Posts tagged with "leadership"

Oprah Winfrey Virtual Town Halls

Oprah Winfrey announced plans Monday to host virtual town halls in states that look to play a large role in the upcoming election.

As part of OWN’s OWN YOUR VOTE get-out-the-vote initiative, the town halls will be a non-partisan effort to encourage, inspire and support voters across the country before Nov. 3.

The events are free and open to the public, and you can register in advance by clicking right here.

She will host an event for voters in Wisconsin Oct. 26, voters in North Carolina Oct. 27, voters in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania Oct. 28 and voters in South Carolina Oct. 29. All of the town halls will begin at 8 p.m. ET.

Winfrey will speak with local voters in an effort to acquire adequate resources, information and inspiration to create a more informed voting base. Local voters, national thought leaders, voting rights experts and others who can provide insight and resources to voters will join her.

Speakers at the town halls include Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Representative Gwen Moore, Kristen Clarke, Vi Lyles, Kamilia Landrum, Andrea Hailey, Tameika Isaac Devine, Arisha Hatch, Tamika D. Mallory and Sherrilyn Ifill.

Representatives from women’s organizations will also attend, like Dr. Glenda Glover, Beverly E. Smith, Melanie Campbell, Glynda Carr, Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Dr. Kimberly Leonard, Rasheeda S. Liberty and Valerie Hollingsworth Baker.

For this event, OWN YOUR VOTE has partnered with the following organizations: 

Advancement Project National Office

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

AME Church Social Action Commission

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated

Fair Fight Action

Higher Heights Leadership Fund

Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights

The Kapor Center

The King Center (Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc.)

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Links, Incorporated

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)

National Council of Negro Women

National Urban League

Power Rising

Power to the Polls

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated

Sistahs in Business Expo

Vote Run Lead

Vote.org

VoteAsIf.org

When We All Vote

Woke Vote

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated

You can also learn more about OWN YOUR VOTE by clicking right here.

Jewish Community Foundation Supports Racial Equity

JEWISH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF LOS ANGELES AWARDS $325,000 TO SUPPORT RACIAL EQUITY

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) today announced that it has awarded grants totaling $325,000 to seven local organizations to support racial equity.

The funding is being directed to programs that span a diverse range of areas including health care for Black women and infants; job opportunities for at-risk youth and those exiting the justice system; access to quality education; and leadership opportunities for Black professionals. The seven recipients are: A New Way of Life Reentry Project, African American Board Leadership Institute, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Jews of Color Initiative, Black Women for Wellness, Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade, and Social Justice Learning Institute.

President and Chief Executive OfficerMarvin I. Schotland stated: “In response to the current social unrest, The Foundation decided to make these grants. These inspiring programs align with our institution’s own values of creating a more civil, just and equitable society. We are proud to place our support behind these initiatives and look forward to following the progress of their meaningful work.”

Schotland indicated that to enhance The Foundation’s understanding of the important issues and organizations serving communities of color, it consulted with numerous prominent funders and experts in the field.

The Foundation CEO added: “These nonprofits have received prior support from trusted funders, as well as our foundation’s own donors, which helped to inform our decision-making. Beyond that, we established criteria that included being Black-led, well-established, located in the communities they serve, and focused on providing direct services.”

Susan Burton, founder and executive director of A New Way of Life, stated: “This grant will support our work and continued efforts in equity and opportunity for formerly incarcerated people and their children. With The Foundation’s support, we are able to expand our housing services with two more safehouses during the pandemic for the women we serve. Thanks to The Foundation, a safe and stable home is possible for current and future residents during these difficult times.”

Added Ilana Kaufman, executive director, Jews of Color Initiative: “With the generosity of The Foundation, the Jews of Color Initiative can expand our work to foster equitable Jewish communities and institutions by extending research and grantmaking efforts to support and advance the leadership and visions of Jews of Color.”

About the Recipients

A New Way of Life Reentry Project provides women exiting prison (primarily women of color) with a safe, welcoming and structured place to stay, education and employment opportunities, case management, and legal services as they re-enter the community.

African American Board Leadership Institute trains and places well-qualified African American professionals on boards across a number of well-known public institutions, recognizing the need for more equitable representation among corporate, nonprofit, and government boards and committees.

Anti-Recidivism Coalition works to end mass incarceration and reduce recidivism rates in California through justice-reform advocacy, re-entry support, mentoring, counseling, housing, and its career-development training and partnerships, as one of the most difficult parts of re-entering the community is access to work.

Jews of Color Initiative works to advance and build the professional, organizational, and communal field for Jews of color. This includes commissioned studies on the number and experiences of Jews of color in the U.S., as well as working to promote racially diverse engagement, and grantmaking to support diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Black Women for Wellness is committed to the health and well-being of Black women and girls and focuses on research, education, outreach, and leadership development of Black women to address the health challenges in their communities, where infant mortality and maternal death during childbirth run two and four times higher, respectively, than among white women regardless of socio-economic status.

Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade is a longtime grassroots nonprofit based in South Los Angeles, focuses on addressing the unmet needs of low-income, underserved, under-represented, and disenfranchised individuals through initiatives such as its Youth Development Program which provides comprehensive services – mentorship, gang prevention, educational support, and career readiness – for at-risk youth and students.

Social Justice Learning Institute is dedicated to improving the education, health, and well-being of youth and communities of color across Inglewood, Compton, Watts, Lennox, Lancaster, and Palmdale through its Urban Scholars Program, which aims to increase students’ academic achievement and provide them tools and resources to advocate for an equitable education.

About The Jewish Community Foundation:

Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of more than $1 billion entrusted to it by over 1,300 families and ranks among the 10 largest Los Angeles foundations. It partners with donors to shape meaningful philanthropic strategies, magnify the impact of their giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2019, The Foundation and its donors distributed more than $129 million in grants to 2,700 nonprofits with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past 10 years, it has distributed nearly $1 billion to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum. www.jewishfoundationla.org

Jaden Smith illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Jaden Smith × Vote for the Earth

Future Coalition, the creators of Earth Day Live, one of the largest digital mobilizations in history held in April 2020 that garnered 5 million views worldwide – announced the “Vote For the Earth” livestream series. The series unites Black and Indigenous youth leadership and calls on young people to tackle systems of oppression by turning out the vote in November. In partnership with Earth Guardians, We Stand United, Hip Hop Caucus and the International Indigenous Youth Council, the event will air on Future Live, Twitch, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. 

Vote For the Earth will reach a broad audience and leverage the best civic engagement technology and frontline and digital tactics to register new voters. It will encourage voters to access absentee ballots and to Vote For the Earth to build a sustainable future for the next seven generations. 

The livestream series features stories of power, resilience and movement-building on the ground from frontline community members, along with musical performances and speakers such as Jaden Smith and Van Jones. Speakers will share messages on the intersectionality of social justice and climate justice, while also sharing the many resources available from the climate movement. 

Vote For the Earth aims to contribute to a 55 percent youth voter turnout in the November election, while also aiming to reach 2 million Black and Indigenous youth eligible to vote. The series will also facilitate partnership building with Black and Indigenous organizers to diversify the climate movement and allow for partnerships with universities and organizations to register voters.

“Protecting our communities from systemic racism and violence and the climate emergency go hand in hand,” said Thomas Lopez, Partnerships Coordinator of the Climate Strikes with Future Coalition. “The youth vote is critical to turning the tide in the November presidential election, and Vote For the Earth will help us accomplish that.”

The 2-hour livestream will start at:

5 p.m. PST / 8 p.m. EST on Wednesday, August 12

To tune in, sign up at https://votefortheearth.us/

Featuring musical and spoken-word performances from artists involved in climate activism and social justice movements, including:

  • Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
  • Leala Pourier
  • Portugal the Man  
  • Zakaria Kronemer
  • Jasilyn Charger
  • Tokata Iron Eyes
  • Cody Looking Horse
  • Anjelah Johnson
  • The Grand Alliance – Sur Ellz , Kayla Marque & Crl Crrll
  • Van Jones
  • Simone Johnson
  • Reverend Lennox Yearwood
  • Kaylah Brathwaite
  • Jaden Smith
  • UMI
  • Supaman
  • Ayoni
  • Antoine Edwards & Nattaanii Means

The second and third livestreams of the series will air on September 16 and October 14. For more information, visit https://votefortheearth.us/

About March On: March On is a political organization composed of women-led political activist groups that grew out of the women’s marches of January 21, 2017. They have come together as a united force to take concrete, coordinated actions at the federal, state and local levels to impact elections and take our country in a better direction. March On is not affiliated with Women’s March, Inc. For more information, visit wearemarchon.org

About Future Coalition: Founded by youth activists for youth activists, Future Coalition is a network and community for youth-led organizations and Gen Z and young millennial leaders from across the country that came into being as a project of March On in the fall of 2018. The Future Coalition works collaboratively to provide young people with the resources, tools, and support they need to create the change they want to see in their communities and in this country. For more information, visit futurecoalition.org

About Earth Guardians: Earth Guardians began in 1992 as an accredited high school in Maui, Hawaii, focusing on environmental awareness and social justice issues. Seeing the need to empower and amplify the voice of a wider audience,Since then, Earth Guardians has become a global movement providing a platform for hundreds of youth crews in over 60 countries to engage in some of the greatest issues we face as a global community. Earth Guardians continues to inspire and train diverse youth to be effective leaders within the climate justice and environmental movement worldwide. For more information, visit https://www.earthguardians.org/.

About International Indigenous Youth Council: The International Indigenous Youth Council (IIYC) is a social justice non-profit that serves Indigenous and POC youth in their journeys as young leaders. IIYC provides education-based resources and training in direct action, resistance art, spiritual practice and civic engagement. IIYC was started and led by womxn and two-spirit peoples during the Standing Rock Indigenous Uprising of 2016 while peacefully protecting the Cannonball and Missouri Rivers against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. In 2017 IIYC extended the reach of the organization through a chapter model which serves youth across Turtle Island in areas including Chicago, Denver, New Mexico, Southern California, South Dakota, Texas (Yanaguana Chapter), Twin Cities Minnesota and Washington DC. The IIYC is a completely youth-led organization serving young people up to the age of 30. For more information, visit https://indigenousyouth.org/.

About We Stand United: We Stand United is an organization of award-winning artists, activists, political strategists and communications experts working together to protect our democracy and to advance social, economic, and environmental justice across the United States. https://wsucampaign.org/.

About Hip Hop Caucus: We link culture and policy to make our movements bigger, more diverse, and more powerful. We exist for everyone who identifies with Hip Hop culture to come together for positive change. Being part of Hip Hop Caucus means you can use your cultural expression to shape your political experience. For more information, visit https://hiphopcaucus.org/.

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WITI * Virtual Summit

WITI Hosts Its First Virtual Women in Technology Summit June 23-24, 2020

WITI (Women in Technology International), the leading advocate for innovation,
inclusivity and STEAM, kicks-off its first virtual Women in Technology Summit tomorrow, June 23, 2020. Themed ‘Adapt and Innovate’, the two-day summit is designed to spotlight leaders in technology and innovation, boost critical thinking and inspire students to pursue STEAM careers. This year’s summit will also address the impact of the pandemic on women in tech and the job market.

WITI launched the summit 26 years ago when there were no conferences geared towards supporting women in technology and business. Today, the Women in Technology summit is a premiere global tech conference, where professionals come to learn about trends, develop new skills and grow their business network.

“We will continue to provide the skills and tools women need to navigate the new normal and succeed in today’s digital world,” said Carolyn Leighton, CEO and founder, WITI. “This virtual summit offers an even broader global platform, with more opportunities for professionals to learn and interact with each other, irrespective of their location.”

Featured Speakers and Topics:

Blue Shield of California’s Karen Xie: How emerging technologies are transforming the way we consume and deliver healthcare.

Deloitte’s Beena Ammanath: The impact of artificial intelligence on society.

Huawei Technologies’ Joy Tan: How brands can leverage modern media to deliver meaningful stories to the public.

IDC’s Michelle Bailey: Results of the women in tech survey.

PTC’s Kathleen Mitford: The impact of diverse teams on innovation and tips on advocating diversity within an organization.

Trans Sahara Investment’s Ngozi Bell: Economic opportunities in a post COVID-19 era.

Rene Redwood, creator of the bi-partisan Glass Ceiling Commission: How businesses can address systemic racism.

Janice Kaplan, author of The Genius of Women: Powerful forces that have rigged the system against women and celebrating those who have triumphed.

BrainCandyLabs: Spotlight students and professionals who have been inspired by STEAM, including youngest astronaut-in-training Alyssa Carson, Ph.D. student Jordan Harrod and host of FOX’s Xploration Outerspace Emily Calandrelli.

WITI Hall of Fame Alumnae Genevieve Bell, Sara Rushinek and Elizabeth Xu: Staying motivated, overcoming problems and traits great leaders should possess.

Take the 2020 WITI-IDC Survey

Summit Overview:

More than 100 speakers and coaches will inspire and educate the 10,000 professionals who will be attending the event virtually.

Topics range from innovation and technology to leadership and growth.

The summit is sprinkled with keynotes and workshops to interactive networking and career fair.

Review the full agenda at WITI Summit 2020.

About WITI:

WITI (Women in Technology International) is committed to empowering innovators, inspiring future generations and building inclusive cultures, worldwide. WITI is redefining the way women and men collaborate to drive innovation and business growth and is helping corporate partners create and foster gender inclusive cultures. A leading authority of women in technology and business, WITI has been
advocating and recognizing women’s contributions in the industry for more than 30 years. The organization delivers leading edge programs and platforms for individuals and companies — designed to empower professionals, boost competitiveness and cultivate partnerships, globally.

WITI’s ecosystem includes more than three million professionals, 60 networks and 300 partners, worldwide. To learn more, please visit HERE. 

Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine, BLM, black lives matter, protests, marches, change

SCLC Leadership Summit

Dr. Charles Steele, Jr., president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), announced today that the civil rights organization is organizing a major summit of leaders to help America find a cure for racism.

Dr. Steele, who heads the legendary civil rights organization co-founded and first led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said the SCLC will be calling on members of Congress, the leaders of major corporations, including those in health and science, as well as social justice leaders, religious leaders and people of wealth and influence, who have voiced support for reform in America’s law enforcement agencies and other major departments in Washington and around the nation that have been vestiges of racism.

The summit, he said, will follow the blueprint set by Dr. King, whose leadership was key to the successful civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. The date, for the summit, has not been determined, but Dr. Steele said it will take place this summer.

This call to action, Dr. Steele said, stems from the tragic and unjustified fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks Friday night in Atlanta by a policeman. Brooks, 27, was shot in the back as he walked away from officers who were called to the scene of a Wendy’s restaurant where he had fallen asleep in his car.  The arrest allegedly turned into a scuffle. Minutes later, Brooks was dead. The killing, Dr. Steele said, is another vivid example of the entrenched institutional racism within law enforcement and other systems in the United States that have oppressed blacks and other people of color for four centuries. The fact this senseless shooting occurred while the nation is still healing from social unrest from the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer last month is mindboggling, he said, and American must address racism just like it is attacking the deadly coronavirus.

“Until we cure this disease of racism, there will be more Rayshard Brooks, George Floyds, Breanna Taylors, Laquan McDonalds, and Trayvon Martins,” Dr. Steele said.  “The killings will continue to occur, because people of color, particularly African Americans, are under siege due to racism. Just like we are searching for a vaccine for Covid-19, we must find a cure for racism. This is dangerous, not only to America, but the world is looking for the United States to lead the way for freedom. You look at the United Kingdom and throughout Europe, South America and Japan, and the people are marching for their societies to respect and protect black lives. We need to find the cure to eradicate racism in society. We must convene leaders to the table to address this disease now. We will do our part to start this conversation and present solutions.” 

He added, “If we don’t find a cure for racism, our world will be destroyed. Like the virus, it will spread and consume all of us, and we will experience our world coming to an end.”

America, Dr. Steele said, has failed to weed out racism, because the nation was built on racism. It started with Europeans taking over the American soil from the natives. With illegal slavery, he added, it became a part our institutions and every aspect of society.

“Individuals have this virus,” Dr. Steele said. “It has spread heavily within law enforcement. It is a part of our communities, and it comes in all forms of discrimination. The impact is not always physical like police brutality. The system is killing blacks and other people of color by denying them access to capital. If you do not have access to money, you will eventually do something wrong. You will either destroy yourself with violence by committing some criminal act, or you will starve to death. You will have a domestic violence case within your family. It comes down from the federal government and is now institutionalized within our society. It has been designed to keep people of African American descent and other ethnicities at the bottom of society.”

Dr. Steele said America should have solved this problem in the 1960s during the turbulent civil rights era led by Dr. King, who was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

“Wisdom comes from history,” Dr. Steele said. “Wisdom comes from learning from our mistakes.  We made a mistake in 1960s when we did not include measures outside of integration. We did not include access to capital. We did not include reparations. We must have reparations with the understanding that African Americans have always been behind the eight ball. We are playing on a football field, and we cannot get beyond the five-yard line when white society is scoring touchdowns from the advantages they received from starting with free labor for centuries. We are on the field, but we cannot advance and catch up with the current system in terms of economic empowerment and economic development.”

With leaders in business, politics, sports, and entertainment calling for reform at all phrases of society, Dr. Steele said maybe we have a chance to get it right this time.

“I see hope with the marches, but we must move beyond marches and promises from corporate America and others,” Dr. Steele said. “Now, we have to get to the table and make concrete changes. But no changes will happen without a concrete understanding the history of how we received the freedoms we have today, which are constantly under attack with the current Supreme Court and other institutions, which have gutted civil rights laws and progress made over the past 50 years.  As a society, we are better off than we were 400 years ago when blacks were shackled down in slavery, but we have a very long way to go, and we will never eradicate this disease I call racism until we rebuild the structures that continue to oppress us and keep blacks and people of color at the bottom. We must reform agencies like the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S Business Administration, and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and all the policies that allow racism to spread and take the life out of our society. If we do not address this now, we will not have a strong American society.”

About the SCLC

Established in 1957, the SCLC, whose first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is an international organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east, and west. Its sphere of influence and interests has become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries. For additional information about the SCLC, visit HERE.

NO PRIDE W/O JUSTICE

Chicago based LGBTQ nightlife collective, A Queer Pride, has announced a weekly flash fundraiser series called There Is No Pride Without Justice to raise money for Black organizations in need.

June usually marks the start of Pride month, and while many were looking forward to a welcome rainbow-filled distraction from the stress of COVID-19, the collective felt it was necessary to take a bolder call to action. A Queer Pride is taking a clear stance against police brutality and discrimination faced by Black communities by using their platform and reach to uplift Black voices and their causes.

Each week, A Queer Pride and other important LGBTQ voices in Chicago will work together to boost A Queer Pride’s Fundly that will collect donations to be split with various organizations addressing the evolving needs of Black people in Chicago at this time. The collective urges other nightlife promoters and performers to rethink not just their social media presence, but how their events and profits can uplift and support Black artists and communities going forward.

Week One (6/1-6/7) of the “There Is No Pride Without Justice” fundraiser will benefit the following organizations.

  • Brave Space Alliance
    Black-led and trans-led space providing free resources to LGBTQ people on the South Side of Chicago.
     
  • Chicago Freedom School
    Providing free meals to replace the paused CPS free lunch program that many depend on, among other vital efforts.
     
  • Chicago Community Bond Fund
    Working to free jailed protestors and to end money bail and pre-trial incarceration in Chicago.

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About A Queer Pride:
A Queer Pride is a collective of seasoned professionals from Chicago’s nightlife landscape, working together to celebrate Pride throughout the year. A combined effort between AbhijeetBambi Banks-CouleéLoren J and Scott Cramer, A Queer Pride actively seeks to provide a platform to marginalized and underrepresented members of the LGBTQ community in a political climate that needs these voices to be heard even louder.
Follow A Queer Pride on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

5 Ways To Be The Company Everyone Wants To Work For

If you are looking for ways by which you can steer your company in the direction such that everyone wants to become a part of it, here are some of the different ways which you can use. 

Transparency

One of the key virtues of a workplace that tend to make it stand out from the others has to be the transparency level. Employees should be given the sense of feeling that no matter whether they are doing good or bad, things are always in the open. This factor in itself is known to foster the right sense of trust and thereby cements a better working relationship.

Incentives and Benefits

When employees put in their heart and soul to ensure their firm does well, it becomes your earnest duty to give something back to them. This is why as a firm; one should have the best reward sales goals in place and a good incentive program. Make sure to reward the employees for their good work and chip in with bonuses and gifts as and when applicable. This is also a great way to motivate them to walk the extra mile and do a little extra to ensure that your firm stays at the pedestal.

Equality 

All employees deserve to be treated equally. It is vital that a workplace steers clear of biasness, be it economic, gender, or any other type. The bottom-line remains the fact that when an employee doesn’t feel haunted by any sort of inferiority complex; they would be willing to give in their 100 percent and stick to the firm as well. 

For any company to prosper, it is important to offer the employees adequate training to treat everyone the same; regardless of their gender, religion, age, marital status, finances, or anything else. It should just be the work that should be the talking point of discussion. 

Inspiring Leadership 

A leader speaks volumes about the team they command. If your company has some of the most exemplary leaders who know how to keep the team inspired, the morale of the employees is sure to see a massive lift. 

This is why whether you work on the hiring process to seek the best of leaders or you offer training to help your employees hone the best of leadership skills, the idea is to ensure that your workplace reeks of the best of leaders who can inspire their team to stay motivated and put in their best foot forward. 

Healthy Camaraderie 

While we do understand that things tend to get competitive at the workplace, the focus should always be on engaging the right spirit of friendliness and camaraderie in a firm. When the employees look to have each other’s back rather than find ways to pull them down all the time, things are much more likely to take a turn for the good.

You can host events or have some sessions which would boost the kind of mutual respect and admiration which employees have for each other. Have things like free team lunches, group outings, camps, picnics, and more. Each of these activities is sure to have some bearing on improving the relations between the employees.

Conclusion

These are the best ways by which you can make your company one of the top-rated places wherein everyone wishes to work. It is the right dedication and the best of efforts that set one company apart from the rest. 

A company is known by the employees it has. No firm can prosper if the employees are not dedicated and willing to be a part of it. A strong and well-motivated workforce remains the key ingredient to success. So, keep these important points in mind and implement as much as you can. The changes should be there for you to see. 

Remember, success comes to those who are willing to toil hard for it.

U.S. Soccer Foundation’s “It’s Everyone’s Game!” 25th Anniversary Celebration

Nearly 500 supporters of the U.S. Soccer Foundation came together at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles – on the pitch of Major League Soccer’s LAFC – Monday evening to commemorate the organization’s achievements of growing the game and providing youth recreation opportunities in underserved communities throughout its 25-year history.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration featured many of the women and men who have been a part of the organization throughout its history and supporters from the most storied soccer teams in American history, including members of the “‘99ers,” the World Cup-winning 1999 U.S. Women’s National Team. The Foundation and its supporters also used the 25th anniversary celebration to highlight the contributions of five national leaders who are bringing soccer to underserved communities nationwide.

“We’ve been honored to play a role in the phenomenal growth of the game in the United States,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Sport has existed for millennia because there’s a payoff for everyone who plays – not just those who make it to the very top. Mastery of soccer skills builds confidence and self-esteem. The game teaches teamwork and leadership. We look forward to the next 25 years as we continue to make soccer everyone’s game.”
Award Recipients

Visionary Award

Target has been a leader in corporate responsibility and community-building for years, uplifting neighborhoods nationwide by setting the bar for investing in communities. In 2017, the company made a $14 million commitment to youth soccer to bring the game to more kids and families across the country. This investment included the launch of a grant program to provide local organizations with funding for player and field equipment as well as training for volunteer coaches. In its work with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Target exhibits exemplary leadership and dedication to the Foundation’s mission to increase access to the sport in underserved communities. Target was the first to make a significant contribution and fund the creation of 100 mini-pitches with the Foundation, providing safe places to play nationwide.

Impact Award

Major League Soccer has been a leading force behind the growth of the game in the United States. Founded in 1993 as part of the U.S. bid to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup, MLS debuted its first season in 1996 with 10 teams. The league excelled in growing its fan base and today 24 teams play in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to growing the sport professionally, the organization has made a significant commitment to addressing important social issues and enriching the lives of those in need through MLS WORKS, the league’s social responsibility platform. MLS has invested millions of dollars for more than a decade to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of the sport in communities nationwide.

Game Changer Award

Founded in 2012 with its inaugural playing season in 2013, the National Women’s Soccer League, LLC operates the only Division 1 professional women’s soccer league in the United States and features the most prolific domestic and international players from around the globe. Guided by the league’s core principles, NWSL is committed to building on its foundation to promote women’s soccer in the United States and provide a home to the world’s top athletes at the highest level, while inspiring the next generation of female athletes.

Trailblazer Award

The 1999 U.S. Women’s National Team will forever have an iconic place in soccer. Aside from being one of the best teams to ever play, the team carved out an important place in sports history by solidifying a foundation for women in soccer. The sheer talent, energy, and determination the ‘99ers encompassed when they clinched the World Cup remains one of the single most inspiring moments in soccer today. Players from this historic team continue to find ways to give back to their communities, broadening access to the game and continuing to energize people around the sport. As trailblazers, this team has served as excellent ambassadors for the game and role models for youth.

Inspiration Award

The players of the 2019 U.S. Women’s National Team have never disappointed. They will defend their FIFA Women’s World Cup title in France this summer. They represent the latest iteration in an evolution of greatness, with the U.S. Women’s National Team considered the most successful in the world due to their consistent high standard of excellence, three World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals, and other competitive awards. The team has inspired countless young women and men to dream big and believe in themselves through a shared vision to increase excitement about soccer. Their impressive talent, combined with their teamwork and community engagement, highlight the best of this sport and showcase the critical skills young people can learn on the field and apply in their lives.

Platinum sponsors of the event included adidas, the Britton Family Foundation, Los Angeles Football Club at Banc of California Stadium, Major League Soccer, Target, Telemundo Deportes, and NBC Sports.

True Religion Appoints Interim CEO

On November 1, True Religion announced that its board of directors has appointed board member Chelsea A. Grayson as its interim chief executive officer, following former CEO John Ermatinger’s decision to retire from the company. As a result of that appointment, Ms. Grayson will step down as the chair of the Audit Committee but will continue to serve on True Religion’s board of directors.

“As a board member for the past year, Chelsea has been instrumental in helping True Religion evolve the brand,” said Gene Davis, chair of the True Religion board, “We are fortunate to have someone of Chelsea’s caliber and experience step up to lead the company as we continue to innovate our products and customer experience. In addition, we would also like to recognize and thank John for his incredible leadership and dedication to the brand.”

Ms. Grayson said, “As a Los Angeles native, I am honored to have been chosen to lead an iconic brand like Los Angeles-based True Religion. I look forward to continuing the momentum started with recent initiatives like adding Bella Hadid as a millennial face of the brand and our partnership with global sports juggernaut, Manchester United.”

While Ms. Grayson serves as interim CEO, True Religion intends to conduct a process to identify a permanent CEO.

Before joining True Religion’s board of directors last year, Chelsea Grayson was the CEO and a board member of American Apparel. She also sits on the board of directors of Delta Dental of California (where she is a member of the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee), and the advisory board of Marca Global.

Spotlight: Anand Patel

As the President/CEO of the Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau, Anand Patel skills in tourism, marketing, hospitality management, and finance.

Before his position at the Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau, Patel worked as the General Manager of the Hawthorn Inn & Suites in Napa, CA and also the General Manager and managing partner of the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Fairfield, CA.

Patel’s ambition for hospitality traces back to his childhood as his family was involved in the hotel business and still, as of today, continues to own and operate hotels all over the country.

As for his other involvements, Patel was on the formation committee for the original tourism business improvement district (TBID) originally formed under the 1989 Act in 2003, creating the Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau with a 2% assessment.

For his undergraduate years, Patel earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an option in Finance and minor in Economics (B.S.). Furthering his education, he later received his Master’s in BA at Summa Cum Laude.

During school, Patel became a life member of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity where he held positions such as the Secretary, Treasurer, and President.

With all of this accomplished, Patel maintained his his commitment to his organization and soon served for the Alumni Corporation Board President each year.

Patel’s leadership involvement continues as he is involved with various non-profit organizations such as the Governmental Affairs Committee (Calif. Hotel & Lodging), Chairman of the Board of Directors (Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce), Treasurer (Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau), and Treasurer (Central Valley Tourism Association).

Patel is an outstanding individual with a high professional and experienced background. He possesses a career and volunteer history that exemplifies his ability to multitask and prioritize. His numerous leadership positions prove nothing but greatness and absolute devotion to what drives him. With his experiences and accomplishments, it is to no surprise of how an inspiring person he is today.