Nonprofits across the US are honoring Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday through a variety of virtual options, such as the annual parade organized by the Black Heritage Society in Houston and a prayer breakfast put together by the NAACP in Portage County, Ohio. "What has been effective throughout history is to divide and conquer throughout and we are living in a time now where we can find connection and common ground to move forward," said Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.
Nonprofit boards must actively pursue diversity to achieve racial equity within their organizations, write James Canales and Barbara Hostetter of the Barr Foundation. Canales and Hostetter discuss how the Barr Foundation's board plays an active role in diversity, including ensuring the board features individuals from diverse backgrounds who have varied personal histories.
The Central New York Community Foundation has distributed a second round of grants through its $1 million Black Equity and Excellence Fund, which aims to support Black-led nonprofits and businesses. One recipient, Street Addiction Institute, is working to help Black youth in areas that have experienced high gunshot rates.
The Foundations for Social Change's New Leaf Project has found direct cash payments of $5,800 helped financially vulnerable people in Vancouver, British Columbia, combat hunger instability and secure long-term housing. The pilot project involved some risk, but many participants had money left at the end of a one-year period, and the payments cost less than government support would have, says co-founder and CEO Claire Williams.
Actor Chrissy Metz won $5,000 on "Wheel of Fortune" and donated the proceeds to Blessings in a Backpack, which the TV show enhanced with an additional contribution of $25,000. "The generous donation from her winnings will help us feed more kids across the U.S. and go toward our mission of ending childhood hunger," said Blessings in a Backpack executive Nikki Grizzle.
World Health Organization emergencies chief Dr. Mike Ryan says the next few months of the pandemic could be worse than 2020, as new variants of the virus circulate and case counts surge. WHO officials held an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss concerns about the effects of more infectious coronavirus variants and inequities in vaccine distribution, noting that 95% of distributed vaccines have gone to residents of just 10 countries and predicting that vaccines distributed through the COVAX initiative will reach Africa in March.
A team of World Health Organization experts have arrived in China and are in quarantine as they prepare to investigate the origins of the current pandemic, although two members of the team were denied entry after testing positive for Covid-19 antibodies. WHO Health Emergencies Program chief Dr. Mike Ryan says the team is in China to gain knowledge that could help prevent future pandemics, not to assign blame for the current crisis.
Satellite images showing fires and destruction at refugee camps in Ethiopia's Tigray region indicate that human rights violations are continuing in the region, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says. Violence and insecurity in the area continue to hamper humanitarian aid delivery to an estimated 2.3 million people, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports.
The World Meteorological Organization this week confirmed that global temperatures in 2020 matched record highs set in 2016, despite the temporary cooling effects of a La Nina event. "The confirmation by the WMO that 2020 was one of the warmest years on record is yet another stark reminder of the relentless pace of climate change, which is destroying lives and livelihoods across our planet," says United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The majority of countries around the world have acknowledged the threats posed by climate change, but funding for efforts to limit warming has been limited and few plans are ambitious enough to make a significant difference, the United Nations Environment Programme says in its 2020 Adaptation report. "The more we can expedite adaption investments, the lower the human costs and the economic costs will be," says UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen.
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