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Archive for the ‘Personal Empowerment’ Category

Financial Services Can Secure Future Innovation By Focusing On Trust – Forbes

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The future of financial services lies in consumer-permissioned data. Innovation in this space is about connecting the dots between consumer bank accounts and third-party apps, services and resources. But its about more than that. Its about translating those connections into improved financial wellness and inclusion.

To enhance these benefits, industry focus must be on facilitating consumer empowerment. True empowerment only comes when consumers have access to the information and insights they need to make the best financial decisions for themselves, their families and their businesses. This brand of authentic empowerment will, in turn, drive consumer trust in the data sharing process.

Unfortunately, empowering consumers is all too often an industry buzzword, superficial and empty of any real commitment. There are five key requirements that financial services providers (from banks to data providers to fintechs) need to emphasize if they are to make empowering consumers a reality. These requirements are control, access, transparency, traceability and security. Dedication to not only recognizing these five key areas, but to enhancing each one, will produce products and processes that consumers can feel comfortable trusting with their personal financial data.


Ultimately, its not enough to tell consumers that we have their best interests at heart. We need to give them the ability to control how their data is shared, who has access to their data and how their data is used. Informed consent and centralized permissions portals are two areas where meaningful changes can be implemented.

Informed consent is central to consumer control of personal financial data. And that consent needs to be accessible. For example, navigation systems within applications should showcase designs that are intuitive and user-friendly. Any and all consent language needs to be clear, as concise as possible and easy to understand. Not only is this in everyones best interest; its what consumers are demanding. Too many steps, too much indecipherable fine print and too many confusing processes inhibit informed consent and make things difficult for consumers.

Finally, developers and designers of financial services products should build out centralized permissions portals. These types of portals allow consumers to easily view, modify, add and revoke permissions across their library of financial services. When permissions are buried out of reach, informed consent has not actually been reached. Power only exists when control can be exercised and managed.


The second requirement we need to focus on to encourage true consumer empowerment is access to personal financial data. Account ownership should equal data ownership.

As with control, accessibility depends on ease of use. Service providers should deliver a simple, intuitive process for authentication. Basic user experience changes include minimizing unnecessary steps in every user process and avoiding language that might cause confusion, delays or friction. We know that time-consuming or confusing digital experiences lead to lower rates of adoption. Unfortunately, when consumers abandon a process that does not meet their expectations, they may be missing out on services that would benefit them.


Third on the list of requirements is transparency. This transparency manifests in two primary ways. First, consumers must always be able to view, manage, modify and revoke permissions. Second, service terms must be clearly explained. These terms should detail data handling and privacy agreements. Consumers must know exactly who will be accessing their data and how that data will be used. They must also describe consumer options and the consequences of any available choices. Its time to find creative ways to incorporate these terms across the onboarding experience rather than reserving all terms and conditions for a lengthy document at the end of the consumer registration process.


Transparency and traceability are twin functions. Traceability ultimately depends on transparency. Comprehensive traceability means that both consumers and data users should be able to map out the routes data takes along the data-sharing network. Each step, each transfer, each service provider should be clearly delineated. This also ensures that security breaches can be quickly and efficiently managed. All parties involved with the data in question should be automatically notified so they can enact proper security protocols.


Finally, any discussion of empowering consumers would be incomplete without careful consideration of security. All financial service providers must have security policies and practices in place to protect consumer data. This means constantly adjusting security measures to include advances in encryption and tokenization technologies. Security and transparency work together. For example, explicit clarity related to data definitions, usage and privacy should be provided to consumers so they can make informed decisions related to data handling and privacy.

In the end, it doesnt matter how convenient or how cutting edge a tool is. Without consumer trust, even the most potentially useful solution will never gain traction in the market. Whats needed now is an industrywide commitment to strengthening consumer control and access and to enhancing transparency, traceability and security throughout the data-sharing process. Only then will we fully earn consumer trust. And its this trust that will launch the future of financial services innovations.

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Financial Services Can Secure Future Innovation By Focusing On Trust - Forbes

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Childhood trauma can slow academic development. Here’s one way to fix it. – Bangor Daily News

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In the last couple of decades, Maines schools have felt effects of childhood trauma brought on by the effects of rural poverty, the opioid crisis and increased urbanization in some parts of the state. This summer, Portland welcomed an influx of asylum seekers from African countries many were families with school-aged children, whose migration story included multiple traumatic experiences. As student populations with diverse needs continue to increase, Maine should prioritize training a K-12 workforce with trauma-informed practices to increase equitable learning outcomes for students who have experienced adverse childhood experiences, or childhood trauma, especially for immigrant, refugee and asylum-seeking students.

As the number of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds entering Maines K-12 public schools continues to grow, school leaders and educational communities must be prepared to meet the unique needs of these students. Immigrant children and families often acquire traumas in their new communities due to discrimination, acculturation and racism in addition to the traumas they may have experienced in their home countries. Schools need to consider the social and environmental stressors that affect the children of the immigrant families they serve and use research-based interventions to assist students in their development.

For immigrant students, adjusting to the social and cultural behavioral expectations of a classroom, coupled with the long-term effects of adverse childhood experiences or intergenerational trauma, often means they struggle to meet academic expectations. As a result, mental and emotional challenges often manifest in behaviors such as aggression, difficulty controlling behavior and trouble paying attention. A culturally responsive, trauma-informed approach could help reduce disciplinary incidences, which only cause additional stress to students.

Trauma-informed practices emphasize the need for integrated approaches to responding to students with a history of childhood trauma. These practices integrate mental health supports, personal empowerment, and community collaborations to help increase positive student outcomes. Training all staff and personnel working with students in K-12 settings to use trauma-informed practices is a positive step toward equitable access to learning for students with trauma who often lack the self-regulation and resilience necessary for success in school. Training initiatives should pay special attention to include and respect positive cultural beliefs and language when addressing the unique experiences with which immigrant students, children of immigrants and students from historically marginalized communities are challenged. This would ensure students feel their identities are valued and celebrated and can be a source of strength.

By addressing the importance of properly training professionals to understand the long-term effects of childhood traumas, educational professionals can mitigate those effects and avoid further traumatizing students. Maines Legislature has taken positive steps to respond to this issue through a task force with LD 1168, a Resolve to Improve Maines Response to Childhood Trauma. This legislation has the potential to support school systems in meeting the unique challenges of many diverse student groups who have experienced childhood traumas.

If Maine is going to take actionable steps to address inequity in its communities and schools, it should also better address the impacts of race, socioeconomic class and culture in conjunction with efforts to train educational professionals and leadership to respond to childhood trauma. Policies should include language emphasizing a deliberate and intentional attempt to address the systemic disparities often resulting in inequitable access to positive educational experiences for immigrant and refugee students who have experienced childhood trauma. Legislators should continue to enact policies to bring long-term, systemic changes to the ways our communities respond to the social and emotional needs of these diverse children and their families.

Andrea Mercado is a K-12 educator with the Lewiston Public Schools and doctoral student at the University of Maine. This column reflects her views and expertise and does not speak on behalf of the university. Her column is a guest contribution for the Maine chapter of the national Scholars Strategy Network, which brings together scholars across the country to address public challenges and their policy implications. Members columns appear in the BDN every other week.

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Childhood trauma can slow academic development. Here's one way to fix it. - Bangor Daily News

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Cumming: Down to the entryway of higher education – Roanoke Times

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Cumming is an associate professor of journalism at Washington & Lee University.

For millions of Americans, community college is the gateway to higher education, job skills and a better life. This fall, for me, community college has been a gateway in the other direction.

It led me, temporarily, out of the bubble of elite higher education.

With a semester off as a tenured journalism professor at Washington and Lee University, I have spent this fall teaching a writing/research course at Surry Community College. Every week, I drive the 130 miles from Lexington to stay at our sons farm in Fancy Gap and teach a class of 16 challenging students on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Dobson, N.C.

I recommend the experience to other university professors. We have a lot to offer and something to learn.

This is Trump country. And yet, I have found more diversity here than at W&L. Four of my Surry students are Hispanic. One young woman wrote in an assignment of her mothers Hispanic shoe store getting ripped off by a few shoplifters. An African-American single mom in her 30s wrote in another assignment a memo to the principal of her daughters elementary school, questioning the decision to pull her daughter out of the regular class for special help.

One student manages the local Dairy Queen. Another works at Chick-fil-A. Four are Early College high school students. Four are repeating the class. Four more failed to show up or have dropped out.

Virginia has a system of 23 community colleges and an ambitious goal of making first-generation college student an obsolete term, with a college graduate in every household. North Carolinas community college system, once considered one of the most progressive in the country, has 58 campuses.

The funding of this system seems criminally low for being progressive. My pay as a one-class adjunct barely covers mileage and meals, even with the extra $4.70 a week thrown in for my Ph.D.

But the experience has been rewarding. It has freed me from a privileged liberal arts environment and tested my real value as a teacher. If this is left-behind America Trumps unrewarded supporters and demonized immigrants what could I teach them about writing?

A lot. Nonfiction writing, I try to show, is personal empowerment. Instead of a research paper, I gave assignments I thought could be useful to them: a memo, an op-ed, a press release, a blog post, a publishable book review. Writing, I said in every way I could, is connecting with a real audience. Its thinking logically, supporting assertions, making claims that persuade.

And what a time for applying these ideas with the U.S. House engaged in the ultimate Constitutional exercise from the Age of Reason: impeachment of a duly elected President.

I wanted to show respect for them, as they did for me. So for class discussion, I used a few good opinion columns I could find that leaned slightly in Trumps favor.

Professors in their ivory towers wonder what could have gone so wrong with America, that so many citizens could elect a big-time real estate cheat and reality TV star. For some of us, our reaction is a sincerely baffled curiosity, with a sense of obligation to serve the common good in a time of need with our modest skills teaching, scholarship and service.

Community college, as W&Ls provost told me, is where the real heart of American education is happening right now. A Harvard-educated law professor recently left his New York university to teach a semester in ethics in Appalachia, to try to understand what went so wrong in 2016. Evan Mandery was turned down by a Tennessee community college, but eventually taught at Appalachian State, writing that he took solace in the shared moral values he found underlying the argument of liberals and conservatives (but not libertarians, who he said valued abstractions over empathy).

I suspect that other professors would like to teach at least one term or course at a community college, if such experience were rewarded by their home universities. But that would take a fundamental shift in the reward system.

Community colleges could help by making it easier for us to teach there. I was dismayed at how many hoops I had to jump through for almost no pay.

But there are rewards. For me, the best reward is to be let into another world, sometimes poignantly expressed. I come from the kind of place where the tobacco grew and the factories fell, one student wrote. The place where Im from has little to offer and little to gain.

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Cumming: Down to the entryway of higher education - Roanoke Times

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Lessons From Michelle Obama And The 2019 Obama Foundation Summit: Empowering Communities Through Education – Forbes

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Michelle and Barack Obama at the Obama Foundation Summit 2019 in Chicago, IL.

Chicagos South Side Bronzeville neighborhood, a center of African-American life and culture, hosted the 2019 Obama Foundation Summit at the Illinois Institute of Technology on October 29, 2019. The Advancing Women in Product (AWIP) team was invited to cover the Summit as press, and from the perspective of a female empowerment and advocacy NGO.

Kira Alvarez, who is the Press Lead for Advancing Women in Product (AWIP), took time from her busy schedule as a researcher at Freie Universitt Berlin to cover the Summit for AWIP. Kira has taught and published throughout the U.S. and Germany, on topics such as diplomacy, history, and the intersection between science, technology, and society.

The South Side of Chicago was a deliberate choice. This region boasts a visionary past that has witnessed Ida B. Wells, President Obama, and Michelle Obama among others working toward social change. The Summit aptly chose the phrase Places Reveal Our Purpose as the conference theme, and touched on a number of pressing societal issues such as racism, poverty, and gender inequality. It showed that the South Side of Chicago is full of hope, love and energy that can inspire other places throughout the world. The critical role that communities and networks can play in supporting and promoting social advancement and opportunity was a powerful message from the 2019 Obama Foundation Summit.

Women leaders including Michelle Obama and Academy award nominee filmmaker Ava DuVernay spoke about their personal and professional journeys. These women showed that ambition and drive alone are not enough in pursuing a successful and fulfilling career. Support networks are key to achieving broader social change, especially for female advancement. This is in line with what researchers like Herminia Ibarra have remarked on the topic, that sponsors (both within and outside an organization) can help to accelerate careers and create opportunities. For Michelle Obama, support came from her family and a strong belief in self, which helped her overcome the prejudice she experienced growing up. For those who are looking to create their own support networks, search within your current social and professional networks optimizing for those that will generate new opportunities.

An example of community engagement from the Obama Foundation is the Girls Opportunity Alliance (GOA), a program that seeks to empower girls and their respective communities through education. AWIP was invited to the intimate GOA roundtable with Michelle Obama, which featured international educators from countries including Cambodia, Guatemala, and Malawi who tirelessly work on the front lines to improve girls lives. According to Michelle, the lack of investment in female education is an international emergency: What a waste. What a waste for society, what a waste for a family. What a waste for that girls soul to be trapped by her fate and not by her ability.

Michelle Obama with leaders from the Girls Opportunity Alliance (GOA)

The Girls Opportunity Alliance (GOA) empowers young girls in three dimensions: By growing an online network of grassroots leaders, by providing financial support for individual projects through GoFundMe, and by encouraging young people throughout the developed world to join the cause of promoting greater educational opportunities for women. GOA sees its work as not limited to a local or national context and therefore requires a transnational approach. Creating an alliance of young womens opportunities is ultimately about human rights. Investment in a network of girls education programs is key not just for the advancement of individual women, but also for the long-term advancement of societies. Being aware of opportunities outside ones immediate surroundings, especially if those surroundings are limited by lack of resources, can be extremely freeing. According to the Gates Foundation 2019 Goalkeepers report, the lack of access to education and jobs is destructive for everyone. It keeps women disempowered, limits their childrens life chances, and slows down economic growth.

The Summit also featured other Chicago leaders who stressed the creation of strong networks and equality in education. Among them, Obama Foundation Scholars, Aime Eubanks Davis and Dominique Jordan Turner, are founders of organizations that promote education and network creation. Ms. Davis, a 2018 Obama Fellow, is the CEO of Braven, an organization that works with universities and businesses to assist low-income, first-generation university students find employment post-graduation. Ms. Turner, a 2019 Obama Fellow, is the CEO of Chicago Scholars, a seven-year mentorship program that assists underprivileged Chicago youth in the college application process and subsequent employment search. Both Braven and Chicago Scholars are exemplary models of how organizations can provide disadvantaged students greater opportunities in the American educational system.

Many of the students that participate in the Chicago Scholars or Braven program have the talent and ambition to succeed, but lack networks to help them create and sustain a career and might otherwise fall through the cracks. The programs therefore closely mentor underprivileged students by leveraging a large network of support including college counselors, potential employers, and alumni. Ms. Davis stressed, referral networks are important in order to achieve career success. Simply having a college degree and talent is no longer fully sufficient for gainful employment in the American workforce that is the important lesson that these students are learning. Having the right skills through education is the first step but is much more effective when combined with a powerful support network.

We find a similar root cause with the lack of women representation in tech leadership and executive ranks: many women already have their foot in the door and are often highly educated but are often encountered with a glass ceiling. Organizations like Advancing Women in Product, Pink Innov, and the Operator Collective serve to stack the cards in the other direction: by creating opportunities where senior women can take a high-potential, rising leader under their wing. In a similar vein, these organizations are also creating communities and networks that encourage women to stay in the workforce and also introduce them to open leadership roles within the company as well as board seats for other companies.

The 2019 Obama Foundation Summit ultimately demonstrated that social change requires not just hard work, but also the creation and sustainment of networks. Girls Opportunity Alliance, Braven, and Chicago Scholars are important models that utilize networks to help women and minorities achieve their goals. Lets bridge the gap by building strong networks for ourselves and take our destiny into our own hands.

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Lessons From Michelle Obama And The 2019 Obama Foundation Summit: Empowering Communities Through Education - Forbes

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Conference Expands Opportunities for Women of Color Organizers – Middlebury College News and Events

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Kochava Joins Forces with DPAA to Drive Digital Out-Of-Home Growth – Digital Signage Connection

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NEW YORK and SANDPOINT, Idaho, December 5, 2019 DPAA, the leading global organization working to drive out-of-home into its digital future, and Kochava, the leading mobile attribution platform and host of the largest mobile data marketplace, announced today the company has joined the DPAA out-of-home marketing association. This partnership will enable the two companies to collaborate more closely to continue driving digital advertising growth.

Kochava provides secure, real-time data solutions to help customers establish identity, define and activate audiences, and measure and optimize all aspects of their marketing. Trusted by top brands in harnessing their data for growth, the company counts the top 10 largest apps in the world among their customers.

Barry Frey, DPAA President & CEO, said, Kochava is at the heart of mobile data attribution and thus plays a key role in the powerful mobile/out-of-home tie-ups being embraced by advertisers. We look forward to working with the Kochava team to help grow their business as well as that of the entire DOOH industry.

DPAA is a perfect partner for us to help continue fueling the growth for the digital out-of-home industry, said Charles Manning, Founder & CEO, Kochava. We support the associations mission as an advocate for the industry and its member companies.

DPAA is a global, out-of-home marketing association that has created a strong community environment in which members drive and promote their digital capabilities. To deliver on their promise of Digital Out of Home Everything, DPAA functions as a business accelerator and concierge/consultant for members. Membership in the DPAA community brings many benefits, including admission to quarterly mini summit meetings with ad industry and DOOH leaders; access to curated VIP tours and meetings at CES and Cannes Lions; an extensive database of research, best practices and case studies; tools for planning, training and forecasting; social media amplification; publication discounts; an opportunity to participate in media partnerships; insights on software and hardware solutions; further integration into the advertising ecosystem as part of the video everywhere conversation and marketing campaign; and more.

DPAAs annual Video Everywhere Summit (U.S.) brings together nearly 900 delegates representing brands, agencies, digital out-of-home networks, ad tech, mobile and location data companies, research firms and others for a full day of presentations, panels, case studies, networking events and experiential exhibits. The Summit is the largest full-day event dedicated to omnichannel marketing. The 2019 Video Everywhere Summit was held October 15 in New York.

In 2018, DPAA launched WE.DOOH (Womens Empowerment for the Digital Out-of-Home Industry), an initiative designed to aid and empower women in the digital out-of-home industry. The initiative provides a wide range of activities, including personal development programs, educational webinars, networking events and other support services.

About Kochava

Kochava Inc. is the leading mobile data attribution platform and host of the largest mobile data marketplace. The company provides secure, real-time data solutions to help customers establish identity, define and activate audiences, and measure and optimize all aspects of their marketing. Kochava provides enterprise brands with a consolidated Unified Audience Platform including data management and onboarding, cross-device configurable attribution, analytics, engagement, industry-leading fraud protection, and data enrichment. With a culture of customer-driven innovation, dedication to data security, and the most powerful tools in the ecosystem, Kochava is trusted by top brands to harness their data for growth. Headquartered in Sandpoint, Idaho, the company has offices globally. For more information visit their web site Follow Kochava on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

About DPAA (

Founded in 2006, DPAA is a global out-of-home marketing association committed to driving the industry into its digital future. DPAA has created a strong community environment in which members drive and promote their digital capabilities. DPAA is a business accelerator that fosters collaboration between agencies and the DOOH community, providing industry-wide research and best practices in areas such as mobile integration and programmatic; and promotes the effectiveness of DOOH advertising. DPAA has spearheaded programmatic development, standards and adoption for the DOOH industry.

Twitter: @DPAAorg

Facebook: @DPAAorg

Instagram: @dpaa_org



Barry Frey on Twitter: @barryfrey

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Kochava Joins Forces with DPAA to Drive Digital Out-Of-Home Growth - Digital Signage Connection

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Young people rebuild lives thanks to project – Belfast Newsletter

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Chloe O'Toole, Tyler Morrison and Mileni Lopes Seidi - just three of more than 100 young people affected by homelessness whose lives have been turned around by the Relentless Change Programme, run by the Northern Ireland Youth Forum, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and supported by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Extern and Ulster University

Published: 05:23 Thursday 05 December 2019

More than 100 young people affected by homelessness have rebuilt their lives thanks to a major project run by the Northern Ireland Youth Forum.

The Relentless Change Programme, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund has had a real impact on the lives of these young people, helping them to find permanent accommodation, employment and connection to vital statutory services.

The RCP Programme is supported by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Extern and Ulster University.

This has been achieved largely through The Youth Forums Relentless Youth Work Approach with the young people establishing transformational relationships and completing personal and social development and experiential learning courses to help them deal with the challenges and pressures of homelessness.

On top of that 18 young people have completed a work placement this year and 41 have completed an accredited Ulster University course on civic empowerment. A further 15 are registered to take part in the course in April.

On November 26 at the Northern Ireland Youth Forum, programme participants, staff and partner agencies came together to celebrate their successes on the programme over the last year.

In the second year of this three-year programme, more than 40 young homeless people engaged with the RCP project.

As a result of their work, they continued to present key messages which they feel would make life easier for other young people in the same situation.

These are:

Access to correct information from NIHE at the right time; Dont put young people in hostels with older people or in B&Bs; Family Intervention at the right time could help prevent homelessness.

Social services need to do more to help support young people leaving care; An advice service for youth homelessness that is flexible and provides out of hours support; Young people need more choices in relation to housing options; Services and decision makers to listen and learn from young people; More education in schools and youth clubs about homelessness.

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Young people rebuild lives thanks to project - Belfast Newsletter

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Futures Recovery Release a New Blog Post on Their Site – The News Front

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Futures Recovery have released a new blog post on their website. It is a blog post titled The Importance of Community in Recovery. This is a beneficial blog for people who are considering drug rehab in Palm Beach or who are looking for a particular addiction treatment center in Palm Beach.

In the Blog post, Futures Recovery discusses many areas such as Jupiter Recovery Day, Fighting Stigma, and Helping Others is a Primary Theme in Recovery. According to Futures Recovery, when you are in recovery from addiction, it is advised to give up old relationships and make significant life changes; however, they do not recommend doing this alone. They quoted a book with the sentence Loneliness hangs over our culture today like thick smog, written by Johan Hari in his 2018 book Lost Connections. The book is about trying to investigate and reveal the real causes of depression.

In Futures Recoverys opinion, recovery means connecting with your peers for mutual support and connecting with your local community. A significant emphasis on the community will help you in the road to recovery, according to Futures Recovery. Also, Futures Recovery Healthcare recently sponsored the inaugural Jupiter Recovery Day.

The event brought members of the South Florida community together to honor and celebrate individuals in recovery from substance use or mental health disorders. It is a brilliant day with everyone int eh community gathering, which helps with the improvement of those who are in rehab or a loved one.

Jupiter Recovery Day is a unique event that connects people in recovery with the rest of the community. It helps raise awareness of the disease and overcome the stigma still attached to it. Community events like these may also encourage people with substance use disorder to feel more confident about seeking treatment and less afraid of being judged because of their disease.

An interesting fact that Futures Recovery has found is that overcoming addiction is aided by connecting with supportive people, especially peers who have been going through similar experiences. There has been scientific research to show that peer support and being part of a community significantly increase the chances of sustained recovery from addiction.

So, there are many ways to help individuals who in rehab and one the road to recovery. One way of which is helping each other recover from addiction is by joining community-based recovery housing. Staying sober and living in a recovery residence among peers can help stabilize people in their early recovery. Many housemates may also hold each other accountable.

Futures has established partnerships with certified recovery residences within our local community and across the country to assist clients who would benefit from safe, supervised sober living.

Futures Recovery recommends always to have someone, a loved one or friend, as Isolation and lack of genuine support can be dangerous, especially if you are recovering from addiction.

Contact Futures Recovery today if you or your loved one is considering Palm Beach addiction treatment. The team at Futures Recovery is professional and considerate, and it is an excellent drug addiction treatment center in Palm beach. You can ring the Palm beach treatment center on (561) 475-1804, or you can email the team at for more information about rehab or any information on their site, including the new blog post about recovery in your community.


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The CROWN Coalition Celebrates Landmark Milestone In Its Efforts To End Hair Discrimination With The Introduction Of Federal Legislation – Yahoo…

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The CROWN Act Of 2019 Calls For Federal Protection Against Hair Discrimination To Ensure All Natural Beauty Is Welcome In All Workplaces And Schools

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS,N.J., Dec. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --The CROWN Coalition, a national alliance of organizations working to advance anti hair discrimination legislation, is celebrating a major victory with the introduction of a federal bill to ban hair discrimination called The CROWN Act of 2019. The CROWN Coalition, founded by Dove, National Urban League, Western Center on Law & Poverty, and Color Of Change, and supported by over 50 NGOs and non-profit organizations, have been working to raise awareness for the issue of hair discrimination and to drive action to end hair discrimination in workplaces and schools. The announcement of a federal bill, led by Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana) and Senator Corey Booker (D-New Jersey), is a monumental milestone in the Coalition's efforts to Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.

"Hair discrimination has been a problematic practice impacting Black people in multiple settings for far too long. Natural hair and protective styles should never serve as a barrier. We in Congress have acted, and together with a racial equity champion like Adjoa B. Asamoah and the CROWN Coalition, we can ensure this form of discrimination no longer goes unchecked," said Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana).

"Dove is incredibly proud to be a force in the movement towards a more equitable beauty experience for all people. We were inspired to co-found the CROWN Coalition to support Senator Holly Mitchell in California with the inaugural CROWN Act, and are excited to see other state and federal legislators recognizing the time is now to take action to end this form of discrimination," said Esi Eggleston Bracey, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever North America."We salute Congressman Richmond and Senator Booker, and the other members of the Congressional Black Caucus who are co-sponsoring The CROWN Act of 2019, for leading the charge to end hair discrimination nationwide."

"A federal bill in both chambers of Congress is exactly what is needed to address the racial injustice of hair discrimination on a national level," said Marc Morial, former mayor of New Orleans and CEO of the National Urban League, a founding member of the CROWN Coalition. "With the passing of The CROWN Act in California and New York and more than 10 other states taking action to introduce or pre-file similar legislation, there is a heightened awareness of the need to expand anti-discrimination protections to include hair texture and hairstyles inherent to race. Federal legislation would eliminate the need for state-by-state legislation and would immediately break down systemic barriers that limit social and economic mobility of African-Americans based on Eurocentric standards of beauty."

"The federal CROWN Act of 2019 is an important and overdue step toward achieving civil rights and economic equity in this country," said Color Of Change Vice President Arisha Hatch. "Ridding our schools, workplaces and communities of hostile hairstyle discrimination will finally allow children of color to view themselves as deserving of every opportunity they've seen handed to their white peers for generations. On behalf of our 1.7 million members, Color Of Change applauds Congressman Richmond and Senator Booker for their leadership in introducing this bill, and we thank our partners in the CROWN Coalition for their lasting commitment to ensuring that natural beauty is protected for all Americans, no matter the state they live in or the color of their skin."

The CROWN Act of 2019 is not the first time federal lawmakers have taken action against grooming policies that have a disparate impact on people of color. In 2014, the Congressional Black Caucus, led by then Chairwoman Rep. Marcia Fudge, appealed to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to reconsider U.S. Military rules for hairstyles that lacked cultural sensitivity and gave little regard to what it takes for women of color to maintain their natural hair. As a result, military grooming standards were reviewed and adjusted to ensure fair and respectful consideration of a diverse force.

"As reports of racial discrimination at work and in schools are increasing, it is essential that lawmakers recognize where more protections against it can, and should be, strengthened," said Jessica Bartholow of the Western Center on Law and Poverty. "We are so grateful to Senator Booker, Congressman Richmond and the Congressional Black Caucus for their leadership on this issue and are eager to continue the work with other CROWN Act coalition members and allies until all workers and all pupils in our country are free from cultural and racial discrimination based on the texture or style of their hair. Passing this Act is an essential step to reducing school pushout of black children and improving job opportunities for black workers."

Jointhe movementthat'screating realchangeand aiding in the efforts to ensureBlack men, women and children feel confident in expressing themselves. Sign the petition atwww.TheCROWNAct.comto help us end discrimination and learn howyou can get involved in bringing anti-hair discrimination legislation to your state.

About The CROWN CoalitionThe CROWN Coalition is a national alliance founded by Dove, National Urban League, Color Of Change, Western Center on Law & Poverty.

The CROWN Coalition is proud to sponsor and/or support the following bills in California, New York, and New Jersey:

These bills address unfair grooming policies that have a disparate impact on Black women, men and children and has drawn attention to cultural and racial discrimination taking place within workplaces and public schools. The CROWN Coalition members believe diversity and inclusion are key drivers of success of social and economic success.

The CROWN Coalition and The CROWN Act are supported by the following organizations: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., The Links, Inc., Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (NOBEL Women), African American Mayors Association, Black Women's Agenda, National Council of Negro Women, Black Women's Roundtable, National Women's Law Center, Black Women Organized for Political Action, National Action Network, National Black MBA Association, Inc., National Black Child Development Institute, Inc., National Association of Black Psychologists, United States Black Chambers, Inc., Black Business Association, Black Women for Wellness Action Project, Greater Sacramento Urban League, National Coalition of 100 Black Women-Sacramento Chapter, EMERGE: Natural Beauty Industry Alliance, Beauty and Barber Empowerment Center, Ujima, Inc., Hip Hop Sisters Foundation, Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, Equal Rights Advocates, Public Health Advocates, American Academy of Pediatrics, Courage Campaign, Greenlining Institute, Anti-Defamation League, Women in Public Policy, Inc., Professional Beauty Association, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), California Black Health Network, Black American Political Association of California, California Black Chamber of Commerce, Women's Foundation of California, National Association of Social Workers-California Chapter, California Employment Lawyers Association, California Civil Liberties Advocacy, California Teachers Association, AFSCME California American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, ACLU New Jersey, ACLU California, ACLU of Northern California, ACLU of Southern California, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, Berkeley City Council, National Lawyers Guild Sacramento Chapter, Los Angeles County Office of Education, Los Angeles Community College District, City and County of San Francisco Department on the Status of Women

About DoveDove started its life in 1957 in the US, with launch of the Beauty Bar, with its patented blend of mild cleansers and moisturizing cream. Dove's heritage is based on moisturization proof not promises grew Dove from a Beauty Bar into one of the world's most beloved beauty brands.

Women have always been our inspiration and since the beginning, we have been wholly committed to providing superior care to all women and to championing real beauty in our advertising. Dove believes that beauty is for everyone. That beauty should be a source of confidence and not anxiety. Dove's mission is to inspire women everywhere to develop a positive relationship with the way they look and realize their personal potential for beauty.

For 60 years, Dove has been committed to broadening the narrow definition of beauty in the work they do. With the 'Dove Real Beauty Pledge,' Dove vows to:

About Unilever North America

Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. In the United States and Canada, the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Ben & Jerry's, Breyers, Degree, Dollar Shave Club, Dove, Hellmann's, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Love Beauty and Planet, Magnum, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond's, Popsicle, Pure Leaf, Q-tips, Seventh Generation, Simple, Sir Kensington's, St. Ives, Suave, Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto, TAZO, TIGI, TRESemm and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.

Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) underpins the company's strategy and commits to:

The USLP creates value by driving growth and trust, eliminating costs and reducing risks. In 2018, the company's Sustainable Living Brands grew 69% faster than the rest of the business, compared to 46% in 2017.

Since 2010 we have been taking action through the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to help more than a billion people improve their health and well-being, halve our environmental footprint and enhance the livelihoods of millions of people as we grow our business. We have already made significant progress and continue to expand our ambition most recently committing to ensure 100% of our plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. While there is still more to do, we are proud to have been recognized in 2018 as sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and as the top ranked company in the GlobeScan/SustainAbility Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders survey, for the eighth-consecutive year.

For more information on Unilever U.S. and its brands visit: For more information on the USLP:

About National Urban LeagueThe National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 90 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.

About Color Of ChangeColor Of Change is the nation's largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by more than 1.4 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people and our allies in America. Our campaigns and initiatives win changes that matter. By designing strategies powerful enough to fight racism and injusticein politics and culture, in the work place and the economy, in criminal justice and community life, and wherever they existwe are changing both the written and unwritten rules of society. We mobilize our members to end practices and systems that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward.

About Western Center on Law & PovertyWestern Center fights for justice and system-wide change to secure housing, health care, racial justice and a strong safety net for low-income Californians. Western Center attains real-world policy solutions for our clients through litigation, legislative and policy advocacy, and technical assistance and legal support for the state's legal aid programs. Western Center is California's oldest and largest legal services support center.


Marcy Polanco

Shemika Harmitt



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Regions’ Clara Green On Bank’s Diversity and Inclusion Journey – Birmingham Times

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By Clara Green

Its hard to hate up close.

Those were the words spoken by a welcoming uncle to his curious young nephew. The nephew wanted to know why the uncle always invited so many people, from all walks of life, to Thanksgiving dinner.

One year, I asked him, How am I related to everybody here? the nephew recalled. They were a racially diverse group, an ethnically diverse group, a socially diverse group, and a geographically diverse group. I remember him saying to me, Logan, youre related to them not by the blood in your veins but by whats in your heart and whats in their heart.

The uncles view was this: Were all connected by three similarities. One is the love of family. Another is we all want to be respected and appreciated. And the third is that, at some point in our lives, were going to face hard times, and well need others to be there with us.

So, Logan, this is your family, the uncle explained.

And thats why, each year, he made it a point to open his home to people hed met along lifes journey. They may not be blood relatives. But if only we take the time to look, we can always find common bonds.

Were Spanish on my side of the family, so were huggers and kissers, Logan added. So my uncle leans in really close; he takes my head in his hands and gives me a kiss on each cheek, and he gets about two inches from my face, and thats when he said it: Its hard to hate up close. And his point was to just get to know people. Youll see just how many great people there are.

That was decades ago. And Logan Pichel, whose own lifes journey led to him becoming an executive at Regions Bank, still follows and shares his uncles advice.

Over the last year, our teams at Regions have been on a journey, too. Its a journey toward better understanding, more openly welcoming, and always respecting the unique backgrounds of colleagues across our organization.

Along the way, weve had a series of candid conversations that reflects the value Regions places on diversity. Each conversation, open to Regions associates and streamed to company offices in several states, has offered insights that can help all of us better appreciate the experiences of others.

One of our earliest discussions was with Regions CEO John Turner, who shared how fostering diversity makes Regions a better bank. But its not just about diversity, he shared. Inclusion must be at the heart of our journey, too. Diversity is having more people at the table. Inclusion is listening to everyones voices and actively seeking the perspectives of people whose backgrounds are different than our own.

Another conversation featured women leaders from different departments at the bank, as well as from different generations. They shared a message of inspiration and empowerment, with a focus on charting a course, overcoming challenges, and building professional and personal success.

During Black History Month, we heard from the first African-American mayor of our headquarters city, Birmingham, Alabama, joined by the current mayor, who is also African-American. They talked about history and being an African-American leader then and now. They spoke of progress in terms of equality and opportunity. And they acknowledged the progress society still needs to make.

In May, we recognized Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and invited colleagues from China, Pakistan, the Philippines and India to share how theyve found a sense of belonging in the U.S., which can be a challenge for people in new surroundings. Another colleague, raised in the U.S. by Taiwanese parents, reflected his pride in being bicultural.

During June, we celebrated LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Two of our colleagues told personal and transparent stories about coming out. Another colleague shared the story of his son coming out and talked about his responsibility as a parent. We walked away from that conversation with a clearer understanding of how there is so much more to members of the LGBTQ+ community than their sexuality.

I didnt change when I came out, one of our panelists said. Im still the person I am, and just getting people to realize that is important for everybody.

In September, we focused on Hispanic Heritage Month. Three colleagues told of their families immigration to the United States. Some of their parents and ancestors came legally; others came illegally, seeking exile from unsafe conditions. We were left to ponder the risks we would be willing to take personally in search of a better life.

During October, which is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we heard from author David Cooks, who motivated us by showing how hes fulfilling his purpose, despite being a T6 paraplegic since he was a teen. He spoke of how the Americans with Disabilities Act has helped level the playing field, but theres a need to consistently ensure people living with disabilities have access to opportunities for professional growth. I think the next step, now that I can get in the bathroom, is to figure out how to get in the boardroom, he said.

Our conversation series is taking a very intentional approach toward ensuring that were listening to voices from across demographic groups, and that includes a recent conversation with white male colleagues, who I also see as an important piece of our diversity and inclusion puzzle. We heard these colleagues share how they champion diversity and inclusion, serving as advocates and allies for others. And we reaffirmed that, to be a truly inclusive organization, everyone needs to see themselves as part of the equation. Its my responsibility to be part of helping ensure we have a level playing field, one participant shared, as all others agreed.

Why is Regions taking these steps? Indeed, we believe a diverse and inclusive organization is better suited for meeting the needs of our communities. But its not only that. We also believe it is fundamentally the right thing to do. People deserve a workplace that values them for who they are. We want our colleagues to know they are welcomed and valued. And we believe a consistent focus on diversity and inclusion helps us better understand each other and helps our organization grow stronger.

Our goal is not to see others through the narrow lens of labels or stereotypes. Rather, we see a greater value in taking the time to get to know each other up close.

Clara Green is Executive Vice President, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Regions Bank.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. on 12/5/2019 to correct wording in headline and add a sentence previously omitted.

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