects and wider work, and being a part of this great initiative holds us completely accountable to practice what we preach. We are extremely excited to be committing to Keychange moving forward and can’t wait to see the positive impacts it has upon our industry.” – Stewart Baxter, 53 Degrees North

“A2IM is committed to gender equality in all its endeavors and is excited to partner with PRS Foundation’s Keychange. Now is the time!” – Richard James Burgess, A2IM Indie Week (American Association of Independent Music)

“Borealis strongly believes that equal gender balance makes better programming. Since 2017 the festival has programmed an equal number of female and male composers and headline artists, and has committed the festival to this for the future. We work hard to encourage our colleagues across the classical and experimental music scenes to see the value of this decision, and becoming a Keychange associate allows us to join with likeminded festivals around the world to achieve this.” – Peter Meanwell & Tine Rude, Borealis

“Though BreakOut West festival is curated through an impartial jury process, we do and will continue to focus our outreach to a wide scope of the industry, supporting a balanced genre base in the submission process. We see this resulting in a balance in the selected showcasing artists year to year. With respect to music entrepreneurs engaged in the conference programming, we have a balance of diversity at front of mind throughout the programming process to ensure a representative balance of leaders and mentors from which new industry and artists can learn. We find maintaining this balance to be incredibly important in ensuring the artists and industry involved felt relatable and included and found that achieving this balance to be a natural fit and not to affect our goal to produce the highest level programming in any way.” – Robyn Stewart, BreakOut West

“Actions generate attitude and it starts with talent! That’s why the talent focused showcase festival by:Larm is delighted to sign up for the 50:50 pledge and join the Keychange initiative.” – Linnéa Svensson, By:Larm

“At Canadian Music Week, we have always strived to create diverse programming that is reflective of both audience interest and the current landscape of the industry. We are proud to partner with Keychange in an effort to strive for the excellence that our community deserves.” – Neill Dixon, Canadian Music Week

“ESNS has joined Keychange proudly. Congratulations on a great initiative and example for the rest of our industry. Let’s do all we can to make the 50/50 aim work by 2022 or earlier. But let’s not forget that this is not covering the whole industry, there is much more work to do to make this a fairer and more equal world.” – Ruud Berends, Eurosonic Noorderslag

‘FOCUS Wales are proud to be signing up to the Keychange initiative to tackle gender inequality in the music industry. It’s great to see this happening, and about time too.‘ – Andy Jones, Focus Wales

“The focus for this year’s Granada Experience is ‘Women in the Arts’, so our involvement with Keychange is entirely fitting. We are delighted to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with so many fantastic European events to promote the initiative’s mission and values.” – Pepe Rodriguez, Granada Experience

“Hard Working Class Heroes has long seen the rise in the number of new acts forming with female fronts or members and will always challenge the argument that “the talent isn’t there.” It’s there and we will do our best every year to showcase it to you. We are committed to presenting music of all genres and gender to new and young audiences because we truly believe if you see it you can be it. Half our audience is female so it makes sense that that should be reflected on stage too.” – Angela Dorgan, Hard Working Class Heroes

“Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival is proud to be part of the Keychange initiative, and to reaffirm our commitment not only to achieving gender equality in terms of work commissioned by the festival, premiered at the festival and soloists presented at the festival, but to providing an ongoing programme of activities designed to create opportunities for female music-makers and explore and challenge barriers to women choosing music as a career option. We’re so excited to take this vital step towards challenging the underrepresentation of women in the music industry, and especially to do so as part of such an inspiring community of organisations and festivals.” – Róisín Hughes & Graham McKenzie, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

“Building gender awareness among music industry specialists still remains a huge challenge in Poland. Discussions on the winners and the nominees of the music awards yet again started a fiery discussion and proved that lack of gender equality has been taken for granted, even by acclaimed journalists in our country. However, that convinces us that we should gather, talk about our situation openly and keep on working. JazzArt festival is governed, programmed and designed by women. Therefore we want to stand for women artists to let them being exposed in the way they deserve it.” – Martyna Markowska, Katowice JazzArt Festival

“Championing equality is at the heart of what we do at Sound City, across our festival and conference programme and within our organisation we strive for diversity in everything we do. We’re delighted to be part of Keychange which we believe has come at exactly the right time for the live music industry and will be an important advocate for powerful change in the international festival landscape over the next 4 years.” – Rebecca Ayres, Liverpool Sound City

I’m delighted and proud that mjf is a Keychange associate, and it’s humbling that our ambitions and achievements towards creating a more gender-balanced jazz industry are being celebrated with this initiative. There is of course plenty more to do, but I hope that, together, we can continue to inspire others to effect change for good. – Steve Mead, Manchester Jazz Festival

“Midem is the home of the global music community and as such we are dedicated to providing a platform that respects and promotes equality and diversity. By joining the KEYCHANGE programme and working alongside the PRS Foundation and the Creative Europe project, Midem reaffirms its commitment to supporting gender balance throughout its conferences and live performances,” – Alexandre Deniot, Midem

“Norwich Sound and Vision Festival is produced by Norwich Arts Centre whose core values it does not falter from. We have aimed over the last three years for at least 50% of programmed acts to be people who do not identify as male and so we are proud and honoured to agree, without any apprehension, to the principles of Keychange. This is yet another initiative from PRS Foundation that is paving the way for a future where equality is front and centre and where every person in an audience can see someone on stage with whom they identify.” – Rosie Arnold, Norwich Sound and Vision

“As a fervent supporter of gender equality, NYC Winter Jazzfest is proud to join Keychange. Pledging our continued gender balanced programming, we hope our progress acts as a beacon to inspire other music festivals beyond our jazz community.” – Brice Rosenbloom, NYC Winter Jazzfest

“Achieving gender equality in the music industry requires the joint engagement of men and women from the entire cultural sector. We are proud to be a part of the uniting movement of Keychange, aiming for a common and concrete goal of 50/50 balance by 2022. Reaching this goal it would not only be beneficial for the music industry but it is a priority that should be reached in an interdisciplinary context across the globe” – Alexandra Archetti Stølen, Oslo World

“Pop-Kultur festival was held for the first time in 2015 and is specifically dedicated to diversity. From our very first edition on, we actively ensured that Pop-Kultur’s conference and festival line-up was 50:50 gender-balanced, promoting a broad variety of extraordinary female and queer artists over the past three years. By being a part of the Keychange initiative we want to set an example, strengthen the promotion of our common objective and inspire other festivals to follow – making gender balanced festival line-ups become a norm and not an exception.” – Katja Lucker, Pop-Kultur

“Achieving a 50/50 gender balance of contemporary composers performed at the BBC Proms is something we have been committed too for some time and consider vital to the creative development of the world’s largest classical music festival. We are delighted to be partnering with PRS for the Keychange initiative, a crucial statement for gender equality by the arts industry both in the UK and internationally.” – David Pickard, BBC Proms

“Spitalfields Music is delighted to be a Keychange Associate Festival and underline our commitment to gender-balanced commissioning. We are proud to have met this target for our 2017 festival and look forward to being part of a vital movement to accelerate change and create a more inclusive music industry for present and future generations.” – Dominic Haddock, Spitalfields Music

“Swn Festival is delighted to join PRS Foundation in the Keychange initiative as we pledge to achieve full gender balance in our line-ups by 2022. We’ve always worked hard to ensure good representation, but the fact that we’ve had to work to do this always reminds us that opportunities are not equal. Keychange is an inspiring initiative that makes a commitment from us to the artists and to the fans that come to our festival. That we can set a benchmark for others to follow is something we are proud to be able to be a part of.” – John Rostron, Swn Festival

“We are really excited about signing up on the Keychange gender balance pledge and working more focused to achieve a 50:50 gender balance in our programme. As are many others, we are both sick of and bored by how male dominated the music industry is” – Thomas Ryjord, Trondheim Calling

“The fact that women are still underrepresented in the music business – on stage as well as behind the stage or working in management and other leading positions – is undeniable. But so is the fact that there are thousands of exceptionally competent and talented women working in these fields. Contributing to an initiative like Keychange in order to reach a gender balance of 50:50 and thereby empower women and their visibility in the music business and above seems a perfectly natural thing to do. Waves Vienna is happy to be part of Keychange.” – Susanna Fellner, Waves Vienna

“In 2015 our Off The Record youth music business event became the first in the UK to programme an equal number of male and female speakers. The following year our Wide Days convention showcase featured a majority of acts fronted by women and in 2017 we succeeded in getting a gender balance across our conference panelists. By joining Keychange, we hope to share our experience of programming gender-balanced events, participate in a wider network and learn from other industry platforms.” – Olaf Furniss, Wide Days

“An initiative like Keychange provides clear goals and measures for festivals who are already committed to presenting audiences with more diverse line-ups. By giving discrimination an ultimatum, we’re ensuring that equality will eventually be the norm, and we’re very proud for Kendal Calling, Blue Dot and Off The Record to be a part of the progress.” – Emma Zillmann, From The Fields (Kendal Calling, Blue Dot, Off The Record)

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Cosmetics Entrepreneurs Tackling Gender Inequity Scoop National Business Awards in Ghana

Supported by Camfed in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, Ayisha Fuseini and Esther Naanbir are addressing youth unemployment and gender inequity in their communities

  • Camfed, the Campaign for Female Education, is an international girls’ education NGO, supporting girls through education into financial independence and leadership positions
  • Camfed partners with the Mastercard Foundation to equip young women in rural African communities to set up and run successful businesses
  • Two participants in a recent program have won prestigious national awards for their enterprise

Press Release – Two alumnae of Camfed’s program in Ghana have won prestigious awards for their successful business ventures. Ayisha Fuseini, Founder of Asheba Enterprise, a shea butter processing company which supplies The Body Shop, accepted awards for Female Entrepreneur of the Year and Business Innovation of the Year at the Invest in Africa Awards (IIA). Esther Naanbir, Founder of Agape Moringa Processing, won Woman of the Year at the Vodafone Small and Medium Enterprises Ghana Awards (SMEGA).

Both women were participants in the Mastercard Foundation’s Innovation Bursary Programme (IBP), a youth enterprise initiative delivered by Camfed in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, designed to create opportunities for young women to become leaders of change and contribute to the diversification of the rural economy.

Ayisha, who has a deep commitment to the empowerment of women in her community to become self-reliant social entrepreneurs, commented: “I feel very proud about myself and my business. The recognition alone is enough motivation for me as it simply means institutions are confident about my business and this is testament to the long lasting impact of the Camfed – Mastercard Foundation IBP”.

The IBP was intended to support youth livelihoods in rural Africa and serve as a catalyst for rural women to become successful entrepreneurs and employers in their communities. In recent years Ghana has seen a fast-expanding youth population, combined with a lack of job opportunities. A World Bank report in 2016 revealed that 48% of Ghanaians aged between 15 and 24 do not have jobs, with young women being particularly disadvantaged.

Ayisha’s company, Asheba Enterprise, has become a household name for many rural women in her district and its surrounding communities. The company produces soap, body creams and other products using high quality shea butter. Ayisha works with more than 200 women, grouped into cooperatives and as individuals, to secure fair prices for their produce and ensure stable incomes as well as training them in financial literacy and business skills.


Esther runs Agape Moringa Processing, which currently employs 15 full-time workers, and has six cosmetic products on the Ghanaian market made from moringa oil. She said: “For me, the intervention from Camfed in both my education and the development of my business is what has brought me this far. Camfed… also provided me with numerous platforms to grow my business”.

Ayisha and Esther have previously received accolades for their enterprise. In 2015, Ayisha was one of only 16 women selected by the Government of Ghana to receive Youth Enterprise Support (YES). They were both also awarded prizes from Technoserve, which allowed Esther to register her business with the Food and Drugs Authority and the Ghana Standards Authority.

The recognition for these two young women as flourishing business-owners and role models is testament that with training and support, female entrepreneurs can offer sustainable and profitable opportunities for themselves, their families and their communities. At the same time they are shifting gender norms and stereotypes in rural areas, unlocking the tremendous potential in women from marginalized backgrounds to contribute to the growth of local and national economies.

This month Camfed and the Mastercard Foundation are launching a new Entrepreneurship Programme, supporting 145 young women with internships, business starter kits and a network of mentors, to encourage the next wave of female entrepreneurs in rural Ghana.

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CMA Foundation Elects New Board Members

Former Governor Mike Huckabee and RCA Records Nashville Recording Artist Chris Young Join CMA Foundation Board of Directors

Press Release – NASHVILLE, TN – February 23, 2018The CMA Foundation has elected former Governor Mike Huckabee and RCA Records Nashville recording artist Chris Young to join its 12-member board of directors. Established as the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association (CMA), the CMA Foundation is committed to improving and sustaining music education programs all across the United States, working to ensure every child has the opportunity to participate in music education.

“As an organization we’ve been able to build a model of giving that is unique and innovative to the field, but most importantly, that model has been the catalyst for creating real impact in music classrooms and programs across the country,” said Joe Galante, chairman of the CMA Foundation. “As we continue to advance social change, it’s incredibly important to continue expanding our executive board of directors with dynamic leaders.”

He added, “Governor Huckabee led an impressive administration while serving the state of Arkansas and his policy experience with education reform is something we are fortunate to be able to learn from.”

Additionally, “Chris Young, a product of music education, brings a strong voice both on and off the stage eager to drive our agenda forward with new ideas and a strategic vision making him an industrious addition to our board.”

Through strategic partnerships, professional development and grant distribution, the CMA Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), has invested over $20 million in 84 programs across the national public school system, after school programs, summer camps and with community outreach organizations. Guided by the generosity of the Country Music community, proceeds from the annual CMA Fest are used to drive the CMA Foundation’s social impact and unique model of giving.

An avid musician since the age of 11, Governor Mike Huckabee brings with him a legacy career in politics serving as Governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007 where he worked tirelessly on education reform. Governing Magazine named him one of its “Public Officials of the Year” for 2005, and TIME magazine honored him as one of the five best governors in America. He served as the Chairman of the National Governors Association as well as the Education Commission of the States, the Southern Governors Association, and the Interstate Oil and Gas Commission. He has been nationally recognized for his advocacy of the arts in education. He ran in 2008 and 2016 for President, finishing second in the Republican primary in 2008. Huckabee is the host of the television show “Huckabee” on TBN each weekend and is a Fox News contributor, New York Times best-selling author of 12 books, and a frequent speaker for corporate, civic, and non-profit groups all over the world.

Chris Young, one of the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry, is coming off his second consecutive studio album to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. At the age of 32, the RCA Records Nashville recording artist has 10 No. 1 singles and seven albums to his credit, including the Platinum-certified Neon and 2015’s Gold-certified I’m Comin’ Over, which earned multiple nominations from CMA Awards, ACM Awards, Billboard Music Awards, CMT Music Awards, Grammys and Radio Disney Music Awards and scored three consecutive chart-topping singles. Named “one of his era’s finest traditionalists” by the Associated Press, Chris has quickly become an international ambassador for Country Music, performing to packed houses around the globe and is currently headlining the sold-out “Losing Sleep 2018 World Tour.”

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Arjuna Capital: JPMorgan Chase Agrees to Close Gender Pay Gap

6 Leading Financial Companies in 6 Weeks Acquiesce to Shareholder Pressure on Gender Pay; JPMorgan, Mastercard Reverse Course on Gender Pay Equity, After BofA, Citi, Wells Fargo and Bank of New York Mellon Make Announcements to Close Pay Gaps

Natasha Lamb, Arjuna Capital: “Gender Pay was anathema to Wall Street when we started in 2017, but recent events have big banks rushing to manage the optics of equal pay for women and minorities.”

Press Release – BOSTON AND NEW YORK CITY (February 23, 2018) – Six leading US banks and financial institutions in six weeks have now publicly disclosed efforts to address gender pay inequity. Responding to shareholder proposals from Arjuna Capital calling for detailed reports and wage data disclosure, JPMorgan – the world’s largest custodian bank and asset servicing company – became the sixth financial company since January 15th to agree to close its gender pay gap. The company also disclosed its racial pay gap. Today, Arjuna Capital announced the official withdrawal of its shareholder proposal at JPMorgan.

Six of the nine banks and financial companies targeted by Arjuna Capital have now taken action, measuring and ameliorating pay practices on key measures to the vicinity of 99 percent since facing shareholder pressure. On January 15th, Citigroup took the step of being the first US bank to disclose its gender pay gap through an internal announcement and salary adjustments. Bank of America quickly joined Citi on January 25th, becoming the second leading U.S. financial institution to address shareholder concerns on gender and racial pay equity. Wells Fargo and Bank of New York Mellon made similar announcements on February 1st and February 6th, respectively. Last week, Mastercard quietly made information available regarding its gender pay gap and efforts to adjust salaries.

In 2016, six of the originally targeted institutions — Bank of America, Mastercard, American Express, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Citi — all rejected shareholder proposals asking for detailed reports on the percentage pay gap between male and female employees across race and ethnicity, including base, bonus and equity compensation, policies to address that gap, the methodology used, and quantitative reduction targets. This year, Arjuna Capital filed gender pay equity shareholder proposals at nine leading financial institutions, also asking Bank of New York Mellon, Reinsurance Group, and Progressive Insurance to publish their gender pay gaps.

Natasha Lamb, managing partner, Arjuna Capital said: “With JPMorgan now on board, 100% of the five banks we’ve engaged have committed to gender pay equity. This is a 180 degree turn since 2017, when the same banks opposed our shareholder resolutions. Mastercard’s recent disclosure only furthers the momentum, as two-thirds of the financial services firms we engaged have agreed to close their gender pay gaps. Gender Pay was anathema to Wall Street when we started in 2017, but recent events have influenced big banks to manage the optics of equal pay for women and minorities. For one, the #MeToo movement is empowering women to demand workplace equality like never before.”

A statement from JPMorgan said: “At JPMorgan Chase, we strongly believe that a diverse and inclusive environment is critical to our success. It is simply how we do business. As part of our commitment to fairness in our workplace, we look closely at how we compensate employees—conducting pay equity reviews at all levels of our firm.”

Lamb continued: “Despite this unanticipated traction in the banking space, women remain unequally represented in the highest-paying roles and in the boardroom. There’s no doubt that pressure to disclose has led to improvement on an adjusted ‘equal pay for equal work’ basis, but there is still work to be done to close the ‘median’ pay gaps at these companies. This week’s bombshell that Barclay’s UK has a 49% mean pay gap epitomizes this structural deficiency—that men dominate the most powerful and well-paid positions. So, while step one is paying women fairly for the work they are doing now, step two is moving women to higher paying positions and reaping the performance benefits that more diverse leadership affords.”

JPMorgan’s commitment stands out because it is the last remaining bank targeted by Arjuna Capital on gender pay this proxy season, and all Arjuna’s shareholder proposals in the banking industry have now been withdrawn, as well as one other with credit card company Mastercard.

The Arjuna Capital gender pay shareholder resolution at JPMorgan is available online at: ( The Arjuna Capital letter withdrawing the resolution at JPMorgan is available at: (

JPMorgan’s gender pay disclosure is available at:

The Arjuna Capital letter withdrawing the resolution at Mastercard is available at: ( Mastercard’s gender pay disclosure is available at: (

In 2015, Arjuna Capital created a model shareholder campaign for addressing gender pay issues in the technology sector. Eight of nine proposals were eventually approved by tech giants to disclose and close their gender pay gaps. In the consumer sector, Arjuna has had success with four of five targeted companies. Last year, Arjuna shifted its focus to women in finance.

The financial services sector has been under scrutiny for a lack of female representation in senior roles despite the fact women comprise a majority of employees. In the UK, where employers, including JPMorgan, are required to publish their gender pay gaps by April, banking peers have reported median pay gaps averaging 24%.

Arjuna Capital is an investment firm focused on sustainable and impact investing. Lamb and Arjuna Capital have been recognized for using shareholder resolutions to promote gender pay equity in the tech, banking, and retail sectors. Natasha Lamb was named to the “Bloomberg 50” list of influencers who defined global business in 2017. For more information, visit

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Hammer Museum Announces $180 Million Capital Campaign to Support Major Multi‑year Transformation and Expanded Endowment

$30 Million Lead Gift from Lynda and Stewart Resnick to Be Honored with Building Naming

Preliminary rendering of the Hammer’s new corner entrance at Wilshire and Westwood, courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture

Press Release – (Los Angeles, CA) — Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin announced today that the ambitious multi‑year project to renovate, expand, and transform the institution has taken a major step forward with the public launch of a $180 million capital campaign. The announcement coincides with a lead gift of $30 million from L.A. philanthropists Lynda and Stewart Resnick—the largest in the museum’s history. In recognition of this generous gift, the Hammer’s building will be dedicated as the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Cultural Center.

“Art has long inspired Stewart and me in a profound and meaningful way,” said Lynda Resnick. “For decades, we’ve been committed to Los Angeles’s dynamic arts and culture scene, and are proud to witness its growth into a nationally recognized epicenter for cutting-edge talent. As longtime admirers of director Ann Philbin’s vision and of the Hammer’s role in this meteoric rise, we’re gratified to be part of this transformative gift that will further solidify the institution’s key role in our community.”

The transformation project is helmed by renowned architect Michael Maltzan, a longtime partner in enhancing the museum’s facility. Starting with the renovation of the museum’s exhibition galleries in 2017, the current project will continue in phases through 2020, culminating with a dramatic new presence for the museum on Wilshire Boulevard. The museum will remain free and open to the public throughout construction. Total project costs are estimated at $80 million, and the Hammer plans to raise an additional $100 million to expand its endowment and support its acclaimed programs and exhibitions. To date, the campaign has raised more than $130 million.

“We are elated by the swift progress of the campaign and grateful for the tremendous generosity of our donors,” said Ann Philbin. “With their remarkable lead gift, Lynda and Stewart Resnick have demonstrated their commitment to our vision for the future, and to the continued vitality not just of the Hammer but of the arts in Los Angeles. When completed, this project will allow us to exhibit more of our fast-growing collection, to showcase more artists who are pushing the boundaries of the field, and to make the Hammer an even more vibrant hub for contemporary culture.”

The Hammer’s campaign was initiated by a generous inaugural gift of $20 million from trailblazing television producer Marcy Carsey, who has served as Hammer Museum board chair since 2014. Other major support has come from the museum’s Board of Directors and Board of Overseers, as well as other generous families and foundations in Los Angeles.

“No one combines brains, heart, and soul like the Hammer,” said Marcy Carsey. “We need arts institutions that are also awake to social, political, and economic injustice, and that empower all of us to engage meaningfully with our communities. Under Annie’s leadership, the Hammer has shown how to do this in a truly powerful way. I’m thrilled that this campaign has inspired such generosity from the Resnicks and so many others.”

Over the past two decades, the Hammer has become a thriving home for contemporary art and culture in Los Angeles, welcoming visitors from across the city and around the globe. Spurred by the need to address an expanding collection, a fivefold growth in attendance during Philbin’s tenure, and an increasingly robust schedule of free public programs, the building project will add significant capacity to serve the museum’s audiences.

Speaking of the Hammer’s close ties to UCLA, Chancellor Gene Block said, “Like UCLA, the Hammer is based on the belief that ideas and imagination enable us to become our best selves and change the world. Within the museum field, it stands apart in its courageous exploration of the most important issues of our time. I am deeply grateful to Lynda and Stewart Resnick for their extraordinary gift, which will sustain this work for generations to come.”

The Hammer’s building project will add 40,000 square feet of new space for the collection, exhibitions, and public programs; create 60 percent more gallery space and 20,000 square feet of enhanced public space; and establish a visible new presence along Wilshire Boulevard with a new corner entrance, a sculpture terrace at Glendon Avenue, and a large-scale exhibition gallery on the site currently occupied by a branch of City National Bank.

Construction to date includes the 2017 renovation of the museum’s third-floor exhibition spaces, now featuring a 10,000-square-foot contiguous gallery that accommodates major traveling exhibitions. Work is currently under way to transform the courtyard-level performance space and create a dedicated gallery for new media art. Both spaces will open in June with the biennial Made in L.A. 2018, along with a redesigned café, new restaurant partner, and full bar. Later this year, the Hammer will begin work to convert the grand terrace above Lindbrook Drive into a year-round space for education, installations, and events. Final construction phases, slated for 2019 and 2020, will add new galleries for large-scale exhibitions, works on paper, and the renowned Hammer Projects series, and will introduce a reconfigured and more welcoming public entrance and lobby.


Lynda and Stewart Resnick are co-owners of The Wonderful Company, a privately held $4 billion global company dedicated to harvesting health and happiness around the world through its iconic consumer brands, which include Wonderful Pistachios®, Wonderful® Halos®, POM Wonderful, FIJI® Water, JUSTIN® Wine, and Teleflora®. The Resnicks have a long-standing commitment to giving back. Their philanthropy includes historic gifts to local institutions including UCLA, LACMA, and Caltech, and a transformational effort in California’s Central Valley where they support paradigm-changing work in community engagement, health and wellness, and education.


Marcy Carsey was a partner with Tom Werner in The Carsey-Werner Company, the television production company responsible for “The Cosby Show,” “Roseanne,” “3rd Rock from the Sun,” “That 70’s Show,” and “Grounded for Life.” In addition to being inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Broadcasting and Cable Magazine’s Hall of Fame, the Carsey-Werner producing team has received numerous awards including the Emmy, the Humanitas Prize, The Peabody Award, The People’s Choice Award, The Golden Globe, and The NAACP Image Award. Ms. Carsey retired from television in 2007 and now devotes her energies to public education, social justice causes, and enjoying her big, raucous family.


The Hammer Museum at UCLA offers exhibitions and collections that span classic to contemporary art, as well as programs that spark meaningful encounters with art and ideas. Through a wide-ranging, international exhibition program and the biennial, Made in L.A., the Hammer highlights contemporary art since the 1960s, especially the work of emerging and under recognized artists. The exhibitions, permanent collections, and nearly 300 public programs annually—including film screenings, lectures, symposia, readings, music performances, and workshops for families—are all free to the public.

The Hammer Museum building was originally designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, and has over the last decade been enhanced and renovated by architect Michael Maltzan. The office tower building, now owned by UCLA, was designed by architect Claud Beelman, a leader in the Art Deco and Modern movements on the West Coast in the middle of the last century.

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Clark Hulings Fund Fellows Continue to Impact the Art World with March Events

Press Release – New York City – Acclaimed national nonprofit organization, The Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists (CHF), who have a unique mission to equip professional visual artists to be self-sustaining entrepreneurs, continue to see their 2017-18 fellows impact the art world in March with a variety of exhibits, honors and other activities.

San Francisco based painter Holly van Hart will show her abstracted nature paintings in a solo exhibition at X-Power Gallery in Beverly Hills, CA from March 1 to April 30. The show is titled “Paradise Found.” On Sunday March 4 there will be a meet the artist event from 2-5pm. Tickets for the event are $50 each and will benefit the Keep A Breast Foundation™, the leading youth-focused, global, nonprofit breast cancer organization.

Santa Monica based Gregg Chadwick will have a booth at the inaugural Los Angeles edition of The Other Art Fair which comes to DTLA from March 15-18. Chadwick will show a selection of artworks from his traveling exhibition Mystery Train, which examines the mythos of America as seen through the physical and cultural history of the railroad in the United States, and also a new series of works that engage the viewer in the story of Los Angeles. Hosted at the Majestic Downtown, and presented by the world’s leading online art gallery Saatchi Art, the Fair showcases work by 110 talented emerging artists, each hand-picked by a selection committee of art world experts. Art lovers can visit the fair with the confidence that they are buying from the very best and most promising emerging artists in a unique and immersive experience.

Photo-realist artist Donna Lee Nyzio has had her work “A Good Morning on the Water” chosen as a finalist for the 3rd Annual Conroe Art League National Invitational Show, show at The Gallery at the Madeley Building in Conroe, Texas running from March 7 thru March 31 with a reception taking place on March 24. Nyzio will also be part of the North Ridge Country Club Art Gala, in Raleigh, North Carolina, her home state, with the work “Leaving Town.” The gala is a very competitive NC arts event started by George and Pat Wallace in 2009 to curate a collection of fine art and to support artists in their creative endeavors. This yearly juried event selects 25 artists to compete for a purchase award. In addition, the artists are provided a booth to sell their works at the event. Artists are also awarded a solo show in the gallery later in the year. This four-hour art gala is Saturday March 3 from 6-10pm. It is a private event, reservation only (includes dinner). For more information, please email George Wallace,

Moscow, Idaho’s Kristin LeVier is a sculptor who transforms wood, metal, and glass into contemporary pieces that embody a sense of motion and are inspired by the natural world. Her passion for woodworking goes back 25 years, when she began building furniture as a hobby, and eventually led to the decision to leave her career as a molecular biologist to pursue sculpture full-time. LeVier is part of a group show – Organic Form: Works Inspired by Nature at the Blue Spiral 1 gallery in Asheville, NC opening March 1 and running until April 27.

Sculptor Nadia Fairlamb will have her work auctioned off at the Malala Honua Public Charter School annual fundraising event on March 10. Living, sculpting, and teaching art on Oahu, Fairlamb is excited that funds raised from the auction of that piece will go towards purchasing higher quality art materials and supplies for the school where she teaches.

Based in Spokane, Bethany Taylor is a letterpress printmaker who works with linoleum, woodcuts, and spray paints, and then cuts out the printed images and collages them on various backgrounds or hand-colors them to create multi-layered works. In addition to creating her own work, she is a partner in Millwood Print Works who work to educate a community of print artists in the Greater Spokane region. She teaches a four session Intro to Letterpress class monthly. March’s classes begin on the 7th.

About The Clark Hulings Fund

The Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists (CHF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that champions economic sustainability for working artists. We do this by delivering business education and entrepreneurial learning through a rigorous Business Accelerator, a Digital Learning Portal, in-person education events in local communities, and a federation of artist-formed and artist-led networks of opportunity. All of this achieves one aim: equip visual artists to thrive as self-sustaining entrepreneurs.

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LGBT Foundation Unveils Plans to Harness Blockchain in Crucial Moment for Global LGBT Community

New foundation will enable the LGBT community to drive positive social change, flex its economic muscle, and protect vulnerable members

Press Release – February 22, 2018 – The LGBT Foundation is today unveiling its vision to harness the power and potential of blockchain technology to deliver equality for the global LGBT community. The LGBT Foundation will tokenize the power of the LGBT economy (“Pink Economy”) to support three principal goals:

  • Enable members to verify and protect their identities
  • Demonstrate and exert the economic might of the LGBT community
  • Generate resources to tackle discrimination, repression, and inequality

The LGBT Foundation has been initiated by Hornet Networks, one of the world’s most popular social networks for gay men with 25 million members worldwide. Leveraging its large base and aiming to engage any and all members of the international LGBT community, the LGBT foundation wants to deliver genuine equality and advance the aims of LGBT members, maximize the power of the Pink Economy, and provide a safe and secure environment to access cryptocurrencies and other future products and services.

Christof Wittig, President of the LGBT Foundation and Founder and CEO of Hornet said: “The LGBT Foundation will unleash the community’s economic might by tokenizing the Pink Dollar with blockchain technology and thus accelerate the efforts of local communities, organizations, and individuals in their quest for equal rights and acceptance in society. This announcement comes at a crucial moment when recent gains in LGBT rights are newly under threat of being rolled back or rescinded, not only at a federal level in the US but also at state and local levels across the country.”

Through LGBT Impact, a percentage of its resources will also be used to actively support members of the LGBT community in instances where they are vulnerable, distressed, or suffering from repression and inequality – this can include financial assistance to support political activism as well as logistical and operational support, depending on the particular requirements.

The LGBT Foundation will conduct a token sale in the first half of 2018 to raise funds for building the required infrastructure. A blockchain-based LGBT Token will not only empower and connect LGBT businesses around the world, it will also help to establish an economic identity and shared infrastructure, will reduce transaction costs for LGBT community members across all borders, and enable this global economy not only to grow faster, but give back to the community and support LGBT rights globally.

If the LGBT community were a country, it would be the world’s 4th-largest economy with a GDP of USD 4.6 trillion . However, the power of the Pink Economy is often underestimated. The LGBT Foundation will make this global economic muscle tangible and visible – by establishing a LGBT-centric digital asset to allow borderless transactions and exchange among an already global community while safeguarding its members’ identities.

Drawing on the power of blockchain technology, the LGBT Foundation will work with partners across the globe to enable the LGBT community to exert its considerable economic might, provide a safe and secure environment to access cryptocurrencies and other products and services, and enable members to verify and protect their identities as required.

1. LGBT or LGBTQ, LGBTQI or LGBT+ includes Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and other communities defined by their sexual self-identification. We celebrate the spectrum of diversity as well as gender fluidness and will work to support and include + elements through the efforts and makeup of the foundation.


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USC Annenberg Launches New Center For Third Space Thinking

Annenberg Foundation provides launch grant to support the center’s educational and community engagement initiatives

Press Release – LOS ANGELES – February 21, 2018The Center for Third Space Thinking, a new, innovative center dedicated to equipping businesses and nonprofit organizations with the essential soft skills needed to thrive in a communication-at-the-center world, has been established and will be based at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. The former dean of the Annenberg School, Ernest J. Wilson lll, founded the center, and the Annenberg Foundation has provided a $1.5 million launch grant to open it.

To meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of today’s complex and digitally disrupted business environment, the Center for Third Space Thinking is helping people and organizations solve complex problems through a new communications-driven methodology. The new methodology, built around the five core competencies of adaptability, cultural competency, empathy, intellectual curiosity and 360-degree thinking to approach problems from multiple perspectives, will be applied to the center’s work in three areas — leadership development, education and community engagement.

Wilson says the new center should become the go-to resource for anyone interested in using soft skills to improve individual and organizational performance in a period of high-velocity and widespread change.

“We are creating a novel third space that relies on communication-centric strategic thinking and its critical soft skills that are in such high demand, but seriously under supplied in the market. We’re going to fix that,” Wilson said.

The Annenberg Foundation grant will help launch the center’s educational leadership and community empowerment programs and share the center’s knowledge with diverse, underserved communities to improve their access to soft skills development.

“We support this powerful vision for educating a cadre of Third Space Thinkers,” said Wallis Annenberg, USC trustee and chairman of the board, president and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “We believe soft skills are imperative in our quickly changing world and are excited to support the center’s leadership programs.”

“We are grateful to the Annenberg Foundation for providing the Center for Third Space Thinking with the funding we need to launch our important work,” said Shellee Smith, the center’s executive director. “With this first grant, we now have the ability to transform people and organizations with a new, fresh, communications approach to strategic thinking and problem solving. We will be looking for partnerships and further resources to be able to serve the maximum amount of people in order to have a deep and wide impact.”

The center hosted its first two-day leadership development Boot Camp for high-potential executives on the USC campus on October 5 and 6. A total of 25 executives from a diverse set of organizations, including Google, IBM, Western Union, United Airlines, AECOM, Southern California Edison, Quest Diagnostics and the Annenberg Foundation attended the highly immersive Boot Camp that helped the participants gain critical soft skills and become more effective problem solvers. The center’s next Boot Camp is scheduled for April 4-6, 2018.

About the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Located in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is an international leader in education and scholarship in the fields of communication, journalism, public diplomacy and public relations. With an enrollment of more than 2,200 students, USC Annenberg offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degree programs, as well as continuing development programs for working professionals across a broad scope of academic inquiry.

About the USC Annenberg Center for Third Space Thinking

Housed in USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the Center for Third Space Thinking is dedicated to conducting applied research, executive leadership education, community empowerment and teaching a whole new generation of leaders equipping them with the problem-solving skills needed to thrive in a communication-at-the-center world.

About Annenberg Foundation

Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation that provides funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally. Since 1989, it has generously funded programs in education and youth development; arts, culture and humanities; civic and community life; health and human services; and animal services and the environment. In addition, the Foundation and its Board of Directors are directly involved in the community with innovative projects that further its mission of advancing a better tomorrow through visionary leadership today. Among them are Annenberg Alchemy, Annenberg Learner, Annenberg Space for Photography, AnnenbergTech, explore, GRoW @ Annenberg and the Metabolic Studio. The Foundation encourages the development of effective ways to communicate by sharing ideas and knowledge.

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