'When COVID started I said, I really want to make an impact and do something' says TV & Film Executive Producer and Director James P Axiotis.

JPA Productions
James P. Axiotis, International television and film producer shares his thoughts on his 30 years plus career in Hollywood. His self-less contribution towards war refugees & utilizing the power of storytelling to spread awareness globally.

Until we bring awareness of the plight of these refugees, we have to find a way and not water it down and this won't be good.

Media 7: Could you please take us through your professional career?
James P Axiotis:
I was 13 or 14 years old, we had a little football team in San Fernando Valley in Southern California. We were asked to be in this TV special and the parents had to sign us out. So for almost a month, we were on the set being on the show and we had our last name was on our football helmets and the director happened to be Greek and he saw my name and he said you must be Greek. I said, I am and he pulled me aside. One of the main actors in the show was Greek and they knew you wanted to use me, not just as an extra, but as an actor. Then years later, when I was 17, again I was asked if I was a Greek dancer. Again, I was on set and I'm like, I don't know what all this is. I don't know what all the producer-directors-AD, but I love the film community. I love the community of storytelling. It wasn't so much to be, I was on set as an actor, but I just enjoyed doing it. By the time I was 24, I was one of the youngest producers at NBC studios and I just kept networking, meeting people. So yes, I'm in the producers Guild, I'm on the national board, I'm in the television academy. I'm in BFI. But what I love about what's happening now is that streaming changed everything in the last seven to 10 years and made everything international and I always tried to think of shows globally, not just a show that would air well in America.


M7: How do you maintain a balance between working with JPA Productions and simultaneously playing a crucial role at Children of War Foundation?
JPA:
I always knew I wanted to give back. I always wanted to share. When I heard about children's war from a friend of mine out here, because when COVID started I said, I really want to make an impact and do something big. Do you know of anyone? She was a newscaster out here in Los Angeles. She's a friend of mine. She said, well, there's this organization show of war and I donated money and I said, is there any way I can meet with the founders? I went to their house. I met with them when I heard about what they're doing for medical and education. My mother was 19 when I was taken from her they deemed me illegitimate. She was illiterate, cleaning houses. So literacy, women's education was essential to me. So I said, I will offer my production services. I will tell stories. So they said, okay and I soon after, I found myself on the Syrian border, I was in Jordan, I was in a refugee camp and I loved these kids. So really it was, it worked perfectly.

Read More: 'The “Swissness” stands for quality around the world' says Henri W.R. Kennedie, President & CEO at Swiss International Hotels & Resorts.


The mothers were notified by law that their children were being taken, were being adopted. Most mothers, didn't show up.



M7: What is on top of the list for what JPA Productions wishes to achieve this year??
JPA:
I spent a three-year developing the story of my mother at Cannes film festival, I met with a studio, and they said they want to work with me in possible development not just to be, I was going to do a short film. I was going to do a 15-minute film about my mother. It focused on the courtroom scene because what she did was she showed up in court to say goodbye to me. She couldn't do anything as she had no lawyer. The mothers were notified by law that their children were being taken, were being adopted. Most mothers, I found out, didn't show up. When I found out at night, the story of 18, when I was 18 years old, I found the story, the true story. It just changed my life. This young girl shows up in court to say goodbye to her son, to do the proper thing or something she didn't have to do. That, for me, changed everything. So then it became, you know, being friendly, being kind. Sometimes doesn't cost you anything, but be committed. So I think the top of my list would be if I could get this thing, whether it is going to be a short or whether it's going to be a feature, have that go. I don't know if we'll shoot it this year as it will be in Greece. It's going to take some time. But I want to do that. I want to finish the documentary at another place. I'm excited about that. We're developing a few shows out here. I can't talk about it, but they're in the same vein of what the whole thing I'm doing.


M7: Talk to us about the power of storytelling being utilized to spread awareness & bring aid to refugees internationally?
JPA:
I made a great contact with someone from the producers Guild we met at the can. She's based out of the UN now, but had an office in New York and one in London. I just watched one of her films about human trafficking and such a power and a hard film. You don't sit down with your kids in popcorn, I mean, this is a rough film. It was very emotional, but it revealed what was going on. It brought truth to something. Until we bring awareness of the plight of these refugees, it doesn't matter the country, we have to find a way & water it down. This won't be good. So some of it is raw. But, I also believe in many people, a lot of my people, my age and business, are missing it. But I'm telling you social media is enormous and there are millions of views & these streamers. When I spoke at a round table at Cannes. I told them, we have to engage that platform, and we have to, it doesn't have to be a feature. It doesn't have to be a documentary. You know, it could be a bunch of short forms where kids can see it on their phones. The younger generation can see it on their phones.


M7: You are also famously known as an 'international producer'. How do you embrace this label with 30 years of experience? 
JPA:
That is an honor, first of all. Every time I tell when I go somewhere, they'll say, oh, this is James from America and I'm Greek, but I want to be known when I was at Cannes. I was like, this is its all international. Let's expand the family, right. There's so much more action we have in common than against. So if we tell stories, if we're with people and we look at it that way. When I started funding for the first year producers without borders, a friend of mine from the producers Guild, he said I want to do this cause we're both an international committee, I felt there wasn't enough happening globally. So, we started having these dinners worldwide to bring producers and creative together. So it is exciting as I'm going to keep doing it.

Read More: Small businesses are now competing in a marketplace dominated by low-cost large enterprises, says Herby Duverne, CEO at Windwalker Group.


Being friendly, being kind. Sometimes doesn't cost you anything, but be committed.



M7: What steps are you taking for in order to stick to your mission statement?
JPA:
I want to set up a foundation, probably in Greece or maybe London, or perhaps have a little smaller. But something that would give access to education, especially to women refugees or people who are just displaced because the only way, my adopted mother always said, if you're going to tell someone they have bad breath, you better have a breath mint or don't critique them. Don't tell them that, if you can't fix the problem then don't say anything. I have seen problems. I've seen things where there, you know, there still is. There's just a huge disparity & I thought, okay, I'm going to put my money where my mouth is. I want to set, and I'd love to see a foundation probably in my mother's name because she was illiterate and wasn't given opportunities. So I would love to set up something forever a foundation where I know that there are young women and not just in Greece, everywhere that are getting opportunities in education. It's like how I have every reason and more reason to go back and make sure for these young, especially these young women that this never happens again.


M7: Currently what project are you working on? Would you be able to share some details with us?
JPA:
I'm really, really excited about this documentary. I'm going to possibly be doing something with the UN. I may be doing a short with them. So I may next year have at least three projects in Berlin and Cannes film festivals, which will be exciting to actually bring; I always love to go, but to actually have something entered will be great. So to know we had some stuff done and entered would be very exciting for me. I have made connections to people in Ukraine ambulance drivers that I now know that we offer medical, you know, we're trying what medical need, what stuff because I'm prepared to go back. So people for the war, isn't over its horrific there. Hence these are things that are on the top of my list that, I'd like to achieve and, and do this year for sure.

ABOUT JPA PRODUCTION

JPA Productions is an independent production company with a focus on developing original content for scripted and non-scripted television programming. Currently in pre-production for a short film that will be shot on location in Greece. 

More THOUGHT LEADERS

Q&A with Jack Myers, Media Ecologist, Founder at MediaVillage

Media 7 | April 24, 2020

Jack Myers, Media Ecologist, and Founder at MediaVillage has influenced the decisions of hundreds of global, national and regional media, marketing, advertising and entertainment companies and organizations for over forty years. More than 150 companies, organizations and industry leaders are members of MediaVillage. After serving in leadership roles at Metromedia Outdoor, ABC-Radio, CBS-TV and UTV Cable, Jack launched The Myers Report, which for more than three decades has been a go-to innovation partner for more than 200 companies across the marketing and media ecosystem and the industry leader in forecasting the impact of technological advances on culture, marketing, media and entertainment. After a decade of development, Jack launched MediaVillage, now the industry’s most influential platform for thought leadership and a global advocate for the role and value of media to society, culture and business. MEDIA 7: For those in our audience who are new to it, could you describe MediaVillage? JACK MYERS: MediaVillage was launched in 2010 under the direction of veteran industry strategist and trend forecaster Jack Myers. Fifteen founding media companies embraced Myers’ recommendation that they transcend territorial competition to develop and implement industry-wide solutions for competing in the digital marketplace. For the past decade, MediaVillage, in collaboration with partners across the marketing ecosystem, has been pilot testing innovative strategies for generating growth. Today, more than 150 companies, organizations and industry leaders are members of the MediaVillage Center of Excellence. • MARKET RESEARCH: Under The Myers Report brand, MediaVillage collects, analyzes and shares B2B and consumer data and insights to guide and support our members’ growth priorities and marketing communications. • MARKET INTELLIGENCE: MediaVillage hosts and manages the B2B marketing platforms for more than 100 member companies, industry trade associations, non-profit advocacy groups, and education providers, each published independently under the MediaVillage Knowledge Exchange. Together they represent the media industry’s only unified force for growth. • CONTENT MARKETING: MediaVillage.com hosts the commentaries, thought-leadership and insights of the media industry’s most respected columnists, journalists and industry experts, reaching professionals across the marketing, media, entertainment and education ecosystem. • DIVERSE TALENT DEVELOPMENT: MediaVillage has been a leading advocate for diversity, equality and inclusion, founding WomenAdvancing. org in 2011, 1stFive.org in 2014 and, in 2017, the Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors. Under Myers’ leadership, the Advancing Diversity Council represents the media, marketing, advertising and entertainment community’s commitment to advancing diversity from advocacy to activism. • EDUCATION & MEETING PREPARATION: To support the on-demand knowledge needs of brand marketers, agency professionals, media industry suppliers, educators, content studios, content creators and diverse communities, MediaVillage is launching MeetingPrep.com, an open AI-fueled search and market intelligence platform. In addition to the most accurate and relevant vertical industry search engine, MeetingPrep will incorporate Giide, an interactive audio learning app; Ad Learning Exchange, a curriculum-focused online education resource; and Advancing Diversity Meet-Ups, connecting talent to jobs. The power of MediaVillage comes from the engagement and real-world experience of companies and organizations. Through our collective impact approach, we implement effective and cost efficient B2B growth solutions. ...

Read More

Q&A with Megan Fenyoe, Licensed Mental Health Therapist, and founder of the I Am Enough Movement Nonprofit Organization

Media 7 | April 1, 2020

Megan Fenyoe is an Air Force Veteran, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Transformational Mindset Coach, Best Selling Author, Speaker|Trainer, Host of the I Am Enough TV, and founder of the I Am Enough Movement. A Mental Health Therapist and Transformational Mindset Coach for over 15 years, Megan has both the personal and professional experience to help you uplevel your negative self-talk into positive self-empowerment. Deck 7: Let's begin with your journey so far. How was life as a woman in the Armed Forces? What prompted you to become a Licensed Mental Health Therapist? MEGAN FENYOE: I have always had a heart to help people and began my journey of becoming a Licensed Mental Health Therapist back in 2002 when I began my Master program. I successfully graduated with my master’s degree in 2005 and I have been licensed to practice therapy for the past 15 years. In 2012, I was given the opportunity to commission as an officer (Captain) in the Air Force at the age of 33. I moved from Michigan to California and was stationed at Travis Air Force Base. I provided mental health and substance abuse treatment to active duty members. My transition into the service was difficult since I was 33 years old and had absolutely no knowledge about the military culture, but I was able to find my way rather quickly. I loved wearing the uniform and helping fellow service members serving our country. However, being a Mental Health Therapist in the Air Force was difficult at times due to rules and regulations and I felt at times it was more about the “higher ups” rather than the patients. I made the decision to leave the Air Force after my 3-year contract was complete. I felt that I could not be the most effective therapist for my patients due to the military culture that I was expected to follow as an officer.  ...

Read More

Q&A with Maliha Aqeel, Director of Global Communications at Fix Network World

MEDIA 7 | January 16, 2020

Maliha Aqeel, Director of Global Communications at Fix Network World is an award-winning, communication and marketing professional who helps companies harness the power of their brand to drive engagement and achieve measurable business results.  She has developed and led content and marcomm programs for B2B companies in the financial and professional services sectors in her over 15 years of industry experience. MEDIA 7: When did you start working and what was it? MALIHA AQEEL: I started my career in 1996 right after high school, freelancing as a journalist and features writer for a magazine in Dubai, UAE. Over time, I expanded my services to include scriptwriting for corporate videos and TV productions, writing and designing client newsletters and promotional collateral. M7: What made you want to pursue a career in branding and marketing communications? What aspect about your role brings you the most joy? MA: I didn’t consciously decide to pursue a career in marketing and communication as my plan was to become a filmmaker. However, I had great curiosity about what makes people prefer one brand over the other when a feature-by-feature comparison didn’t show a huge difference between similar products or services. I had taken a few advertising courses during university and it broadened my understanding of how powerful brand experiences and storytelling can drive business objectives. That balance of strategy and creativity is what I enjoy most about what I do and why I’ve continued to find purpose in my career. ...

Read More

Q&A with Jack Myers, Media Ecologist, Founder at MediaVillage

Media 7 | April 24, 2020

Jack Myers, Media Ecologist, and Founder at MediaVillage has influenced the decisions of hundreds of global, national and regional media, marketing, advertising and entertainment companies and organizations for over forty years. More than 150 companies, organizations and industry leaders are members of MediaVillage. After serving in leadership roles at Metromedia Outdoor, ABC-Radio, CBS-TV and UTV Cable, Jack launched The Myers Report, which for more than three decades has been a go-to innovation partner for more than 200 companies across the marketing and media ecosystem and the industry leader in forecasting the impact of technological advances on culture, marketing, media and entertainment. After a decade of development, Jack launched MediaVillage, now the industry’s most influential platform for thought leadership and a global advocate for the role and value of media to society, culture and business. MEDIA 7: For those in our audience who are new to it, could you describe MediaVillage? JACK MYERS: MediaVillage was launched in 2010 under the direction of veteran industry strategist and trend forecaster Jack Myers. Fifteen founding media companies embraced Myers’ recommendation that they transcend territorial competition to develop and implement industry-wide solutions for competing in the digital marketplace. For the past decade, MediaVillage, in collaboration with partners across the marketing ecosystem, has been pilot testing innovative strategies for generating growth. Today, more than 150 companies, organizations and industry leaders are members of the MediaVillage Center of Excellence. • MARKET RESEARCH: Under The Myers Report brand, MediaVillage collects, analyzes and shares B2B and consumer data and insights to guide and support our members’ growth priorities and marketing communications. • MARKET INTELLIGENCE: MediaVillage hosts and manages the B2B marketing platforms for more than 100 member companies, industry trade associations, non-profit advocacy groups, and education providers, each published independently under the MediaVillage Knowledge Exchange. Together they represent the media industry’s only unified force for growth. • CONTENT MARKETING: MediaVillage.com hosts the commentaries, thought-leadership and insights of the media industry’s most respected columnists, journalists and industry experts, reaching professionals across the marketing, media, entertainment and education ecosystem. • DIVERSE TALENT DEVELOPMENT: MediaVillage has been a leading advocate for diversity, equality and inclusion, founding WomenAdvancing. org in 2011, 1stFive.org in 2014 and, in 2017, the Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors. Under Myers’ leadership, the Advancing Diversity Council represents the media, marketing, advertising and entertainment community’s commitment to advancing diversity from advocacy to activism. • EDUCATION & MEETING PREPARATION: To support the on-demand knowledge needs of brand marketers, agency professionals, media industry suppliers, educators, content studios, content creators and diverse communities, MediaVillage is launching MeetingPrep.com, an open AI-fueled search and market intelligence platform. In addition to the most accurate and relevant vertical industry search engine, MeetingPrep will incorporate Giide, an interactive audio learning app; Ad Learning Exchange, a curriculum-focused online education resource; and Advancing Diversity Meet-Ups, connecting talent to jobs. The power of MediaVillage comes from the engagement and real-world experience of companies and organizations. Through our collective impact approach, we implement effective and cost efficient B2B growth solutions. ...

Read More

Q&A with Megan Fenyoe, Licensed Mental Health Therapist, and founder of the I Am Enough Movement Nonprofit Organization

Media 7 | April 1, 2020

Megan Fenyoe is an Air Force Veteran, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Transformational Mindset Coach, Best Selling Author, Speaker|Trainer, Host of the I Am Enough TV, and founder of the I Am Enough Movement. A Mental Health Therapist and Transformational Mindset Coach for over 15 years, Megan has both the personal and professional experience to help you uplevel your negative self-talk into positive self-empowerment. Deck 7: Let's begin with your journey so far. How was life as a woman in the Armed Forces? What prompted you to become a Licensed Mental Health Therapist? MEGAN FENYOE: I have always had a heart to help people and began my journey of becoming a Licensed Mental Health Therapist back in 2002 when I began my Master program. I successfully graduated with my master’s degree in 2005 and I have been licensed to practice therapy for the past 15 years. In 2012, I was given the opportunity to commission as an officer (Captain) in the Air Force at the age of 33. I moved from Michigan to California and was stationed at Travis Air Force Base. I provided mental health and substance abuse treatment to active duty members. My transition into the service was difficult since I was 33 years old and had absolutely no knowledge about the military culture, but I was able to find my way rather quickly. I loved wearing the uniform and helping fellow service members serving our country. However, being a Mental Health Therapist in the Air Force was difficult at times due to rules and regulations and I felt at times it was more about the “higher ups” rather than the patients. I made the decision to leave the Air Force after my 3-year contract was complete. I felt that I could not be the most effective therapist for my patients due to the military culture that I was expected to follow as an officer.  ...

Read More

Q&A with Maliha Aqeel, Director of Global Communications at Fix Network World

MEDIA 7 | January 16, 2020

Maliha Aqeel, Director of Global Communications at Fix Network World is an award-winning, communication and marketing professional who helps companies harness the power of their brand to drive engagement and achieve measurable business results.  She has developed and led content and marcomm programs for B2B companies in the financial and professional services sectors in her over 15 years of industry experience. MEDIA 7: When did you start working and what was it? MALIHA AQEEL: I started my career in 1996 right after high school, freelancing as a journalist and features writer for a magazine in Dubai, UAE. Over time, I expanded my services to include scriptwriting for corporate videos and TV productions, writing and designing client newsletters and promotional collateral. M7: What made you want to pursue a career in branding and marketing communications? What aspect about your role brings you the most joy? MA: I didn’t consciously decide to pursue a career in marketing and communication as my plan was to become a filmmaker. However, I had great curiosity about what makes people prefer one brand over the other when a feature-by-feature comparison didn’t show a huge difference between similar products or services. I had taken a few advertising courses during university and it broadened my understanding of how powerful brand experiences and storytelling can drive business objectives. That balance of strategy and creativity is what I enjoy most about what I do and why I’ve continued to find purpose in my career. ...

Read More

Related News

Nonprofit Management, Financial Management

Energy Allies Receives $100,000 Grant from Liberty Mutual Foundation

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

In a remarkable leap towards a community-led energy future, Energy Allies, the startup energy justice nonprofit based in Boston and New York, has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Liberty Mutual Foundation. Renowned for actively involving and working alongside communities most impacted by climate change, Energy Allies imagines a future where every person lives in flourishing, resilient homes powered independently by clean energy. At the heart of their strategy lies the innovative Community Advisory Board (CAB), a collective of community members and organizational representatives compensated for their essential role in developing and endorsing local green energy solutions. "In our quest for equitable access to sustainable power sources, this grant represents a significant step toward building sturdy, self-reliant communities. It enables us to expedite our community-driven initiatives while reinforcing the conviction that given opportunities, communities are best positioned to lead progress towards clean energy," says Sara Chandler, Chairperson of Energy Allies' Board of Directors. The first CAB established in Boston ensures that community-led solar projects align with the specific needs of the locality. In partnership with PUSH Buffalo in Buffalo, NY, another CAB was formed under Energy Allies' guidance, with community leadership designing an energy project to create intergenerational wealth for those living in communities most impacted by climate change. "Yesenia Rivera, Executive Director at Energy Allies, adds, "This funding propels us into new heights of fulfilling our mission objectives. Our approach centered around communities, exemplified by Community Advisory Boards, is pivotal in making lasting impacts. We appreciate the support that allows us to expand our efforts to build equitable clean energy solutions." Being a significant contributor to the movement towards fair access to clean energy, Energy Allies strategically partners with community members, local organizations, and property owners. Together, they pinpoint ideal locations for green energy projects and devise programs to democratize the power system for all community dwellers. Community-driven power represents an innovative solution addressing challenges posed by unreliable, costly, and potentially dangerous traditional grids. Energy Allies emphasizes the importance of a movement led by communities advocating for energy justice while highlighting the risk of worsening existing issues without it. With its roots in research, Energy Allies has emerged as a leader concerning income-eligible community solar access. In collaboration with the Department of Energy, MIT, and Stanford University, this nonprofit developed 'Energy Score,' an accurate predictor of energy payments inclusive to all households. Through alliances with the Department of Energy Solar Technologies Office (SETO), it advocates policies promoting equal inclusion across all income brackets, emphasizing communities' vital role in co-designing local power. This $100,000 funding from Liberty Mutual Foundation places an already impactful organization - 'Energy Allies', into a position where it could further amplify its contributions towards cleaner and more balanced prospects. This financial boost will kickstart community-led solar initiatives while strengthening efforts to eliminate historical disparities in access to clean energy resources.

Read More

Nonprofit Management, Nonprofit Technology, Social Movements and Community

AnitaB.org Launches Executive Peer Groups Program to Shape Future of Tech Leadership

PR News | January 31, 2024

AnitaB.org has launched a distinctive opportunity aimed at fostering the advancement and success of women and non-binary leaders in technology: AnitaB.org Peer Groups for Executives (APG). Designed specifically for current and aspiring CEOs, the inaugural executive program extends beyond traditional professional development offerings. It's one of many ways the organization is furthering its mission of creating a more diverse and equitable tech ecosystem. AnitaB.org is honored to facilitate the inaugural executive peer groups," said Brenda Darden Wilkerson, President and CEO of AnitaB.org. "I have personally participated in a CEO peer group, and the experience was transformational. I gained hard skills, confidence, and an expanded network. I think about how much more powerful it would have been if the group was curated to women leaders in tech, with the open space to explore how intersectional identities create additional challenges to leadership, especially in a changing tech environment. We created AnitaB.org Peer Groups for Executives for just this reason. Data indicates that a big factor holding women back from moving into the most senior positions is a lack of confidence and training. Peer groups are a proven and powerful tool for advancement but are often imbalanced with men seeking participation more than women. APG for Executives is a new and unique opportunity specifically for executive women in tech who seek advancement and access to connection, support, and a proven curriculum for success in the C-Suite. With only 11% of tech CEO and senior-level leadership positions being held by women, if the gender imbalance continues in CEO-level trainings, this gap in representation in the industry will continue. This is important because when more women ascend to executive positions, organizations hire more equitably across intersectional gender identities — another key goal of the program. To promote a safe and empowering learning environment where women and non-binary technologists are seen and heard, the program features thoughtfully curated peer groups, consisting of 8-12 members each, led by an expert group chair. The selection and vetting process reinforces the integrity of the program, ensuring that participants are qualified, committed to engagement, and bring diverse perspectives and experiences. This intentional approach is the foundation for building a vibrant and inclusive APG community where members can participate in meaningful discussions, exchange ideas, and benefit from the collective wisdom of their peers. The program will kick off with a two-day, world-class, CEO-level training at an idyllic 150-acre ranch and retreat near Austin, Texas. Designed as an immersive experience, the retreat will delve into the unique challenges women and non-binary tech executives face, seamlessly progressing into conversations on the practical leadership tools needed to succeed in the high-pressure CEO position. Post-retreat, the program continues with monthly virtual and quarterly in-person group sessions for a year, fostering a continuous environment for executive-level learning, collaborative problem-solving, and strategic decision-making. Each participant will also gain exclusive access to one-on-one monthly coaching sessions with Angela Tucci, a longtime tech executive serving as the inaugural APG Leader. Tucci added, "Throughout my career as a C-Suite executive in tech, I have navigated and understand the challenges women in the industry often face in such roles. It requires specific skill sets and resilience to succeed, and that's what APG will offer. It's important for me to foster and support the upcoming community of women executives who will shape our tech ecosystem for the future.

Read More

Fundraising, Nonprofit Management

American Camp Association Receives $45.5 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Strengthen Character Development Programs for Young People

PR Newswire | February 02, 2024

The American Camp Association® (ACA) is honored to announce that Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded ACA a $45,535,623 grant to support the creation of a new, multiyear initiative to grow, improve, and celebrate character development at camps across the United States. Character at Camp is an innovative initiative anchored in the belief that summer and year-round camp programs provide an unparalleled opportunity to promote the character development of young people. While camps vary greatly in their mission, size, activities, programming, and location, many are run with an intrinsic focus on youth development and character-building skills and traits. ACA's recent National Camp Impact Study demonstrated that camp experiences support social connectedness among youth and the development of skills and traits such as perseverance, responsibility, and the willingness to try new things. This study also found that these skills and traits last over time. Individuals who attended camp as children demonstrate these skills and traits throughout academic environments and well into their early careers. For more than a century, character development has been foundational to the camp experience, as each camp distinctively offers a variety of opportunities to develop important character skills and traits. Camps provide young people with experiences in less-distracting settings, often surrounded by nature, that can help support character development through social interactions with peers and counselors, time for reflection and other activities. For example, campers learn responsibility as they help set tables in the dining hall, engage in leadership when guiding groups during hikes, and practice empathy when they support fellow campers who are missing home. In today's world, the benefits of building character skills and traits such as gratitude, kindness, creativity, curiosity, perseverance, resiliency, empathy, courage, and teamwork could not be more important. The Character at Camp initiative will be conducted during the next six years. ACA will make available in-person and virtual training opportunities, educational tools, and other resources to camps to strengthen, expand, or establish character development programs at the more than 15,000 year-round and summer camps across the US. As a direct result of this new initiative, ACA will invite camp leaders to participate in educational and peer-learning opportunities, networking, training, other experiences to learn how to help develop character skills and traits at camp. ACA will work with camp professionals, youth-development experts, and others to create new educational resources, training, and assessment tools to provide camps with opportunities to engage in this important initiative. Starting in 2025, all eligible nonprofit camps will have the opportunity to apply for competitive one-, two-, or three-year grants to support their character development programs. Eligible organizations will be able to apply for funding in amounts ranging from $50,000 to up to $300,000 based on the length of the grant period. Funds may be used for staffing, training, curricula, assessment, communications, and/or outreach and partnership efforts to support camps' specific goals related to character development. The initiative will support a broad range of camps serving young people from varied backgrounds and experiences, including under-resourced and underrepresented youth, as well as provide funding for developing character-based programming that is culturally relevant and values the diverse perspectives of youth and families. "We are deeply grateful for Lilly Endowment's support of ACA and our shared commitment to support camps across the country with the funding, tools, resources, and education to expand and prioritize character development programs," said Tom Rosenberg, ACA president/CEO. "This Character at Camp initiative recognizes the diverse needs of children and youth. We know camp experiences build a world of belonging and growth, and we're excited to engage camps as they work to strengthen their character development programs." "Lilly Endowment's founders firmly believed that developing the character of young people was vital to the future of communities and our country, and they supported many efforts to understand how character is formed," said N. Clay Robbins, Lilly Endowment's chairman and CEO. "For decades, well run camps have had a positive impact on the character development of thousands of campers. We believe, with the commitment, leadership, and expertise of ACA, its Character at Camp initiative can meaningfully enhance and expand character development from a variety of perspectives and in a diverse array of young people throughout the nation."

Read More

Nonprofit Management, Financial Management

Energy Allies Receives $100,000 Grant from Liberty Mutual Foundation

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

In a remarkable leap towards a community-led energy future, Energy Allies, the startup energy justice nonprofit based in Boston and New York, has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Liberty Mutual Foundation. Renowned for actively involving and working alongside communities most impacted by climate change, Energy Allies imagines a future where every person lives in flourishing, resilient homes powered independently by clean energy. At the heart of their strategy lies the innovative Community Advisory Board (CAB), a collective of community members and organizational representatives compensated for their essential role in developing and endorsing local green energy solutions. "In our quest for equitable access to sustainable power sources, this grant represents a significant step toward building sturdy, self-reliant communities. It enables us to expedite our community-driven initiatives while reinforcing the conviction that given opportunities, communities are best positioned to lead progress towards clean energy," says Sara Chandler, Chairperson of Energy Allies' Board of Directors. The first CAB established in Boston ensures that community-led solar projects align with the specific needs of the locality. In partnership with PUSH Buffalo in Buffalo, NY, another CAB was formed under Energy Allies' guidance, with community leadership designing an energy project to create intergenerational wealth for those living in communities most impacted by climate change. "Yesenia Rivera, Executive Director at Energy Allies, adds, "This funding propels us into new heights of fulfilling our mission objectives. Our approach centered around communities, exemplified by Community Advisory Boards, is pivotal in making lasting impacts. We appreciate the support that allows us to expand our efforts to build equitable clean energy solutions." Being a significant contributor to the movement towards fair access to clean energy, Energy Allies strategically partners with community members, local organizations, and property owners. Together, they pinpoint ideal locations for green energy projects and devise programs to democratize the power system for all community dwellers. Community-driven power represents an innovative solution addressing challenges posed by unreliable, costly, and potentially dangerous traditional grids. Energy Allies emphasizes the importance of a movement led by communities advocating for energy justice while highlighting the risk of worsening existing issues without it. With its roots in research, Energy Allies has emerged as a leader concerning income-eligible community solar access. In collaboration with the Department of Energy, MIT, and Stanford University, this nonprofit developed 'Energy Score,' an accurate predictor of energy payments inclusive to all households. Through alliances with the Department of Energy Solar Technologies Office (SETO), it advocates policies promoting equal inclusion across all income brackets, emphasizing communities' vital role in co-designing local power. This $100,000 funding from Liberty Mutual Foundation places an already impactful organization - 'Energy Allies', into a position where it could further amplify its contributions towards cleaner and more balanced prospects. This financial boost will kickstart community-led solar initiatives while strengthening efforts to eliminate historical disparities in access to clean energy resources.

Read More

Nonprofit Management, Nonprofit Technology, Social Movements and Community

AnitaB.org Launches Executive Peer Groups Program to Shape Future of Tech Leadership

PR News | January 31, 2024

AnitaB.org has launched a distinctive opportunity aimed at fostering the advancement and success of women and non-binary leaders in technology: AnitaB.org Peer Groups for Executives (APG). Designed specifically for current and aspiring CEOs, the inaugural executive program extends beyond traditional professional development offerings. It's one of many ways the organization is furthering its mission of creating a more diverse and equitable tech ecosystem. AnitaB.org is honored to facilitate the inaugural executive peer groups," said Brenda Darden Wilkerson, President and CEO of AnitaB.org. "I have personally participated in a CEO peer group, and the experience was transformational. I gained hard skills, confidence, and an expanded network. I think about how much more powerful it would have been if the group was curated to women leaders in tech, with the open space to explore how intersectional identities create additional challenges to leadership, especially in a changing tech environment. We created AnitaB.org Peer Groups for Executives for just this reason. Data indicates that a big factor holding women back from moving into the most senior positions is a lack of confidence and training. Peer groups are a proven and powerful tool for advancement but are often imbalanced with men seeking participation more than women. APG for Executives is a new and unique opportunity specifically for executive women in tech who seek advancement and access to connection, support, and a proven curriculum for success in the C-Suite. With only 11% of tech CEO and senior-level leadership positions being held by women, if the gender imbalance continues in CEO-level trainings, this gap in representation in the industry will continue. This is important because when more women ascend to executive positions, organizations hire more equitably across intersectional gender identities — another key goal of the program. To promote a safe and empowering learning environment where women and non-binary technologists are seen and heard, the program features thoughtfully curated peer groups, consisting of 8-12 members each, led by an expert group chair. The selection and vetting process reinforces the integrity of the program, ensuring that participants are qualified, committed to engagement, and bring diverse perspectives and experiences. This intentional approach is the foundation for building a vibrant and inclusive APG community where members can participate in meaningful discussions, exchange ideas, and benefit from the collective wisdom of their peers. The program will kick off with a two-day, world-class, CEO-level training at an idyllic 150-acre ranch and retreat near Austin, Texas. Designed as an immersive experience, the retreat will delve into the unique challenges women and non-binary tech executives face, seamlessly progressing into conversations on the practical leadership tools needed to succeed in the high-pressure CEO position. Post-retreat, the program continues with monthly virtual and quarterly in-person group sessions for a year, fostering a continuous environment for executive-level learning, collaborative problem-solving, and strategic decision-making. Each participant will also gain exclusive access to one-on-one monthly coaching sessions with Angela Tucci, a longtime tech executive serving as the inaugural APG Leader. Tucci added, "Throughout my career as a C-Suite executive in tech, I have navigated and understand the challenges women in the industry often face in such roles. It requires specific skill sets and resilience to succeed, and that's what APG will offer. It's important for me to foster and support the upcoming community of women executives who will shape our tech ecosystem for the future.

Read More

Fundraising, Nonprofit Management

American Camp Association Receives $45.5 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Strengthen Character Development Programs for Young People

PR Newswire | February 02, 2024

The American Camp Association® (ACA) is honored to announce that Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded ACA a $45,535,623 grant to support the creation of a new, multiyear initiative to grow, improve, and celebrate character development at camps across the United States. Character at Camp is an innovative initiative anchored in the belief that summer and year-round camp programs provide an unparalleled opportunity to promote the character development of young people. While camps vary greatly in their mission, size, activities, programming, and location, many are run with an intrinsic focus on youth development and character-building skills and traits. ACA's recent National Camp Impact Study demonstrated that camp experiences support social connectedness among youth and the development of skills and traits such as perseverance, responsibility, and the willingness to try new things. This study also found that these skills and traits last over time. Individuals who attended camp as children demonstrate these skills and traits throughout academic environments and well into their early careers. For more than a century, character development has been foundational to the camp experience, as each camp distinctively offers a variety of opportunities to develop important character skills and traits. Camps provide young people with experiences in less-distracting settings, often surrounded by nature, that can help support character development through social interactions with peers and counselors, time for reflection and other activities. For example, campers learn responsibility as they help set tables in the dining hall, engage in leadership when guiding groups during hikes, and practice empathy when they support fellow campers who are missing home. In today's world, the benefits of building character skills and traits such as gratitude, kindness, creativity, curiosity, perseverance, resiliency, empathy, courage, and teamwork could not be more important. The Character at Camp initiative will be conducted during the next six years. ACA will make available in-person and virtual training opportunities, educational tools, and other resources to camps to strengthen, expand, or establish character development programs at the more than 15,000 year-round and summer camps across the US. As a direct result of this new initiative, ACA will invite camp leaders to participate in educational and peer-learning opportunities, networking, training, other experiences to learn how to help develop character skills and traits at camp. ACA will work with camp professionals, youth-development experts, and others to create new educational resources, training, and assessment tools to provide camps with opportunities to engage in this important initiative. Starting in 2025, all eligible nonprofit camps will have the opportunity to apply for competitive one-, two-, or three-year grants to support their character development programs. Eligible organizations will be able to apply for funding in amounts ranging from $50,000 to up to $300,000 based on the length of the grant period. Funds may be used for staffing, training, curricula, assessment, communications, and/or outreach and partnership efforts to support camps' specific goals related to character development. The initiative will support a broad range of camps serving young people from varied backgrounds and experiences, including under-resourced and underrepresented youth, as well as provide funding for developing character-based programming that is culturally relevant and values the diverse perspectives of youth and families. "We are deeply grateful for Lilly Endowment's support of ACA and our shared commitment to support camps across the country with the funding, tools, resources, and education to expand and prioritize character development programs," said Tom Rosenberg, ACA president/CEO. "This Character at Camp initiative recognizes the diverse needs of children and youth. We know camp experiences build a world of belonging and growth, and we're excited to engage camps as they work to strengthen their character development programs." "Lilly Endowment's founders firmly believed that developing the character of young people was vital to the future of communities and our country, and they supported many efforts to understand how character is formed," said N. Clay Robbins, Lilly Endowment's chairman and CEO. "For decades, well run camps have had a positive impact on the character development of thousands of campers. We believe, with the commitment, leadership, and expertise of ACA, its Character at Camp initiative can meaningfully enhance and expand character development from a variety of perspectives and in a diverse array of young people throughout the nation."

Read More

Spotlight

JPA Production

Hi! I'm James P. Axiotis an international television and film producer with over 30 years experience developing, casting and producing content throughout the East and West Coast markets within the U.S. As an immigrant adopted from an orphanage in Athens, Greece, at the age of just one, I have ded...

Events

Resources

resource image

Nonprofit Management, Nonprofit Technology

How to Build an Insight-Driven Culture at Your Nonprofit

Whitepaper

resource image

Nonprofit Management, Nonprofit Technology

NonprofitOS Free Chrome Extension

Video

resource image

Nonprofit Management, Nonprofit Technology

How to Build an Insight-Driven Culture at Your Nonprofit

Whitepaper

resource image

Nonprofit Management, Nonprofit Technology

NonprofitOS Free Chrome Extension

Video

Events