Business, Education and Schools, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, NonProfit and Charities

California Safe Schools Celebrates 22nd Anniversary and Earth Day

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- March 30th, 2020 marked the 22nd anniversary of California Safe Schools (CSS) a celebrated children's environmental health and justice coalition founded by Robina Suwol in 1998 after grade school students, including Robina's two sons, were sprayed with the herbicide Princep, as they headed to class.

A school gardener in a hazardous materials suit, employed by LA Unified School District, unaware students were present, sprayed the herbicide creating a cloud of pesticide mist students were forced to walk through to reach their classrooms. Several parents who had dropped off their children at the school were alarmed to witness this event. Robina's youngest son, Nicholas, whose asthma had been under control, experienced a severe asthma attack after the incident.

Robina and CSS sprung into action, contacting the school district, experts in the area, teachers and other parents - leading the effort to ensure incidents like this would not happen again. And, one year to the date Nicholas became ill, CSS and LAUSD enacted the most stringent pesticide policy in the nation for schools. The policy was the first in the United States to embrace the Precautionary Principle and Parents Right to Know regarding pesticides in schools.

The success of the policy led to California legislation, The Healthy Schools Act 2000, and AB 405 spearheaded by Suwol and CSS, which prevents experimental pesticides whose health effects are unknown from being used in all K-12 California schools. As a result, 6 million students, hundreds of thousands of teachers and school employees are protected. For 22 years LA Unified has not used Roundup, or any herbicides, on the grounds of any schools in a district spanning 28 cities, 703 square miles and 1000 sites.

"While celebrating together has been temporarily postponed, honoring our 2020 heroes cannot be delayed. We thank each of them for their enormous and selfless contributions. They make our world a much safer and better place," said Robina Suwol, California Safe Schools, executive director.



Monsignor John Moretta

John Moretta was born in Los Angeles on July 12, 1941. He entered St. John's Seminary, Camarillo, in 1960. After completing Philosophy and Theology studies, he was ordained on April 27, 1968. He has served in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as a parish priest in five parishes. He is at presently the pastor of Resurrection Church in Boyle Heights. This May he will have served there for thirty-five years. Throughout his ministry he has worked with the Latino community and has been on several advisory boards of the Archdiocese. He was invested as a Domestic Prelate to His Holiness with the title of Monsignor on February 2, 1992.

He has been an advocate for the empowerment of people. Whether it is in educating people to speak English, preparing for citizenship, organizing the Mothers of East Los Angeles, establishing a first-time homeowners center, the Boyle Heights Resident Homeowners Association, Neighborhood Watch Groups, sitting on advisory boards of high schools, member of the Guadalupe Procession Committee, Dean of Deanery 9, serves on the Priests Council and Personnel Board for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and also for the Police Department.

Most recently he helped fight the battle to close down Exide Technologies after many years of releasing lead into the environment. Monsignor Moretta has a great love for the people he serves and is always looking for ways to improve the community.


Evelyn Cortez-Davis, P.E., BCEE

Evelyn Cortez-Davis is the Assistant Director of Water Operations t the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest municipal utility in the nation. She has over 25 years of engineering experience in water quality, water conservation, pipeline design and construction, environmental compliance, recycled water, water rights, groundwater remediation, and groundwater planning. She currently leads the team that safely treats, stores and conveys water for the 4 million people in the City of Los Angeles.

In previous roles, she oversaw projects to clean up contaminated groundwater throughout the City, to capture more stormwater, increase conservation, and expand the use of recycled water and groundwater. She represented the City of Los Angeles on the Colorado River Board of California and the Board of Directors of the National Water Research Institute.

She is a graduate of UCLA, a registered Civil Engineer in the state of California, and is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer. Ms. Cortez-Davis is also the author of the book December Sky- Beyond My Undocumented Life relating her family's story as first -generation immigrants from El Salvador and their path to U.S. citizenship


Christian Arana

Christian strongly believes in the promise of America, and that begins first with California's estimated 15 million Latinos. As the Policy Director at Latino Community Foundation, Christian leads the foundation's efforts to advance policy solutions that will improve the lives and political power of California's Latinos.

Christian served as the Senior Governance Specialist at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) in Washington, D.C. During his tenure, he worked with the nation's top political, corporate, and nonprofit leaders to develop the next generation of Latino leaders in policy. He also managed CHCI's transition towards the use of impact metrics and led two successful strategic planning sessions with CHCI's leadership. Prior to CHCI, Christian worked at the Aspen Institute for the College Excellence Program. He helped administer the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Competition honoring the top performing community colleges in the nation. Dedicated to the advancement of Latino communities, Christian began his career as an AmeriCorps member where he served as a college counselor at Cristo Rey New York High School in East Harlem, New York.

Christian received a Master's Degree in Public Policy from UC Berkeley and holds a Bachelor's Degree from Georgetown University in International Politics. In his free time, Christian enjoys cooking, watching Dodgers baseball, and traveling.


Stellaluna Lopez-Ramirez is a sophomore at Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez High School in Boyle Heights. She is an honor roll student, a sophomore class representative, and a leader in academic performance. She is also a member of the junior varsity girls basketball team, and led the league with sixteen points per game this season. When not at school, she works with Youth Orchestra Los Angeles playing violin and mentoring elementary and middle school students in music and leadership, or runs free tutoring sessions with her peers. Additionally, through Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, she has performed at major venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Hollywood Bowl. After high school, she plans to double major in a STEM field and a humanity.


Los Angeles Unified School District

Honoring the management and staff of the Los Angeles Unified School District for 22 years of embracing the Precautionary Principle and Right to Know while successfully implementing the most stringent pesticide policy in the nation for schools , including their phenomenal efforts to serve more than 10 million meals to students, and quickly employing virtual academic programs during this challenging pandemic.

Learn more about California Safe Schools at:


Sponsors for the CSS Anniversary: South Coast Air Quality Management District, Metropolitan Water District, California Air Resources Board, California Department of Pesticide Regulation, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Earthjustice, Republic Services, Natural Resource Defense Counsel, Galpin Ford, & Libertyhill.

Robina Suwol
California Safe Schools

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Business, Free News Articles, General Editorial, NonProfit and Charities

Moving from COVID Pandemic to Kitten Crisis: The Sacramento SPCA Braces for an Overwhelming Kitten Season

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento SPCA announced today that, since April 1, it has seen a 500% increase in the number of underage kittens (younger than six weeks) come in to the shelter at 6201 Florin Perkins Rd in Sacramento versus the same time period last year.

While most of the public programs are currently suspended at the Sacramento SPCA due to mandates surrounding COVID-19, the shelter is receiving a record number of stray kittens being abandoned in front of the shelter or dropped off by local citizens who are trying to help.

"Because the city shelter on Front Street and county shelter on Bradshaw are limiting stray animal intake due to COVID-19, we are seeing more stray animals in crisis - especially kittens - arriving at our doors," said Sacramento SPCA CEO Kenn Altine.

The Sacramento SPCA typically cares for more than 600 underage kittens each year, with about 10% of the kittens being under 6 weeks of age and arriving without a mother to feed them. With the number of these neonatal kittens already nearly exceeding the annual intake, the shelter is bracing for an overwhelming kitten season.

"We need the public's help to address this issue - in education on leaving kittens in place, in becoming 'bottle-baby' fosters, and in supporting our spay/neuter programs through donations," Altine said. "The needs of animals were not put on hold during this pandemic. We may be closed to the public, but we are always here for the animals. We are the only haven for unwanted animals and owners in crisis who need to surrender a cherished pet, regardless of its age, breed, health or behavior."

The Impact of Suspended Spay & Neuter

In addition to an increase in stray animals abandoned at the Sacramento SPCA, there is another looming concern: with spay & neuter programs suspended for the last month due to COVID-19 and potentially into the next month, animals that would have been altered are now able to reproduce, compounding the current animal overpopulation problem.

The Sacramento SPCA operates the 7th largest spay & neuter clinic in the nation, altering more than 18,300 animals annually and preventing hundreds of thousands of unwanted animals from entering our region's shelters. The clinic altered 11,867 cats and kittens in 2019, including nearly 4,000 additional cats that were altered during the Sacramento SPCA's Feral Cat Clinic offered each Sunday.

With these services being suspended in April and potentially longer, public animals and community cats have been left with the opportunity to reproduce and overwhelm a region that already needs more access to spay & neuter capacity.

"We recognize that demand for low-cost spay and neuter services in our region far outweighs the current capacity," said Altine. "With the shut down of our spay & neuter services in April, the need to protect our animals and community will be even greater."

The potential magnitude of this crisis is still uncertain, but with growing animal overpopulation, limited shelter capacity and animals requiring resources beyond the community's capacity, concerns are rising.

What to Do When You Find a Kitten

All local animal shelters recommend leaving the kittens where you found them. In most cases, the mother is nearby or out hunting and will return shortly. Kittens have a much better chance for survival with their mother, so moving them should only be considered if they are in a life-threatening or dangerous location.

When in doubt, follow this kitten guide for specific steps you can take to give the kittens the best chance for survival; how to determine their age; and when to get involved, including fostering them yourself:

How the Community Can Help

Foster. Donate. Repeat.

Because the shelter is currently receiving more neonatal kittens requiring specialized care, they are actively recruiting fosters with previous "bottle baby" experience to help with the current and impending kitten storm. As these young kittens transition from bottle feeding to wet food, they can be moved to other foster homes until they are old enough for spay & neuter and adoption.

Foster parents experienced in caring for neonatal kittens are encouraged to contact the Sacramento SPCA at

As the only full-service 100% non-profit animal shelter in the Sacramento region, the Sacramento SPCA relies on donations from individuals, businesses and foundations to support their work. They are local, independent, and do not receive funding from state or local government agencies.

And with the closing of the Sacramento SPCA's public programs, the revenue that provides a significant part of their income has disappeared. They are asking the community to make monetary donations to ensure that they can continue to support animals and people whenever and however needed, including providing critical supplies like formula, bottles/nipples and wet food to foster families during kitten season.

Donations can be made online or by mail to: Sacramento SPCA, 6201 Florin Perkins Road, Sacramento, CA 95828. See:

About the Sacramento SPCA

Founded in 1892, the Sacramento SPCA has been providing homeless animals with individual comfort, shelter, and love for more than 128 years. They provide compassionate medical care to tens of thousands of animals annually and offer a variety of programs and services designed to keep people and pets together for life.

Learn more at:

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Dawn Foster, Sacramento SPCA Marketing & Communications Director or (916) 802-0915.

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*Photo caption: Sacramento SPCA notes that since April 1, it has seen a 500% increase in the number of underage kittens come in to the shelter.

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Business, Free News Articles, NonProfit and Charities

WIC is Serving Families in Need

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is considered an essential service. WIC staff in California are serving families during the COVID-19 pandemic, including families who never before received benefits, but are now in need of assistance.

Following Governor Newsom's Executive Order on March 30, the California Department of Public Health WIC Program has been implementing emergency protocols to provide benefits and expand the approved WIC food list to best serve families while protecting the health and safety of WIC participants and staff.

WIC provides support to low-income families with children under the age of 5 with nutritious foods for pregnant or breastfeeding parents, infants, and children, as well as nutrition education, breastfeeding support and breast pumps. Nearly one million women, infants and children are served each month in California, through 83 WIC local agencies with over 500 clinic locations. Nearly 4,000 grocers are authorized to provide WIC foods.

California recently completed transitioning from paper checks to a WIC debit card for WIC food purchases. This historic improvement makes shopping and participating in WIC easier, especially important during a crisis.

All 83 WIC local agencies are providing services to current and new participants. Clinics may be closed to the public, but staff are providing services by phone, text, email, and video conference and some see select participants in person. Families are provided WIC cards and breast pumps using creative methods such as drive-through pick-ups, receiving cards slid under the door from WIC staff, using drop boxes at WIC clinics and by mail or expedited shipment. WIC card benefits can be loaded remotely, reducing the need for families to visit WIC local agencies.

Because many WIC shoppers reported they were unable to find WIC foods such as eggs, bread, and milk, WIC expanded the food list with hundreds of new foods available now through May 31. WIC staff can assist with information on the expanded foods, and the WIC app can scan bar codes to identify foods on the expanded list.

Information on the food list and WIC app is also online:

Families should not hesitate to call their WIC local agency for information on enrolling or continuing WIC services. Check online for WIC eligibility and locate the closest WIC office here:

"The California WIC Program is doing an outstanding job serving families during this crisis and will continue this critical support as families recover from this economic downturn," said Karen Farley, Executive Director, California WIC Association.

California WIC Association (CWA) is a non-profit organization formed in 1992 by directors of WIC local agencies administering the WIC program.

California WIC Association
Sarah Diaz
(530) 276-1388

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*Photo caption: WIC staff at Glenn County practice social distancing and wear masks while serving WIC families.

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Matt Adams Foundation for Opioid Recovery Receives $79,000 Cigna Foundation Grant

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Matt Adams Foundation (MAF), a non-profit bringing innovative change in the field of harm reduction and recovery initiatives in Northwest Arkansas (NWA) is pleased to announce they are the recipients of a $79,000 grant endowed by The Cigna Foundation. The funding will expand Peer Recovery Support and harm reduction services in Arkansas; a state where in the past three years drug deaths have increased by 17%* and during a time when those who struggle with substance use are at a higher risk due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In partnership with Ozark Guidance, the initiative funded through this grant will increase access to Peer Recovery Support Specialists (PRSS) in NWA for nights, weekends and moments of crisis. PRSS assists persons at high risk of substance use and/or mental health crisis with the navigation of multiple systems such as treatment, housing, transportation, supportive employment, supplemental benefits, and the building and rebuilding of natural supports.

"Peer recovery support is vital for those who are seeking recovery, in recovery and need support after recovery," said Katherine van den Bogert, program manager at the National Safety Council. "Drug overdose is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., but recovery is possible. We are excited that the Matt Adams Foundation has the financial support it needs to ensure people with substance use disorders receive the support they deserve so they can live their fullest lives."

The grant comes at a time when aid for those struggling with substance use is that much more vital, with many being higher risk during the COVID-19 outbreak of not only experiencing complications from the virus, but also of relapsing without their crucial support networks. While it is too early for conclusive data, experts across the field warn that the crisis could reverse recent strides made to combat the opioid epidemic.

On March 24, 2020, Dr. Nora Valkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), wrote: "As people across the U.S. and the rest of the world contend with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the research community should be alert to the possibility that it could hit some populations with substance use disorders (SUDs) particularly hard."

"Cigna is committed to fighting the opioid crisis in our communities, which is why we are so proud to support the important work the Matt Adams Foundation is doing," said Greg Allen, MidSouth market president, Cigna. "The Foundation shares our mission to help Arkansans who are struggling with opioid addiction, and this grant will enable even more people to start their journey to recovery."

Additionally, this project will establish regular naloxone trainings in the community and increase access to MAF's harm reduction program. Since its inception in March of 2019, Matt Adams Foundation for Opioid Recovery has trained and distributed Naloxone opioid overdose reversal kits for over 2,200 community members, including outfitting more than 20 police and fire departments across the region. Over 47 lives have been saved through the program, with many additional unreported positive outcomes. In receiving their largest grant to date, MAF seeks to double these numbers in the coming year.

"This grant is going to be life changing for so many struggling with addiction in NWA. When I was trying to get help and become clean it was hard to find the right resources. There was no one to help me and my family navigate the first days and weeks of this frightening time," states Melissa Cole who is in recovery and now a Marketing and Harm Reduction Specialist at the Matt Adams Foundation. "It would have been instrumental in my recovery to speak to someone who could provide critical direction and give me hope for the future." Cole believes continued care during recovery, especially in the beginning, is essential and this generous grant from Cigna Foundation is going to help provide that to residents in need in NWA.

This partnership with MAF and Ozark Guidance will extend community resources with proven efficacy in our communities.

Libby Bier, Director of Substance Abuse and Recovery Services at Ozark Guidance / Arisa Health says, "We are excited about the opportunities this Cigna grant and MAF partnership offer. Having additional Peer Support Specialists on our team will allow us to reach more people with substance use disorders in our communities. Certified Peer Support Specialists receive formal training and combine that with their personal lived experience."

Adds Bier, "They can offer help and hope in a unique way that marries nicely with our counseling and medication services."

About Matt Adams Foundation

Matt Adams Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit working to combat the opioid epidemic in Northwest Arkansas and beyond. With a focus on prevention through education, life-saving harm reduction programs and improving access to, and effectiveness of, treatment for those seeking recovery, MAF has been recognized for innovative approaches and bringing positive change to the community. The Matt Adams Foundation was awarded the 2019 Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce's Non-Profit of the Year.

Learn more at:

*Note 1:

Media Contact:
Heather Starbuck, Co-Founder
Matt Adams Foundation
Phone: 978-855-4669

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Business, Education and Schools, Entertainment, Free News Articles, NonProfit and Charities, Product Launches

Pandemic Pushes L.A. Arts Nonprofit, Dream A World Education, from Classroom to Television

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Dream A World Education, an LAUSD and Hawthorne School District provider of arts and social-emotional education working in areas of extreme poverty, has turned school closures into an opportunity to move their artists from classrooms to television and virtual recyclable programming.

This will fill a need beginning April 20 when students are depending on learning delivered into homes from now until the end of the school year. They are working with their 11 partner schools and teachers to make this happen.

"Beyond the need for the continuation of their academic education, there's a need for children's mental and emotional health that needs to be met, especially in the communities we serve," says Bunny Hull, Dream A World Education's Founder and Executive Director. "There's also a need for us to continue to support our artists who have been hard hit by this."

Secrets of the Heart TV features core national standards-based educational content which provides arts, language, culture and social-emotional learning for children 4-8. It's delivered by professional working artists, multicultural Teaching Artists, who have been left scrambling for work and have moved seamlessly from classroom to screen. This is programming that's not Wifi dependent for the 700,000 families across L.A. County who have no connection to the internet.

Episodes of Secrets of the Heart TV will be broadcast in Los Angeles starting April 20 on LA36 public access television, and through YouTube on their website. These are reusable tools that Dream A World Education is offering not only to the 4,000 students they normally serve, but making it available to anyone who can benefit. They are looking for additional television partners nationwide.

This is FREE programming which provides meaningful experiences and discussions to children and families at home. There is a lesson plan attached to each video, in English and Spanish. LA36 will air episodes multiple times a week beginning Monday, April 20, the official launch day.

For more information about Dream A World Education:

View selection from first episode on YouTube:

About Dream A World Education:

Dream A World Education is a 501(c)(3) which provides enrichment programs for children 4-8 and their families who live in poverty in Los Angeles. Bunny Hull founded Dream A World Education in 2008 after a long career in the arts as a professional dancer, Grammy Award-winning songwriter, singer, and award-winning children's author. "The Ripple Effect," a documentary short about the organization's work garnered an Emmy(R) nomination and a Global Impact Award in Washington, D.C. in 2019.

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*Photo caption: Secrets of the Heart TV features core national standards-based educational content.

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Alliances and Partnerships, Business, Free News Articles, NonProfit and Charities, Software

Mira and the National Foundation for Cancer Research to expand COVID Care and tackle health disparities

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Mira, a healthcare company based in NYC, is partnering with the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) to provide COVID Care to cancer patients and caregivers, bringing healthcare closer to those who need it the most.

NFCR is a non-profit organization, dedicated to providing scientists in the lab the research funding they need to make game-changing discoveries in cancer treatments, detection and, ultimately, a cure for all types of cancer.

Mira is a platform for individuals without insurance to get affordable copays for everyday healthcare. Mira's COVID Care program helps take the pressure off of the local health systems by allowing patients to manage symptoms at home instead of seeking testing at emergency departments.

Together, NFCR and Mira will also create a Prevention and Wellness Access Program to bring affordable healthcare to the U.S.'s uninsured and underinsured population, which totaled 60 million before the coronavirus outbreak and has been increasing rapidly due to the high unemployment rates caused by the pandemic.

Bringing Healthcare Closer to Those Who Need It The Most

According to the latest news, COVID-19 is hitting underserved communities disproportionately harder than the rest. As cases of COVID-19 rise in the United States, health systems are stretching their capacity to take in high-risk patients--creating a vacuum for those who live in zip codes with a history of health disparities.

"The National Foundation for Cancer Research has a long history of funding not only high-risk and high-impact cancer research projects to advance life-saving new diagnosis and treatment breakthroughs, we have also dedicated tremendous efforts toward public education and cancer prevention for the general public," said Sujuan Ba, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of NFCR. "Before cures are found, early prevention and healthy lifestyle choices remain the best defense against cancer."

"Using health technology innovation to help cancer patients and their loved ones access affordable healthcare options is an important public service that NFCR promotes," continued Dr. Ba.

Mira created one of the first end-to-end care delivery solutions to help individuals screen and manage symptoms at home instead of seeking testing at emergency departments. Now, Mira is partnering with the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) to expand its program to help one of the most at-risk populations--cancer patients and their caregivers.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mira has developed a 1-minute assessment to screen for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors, based on the guidelines and protocols as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It provides reliable, timely information to patients and community members. This free, easy-to-use tool is accessible 24/7, offers a symptom checker, as well as provides options for a virtual visit and information on sheltering-in-place.

Based on the results, you will have an opportunity to connect with a resource center to determine the best next steps--whether it be home care, getting a virtual consultation or getting tested. The whole process could happen in less than 5 minutes.

"NFCR is very entrepreneurial in terms of advancing innovations," stated Khang Vuong, Founder and CEO of Mira. "Working with NFCR, we will have an opportunity to help more people identify symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and flatten the curve."

Reaching more people will ultimately lead to less cases and starving out the virus. Many people who come to Mira have recently lost their jobs and have to choose between putting food on the table or getting healthcare.

About National Foundation for Cancer Research

NFCR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides scientists in the lab the funding they need to make game-changing discoveries in cancer treatments, detection, prevention and, ultimately, a cure. NFCR has distinguished itself in the cancer research sector by emphasizing long-term, transformative research often overlooked by other major funding sources. With COVID-19 on the rise in the United States, they are looking now, more than ever, to serve those without healthcare, as well as high-risk patients. Learn more at:

About Mira

Mira helps uninsured and underinsured get affordable healthcare. Besides COVID-19, members can also get affordable copays for preventive care, urgent care, mental health, lab tests, and prescriptions--services that are equally needed but inaccessible to those without insurance in this time of crisis. Learn more at:

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*Image Caption: Mira allows individuals to screen and manage symptoms at home regardless of insurance status

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‘Ain’t Too Proud’ Star, Jawan Jackson, Hits a High Note with Students During Pandemic

FREDERICK, Md. -- Phenomenology, Inc., an innovative production model in the performing arts, is teaming up with Jawan Jackson, star of the hit Broadway musical "Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations," to encourage high school musical theater students in Frederick, Maryland.

With statewide shutdowns across Maryland, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency, many theater students who would have otherwise performed in their high school musicals during the spring semester will be unable to showcase their talent, on stage, this year. As a result, Jeffery Keilholtz, CEO/Artistic Director of Phenomenology, decided to take action.

"We were encouraged by many Broadway stars who have used their social media platforms to inspire students during the COVID-19 challenge," said Keilholtz of he and his organization's Board of Directors, "so we chose to join forces with one of the kindest and most talented musical theater actors on Broadway, to lift the spirts of students who go to school in Frederick County."

In cooperation with Jackson, the "Ain't Too Proud" sensation agreed to "be the audience" for Frederick County high musical theater students, Keilholtz explains. For a set period of time, students are able to post the songs they would have otherwise sung on stage and post them online. In turn, Jackson will view the posts and provide a personalized message of encouragement for those that do.

Jackson has also agreed to answer questions posed by some of the students in a private email exchange, arranged by Phenomenology. "We hope to create a safe space for students to still perform, and also provide a mentorship opportunity with one of Broadway's top performers," says Keilholtz. "It's the least we can do for Frederick County students and we couldn't be more thrilled to have a powerhouse like Jawan as a partner."

Now through April 25, Frederick County high school students can participate when they post a song they sing to their own social media pages and tag Phenomenology or post directly to one of the organization's social media platforms on Facebook (@phenoart), Twitter (@phenoart) or Instagram (@phenoart2).

For more information about Phenomenology visit:

About Phenomenology, Inc.:

Phenomenology, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is an innovative production model to raise the quality of life for performing artists and technicians by creating meaningful partnerships in the entertainment industry - coupled with the production of high-value projects - to generate a first-of-its-kind corridor of professional activity between Frederick, Maryland and major media markets. More information:

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*Photo caption: Jawan Jackson, star of the hit Broadway musical, "Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Time of the Temptations."

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Business, Education and Schools, Free News Articles, Green Business, NonProfit and Charities, Sciences

Beyond Benign Receives Grant to Support Green Chemistry Education at Universities

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Green chemistry education nonprofit Beyond Benign has received a grant from life science company MilliporeSigma to develop laboratory resources for universities. The life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operates as MilliporeSigma in the U.S. and Canada.

Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that generate the least amount of harm and waste possible while maintaining excellent quality. Since 2007, Beyond Benign has integrated green chemistry into K-12 and higher education institutions through teacher training, lesson plans, community networks, webinars, and events.

"We're ecstatic to receive continued support from MilliporeSigma," says Beyond Benign's Director and Co-Founder, Dr. Amy Cannon. "MilliporeSigma recognizes the central role chemistry plays in the world around us. They understand the urgency of training chemistry students - our future workforce - in green chemistry, so as a society we invent in ways that intentionally reduce harm to human health and the environment."

MilliporeSigma's grant will allow Beyond Benign to create an inorganic chemistry resource guide and enhance an existing organic chemistry guide for universities looking to include green chemistry in their courses and programs. The updated Guide to Green Chemistry Experiments for Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Labs created with nonprofit partner My Green Lab will be available in 2020, and the new inorganic chemistry guide will begin development in July 2020. Beyond Benign's Higher Education partners include the University of Michigan at Flint and the University of Toronto.

"Beyond Benign is helping transform the future of science by helping to shape chemists who take responsibility for every step of research and development," said Jeffrey Whitford, head of Corporate Responsibility and Life Science Branding at MilliporeSigma. "Its work reflects many of MilliporeSigma's goals for our own corporate and community sustainability."

As part of its Corporate Responsibility initiative, MilliporeSigma supports organizations committed to solving the toughest problems in life science. They practice green chemistry by manufacturing sustainable products, establishing dedicated programs, and by using the DOZN(tm) 2.0 free online tool it developed to test product and process sustainability against the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry.

About Beyond Benign:

Beyond Benign, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, envisions a world where the chemical building blocks of products used every day are healthy and safe for humans and the environment. Beyond Benign is fostering a green chemistry education community empowered to transform chemistry education for a sustainable future. Beyond Benign's continuum of sustainable science educational programs including, teacher and faculty training, and curriculum development from K-20 are helping to build the next generation of scientists and citizens with the skills and knowledge to create and chose products that are safe for human health and the environment.

Over the past 13 years, Beyond Benign has an extensive history of service, having trained over 6,000 K-12 teachers in sustainable science and green chemistry, designed over 200 open-access lessons, reached over 25,000 youth and community members through outreach, & partnered with over 65 universities to transform chemistry education. Together we can catalyze the development of green technological innovations that result in safer products and processes in support of a sustainable, healthy society.

For more information about Beyond Benign, visit or find us on Twitter @beyondbenign, on Instagram @beyondbenign, and on Facebook @beyondbenign.

Media Contact:
Nicki Wiggins, Director of Development
Beyond Benign

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FormFree Expands Partnership with American Red Cross of Northeast Georgia in Celebration of 2020 Red Cross Month

ATHENS, Ga. -- FormFree® today announced it is celebrating Red Cross Month by expanding its long-held partnership with the American Red Cross of Northeast Georgia. FormFree will support the Northeast Georgia chapter's mission of alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies by giving fiscal contributions and engaging in monthly acts of service throughout 2020.

In April, FormFree will kick off its expanded partnership by donating life-saving blood to help hospitals maintain a continuous supply during the novel coronavirus pandemic. According to a recent statement released by the Red Cross, which collects 40 percent of the U.S. blood supply, more than 12,000 blood drives have been canceled across the country as of March 30, leading to an estimated 325,000 fewer blood donations. The resulting blood supply shortage could affect the ability of victims of physical trauma, surgery patients and cancer patients to get the care they need.

"The Red Cross' mission of alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies resonates powerfully with FormFree's culture of empathy, service and generosity," said FormFree Founder and CEO Brent Chandler. "Although we've long been a partner of the American Red Cross of Northeast Georgia, in today's uncertain environment we feel especially compelled to give back to this vital institution supporting our community."

Chartered in 1917, the American Red Cross of Northeast Georgia provides direct service to 23 Georgia counties by supporting the collection, testing and distribution of blood and blood components in the region, providing emergency resources for military families, facilitating lifesaving training in first aid, CPR and use an AED and helping people and communities impacted by disasters. Red Cross Month is a nationwide tradition begun by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943.

"FormFree shares our passion for serving our nation's veterans and communities in need," said Marlon Trone, executive director of the American Red Cross of Northeast Georgia. "We thank them for their continual generosity and look forward to working alongside them for the betterment of our community for years to come."

FormFree has participated in numerous community awareness and service events hosted with the Red Cross of Northeast Georgia since the company's founding in 2008. Brent Chandler joined the Red Cross of Northeast Georgia's board of directors in 2017.

About FormFree:

FormFree® is a market-leading fintech company whose revolutionary products AccountChek® and Passport(tm) are changing the credit decisioning landscape and encouraging lenders nationwide to incorporate a more holistic view of each borrower's financial DNA. To date, thousands of U.S. lenders and brokers have ordered millions of FormFree's patented verification reports representing over a trillion dollars in loan verifications. FormFree delights borrowers and lenders with a paperless experience, reduces origination timelines by up to 20 days and offers automated analysis and standardized delivery to lenders and investors using a secure ReIssueKey(tm). A HousingWire TECH100(tm) company for four consecutive years, FormFree is based in Athens, Georgia.

For more information, visit or follow FormFree on LinkedIn.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Twitter: @RealFormFree @RedCross @NEGAARC #RedCrossMonth

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Generous Bequests Help Strengthen Komen Dallas Co. Mission

DALLAS, Texas -- Susan G. Komen Dallas County (Komen Dallas County) today said it has received bequests from the Estate of Edith Beutell and the Estate of Dr. Glenn Dodwell, which combined total more than $199,000. The gifts will further the organization's ability to assess the state of breast health in Dallas County and create plans of action to reduce breast cancer mortality disparities in the community. In addition, the gifts allow Komen Dallas County to focus on its pillars of Research, Care, Community and Action.

"We are moved by the thoughtfulness of Mrs. Beutell and Dr. Dodwell to include Komen Dallas County in their planned estate giving and are honored to be part of their lasting legacies. This remarkable generosity allows us to hold our place as the local source for funding breast cancer detection, support and education for uninsured and underinsured women and men in Dallas County," said Sofia Olivarez, executive director of Susan G. Komen Dallas County.

The bequests ($189,893 from the Dodwell Estate and $10,000 the Beutell Estate) will help fund local breast health services and further groundbreaking research for the cures. According to her family, Mrs. Beutell was inspired by a niece's battle against breast cancer.

The gifts come as Komen Dallas County prepares to award grants for its FY2021 funding cycle. Health and community service organizations have submitted hundreds of grant requests to support programs for women and men across Dallas County using data from Komen Dallas County's recently-updated Community Profile Report as a guide.

"Komen Dallas County has identified areas within our community where gaps in access to care and health disparities persist. Planned gifts like those from Ms. Beutell and Dr. Dodwell allow us to provide vital resources to organizations that are on the frontlines working to provide education and life-saving services to those Dallas County residents who are most in need," said Daniel Jones, president of the Komen Dallas County Board of Directors.

Grant awards will be announced in April. Visit to learn about the impact of Komen Dallas County Community Partner grants.

About Susan G. Komen® Dallas County

Komen Dallas County is committed to Dallas' fight against breast cancer. Since its inception, Komen Dallas County has invested over $27.5 million in local breast health programs providing education, screening, diagnostic services, treatment, patient navigation and transportation services. Komen Dallas County has also invested nearly $8.5 million in national, cutting edge research to find the cures so that future generations will not have to face this devastating disease.

About five Dallas County families per week can expect to lose a loved one to breast cancer. Fundraising or donations to Komen Dallas County helps the organization save a mother, daughter, sister or friend from this devastating disease. Learn more at:

Reach out to us at 214-750-7223 or at for help or to access breast health resources.

Brittani Ball
Susan G. Komen Dallas County

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