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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: January 2019

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Mangrove Patches Deserve Greater Recognition No Matter The Size

Scientists call on governments to move away from short-term politically driven plans destroying mangrove habitats

A mangrove forest in Sonneratia alba, Capiz, Philippines © Jofel Coching/ZSL/CMRP

Press Release – Governments must provide stronger protection for crucial small mangrove patches, is the call led by scientists at international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London), which hosts the IUCN SSC Mangrove Specialist Group, in a letter published in Science today (18 January 2019).

With nearly 35% of mangroves lost from around the world since the 1980s, primarily due to coastal development, the future loss of seemingly small mangrove patches to new construction projects such as airports or aquaculture is extremely worrying for coastal communities and Critically Endangered wildlife like the pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) and green sawfish (Pristis zijsron) that are protected by, and reliant on, these habitats.

Large swathes of mangroves in Southeast Asia, such as in the Philippines, have been cleared to make way for aquaculture, mainly shrimp and fish ponds. Elsewhere, in the Maldives, mangroves are being cleared to make way for a controversial new airport to be built. Here, despite assurances being made that only 30% of mangroves would be directly affected as a result, almost 70% may have already been destroyed.

Mangroves offer vital ecosystem services to local communities, providing food, coastal protection from extreme weather events, fisheries support and key natural carbon storage facilities. They clean water by trapping sediments and pollutants and help mitigate the impacts of storm surges and tsunamis on coastal communities, particularly in vulnerable low-lying island nations.

Despite warnings from leading scientists about the dire ramifications of losing mangroves, the conversion and degradation of mangrove forests for infrastructure or agriculture still occur – especially for smaller mangrove patches.

The letter states that the continued loss of small patches of mangroves could result in the disconnect of habitats, meaning natural wildlife corridors used by species to move freely throughout the landscape could be lost. This could generate new barriers for wildlife being able to adapt to the effects of climate change, as well as low-lying island communities becoming increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather patterns such as typhoons during monsoon seasons.

Dr David Curnick, Post-doctoral Researcher at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology and member of the IUCN SSC Mangrove Specialist Group said: “Given the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s projections, we simply cannot afford to lose more mangrove forests, irrespective of their size.

“All too often mangroves are regarded as irrelevant swamps or wastelands – yet they’re incredibly important ecosystems. Globally, yes, mangrove conservation is being looked at, but it’s these smaller patches of mangroves in remote areas that need greater recognition.

“We need governments to move away from policy decisions that prioritise large areas and short-term local political gains, and instead adopt a more well-rounded long-term vision, ensuring the value of smaller mangrove patches are appreciated and safeguarded.”

Though Mangroves are covered under international agreements including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Convention for the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage – these are only recommendations and thus mangrove forests are still one of the most severely threatened and undervalued ecosystems on Earth.

The ecosystem services provided by mangroves are conservatively estimated at around £1.2 billion (US $1.6 billion) globally, suggesting that no matter their size, they are key to meeting commitments like the Paris Climate Agreement.

ZSL hosts the IUCN SSC Mangrove Specialist Group and supports projects around the globe helping to rehabilitate mangrove forests using ‘Community-based Mangrove Rehabilitation approaches in countries like the Philippines, where over 50% of mangroves have been lost. Over a four-year period, close to 100,000 mangroves have been planted, with the rehabilitation of 107.8 hectares of mangrove forest well underway.

Learn more about ZSL’s mangrove restoration work here: https://www.zsl.org/conservation/regions/asia/rehabilitating-mangroves-in-the-philippines


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Impact Investment Needs Global Standards And Better Measurement, says OECD

Press Release – Social impact investment, which aims to improve well-being as well as earn a financial return, could be more effective if it were more clearly defined internationally with more measurable outcomes, according to a new OECD report.

Social Impact Investment: The Impact Imperative for Sustainable Development calls for international standards to be applied on collecting data and measuring impact. Currently, most impact investment goes to areas with relatively easy returns, such as financial services, energy and housing as perceptions persist of a trade-off between social and financial returns.

The OECD has proposed defining social impact investing as targeting core development, social and environmental areas that help people and countries most in need in underserved or developing regions, and stipulating that the primary focus should be on delivering measurable impact. No such definition is being universally applied, however, and there is little rigour in setting boundaries on what should count as impact investment and a lack of internationally comparable data and evaluation tools.

“The challenge lies in defining and measuring impact,” said OECD Development Co-operation Director Jorge Moreira da Silva. “Different countries, public and private organisations are using different yardsticks to measure different elements. To counter the risk of ‘impact washing’, public authorities have a responsibility to set standards and ensure they are adhered to.”

The number of social impact investment funds has quadrupled in two decades to over 200 funds with USD 228 billion invested, more than half of that in emerging markets, according to the Global Impact Investing Network. The phenomenon is spreading to mainstream investment funds as wealthy investors and philanthropists increasingly want their money to also have a positive social or environmental impact.

Impact investing is proving to be key for channelling new resources – primarily funding but also innovation, accountability and sustainability – towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For example, a GBP 10 million bond that funded a UK non-profit, Golden Lanes Housing, that has provided adapted housing and related services for around 1,500 people with learning disabilities was also able to return 4% interest to investors. In the developing world, investment firm Sarona Asset Management provides growth capital to small businesses in developing countries and frontier markets including Egypt, India, Nigeria and Tunisia.

The OECD report says 45 countries have adopted public instruments related to impact investing, with the European Union, United Kingdom, Malaysia and France leading the way, and 20 have adopted a legal definition for social enterprises.

It says governments should now do more to improve fiscal and regulatory incentives for impact investing and put in place the necessary legal structures for the market to function well. This could include updating financial and fiscal regulation, establishing reporting standards, and increasing flexibility into corporate legislation so that rather than having to identify as being a for-profit or a non-profit, companies can be hybrids.

Improved standards for social impact investment funds should lead to more effective impact investment by mainstream funds.

Download the report.


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Refinitiv Commits to Climate Change Action; Pledges Support for UN Sustainable Development Goals

Company pledges to be carbon neutral by 2020 as well as taking steps to support and reflect local communities

Press Release – New York/London – Building on its commitment to drive positive change through its data and insight, Refinitiv today announced a series of global sustainability pledges to help reflect and support local communities and combat climate change. The company has committed to three core pledges on environment, diversity and inclusion and sustainable solutions that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

On the environment, Refinitiv aims to continuously lighten its environmental footprint to achieve carbon neutrality by end of 2020. Refinitiv expects to be powered by 100% renewable energy by end of 2020 and is committed to reducing annual carbon emissions every year by an average of 10% over the next five years, becoming a more sustainable business longer term.

“Global carbon dioxide emissions are accelerating at their fastest pace in seven years and hit a record high of 2.7 percent in 2018. Addressing the world’s biggest sustainability issues requires collective leadership that exemplifies the behaviors that will bring about change and empower others to do the same,” said David Craig, CEO of Refinitiv. “As well as driving changes in investment behaviour through our data and insights, this also means caring about our own operational footprint, being open with our environmental commitments and disclosures and promoting a culture of transparency and inclusion that leverages the skills of our people to drive positive impact in our communities. As global citizens we need to act swiftly and decisively to help combat rising carbon dioxide emissions. We need to urgently do so not only for our futures, but for the future of our planet.”

Refinitiv is also committed to reflecting and supporting the communities in which it operates by reaching a minimum of 40% female representation in senior leadership roles globally, whilst continuing to support and promote an inclusive workplace that embraces diversity of every kind. This commitment will further be demonstrated by doubling engagement with community investment programmes by end of 2020.

After its launch last year, Refinitiv re-signed the Women in Finance Charter and is committed to putting sustainability at the core of its product offering, as demonstrated by its Diversity & Inclusion Index which ranks the top 100 most diverse and inclusive organizations globally and was used to create the financial industry’s first Inclusion & Diversity ETF fund in partnership with Blackrock.

“Refinitiv’s mission is to lead the way as a sustainable, responsible business and use the power of its data and insights to help the global investment community shift towards sustainable investments,” said Luke Manning, head of Sustainability and Strategic Initiatives for Refinitiv. “We are increasingly harnessing our core capabilities to drive positive social impact, being smarter with our resources and footprint, and balancing short-term considerations with long-term progress.”

Refinitiv has been serving the financial industry with ESG data and solutions for over 15 years and offers one of the richest ESG databases in the industry – a fully transparent resource that is trusted by investors and corporates to drive positive impact and provide comprehensive analysis. As members of the UN Global Compact, Refinitiv is part of a community of 9,000+ businesses across 135 countries that are committed to operating with responsible business practices at its core.

Refinitiv further plans to expand its suite of sustainability-related propositions by evolving existing capabilities, working with partners and innovating in new areas.

About Refinitiv

Refinitiv is one of the world’s largest providers of financial markets data and infrastructure, serving over 40,000 institutions in over 190 countries. It provides leading data and insights, trading platforms, and open data and technology platforms that connect a thriving global financial markets community – driving performance in trading, investment, wealth management, regulatory compliance, market data management, enterprise risk and fighting financial crime. For more information visit: www.Refinitiv.com


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Inaugural Grounded Summit Aligns Investors, World Leaders, Artists and Innovators to Accelerate Climate Change Solutions

– Paul Hawken, Author and Founder of Project Drawdown, to keynote gathering organized by Julia Jackson to galvanize a community of environmental change agents –

Press Release – SONOMA, Calif., Dec. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — More than 250 impact-minded investors, policymakers, scientists and mindfulness experts will come together for the spring equinox on March 20-21, 2019 in Sonoma County, CA, for the first-annual Grounded summit. Grounded was established in February 2018 with the mission to reimagine the relationship between human and planetary health.

The intimate and interactive gathering, hosted by Julia Jackson, environmentalist and second-generation proprietor for Jackson Family Wines, will feature solutions-oriented panel discussions, engaging activities and keynote speakers. Topics will include The Science of Wildfires, Climate Change & Innovation, The Future of Food Systems and Lessons from Indigenous Peoples.

“Given the pace of climate change and the impact of major events, including the Tubbs and Camp Fires in Northern California, on our planet and on our lives, our collective future is at risk,” said Julia Jackson, Founder of Grounded. “To slow the warming of our planet we need innovation and investment, and we need it now. It’s time to stop talking and instead start collaborating and funding innovative ideas that can move the needle.”

Throughout the two-day event, participants will hear from climate action pioneers including: Paul Hawken, Author and Founder of Project Drawdown; Lawrence Bloom, Secretary General of the Be Earth Foundation, a UN Intergovernmental Organization; and Dr. Paul Hessburg, award-winning research landscape and fire ecologist. Featured global leaders in renewable energy will include Former President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson and others.

The inaugural Grounded summit will provide a platform for inventors pioneering planet-saving innovations, including Nikita Zimov, Director of Pleistocene Park, one of the world’s largest Arctic research stations that is working to repopulate the tundra with animal species that, through grazing, will have a cooling effect on the melting permafrost.

The immersive experience will unite global environmental allies from local organizations including the Marin Carbon Project to indigenous peoples across the Americas, including Nemonte Nenquimo of the Waorani community in Ecuador and founding member of the indigenous Ceibo Alliance.

Additional panel discussions and keynote speakers, which will be announced in the coming months, will include ecological designers, soil health scientists, solution innovators and more.

Set on an exclusive Sonoma County estate, Grounded will also treat guests to networking opportunities including a welcome reception with wines from the Jackson Family Wines portfolio, a live musical performance, and meals prepared by Grounded guest chef Søren Westh, former sous chef of the four-time awarded World Best Restaurant NOMA in Copenhagen, and current manager of the sustainable food initiative Nordic Food Lab, as well as Co-founder of Enspire and .506.

For more details on currently confirmed speakers, attendance information, and sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.grounded.org

About Grounded

With a mission to reimagine the relationship between human and planetary health, Grounded is a hub for identifying and accelerating scalable climate change solutions. Hosted in Sonoma, CA on March 20-21, 2019, the Grounded Summit will unite leading voices in climate action, top culinary talent and globally recognized artists for a two-day immersive opportunity for shared learning, collaboration and urgent action.
www.grounded.org

SOURCE Grounded

Related Links
http://www.grounded.org


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USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education Join Forces to Empower Students to Counter Hate Offering $10,000 in Scholarships and Prizes with ‘Stronger Than Hate Challenge’

–New video challenge inspires students and educators to fight against discrimination, injustice and hate by using the power of testimony to create a brighter future–

Press Release – Silver Spring, Md. (Wednesday, January 16, 2019) – In an effort to spark a social movement against hatred in all forms, USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today announced the Stronger Than Hate Challenge as part of Teaching with Testimony. The Stronger Than Hate Challenge provides an actionable way to promote equality, challenge bias, discuss tolerance and engage students in a service-learning project that inspires action. Launched on January 14, 2019 and running through May 6, 2019, students in grades 6-12 are encouraged to participate, individually or in a group, by having their educator or parent register them for this powerful challenge at teachingwithtestimony.com/challenge. This important opportunity for youth to counter hate, and inspire their friends, school and community to join them in this mission, also comes with the chance to win scholarships and grants totaling in $10,000. In addition to being open to U.S. students, students in Canada and the U.K. are also eligible to participate.

“Every year, USC Shoah Foundation continues to advance the mission of engaging students in themes around discrimination, genocide and identity to help young people build the necessary skills to counter hate,” said USC Shoah Foundation Director of Education Claudia Wiedeman. “By expanding our partnership with Discovery Education and connecting students with real testimonies, we are able to inspire communities of leaders to act in positive and meaningful ways.”

In the Stronger Than Hate Challenge, students will listen to powerful testimonies of survivors and witnesses of genocide, and create opportunities to effect change in their schools and communities. Students are asked to complete research-based and standards-aligned activities, culminating in taking action against hate. The challenge also asks students to capture their journey in a video essay purposed to help them in sharing their message globally. Previous winning entries have included the testimonies of Holocaust survivors Herman Cohn and Liesl Loeb, who immigrated to the United States as children, as well as the testimony of Armenian Genocide survivor Haig Baronian, who reflects on the complex nature of identity.

Stronger Than Hate Challenge prizes will be distributed as follows:

  • National First Place Winning Entry:
    • Student(s) will receive a $5,000 USD scholarship awarded in the form of a check.
    • The school associated with the national first place winning entry will receive a $2,500 USD grant awarded in the form of a check to implement change in their community.
    • The teacher associated with the national first place winning entry will receive a $1,000 USD grant awarded in the form of a check to implement change in their classroom.
  • National Second Place Winning Entry: Student(s) will receive a $1,000 USD scholarship awarded in the form of a check.
  • National Third Place Winning Entry: Student(s) will receive a $500 USD scholarship awarded in the form of a check.

“Discovery Education is proud to support USC Shoah Foundation by providing students with an opportunity to glimpse into the past through educational testimonies that promote equality and challenge bias,” said Discovery Education Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President Lori McFarling. “The ‘Stronger Than Hate Challenge’ will enable students to not only use their voices to stand against all forms of discrimination and intolerance, but will also encourage them to develop conflict resolution and social emotional skills.”

The Stronger Than Hate Challenge is one actionable way to use Teaching with Testimony in middle and high school classrooms. Along with the challenge, Teaching with Testimony is comprised of a series of standards-aligned resources and videos that empower students to employ empathy, build critical-thinking skills, and become inspired to create a brighter future after listening to first-hand accounts from survivors and witnesses of genocide.

“As an educator, it is important to create a safe environment for students to explore challenging topics that extend beyond the classroom and into the world around them,” said Library Media AP English and Journalism Instructor Karen Wells from Midland High School in Pleasant Plains, Ark. “I am excited to demonstrate for my students how communities can come together to encourage positive change.”

Teaching with Testimony resources are available at no-cost at TeachingwithTestimony.com. This content is also deeply integrated into Discovery Education’s Social Studies Techbook, Streaming Content Collections and Professional Learning offerings. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest @DiscoveryEd.

Read the official press release here.


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Over 30,000 Items of Clothing to Be Sorted and Donated on MLK Day as more than 1,200 Volunteers of Every Stripe Gather at Big Sunday, One of USA’s Foremost Organizations Connecting People with Helping Opportunities, on Monday, January 21, 2018 from 10 AM – 1 PM in Los Angeles

Press Release – Los Angeles, California, January 15, 2019Big Sunday, one of the USA’s foremost organizations connecting people through helping and opportunities to volunteer, now in its 20th year, will host its 7th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Clothing Collection & Community Breakfast on Monday, January 21, 2019 at the Big Sunday headquarters at 6111 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, from 10 AM until 1 PM. More than 1,200 volunteers of all ages, races, religions, backgrounds and ethnicities will have fun working together to sort and fold over 30,000 items of clothing, which will be donated to several organizations. Big Sunday will also host a community breakfast for all participants. In classic Big Sunday fashion, everyone is invited to meet someone new and participate in Big Sunday’s memorable “Something in Common” photo project, a project that the organization likes to think is in the spirit of Dr. King and something he might have enjoyed.

The response to this year’s event has been remarkable. Big Sunday is at the heart of an especially popular moment because people love the idea that we’re all in it together. “We are in very fraught times. But at Big Sunday we keep finding that most people – of all ages, from all walks of life, and yes, different political bents – want to work together to make our world a nicer place and celebrate what we share,” said David Levinson, Big Sunday’s founder and executive director, and author of Everyone Helps, Everyone Wins, How Absolutely Anyone Can Pitch In. Help Out. and Give Back. to Make the World a Better Place. Considered an expert in the field of volunteerism, Levinson is consulted widely by cities, nonprofits and other volunteer groups.

Big Sunday (www.bigsunday.org) has been connecting people with opportunities to help and volunteer to do good works together since 1999. Recognized nationally, Big Sunday is one of the USA’s premiere resources for volunteering all year long. The organization functions as an efficient clearing-house of volunteerism and community engagement, organizing and facilitating a host of ways for people of every background to volunteer, and making it easy for diverse people to participate in good works together to support causes that they care about year-round. Big Sunday works as a resource that unites, hosts, and is connected with hundreds of individuals, families and communities. The USA’s biggest community service festival – A Month of Big Sundays, (MOBS) is the signature event of the organization. MOBS (formerly Big Sunday Weekend), which was started in Los Angeles and is now in several states, engages thousands of volunteers from every walk of life working together to make our communities cleaner, prettier, healthier, safer, and friendlier all month long. Big Sunday’s mission is to connect people and build community via helping and community service. Founded in Los Angeles 20 years ago by Levinson with just 300 volunteers, the organization has now completed in excess of 1 million volunteer man-hours, and over 6,000 volunteer projects worth several million dollars in donated in-kind goods and services, and skilled and unskilled labor costs. Big Sunday is driven by the belief that anyone, regardless of how rich or poor, how old or young, your race, religion, gender or ethnicity, can help someone else.

Big Sunday’s numerous initiatives include TGIW! (Thank God it’s Work!) – a program to help people who are looking for work – but are having a difficult time finding it – get temporary paid work at Big Sunday or at one of the organization’s large network of nonprofit partners (Big Sunday pays the employee, whether the temporary work is at Big Sunday or another nonprofit); the Big Sunday Emergency Fund, a special fund for non-profits and schools who have immediate needs for themselves or their clients; The End of the Month Club to address hunger; Monthly on Melrose to benefit non-profit partners; theBIGlist, an online “non-profit matchmaking microsite” where Big Sunday’s nonprofit partners post their “wish lists” and are matched with those who wish to help; a year-round Really Big Community Calendar with over 1,200 volunteering and helping opportunities for all kinds of interests, talents, passions, and ages; We’re All In The Same Boat Project, where Big Sunday invites a diverse group of people of all ages from all walks of life for a 2-hour harbor cruise, some of whom have never been on a boat before, and all participants are asked to meet at least one new person and just enjoy each other’s company; MM@10 and TM@10, weekly community service projects hosted in the Big Sunday offices every Monday and Thursday mornings, when people gather to meet new people, and work together while helping someone else; Corporate Days of Service, offering memorable, meaningful and made-to-order community service events for businesses large and small; SPECIAL² , a unique service giving people marking a special occasion (a wedding, bar mitzvah, birthday, etc.) opportunities to combine celebrating with giving back; The Lemonade Brigade, an easy way to join the Big Sunday family, anywhere and anytime; Big Sunday’s Youth In Action, the organization’s popular toolkit for civic-minded kids and their families; and the Annual Big Sunday Holiday Volunteering and Giving Opportunities List, which posts holiday needs and volunteer opportunities during the Holiday Season and is used as a resource by people everywhere who want to help.

Big Sunday was named by the Points of Light Foundation as one of “10 national nonprofits that are making a tremendous impact on our country’s most critical challenges by mobilizing volunteers…These organizations also demonstrate a collaborative spirit through partnerships with other organizations to help strengthen communities across the nation.”

Thanks to Big Sunday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Clothing Collection & Community Breakfast Sponsors:

Hillside Memorial Park & Mortuary

Emerson College

American Business Bank

Wilshire Rotary Club


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PGA REACH Appoints Dave Anderson As Its New Director Of Development

Retired U.S. Air Force Veteran joins PGA REACH team from Northern Texas PGA Section

Dave Anderson

Press Release – PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLA. (Jan. 15, 2019)PGA REACH, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America, is pleased to announce that Dave Anderson has joined its leadership team as Director of Development. The retired United States Air Force Veteran and 11-year golf industry leader brings extensive experience to his role, having most recently served as the Senior Director of Business Development for the Northern Texas PGA Section.

He will oversee PGA REACH Development efforts as it relates to PGA REACH programming, including the three pillars of the Foundation—PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere); PGA WORKS, the umbrella brand for all workforce diversification programs within the PGA of America; and PGA Jr. League, the flagship youth program.

“As PGA REACH continues to grow, we are thrilled to have Dave Anderson join our team and help us achieve continued success,” said Ryan Cannon, Senior Director of PGA REACH. “Dave brings a tremendous skillset and knowledge of the Association to the position. We’re looking forward to Dave’s contribution, as we pursue our mission of impacting lives through golf.”

Anderson earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota; and his master’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University in Tempe. He served as an active-duty Airman from 1997-1999; and as a USAF Reservist from 1999-2005.

“I’m honored to join the PGA REACH team,” Anderson said. “I look forward to this next step in my career, as I contribute to PGA REACH’s impactful efforts to grow youth and military participation in the game, as well as drive an inclusive workforce that builds an impressive foundation for the industry’s future.”

Anderson resides in Frisco, Texas, home of the future PGA of America and PGA REACH headquarters, with his wife and two children.

For more information on PGA REACH, visit pgareach.org.

About PGA REACH

PGA REACH is the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America. The mission of PGA REACH is to positively impact the lives of youth, military and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA Professionals, PGA Sections and the game of golf.

About the PGA of America

The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of PGA Professionals who daily work to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit PGA.org, follow @PGA on Twitter, and find us on Facebook.


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Arjuna Capital Commends Citi For Being First U.S. Company To Disclose “Global Median Gender Pay Gap” Data

Action Comes in Response to Shareholder Resolution Filed by Arjuna Capital, a Leader in Promoting Progress From U.S. Banks, Tech Firms, Retailers on Gender Pay Gap

Press Release – BOSTON AND NEW YORK CITY (January 16, 2019) – Citigroup and the investment management firm Arjuna Capital, a leader in gender pay equity shareholder resolutions, announced today that Citi is the first U.S. company to agree to disclose data on its “global median gender pay gap.” The announcement came quickly in response to a 2019 gender pay shareholder proposal from Arjuna, which asked the bank to report to investors on the percentage global median pay gap between male and female employees across race and ethnicity, including base, bonus and equity compensation. In response to Citi’s latest step, Arjuna Capital withdrew its median gender pay shareholder proposal on Wednesday, January 16, 2019.

Last year Januray 2018, Citi was the first U.S. bank to respond favorably to Arjuna’s prior gender pay resolution, agreeing to publish statistically adjusted equal pay for equal work numbers. The full text of this year’s 2019 Arjuna Capital shareholder resolution is available online at: https://arjuna-capital.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Gender-Pay-Equity-Proposal_Citigroup_2019.pdf:

Natasha Lamb, managing partner, Arjuna Capital said: “For the second year running, Citigroup is setting the pace on gender and racial pay equity, as the first U.S. company to publish their global median pay gap. This new level of transparency provides investors with baseline metrics to understand broad pay equity at the company, that is the difference between what men make and what women make, and what minorities and non-minorities make on a median, unadjusted basis. Citi’s commitment builds on, yet is distinct from last year’s commitment to ‘equal pay for equal work,’ which involves a statistical analysis to ensure that women and minorities are paid fairly for the work they do versus their direct peers. Investors view ‘median pay,’ ‘equal pay,’ and ‘racial pay’ gap disclosures as essential to not only measure and manage pay equity, but as benchmarks to improved diversity in representation, and the performance benefits that diversity affords.”

Citi’s analysis shows that the median pay for women globally at Citibank is 71 percent of the median for men, and the median pay for US minorities is 93 percent of the median for non-minorities. Citi’s goal is to increase representation at the Assistant Vice President through Managing Director levels to at least 40 percent for women globally and 8 percent for black employees in the US by the end of 2021. Alongside the median pay disclosure, Citi updated last year’s “equal pay for equal work” analysis to extend across its global operations, reporting that when adusting for job function, level, and geography women globally are paid on average 99% of what men are paid, and no statistically significant difference between what US minorities and non-minorities are paid at Citi. Citi also made pay adjustments following this year’s compensation review.

The full public announcement by Citi is available at: https://blog.citigroup.com/. The Arjuna Capital shareholder proposal withdraw letter is available at: https://arjuna-capital.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Arjuna_Citi_Withdrawal-Letter_01.16.19.pdf.

Companies including Citi which operate in the United Kingdom are now under mandate to disclose median gender pay gaps. In 2018, Citigroup reported a 36 percent median pay gap for its UK operations, but prior to today’s announcement had not agreed to publish median information for its global operations. Median pay disclosures, as opposed to “equal pay” data reflects a lack of female representation in higher paying jobs, and less women in leadership.

Sara Wechter, head of Human Resources at Citi, said: “To be a high-performing organization, we know we need a team that is representative of the places where we operate and the clients we serve. Citi has a strong record of action on important issues related to diversity, inclusion and equality, which we hope will benefit not only Citi colleagues, but others as well. We’re proud of our pay equity efforts – they show our strong commitment to ensuring women and US minorities at the firm are being compensated equitably for their work. The raw pay gap reinforces our focus on increasing representation of women and US minorities in senior roles. It won’t happen overnight, but that is how we will reduce the difference in our raw pay gap. We have work to do, but we’re on a path that I’m confident will allow us to make meaningful progress.”

The World Economic Forum estimates the gender pay gap costs the economy $1.2 trillion annually. The median income for all women working full time in the United States is still just 80 percent of that of their male counterparts. This disparity can equal nearly half a million dollars over a career. The gap for African American and Latina women is 60 percent and 55 percent that of men. At the current rate, women will not reach pay parity until 2059.

In 2018, Arjuna persuaded Citibank, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, American Express, Mastercard, Reinsurance Group and Progressive to publish their gender pay gaps on an equal pay for equal work basis. Since 2016, Arjuna Capital compelled similar disclosures from 23 companies, including leading U.S. tech firms Apple, Amazon, Intel, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, eBay, Adobe, Expedia, and Texas Instruments.

In the coming weeks, Arjuna Capital will announce its median gender pay shareholder campaign for 2019, targeting a dozen top financial and tech companies.

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 www.Arjuna-Capital.com.


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Tyler Robinson Foundation Gears Up For 2019 Following Record Year In Support Of Families Impacted By Childhood

Imagine Dragons’ nonprofit organization looks to exciting 2019 partnering with National Pediatric Cancer Foundation to launch Pediatric Cancer Education Toolkit and new partner hospitals

Press Release – LAS VEGAS (January 15, 2019) – 2019 is shaping up to be another strong year for the Tyler Robinson Foundation (TRF) and the organization’s battle against pediatric cancer.

As the organization starts the new year, TRF and the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation are partnering up to launch the Pediatric Cancer Educational Toolkit that will be shared throughout their combined 63 North American partner hospitals. The toolkits will serve as a resource to parents whose children face a childhood cancer diagnosis. The 100-plus-page kit outlines types of diagnoses, inspirational stories of hope, terms used by caregivers and much more.

“A cancer diagnosis is anything but simple. The toolkit’s purpose is to arm parents of newly diagnosed children with important information and resources to support their cancer warrior,” says TRF Executive Director Kim Gradisher. “The goal is to help strengthen families’ cancer fight from the very beginning by ensuring they have easy access to resources and information and support navigating a very complicated disease.”

In addition to launching the Pediatric Cancer Educational Toolkit, the nonprofit organization of the GRAMMY Award-winning band Imagine Dragons, will broaden its reach to support even more families battling childhood cancer. Last year, TRF added nearly 10 partner hospitals to its network, expanding to more than 40 hospitals across the U.S. and Canada. In 2019, TRF will extend its network beyond North America with the addition of the organization’s first European partner hospital, Motol University Children’s Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic. The hospital, which is the second largest children’s hospital in Europe, boasts a renowned pediatric hematology and oncology department.

The launch of the Pediatric Cancer Educational Toolkit and announcement of new international partner hospital come on the heels of what was a record-breaking year for TRF in 2018, including raising more than $3 million to support the organization’s mission to provide grants for families to offset the many unseen costs associated with treatment. Throughout the year, the Foundation held multiple fundraising events in conjunction with its ambassador program, Team TRF members and corporate partners, including the launch of a limited-edition shoe in partnership with Zappos and designed by renowned artist Tim Cantor, toured six cities during its first-ever “TRF Operation Road Trip” and held the annual, star-studded “Rise Up Gala” in Las Vegas which raised more than $2 million in one night.

In addition to breaking a fundraising record, TRF grew the total number of families supported to more than 700 over the calendar year. This increase was made possible in large part to the rise in volunteers and partners to the organization. TRF implemented new volunteer opportunities throughout the year and experienced exceptional growth in its partner programs.

Team TRF added school partners Rundle Elementary, Scott Elementary, Staton Elementary and Johnston Middle Schools in Las Vegas and also re-engaged with Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah. Corner Canyon students raised more than $77,000 in just three weeks for the Foundation during a December giving drive. TRF’s leadership committees grew adding committees dedicated to Advocacy, Ambassadors, Family Cheer, Team TRF and a Creative Think-Tank. Growth and consistency also broadened with TRF’s Pen Pal program with nearly 1,000 pieces of mail delivered to TRF families from individuals, corporations and organizations.

In just five years, TRF has raised more than $7.5 million to support families battling childhood cancer by providing grants to offset the many unseen costs associated with treatment. More than 700 families have benefited from TRF support. The Foundation continues to grow its efforts for families through a number of awareness and fundraising initiatives.

Imagine Dragons launched TRF after meeting Tyler Robinson, an inspiring teen and fan of the band who battled a rare form of childhood cancer. TRF continues Tyler’s legacy and honors his courageous example by reaching out to uplift other children battling cancer and the families who support them. TRF’s mission is to support these families financially and emotionally by offsetting out-of-pocket life expenses as they cope with their child’s diagnosis.

For more information, visit TRF.org and follow TRF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Imagine Dragons

Formed in 2009 and featuring lead vocalist Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman, Imagine Dragons earned a grassroots following by independently releasing a series of EPs. After Alex Da Kid signed them to his KIDinaKORNER/Interscope label, the band made its major-label debut with the release of Continued Silence, a 2012 EP featuring the 2x platinum breakthrough single “It’s Time.” Night Visions arrived later that year and Imagine Dragons found themselves on a skyward trajectory that saw the album debut at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart and became the No. 1 album on Spotify Worldwide for 2013. Night Visions has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide. The album’s second single, the 9x-platinum “Radioactive,” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Rock chart and earned the band a 2014 Grammy for “Best Rock Performance.” The third single, “Demons,” hit No. 1 on Alternative and Top 40 radio, and has sold 3.9 million copies in the U.S. Imagine Dragons’ platinum-selling second album, Smoke + Mirrors, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart and has sold 1.1 million copies worldwide. Imagine Dragons’ third studio album Evolve was certified double-platinum within a year of its June 2017 release. It earned the group back to back #1 singles with “Believer,” “Thunder,” and “Whatever It Takes.” “Thunder” also scored a Best Pop Duo/Group Performance nomination at the 2018 Grammy Awards, with Evolve nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album.

About The Tyler Robinson Foundation

The Tyler Robinson Foundation (TRF) helps strengthen families financially and emotionally as they cope with the tragedy of a pediatric cancer diagnosis by providing grants specifically to offset out-of-pocket life expenses. TRF is the nonprofit organization of the Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum selling band Imagine Dragons. TRF meets a critical need in communities across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Each year, one in 285 children are diagnosed with cancer. While many pediatric cancer organizations focus on growing awareness and support for families with the physical and emotional toll of a diagnosis, the huge financial hardship cancer treatment places on families is rarely discussed. More than 85-percent of every dollar TRF raises goes right to families in need. For more information visit TRF.org.


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Fund for Education Abroad Expands Board of Trustees

Press Release – WASHINGTON, D.C., January 15, 2018 – The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) has expanded its Board of Trustees to advance its mission of increasing access to international education for deserving students by offering game-changing scholarships.

Working collaboratively with FEA staff, Trustees help oversee FEA programs, scholarships, budget and fundraising. Hailing from a variety of fields and contributing a diverse array of skills, FEA Trustees share a passion of making the dream of study abroad a reality for others, often based on personal experiences living, working and studying overseas. Many also represent the demographic of FEA Scholars, who include minority, LBGTQI, first-generation college, and community college students, older students returning to college mid-career, and students with a unique cultural or linguistic academic focus.

A total of 290 scholars have benefited from over $1.3 million in scholarships granted since FEA’s inception in 2010.

Elected by current Trustees, the four new members of the board are:

  • John Christian – President/CEO of CAPA: The Global Education Network, John’s history in international education spans more than 25 years. CAPA: The Global Education Network works with institutions of higher education to build programs that meet their goals for learning abroad. They operate education centers in Global Cities and have developed distinct academic offerings, support frameworks, and oversight structures for students and visiting faculty. John is also an active member of NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, and Forum on Education Abroad.
  • Taeilorae Levell – A 2016 Alumni Scholar and current member of the FEA Alumni Council, Tailorae studied Arabic in Rabat, Morocco for a semester. She currently serves her Alma Mater Howard University as a Career Placement Specialist in the Office of Career Services and Office of Undergraduate Studies and is working towards a Masters in Public Health.
  • Amar Rewari, M.D. – A board-certified radiation oncologist, Dr. Rewari has authored several scientific publications and received numerous honors for his research. He has been awarded several grants to present his research findings at international meetings as an invited speaker and serves on expert panels that set oncologic quality measures and treatment guidelines. He is actively involved in national healthcare payment reform through committee work with Medicare, CMS, the AMA, and the American Society for Radiation Oncology where he was a former Health Policy Fellow.
  • Ellen Yui – Founding Principal of YUI+Company, Inc., Ellen brings 35 years of experience in strategic communications and corporate social responsibility. Founded in 1991, YCO helps leaders find their voice and design road maps for growth and impact. Clients have included Fortune 500s, professional associations, universities, communities, authors, artists and start-ups. Ellen also serves as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Cornell University. She studied abroad with AFS in Mâcon, France, where she earned the Baccalauréat.

FEA adds four new members to their Board of Trustees: (Clockwise from top left) Amar Rewari, M.D., Ellen Yui, Taeilorae Levell and John Christian.

They join the following current Trustees:

  • Cynthia Banks – Cynthia is the retired Founder/CEO of GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, a global education abroad organization which has helped more than 30,000 students study and intern abroad. She is now on the faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder Leed’s Business School and serves as President of the Foundation for Global Scholars, a non-profit supporting globally minded young adults with scholarships and other resources.
  • Ted Davis – Ted is a Private Wealth Advisor and founder of Davis and Devine, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. based in Fairfax Virginia. A graduate of George Washington University, prior to joining Ameriprise in 2002, Ted spent 18 years in the technology industry with a focus on international sales and business management in Asia/Pacific and Latin America.
  • Joël A. Gallegos – Joël is assistant provost of international programs at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Charlotte. Previously, he served as the director of education abroad at UNC Charlotte and as the director of study abroad at the University of Toledo.
  • Errick L. Greene – Errick recently accepted the executive leadership role as Chief of Schools of Tulsa Public Schools, where he works closely with the district’s seven instructional leadership directors to drive educational excellence through powerful, personalized learning that is engaging and joyful for all students and staff.
  • Gail Gugel – Gail has worked for Harvard University, the U.S. Department of State, AMIDEAST, and the World Wildlife Fund. Her professional focus has been citizen exchanges, and she spent several years managing Fulbright programs in the Western Hemisphere. As a tour manager for Academic Travel Abroad, she led several visits to Cuba and Morocco. During high school, Gail studied in Paraguay with AFS.
  • Martha Johnson (Chair) – Martha is the Assistant Dean, Learning Abroad at the University of Minnesota. She has worked in international education since 1991, with sojourns in Ireland and England, and oversight for institutional relations management for several educational organizations. Martha has presented and co-chaired numerous sessions and workshops at national and international conferences and served on a variety of organizational and institutional boards. She previously served on the NAFSA International Education Leadership team as well as serving and chairing multiple committees in NAFSA and the Forum on Education Abroad.
  • Jan Kieling – Jan currently serves as a member and officer of the Board of Trustees for the Institute for Study Abroad. She joined the IFSA Board in 2011. She also is on the Board of Directors for the Mindspring Foundation, which develops sustainable education platforms for children in under-resourced communities throughout the world that, encouraging communities to succeed at reconciling their way of life with the natural and cultural heritage of their region.
  • Anne Krieg (Vice-Chair) – Anne is an active member of Lewinsville Presbyterian Church and volunteers with the John T. Ford Society at Ford’s Theatre. She currently serves as co-chair of the Parents Fund at Kenyon College and is a member of their Parents Advisory Council. Anne has served on the Board of Trustees for Davidson College as well as the Board of the Lewinsville Retirement Residence in McLean, VA. She has volunteered in various positions at Davidson College since graduation. Anne has also co-chaired the Parents Fund at The Madeira School as well as the Annual Fund at Davidson College.
  • Brandon Lee – Brandon serves as CEO of Terra Dotta, a software company that manages the application process and streamlines operations of over 575 educational institutions and businesses,. His main interest lies in shaping the usability and accessibility of the company’s software. He has primary responsibility for the marketing and sales for TDS for Study Abroad, ISSS, Risk Management, and Application Management.
  • Lucas Mackey – A 2015 FEA Scholar, Lucas studied in China and Taiwan. While there, he served as an intern in global communications and logistics at a manufacturing firm while completing coursework in business Chinese. Through this experience, he became increasingly passionate about global business and sustainability.
  • Prem Manjooran – Prem is the Executive Director of Tantallon Capital Asia and the Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager for the Tantallon India Fund. Prem grew up in Mumbai and Calcutta and graduated from Davidson College. Prior to starting the Tantallon India Fund, he spent 22 years as an analyst and an active investor in the Asian equity markets with The Capital Group where he worked in Capital’s Singapore offices and later managed investments in India and Malaysia as a country generalist, the Asian automobile and consumer stocks, the Singapore banks and property companies, and the Hong Kong and Singapore conglomerates.
  • Eric Sanner (Secretary) – Eric is a Senior Vice President in the health practice of The Segal Group. He previously worked for Aon Hewitt and is very knowledgeable of employee benefits, health care, people and business unit leadership. Prior to joining Aon in 1999, he had a 14-year career in the group life and health industry, where he worked for several insurance carriers in sales, account management, marketing, and product development roles.

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