Our Grantees in the News 2017-02-10T10:39:25+00:00

Our Grantees in the News



Jaha Dukureh featured in Harper’s Baazar

Leading the Battle to End Female “Circumcision”, October 2016

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“I was born in the Gambia and pretty much raised in the Gambia. I had, I would say, a normal childhood. I grew up in a tribe called the Serahuli tribe; we’re known as very religious and very conservative—the most conservative families in the Gambia. My childhood was very normal with my siblings. I was raised by my mom and dad and I moved to the U.S. at the age of 15 to get married after my mom passed away. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is part of our tradition, but I didn’t really know what it meant until I got married at 15 and couldn’t have sex. I was suffering from the most severe form of FGM, Type 3 FGM, where your vagina is sealed. I couldn’t have sex until I was deinfibulated, when that seal is removed in order to have sex.”

Read the whole article, Leading the Battle to End Female “Circumcision” here.

Learn more about Jaha Dukureh’s project, Campaign to End Female Genital Mutilation  here.

Teresa Njoroge in Leaders’ Quest

leaders-questShining lights in the darkest places, October 2016

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“On the fourth day of our Kenya Open Quest, fifteen of us piled into a minibus and set off to Langata Women’s Maximum Prison, to meet Teresa Njoroge. A former inmate herself, Teresa recently joined forces with her new business partner, Joss Carruthers, to launch Clean Start. This incredible NGO helps women who are incarcerated on short-term sentences, due to petty – often poverty-related – crimes. We wanted to find out more about its work at Kenya’s notorious Langata.”

Read the whole article, Shining lights in the darkest places here.

Learn more about Teresa Njoroge‘s project, Clean Start Solutions, here

Karen Snook in The Los AngelesTimes

los-angeles-timesHow a farm at an L.A. continuation school became a refuge for both students and animals, October 2016

“Most school days, 17-year-old Alex Snyder eats lunch with a pot-bellied pig named Peanut. John R. Wooden High School is small. It doesn’t have a football field or a swimming pool or a gym. But it has a farm. And the farm has become a central part of Alex’s life.”

“Alex, who lives in a foster care group home, used to run away for days at a time to visit his girlfriend. He’d ditch school at Grover Cleveland Charter High in Reseda and go to the library instead.  Since transferring to Wooden this year, he’s been at school most mornings.”  “It’s good for me,” […]

Michelle Welsch in Colorado’s DailyCamera NEWS

dailycamera-newsMichelle Welsch of Boulder takes unexpected path in Nepal, October 2016

“One day, Michelle Welsch realized she could make her own life. So she ditched her steady job and comfortable lifestyle in New York City. The Longmont High School and University of Colorado graduate flew to Nepal, to volunteer in a monastery there that she knew little about.”

“I had such a strong conviction. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew I had to go,” she says. “I’ve never been so strongly convinced of anything before. I knew I had to follow this pull.”

“She expected to teach English to monks for a few weeks, climb to Mount Everest’s base camp to raise money for an inner-city nonprofit and head back to Boulder, which she considers home, to figure out what she wanted to do with the rest of her life.”

Read the whole article, Michelle Welsch of Boulder takes unexpected path in Nepal  here.

Learn more about Michelle Welsch here.


Tod Emko featured in Fox Business

fox bsiness logoThe 5 Coolest Things at New York Comic Con, October 2016

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“Every year close to 200,000 fans descend on New York’s Comic Con to see the latest toys, trinkets and announcements from their favorite superheroes and animated characters. Some fans come eagerly dressed in costume so they can absorb the full experience, while others run around buying up the hottest toys.  FOXBusiness.com spent the day at this year’s Comic Con, where various retailers introduced new products and provided unique experiences for fans. We rounded up a few of the coolest things at this year’s convention.

Read the whole article, The 5 Coolest Things at New York Comic Con here.

Learn more about Tod Emko’s project, A Piggy’s Tale-Spanish, here.

Anita Kranjc in THE GLOBE AND MAIL

the-globe-and-mailPETA head says world watching trial of woman who gave water to pigs, October 2016

“The trial of a Toronto animal-rights activist in Burlington, Ont., has become a global cause célèbre for opponents of the meat industry, with the head of PETA and a famous musician pledging support and dozens of backers crowding into the courtroom on Monday.”

“Anita Krajnc, a member of Toronto Pig Save, is charged with criminal mischief for giving water to pigs in a truck on their way to a slaughterhouse last June. She admits to giving water to the animals, but she contends that it was not illegal.”

Read the whole article, PETA head says world watching trial of woman who gave water to pigs here.

Learn more about Anita Kranjc here.

Anne Pollack featured in YANA (Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance)

Crossing Point Arts: Bringing Arts to Survivors of Human Trafficking: Q+A with Anne H. Pollack, Founder and Executive Director, October 2016

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“Imagine a world without any access to creativity. Sounds horrible? Now imagine the worlds you can open up by helping to provide the arts to someone who has survived human trafficking. Sounds amazing? It is. Truly amazing.

Q: What is your mission?

Our mission is to bring the healing power of the arts – in experiential workshops led by Teaching Artists – into the lives of survivors of human trafficking.”

Read the whole article, Crossing Point Arts: Bringing Arts to Survivors of Human Trafficking: Q+A with Anne H. Pollack, Founder and Executive Director here.

Learn more about Anne Pollack’s project, Crossing Points Art, here.

Carrie LeBlanc featured in Havasu News

Shrine Circus brings animal rights protesters out to SARA Park, September 2016

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“The Shrine Circus has returned for its 25th year at Havasu 95 Speedway in SARA Park, but according to some activists, everyone is enjoying themselves except for the animals. More than 20 picketers arrived at the circus’s entryway on Wednesday to protest the circus’ treatment of animals.
The event is hosted by Jordan World Circus, of Las Vegas, with a portion of proceeds going toward the Lake Havasu City Shriners Club. A collection of elephants, tigers and other exotic animals are provided to the circus through independent contractors. Protestors allege the use of electronic prods in the training and control of exotic animals within the circus, and seek a boycott of this year’s event.”

Read the whole article, Shrine Circus brings animal rights protesters out to SARA Park here.

Learn more about Carrie LeBlanc’s project, Furthering Awareness of Circus Cruelty, here.

See Beneath featured on Autism Live

“Aiko and Egor” Animation/App for Autism- Gerin Gaskin, September 2016

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“Gerin Gaskin was recently interviewed by Shannon and Nancy on the Autism Live web show to discuss our app and upcoming research projects.”

Watch the whole video, “Aiko and Egor” Animation/App for Autism- Gerin Gaskin here.

Learn more about See Beneath’s project, Animation for Autism: Aiko & Egor, here.

Maya Penn on SuperSoul.TV

supersoul-tvMaya Penn, September 2016

“From a young age, it’s been Maya Penn’s passion to make a positive impact on the environment, the planet and all of its creatures.”

“Sixteen-year-old Maya is the founder and CEO of Maya’s Ideas, an eco-friendly accessories company started in 2008 when she was 8 years old. When Maya started her business, she says she knew two things: all of her products had to be eco-friendly and she had to put her profits towards making an impact.”

Read the whole article, Maya Penn here.

Learn more about Maya Penn here.

Jeff Kirchner on TEDBlog

ted-blogMeet the Fall 2016 class of TED Residents, September 2016

“On September 12, TED welcomed its latest class of the TED Residency program, an in-house incubator for breakthrough ideas. Residents spend four months in the TED office with fellow brilliant minds who are creatively taking on projects that are making significant changes in their communities, across many different fields .”

Read the whole article, Meet the Fall 2016 class of TED Residents here.

Learn more about Jeff Kirchner here.

Jacob Savage featured on NBC Bay Area

Year-Old San Francisco Non-Profit Hopes To Defuse Confrontations Between Police, Mentally Ill Before They Happen, September 2016

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“Concrn wants the public to call them, instead of 911, when they see a homeless or mentally ill person in crisis.”

Read the article and watch the video, Cause for Concrn here.

Learn more about Jacob Savage’s project, Concrn here.

Umra Omar featured in Global Citizen

Doctors With Boats: How a Kenyan Woman Is Keeping Her People Healthy, September 2016

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“In 2010, after completing two degrees in the United States, Umra Omar returned to her homeland. And really, you couldn’t blame her: the coastal region of Kenya, where she was born, is pristine and beautiful. At its hub is Lamu, a 14th-century town of Swahili-heritage that looks out onto the Indian Ocean, its coastline peppered with the rocking white boats of fisherman and tourists.

Read the article, Doctors With Boats: How a Kenyan Woman Is Keeping Her People Healthy, here.

Learn more about Umra Omar’s project, Safari Doctors, here.

Tsechu Dolma in Glacier Hub

Greenhouses bring hope to vulnerable mountain communities in Nepal, September 2016

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“Growing up in a Tibetan refugee camp in Nepal, I vividly remember how food insecurity impacted our everyday lives. Floods, droughts, and landslides would immediately determine what we ate. We ate high carb with little nutritional value when things got really bad. I dreaded those days. I looked forward to the rare days when we had lots of vegetables. As a result, many in my community grew up malnourished. But things started changing once my mother started growing vegetables using plastic covering in small spaces. A small change, which shifted the trajectory of my four siblings and my life.”

Read the whole article, Greenhouses bring hope to vulnerable mountain communities in Nepal here.

Learn more about Tsechu Dolma’s project, Mountain Resiliency Project, here.

Thell Robinson, on Columbus, Ohio’s nbc4i.com

nbc4iTaking a stand against youth violence in Columbus, August 2016

“COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A Columbus youth leader is taking a stand against the city’s violence.”

“You can never have enough programs, organizations or individuals out here doing this type of work,” Thell Robinson III explained, outside of his downtown office.

“Robinson is the founder of A Thug is a Dud, also known as ATIAD, which is a nonprofit organization aimed at keeping at-risk youth on the right path.”

Read the whole article, Taking a stand against youth violence in Columbus here.

Learn more about Thell Robinson here.

Jono Vaughan featured in The Creators Project

99 Objects Embody the “Hirstory,” of Trans Art, August 2016

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“A full year before Time Magazine published it’s June 2014 “Transgender Tipping Point” cover featuring actress Laverne Cox tip-toeing forward in a cyan colored dress, artist Chris Vargas created the Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art. MOTHA is an imaginary museum that aims to collect and archive objects and ephemeral representations of a visual history that encompasses the contemporary and little-known narratives of trans people. One museum project that seeks to institutionally document trans histories and micro-histories is the museum’s ever expanding Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects collection, currently on view at the Henry Art Gallery.”

Read the whole article, 99 Objects Embody the “Hirstory,” of Trans Art here.

Learn more about Jono Vaughan’s project, Project 42, here.

Thell Robinson in The Columbus Dispatch

The columbus dispatchFormer gang member throws party to help reduce crime, August 2016

“A gang intervention social worker who once worked with a city-of-Columbus program to reduce gang violence is inviting residents and people involved in criminal activity to a party this Friday.”

“The goal of the party is to get young people off the streets.”

“Thell Robinson, a former gang member who served prison time, has organized the party with the help of the nonprofit he founded, called “A Thug Is A Dud.”

Read the whole article, Former gang member throws party to help reduce crime here.

Learn more about Thell Robinson here.

Purity Wanjohi in WTV Kenya

She Power: Mazingara Safi, August 2016

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“Purity and her colleague were interviewed on their work for a TV show called She Power which was focusing on women and the environment.”

Watch the video, She Power: Mazingara Safi here.

Learn more about Purity Wanjohi’s project, Mazingira Safi Initiative, here.

Karen Snook on Little Things

little-thingsCalifornia Farm Helps Struggling Students By Bonding With Animals, August 2016

“I grew up on a dead end street, and every night, all the kids got together to play tag or catch fireflies. I remember my childhood very fondly, and I can always think back on it and smile.”

“But sometimes, when kids are surrounded by unhealthy activities in their neighborhood, like gang violence or drug use, there can be very little hope for a way out.”

“Karen Snook, now Executive Director at the Kindred Spirits Care Farm, realized that after 20 years in the corporate world, she needed to follow her heart.”

Read the whole article, California Farm Helps Struggling Students By Bonding With Animal here.

Learn more about Karen Snook, here.

Sophia Horwich featured in The Huffington Post

This Would-Be Doctor Switched Paths To Help People In An Entirely Different Way, August 2016

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“Kunle Oladehin was on track to becoming a doctor as a biology student at Harvard. But he switched paths when he realized his love of dance was something he could use to help communities thrive.  Oladehin explained to HuffPost Rise in a new video that he felt pressure from his parents to become a doctor. But the longer he worked in health care, the more he realized his heart wasn’t pulling him toward medicine.  “I started to explore the way to intersect these two things of being really passionate in dance but really, really also deeply caring about the health of people and the health of humanity,” Oladehin said. “So I just thought to myself what if dance is a way that I’m supposed to have an impact in making communities as a whole healthier?””

Read the whole article, This Would-Be Doctor Switched Paths To Help People In An Entirely Different Way here.

Learn more about Sophia Horwich’s project, Everybody Dance Now! Chicago, here.

Michael Harrington featured in Festival Reviews

Interview with Festival Director Michael Harrington (Wandering Reel Traveling Film Festival), August 2016

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“Wandering Reel is a traveling short film festival with a focus on bringing meaningful films to communities with limited or no access to compassionate, thought-provoking cinema. We strive to engage our audiences in deeper conversation about the role of cinema, and how films can relate to community, conscious living, and contribute to making the world a stronger and more unified place.”

Read the whole article, Interview with Festival Director Michael Harrington (Wandering Reel Traveling Film Festival) here.

Learn more about Michael Harrington’s project, The Wandering Reel Traveling Film Festival, here.

Melissa Madera featured in The Pool, UK

The pool logoThe podcaster encouraging women everywhere to talk about their abortions, August 2016

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“When Melissa Madera sticks out her hand to shake mine I notice her wristbands straight away. “I had an abortion,” they say – a slogan that is also printed on the tote bag slung across her shoulder.  The 36-year-old New Yorker is determined to normalise talking openly about our experiences of abortion, and over the last two years has recorded the stories of almost 200 women for her website theabortiondiary.com.”

Read the whole article, The podcaster encouraging women everywhere to talk about their abortions here.

Learn more about Melissa Madera’s project, The Abortion Diary here.

Holly Schlaack featured on Fox Channel 19 TV in Cincinnati

Fox 19 News Cincinnati

Searchers, volunteers gather to remember Marcus Fiesel 10 years later, August 2016

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“This month marks 10 years since thousands of people showed up to Julifs park in Anderson Township to search for Marcus Fiesel. On Sunday, many of those same searchers and volunteers came back to the park to remember the then 3-year-old. “The story was just, it really touched my heart and I was out here ten years ago with my kids searching through the park,” said Michelle Beckham-Corbin.”

Read the whole article and watch the video, Searchers, volunteers gather to remember Marcus Fiesel 10 years later here.

Learn more about Holly Schlaack’s project, Invisible Kids Project, here.

Jaha Dukureh featured in The Washington Post

With 500,000 female genital mutilation survivors or at risk in U.S., it’s not just someone else’s problem, August 2016

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“Visualize a long line, more than 500,000 people long. Look closer. They are all female. You’ll see lots of girls, some new born. What you can’t see is the many who have had their genitalia mutilated. Those who haven’t are in danger. This imaginary queue represents real people, the number of women and girls in the United States who were “at risk of or had been subjected to female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in 2012.” The dispassionate language of a Government Accountability Office report reveals an alarming trend: the number of women and girls in the United States potentially facing or who have already suffered mutilation has grown threefold since 1990. A practice that should be extinct, now concerns many more people than the population of Atlanta.”

Read the whole article, With 500,000 female genital mutilation survivors or at risk in U.S., it’s not just someone else’s problem here.

Learn more about Jaha Dukureh’s project, Campaign to End Female Genital Mutilation  here.

letef Vita on HuffPost Black Voices

Grantee letef Vita on HuffPost Black Voices, This former gangster is healing his hood through organic gardening, August 2016

Letef Vita




Samantha Ngcolomba on Red Bull Amaphiko.com

red-bull-amaphikoLady Liberty provides legal access for the poor, August 2016

“Sam Ngcolomba believes all women deserve access to legal assistance, more especially those in South African townships. Through her mobile legal office, Lady Liberty, Sam empowers women by educating them about their basic human rights. Sam is now working towards creating a mobile app that will allow more women to access information easily and affordably. Watch Sam tell us more about her project below.”

Read the whole article, Lady Liberty provides legal access for the poor here.

Learn more about Samantha Ngcolomba here.

Dejah Powell featured in Hyde Park Herald

Hide park herald logoChicago Native to host environment-related camp on University of Chicago campus, August 2016

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“Chicago-native and Cornell University Junior Dejah Powell has been passionate about the environment for years. She has been involved in several environmental research opportunities and met former president Bill Clinton through the Clinton Global Initiative which focuses on issues of the environment, education and global poverty. This month, from Aug. 15 – 19, she will be working with young Chicago students to teach them the passion and knowledge she has gained about the environment: in partnership with the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program, an initiative that prepares Chicago Public Schools students for university, she is running a summer camp to teach Chicago students ages 9-13 about environmental issues and research. So far there are 18 campers; Powell is hoping that 20-25 will have signed up by the start of the program.

Read the whole article, Chicago Native to host environment-related camp on University of Chicago campus here.

Learn more about Dejah Powell’s project, Get Them to the Green, here.

See Beneath featured in Best Apps for Kids

Aiko & Egor: Animation 4 Autism, July 2016

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“Parents, teachers, and others who work with kids with autism have a new resource designed to help autistic kids learn and practice key developmental skills. The app centers around a video series starring two fish – Aiko & Egor. In each episode, the characters interact with one another. After watching the video, kids can then practice engaging in similar conversations and activities. While kids start on the app, they finish away from the app, building skills in real life.”

Read the whole article, Aiko & Egor: Animation 4 Autism here.

Learn more about See Beneath’s project, Animation for Autism: Aiko & Egor, here.

Tsechu Dolma on YouthActionNet

youthactionnet2016 Laureate Global Fellows, July 2016

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“Meet the 2016 Laureate Global Fellows—20 changemakers under 30 years of age who are developing creative, locally-driven solutions to some of the world’s most vexing challenges.”

“In 2015 alone, initiatives founded by these young leaders impacted more than 290,000 lives in 18 countries. Through the support of Laureate International Universities, this year’s fellows will kick off their fellowship journeys through a week-long transformational leadership retreat, followed by a year of coaching, advocacy, and networking opportunities.”

Read the whole article, 2016 Laureate Global Fellows here.

Learn more about Tsechu Dolma’s project, Mountain Resiiency Project, Nepal, here.

Sinazo Didiza featured in MTV Staying Alive

MTV_Staying_AliveSouth African Women’s Sexual Health Struggle, July 2016

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“My name is Sinazo Didiza, and I’m from South Africa, a country with an HIV prevalence rate of 19.2%, higher than anywhere else in the world. Women are particularly affected, with more than 4 million South African women living with HIV. In South Africa, young women experience a number of challenges when it comes to accessing sexual reproductive health services. Among those challenges is the lack of youth-friendly services. In most public health facilities, there is a lack of privacy and confidentiality, which makes it difficult for young people to seek sexual and reproductive health (SRH) advice. Most young women have experienced discrimination, shaming, and prejudice when visiting sexual health clinics. One of the contributing factors to this is the attitudes of health service providers, which are often old-fashioned given the age of practitioners, and tend to impose their own values, advocating against pre-marital sex and early sexual experiences. This creates a huge barrier for most sexually active young people to visit sexual health clinics, because of fear of discrimination and prejudice.”

Read the whole article, South African Women’s Sexual Health Struggle, here.

Learn more about Sinazo Didiza’s project, Sexual Health Rights and Advocacy Foundation, here.