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Joss Stone Named Ambassador For Lilongwe Wildlife Centre

May 11, 2017 01:30 pm
Lilongwe Wildlife Centre has announced Joss Stone as their new ambassador.

Video: Joss Stone visits the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre

The singer visited the centre when she passed through Malawi during her Total World Tour.

“Wildlife welfare is a cause very close to my heart, and to see the awesome work of the rescue team and the volunteers at the Wildlife Centre was truly inspiring,” she said. “But what’s also amazing about Lilongwe Wildlife Trust is the sheer scale of their work, which ranges from helping orphaned and injured animals and inspiring communities to protect their wildlife through to putting big ivory traffickers behind bars. I’m thrilled to be able to do my bit in support of Malawi’s wildlife and I would urge you to do whatever you can to help too.”

Lilongwe Wildlife Trust’s works to protect Malawi’s habitats and wildlife through:
ADVOCACY & ENFORCEMENT initiatives that influence decision makers and help to bring wildlife criminals to justice.
WILDLIFE RESCUE & RESEARCH programmes that support the well-being of individual animals, the survival of species and the conservation of habitats.
CONSERVATION EDUCATION that inspires humans to live in harmony with nature.

Lilongwe Wildlife Trust was established in 2008 when their first project – Lilongwe Wildlife Centre – opened as a wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and education facility supporting the Government’s work fighting wildlife crimes.

Since then their rescue and education remit has expanded nationally and in 2014, they started work to combat serious wildlife crime, in particular ivory trafficking. Today, their projects support high level wildlife crime investigations, wildlife justice programmes for prosecutors and courts, and revisions to wildlife policy and legislation.

Find out more here.

Swizz Beatz Supports National Foster Care Awareness Month

May 11, 2017 12:00 pm

Swizz Beatz: Profile

May is a month marked by students celebrating academic feats and achievements. However, May is also National Foster Care Awareness Month, and for the more than 670,000 who spend time in U.S. foster care every year, the month of May can tell a very different story.

To “school” the nation on the challenges foster youth face when attaining their education, in and after their time in state care, Children’s Rights and FosterClub have today released a new spoken word PSA as a part of Children’s Rights fifth annual storytelling campaign, Fostering The Future.

Grammy Award-winning producer and Children’s Rights supporter Swizz Beatz explains, “Education in this country is a fundamental right for every child, but right now, we are turning our backs on our foster youth. We all need to do whatever we can to help make sure these kids’ voices are heard. They’re not someone else’s responsibility; they’re all of ours. Let’s foster their futures by really fostering their education.”

Adds Sandy Santana, Children’s Rights Executive Director: “As a society, we are failing thousands of our most vulnerable children. It is unconscionable that youth in foster care face multiple barriers to accessing their educations, and the young adults in this video know better than anyone else that changes must be made. We are honored to work with them.”

• Fewer than 60 percent of foster teens graduate high school by age 19.
• Only 4 percent of foster alumni go on to receive a college degree by age 26.
• The average reading level of 17 and 18 year old foster youth is 7th grade.
• 50 percent of foster youth become incarcerated within the first two years of aging out.
• 31 percent become homeless within the first two years of aging out.
• On average, they miss 5 weeks of school per year.

“This puts a face and a voice to a problem of which so many Americans are sadly unaware,” states Celeste Bodner, FosterClub Executive Director and Founder.“FosterClub is about helping to empower current and former foster youth to advocate on their own behalf, and this PSA does just that. It amplifies the voices and educational needs of a population that is rarely seen or heard.”

Eight of the nine individuals featured are members of FosterClub’s vast national network of current and former foster youth. Joining them is comedian and foster alum Monroe Martin.

“Look, trying to get an education in foster care is no joke,” Martin says. “And the first step to systemic change is raising mass awareness about the fact that the problem even exists. Storytelling, whether it’s through comedy or a PSA is the most effective way to do that.”

Children’s Rights’ 2017 campaign can be viewed by visiting FosteringTheFuture.com or by doing a search of the hashtag #FosterMyEducation.

Jill Biden To Speak At GLSEN Respect Awards – New York

May 11, 2017 10:30 am

Jill Biden: Profile

GLSEN, the leading education organization focused on ensuring safe and inclusive schools for all students, today announced that it will honor Ann Clark, Ryan Pedlow, Roland Park Elementary/Middle School and First Data at the 2017 GLSEN Respect Awards – New York.

The gala will take place on Monday, May 15, at Cipriani 42nd Street. Dr. Jill Biden will deliver the evening’s opening remarks. Ryan Pedlow, Founder of Two Creeks Capital, will receive the Visionary Award; Ann Clark, Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, will receive GLSEN’s Educator of the Year Award; Roland Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore, Maryland will receive GSA of the Year; and First Data will receive the Corporate Ally Award.

The GLSEN Respect Awards, introduced in 2004 and held annually in Los Angeles and New York, showcase the work of students, educators, individuals and corporations who serve as exemplary role models and have made a significant impact on the lives of LGBTQ youth.

“Now more than ever it is crucial to support those pushing to create safe and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ youth. I am proud to advocate for LGBTQ students’ lives by recognizing this year’s honorees, each of whom are playing an important role of fighting for justice by ensuring that LGBTQ youth have equal opportunities and the support to reach their full academic potential,” said Dr. Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s Executive Director.

GLSEN has led the way on LGBTQ issues in K-12 education since 1990. Through ground-breaking original research, innovative program development, student leadership and educator training, community organizing, and targeted state and federal advocacy, GLSEN has seen the impact of its work with the development of educational resources, direct engagement of youth and educators, and national programs like GLSEN’s Day of Silence, GLSEN’s No Name-Calling Week, and GLSEN’s Ally Week.

Ann Clark, Educator of the Year

Ann Clark is being honored for her commitment to ensuring all students can attend classrooms where they are safe, affirmed, and see themselves included in the curriculum.

A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Ann Clark’s career in education began as a teacher in Virginia. She first received her B.A. in English from Davidson College. She then went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Virginia, and also holds a certification in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

A champion for public education, Ann has spent more than thirty years working across elementary, middle and high schools. After spending five years working in the classroom at North Landing Elementary in Virginia Beach, she transitioned into an extensive range of administrative roles. From working as Assistant Principal at Montclair Elementary in 1987 to her current role as Superintendent of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district, Ann has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to build classrooms where all students can thrive. Most recently, as part of the district’s anti-bullying policy, Ann provided training for principals around protections for transgender students for the entire district.

In addition to her direct experience as an educator, Ann serves on the board for Communities In Schools, READ Charlotte, Project L.I.F.T. and A Child’s Place.

Ryan Pedlow, Visionary Award

Ryan Pedlow is being honored for his longstanding dedication to GLSEN, and tireless commitment to all the LGTBQ youth that we serve.

Ryan’s leadership within GLSEN began in 2007, when he joined the National Board of Directors and would continue to serve through 2016, including roles such as Chairman of the Board and Treasurer. As both Board Member and Chair, he helped guide the organization and establish GLSEN as the national and global movement leader it is today.

As Co-Chair of the New York Respect Awards from 2008 through 2016, Ryan played a critical role in raising GLSEN’s profile and revenue – growing the annual event and introducing valuable friends to GLSEN’s network. With his support and guidance, the event has broken revenue and attendance records, outgrown past venues, and deepened GLSEN’s engagement with our supporters. As a passionate philanthropist for the LGBTQ community, Ryan’s efforts have helped elevate GLSEN’s work and have transformed the lives of millions of LGBTQ youth.

Ryan’s professionalism and advocacy laid the foundation for much of GLSEN’s success, both inside and outside of its walls. He currently resides as Founder of Two Creeks Capital, a global equities investment firm based in New York. Prior to founding Two Creeks, he was a Portfolio Manager at ZBI Equities and a Principal of Ziff Brothers Investments, where he spent thirteen years investing in global markets. Ryan began his career as an Analyst in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs & Company.
A visible member of the LGBTQ community, Ryan is an engaged leader who continuously works to spread the shared vision of equality for LGTBQ people everywhere.

Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, GSA of the Year

The Roland Park Elementary/Middle School GSA is a diverse student-run club from Baltimore, Maryland. The GSA was built to ensure that every student of Roland Park has the best school experience possible, with a mission of providing a safe and inclusive space for all genders and sexual orientations.

GSA members have led advocacy efforts both within their school’s walls and in their community. They have created positive environments in their classrooms by confronting hostility and prejudice against the LGBTQ community. Together they created a project called “Dear Mx” in order to educate their school on LGTBQ issues, offering a way for their peers to anonymously ask questions. Their work has also led to a “GSA Edition” in their weekly aired Student News, giving a platform and a voice to LGTBQ people and history, and raising awareness around multiple issues.

In their community, the Roland Park GSA has worked actively with the GLSEN Baltimore Chapter as well as partner organization PFLAG. Serving as a model for other GSAs across the country, their group testified at a school board meeting to advocate for clearer district policy and guidance around LGBTQ issues.

From pushing for all gender bathrooms to working towards intersectionality alongside other student groups such as The Diversity Club, the Roland Park Elementary/Middle School GSA continuously demonstrates how important our shared vision of inclusivity is.

First Data, Corporate Ally Award

First Data is being honored for its business leadership and commitment to being an ally to GLSEN and LGBTQ youth everywhere.

For years, First Data’s investment in GLSEN has had a tremendous impact on our work. From expanding our networks to elevating GLSEN’s profile and increasing revenue towards our annual Respect Awards – this invaluable partnership has helped us promote all aspects of our work. Our shared values of celebrating diversity and promoting equality for all have been a driving force in expanding our programming, and allow us to continue working together in creating school environments where all youth can thrive and be respected for who they are.

First Data’s visible commitment to LGBTQ youth has made them a role model and leader in their field. Most recently they announced a gender-neutral paid parental leave policy so that all First Data families will be able to benefit from paid leave when welcoming a new child. They continue to demonstrate and signal their core values of respect, unity and inclusion – and have been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index as a “Best Place to Work”, earning 100 percent on the LGBT Workplace Equality Scorecard for three straight years. First Data has also been listed on DiversityInc’s 25 Noteworthy Companies for 2015-17.

First Data’s partnership with GLSEN will allow us to keep moving the needle of progress forward, and change the lives of millions of LGBTQ youth across the country.

Previous GLSEN Respect Awards honorees have included: Ilene Chaiken; George Stephanopoulos and Alexandra Wentworth; Blue 449, accepted by Dave Ehlers; Matthew Morrison; Jon Stryker; Janet Mock, LZ Granderson, USA Characters Unite campaign Michel Mercure and David Dechman, Chely Wright, and Cyndi Lauper.

The event is co-chaired by Cindy Armine-Klein, Chely Blitzer-Wright, Barbara Frankel, Michel Mercure, and Elizabeth Stribling-Kivlan. The 2017 GLSEN Respect Awards – New York are presented by Hollister Co. and sponsored by Wells Fargo, First Data, AT&T, Delta, Sonnet & Ian McKinnon; Michel Mercure & David Dechman; Ryan Pedlow & Cameron Kessel; & Target.

For more information about the GLSEN Respect Awards – New York, please visit glsen.org/respectawards


Darryl “DMC” McDaniels Helps The Felix Organization Raise Over $300,000 At Dance This Way

May 11, 2017 09:00 am
Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Sheila Jaffe and friends, family and supporters of The Felix Organization got together at Stage 48 in New York to “Dance this Way” and raise funds to support summer camps and programs for inner-city children in the foster care system.

Darryl “DMC” McDaniels Performs at Dance This Way
Credit/Copyright: Albie Mitchell

Nearly 400 people put on their dancing shoes and raised more than $300,000. Teams danced through the decades, enjoyed a performance by McDaniels, and a special DJ set from TJ Mizell, son of the late Jam Master Jay.

James Wahlberg, executive director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, was honored with the 2017 Dream Maker Award, for his commitment to help under-privileged youth as well as his long-time support of The Felix Organization. Unable to attend, his brother, Mark Wahlberg delivered a heartfelt video message to him and the crowd.

Attendees included:
Carol Alt: Model / Actress
Carol Kane: The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt
Darryl “DMC” McDaniels: co-founder of The Felix Organization and hip hop legend and co-founder of Run DMC
DSon McDaniels: Rapper and son of Darryl “DMC” McDaniels
James Wahlberg: Dream Maker Award Winner, executive director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation
Lorraine Bracco: honorary Chair of The Felix Organization; The Sopranos
Margaux Guerard: The Sopranos, Goodfellas; Daughter of actor Lorraine Bracco
Michael Lang: board member, The Felix Organization and co-creator of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival
Scott Cohen: Gilmore Girls
Sheila Jaffe: co-founder of The Felix Organization, Emmy award winning casting director (The Sopranos, Entourage, Patriots Day)
TJ Mizell: VH1’s Growing Up Hip Hop, son of the late Jam Master Jay
Vincent Pastore: The Sopranos, Animal



Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff Connects With Children Incorporated

May 11, 2017 07:30 am

Children, Inc.: Profile

Dr Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff is connecting with Children Incorporated to match 2000 sponsorships with impoverished children worldwide.

“There are many fine agencies to choose from, but my personal favorite is Children Incorporated… the experience has brought tremendous joy and satisfaction to my entire family.”

When Dr. Carlson first published those words two decades ago, he probably had no idea the impact it would have on the fate of children, families, and communities all around the globe. One of the most impactful and visionary self-help books of the last generation – with over 25 million copies sold and considered a key text in the global movement towards mindfulness and self-care – Carlson’s shout-out to Children Incorporated resulted in a flood of sponsors that organization president Ron Carter calls “one of the most meaningful things to ever happen to our organization.”

Dr. Carlson’s legacy is continued by his widow, Kristine Carlson, herself a best-selling author, TED Talk veteran, and internationally acclaimed speaker. To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, Carlson has teamed up with Children Incorporated to generate 2000 new sponsors in conjunction with the book’s reissue.

With programs in over 23 countries (including nearly 150 in the United States), Children Incorporated connects individual donors with the needs of specific children who are in desperate need – of food, shelter, clothing, school supplies, and most of all, human generosity. Since being founded by Jeanne Clarke Wood in 1964, the Richmond, VA-based organization has directly impacted the lives of over 250,000 children.

Finding 2000 new sponsors is an ambitious goal, admits Shelley Callahan, Director of Development for Children Incorporated, but a worthy one. “Since the first edition of Dr. Carlson’s book came out twenty years ago, we’ve gained roughly about 6000 sponsorships,” she says. “An additional 2000 – to add to the 9000 we already have active – would be a really big deal. We could grow our programs, adding more projects to the 300 we already serve, as well as directly impact the lives of that many more needy children.”

The life-blood of Children Incorporated is getting help to individual children with every sponsorship, but their broader vision extends into those children’s homes and communities, magnifying the impact of each donation. From helping to build schoolhouses and safe homes in Bolivia, to clean water projects in India and Sri Lanka, to stuffing the backpacks of poor children in Appalachia with food so they don’t go hungry over the weekend, each project is based on local concerns and needs.

New donors inspired by Dr. Carlson’s life and work can click here for more information and easy access to Children Incorporated’s history and details about their current programs.

Spotlight: Wayne Gretzky’s Charity Work

May 11, 2017 07:00 am

Wayne Gretzky

A trip to Gretzky’s fantasy camp raised $9,510 for tsunami relief efforts.

Wayne formed the Wayne Gretzky Foundation to help teach underpriveledged youth important life skills through sport.

Read more about Wayne Gretzky’s charity work and events.

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Spotlight: Music for Relief’s Celebrity Supporters

May 11, 2017 06:00 am
Started by Linkin Park, Music for Relief responds to natural disasters as they occur to help victims recover and rebuild, with an emphasis on housing, education programs and resources.

The organization also recognizes the environmental consequences of global warming, which have demonstrated the capability to accelerate and strengthen certain types of natural disasters. Therefore the second goal of MUSIC FOR RELIEF is to help prevent and decrease future natural disasters by reducing greenhouse gasses, seeking renewable forms of energy and educating the public about climate change.

Celebrity supporters

Music for Relief has 40 known supporters, including Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and U2

Areas of work

Read more about Music for Relief’s work and celebrity supporters.