Country singer Chris Young has donated $100,000 to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in the US.
Young has set up a GoFundMe page for donations.
“I have family and friends there and I’m fairly positive my house down there may have to be torn down as it was in one of the hardest hit areas by wind and flooding,” Young said. “But that’s the least of my concern. I’m worried about the people there. Like I said, my friends, family, neighbors and I want to help.
“I’m pledging $100,000 to benefit the Red Cross in an effort to help everyone in Texas that has been affected by this hurricane. All donations will be routed through the Chris Young Foundation to distribute directly to Harvey relief through the Red Cross and other disaster relief organizations.”
To join Chris Young, visit his GoFundMe page here.
They will join Viola Davis and Julius Tennon, who also serve as executive producers, in the all-star telecast, which will air live from Los Angeles on all four major U.S. networks – ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC – on Friday, Sept. 8 at 8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed.
In September 2015, XQ: The Super School Project launched an open call to rethink and design the next American high schools. Since then, thousands of communities across the country have come together to reimagine high school education. “EIFPresents: XQ Super School Live” will highlight the incredible progress of this fast-growing movement and challenge viewers to build upon it.
The telecast will feature a live musical performance by Andra Day, comedy sketches and moving documentary segments to bring to life the past, present and future of high school in America. The evening will culminate in a special performance led by Jennifer Hudson with Sheryl Crow, Max Weinberg and Max Weinberg’s Jukebox, Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, MC Hammer, Jon Boogz and Sheila E.
“We’ve been proud to partner with XQ’s team on this movement to innovate the current American high school system,” said the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Lisa Paulsen. “This live special is a continuation of that effort and will be an incredible opportunity for some of the biggest names in our industry to help inspire the public to join us in working together to prepare every student for success.”
“We all know America’s high schools need to be transformed to prepare students for jobs that don’t yet exist and a future that we can never see with perfect clarity. Since the launch of XQ two years ago, we have taken an empirical, crowd-sourced approach to gathering great ideas and educational solutions from communities, large and small, across the country. It has been enormously inspiring to see students, parents, educators, artists, entrepreneurs and community leaders work together to create breakthrough schools that are both innovative and rigorous,” said Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and President of the Emerson Collective, and Board Chair of the XQ Institute. “On Sept. 8th, together with entertainers, celebrities, business leaders, cultural influencers, and millions of Americans watching the show on television or on-line, we will make a commitment to taking the next steps together to guarantee a first-rate education for every American high school student.”
“Our core belief at XQ is that we are best as a country when we come together to solve big problems,” said XQ Founder and CEO Russlynn Ali, “And that fixing our educational system is one of the biggest problems there is. Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, we all have a vital interest in preparing America’s young people for the opportunities of the 21st century. But change of this magnitude is extraordinarily difficult, and won’t happen unless we unite around this common cause. Together with the Entertainment Industry Foundation, XQ is partnering with an extraordinary group of creative people to make the case that change is both urgently necessary but also within our reach if we work together.”
The star-studded event in support of the national education initiative will broadcast live from Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport. In collaboration with Davis and Tennon, the telecast will be produced by Done + Dusted and directed by Hamish Hamilton. Telecast partners also include Anonymous Content, MACRO and Wise Entertainment.
The show will also include multi-platform digital components so viewers can engage and participate online, on mobile and in their communities. To join the movement and learn more, click here.
XQ inspires communities to help reshape high school so it prepares every student for success in college, career and life. XQ: The Super School Project launched in September 2015 as an open call to rethink and design the American high school. More than 10,000 students, educators, parents and community leaders from all 50 states and representing nearly 4,000 communities answered this call by proposing innovative, student-centered models for 21st century learning. Today, these innovators and supporters are a community of 78,000 strong and growing. To date, XQ has pledged $115 million to a growing number of the most promising ideas, actively supporting these teams on their journeys to become Super Schools.
XQ is led by Co-Founder and CEO Russlynn Ali, former Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights under President Barack Obama, and Co-Founder and Board Chair Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective. Board members include Yo-Yo Ma, Marc Ecko, Geoffrey Canada, Michael Klein and Leon Wieseltier. For more information, click here.
Last week, Staples, Inc. held the first Staples for Students Kindness Summit, an event bringing together youth, educators, and experts for an engaging discussion about the importance of promoting kindness to create a positive classroom experience as students across the country begin a new school year.
The Chicago event was co-hosted by Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, to support the wellness of young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world.
At the Staples for Students Kindness Summit, Born This Way Foundation unveiled the Illinois-specific results of its new survey: Kind Communities – A Bridge to Youth Mental Wellness. The findings – drawn from a nationwide study – explore how a young person’s mental health is impacted by their relationships and environments, including their classrooms.
During a panel discussion moderated by educator, author and CNN Education contributor, Dr. Steve Perry, thought leaders and local stakeholders discussed key findings from the study, including:
• More than 40% of Illinois high schoolers say their schools are not kind communities. Just 57% of the state’s high schoolers say they are in a community where people are kind. This is concerning as the survey shows a strong correlation between youth who describe their environments as kind and better mental health indicators.
• Illinois high schools are doing a good job providing at fostering kindness in several key ways. For example, the state’s high school teachers are significantly more likely to say hello to students as they arrive in the morning – 55% compared to 45% nationwide – which the survey found to be an important indicator of kind school communities.
• Illinois youth are stressed. Half of high school respondents say they are stressed, in line with the national average, while 73% of college students and 69% of employed youth use the word to describe themselves, exceeding the national average for both groups.
• Illinois parents vastly underestimate the role of stress in their children’s lives. While one in five young people in the state report being a very nervous person all or most of the time in the past month, just one in fifteen parents describe their child that way. This discrepancy is significantly larger in Illinois than it is nationally.
“As kids across the country head back to school, we understand that filling classrooms with kindness and positivity is just as important as making sure they’re stocked with the right supplies for the school year,” said Michelle Bottomley, chief marketing officer, Staples. “We’re thrilled to be working with Born This Way Foundation to shine a light on the importance of kindness in the classroom, and to ensure that students start the school year off on a positive note.”
Members of the Staples for Students Kindness Summit panel included: Maya Enista Smith, Executive Director, Born This Way Foundation; Raul Palacios, Ed.S., Research Assistant, Born This Way Foundation; Gerard Kovach, an 8th grade teacher at McCutcheon Elementary School in Chicago; and Kishoanda Johnson, a local young person who received Born This Way Foundation’s Channel Kindness Award for her work with The Night Ministry, a Chicago homelessness services organization.
“We know that students do best in schools that are kind, supportive, and empowering,” said Cynthia Germanotta, president and co-founder, Born This Way Foundation. “It was inspiring to hear today from some of Chicago’s amazing students and teachers about their commitment to fostering kindness in the classroom and beyond.”
To help Staples for Students and Born This Way Foundation support teachers and students nationwide, make a donation in Staples stores or online at www.StaplesForStudents.org.
Announcing DonorsChoose.org Chicago Funding and Digital Kindness Tree Launch
In the spirit of helping create positive classroom experiences, Staples also announced that 890 teacher projects on DonorsChoose.org in the Chicago area will receive full funding as part of Staples’s $1 million donation to the organization. DonorsChoose.org is a charity that has funded more than 900,000 classroom projects for teachers since its founding, benefitting more than 22 million students.
With a donation of more than $400,000 to support Chicago classrooms, Staples impacted 612 teachers and more than 85,000 students in the community.
Earlier this month, Staples and Born This Way Foundation teamed up to create the Staples for Students Digital Kindness Tree to encourage people nationwide to promote kindness in schools and celebrate everyday acts of kindness. Consumers can help it grow by visiting www.StaplesKindnessTree.com or by Tweeting with hashtag #GrowKindness. On the website and Twitter, users have the opportunity to describe an act of kindness that they recently performed, witnessed or pledge to do. Each time an act of kindness is reported, a “leaf” will be added to the tree, which will continue to grow throughout the summer with each kind act reported.
The Farrah Fawcett Foundation (FFF) announced today its highly-anticipated event, Tex-Mex Fiesta, returns this year for a special evening to honor Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and its Council of Founders and Advisors including Sherry Lansing, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela O. Williams, Ellen Ziffren, Katie Couric, Kathleen Lobb, and Sung Poblete with The Angel Award for excellence in innovative cancer research.
The star-studded event, co-chaired by actress Jaclyn Smith and Dr. Lawrence Piro, will return to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills on Saturday, September 9, 2017. Guests will enjoy a raffle led by George Hamilton and Fred Willard, a special musical performance, a one-of-a-kind live auction, and more. Award-winning restaurant El Cholo will cater the fiesta-style event, a theme inspired by the late Farrah Fawcett and her home state of Texas. The Tex-Mex Fiesta was first held in 2015, and raised over $500,000 to help support the cause. Proceeds from this year’s event will once again benefit Stand Up To Cancer.
Farrah Fawcett established the Farrah Fawcett Foundation in 2007 shortly after her own cancer diagnosis, with the goal of finding a cure by supporting cutting-edge research. Since Fawcett’s passing in 2009 from anal cancer, a type of cancer that is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) in up to ninety percent of cases, the Foundation’s President and CEO Alana Stewart has fought to carry out Farrah’s wishes. In 2013, The Farrah Fawcett Foundation joined forces with Stand Up To Cancer to create the SU2C-FFF Translational Research Team, headed by Dr. Ellis Reinherz and Dr. Robert Haddad at Dana Farber in Boston. The Team is now conducting a clinical trial with a therapeutic vaccine for those patients that have no other treatment options. The FFF is also committed to creating patient assistance funds, and supports prevention and awareness programs.
“We are thrilled to honor SU2C at our second Tex-Mex Fiesta and to continue raising funds for cancer research in Farrah’s memory,” said Alana Stewart. “Our partnership with SU2C has expedited treatment options for all HPV-related cancers. Farrah wanted to make a difference and this night will help further that goal.”
Aug 28, 2017 07:30 am Susan G. Komen Chicago will hold its Ignite the Fight Gala presented by Wintrust on Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Westin River North, celebrating 20 years of funding global research and providing critical breast health services for the underserved in the Chicago area.
The anniversary celebration will feature Mario Lopez, Emmy-winning host of “Extra,” as the Celebrity More than Pink Ambassador, as well as 20 More Than Pink Heroes, who will be honored for their exceptional compassion, bravery and leadership in the fight against breast cancer.
The Gala will kick off with the Dearborn Street and Clark Street bridges over the Chicago River being illuminated in pink. The lighting ceremony, led by Ed Wehmer, president and CEO of Wintrust, will celebrate extraordinary people who have “bridged the gap,” by fighting to even the playing field for those who lack resources.
More than 1,000 people in the Chicago area die from breast cancer each year, and there is a large disparity in the city, with the mortality rate of African-American women being 40 percent higher than Caucasian women, according to Komen Chicago executive director Bonnie Gordon. Many of those deaths could have been prevented, with an earlier diagnosis and optimal care. Komen Chicago has distributed $17.4 million in community grants over the past 20 years, to ensure the underserved throughout the Chicago area get the care they need.
The bridge lighting takes place at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner, awards and dancing. Pink ties and pink cocktail attire encouraged. Tickets are now on sale at www.komenchicago.org/gala.
“All of us have been touched by cancer. Wintrust is excited to help give everyone a fighting chance for survival as we partner with Komen Chicago’s incredible 20th anniversary celebration,” Wehmer says. “We’re honored that so many inspirational people are lending their voices and sharing their stories to help Komen Chicago achieve the goal of providing Quality Care for All in Chicago.”
In addition to Lopez, an appearance client of Esterman.com, special guests and More Than Pink Heroes include Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen, and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton. Other Heroes include those who have faced the disease or lost loved ones, volunteers and caregivers. Gala co-chairs are the mother/daughter team of Marcy and Katie Twardak.
Aug 28, 2017 06:00 am
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America’s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education. Founded in 1997, VH1 Save The Music was the first organization in existence dedicated to restoring music programs in America’s schools. For nearly 20 years, the foundation has donated over $53 million worth of new musical instruments to 2,024 public schools in 247 school districts around the country to date — impacting the lives of more than 3 million public school students. Learn about the foundation’s Play It Forward campaign in celebration of its 20th anniversary here: on.vh1.com/playitforward