Posts tagged with "nonprofit"

NFL, szemui ho, 360 MAGAZINE

Taste of the NFL

Super Bowl LIV Kicks Off!
The Nation’s Top Chefs and NFL Players Gather in South Florida for
Taste of the NFL’s Party with a Purpose®
 
Super Bowl LIV has finally arrived in South Florida and San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are gearing up for the big game. The iconic Party with a Purpose® by Taste of the NFL traditionally takes place on the eve of the Super Bowl and for its 29th year it will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida.
 
The Taste of the NFL’s annual star-studded strolling wine and food event brings together exceptional cuisine, over 40 prominent chefs from around the country, NFL players, coaches, legends, celebrities, and more, all to support the fight against hunger. The nationwide fundraising campaign’s net proceeds directly support food banks nationwide. The event will feature a chef from each NFL city serving their signature dish alongside a current or alumni NFL player.
 
This year Chef Parke Ulrich from Waterbar in San Francisco, California and former 49ers linebacker and NFL 2000 Hall of Fame star Dave Wilcox are teamed up to represent the San Francisco 49ers. Together the duo will be serving up Dungeness Crab Fried Rice with uni mayo and bacon.

Representing the Kansas City Chiefs is Chef Michael Smith of Michael Smith Restaurant in Kansas City and former Kansas City Chief Eddie Kennison. Chef Smith is the city’s first James Beard Award-winning chef and will be serving Moroccan Lamb Harira & Cous Cous.

The team of national guest hosts for 2020 includes the legendary Coach Don Shula serving as the National Honorary Chair; Chef Andrew Zimmern – National Culinary Host; Chef Adam Richman – Florida Culinary Host; and Ben Leber as the National Player Host.
 
Local Miami Dolphin alumni and chefs who are absolute must-see’s at the event are former Dolphins linebacker John Offerdahl and James Beard Award winning Chef Allen Susser, who will be representing the Miami Dolphins; Chef Demetrio Zavala from Shula’s Restaurant Group and former Dolphins safety Dick Anderson are representing Shula’s American Steakhouse and the Dolphins’ Perfect Season; last season’s host committee chef representative Executive Chef Paula DaSilva from The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale and Burlock Coast; 2019 Grid Iron Grill Off Battle winner Chef Brad Phillips from Even Keel Fish & Oyster and this year’s Kick Hunger Challenge winner Chef Jorge Gutierrez from Lona on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
 
In addition, The Diplomat Restaurant Group (DRG) has joined the team with its collection of notable chefs and will host a pop-up tailgate party at this year’s Party with a Purpose® – Michael Schulson/Taek Lee (Monkitail); Daniel Siegelman (Point Royal/Counter Point); and Rashaad Abdool (Diplomat Prime). Photo ops, lite bites, the DRG Kick Hunger Signature Cocktail, Apple Cider Mule, and desserts will be offered as a “Taste of The Diplomat” VIP welcome reception experience.
 
For a full event menu please visit https://www.tasteofthenfl.com/event-menu.
 
The roster of celebrity guests at this year’s After Party will be one of the hottest in TNFL’s 29-year history. Leading the entertainers is Derrick Wright – a top musical director and drummer in the entertainment industry who has worked with some of the world’s most notable singer/songwriters such as Janet Jackson, Adele, Alicia Keys, Toni Braxton, and Marc Anthony, among others. Joining Wright is a group of the best, most in-demand recording and touring musicians and vocalists in the biz including: Amanda Brown; Ali Caldwell; Cheryl Pepsii Riley; Guy Lockard; Al “Boogie” Carty; Miles Robertson; Ricardo Ramos; and Peter Wise. To make it extra sweet, Celebrity Chef and Cake Boss Buddy Valastro’s team will be offering an array of desserts to wrap up the evening.
 
Tickets for the not-to-be-missed fundraiser, Party with a Purpose® on Saturday, February 1, 2020 can be purchased at tasteofthenfl.com/tickets. Tickets include food, beverage, auction access, merchandise opportunities for autographs and photos, and access to the After Party with live celebrity entertainment. 100% of the net proceeds will benefit food banks in each NFL city, including Feeding South Florida locally. The Diplomat Beach Resort is located at 3555 South Ocean Drive in Hollywood, Florida. Sponsorship opportunities are still available including a special top-tier level, Hunger Heroes Partners. This limited designation features an elevated experience with exclusive perks including early admittance to the event, complimentary parking, table seating in the VIP section, tickets to the invitation-only Friday Night Huddle event (a thank you party for chefs, players and sponsors) and more. For more ticket and sponsor information, please visit: http://tasteofthenfl.com.

About Taste of The NFL

Since 1992, Taste of the NFL (a 501c3 organization) has rallied the country’s top chefs and the NFL’s greatest players to raise money in support of food banks throughout the United States. To-date, Taste of the NFL’s programs and events have raised and donated in excess of $26 million to food banks and nonprofit organizations in the 32 NFL cities, resulting in more than 220 million meals for Americans in need (many of them children and seniors), who have turned to their local food banks for assistance. The season-long efforts culminate each year with the Taste of the NFL’s Party with a Purpose®. Held on the eve of the Super Bowl. The star-studded fundraising event brings together exceptional cuisine, prominent chefs from around the country, NFL players, coaches, legends and more, all to support the fight against hunger. Learn more about Taste of the NFL at www.TasteoftheNFL.com.

About Kick Hunger Challenge

The Kick Hunger Challenge is an online-only fundraising campaign spearheaded by Taste of the NFL. This friendly “competition” pits fans from all 32 NFL teams against each other to raise money for food banks in NFL communities nationwide. Throughout the official NFL football season, and through Super Bowl Weekend, fans have the opportunity to support one of the 32 NFL teams and directly impact the donation of thousands of meals to food banks in their team’s community. Learn more about the Kick Hunger Challenge at www.kickhungerchallenge.com.

About The Diplomat Beach Resort

As ‘The Centerpiece of South Florida,’ The Diplomat Beach Resort, Hollywood, Florida’s most iconic property, boasts 1,000 guestrooms and suites, 8 different culinary destinations, two sun-drenched pools, 26 poolside cabanas – including four designed by the iconic fashion brand, Trina Turk, a deluxe spa and fitness center, and 209,000 square feet of meetings and event space. Additionally, The Diplomat is the largest in hotel convention space in South Florida with the most expansive ballroom south of Orlando. Each dining destination is rooted in strong culinary sensibilities and exudes brand individuality, creating distinct spaces and experiences, from famed Restaurateur and Chef Michael Schulson’s award-winning Monkitail, to Celebrity Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s Point Royal. Located at 3555 South Ocean Drive in Hollywood, Florida, the resort is spread across the Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean, and within a 10-minute drive from the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. For reservations please call 1-954-602-6000 or visit www.diplomatresort.com

About Curio Collection by Hilton

Curio Collection by Hilton is an upper-upscale, global portfolio of nearly 80 one-of-a-kind hotels and resorts. Curio Collection properties provide travelers authentic, curated experiences through distinctly local offerings and unexpected amenities, while providing the benefits of Hilton and its award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors. Read the latest brand and hotel stories at newsroom.hilton.com/curio, and connect with Curio Collection on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.


Inua Partners in Hope

Judith A. Burnett, PhD, associate professor of counselor education at Stetson University, has been helping youth who are impacted by HIV/AIDS in Naivasha, Kenya in the Rift Valley Province, which is located northwest of Nairobi, collaboratively as a team member of Inua Partners in Hope for the past three years.

The nonprofit organization is a faith-based ministry that works to expand the opportunities of orphaned and vulnerable youth. Many of the youth have lost their parents to HIV or AIDS. Inua, which means to lift together, raise up or elevate in Swahili, helps them overcome poverty, malnutrition and illness in order to become self-sufficient and achieve long-term sustainability.

Youth are enrolled in the two-year Inua Partners in Hope program, which includes mentors and embraces the well-being of the whole child by focusing on life skills and the eight dimensions of wellness: emotional wellness, physical wellness, social wellness, occupational wellness, spiritual wellness, intellectual wellness, environmental wellness and financial wellness.

Mothers who are infected with HIV or AIDS can transfer the disease to their children. The program provides the youth with reproductive health information as part of their life-skills training, so they can receive education about the subject, medication and support if they are infected with the disease.

Dr. Burnett is an expert in reproductive health and felt her background and research could make a difference with the Kenyan youth.

Discussing reproductive health is a challenging subject, but Dr. Burnett is in the process of developing training that is culturally meaningful and relatable to both men and women.

In August, clinical mental health master’s student Joey Lynn Jachec, who is the project’s research assistant, delivered to the Kenyan team the collaboratively-designed mentor training curriculum and had an opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony. The opportunity was a life-changing experience where she was able to hear the graduates’ success stories and learn how Inua Partners in Hope provided them with the tools for success that helped them find a career and become self-sufficient.

There were 200 youth who participated in the program during the last youth program cycle. At the end of the program, 181 completed the graduation assessment.

Since the Inua Partners in Hope program began nine years ago, 437 youth have graduated and more than 2,000 youth have been impacted, which includes the graduates’ siblings and children.

Dr. Burnett and Joey Lynn discussed their Inua Partners in Hope involvement and the mental health curriculum for youth in Naivasha, Kenya during a presentation at the Webster Vienna Private University in Vienna, Austria in October. The presentation was well-received during the conference, which was hosted by the European branch of the American Counseling Association.

ESPN, leadership dinner, 360 MAGAZINE

ESPN Leadership Dinner

On Thursday, November 14th at 6:30 PM ESPN celebrated today’s visionaries and their role on leveraging innovation to impact change. The dinner will take place ahead of Beyond Innovation – an annual event hosted by Beyond Sport, which will convene a series of leaders and innovators across sports, technology, government and education to inspire cross-sector discussion and partnership on innovative solutions to the global STEM workforce crisis.

Both Thursday’s dinner and Beyond Innovation are private, invite only events. Thursday’s dinner kicked things off and was headlined by David Goldstein of SpaceX. Goldstein will give his perspective on the tech space and the opportunity to advance, such as landscape, insights on where the tech world is sitting at the moment, what does it take to work as a leader in tech, and lightly touch on the sport angle and how they can connect/engage. 

Thursday night’s turnout was phenomenal at the iconic Dodger Stadium. Beyond Innovation started the topic of conversation about how important the role of sports and STEM education is to our community.

David Goldstein, retired Air Force colonel, gave a very motivating speech on what it takes to be a good leader.

“You need to inspire, engage and have grit in what you do to help others get to their destination and be able to pass that knowledge on to our upcoming leaders as well.”

Rethink Food NYC Named 2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Rethink Food NYC has been named a “2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit” by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews of charities and nonprofits. Rethink is one of the first organizations to earn this award in 2019, receiving high ratings from its volunteers, clients and donors for its work to rescue unused food, feed New York City’s food insecure, and find long-term solutions to food waste and hunger.

“We’re honored to be named a top-rated nonprofit by GreatNonprofits,” said Matt Jozwiak, Executive Director and Founder of Rethink Food NYC. “We’re grateful for the recognition from our community, and we look forward to continuing our work to eliminate food insecurity for every New York City family.”

About Rethink Food NYC: Rethink Food NYC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that collects excess food from restaurants, farms, events, and food vendors to create new meals for those in need. Since beginning weekly operations in September 2018, Rethink has repurposed and distributed more than 40,000 ready-to-eat and nutritionally dense meals to local soup kitchens and community centers. Rethink partners with world-renowned restaurants like Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, and the NoMad; urban farms like Square Roots and Gotham Greens, and leading financial institutions to help advance its mission. This year, the organization aims to collect 200,000 pounds of food and serve 500,000 meals—lifting approximately 8,000 people from food insecurity. Learn more and get involved at RethinkFood.NYC.

Photo Credit: Sam Keeler / Rethink Food NYC

PathSpot Awarded Funding

Today, nonprofit Women Who Tech, one of the largest organizations that funds and showcases women-led ventures, announced the winner of the 2019 Women Startup Challenge hosted at Google.

Women-led startups from across the US and Canada pitched their ventures before a prestigious panel of tech industry executives and investors on May 29th at Google’s NYC headquarters.

PathSpot cofounder and CEO Christine Schindler was awarded the grand prize of $50,000 for their innovative hand-scanning system that eliminates the threat of foodborne illness by instantly detecting invisible signs of bacteria and viruses that cause foodborne illness including Norovirus, E.coli, Listeria, Hepatitis A, and Salmonella.

The Audience Choice Award went to Stephanie Yim, cofounder of Good Call, who will receive $120,000 in cloud services from Google for establishing a centralized 24/7 arrest support hotline for those detained to provide legal support in under a minute.

The eight other finalists – Basepaws, Ejenta, Elidah, Farm Fare, i-Subz, Metalmark Innovations, Queen of Raw and The Growcer – will each receive $20,000 in cloud services from Google.

“There is a severe disparity when it comes to funding diverse startups – we need to equally back those who are making an audacious impact on a national and global level. Our Women Startup Challenge at Google successfully showcased an array of innovators who need funding to scale,” said Allyson Kapin, founder of Women Who Tech. “We have hard data to show the investor world that placing big bets on women-led startups will generate big returns.”

“Investors need to put their money where their mouths are to support women founders and close the funding gap for good. This will help maximize innovation and create products that are useful to everyone,” said Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and Advisory Board member for Women Who Tech.

The jury included investors:

  • Ellie Wheeler, Partner at Greycroft
  • Jen Wolf, Partner and COO of Initialized Capital
  • Jenny Fielding, Managing Director of Techstars and Cofounder of The Fund
  • Nashilu Mouen-Makoua, Investor at First Round Capital
  • Nisha Dua, General Partner at BBG Ventures

The 10 finalists will also be  hosted at Silicon Valley Bank for one-on-one meetings with investors.

About Women Who Tech

Founded in 2008, Women Who Tech is helping to draw global attention to the significant gender bias in venture capital funding by shaking up a culture and an economy that has made it exceedingly difficult for women to launch and scale their startups.

By showcasing women-led ventures through Women Who Tech’s flagship Women Startup Challenges, the nonprofit provides capital, mentoring, direct access to leading investors, and other resources for women who are creating the most innovative tech companies, with the ultimate goal of closing the funding gap for good. To date,84% of the Women Startup Challenge alumni have raised investor funding, collectively totaling $53M+.

The Women Startup Challenge is one of the largest global programs to showcase and fund women-led tech startups, hosting thousands of women innovators across the world including New York, Silicon Valley, London (co-hosted by the Office of Mayor Sadiq Khan), and Paris (co-hosted by the Office of Mayor Anne Hidalgo). For information, visit www.WomenWhoTech.com.

The Women Startup Challenge is supported by Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Google, Pineapple Fund, Rad Campaign, Techstars, Silicon Valley Bank, Donna Griffit Storyteller, and more.

Anne Welsh

Interview with Instagram influencer Anne Welsh

In simple terms, Anne Welsh is a hard-working, fashion-driven mum, who shares her lifestyle and experiences of positive living on Instagram. But she is also much more than that. The former Chairperson of the UK Sickle Cell Society and Founder/President of ‘Arise Consult’ is a passionate advocate for people with chronic illness.

Anne influences many people with her fashion style, travel and lifestyle in general. But sharing content of her everyday life has resulted in her gaining nearly a million Instagram followers.

Prior to becoming a social media influencer, Anne had a formidable academic career focused on obtaining an Accounting and Finance Degree as an undergraduate and then attending the prestigious ‘Cass Business School’ in London to complete a further Master’s degree in Investment Management. Before founding ‘Arise Consult’, her career roles included Vice President at New World Capital and Senior Vice-Associate of Marketing at Investment Bank, Lehman Brothers and Neuberger Berman.

Being a mother has changed Anne in many ways, but especially in her views on ‘compassionate’ fashion for women. She shares her advice to future bloggers and reveals how she became an Instagram influencer.

Anne, how did you build up the huge following you have on Instagram? How did all start?

I must say it wasn’t an easy start. It was a journey that still continues every day. Firstly, I had an aspiration to be an influencer and role model for family living as well as for people who are challenged by chronic diseases; however, I was not exactly sure how to achieve that goal.

I researched multiple platforms and the right platform for me was Instagram. I have now been involved with Instagram for two years and the platform continues to improve in allowing users to post with more sophistication and gain more followers. I find that I can directly approach anyone in the community and learn from other people’s experiences.

A theme that has always permeated my story boards is to promote the awareness of sickle cell disease. As a sickle cell sufferer, I felt obligated to tell positive and uplifting stories that would inspire others to achieve great things in their personal lives. I also found out that this positive approach to life has been embraced by many people living ordinary lives, but who are looking for a ‘new spark’ or who may be facing personal challenges outside of their control.

Building my Instagram following was not something that happened over night. You must post regularly and gradually; through comments and likes, you become to understand what people like and prefer to see posted. Improving on the posting experience is an evolutionary story. Be patient, as success is unlikely to happen quickly.

What are your posts all about and how do you interact with your followers?

My posts are usually centered around my personal experiences; travelling, beauty, fashion and lifestyle, with an important focus on health. Fashion is almost always a part of my posts and I get to work with my children and family on these aspects. Styles & certain fashion looks become my form of communication, an expression of my femininity, a way to find new statements and rediscover myself. That is why I love to showcase fashion and beauty aspects.

Sharing travel destinations is typically another function of my job description. I am fortunate enough to travel to many places internationally as well as locally across the UK. London itself is a world class destination with so many great photo opportunities. When I am at a location it requires significant schedule and logistics planning so that I can fit in business meetings between getting to photogenic sightseeing locations. Sometimes this can be very difficult to accomplish, and discipline is the key.

I am also happy to show some details of my family life, specifically woven around those interesting moments I share with my kids, my nieces and nephews and the family’s daily routine. I have found this part of my postings to be very popular. I am sure my followers encounter many of the same challenges I do with having a family, so it is a common bond we share.

What is your partnering philosophy with different brands?

I am very selective with brands. I usually accept invitations from only a small percentage of the brands that approach me. The first hurdle for a brand that seeks collaboration with me is I must love the product or service. If I don’t hold that passion it will come across to my followers as not very genuine and this will not achieve the marketing results of the product. When I post something which includes a brand, it is because it is the best in the sector.

Another key aspect of my personal brand, Anne Welsh, is that I interact with my followers. I work diligently to keep them updated and I personally respond to many of the questions I am asked. This level of interaction is actually a key requirement of the clients that approach me.

What is your best advice for people who want to become Instagram fashion or lifestyle bloggers?

My best advice for anyone who wants to be a lifestyle or fashion influencer is to be yourself. I think the only way to achieve success is to be original and at the same time be able to translate that originality into your own distinctive brand that companies can see as being useful for their business.

My passion for my family, the fact that I suffer with sickle cell disease and where I live have all been instrumental in developing my original offer. I would also follow-up that to say this is a very competitive market and clients are becoming much more savvy in how and at what level they pay Instagram influencers.

Using the fashion theme as an example, I consistently showcase my ‘Passion for Fashion’ and prominently display my latest looks on my website and on my Instagram page. You don’t have to have a million-dollar wardrobe, but you have to be thoughtful in what you purchase and research how these pieces can be recycled in unique ways.

Do you have any special projects coming up?

I have a very special project coming up, that is so dear to me. It has been my absolute dream for the last ten years to complete a book that improves the awareness of Sickle Cell Disease. My greatest influence will be to showcase to sufferers that your quality of life can be improved; that there is hope. The book is a memoir of my life, and the daily challenges that I have faced and how I have overcome them to be where I am today.

The book will be released on 19th of June to coincide with the United Nations Sickle Cell Day.

City Gala Los Angeles

4th Annual City Summit & Gala Honors Colin Farrell and Wesley Snipes While Raising Critical Funds for Six Beneficiary Charities.

Socially conscious nonprofit honored at the 4th Annual City Gala.

About City Gala Los Angeles 2019:

The City Gala‘s vision is to advance community through humanitarian activities and events. The founder of the gala, Ryan Long, volunteers for the beneficiaries of the gala for a full year prior to the event. Long’s goal is to train, develop, and assist each beneficiary of the gala that is aligned with solving the world’s global grand challenges. This year’s gala featured amazing speakers such as: Les Brown, Colin Farrell & Wesley Snipes.

The United Intentions Foundation, located in Roswell, GA, was chosen as one of 6 nonprofit beneficiaries this year. The mission of United Intentions is to provide programs and resources to awaken and unite people to the power of their intentions, while utilizing global partnerships to create a world of joy & prosperity for all.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s First Weeks in Washington

In a special Intercept podcast episode, D.C. bureau chief Ryan Grim and senior politics editor Briahna Gray join freshman New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for an in-depth conversation about her approach to politics and social media, her thoughts on the 2020 presidential election, and her “out-of-nowhere” congressional campaign.

Listen here.

As a new member of the House Financial Services Committee, she’s already shaping the conversation with her call to raise the top marginal tax rate to 70 percent. Former North Carolina Rep. Brad Miller, a progressive Democrat who served for years on the Financial Services Committee, joins the conversation to talk about the challenges Ocasio-Cortez will face there.

About The Intercept

The Intercept is an award-winning nonprofit news organization dedicated to holding the powerful accountable through fearless, adversarial journalism. Its in-depth investigations and unflinching analysis focus on surveillance, war, corruption, the environment, technology, criminal justice, the media and more.

A Voice for the Forgotten Minority

If foundations fall short on equality for people with disabilities, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi puts them on the spot.
By Alex Daniels

A microphone in Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi’s hands is a powerful weapon. At venues across the country, Mizrahi has used her strong, clear voice to ask foundation leaders variations of one simple question: Why aren’t people with disabilities included?

As large foundations have placed more muscle behind programs that promote equity in terms of race, wealth, gender identity, and sexual orientation, Mizrahi believes people with disabilities have been overlooked.

During question-and-answer sessions at major foundation gatherings, she is the first with her hand up, ready to put foundation leaders on the spot. Why isn’t a foundation’s website accessible to the blind? she’ll ask. Or why isn’t data on disabled voters included on a conference speaker’s chart of voting patterns among residents of rural areas, African-Americans, and young people?

The reason for the neglect, she says, is that disability groups have too often come to foundations looking for charity. That strategy is rooted in the idea that donors should take pity on people who are blind, have dwarfism, or are intellectually challenged, she says, rather than treating discrimination against them as a violation of their civil rights.

“The overall messages of the disability community caused us more harm than good,” she says. “The more they were repeated, the more harm was done.”

Through RespectAbility, an organization she co-founded five years ago, and through her own philanthropy, Mizrahi has pushed to eliminate stigmatization and to reduce barriers to employment for people with disabilities.

Sometimes her approach is direct, such as when she called Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, a “hypocrite” in an email for not including disabilities in the grant maker’s shift to focus entirely on equity. After that, and with the input of lots of others in addition to Mizrahi, Walker issued a mea culpa and announced that Ford would work to address inequalities based on disability throughout all of its programs. Mizrahi now calls Ford’s response the “gold standard.”

Donn Weinberg, executive vice president of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and co-founder of RespectAbility, said Mizrahi is “fearless” in asking difficult questions of foundation honchos. When she’s able to get face-to-face with philanthropy executives at conferences, she seizes the opportunity to educate them about disability issues.

Private Consultations

Some nonprofit leaders grumble privately that Mizrahi sometimes claims credit for efforts that were already underway. And sometimes her questions come in the form of short lectures.

At a Philanthropy Roundtable conference in 2017, the group’s staff asked Weinberg, who also serves as Philanthropy Roundtable’s chairman, if he could persuade Mizrahi to tone down her rhetoric and get to the point. “She clearly wants people to hear a bit of commentary before the question,” he says. “She’s planting seeds of thought and bringing to people’s consciousness an issue they often don’t think about.”

But Mizrahi doesn’t see herself as a provocateur or a grandstander. She consults directly with nonprofit leaders to make sure their websites, grant applications, and program strategies benefit and are accessible to people with disabilities.

She’s created a set of guidelines and tools for organizations that want to gauge whether they are being inclusive. And she dispatches young professionals and students working as RespectAbility fellows to interview foundation employees about how they communicate with, employ, and benefit the disabled population.

“We try to call people aside and not call them out,” she insists, saying most of her work is done in private consultations with foundation leaders, not in the public spotlight. “I like to see myself as a partner, a facilitator, and a resource.”

Aaron Dorfman knows from experience.

Mizrahi said her annual-dues statement from Dorfman’s group, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, sold the organization as a social-justice champion — but something was missing.

“They were very proud to send me a 12-page, single-spaced memo on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” she says. “The word ‘disability’ wasn’t in it.”

The two met for coffee to discuss the matter. Afterward, as the committee was preparing to release a guide for foundations interested in social justice, Dorfman asked Mizrahi to analyze a draft to make sure it adequately covered disability.

Dorfman said he welcomed the challenge. By putting foundation leaders on the spot at conferences, Mizrahi is helping philanthropy see its shortcomings and grow.

“There’s a certain amount of discomfort when you get called out, even if you get called out rightfully,” he says. “This culture of politeness doesn’t serve marginalized communities well. It’s all right to make someone feel uncomfortable in pursuit of full inclusion.”

Diversity Includes Disabled People

Some foundations recognize they need help. A survey of 205 foundation chief executives conducted by the Center for Effective Philanthropy found that most leaders thought their organization was staffed by people with a diversity of backgrounds and served a diverse set of beneficiaries in terms of race, gender, and sexual orientation. But over half said they fell short when it came to people with a disability.

The reason, according to Judy Belk, president of the California Wellness Foundation, is many people think the Americans With Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, cured injustices faced by disabled people.

The existence of handicapped parking places and curb cuts on street corners, Belk says, doesn’t mean all of the challenges have been addressed. Similarly, just because philanthropies have crafted strategies designed to ameliorate inequities doesn’t mean they’ve faithfully put them into practice.

For Belk, concentrating on disabilities could be a good way to achieve progress in some of the foundation’s existing programs, including efforts to improve oral health for low-income adults, prevent HIV/AIDS among women of color, and help women of color adjust to society after being incarcerated. All of the groups that stand to benefit from that work, Belk says, include a large proportion of people with disabilities.

To start, the California Wellness Foundation had RespectAbility audit its website. Mizrahi’s staff found that the grant maker’s web presence wasn’t an inviting place for everyone. Belk ordered a redo to make sure the site complied with content-accessibility guidelines.

“Foundations have diversity, equity, and inclusion statements up the wazoo,” she says. “They can show you a statement and say they’re committed. I’d like to push ourselves and hold ourselves accountable.”

Easy Improvements

Foundations have largely failed to incorporate disability into the programs they run and the data they collect, Mizrahi says. And she thinks nonprofits in general have fallen behind businesses and government agencies in accommodating people with disabilities. Though many organizations would like to make progress, they often fear it will cost a lot.

Many fixes aren’t expensive but require presence of mind. For instance, Mizrahi says, it’s free and easy to make Twitter and Facebook feeds accessible and put captions on YouTube videos. And avoiding meetings in places like church basements that aren’t accessible for people in wheelchairs requires the presence of mind to schedule gatherings elsewhere.

Mizrahi says she’d rather educate than scold, and help people understand that people with disabilities are productive team members.

“I don’t view every organization equally,” she said. “The Americans With Disabilities Act treats organizations differently based on size and budget, and so do I. If it’s a small, fragile organization with nobody on staff, I have very few expectations they’ll all of a sudden have a personal-care assistant for someone who is a quadriplegic and on oxygen in order to participate in their program.”

Nonprofits lack clear guidelines on the steps they should take to make their organizations more accessible, according to Michael Thatcher, president of Charity Navigator. Over the past year, he has been in discussions with Mizrahi about how to encourage charities to get started.

Master Problem-Solvers

The first step, Mizrahi says, is to help organizations understand what kind of contributions people with disabilities can make.

At a Capitol Hill conference that RespectAbility held in July, Vincenzo Piscopo, the director of community and stakeholder relations for the Coca-Cola Company, told the 200 attendees that people with disabilities are often accustomed to overcoming obstacles and are master problem- solvers. It’s incumbent on people with disabilities in the work force to serve as ambassadors, to help employers understand what they bring to the table.

“When companies have people with disabilities, they’re providing value to their company,” he told the gathered crowd. “They’re not doing charity.”

Stephanie Farfan is one of those ambassadors. Farfan, a little person who calls herself a “master Googler,” was looking for internships specially geared toward disability issues and found RespectAbility online. There weren’t a lot of other opportunities like it.

RespectAbility’s fellows program, which is supported by the Stanford and Joan Alexander and Ford foundations, allows students and young professionals to work in public policy and communications roles and in the organization’s foundation practice.

Before she came to Washington to attend graduate school in international studies at American University, Farfan worked in Florida with Little People of America. A fluent Spanish speaker, her volunteer work with Little People of America often involved talking with Hispanic parents of children with dwarfism.

Coming to RespectAbility, Farfan, who wants to pursue a career at the State Department, has spent much of her time delving into state laws and regulations on disability issues.

“Coming over to the policy side has given me a new perspective,” she says. “It’s rounded out my skill set.”

‘One Toe in the Water’

Mizrahi’s behind-the-scenes work has resulted in changes in foundation practices. In addition to the National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy and the Belk Foundation, she shared — on the condition that they not be named — emails from several grant makers showing they had incorporated RespectAbility’s suggestions into their website design and broader communication strategy.

While she’d like to keep those successes private, she’s not afraid of publicly criticizing foundations she thinks are lagging behind.

She slammed the Lumina Foundation for not specifically incorporating people with disabilities in its work-force development grants. She said the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided little money to directly support disabilities and did not collect or disseminate data on the progress of students with disabilities in its domestic education work.

“I am deeply disturbed that Lumina and Gates aren’t doing dramatically more,” she says. “They are both sort of one toe in the water.”

In response, Lumina’s director of strategic communications, Kevin Corcoran, said that while there is “laudable” work being done to ensure people with disabilities succeed after high school, the foundation’s focus was on educational outcomes for students of color. The Gates Foundation said it has been making changes to address the issue, but it did not single out any one person who pushed for the revisions.

In October 2017, Gates “refreshed” its approach to education grant making. Since then, the foundation has said it has begun to disaggregate the data it collects so it can track students with disabilities, and it has begun to support programs to accommodate disabled charter-school students.

“We have already begun to fund research to help us understand how the foundation could best support success, engagement, and transitions for students with disabilities, and we plan to make the results of this research publicly available, via our grantees,” the foundation said in a statement.

An Advantage From Dyslexia

Activists have pushed foundations to recognize disabilities in the broader civil-rights context for decades. In the 1980s, Donors Forum, a collective of Illinois grant makers now known as Forefront, had a board meeting to discuss a survey on diversity it was going to send out to members.

Marca Bristo, who was a board member at the time, said there were no questions about disabilities. “They just plain forgot about it,” says Bristo, who is president of Access Living, a Chicago disability and housing advocate.

More recently, Bristo has noticed a desire among large foundations to learn more. Before the MacArthur Foundation awarded $100 million to Sesame Street Workshop and the International Rescue Committee last year as part of its 100&Change challenge, Bristo sat down with the foundation’s president Julia Stasch to figure out how to incorporate inclusion of people with disabilities into the award.

With Susan Sygall, a former MacArthur fellow and CEO of Mobility International, Bristo reviewed the contest’s eight semifinalists and developed a disability checklist that the applicants could use to assess their pitches.

“Leaders from the disability-rights movement have been working on these issues for years,” she wrote in an email to the Chronicle. “The work RespectAbility has focused on is critically important but not new. No one organization can do this transformational work alone. The intransigence of stigma, prejudice, and exclusion requires a sustained and collaborative effort by all of us.”

Before the winners were named, Mizrahi was instrumental in “amplifying” the work to include people with disabilities, according to Cecilia Conrad, who leads MacArthur’s 100&Change program. Mizrahi consulted with the foundation about what constitutes full inclusion and wrote opinion pieces that highlighted the role of inclusion in the award.

For Mizrahi, becoming an effective communicator didn’t come naturally. As someone with dyslexia, she didn’t begin reading until she was 12 and didn’t achieve functional literacy until two years later. After an early growth spurt, she reached her full, above average, adult height at a very early age. She seemed all grown up, but she was having a difficult time. Adults around her expressed their disappointment in her academic progress, calling her “lazy.”

Mizrahi responded to the challenge through intensive work on reading. She expertly honed her listening and speaking skills. Now, she says, when she enters any conversation or debate, her disability has given her a huge advantage.

“Having a disability means there’s something you can’t do in your everyday living. But there’s nothing in the world that says you can’t be the best in the world at something else.”

Donna Kalajian Lagani Joins Hearst Foundations

Hearst today announced that Donna Kalajian Lagani will join the Hearst Foundations after nearly 25 years at Hearst Magazines. Kalajian Lagani had been senior vice president and group publishing director of Hearst Magazines Young Women’s Group, encompassing CosmopolitanSeventeen and Women’s Health. The announcement was made by Hearst President and CEO Steven R. Swartz. Kalajian Lagani assumes her new role February 4. Her replacement at Hearst Magazines will be named shortly.

“Donna has done an outstanding job leading our flagship magazine brand for more than two decades, and I am thrilled that she has chosen to take the next step in her career journey at the Hearst Foundations,” Swartz said.

The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations working in the fields of culture, education, health and social services. The Foundations identify and fund outstanding nonprofits to ensure that people of all backgrounds in the United States have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives. Created by William Randolph Hearst, the Foundations are independent, private philanthropies operating separately from Hearst. Since 1945, the Foundations have made over 20,000 grants totaling more than $1.1 billion. 

“Philanthropy is an important part of my life, and this is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Kalajian Lagani said. “I’ve had the absolute best job on the planet for more than two decades, overseeing Cosmopolitan, the most powerful young women’s media brand in the world, and more recently, adding SeventeenWomen’s Health and brand licensing to my purview. Now, after a ‘fun and fearless’ career generating revenue and profits, I feel truly blessed to work with the Foundations and its directors, Paul ‘Dino’ Dinovitz and George Irish. The Foundations’ grants profoundly change people’s lives, and I’m honored to join them to uphold the legacy of William Randolph Hearst and his philanthropic efforts.”   

In a joint statement, Dinovitz and Irish said, “We have known for some time of Donna’s interest in philanthropy and impacting lives for the better, and we’re pleased that she will be joining us, bringing her philanthropic interest and executive talent to the Foundations.”

Kalajian Lagani joined Hearst Magazines in 1995 as publisher of Cosmopolitan and was named publishing director in 1999. She added oversight of Seventeen in 2014 and of Women’s Health in 2018, following Hearst’s acquisition of Rodale. During her career at Cosmopolitan, Kalajian Lagani introduced groundbreaking initiatives, most recently through mobile and artificial intelligence technology. She developed and immortalized the “fun fearless female” mantra used by Cosmopolitan editions worldwide. During her tenure, she helped launch CosmoGIRL! and Cosmo for Latinas, and was a strong force in bringing Cosmopolitan to new platforms, including Snapchat and Sirius XM Radio. 

Kalajian Lagani conceived and produced a Cosmopolitan “takeover” of Times Square on New Year’s Eve in 2015 to celebrate the brand’s 50 birthday and developed the “Fun Fearless Life” conference in New York City to empower young women. She initiated a multi-year brand partnership with the USO and received the organization’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010. Kalajian Lagani also launched the $100,000 Cosmopolitan “Practice Safe Sun” research grant and was honored as a cosmetic industry leader at the prestigious DreamBall in 2005 for her support of the “Look Good Feel Better” program and the American Cancer Society.

Kalajian Lagani sits on the Board of Directors of Circle of Generosity and the Fragrance Foundation.