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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

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Life in HD Earns Rave Reviews for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America

Lisa Genova, Allie LaForce. Anna Canoni & Marc Scibilia Team Up to Support HD Awareness Month

New York, NY (May 2015) – After folk music legend Woody Guthrie died from complications with Huntington’s disease (HD) in 1967 at the age of 55, his wife Marjorie founded the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) the following year.  On May 27th, HDSA paid tribute to the Guthrie family legacy by going back to its roots with inspiring family stories and great music at the 2015 Life in HD event at the Baruch Performing Arts Center in New York City.

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Genova of Inside the O’Briens and Emmy Award winning anchor Allie LaForce shared the stage in an inspiring and educational conversation about HD and the impact it has on a family, before Woody Guthrie’s granddaughter Anna Canoni discussed the Guthrie family’s HD story and went on to introduce singer/songwriter Marc Scibilia.

Lisa’s new book Inside the O’Briens portrays a Boston police officer battling the devastating symptoms of HD. Inside the O’Briens follows Lisa’s last book, Still Alice,which was made into a major motion picture where actress Julianne Moore won several awards including an Oscar for her portrayal of a woman with Alzheimer’s disease.

L - R: HDSA CEO Louise Vetter, Allie LaForce, Lisa Genova, Marc Scibilia, HDSA Trustee Jennifer Leyton and Anna Canoni at the 2015 Life in HD event in New York City. Photo by Nicole Mago.

L – R: HDSA CEO Louise Vetter, Allie LaForce, Lisa Genova, Marc Scibilia, HDSA Trustee Jennifer Leyton and Anna Canoni at the 2015 Life in HD event in New York City. Photo by Nicole Mago.

Allie LaForce was Miss Teen USA in 2005 and is currently one of the nation’s top sports reporters. She is married to Los Angeles Angels’ pitcher Joe Smith who is at-risk of inheriting HD.

A highlight of Marc Scibilia’s acoustic set was his rendition of the Woody Guthrie classic “This Land is Your Land” which gained Marc notoriety in the Jeep commercial during the 2015 Super Bowl.  Marc also made a special dedication to the HDSA National Youth Alliance prior to his song “Bright Day Coming.” Marc’s debut album will be released later this year.

Life in HD was an incredible night and the perfect ending to Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month,” said Louise Vetter, HDSA’s Chief Executive Officer. “Honoring the Guthrie heritage with family stories and music filled with hope and love is vital to HDSA’s culture and our ability to assist those affected by Huntington’s disease.”

Photos by Nicole Mago

The mission of HDSA is to improve the lives of everyone affected by Huntington’s disease and their families. Huntington’s disease is a fatal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It deteriorates a person’s physical and mental abilities during their prime working years and has no cure. HD is known as the quintessential family disease because every child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of carrying the faulty gene. Today, there are approximately 30,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 at-risk of inheriting the disease.

Life in HD guests also had an opportunity to win a copy of Woody Guthrie’s Wardy Forty which explores the five years Woody spent at Greystone Park State Hospital in Morristown, NJ. He was a patient there from 1956-61, in Ward 40 and called it “Wardy Forty.” Along with contemporary photographs from acclaimed photographer Philip Buehler Woody’s years at the facility are brought to life.

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

$2.3 Million to be Awarded to Women Journalists Through 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the IWMF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Activate Instruction Migrates Online Learning Content To Gooru

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Girard Education Foundation

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

About Gooru

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

Baby Launches Smile Strike

Local Toddler Gets Serious in Solidarity With Cleft-Affected Kids Around the World

NEW YORK, May 29, 2015 — A nine-month-old baby, Walter, has launched a “smile strike,” refusing to smile under even the most amusing circumstances in an effort to raise awareness for children living with unrepaired clefts. Walter is asking the public to support his strike with a donation to Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft charity, which helps empower and train doctors in the developing world to perform free cleft repair surgeries for children in their own communities. “Why should I go on smiling like it’s going out of style while other babies out there are having a hard time smiling and laughing because of their unrepaired clefts?” Walter asked in his video announcement of the strike, available here.

Cleft lip and palate are serious health conditions that affect millions of children worldwide. Without surgical repair, those living with clefts can have trouble breathing, eating and speaking. Children with unrepaired clefts in the developing world are often isolated, shunned and prohibited from attending school and participating in their communities. Only hours into the strike, exhaustive efforts to make Walter smile have proven futile. “We’ve jiggled keys in his face, played peekaboo, made funny faces, but he’s not breaking,” said Walter’s mother. “He’s serious about smiles.”

To support Walter’s strike, visit to make a donation today, and share this story using the hashtag #SeriousBaby.

Fedcap Initiates Reporting of First Half Fiscal 2015 Operating and Financial Results

— A benchmark for the not-for-profit industry —

First Half Highlights

  • 2,722 clients placed in jobs
  • 2,100 students advanced in grade level, matriculated to college or obtained vocational certification up from 2,000 in the same period of 2014
  • 2,250 professionals received technical assistance/training through Fedcap’s National Center for Innovation and System Improvement
  • Revenue for the first half was $77 million, 12.4% above the prior year
  • Continued to improve operating margin in line with long term plan
  • Program expenses accounted for 92% of operating expenses
  • Further strengthened long term sustainability through the sale of real estate assets in New York City
  • Approved acquisition of Easter Seals New York on March 25, 2015

NEW YORK — (BUSINESS WIRE) — Fedcap, a not-for-profit organization that develops relevant, sustainable solutions for people to overcome barriers through four practice areas: Educational Services, Workforce Development, Occupational Health and Economic Development reported operating and financial results for the first half of 2015 ended March 31, 2015.

“By adopting a set of financial metrics and disclosing them on an interim basis, similar to that of a publicly-listed company, we believe we are engaging in an important dialogue with our key audiences and establishing a benchmark for the not-for-profit industry.”

Management Comment

“We are pleased to present our impact and financial results to our funders, donors, and stakeholders on a timely basis, enabling Fedcap’s constituents to fully assess the progress we are making in producing relevant, sustainable outcomes for the populations that we serve,” said Christine McMahon, Fedcap’s Chief Executive Officer. “By adopting a set of financial metrics and disclosing them on an interim basis, similar to that of a publicly-listed company, we believe we are engaging in an important dialogue with our key audiences and establishing a benchmark for the not-for-profit industry.”

“Our first half results demonstrated growth and stability, aligned with our strategy of increasing scale through organic and acquisition efforts. Despite headwinds in funding for the not-for-profit industry, we experienced growth in each of our practice areas: Economic Development, Workforce Development, Education and Occupational Health, expanding our footprint and importantly, we succeeded in significantly advancing the economic well-being of those served.”

“We continue to apply disciplined financial and risk management policies throughout the organization to ensure that our programs and services are meeting the requisite milestones and that we maintain the resilience and flexibility needed to address changing economic realities, while building for the future of the organization. In support of this strategy, we took advantage of strong market conditions to sell our 24,000 square foot building on West 14th Street in Manhattan in April 2014. We re-invested a portion of the net proceeds in a midtown condominium office space, using the remainder to further strengthen our balance sheet.”

First Half Financial and Operating Metrics

First half fiscal 2015 revenues were $77.0 million, an increase of 12.4% from the $68.5 million reported in the comparable period last year.

Revenues from Economic Development, which represents Fedcap’s business services operations that directly employ the populations we serve, accounted for 65% of total revenues in this year’s first half compared to 61% in last year’s first half. Total Facilities Management, which includes work at such iconic sites as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, New York’s Penn Station, New York City Court Houses, Federal Aviation Administration installations in New Jersey, as well as government and commercial office buildings in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and Boston, Mass. accounted for the largest percentage of Economic Development revenues. Other components of Economic Development include: Manufacturing, which provides outsourced assembly and production of electronic products delivered by a workforce comprised of people with disabilities; Business Solutions which provides all aspects of back office support to government and commercial clients; and Home Health Care, where over 352 Fedcap-trained and licensed professionals provide at-home care to those in need. In the first half of 2015, Fedcap employed 607 people with disabilities and other barriers to employment in these operations, up from 579 individuals in the similar 2014 period.

Revenues from Workforce Development, which represents our job placement and counseling services, accounted for 25% of total revenues down from 28% in last year’s first half. We placed over 2722 clients in jobs in this year’s first half, including more than 213 “ReServists”, professionals age 55+ whom we place with organizations that need their expertise.

Education and Occupational Health together accounted for 6% of first half revenues, on par with the level last year, and include a wide array of programs in the areas of behavioral health, evaluation and specialized training, help for youth in foster care or transitioning out of other child welfare and juvenile justice systems, and vocational training for youths with disabilities. Over 2100 individuals advanced grade level, graduated from high school, matriculated to college and obtained vocational certification through our Career Design School.

First half 2015 operating expenses were $76.8 million, of which 92% represented direct, program expenses. Fedcap reported an operating profit for the period of $208,450 compared to an operating loss in last year’s first half of $163,276.

At March 31, 2015, cash and marketable securities were $21.8 million, up from $8.7 million, at the same time last year, reflective of the real estate sale that was completed in April 2014.

Contract Wins and Strategic Projects

The total value of contracts awarded in the first half of fiscal 2015 was $87.1 million, which included a one-time contract assignment of NYC Human Resource Administration’s WeCARE Region 1 program for Manhattan and Bronx with a total value of $82.5 million.

Key contracts/grants awarded during the first half of FY 2015 included:

  • The NYC WeCARE Region 1 contract for $82.5 million over 2.5 years that was transitioned to Fedcap from FEGS; (Fedcap was awarded the WeCARE Region 2 contract in July 2012).
  • A Pinkerton Foundation grant for $125,000 to support expansion of efforts in NYC to help children in foster care get accepted into college and graduate.
  • A Sloan Foundation grant for $125,000 to demonstrate the efficacy of using the staffing agency model to advance the employment of older workers.
  • An Altman Foundation grant for $50,000 to establish a Dementia Care Coaching program using ReServists.
  • A contract with New York State Industries for the Disabled for $863,460 for facilities management.
  • A workforce development contract with the Department of Transitional Assistance Boston/Chelsea $150,000.

Fedcap awarded its prestigious WorkStar™ certification to FreshDirect and Plated—honoring their leadership in employing people with barriers.

Recent Development

On March 25, 2015 Fedcap reached an agreement to acquire Easter Seals New York, which has annualized revenues of $30 million, and operates programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities in New York State. The combination is scheduled to be completed by September 2015, and will add significant scale to Fedcap’s Occupational Health and Education operations.

Summary and Outlook

“First half results represent a strong start to fiscal 2015, and we are pleased with the organization’s commitment to excellent execution in delivering services that help clients overcome barriers and achieve economic well-being. Our investments in financial, technical and human resources have given Fedcap a strong infrastructure that is able to support our growth and expansion. We look forward to continuing to report progress in assisting our clients to achieve economic well-being,” Ms. McMahon concluded.

About Fedcap

A not-for-profit founded in 1935, Fedcap develops innovative, creative and sustainable solutions that help people overcome barriers to economic well-being. Each year Fedcap’s educational, evaluation, vocational training, job placement, post placement support and advocacy programs, help more than 80,000 individuals rebuild their lives, and find and maintain meaningful employment.


Chevron Shareholders with $7.75 Billion in Stock Vote To Increase Dividends to Protect Investor Capital In The Face Of Risky Investments in Costly Carbon Reserves

Avoiding “An Economically Unsustainable Path”: Message to Chevron Board About Shareholder Concerns.

SAN RAMON, CA///May 27 2015/// An As You Sow and Arjuna Capital shareholder resolution calling on Chevron to increase dividends to shareholders in light of continued outsized spending on high-cost, high-carbon projects — including Arctic drilling, tar sands, and other “unconventional” fossil fuels that are increasingly uneconomical and likely to be stranded — drew the support of shareholders with $7.75 billion of the company’s stock (4 percent). The resolution was co-filed by Zevin Asset Management.

The vote underscores shareholders growing concerns about Chevron’s snowballing outlay of capital despite weakening company fundamentals, changing energy markets, and growing climate change impacts. The resolution also goes a step further than recent greenhouse gas transparency and reporting resolutions at BP and Shell, which garnered record-high shareholder support, asking the company to take the steps necessary to protect shareholder value. The filers view today’s Chevron annual meeting vote as an extremely encouraging outcome for a first-time resolution addressing a new and timely issue and shareowners intend to increase the pressure on Chevron and other oil majors in 2016 to respond to shareowners’ concerns.

Speaking to shareholders, Danielle Fugere, president and chief counsel at As You Sow, said: “The era of finding cheap oil has come and gone. Chevron’s focus on finding new reserves at almost any cost creates tremendous risk to the company and to shareowners. These high-priced reserves must compete not only with cheaper national producers, but against increasingly effective efficiency measures, and plummeting costs of renewable energy. Last year, more capacity for renewable power was added across the world than coal, natural gas, and oil combined. And much of the oil that Chevron is producing is also higher in carbon, despite the fact that two-thirds of proven fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground if we are to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. Oil that stays in the ground is valueless; and the massive investments made to find and develop that fuel is wasted capital.”

Commenting on the vote today, As You Sow CEO Andrew Behar said: “It is critically important to ask the tough questions of the board and shareholders about whether Chevron is on an economically unsustainable path. Chevron has lost money in 9 of the last 10 quarters due to poor capital investment decisions. The bottom line is that, based on Chevron’s current course, we don’t think we have a climate competent board capable of innovative thinking, therefore the capital is better spent as dividends than wasted by stranding more assets.”

The As You Sow/Arjuna Capital resolution focuses on the urgent need for action. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has cautioned: “No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2 degrees Celsius goal needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.”

“Profitability is suffering now as Chevron spends unprecedented amounts of investor capital looking for expensive, high carbon oil in remote corners of the earth,” said Natasha Lamb, director of Equity Research & Shareholder Engagement at Arjuna Capital. “Big Oil will not make money the same way it did last century. Chevron faces two inescapable truths — there is only so much easy-to-get oil in the ground and only so much carbon we can pump into the air. The next hundred years will be defined by these limits. Winning companies will focus on shareholder value, returning a greater percentage of profits to shareholders rather than risk investor capital chasing every last drop.”

Despite increasing concern about the risk of stranded assets, Chevron and other oil majors collectively spend over $700 billion annually to find and develop new fossil fuel reserves — and they are finding fewer barrels of oil at higher cost. Goldman Sachs notes: “In the past two years no major new oil project has come on-stream with production costs below $70 per barrel, with most in the $80-100 dollar range, raising the risk of stranded, or unprofitable, assets.”

According to a 2014 Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI) report, 26 percent of Chevron’s future project portfolio (2014-2050), representing $87 billion, requires at least $95 per barrel for a break-even price, and 14 percent requires a price of $115 per barrel. By the end of 2025, CTI’s report projected that high-cost, unconventional projects at Chevron would represent 36 percent of its potential future production.

Shareholders are concerned that, as Chevron digs deep to replace its oil and gas reserves, it is increasingly putting its profits in jeopardy. Profitability has been decreasing in recent years. From 2011 to 2013, while capital and exploratory expenditure increased 44 percent, Chevron’s net income dropped 20 percent. During that same time, Chevron’s debt more than doubled from $10.15 billion to $20.43 billion. Chevron’s spending surge has even drawn the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which demanded disclosure from Chevron about whether its recent capital expenditure jump will increase and affect the company’s liquidity.

For the full text of the As You Sow/Arjuna Capital shareholder resolution, go to

A detailed background memo on the resolution is available online at


As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. For more information visit

Arjuna Capital is the sustainable wealth management platform of Baldwin Brothers Inc., an SEC-registered independent financial advisory firm established in 1974. For more information visit

Millennials More Likely To Travel Abroad To Volunteer Than Other Generations, Marriott Rewards Credit Card from Chase Survey Reveals

Millennial Travelers Seek Thrilling Trips and View International Vacation Hot Spots through a Pop Culture Lens

WILMINGTON, Del. – May 27, 2015 – Millennials are more likely than their older counterparts to travel with a purpose as 84 percent of millennials say they would travel abroad to participate in volunteer activities, according to a new survey released today by Marriott Rewards Credit Card. Furthermore, 32 percent of millennials are interested in taking a charitable trip, while only two in ten Generation X travelers (18 percent) and baby boomers (17 percent) are interested in doing the same. Conversely, female travelers (28 percent), regardless of age, tend be more interested in taking a charitable vacation compared to their male counterparts (17 percent).

“Other generations may not assume Millennials would use their most precious assets, their time and money, to give back to international communities they visit, but today’s young travelers are reframing that mindset,” said Vibhat Nair, general manager, Chase Card Services. “We’ve seen in the past that this generation of travelers value rewards and perks from travel services, and now we’re seeing how they could be using those rewards for a larger purpose.”

The nationwide phone survey commissioned by Marriott Rewards Credit Card reached 1,000 travelers (18-67 years old) who stay in a hotel at least five nights per year for business, pleasure or both. Additional key findings from the survey include:

Millennial travelers are more likely than other generations to define international vacation “hot spots” by celebrity and pop culture influence

  • Millennial travelers ages 18-34 (44 percent) are more likely than travelers ages 35-49 (33 percent) and 50-67 (27 percent) to view destinations as hot spots if they have a booming industry and culture. Older travelers ages 50-67 (34 percent) are most likely to define a destination as a hot spot if it was highlighted in a notable travel or lifestyle publication.
  • One in five millennials (20 percent) would say a destination is a hot spot if it has recently been featured in a movie, compared to only 11 percent of Gen Xers and seven percent of boomers.
  • Around the same amount of millennials (21 percent) and travelers ages 35-49 (20 percent) say a destination is a hot spot if pop culture events, such as award shows or concerts, have taken place or will take place there, compared to one in ten travelers ages 50-67 (10 percent).

Millennial travelers seek thrilling adventures and nightlife over leisurely vacations abroad

  • Millennial travelers are far more interested in thrilling vacations (78 percent) than lazy trips (32 percent).
  • Those millennials seeking a thrilling vacation are most interested in filling their adrenaline needs through water sports (67 percent), compared to travelers ages 35-49 (55 percent) of ages 50-67 (46 percent).
  • Interacting with wild animals through activities like safaris or swimming with sharks (63 percent) is also of significant interest to millennial travelers who seek thrilling vacations.
  • Millennials (28 percent) are much more likely than Gen Xers (15 percent) and Boomers (six percent) to consider the local nightlife when choosing a particular destination abroad to visit.

To meet the unique needs of the rapidly growing segment of millennial travelers, Chase offers its Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card, which lets travelers earn accelerated Marriott Reward points on all purchases, accumulate free night stays, and receive automatic Silver Elite Status once they become a cardholder. The card’s annual fee is waived the first year and also offers EMV chip-and-signature technology, charges no foreign transaction fees and comes with a variety of travel benefits. Nair adds, “today’s traveler is looking for ways to get the most out of their valuable time and money while on vacation, and the Marriott Rewards Credit Card from Chase helps to bring those desired travel experiences to life.”

Additionally, the Marriott Rewards Credit Card is offering a chance to win a free night stay at over 3,800 Marriott locations worldwide through its 1,000 Nights of Summer sweepstakes, which ends June 30, 2015.

About the Survey

This report presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,002 Americans, ages 18-67, who stay in a hotel at least five nights per year for business, pleasure or both. The survey was conducted from April 2, 2015 through April 10, 2015, and the margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent with a 95 percent confidence level.

About Marriott

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA with nearly 3,800 properties in 72 countries and territories and reported revenues of over $12 billion in fiscal year 2012. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at and for the latest company news, visit

About Chase

Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. Chase serves nearly half of America’s households with a broad range of financial services, including personal banking, small business lending, mortgages, credit cards, auto financing and investment advice. Customers can choose how and where they want to bank: More than 5,500 branches, 18,000 ATMs, mobile, online and by phone. For more information, go to

The Least Religious Generation

Looking at 11.2 million U.S. adolescents over the last 50 years, researchers find millennials are by far the least religious generation. 

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (May 27, 2015) — In what may be the largest study ever conducted on changes in Americans’ religious involvement, researchers led by San Diego State University psychology professor Jean M. Twenge found that millennials are the least religious generation of the last six decades, and possibly in the nation’s history.

The researchers — including Ramya Sastry from SDSU, Julie J. Exline and Joshua B. Grubbs from Case Western Reserve University and W. Keith Campbell from the University of Georgia — analyzed data from 11.2 million respondents from four nationally representative surveys of U.S. adolescents ages 13 to 18 taken between 1966 and 2014.

Recent adolescents are less likely to say that religion is important in their lives, report less approval of religious organizations, and report being less spiritual and spending less time praying or meditating. The results were published this month in the journal PLOSOne.

“Unlike previous studies, ours is able to show that millennials’ lower religious involvement is due to cultural change, not to millennials being young and unsettled,” said Twenge, who is also the author of “Generation Me.”

“Millennial adolescents are less religious than Boomers and GenX’ers were at the same age,” Twenge continued. “We also looked at younger ages than the previous studies. More of today’s adolescents are abandoning religion before they reach adulthood, with an increasing number not raised with religion at all.”

Compared to the late 1970s, twice as many 12th graders and college students never attend religious services, and 75 percent more 12th graders say religion is “not important at all” in their lives. Compared to the early 1980s, twice as many high school seniors and three times as many college students in the 2010s answered “none” when asked their religion.

Compared to the 1990s, 20 percent fewer college students described themselves as above average in spirituality, suggesting that religion has not been replaced with spirituality.

“These trends are part of a larger cultural context, a context that is often missing in polls about religion,” Twenge said. “One context is rising individualism in U.S. culture. Individualism puts the self first, which doesn’t always fit well with the commitment to the institution and other people that religion often requires. As Americans become more individualistic, it makes sense that fewer would commit to religion.”

View the full article online at:

Wells Fargo Awards Grants in Salt Lake City to Help Homeless

Two local non-profit organizations to share $500,000 in funding through Wells Fargo’s NeighborhoodLIFT® program to help revitalize neighborhoods, prevent veteran and family homelessness

SALT LAKE CITY – May 28, 2015 – Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), today announced grants totaling $500,000 for two nonprofits committed to assisting veterans and families in Salt Lake City overcome homelessness through the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program.

The Road Home ($300,000) and The Community Foundation of Utah ($200,000) are receiving the grants to help prevent homelessness in Salt Lake City. The grant recipients were selected in close collaboration with Mayor Ralph Beckerand the city’s division of Housing and Neighborhood Development to help address key local initiatives in the Salt Lake City community including homelessness prevention programs.

“I know support from the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program will make a difference for Salt Lake,” Mayor Becker said. “My hope is that projects and programs funded by these grants will help Salt Lake be known as the community that makes sure that all of the homeless get the shelter and services they need and deserve.”

The combined $500,000 in grants is part of the Wells Fargo Salt Lake City NeighborhoodLIFT program that invested a total of $5 million to help boost home ownership in the community. The program is also helping create more than 200 Salt Lake homeowners with the help of a NeighborhoodLIFT program $15,000 down payment assistance grant after completing home buyer education. Grants may be available for reservation by contacting NeighborWorks Salt Lake or a Salt Lake City-based Wells Fargo Home Mortgage consultant.

“We’re proud to do our part to help Salt Lake City neighborhoods,” said Dee O’Donnell, Wells Fargo regional president. “We believe these nonprofits are doing exceptional work in the community and these funds will add up to make a big impact for the Salt Lake City community.”

In Salt Lake City, the $15,000 down payment assistance grants were administered by NeighborWorks Salt Lake and awarded to eligible homebuyers with annual incomes that do not exceed 120 percent of the Salt Lake City area median income – which is about $82,450 for a family of four. Approximately 70 grants are still available for eligible homebuyers in the Salt Lake City area.

Since 2012, with a combined $242 million investment by Wells Fargo, LIFT programs have been introduced to 34 communities deeply affected by the housing crisis. The program has created nearly 9,500 homeowners, with the help of down payment assistance and homebuyer education. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFT program is posted on the Wells Fargo YouTube Channel.

Wells Fargo collaborated with the Wells Fargo Foundation, Salt Lake City, NeighborWorks America and its local affiliate, NeighborWorks Salt Lake, to implement the program.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.7 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,700 locations, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet (, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2014 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.

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