Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

This Organization Has A Unique Voter Education Message This National Voter Registration Day

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4CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Sept. 25, 2018: With 42 days until the November 6, 2018 mid-term election in the U.S. from today, September 25, 2018, one organization is taking a unique voter education message to its growing foreign-born immigrant voting bloc this National Voter Registration Day.

CaribPR Wire, the PR newswire of the Caribbean and partner of the PR Newswire, is tapping into the carnival and party culture of the burgeoning Caribbean immigrant population in the US by leading a carnival-themed voter promotion campaign to urge Caribbean immigrants and Caribbean Americans who are eligible to vote, to ensure they do.

The promotion is the brain-child of CaribPR Wire founder, Felicia J. Persaud, to stimulate and drum-up voter turn-out among Caribbean immigrant voters in the U.S. this November. According to the recent U.S. Census’s American Community Survey, the Caribbean immigrant population in the US has grown by a projected 600,000 in recent years to surpass a conservative estimate of 3 million nationally.

The creative social media targeted advertising campaign includes 9 Caribbean-centric messages as: “Lime, Wine, Vote” “Vote Or Your Lime Is History” and “Jam Up The Polls This Nov. 6th.” There are also culturally specific messages including: “Jab Jab To The Polls This Nov. 6th,” “Hot Gyal A Vote,” “Dutty Wine To The Polls This Nov. 6th” and “Ride De Riddim and Vote This Nov. 6th.” There is also a unique message for Haitian voters.

“This is the most critical election of our life-time as immigrants in this country, especially given the anti-immigrant policies being put in place by this administration,” said the Guyana-born, U.S. citizen and media entrepreneur. “Those of us who have earned the hard-fought right to vote need to use it on D-Day, Nov. 6th, or we may lose it forever and be shocked to find ourselves sucking salt back in the islands and nations we came from.”

The campaign was conceptualized and created by award-winning digital media company, Hard Beat Communications and is aimed at keeping the beat of carnival going into the polls this November 6th.

The messages can accessed on CaribPR’s Facebook page here.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kathy Bronson

kbronson@hardbeatcommunications.com

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Carnival-Themed Voter Promotion To Push Participation Of Caribbean Immigrants In U.S. Elections Launched

One of the Carnival-themed promos unveiled by CaribPR as part of its Caribbean American voting push for Nov. 6, 2018.

One of the Carnival-themed promos unveiled by CaribPR as part of its Caribbean American voting push for Nov. 6, 2018.

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 21, 2018: With 46 days until the November 6, 2018 mid-term election in the U.S. from today, September 21, 2018, CaribPR Wire, the PR newswire of the Caribbean and partner of the PR Newswire, is launching a carnival-themed voter promotion campaign across the United States to urge Caribbean immigrants and Caribbean Americans who are eligible to vote, to ensure they do.

The promotion is the brain-child of CaribPR Wire founder, Felicia J. Persaud, to stimulate and drum-up voter turn-out among the Caribbean immigrant voting bloc in the U.S. this November.

“This is the most critical election of our life-time as immigrants in this country, especially given the anti-immigrant policies being put in place by this administration,” said the Guyana-born, U.S. citizen and media entrepreneur. “Those of us who have earned the hard-fought right to vote need to use it on D-Day, Nov. 6th, or we may lose it forever and be shocked to find ourselves sucking salt back in the islands and nations we came from.”

The campaign was conceptualized and created by award-winning digital media company, Hard Beat Communications and is aimed at keeping the beat of carnival going into the polls this November 6th. The creative social media targeted advertising campaign includes 9 Caribbean-centric messages as: “Lime, Wine, Vote” “Vote Or Your Lime Is History” and “Jam Up The Polls This Nov. 6th.” There are also culturally specific messages including: “Jab Jab To The Polls This Nov. 6th,” “Hot Gyal A Vote,” “Dutty Wine To The Polls This Nov. 6th” and “Ride De Riddim and Vote This Nov. 6th.”

Media houses and Caribbean nationals wishing to download the ads and share the message can access them on CaribPR’s Facebook page here.

“We urge all Caribbean immigrants, organizations, entertainers and Caribbean nationals globally to spread the message and to insist their family and friends who can vote in the U.S. do so this November 6th or the civil rights and liberties we see quickly eroding right now may be history,” Persaud added.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kathy Bronson

kbronson@hardbeatcommunications.com

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Global Standards Leader ASTM International Launches “Caribbean Roadshow” in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana

WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pennsylvania, May 14, 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — ASTM International, one of the world’s leading standards organizations, announced today that it will host several events in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana as part of the “Caribbean Roadshow,” June 4-8.

The roadshow includes outreach, training, and education focused on the growing use of ASTM International standards and International Code Council (ICC) codes. The team will highlight longstanding Caribbean partnerships and focus on how standards and codes are the foundation for quality and safety in construction projects.

Activities also include industry workshops and meetings with high-profile groups in Kingston (June 4-5), Port of Spain (June 6), and Georgetown (June 7-8). Speakers will include Mark Johnson, executive vice president of ICC, and R. Christopher Mathis, ASTM International board member and president of MC2 Mathis Consulting.

“This partnership involves unprecedented outreach and networking aimed at finding solutions to sustainable construction challenges,” said ASTM International director of external relations, James Olshefsky. “We look forward to highlighting the many members and dozens of partners who increasingly use ASTM’s high-quality standards throughout the region.”

In addition, the roadshow will include student forums during which students will learn about ASTM’s academic offerings, and laboratory roundtables, where ASTM staff will present information about ASTM’s laboratory services.

ASTM International has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) as well as all of its member states including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana. These agreements encourage participation of technical experts worldwide in the standards development process, while also broadening the global acceptance of ASTM International standards.

The “Caribbean Roadshow” follows a similar roadshow in September 2017 to El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Over the past 17 years, ASTM International has signed 109 MOUs with national standards bodies worldwide. As a result, its standards have been referenced more than 7,500 times outside the United States in laws, regulations, codes, and elsewhere. For more information on this program, visit www.astm.org/GLOBAL/mou.html.

Follow the Road Show on Facebook and Twitter (#ASTMRoadShow).

About ASTM International

Committed to serving global societal needs, ASTM International positively impacts public health and safety, consumer confidence, and overall quality of life. We integrate consensus standards – developed with our international membership of volunteer technical experts – and innovate services to improve lives… Helping our world work better.

Roadshow Contact: James Olshefsky, tel +1.610.832.9714; jolshefsky@astm.org

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The Sunwing Foundation partners with Books Give Us Wings to spread the love of reading on Read Across Jamaica Day

CaribPR Wire, TORONTO, May 08, 2018: As part of their recently launched Flying Start program, Sunwing Foundation is joining forces with Books Give Us Wings (a Toronto-based charity established by seasoned North York elementary school teacher and Jamaican-born, Myrna Gabbidon, that promotes children’s literacy in the Caribbean) to fly just under 3,000 new and gently used children’s books to Jamaica in time for Read Across Jamaica Day (May 8th).

A quantity of books donated were collected as part of the Sunwing Foundation’s Flying start program that seeks to provide children with all the necessary supplies for learning in destinations served by the travel company. A large part of today’s donation was coordinated by Ms. Gabbidon who reached out to students at several schools across Toronto for help in order that a special delivery could be made in time for the national reading awareness day.

Ms. Gabbidon and the books collected were flown down on Sunwing Airlines to Jamaica yesterday. Sunwing’s local destination team, Sunwing Experiences, will be coordinating deliveries of the books to select local elementary schools throughout Jamaica with Ms. Gabbidon today, May 8th, and May 9th.

“My primary goal with this initiative is to ensure every child owns a book, as I believe literacy and art are both key to helping children become successful in their education and develop into contributing members of society,” says Gabbidon. “When you give a child a book, you give them wings; enabling their imagination to take flight and to become passionate and curious about the world.”

The Sunwing Foundation established the Flying Start program earlier this year to support students in the Caribbean by providing them with books and education supplies. Today’s donation is expected to positively impact thousands of Jamaican students.

“The Sunwing Foundation is committed to supporting youth and education projects in the destinations we serve.” says Stephen Hunter, CEO of Sunwing Travel Group. “We are pleased to help promote literacy on Jamaica’s National Reading Day.”

For more information on the Sunwing foundation, please visit www.sunwingfoundation.com.

About The Sunwing Foundation

A charitable initiative established by the Hunter family, the Sunwing Foundation reflects the Sunwing Travel Group’s enduring commitment to the support and development of youth in the communities where it operates in the form of project funding or the transport of humanitarian aid. The Sunwing Foundation passes on 100% of the charitable donations it raises to the communities that need it the most, funding educational and skills development projects to provide a direct, impactful, and sustainable improvement to quality of life for years to come.

About Books Give Us Wings
Books Give Us Wings is a charitable initiative created and led by seasoned school teacher from the North York area of Toronto, Myrna Gibbon. The idea for Books Give Us Wings was sparked in 2011 when Marguerite Jackson, Director of North York Board of Education at the time, collaborated with a number of educators, including Myrna, to provide each elementary classroom a bin of books the students could relate to—both fiction and non-fiction. The initiative received such a strong and positive response, Myrna decided to take the initiative further. Thus, Books Give Us Wings was born.

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La fundación Sunwing Foundation se asocia con Books Give Us Wings para fomentar el amor por la lectura en el evento Read Across Jamaica Day

CaribPR Wire, TORONTO, May 09, 2018: Como parte de su programa Flying Start de reciente lanzamiento, la fundación Sunwing Foundation trabaja junto con Books Give Us Wings (una organización benéfica con sede en Toronto, creada por la experimentada maestra de escuela primaria de North York, la jamaiquina Myrna Gabbidon, que promueve la alfabetización de los niños en el Caribe) para enviar por avión casi 3000 libros para niños nuevos y usados en buen estado a Jamaica a tiempo para el día de fomento de la lectura Read Across Jamaica Day (el 8 de mayo).

Una gran cantidad de libros donados se recolectó como parte del programa Flying Start de Sunwing Foundation, que busca brindar a los niños todos los elementos necesarios para el aprendizaje en los destinos a los que vuela la empresa de viajes. Gran parte de la donación de hoy fue coordinada por la Sra. Gabbidon, quien se comunicó con estudiantes de muchas escuelas de Toronto para pedirles ayuda para que esta entrega especial pudiera realizarse a tiempo para el día nacional de fomento de la lectura.

La Sra. Gabbidon y los libros recolectados volaron ayer a Jamaica en Sunwing Airlines. El equipo local de Sunwing, Sunwing Experiences, coordinará la entrega de los libros a escuelas primarias seleccionadas en todo el territorio jamaiquino junto con la Srta. Gabbidon, el 8 y 9 de mayo.

“Mi principal objetivo con esta iniciativa es garantizar que cada niño posea un libro, ya que creo que la lectura y el arte son clave para ayudar a los niños a triunfar en el aprendizaje y a desarrollarse como miembros activos de la sociedad”, expresó la Sra. Gabbidon. “Darle un libro a un niño es darle alas; esto permite que su imaginación vuele, le da entusiasmo y despierta su curiosidad con respecto al mundo”.

Sunwing Foundation lanzó a principios de este año el programa Flying Start para apoyar a los estudiantes del Caribe mediante la provisión de libros y suministros para la educación. Se espera que la donación de hoy tenga un impacto positivo en miles de estudiantes jamaiquinos.

“Sunwing Foundation se ha comprometido a apoyar a los jóvenes y a los proyectos educativos en los destinos a los que viaja”, comentó Stephen Hunter, director ejecutivo de Sunwing Travel Group. “Nos complace ayudar a promover la lectura en el Día Nacional de la Lectura de Jamaica”.

Si desea obtener más información sobre Sunwing Foundation, visite www.sunwingfoundation.com.

Acerca de Sunwing Foundation

Sunwing Foundation, una iniciativa benéfica creada por la familia Hunter, refleja el inquebrantable compromiso del Sunwing Travel Group de apoyar a los jóvenes en las comunidades donde opera mediante la financiación de proyectos o el transporte de ayuda humanitaria. Sunwing Foundation destina el 100 % de las donaciones que recauda a las comunidades que más lo necesitan a través de la financiación de programas educativos y de desarrollo de habilidades con el fin de crear mejoras directas, concretas y sostenibles en la calidad de vida de los años venideros.

Acerca de Books Give Us Wings
Books Give Us Wings es una iniciativa benéfica creada y liderada por Myrna Gabbidon, una experimentada maestra de North York, en el área de Toronto. La idea de Books Give Us Wings surgió en 2011 cuando Marguerite Jackson, directora de la Junta de Educación de North York en aquel momento, colaboraba con algunos educadores, incluida Myrna, para brindar a cada clase de la escuela primaria una caja de libros, de ficción y de no ficción, con los que los niños pudieran sentirse identificados. La iniciativa tuvo una respuesta contundente y positiva, pero Myrna decidió ampliar esta iniciativa. Así surgió Books Give Us Wings.

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Global Innovations for Character Development

CaribPR Wire, NASSAU, Bahamas, March 13, 2018: Can humility go viral? Can we disrupt barriers to gratitude? Can technology promote forgiveness? Templeton World Charity Foundation is announcing $15 million USD in funding over five years to answer these questions through Global Innovations for Character Development (GICD). This first-of-its-kind initiative will support scientifically sound innovations that explore how character development can be recognized, invested in, and nurtured for its critical role in transforming lives.

Andrew Serazin, President of the Templeton World Charity Foundation, remarked, “We believe that character development is a pillar of human development. Through this initiative, we hope that researchers, policymakers, and innovators around the world will respond with their best ideas.”

The Templeton World Charity Foundation has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for research and implementation projects in low- and middle-income countries worldwide, including Latin America and the Caribbean. This initial round will fund as many as ten proof-of-concept awards for up to $234,000 USD to proposals that develop novel approaches to fostering specific character strengths, as well as scales for measuring them.

The Foundation will also offer an award of up to $1 million USD to scale up a character development innovation. This larger opportunity is open to innovations that have a peer-reviewed evidence base, and that are ready to achieve substantial impact through widespread implementation. The Foundation anticipates additional calls for proposals in this initiative in future years.

Character strengths are learned and learnable attributes, skills, or habits which enable individuals to live better, more fulfilling and prosperous lives. Successful proposals will demonstrate a clear path to generating impact on individuals through demonstrable changes in knowledge, awareness and the practice of specific character strengths. Proposals must also include a rigorous evaluation methodology.

Based in Nassau, the Bahamas, the Templeton World Charity Foundation aims to provide scientific breakthroughs and practical tools relating to the search for meaning, purpose, and truth. The Foundation works with top institutions, thought leaders, and innovators from around the globe to support projects of the highest caliber and communicate the results of these projects to a wide audience.

The deadline for Round 1 of the RFP is June 15, 2018. For more information, visit www.globalcharacter.org.

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Scholastic Literacy Pro™ Named Primary Resource/ Equipment Supplier of the Year at The 2018 GESS Education Awards

Literacy Pro Recognized for Matching Students with High-Interest, Authentic Titles to Raise Reading Achievement while Providing Educators with Data to Differentiate Instruction

NEW YORK, March 8, 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Literacy Pro™, an innovative digital reading and assessment program from the international division of Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, was named the Primary Resource/Equipment Supplier of the Year by the 2018 GESS Education Awards. The GESS Education Awards recognize high-quality and diverse educational products, resources, service and people as well as the best educational establishments and the most dedicated members of the teaching profession.

Scholastic Logo.

For more information about Literacy Pro, visit scholastic.com/literacypro.

As the Primary Resource/Equipment Supplier of the Year, Literacy Pro was recognized for its strength in guiding educators to support students in grades 2–12 in reaching reading proficiency goals, connecting them to authentic books that will maximize their achievement, and building a culture of reading within a school.

Currently used in 47 countries, Literacy Pro provides an online adaptive assessment that measures students’ reading comprehension and generates a personalized book list that matches each student’s reading level and individual interests. Each title includes a comprehension quiz that provides an opportunity for students to earn points towards certificate levels in the program. Educators also have access to dashboards where they can view detailed reports that inform instructional decisions and ensure students are reaching required levels of proficiency, all of which can be customized within the program to support different curriculum benchmarks.

Literacy Pro Library, an enhancement of the program, offers an interactive ebook library consisting of more than 900 titles including popular series Goosebumps™, Discover More, A True Book™, and more. The Library includes resources such as audio books, interactive vocabulary, and a student recording feature to provide a personalized experience for all readers. Additionally, educators can assign books to students using reading levels and content areas and monitor their reading progress.

QUOTES:

Anne Boynton-Trigg, VP, Export Sales and Marketing at Scholastic
“We are honored that Scholastic Literacy Pro has been named ‘Primary Resource/Equipment Supplier of the Year’ and is receiving recognition as a program students and educators can depend on to inform classroom instruction and independent reading. The program’s ability to effortlessly match students with engaging, authentic texts they want to read creates a culture of reading that engages every child while building the foundation they need to become lifelong learners.

Leticia Becerril, Educator and Literacy Pro user, Colegio Cuernavaca, Mexico
“Literacy Pro and Literacy Pro Library provide teachers with evidence-based data so we can make the best teaching and learning decisions to develop our students into successful, proficient readers.”

Since 2017, Scholastic Literacy Pro has received the BESSIE award for Best Primary Literacy Resource Website and was a finalist for the 2018 BETT award for Best Primary Content Resource.

For more information about Scholastic, visit http://mediaroom.scholastic.com.

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Knowledge First Financial to Acquire Heritage Education Funds to Pursue a Shared Goal of Helping Families Maximize Their Education Savings

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Jan. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — On January 3, 2018 Knowledge First Financial announced the acquisition of Heritage Education Funds Inc. and Heritage Education Funds International, LLC to pursue a shared goal of helping families maximize their education savings. The companies will create the largest Education Savings Plan provider in Canada and select international markets with a total of $6.4 billion in assets under management. Knowledge First is owned by a not-for-profit Foundation, while Heritage was privately held.

Each company brings more than 50 years of helping families across the globe save for post-secondary education through the use of a focused education savings plan. Heritage Education Funds International has been serving the education savings needs of customers around the globe for more than three decades.

“We are very pleased to bring together these two strong, long-standing financial institutions,” says George Hopkinson, President and CEO, Knowledge First Financial. “We believe the combined size and scale of these two organizations will enable us to meet a growing need for education specialists who are dedicated to helping families maximize their education savings.”

“It’s a privilege to serve families around the world who are planning ahead so their children can pursue a post-secondary education,” said Jason Maguire, outgoing president and CEO of Heritage Education Funds International, LLC. “Now we are in an even stronger position to make our education savings plans available to more parents and grandparents.”

The Heritage International Scholarship Trust Plan is a US dollar-denominated savings plan which has, to date, over US $115 million in asset under management and has benefited over 20,000 students attending post-secondary institutions in the Caribbean, United States, Canada, UK and other parts of the world. The Plan is sponsored by The Heritage International Scholarship Trust Foundation, a not-for-profit Canadian corporation which was also part of the acquisition. Since its inception, The Heritage International Scholarship Trust Foundation has returned more than US$152 million in principal, educational assistance payments and scholarships to qualified students.

The Heritage International Scholarship Trust Plan will continue to be distributed and managed as it is today. The international business will operate under the name of Knowledge First International Inc. and the company will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Knowledge First Foundation. The Knowledge First Foundation is a not-for-profit Canadian corporation that reinvests its net revenue in initiatives that support student success. Since 1965 the Knowledge First Foundation has provided students with nearly $50 million in additional discretionary top-up payments and has awarded more than $1 million in post-graduate scholarships.

George Hopkinson will continue as President and CEO and will lead the integration activities.  Jason Maguire will join Knowledge First as Managing Director to assist in the integration and continue to lead and support the international operation.

The acquisition closed January 2, 2018.

The acquisition is not expected to have any impact on subscribers or beneficiaries to the Heritage International Scholarship Trust Plan or Knowledge First Plans.  Blair Franklin Capital Partners Inc. is serving as financial advisor and Wildeboer Dellelce, LLP is acting as legal counsel to Knowledge First.

About Knowledge First Financial

Canadian families have relied on education savings plans offered by Knowledge First Financial for more than 50 years.  Today the company provides sound financial management and administers $3.72 billion in assets on behalf of more than 250,000 customers. Since 1965, payments from the plans have reached $3.6 billion.

Knowledge First Financial Inc. is the investment fund manager, administrator and distributor of the Registered Education Savings Plans.

About Heritage Education Funds

Heritage Education Funds is a leading and trusted provider of Education Savings Plans, with over 50 years of experience in Canada and over 30 years in select international markets.

Heritage Education Funds International operates in Jamaica, Bahamas, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands.

visit www.HeritageESPcom.

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Ambassador Susan E. Rice and Raptors Head, Masai Ujiri amongst six honourees to be recognized at the ninth annual University of the West Indies Toronto Benefit Gala

TORONTO, Jan. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – The University of the West Indies today announced that Ambassador Susan E. Rice, who served in President Barack Obama’s administration, and Mr. Masai Ujiri, President of the Raptors, are amongst the six being honoured at the ninth annual UWI Toronto Benefit Gala on Saturday, April 7, 2018, at The Ritz-Carlton Toronto. The other honourees include Dr. Victor S. Blanchette, Dr. Avis Glaze, Dr. Michael S. Pollanen and the YMCA. The event will again be hosted by CBC News Anchor Dwight Drummond. Lead Sponsor is Scotiabank for the ninth consecutive year.

Ambassador Rice will receive the Luminary Award, which is presented to people of Caribbean Heritage who have made their mark globally, in their respective fields, or people who have brought prominence to the Caribbean or to issues which affect the Region.

Ms. Rice served as National Security Advisory and U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. She led the National Security Council Staff and chaired the Cabinet-level National Security Principals Committee. For four years, she also served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. In 2000, she was the recipient of the White House’s Samuel Nelson Drew Memorial Award for distinguished contributions to the formation of peaceful, cooperative relationships between states. Other roles she has served include Special Assistant to President William J. Clinton, Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House, and Director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping on the National Security Staff. She was also a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, conducting research and publishing widely on U.S. foreign policy, transnational security threats, weak states, global poverty and development. The Washington native has served on numerous boards, including the Bureau of National Affairs, the National Democratic Institute and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. In 2017, French President Francois Hollande presented Ambassador Rice with the Award of Commander, the Legion of Honor of France, for her contributions to Franco-American relations.

Mr. Masai Ujiri, professional basketball executive and President of the Toronto Raptors, will receive the G. Raymond Chang Award. The G. Raymond Chang Award was established to honour outstanding individuals who exemplify the leadership ideals of G. Raymond Chang (1948-2014), who was a well-respected and outstanding Canadian and Caribbean business leader and philanthropist who embodied great humility and commitment to his fellow persons. Mr. Chang passed away in July 2014, and was the UWI Gala’s patron for five years.

Nigerian born, Mr. Ujiri is a former basketball scout and player. After emigrating to the U.S., he played at Bismarck State College and Montana State University Billings and then played professionally in Europe for six years. In 2002, he worked as a youth coach in Nigeria after ending his professional playing career. He then became an unpaid scout for NBA’s Orlando Magic and eventually was hired as an international scout for the Denver Nuggets, followed by becoming the Director of Global Scouting for the Toronto Raptors. Mr. Ujiri became the Raptors’ assistant general manager in 2008, but returned to the Nuggets in 2010 as executive vice president in charge of basketball operations. In 2013, he was named NBA Executive of the Year, the only non-American ever to receive that honour. Later that year, he became the President and General Manager of the Raptors. He is also affiliated with the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders Africa program, which promotes basketball throughout the continent. Ujiri’s work with Basketball Without Borders is profiled in Hubert Davis’s 2016 award winning documentary film Giants of Africa. Most recently Mr. Ujiri was conferred an Honorary Doctorate by Ryerson University in Toronto.

The Chancellor’s Award will be presented to the YMCA. As one of Canada’s longest standing and largest charities since 1851, it is dedicated to the growth of all persons in spirit, mind and body, and to their sense of responsibility to each other and the global community. It provides vital community services that are having a positive impact on some of Canada’s most pressing social issues. The YMCA has also assisted people of the Caribbean Diaspora in Toronto. The Chancellor’s Award is presented to organizations which have contributed significantly to the Caribbean, or outstanding organizations owned by persons of Caribbean heritage.

The Vice Chancellor’s Award is presented to people of Caribbean heritage and others whose body of work have contributed to the betterment of the Caribbean Region and who have made significant contributions within their organizations and communities. Three people will be awarded in 2018.

Dr. Victor S. Blanchette is a Medical Doctor of the Pediatric Thrombosis and Hemostasis Program in the Division of Haematology/Oncology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto. He is the McCaig Magee Family Medical Doctor of the SickKids Caribbean Cancer and Blood Disorders Initiative in the Centre for Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children. His research interests are in the area of the congenital and acquired bleeding disorders of children. Dr. Blanchette is the Director of the Pediatric Comprehensive Care Hemophilia Program at the Hospital for Sick Children, and chair of the International Prophylaxis Study Group (IPSG). He is an elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of the United Kingdom.

Dr. Avis Glaze is one of Canada’s outstanding educators, an author and a recognized international leader in education. This award-winning educator has experienced all levels of the school system as a classroom teacher, Superintendent of Schools and Director of Education. Dr. Glaze was one of five Commissioners on Ontario’s landmark Royal Commission on Learning, setting directions for the future of the education system. As the Province’s first Chief Student Achievement Officer and Founding CEO of the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, she played a vital role in working with educators to improve student learning, achievement and well-being. She taught at faculties of education at York University and the University of Toronto, and was appointed Professor in Residence at the Faculty of Education, University of Toronto. She is currently President of Edu-quest International Inc., offering a wide range of educational services and speaking engagements across the Globe.

Dr. Michael S. Pollanen is Chief Forensic Pathologist for Ontario and a Professor and Vice-Chair (Innovation) of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. He has been involved in case work and forensic missions in: East Timor, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Haiti, Thailand, Jamaica, Iraq, and Bermuda. He is a member of the forensic advisory board of the International Committee of the Red Cross and is the immediate Past President of the International Association of Forensic Science. Pollanen is a Founder of Forensic Pathology in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He is also Deputy Chief Coroner in Ontario.

Under the theme “Light, Learning and Liberty,” The UWI Toronto Benefit Gala brings together Canada’s business and academic communities to celebrate the greatness and tireless work of the honourees, and raise well needed funds for outstanding students in the Caribbean, whom otherwise would not have the chance to pursue higher learning.

Former Gala honourees include: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu, Senator Murray Sinclair, The Honourable Mr. Justice Michael Tulloch, Professor the Honourable Renn Holness O.J., Dr. Vivian Rumbihar, Kay McConney, Wayne Purboo, GraceKennedy Limited, Dr. Shirley J. Thompson, Food For The Poor, Mr. Stephen Ames, Mr. Wesley Hall, Dr. Paul Steinbok, The Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry, P.C., M.P., Dr. the Honourable Jimmy Cliff, OM, Tessanne Chin,  Roger Mooking and Mr. David Taylor, retired boxer and undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, The Hospital for Sick Children, Mary Anne Chambers, Dr. Upton Allen, Dr. Budhendranauth Doobay, The University of Toronto, award winning author Malcolm Gladwell, The University Health Network, Zanana Akande, The Honourable Harry Belafonte; The Right Hon. Michaëlle Jean, former Deputy Chief of Toronto police Mr. Keith L. Forde; Hon. Michael Lee-Chin, OJ; the Hon. Jean Augustine; the Hon. Justice Dr. Irving André and Dr. Karl Massiah, Senator Vivienne Poy and Mr. Charles Coffey.

In nine years, the event has awarded almost 400 scholarships. Many of the students are now practicing in their field, pursuing their dreams.

The Patron of the ninth annual Gala is The G. Raymond Chang Family (wife Donette Chin-Loy Chang, and children Andrew Chang and Brigette Chang Addorisio).

Please visit our website www.uwitorontogala.com, or call 416-214-7848 or email the secretariat toni@uwitorontogala.com, for more information.

About The University of the West Indies
The University of the West Indies was established in 1948 as a College of the University of London. It achieved full university status in 1962. Today it is the only pan-Caribbean tertiary level institution offering a wide array of diverse and accredited programmes to 45,000 students throughout the region, with campuses in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Anguilla, Antigua, The Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Turks and Caicos.

Over the years the UWI has also collaborated and formed MOU’s with several tertiary institutions in Canada and some of the UWI’s graduates have also received honours from Canadian universities.

Social Media
Web: http://www.uwitorontogala.com
Twitter:@uwitorontogala
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/UWIBenefitGalaToronto

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UVI RTPark Program Launches Donation Appeal To Support Fund For The U.S. Virgin Islands

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 6, 2017: The University of the Virgin Islands RTPark, (UVI RTPark), the Specialist Economic Development Program, has launched a special donation appeal to support the Fund For the U.S. Virgin Islands on the heels of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The RTPark’s own headquarters on St. Croix suffered significant exterior and interior damage from Hurricane Maria on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 with the building losing its decorative winged roof and suffering tremendous water damage to its offices.

But despite its loss, the RTPark as a good corporate citizen is pitching in to help by supporting the FUND FOR THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, (FFVI), which has been set up by the non-for-profit organization, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, (CFVI), in collaboration with USVI Delegate to Congress, Hon. Stacey Plaskett.

The RTPark’s immediate goal is to provide financial support for the critical needs of U.S. Virgin Islands residents impacted by both Hurricanes Irma and Maria. These needs include:

·         Water

·         Food Supplies

·         Clean-Up Supplies

·         Batteries, Lanterns

·         Diapers

·         Baby formula

·         Tarpaulins

Please support this effort by contributing a donation here.

The devastation wreaked by Hurricanes Irma and Maria provides a unique opportunity for the US Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean region to build capacity and undertake a major program in smart, green resilient technology,” said Executive Director Dr. Gillian Marcelle. “The RTPark is ready to make a major contribution to this effort as a knowledge hub that brings together the impact investment community, the private sector, governments and the academic community.”

C. Knox LaSister, CEO, Smart, Inc. added that the islands of the Caribbean, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, must look at making improvements such as: enhancing building codes, changing infrastructure requirements to respond to need for more resilient structural integrity; improved power generation and management systems and smart water distribution management systems.

“The UVI RTPark headquartered in St. Croix is the perfect hub for generating this kind of innovative and strategic thinking; we can find creative and effective solutions necessary in this new environment,” he added.

For more information about the UVI RTPark, log on to uvirtpark.net or find us at Twitter @UVI_RTPark or on Facebook at UVI Research and Technology Park. You can also tweet about us using the hashtags: #Rebuild USVI or #USVIStrong.

SOURCE: UVI RTPark

MEDIA CONTACT:

Felicia J. Persaud

felicia@hardbeatcommunications.com718-476-3616

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US Virgin Islands Specialist Economic Development Agency Focused On Becoming Impact Investment Hub For The Caribbean

anvil1-uvirtpark

Dale Le Febvre, one of the newest clients in the UVI RTPark and founder of Anvil 1 LLC, presents a donation for USD 750,000 to the University of the Virgin Islands on May 24, 2017.

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, June 2 2017: The US Virgin Islands Specialist Economic Development Agency, the University of the Virgin Islands RTPark, (UVI RTPark), is focused on becoming an impact investment hub for the Caribbean.

As the financial world shifts to embrace mission-oriented investing, the RTPark’s Executive Director, Dr. Gillian Marcelle, says the USVI is ready to lead the region in this sector.

Dale Le Febvre, one of the newest clients in the UVI RTPark, embodies the spirit and intention of impact investing.  Through Anvil 1 LLC, Le Febvre is investing in the USVI, through the RTPark, and is already giving back. Not only the youngest African-American to donate more than USD 1 million to the new Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture, he places great importance on education and has shown the way by investing in building the technical workforce of the future in the USVI and  pledging social investments of US$750,000 over the next 15 years to the University of the Virgin Islands for scholarships, research and teaching programs in process technology and energy.

Le Febvre, born in Beaumont Texas, is no stranger to the Caribbean, having lived in St. Thomas for the last seven years and having been an investor with Michael Lee Chin in AIC.

Using the skills and knowledge gained from his MIT Engineering, Harvard Law and Harvard MBA degrees, in combination with native intelligence and insights, Le Febvre has been able to generate value in places where others see none. He is now the owner of five large African-American-owned companies in areas where there was little diversity, such as data center management, long haul trucking, pipelines and mortgage finance.

Join Anvil 1 and many other businesses that have established businesses in the US Virgin Islands to take advantage of the many incentives offered while enjoying an island lifestyle and making a difference.

Join us via Facebook live at UVI Research and Technology Park or on Twitter @UVI_RTPark at 6:30 p.m. EST on June 7th as we share from New York City how the UVI RTPark can make a difference in your business and help you #WorkfromTheBeach.

For more information about the UVI RTPark, call 340-692-4300, email info@uvirtpark.net or find us at Twitter @UVI_RTPark or on Facebook at UVI Research and Technology Park

SOURCE: UVI RTPark

MEDIA CONTACT:

Felicia J. Persaud

felicia@hardbeatcommunications.com

718-476-3616

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Flow Customers Get Behind the Scenes Look At TV Production as CTI’s “Me On My TV” Reality Show Comes to Flow 1

Me On My TV- LOGO@2x (3)

CaribPRWire, MIAMI, FL, Fri. May 12, 2017: Flow Caribbean viewers will get a chance to go behind the scenes of the CaribbeanTales Incubator Program (CTI) and see what it takes to bring a TV production to life, as Me On My TV reality show comes to Flow’s new regional network Flow 1 starting on May 17.

Members of Ten Teams

Members of Ten Teams

This newest product of Flow’s partnership with CaribbeanTales chronicles the journey of ten teams of Caribbean and Caribbean Diaspora filmmakers who come together to compete for the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to create an original Caribbean-based TV series for Caribbean screens.

In Me on My TV, the 10 teams – selected from hundreds of applicants for the CTI, which Flow sponsors  – embark on five action-packed creative days in Toronto. Under the guidance of 12 international mentors, they pitch their TV series concepts to a room full of television industry executives at the largest film event in North America: The Toronto International Film Festival. In eight episodes viewers get to share in the tears and laughter, camaraderie and resolve, as each filmmaker works for the chance to bring their show to Caribbean TVs – but only three will come out on top.

“It’s been a pleasure to work alongside CaribbeanTales and continue to deliver Caribbean-focused content to our Flow TV viewers across the region,” said John Reid, CEO of Cable and Wireless, operator of Flow. “This series in particular is significant because it brings audiences closer to Caribbean filmmakers, letting them witness the creative process and glimpse what goes on during those inspiring CTI sessions in Toronto. Flow believes in providing original, high-quality Caribbean content to our audiences and supporting our region’s filmmakers — Me On My TV achieves both.”

CaribbeanTales Incubator founder and CEO Frances-Anne Solomon says, “Having this TV series released in the lead up to launching pilots for three original TV series is a dream come true. When we started the CaribbeanTales Incubator, this is what we envisioned: the opportunity for Caribbean audiences to watch Caribbean content designed, produced, and marketed for, by and about them.”

Multiple-award winning Martiniquan filmmaker Alain Bidard says of his experience with CTI, “It was a life-changing experience for me. I think differently, I understand the industry and I am not lost anymore. Thank you to both Flow and CaribbeanTales for the invaluable opportunity.”

Me On My TV’s executive producer is Christopher Laird and the directors are Lisa Rideout and Marvin Raftopoluos. Viewers can tune in to Flow 1 on May 17th at 9pm to find out what new shows are going to hit their TVs later this year. Each new episode will play on the eight following Wednesdays, and will have a re-run on the Fridays at 8pm. The episodes will become available on Flow on Demand and CaribbeanTales-TV.com for streaming on Saturdays.

About CaribbeanTales

CaribbeanTales is a group of companies that produces, markets, and sells Caribbean-themed film and television content for global audiences. It includes CaribbeanTales Inc. a registered Charity based in Toronto, Canada; the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival that produces events around the world; the CaribbeanTales Incubator, a year-round development and production hub, and CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution, the largest full-service distribution entity dedicated to the monetisation of Caribbean content; CaribbeanTalesFlix, our production arm, and CaribbeanTales-TV, a video on demand platform.

About C&W Communications

C&W is a full service communications and entertainment provider and delivers market-leading video, broadband, telephony and mobile services to consumers in 18 countries. C&W also operates a state-of-the-art submarine fiber network – the most extensive in the region. Learn more at http://www.cwc.com/, or follow C&W on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

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The University of the West Indies announces Canadian and Caribbean leaders to be honoured at the eighth annual Toronto Benefit Gala Saturday, April 1, 2017

TORONTO, Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – The University of the West Indies today announced leaders of Canadian and Caribbean heritage to be honored at the eighth annual Toronto Benefit Gala, on Saturday, April 1, 2017, at The Ritz-Carlton Toronto, hosted by CBC News Anchor Dwight Drummond.

Desmond Mpilo Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, will receive the Luminary Award. This award is given to people of Caribbean Heritage who are outstanding achievers on an international scale in their respective fields or people who have brought prominence to the Caribbean or to issues which affect the Region.

Archbishop Tutu has a strong passion for social justice, starting with his unflinching activism against Apartheid since the early 1970s, as the first Black Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and as Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. He has also used his high-profile position to campaign globally for poverty, HIV/AIDS, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and land rights. This is the second time UWI is recognizing the Archbishop for his accomplishments as he received an honorary degree from the university in 1986. Other prestigious acknowledgements he has received include the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Gandhi Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He will be represented at the UWI Toronto Gala by his daughter, Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu van Furth.

Canadian Senator Murray Sinclair will receive the G. Raymond Chang Award. The G. Raymond Chang award was established to honour outstanding individuals who exemplify the leadership and ideals of G. Raymond Chang (1948-2015). Mr. Chang was a recognized outstanding business leader and philanthropist who embodied great humility and commitment to his fellow persons. Chang, who passed away in July 2014, was the UWI Gala’s patron for five years.

Senator Sinclair served as the Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), documenting the history and legacy of Canada’s residential school system that affected the lives of more than 6000 indigenous women and men of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background. Sinclair also served as the justice system in Manitoba for over 25 years and was the first Aboriginal Judge appointed in Manitoba and Canada’s second. He served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Manitoba. Over the course of his career, he has been recognized for his work in his profession and his community as the recipient of numerous awards, including Honorary Doctorates from eight Canadian universities.

The University of the West Indies Toronto Benefit Gala will also honour one Caribbean organization and five Canadian and Caribbean leaders in the following award categories.

The Chancellor’s Award will be presented to GraceKennedy. Established in 1922 by Dr. John Grace and Mr. Fred William Kennedy, in Kingston, Jamaica, it is one of the Caribbean’s largest group of companies that began as a general mercantile, shipping and insurance business. It operates in the food and financial services industries, with operations in Jamaica, other Caribbean countries, and Belize, the U.S., UK, Canada and Africa. GraceKennedy has also contributed to Jamaica’s development through the years through its two Foundations, generously providing financial assistance to a host of worthy causes. They are the Grace & Staff Community Development Foundation (Grace & Staff) and the GraceKennedy Foundation. The Chancellor’s award is given to organizations, which have contributed significantly to the Caribbean, or outstanding organizations owned by persons of Caribbean heritage.

The Vice Chancellor’s Award, awarded to people of Caribbean heritage who have made significant contributions within their organizations and communities, will be presented to the five community leaders.

Dr. Renn Holness, Consultant Neurosurgeon
Dr. Holness is an alumnus of UWI’s Mona campus and recipient of an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (DSc). He served as Professor and Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, Dalhousie University and Director of The UWI Clinical Training Programme in Nassau, Bahamas. He served as President of the Canadian Neurological Society and Chairman of the Examining Board in Neurosurgery, Royal College of Physicians of Canada. He is a Professor and Examiner in Neurosurgery in the DM (UWI) Neurosurgery Programme and teaches at Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Ms. Kay McConney, Businesswoman and Retired Diplomat
Ms. McConney was the youngest Consul-General of Barbados in Canada. She also served as a high-level diplomat at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Switzerland; and as a trade negotiator at the World Trade Organization (WTO). In 2009, she founded The Executive Minds which specializes in strengthening institutional and individual capacities for 21st century environments, through training, coaching and consulting.

Mr. Wayne Purboo, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
Mr. Purboo is the President, CEO and Co-founder of Quickplay, developing award-winning technologies and forging critical partnerships with market leading content providers, video service providers, handset manufacturers and mobile service operators. He is also active on a number of Boards in Toronto.

Dr. Vivian Rambihar, Cardiologist and Community Activist
Dr. Rambihar is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a globally renowned cardiologist, involved in teaching, research and practice in Toronto for 35 years. Since 1990, he has lectured on ethnicity and health, and chaos/complexity and health across the West Indies. He is a pioneer in chaos and complexity science and is the first to apply these ideas to medicine, proposing their use in solving complex world problems, including peace, health, development, poverty reduction and climate change.  

The Honourable Mr. Justice Michael H. Tulloch, Judge, Ontario Court of Appeal
The Honourable Mr. Justice Michael H. Tulloch has been a judge on the Court of Appeals for Ontario since 2012 following nine years on the Superior Court of Justice. He was an Assistant Crown Attorney in both Peel and Toronto.

In 1995, he entered private practice, specializing in criminal law and continued in this practice until his appointment to the Bench in 2003. During his private practice, Justice Tulloch was also appointed a special prosecuting agent with the Federal Department of Justice, participating in a number of commissions. He has been actively involved in post-secondary education as well as numerous community organizations.

In 2011, he was appointed a Distinguished Research Fellow for the Centre of Law and Policy at Ryerson University. He is the recipient of two Honorary Doctorate Degrees. A Doctor of Laws from the University of Guelph and a Doctor of Theology from Tyndale University and Seminary.

The UWI Toronto Benefit Gala brings together Canada’s business and academic communities to celebrate the greatness and tireless work of the honourees, making it a much-anticipated event on the Toronto social calendar. Former honourees include: Dr. Shirley J. Thompson, Food For The Poor, Mr. Stephen Ames, Mr. Wesley Hall, Dr. Paul Steinbok, The Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry, P.C., M.P., Dr. the Honourable Jimmy Cliff, OM, Tessanne Chin,  Roger Mooking and Mr. David Taylor, retired boxer and undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, The Hospital for Sick Children, Mary Anne Chambers, Dr. Upton Allen, Dr. Budhendranauth Doobay, The University of Toronto, award winning author Malcolm Gladwell, The University Health Network, Zanana Akande, The Honourable Harry Belafonte; The Right Hon. Michaëlle Jean, former Deputy Chief of Toronto police Mr. Keith L. Forde; Hon. Michael Lee-Chin, OJ; the Hon. Jean Augustine; the Hon. Justice Dr. Irving André and Dr. Karl Massiah, Senator Vivienne Poy and Mr. Charles Coffey.

Under the theme “Light, Learning and Liberty”, The University of the West Indies Toronto Benefit Gala provides funds for scholarships.  Over 250 scholarships have been awarded to date. Over 70 have graduated, most with first class honours. The Patron of the eighth annual Gala is The G. Raymond Chang Family (wife Donette Chin-Loy Chang, and children Andrew Chang and Brigette Chang Addorisio).  Lead Sponsor is Scotiabank for the eighth consecutive year.

Please visit our website www.uwitorontogala.com, or call 416-214-7848 or email the secretariat toni@uwitorontogala.com, for more information.  At this time, the event is SOLD OUT.

About The University of the West Indies
The University of the West Indies was established in 1948 as a College of the University of London. It achieved full university status in 1962. Today it is the only pan-Caribbean tertiary level institution offering a wide array of diverse and accredited programmes to 45,000 students throughout the region, with campuses in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Anguilla, Antigua, The Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos.

Social Media
Web:
http://www.uwitorontogala.com
Twitter:@uwitorontogala
Facebook:www.facebook.com/UWIBenefitGalaToronto

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Passport Index launches new update

Germany takes the lead. Singapore becomes second.

MONTREAL, Jan. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Passport Index, the real-time global ranking of the world’s passports has announced a new update to its celebrated web service.

Photo – http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/457211/Arton_Capital_Passport_Index_launches_new_update.jpg

Germany takes the lead with a visa-free score of 157. Singapore overtakes South Korea and becomes the highest ranked Asian passport, with a visa free score of 156, coming second. South Korea fell to 6th place (152), while Japan, rose to 4th place, tied with European countries like Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, and others whose visa-free score is 154. Visa-free score represents the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.

In addition to the popular mosaic of passports, visitors of PassportIndex.org can now see the overall changes to the ranking of countries in 2016. Marshall Islands is on top of the winners’ list by adding 35 countries to its visa-free score. Palau, Micronesia, follow with 34 additional countries, while Solomon Islands and Tuvalu added 33. Peru is the biggest winner in South America with additional 31 countries.

The newly added World Openness Score (WOS) tracks the progression of freedom of mobility across the globe. The world openness score in 2016 was 17,925. In the few days of 2017, the score has already increased to 17,948. This trend shows opening of borders but will it continue? With the recent backlash on globalisation, the World Openness Score may be in danger of decline.

Comparing passports has never been easier with the streamlined comparison tables and powerful filters which allow you to focus on the countries you need.

The newly added Improve function on the other hand allows you to quickly see the potential of combining two passports together. Fans can add one or more passports to their current travel document with the goal to improve their Global Mobility Score (GMS). For example, a Lebanese citizen has a GMS of 38. However, by adding a passport of Saint Lucia, their Global Mobility Score increases drastically to 123, which would represent the possibility of visa-free travel to over 61% of the countries we examine. For many people, this is priceless.

According to John Hanafin, CEO of Arton Capital, “The desire to improve one’s opportunity and security for their family transcends borders. As such, having a second citizenship has never been more relevant.

In recent years, citizenship by investment has become a US$2B industry, with over 20,000 investors seeking a second residency or citizenship around the globe very year.

New Top 10 Passport Power Ranking:

  1. 157 – Germany
  2. 156 – Singapore, Sweden
  3. 155 – Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, UK, USA
  4. 154 – Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg, Portugal, Japan
  5. 153 – Malaysia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand
  6. 152 – Greece, South Korea, Australia
  7. 151 – Czech Republic, Iceland
  8. 150 – Hungary
  9. 149 – Malta, Poland
  10. 148 – Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia

New Top 10 Individual Passport Power Ranking:

  1. Germany
  2. Singapore
  3. Sweden
  4. Denmark
  5. Finland
  6. France
  7. Spain
  8. Switzerland
  9. Norway
  10. United Kingdom
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Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Civil Rights and Rule of Law Under Attack in the Bahamas

NEW YORK, Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Less than 100 miles from Florida, in the island democracy of the Bahamas, politicians and the police are harassing environmentalists, illegally hacking and publicly releasing their private communications and other confidential information. And, when the Supreme Court ordered several cabinet members to stop violating the conservationists’ constitutional rights, they threatened to jail the judge.

These startling events are laid out by environmental attorney and activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., chairman of Waterkeeper Alliance, in a new story in EcoWatch, one of America’s top environmental news sites.

Why are civil rights and the rule of law under attack? As Kennedy explains, some Bahamian officials are allied with one of the island’s worst unregulated developers. [See the full story and a video here: http://www.ecowatch.com/bahamas-nygard-bacon-kennedy-2128498516.html]. He notes that a well-connected billionaire developer who donated millions of dollars to members of Bahama’s government, Canadian apparel manufacturer Peter Nygard expanded the buildings on his private residence by filling Clifton Bay without government permission, damaging its world-famous marine area.

Shortly after a feisty environmental group, Save the Bays, sued Nygard, undercover police raided the home of Nygard’s neighbor, Louis Bacon, a philanthropist who co-founded the Save the Bays. In March, Bahamian cabinet ministers disclosed Save the Bays’ private emails and financial records during an open session of parliament.

Responding to a legal action by Save the Bays, the Bahamian Supreme Court ruled that the ministers had violated the environmentalists’ constitutional rights to privacy. But instead of backing down, the ministers doubled down. They appealed the ruling, arguing that parliamentary privilege trumped personal rights to privacy, and that the Supreme Court lacked power to enforce the constitution against parliament.  The ministers have launched a process to hold the lawyer who argued the case and the judge who decided against them in contempt of parliament.

The developer-friendly cabinet ministers are attacking the rule of law, stomping on privacy rights, and savaging judges, lawyers and environmental and human rights organizations, Kennedy’s story says, adding: It is time for level-headed leaders in the Bahamas to step in and fix this fiasco before permanent damage is done to the country’s natural environment and international reputation as a scenic destination and secure financial haven.

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COSME ANNOUNCES THREE FINALISTS FOR GLOBAL ENTREPRENEUR WEEK

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CaribPR Wire, TORTOLA, BVI, November 17, 2016 COSME, an European Union funded programme and key supporter of entrepreneurs in the Caribbean region, is proud to announce its three finalists in their Confessions of an Entrepreneur contest.  The three finalists are: Libbie Oliver, Owner of Caribbean Mountain Coffee, British Virgin Islands, Cristal Legrand of SSSAS Tourism Ambassador in Sint Maarten and Madhavi Mathura of Accounting & Enterprise Solutions in Cayman Islands.  These finalists were able to deliver a short, well-articulated message about being an Entrepreneur. The contest was open to all entrepreneurs in the 12 Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT’s): Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Montserrat, Saba, St. Barthelemy, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten and Turks and Caicos.

The three videos have been posted on Facebook with voting boxes. The final winner will be selected by the public through online voting, which can be done here or at  http://bit.ly/COSMEVideo. The video with the most votes by midnight November 20th, 2016 will win a HD Kindle Fire.

Ms. Oliver of Caribbean Mountain Coffee focused on the need for passion and how it will carry you through in a well-crafted message that tied into her own passion for coffee. Ms. Legrand of SSSAS Tourism is a brand new entrepreneur that was bubbling with enthusiasm and commitment for her upcoming opening.  Ms. Mathura of Accounting & Enterprise Solutions was clear about her dream and the need to just make a start or nothing can happen. All videos presented excellent messages.

As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week VI initiatives, COSME adopted the Confessions of an Entrepreneur series in its efforts to learn more and share more stories from entrepreneurs in the Overseas Territories.  This contest generated awareness and coordinated with a number of Entrepreneur activities taking place during Global Entrepreneur week, November to 14 – 20, 2016.

“The Confessions of an Entrepreneur contest enables COSME to show its support through results driven social media in profiling these successful entrepreneurs. This contest demonstrates that social media implemented in addition to traditional channels is an effective tool that OCT entrepreneurs can use to create awareness for their businesses in and beyond their country borders. During the video submission week COSME received over 30,000 visits,” stated, Diana Hendrickson-Fleming, COSME, Key Expert.

The public will choose which of the three entrepreneurs’ videos at http://bit.ly/COSMEVideo has the best Confession. Join in on the fun and cast your vote.  Voting will close November 20, 2016.

ABOUT COSME

COSME is a 54-month programme with the responsibility to disperse 15M Euros to projects benefiting participating Caribbean Territories. The funds were made available by the European Union (EU). The programme’s overall objective is to contribute to the sustainable and climate-resilient economic diversification and prosperity of Caribbean OCTs by improving the competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the participating territories.

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Media Contact:

Samuel K. Kruiner

Private Sector Development Expert/SME Expert (British OCTs)

Caribbean OCTs SME (COSME) Programme SME Regional Project Office

Email: Samuel.kruiner@gopa.de

SME Regional Project Office

Road Town

Tortola

British Virgin Islands

www.cosmeprogramme.org

www.facebook.com/cosmeprogramme

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Twenty Cities Advance in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Latin American and Caribbean Mayors Challenge

Finalists selected from pool of 290 cities that submitted bold ideas to address urban challenges and improve city life

Finalists now competing for $9 Million USD in Innovation Funds

NEW YORK, June 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the 20 Latin American and Caribbean cities selected as finalists in its 2016 Mayors Challenge, a competition that encourages cities to generate bold ideas that solve urban challenges and improve city life – and have potential to spread.  The finalists, hailing from 10 countries, will move forward to compete for a $5 million USD grand prize and four $1 million awards, as well as extensive implementation support. The ideas reflect creative new approaches to some of the most pressing issues facing cities in the region, including mobility, youth unemployment, waste management, obesity, and social and economic inclusion for immigrants and people with disabilities.

“We received so many great ideas for this Mayors Challenge, and narrowing it down to just 20 finalists was a big challenge in itself. These ideas really capture the diversity of the region and the creativity and commitment of its leaders and citizens in making cities work better. Each of them has the potential to improve the lives of local residents — and if they work, to spread far and wide. We look forward to working with all of the finalists on their proposals and to seeing the winning cities bring them to life,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

The 2016 Mayors Challenge is Bloomberg Philanthropies’ first in Latin America and the Caribbean following successful competitions in the United States and Europe. After receiving submissions from 290 eligible cities in April, Bloomberg Philanthropies conducted an intensive review of the ideas with the support of Bloomberg’s extensive global network and a selection committee of 13 innovation and policy experts from across Latin America and the Caribbean. Ultimately, the top 20 best and most innovative ideas were selected to move forward in the competition.

The 20 finalist ideas were evaluated against four key criteria – their idea’s vision, potential for impact, implementation plan, and potential to spread to other cities. Finalists will next attend Bloomberg Ideas Camp in Bogotá, Colombia – a two-day convening in July where leading innovation experts and peer cities will help finalists take their proposals from good to great. Prize winners will be announced by the end of 2016.

The finalists’ ideas (outlined below) illustrate fresh thinking to address common urban challenges experienced by cities across regions:

  1. Asunción, Paraguay – Data: Closing the city’s socio-economic data gap by conducting citizen-led research to gather demographic information that can inform and measure the impact of policymaking for the first time.
  2. Barueri, Brazil – Social Inclusion for People with Disabilities/Workforce Development: Increasing access to the workforce for people with disabilities by creating a physical and virtual network to improve job training, analyze workplace conditions, and provide technical assistance to employers and job candidates.
  3. Bogotá, Colombia – Education: Twice daily, the city will leverage all transportation channels, public facilities, volunteers and the city’s cultural history to enhance and shorten the severe school commute times for children.
  4. Cap-Haïtien , Haiti – Waste Solutions/ Environment: Reducing deforestation and mangrove destruction by creating community biodigesters, which are closed containers that break down organic waste and turn it into renewable energy.
  5. Caracas, Venezuela – Social Inclusion for People with Disabilities/Mobility: Enrolling volunteers to drive people with motor disabilities to and from public transport points and providing assistance during their commutes,  opening access to education, culture, healthcare, employment and productive citizenship for a vulnerable segment of the population.
  6. Corumbá, Brazil – Environment/ Economic Development: Combatting further environmental degradation caused by improper disposal of ore – a mining byproduct – by repurposing the waste into productive materials for construction.
  7. Curitiba, Brazil – Social Inclusion for People with Disabilities/Mobility: Drawing on its history of transit innovation, improving the mobility of disabled people by integrating more inclusive transport services and introducing better designed routes.
  8. Estación Central, Chile – Social Inclusion for Immigrants / Entrepreneurship: Promoting social inclusion by matching immigrants with new business ideas to technical assistance, office space, and local entrepreneurs looking to partner to launch a new startup.
  9. Godoy Cruz, Argentina – Waste Solutions: Preventing illegal waste disposal in canals – an essential feature of the city’s irrigation system – by placing sensors to monitor and identify the exact location where infractions occur.
  10. Guadalajara, México – Transparency / Government Efficiency: Tackling corruption by streamlining the legal requirements for construction projects through a new geo-referenced app that publicly maps business names, plans, licenses and payments, speeding processing times and increasing transparency.
  11. Kingston, Jamaica – Youth Unemployment / Workforce Development: Tackling entrenched youth unemployment through a mobile digital platform that encourages young people to explore, create, and access career opportunities in a variety of industries, especially Jamaica’s cultural and music industry, based on their strengths and interests.
  12. Medellín, Colombia – Public Safety / Financial Empowerment: Reducing demand for illegal loans that finance organized crime by creating neighborhood lending collectives that offer low-interest commercial loans and connections to employment.
  13. Milagro, Ecuador – Environmental Sustainability: Encouraging emergency preparedness for children through the creation of a network chaired and formed by students that promotes better preparation for adverse weather and natural disasters.
  14. Pudahuel, Chile – Education: Pairing older residents wishing to volunteer with the children of working families in need of after-school child care, limiting social isolation for seniors and providing a vital service for families.
  15. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Public Health: Improving children’s healthcare standards and outcomes by removing silos and integrating data across agencies to improve the health and wellbeing of children ages zero to six.
  16. Santiago (Commune), Chile – Public Health: Through citywide challenges, encourage neighborhood groups to work together to reduce childhood obesity; communities earn points they can use to fund local recreational and civic infrastructure.
  17. São Paulo, Brazil – Economic Development: Creating an online exchange that connects growing local demand for locally produced farm products from restaurants, markets, and schools to struggling local farmers on the outskirts of the city, addressing a market failure.
  18. Tlalnepantla de Baz, México – Social Cohesion: Publishing and promoting a municipal catalog of good deeds, an effort to address widespread civic apathy by engaging citizens in acts like helping the elderly and improving the local environment.
  19. Tuxtla Gutiérrez, México – Anti-Corruption: Fighting corruption and improving efficiency by streamlining service delivery for public facing transactions and allowing users to monitor the activity of civil servants through a new mobile app.
  20. Valdivia, Chile – Entrepreneurship: Directing promising academic research toward practical problems and helping the local economy by testing bright ideas from local universities in real-world markets with a new mobile lab.

“This year’s finalists are using innovation to address the concrete, clear, and urgent needs of citizens – with noteworthy emphasis on vulnerable populations,” said James Anderson, the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation Programs. “There is so much cities around the globe can learn from the way these finalists are engaging citizens and data to meet pressing needs,” said James Anderson, the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation program.

To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars.  For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on FacebookInstagram, Snapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Media Contact
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, (212) 205-0182 | rebeccac@bloomberg.org

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Pew Applauds New Caribbean Shark Sanctuaries

St. Maarten, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, and Grenada boost regional protections for sharks

MAHO, St. Maarten, June 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Sharks are safer across the Caribbean Sea, with the announcement of four new shark sanctuaries in the region. Prime Minister William Marlin of St. Maarten and Wayne Panton, minister of financial services, commerce, and environment for the Cayman Islands today announced that their exclusive economic zones (EEZs) are completely closed to commercial shark fishing. Additionally, Curacao and Grenada announced that they will establish legislation this year that will protect sharks in their waters.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160615/379765

Government leaders were joined by ocean advocate Sir Richard Branson, as well as by global shark experts and representatives from The Pew Charitable Trusts and other nongovernmental organizations, at a press conference in St. Maarten to champion the new protected areas.

“People from all over the world come to our island to dive and snorkel with our marine wildlife, including sharks and rays,” said Irania Arrindell, St. Maarten’s minister of tourism, economic affairs, transport, and telecommunications. “St. Maarten’s shark sanctuary will help to ensure that our local shark populations exist for future generations and continue to benefit St. Maarten’s marine ecosystem and ecotourism.”

Together, the two new sanctuaries cover a total of 46,190 square miles (119,631 square kilometers), raising the total number of Caribbean sanctuaries to seven.

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Unite founder, said: “We applaud the steps taken by Caribbean island governments to conserve sharks in their waters. To these governments, sharks are worth far more alive than dead. We are delighted and encouraged to see this bold action being taken to protect Caribbean ecosystems and bolster ecotourism industries.”

“St. Maarten and the Cayman Islands have joined a progressive group of leaders in global shark conservation by choosing to fully protect the diverse but vulnerable shark and ray species found in their waters,” said Luke Warwick, director of Pew’s global shark conservation campaign. “We look forward to continued expansion of shark conservation in the Caribbean to secure the region as a safe haven for threatened shark species.”

The announcement came during a three-day shark conservation symposium co-hosted by the government of St. Maarten, the St. Maarten Nature Foundation, the Bahamas National Trust, and The Pew Charitable Trusts. At the symposium, Caribbean leaders had the opportunity to learn from global shark experts, such as Boris Worm, professor in marine conservation biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and discuss shark conservation and shark-related tourism in their jurisdictions.

Since 2009, Pew has worked with governments around the world to establish shark sanctuaries in their territorial waters. The creation of these sanctuaries in the Caribbean brings the total number of sanctuaries worldwide to 14, covering 6 million square miles (15.5 million square kilometers), an area bigger than Canada.

Worldwide, at least 100 million sharks are killed each year in commercial fisheries; nearly 30 percent of all known shark species assessed by scientists are threatened with extinction. Sharks play an important role in maintaining the health of the entire ocean, but they grow and reproduce slowly, which makes them particularly vulnerable to overfishing. Officials in many coastal and island nations recognize sharks’ high value to the dive tourism industry.

“Establishing sanctuaries to protect all sharks makes clear that these top predators warrant the same status as other vulnerable marine wildlife that help attract ecotourism, such as turtles and whales,” Warwick added.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Learn more at www.pewtrusts.org.

Barbara Cvrkel, +1 202-510-5670
bcvrkel@pewtrusts.org

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2016 Mayors Challenge Entries in Latin America and the Caribbean Reveal a Focus on Addressing Social Inclusion, Sustainability, and Economic Growth – with a Strong Emphasis on Engaging Citizens in These Efforts

290 Cities Submit Ideas to Solve Pressing Urban Challenges; with 5 Cities from Haiti Participation

Selection Process Now Underway to Determine the 20 Finalists who will go on to compete for $9 Million USD in Innovation Funds

NEW YORK, May 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that 290 cities across Latin America and the Caribbean have submitted ideas to solve major challenges and improve city life for the 2016 Mayors Challenge. The ideas offer insight into the needs of communities and priorities of local leaders in the region.

Seven in ten ideas aim to address a social or economic challenge, while the remaining 30% focus on improving government effectiveness and efficiency.

  • 71% of cities generated ideas to address major social or economic challenges such as:
    • Social inclusion for vulnerable populations (23%)
    • Sustainability (20%)
    • Economic growth (13%)
    • Education (9%)
    • Public health (8%)
  • 29% of city ideas focus on improving the overall effectiveness and efficiency of government

The 290 Mayors Challenge applicants represent over 172 million citizens in 19 countries across the region. Participating cities span the entire region with 71% from South America, 20% from Mexico and 9% from Central America and the Caribbean.  Seventeen capital cities in the region submitted ideas to the competition – from Santiago to Brasilia to Mexico City to Kingston. With applications from 80 Brazilian cities and 59 Mexican cities, Brazil and Mexico had the largest number of cities that submitted applications.

5 cities from Haiti submitted applications and are now competing for $9 million dollars in innovation funds: Cap-Haïtien; Jean Rabel; Jérémie; Les Cayes; and Petite Rivière de l’Artibonite.

Applicants for the 2016 Mayors Challenge proposed innovative solutions to address a wide range of urban challenges. A series of themes emerged in the ideas, including:

  • Leveraging technology and citizen engagement to improve government performance
  • An emphasis on public education initiatives, citizen participation and digital solutions to prepare for and address natural disasters
  • An interest in entrepreneurship and digital learning to improve education
  • Promoting the inclusion of new or vulnerable populations through job creation, better use of public spaces and technology
  • Improving public health through wide-ranging citizen engagement strategies

“Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean are some of the most innovative in the world, and they are proving it with their entries in our latest Mayors Challenge. The hundreds of proposals present exciting new ways to tackle problems across the region, and they have the potential to have a big impact on the lives of millions of people.” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

Additionally, a survey taken of participating cities showed significant city hall interest in innovation, but a lack of resources needed to experiment.

  • More than half of participating cities report regularly borrowing ideas from cities in the region or even from around the globe when faced with a tough problem.
  • Three out of 5 cities said they usually or always crowdsource ideas from citizens when they are faced with a tough problem.
  • Just 1 out of 5 participating cities report usually having access to public or private funding to test new ideas.

“This is a region of the world with a rich history of public sector innovation. The ideas coming from the Mayors Challenge build on that legacy. We see a stronger focus in this year’s ideas on citizen engagement, which is both a trend in governments worldwide as well as an area in which Latin American cities have been clear leaders,” said James Anderson, the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation program.

The current applicants emerged from more than 900 Latin American and Caribbean cities who were invited by the Mayors Challenge in January 2016 to compete. Cities had until April 15, 2016 to generate and submit their innovative ideas to improve city government and city life. Modeled on successful competitions in the United States and Europe, the 2016 Mayors Challenge will award $5 million USD grand prize and four $1 million awards to four other cities that generate the most powerful and transferable ideas.

To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram. Bloomberg Philanthropies has proudly partnered with the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) to implement this year’s challenge, provide related supports to city participants, and oversee coordination with other program partners. CPI is a not-for-profit, funded by The Boston Consulting Group, and dedicated to improving the positive impact of governments.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars.  For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Media Contact
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, (212) 205-0182, rebeccac@bloomberg.org

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Entrepreneurs’ Organization to Support Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative Entrepreneurship Fellows Program

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a global network of more than 11,000 business owners in 48 countries, has joined forces with Meridian International to support Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program. The program is open to 250 entrepreneurs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean between the ages of 21 to 35 with at least two years of professional experience. Applicants interested in the five-week fellowship program are required to apply by the 20 May 2016 deadline, here: https://ylai.state.gov/. EO will be assisting with the sourcing, screening and interviewing of these delegates in advance of the program, as well as providing entrepreneurial-focused learning content and connections to EO’s U.S.-based chapters once the program is underway.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160504/363662LOGO

“Given the business acumen of EO’s membership, more than 11,000 members in the U.S. and 47 countries, our members are fully equipped to serve as business mentors to a future generation of entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Vijay K. Tirathrai, EO’s CEO.

EO will provide its entrepreneurial-focused Forum Training for all 250 YLAI Fellows in a series of kick-off events in Dallas, TX later this year. Participants will then be separated into smaller working groups across 20 U.S. cities before the program ends in Washington, D.C. with a three-day conference and networking event featuring top U.S. government officials, as well as global public, private and non-profit leaders.

As part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s effort to empower entrepreneurs and civil society leaders in order to advance entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean, participants will continue their collaboration with U.S. partners and have access to ongoing professional development opportunities, mentorship and networking.

The YLAI is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), of the U.S. Department of State, in collaboration with Meridian International Center, which works with corporations, governments, NGOs and individuals in 190 countries to socio-economic development.

The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 11,000 influential business owners with 144 chapters in 48 countries. Founded in 1987, EO is the catalyst that enables leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow, leading to greater success in business and beyond. For more information, visit www.eonetwork.org.

CONTACT: Gustavo Vieira, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Phone: +1.703.837.6068, Email: gvieira@eonetwork.org

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2016 Mayors Challenge Entries in Latin America and the Caribbean Reveal a Focus on Addressing Social Inclusion, Sustainability, and Economic Growth — with a Strong Emphasis on Engaging Citizens in These Efforts

290 Cities Submit Ideas to Solve Pressing Urban Challenges

Selection Process Now Underway to Determine the 20 Finalists who will go on to compete for $9 Million USD in Innovation Funds

NEW YORK, May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that 290 cities across Latin America and the Caribbean have submitted ideas to solve major challenges and improve city life for the 2016 Mayors Challenge. The ideas offer insight into the needs of communities and priorities of local leaders in the region.

Seven in ten ideas aim to address a social or economic challenge, while the remaining 30% focus on improving government effectiveness and efficiency.

  • 71% of cities generated ideas to address major social or economic challenges such as:
    • Social inclusion for vulnerable populations (23%)
    • Sustainability (20%)
    • Economic growth (13%)
    • Education (9%)
    • Public health (8%)
  • 29% of city ideas focus on improving the overall effectiveness and efficiency of government

Applicants for the 2016 Mayors Challenge proposed innovative solutions to address a wide range of urban challenges. A series of themes emerged in the ideas, including:

  • Leveraging technology and citizen engagement to improve government performance
  • An emphasis on public awareness initiatives, citizen participation and digital solutions to prepare for and address natural disasters
  • An interest in entrepreneurship and digital learning to improve education
  • Promoting the inclusion of vulnerable populations through job creation, better use of public spaces and technology
  • Improving public health through wide-ranging citizen engagement strategies

“Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean are some of the most innovative in the world, and they are proving it with their entries in our latest Mayors Challenge. The hundreds of proposals present exciting new ways to tackle problems across the region, and they have the potential to have a big impact on the lives of millions of people,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

Additionally, a survey taken of participating cities showed significant city hall interest in innovation, but a lack of resources needed to experiment.

  • More than half of participating cities report regularly borrowing ideas from cities in the region or even from around the globe when faced with a tough problem.
  • Three out of 5 cities said they usually or always crowdsource ideas from citizens when they are faced with a tough problem.
  • Just 1 out of 5 participating cities report usually having access to public or private funding to test new ideas.

The 290 Mayors Challenge applicants represent over 172 million citizens in 19 countries across the region. Participating cities span the entire region with 71% from South America, 20% from Mexico and 9% from Central America and the Caribbean.  Seventeen capital cities in the region submitted ideas to the competition – from Santiago to Brasilia to Mexico City to Kingston. With applications from 80 Brazilian cities and 59 Mexican cities, Brazil and Mexico had the largest number of cities that submitted applications.

“This is a region of the world with a rich history of public sector innovation. The ideas coming from the Mayors Challenge build on that legacy. We see a stronger focus in this year’s ideas on citizen engagement, which is both a trend in governments worldwide as well as an area in which Latin American cities have been clear leaders,” said James Anderson, the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation program.

The current applicants emerged from more than 900 Latin American and Caribbean cities who were invited by the Mayors Challenge in January 2016 to compete. Cities had until April 15, 2016 to generate and submit their innovative ideas to improve city government and city life. Modeled on successful competitions in the United States and Europe, the 2016 Mayors Challenge will award $5 million USD grand prize and four $1 million awards to four other cities that generate the most powerful and transferable ideas.

To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram. Bloomberg Philanthropies has proudly partnered with the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) to implement this year’s challenge, provide related supports to city participants, and oversee coordination with other program partners. CPI is a not-for-profit, funded by The Boston Consulting Group, and dedicated to improving the positive impact of governments.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars.  For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Media Contact
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, (212) 205-0182, rebeccac@bloomberg.org

Click Here for More Information »