The annual Heads Together Christmas party was hosted on Monday 19 December by youth support service The Mix, to celebrate the volunteers and counsellors who support people through tough times in their lives.
First, The Duke and Prince Harry joined a group session where counsellors and volunteers shared knowledge and had training on dealing with a range of issues, with a focus on supporting people who are suicidal and helping young people coping with homelessness.
The Duchess then joined a live online chat about counselling with volunteers and young people from around the UK.
Their Royal Highnesses were then given the chance to speak to volunteers and service users from The Mix, to hear about their personal experience of online and telephone counselling support.
The Mix gives young people aged 13-25 a helping hand to find their way through any challenge, from homelessness to finding a job, from money to mental health, from break-ups to drugs.
Their Royal Highnesses then all joined a celebration Christmas Party reception where they decorated baubles, made paper-chains and helped out with the gingerbread decorating.
They also chatted to the exceptional volunteers who support people through tough times in their lives.
At the end of their visit they kicked off The Mix Annual Awards by presenting the Volunteer of the Year Award to George Yeorghaki.
The Watermark Conference for Women Silicon Valley announced this week that Tony and Emmy award-winning actress Viola Davis will deliver a keynote address and former U.S. Secretaries of State Madeleine K. Albright and Condoleezza Rice will hold a keynote conversation at the event on Wednesday, February 1st at the San Jose Convention Center.
Annie Clark, co-founder of End Rape on Campus and subject of the documentary film “The Hunting Ground,” and Shawn Achor, best-selling author of “The Happiness Advantage” and record-setting TED speaker, will also headline the third annual conference, with more than 6,000 expected to attend.
Viola Davis currently stars in the hit ABC drama “How to Get Away with Murder,” for which she became the first African American to win the Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama Series and also earned two Screen Actors Guild Awards, an NAACP Image Award and two Golden Globe nominations. Viola will next be seen in “Fences” from Paramount Pictures. The film is starring, directed and produced by Denzel Washington and is adapted from August Wilson’s play. Davis also starred with Washington in the 2010 revival of the play on Broadway. Her portrayal of Rose Maxson brought her a Tony Award. “Fences” was also honored with the Tony Award for “Best Play Revival.” The film adaptation, for which Davis has won the Critics Choice Award and has been nominated for a Golden Globe and SAG Award, will release nationwide on December 25th.
Madeleine K. Albright made history as the first female Secretary of State, nominated by President Bill Clinton and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1997. Prior to her service from 1997-2001, Dr. Albright served as U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1993 to 1997 and as a member of President Clinton’s National Security Council. Dr. Albright is the author of five New York Times best-sellers and she currently serves as chair of Albright Stonebridge Group and as a professor of International Relations at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. In 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
Condoleezza Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009, only the second woman, after Albright, and the first African American woman to hold the position. Previously, Dr. Rice was the first female National Security Advisor, from 2001 to 2005, to President George W. Bush. Currently, Dr. Rice serves as Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and is a professor of political science at Stanford University, in addition to being the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution. She is also a founding partner of RiceHadleyGates, LLC.
Annie Clark is a co-founder of End Rape on Campus, a group working to end sexual violence on campuses around the country. Working with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, she helped write the Bi-Partisan Campus Safety and Accountability Act and her work is featured in the documentary “The Hunting Ground.” Clark is a co-author of the book, “We Believe You,” a collection of 36 essays of campus sexual assault. Shawn Achor is a distinguished Harvard professor and New York Times bestselling author of “The Happiness Advantage” and “Before Happiness.” His TED talk is one of the most popular of all time with more than 14 million views.
“Once again, Watermark offers an unparalleled opportunity to hear from accomplished, insightful and game-changing leaders,” said Marlene Williamson, CEO of Watermark. “We are proud to present an unforgettable program that will make a difference for women in Silicon Valley and beyond.”
Named one of the “Top 100” events in the San Francisco Bay Area by BizBash for its “buzz, innovation, and prominence,” the Watermark Conference for Women offers an unmatched breadth and depth of speakers in fields including new approaches to leadership, gender equity and inclusion, business management, digital strategy, and personal and professional growth. The Watermark Conference will once again host the QVC + zulily Product Search, where participants will have the unique opportunity to showcase their new idea to a panel of QVC and zulily experts, and receive on-site feedback from the panel.
The 100+ speakers at the Watermark Conference include: Luvvie Ajayi, award-winning writer and digital strategist; Jenny Blake, millennial expert, author, and business strategist; Michelle Gielan, former “CBS News” anchor, best-selling author and psychology researcher; Tiffany Dufu, chief leadership officer of Levo and launch team member to Lean In; and Caretha Coleman, principal at Coleman Consulting and former chairman of the board of Dignity Health.
“Our stellar lineup of speakers represent a diverse array from politics and entertainment to global diplomacy and education,” said Amy Flood, Vice President, Public Affairs of co-chair sponsor Gilead. “Gilead is honored to celebrate the full spectrum of women’s achievements at the Conference and throughout the year.”
The Watermark Conference for Women Silicon Valley is generously underwritten by co-chair partners Juniper Networks and Gilead along with the following sponsors: Cisco, Dell, Ericsson, Genentech; Akamai; Boston Scientific; Johnson & Johnson; QVC; Silicon Valley Bank; Applied Materials; BMW; Oracle; Poo-Pourri; State Farm; United; Visa; VMWare and media sponsors KFOG 104.5 San Francisco; KGO 810; KSFO 560; and NBC Bay Area.
Registration is now open for the conference.
To register or learn more about the event, click here.
In celebration of The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign, GRAMMY-winning, multi-Platinum rock band Blues Traveler released their take on the Christmas hymn, “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” with 100% of net proceeds from every download of the song benefitting The Salvation Army.
“Music is an important part of The Salvation Army’s history, so there is no better way for us to celebrate the season than through song,” explains Lt. Col. Ron Busroe, national community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army. “To have an iconic group like Blues Traveler do something so selfless in the name of our organization is very inspiring to us and we are incredibly grateful.”
“After learning all the ways The Salvation Army helps people in need, we wanted to help too,” commented lead vocalist John Popper. “Their impact on feeding and sheltering people who need it most is undeniable, and we are grateful.”
Blues Traveler’s rendition of “Go Tell It on the Mountain” is now available for purchase through bluestraveler.com, via the iTunes store and on Amazon.
During the holiday season, over 3 million families rely on The Salvation Army to provide a warm meal on Christmas Day or toys for their children. Donating to the Red Kettles also allows the Army to serve more than 25 million people a year by providing over 10 million nights of shelter and 57 million meals a year, along with substance abuse recovery programs, after-school programs and emergency shelter for children and families in need.
In addition to purchasing “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” supporters can contribute to the Red Kettle campaign at one of the more than 25,000 red kettles set up at storefronts nationwide; or they can share their #RedKettleReason and give back online at RedKettleReason.org; or via the Army’s text-to-give program, by texting the word “KETTLES” to 51555, they can give an amount of their choice to the Red Kettle Campaign. Donors can also volunteer their time through a number of opportunities from ringing a bell to sorting toys to serving food. Information about these opportunities is available at SalvationArmyUSA.org.
This holiday season marks the 126th Red Kettle campaign since the program’s humble beginnings in San Francisco, 1891. The Red Kettle campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States, providing toys for kids, coats for the homeless and food for the hungry, along with countless social service programs year-round.
Middle and high school students have the chance to win scholarships of up to $5,000 – and additional money for their educators and schools – by entering the fourth annual IWitness Video Challenge hosted by USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education.
And starting this year in Illinois, participation in the IWitness Video Challenge will count toward the service-learning requirement that every student must complete in order to graduate high school.
Kicking off Dec. 13, the Challenge, which will award $10,000 in prizes overall, invites students to positively contribute to their communities, and complete an IWitness activity that involves submitting a short video explaining how they were inspired through testimony to make a positive impact. The IWitness Video Challenge is open to all secondary school students in the United States and Canada (except for Quebec) who attend public, private or home schools. Participants can access resources and submit entries at iwitness.usc.edu.
Helping to make this year’s Challenge the most successful yet are two organizational partners – Ford Motor Co., which is sponsoring the event as part of its commitment to innovative educational outreach; and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, which will administer the Challenge and help maximize reach and impact through its deep partnerships with school systems, administrators and educators worldwide and unparalleled experience in implementing education-based programs that improve student engagement and achievement.
The contest is based on one of the more than 70 activities found in IWitness, USC Shoah Foundation’s free educational website (iwitness.usc.edu), which brings the human stories from the Institute’s Visual History Archive – the world’s largest repository of testimony from survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides – to teachers and their students via engaging multimedia-learning activities.
The IWitness Video Challenge first presents students with selected testimonies from survivors who demonstrate what is possible when we make the courageous choice to act. Then, the Challenge takes students through the steps necessary to identify a problem, determine how to contribute to solving that problem, and how to create a video that captures their efforts and impact on helping to solve a problem in their community. Students will then be instructed on how to use the built-in video editor in IWitness to construct, edit and submit their one- to four-minute video project. No prior video editing knowledge is needed to participate.
Teachers who have participated in the Challenge in the past will notice updates to the contest rules as well as to IWitness. For instance, this year it is no longer incumbent upon classroom teachers to select one entry from their class; they now can submit as many projects as they find qualified.
Upgrades made to IWitness’s functionality in the past year include mini lessons – which can be completed in under half an hour – the ability for students to download their work and new rubrics that provide guidelines for teachers to follow when grading their students’ completed IWitness activities.
The prizes will be distributed as follows:
• The student who created the National Winning Entry will receive a US $5,000 scholarship. Second place will receive a $1,000 scholarship; third place, a $500 scholarship.
• The educator associated with the National Winning Entry will receive a $1,000 grant awarded in the form of a check, to be used to implement change in his/her school.
• The school or organization that hosted the IWitness group/class associated with the National Winning Entry will receive a $2,500 grant awarded in the form of a check, to be used to implement change in their community.
• The winning student, along with an educator and parent/guardian, will be flown to Los Angeles to screen their film at USC Shoah Foundation.
“Not only does the IWitness Video Challenge enable students to link their voices to those in the Visual History Archive who inspired them to act, but it also teaches them digital skills that are so important for students today,” said USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen D. Smith.
The 2016 winners, a trio of eighth-graders from New Jersey, created a poetry group that enabled students at their school to express their hardships and appreciation for one another. They found inspiration for their project after listening to Holocaust survivor Donia Blumenfeld Clenman recite her powerful poetry in her testimony.
Maya Montell, Allison Vandal and Caroline Waters of Readington Middle School in Raritan, N.J. created the Poets Undercover Guild (PUG), encouraging their friends and associates to write each other poems pertaining to the trials of middle-school life.
One of the first recipients of a poem was a sixth-grade girl who was being bullied.
“She felt really alone at that time, and she was just kind of depressed,” Caroline said. “When she read it, she felt empowered, like she wasn’t going to let the bullies tell her what to do.”
The winner of the inaugural Challenge in 2014 was Ruth Hernandez of Philadelphia. Now a senior at Esperanza Academy Charter High School, Hernandez produced a video – called “Voices of Our Journey” – based on the topic of immigration.
“When I started my video for the IWitness Video Challenge I had my mind set on making a change, but it was I who was changed through the whole process,” she said. “I remember just trying to understand how I would feel if I knew I would never see my parents again or if I had to leave everything I know. … I learned the importance of not being afraid of recognizing oppression and taking action to stop it.”
USC Shoah Foundation founder Steven Spielberg launched the inaugural IWitness Video Challenge in 2013. The Challenge was designed around the same premise as Schindler’s List, that one person can make a difference. As Spielberg said at the time of the inaugural launch, “We can use IWitness to show the power of random acts of kindness, the significance of contributing to communities and the very idea that the best way to teach empathy is with examples of it so that maybe someday kindness will be a natural reflex.”
“The effectiveness of IWitness is well documented,” said Dr. Kori Street, director of education for USC Shoah Foundation. “Students who have engaged with our free educational website IWitness are significantly less likely to believe in stereotypes and are over 90 percent more likely to stand up against hateful stereotyping.”
Educators interested in signing up their students for the IWitness Video Challenge must submit entries by May 5, 2017 at iwitness.usc.edu. The winners will be announced on or around June 13, 2017.
Dec 20, 2016 05:00 am
Reality Cares was founded in 2004 to help celebrities give back and raise money and awareness for non-profits. Since that time, Reality Cares has planned hundreds of charity events around the country and has raised awareness and funds for important causes such as the humane and ethical treatment of animals, disaster relief, and more.