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Kerry Washington Joins The Allstate Foundation to Spotlight Finances As A "Weapon of Choice" Used by Domestic Violence Abusers

Washington designs Purple Purse to serve as a symbol of movement; New national survey reveals that Americans view domestic violence as a serious problem, but don’t regularly talk about it

SOURCE: Allstate Foundation


September 16, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated actress and advocate Kerry Washington has joined with The Allstate Foundation to raise awareness about domestic violence and the critical role that financial abuse plays in domestic violence situations. Washington is serving as the national ambassador for Allstate Foundation Purple Purse, the signature initiative that gets Americans motivated to combat domestic violence.

Washington’s role as ambassador includes designing a limited-edition purple purse that will be distributed among community leaders, Allstate agency owners, Purple Purse community partners that work directly with survivors, celebrities and media to raise awareness for the cause. The purse represents the center of a woman’s financial domain and purple is the color of national domestic violence awareness. The Allstate Foundation is also distributing Purple Purse charms through Purple Purse Challenge participants to attach to a bag or purse and show support year-round. Washington also filmed a special Public Service Announcement featuring the purse and creating a call to action for Americans to get informed and involved.

“A purse is where a woman’s power lives. I am really proud of this bag, and having the opportunity to design a fashion statement that carries such an important message,” said Washington. “Financial control is almost always a weapon of choice for abusers because when a victim’s access to cash is taken away or her credit is destroyed or even her employment is jeopardized, it becomes nearly impossible for her to leave.”

“The Allstate Foundation wants to make it acceptable—even fashionable—to talk about domestic violence. Only by pulling back the curtain and getting involved can we ensure that victims can escape to a safer and brighter future,” said Tom Wilson, chairman, president and CEO of Allstate. “It shouldn’t take a high-profile incident in the news for us to rise up and take a stand against domestic violence. For far too long, this issue has remained in the shadows. We need to stop enabling criminals – by not letting money be a weapon of choice that, when combined with physical abuse, becomes a living nightmare for so many women in America.”

The Allstate Foundation also released the results of a survey, Silent Weapon: Domestic Violence and Financial Abuse, to understand the attitudes Americans have about violence in relationships and the financial control that usually accompanies physical abuse.

Findings from the survey include:

An Unknowing Public

  • Nearly eight in 10 Americans (78 percent) say they have not heard much about financial abuse as it relates to domestic violence. Additionally, Americans think that financial abuse is the least likely (3 percent) form of abuse to be recognized by an outsider.
  • Sixty-five percent don’t believe that their family or friends would know if they were in a financially abusive relationship and 70 percent can’t say they would know how to help them.
  • Only 39 percent of women have taken steps in their own relationship to protect themselves from financial abuse.

Millennial Reflections

  • Nearly 40 percent of Millennials say their parents talked to them about domestic violence, compared to a smaller percentage of older Americans, including 23 percent of Gen X’ers and 18 percent of Baby Boomers.
  • Nearly 70 percent of Millennial women view domestic violence as a serious issue facing the country, compared to just 55 percent of Millennial men.
  • Older Americans, aged 69 or older, view issues related to financial abuse more seriously than the Millennial generation. Seventy-two percent of older Americans believe that not allowing a partner to have access to funds is considered domestic violence, versus just 58 percent of Millennials. By a similar margin, 73 percent of older Americans believe that running up debt in a partner’s name should be considered domestic violence, compared to 55 percent of Millennials.

Multicultural Distinctions

  • Hispanics (51 percent) and African Americans (49 percent) are twice as likely to see domestic violence as a serious problem among people they know than their white, non-Hispanic counterparts (25 percent).
  • Hispanic parents (58 percent) and African American parents (52 percent) have discussed domestic violence more frequently than white non-Hispanic parents (43 percent).

For additional information on the survey visit

To raise more awareness, The Allstate Foundation is encouraging the public to participate in a Purple Purse Challenge by donating to local nonprofit organizations that support financial empowerment services for domestic violence survivors. The Challenge is already underway at and has raised nearly $500,000. The Allstate Foundation will contribute nearly $650,000 in incentive funding and direct grants to participating organizations in the Challenge. The more donations each nonprofit collects, the more incentive funding the organization can compete to win from The Allstate Foundation. The Challenge continues through Oct. 3, 2014.

Visit to learn more about domestic violence and financial abuse as well as how to start conversations about this important topic. For immediate assistance with a dangerous situation, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799 SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Since 2005, The Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program has empowered domestic violence survivors with resources, knowledge and skills they need to achieve financial empowerment and a life free from abuse. Since its inception, the program has helped nearly 400,000 domestic violence survivors leave abusive relationships through financial education, job training and readiness and microenterprise programs.

About The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit

Survey Methodology
The Allstate Foundation Silent Weapon: Domestic Violence and Financial Abuse survey was conducted July 18-27, 2014, by FTI Consulting among a nationally representative sample of 1,020 American adults age 18+ with additional oversamples among 200 Americans age 18-33 (“Millennials”), 200 Hispanic Women age 18+, and 250 adults each in the Chicago and. The margin of error for the national sample is ± 3% at the 95% confidence interval. The survey was conducted using the web-enabled KnowledgePanel®, a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. Initially, participants are chosen scientifically by a random selection of telephone numbers and residential addresses. Persons in selected households are then invited by telephone or by mail to participate in the web-enabled KnowledgePanel®. For those who agree to participate, but do not already have Internet access, GfK provides at no cost a laptop and ISP connection. People who already have computers and Internet service are permitted to participate using their own equipment. Panelists then receive unique log-in information for accessing surveys online, and then are sent emails throughout each month inviting them to participate in research.

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Tweet me: Kerry Washington Joins Allstate Foundation, Spotlights Finances As Weapon of Choice for Domestic Violence Abusers

Contact Info:

Kyle Donash

KEYWORDS: Volunteerism & Community Engagement, Finance, Allstate foundation, purple purse, Kerry Washington, domestic violence, abuse, financial abuse

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Federal Agencies Saving Surprising Amounts of Energy

by RP Siegel

SOURCE: Justmeans


Talk about flying under the radar! While the White House and Congress are in gridlock, with the legislative body doing everything they can to ensure that nothing is being done about climate change, a number of provisions that were included in the 2007 Energy and Security Act that was passed during the Bush administration are quietly being used to produce enormous energy savings for the American people.

According to a white paper by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), actions that have already been taken, are planned, or that are now underway, could have a net present value, through 2040, of $2.6 trillion. That’s roughly equivalent to the entire US government tax revenue for the year 2013. It also equates to 34 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide and a reduction of energy consumption equivalent to 3.4 million barrels a day. For comparison purposes, the US has been emitting somewhere between 5 and 6 billion metric tons per year since 1990 and imports roughly 9 million barrels of oil per day. That works out to an annual reduction in emissions exceeding 20%.

To continue reading, click here

Image Credit: Jeff Simms: Flickr Creative Commons

RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post. You can follow RP on Twitter, @RPSiegel.

Tweet me: White paper from @ACEEEdc shows Federal agencies saving surprising amounts of #energy – via @Justmeans + @RPSiegel

KEYWORDS: Energy, ACEEE, US Government, DOE, EPA, hud, Dept. of Agriculture, World Meteorological Organization, appliance standards, vehicle standards, power plant standard, housing policies

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How CH2M HILL Engages Employees in Giving Through Skills and Action

SOURCE: America’s Charities


By Sarah Ford

For 85% of employers surveyed in America’s Charities 2013 Snapshot Report, keeping workplace giving campaigns fresh and vibrant is a challenge.  More than ever, employee expectations of engagement programs have extended beyond matching gift programs and expanded opportunities to give throughout the year to any charity.  Employees also want the opportunity to be more directly connected with charities, and they want to join colleagues in doing good inside and outside the walls of the workplace.

At the same time, companies are more strategic than ever about their approach to philanthropy.  Looking to engage employees while maximizing their impact, companies are starting to target their resources where they can do the most good by focusing on a handful of causes that best align with their talents.

As a result, employers are now devising overall giving strategies that focus on specific causes and encourage year-round giving, volunteerism, skills-based pro bono services and engagement.

One such example is CH2M HILL, a global leader in engineering with 26,000 employees on six continents.  In 2012, CH2M HILL decided to take a step back and revisit its giving strategies.  As a result, the CH2M HILL Foundation, which CH2M HILL uses to manage its charitable giving, was relaunched in 2013 with a new board and a more focused mission.

On a mission to support global organizations in its operating countries that develop sustainable communities and inspire the next generation of socially and environmentally responsible leaders, CH2M HILL decided to focus on the following three areas of giving:

  1. Environmental stewardship;
  2. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education; and
  3. Employee engagement.

Environmental stewardship and STEM make sense for an engineering company like CH2M HILL, but what caught our attention was their focus on employee engagement.  “We know with empirical evidence that when our employees have the opportunity to share both their skills sets and their passion for helping others, they generate pride in themselves and in their employer,” says Ellen Sandberg, Executive Director, CH2M HILL Foundation, and Vice President, Community Investment.

Giving Through Action

For most companies, employee engagement is an outcome the company hopes to achieve as a result of its work.  For CH2M HILL, employee engagement is more of a means to achieving that result.

Service has been part of CH2M HILL’s culture since its founding in 1946 and one way employees of CH2M HILL are encouraged to put their passion for giving into action is through CH2M HILL Foundation’s Employee Action Grants and Community Grants programs.

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Tweet me: .@AmerCharities: How @CH2MHILL Engages Employees in Giving Through Skills & Action: #employeeengagement #volunteer

KEYWORDS: Philanthropy, Business & Trade, CH2M Hill, volunteer, Corporate Pro Bono, Community Grants, sustainability, America’s Charities, Employee Engagement, Fundraising, cause marketing, corporate philanthropy, workplace giving, social responsibility, csr


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Colin Powell Highlights the Inaugural Illinois Leadership Conference

SOURCE: National Diversity Council


CHICAGO, September 15, 2014 /3BL Media/ -  The Illinois Diversity Council is hosting the Inaugural Illinois Leadership Conference in an effort to recognize and empower multiculturalism and leadership throughout the state of Illinois. The event will be held on October 16, 2014 at the McCormick Place Chicago, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, Illinois 60616. The keynote speaker will be Former Secretary of State General Collin Powell.

“The Illinois Leadership Conference will help professionals grow in their knowledge of diversity and inclusion best practices, while also recognizing those individuals who have made an impact in their organizations and communities,” said Dennis Kennedy, Founder & CEO of the National Diversity Council.

The full-day event will feature concurrent sessions that will address topics regarding diversity and inclusion, leadership and professional development. A series of awards will also be given in recognition of leadership and excellence, including the Leadership Excellence in the Law Award, the Multicultural Leadership Award, and the Leadership Excellence Award.

Registration for the Illinois Diversity and Leadership Conference is currently ongoing and can be completed at: Contact Dennis Kennedy for more information at

About the Illinois Diversity Council
The Illinois Diversity Council is a non-profit organization committed to fostering a learning environment for organizations to grow in their knowledge of diversity. The council affords opportunities for organizations to share best practices and learn from top corporate leaders in the areas of diversity and inclusion. The regional advisory board is located in Chicago.

More information about the Illinois Diversity Council is available at

Media Contact:
Dennis Kennedy
Founder & CEO
National Diversity Council

Tweet me: Colin Powell to speak at @DiversityIL Inaugural Illinois Leadership Conference – #diversity #leadership

KEYWORDS: Events, Conferences & Webinars, Diversity and Human Resources, National Diversity Council, Illinois Diversity Council, Inaugural Illinois Leadership Conference, Colin Powell, diversity, multiculturalism

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EPA’s McCarthy, HUD’s Castro at Solar Energy Home Builds for Low-Income Families in D.C.

Projects address national policy issues as industry sets new records.

SOURCE: Wells Fargo & Company


WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2014 /3BL Media/ - 

Thurs., Sept. 18, 10:30 a.m., Ivy City community, Northeast, Washington, D.C.

Today, more than 15 gigawatts of solar energy have been installed in the U.S., enough to power 3.2 million homes. However, important national policy issues remain around its reach into underserved communities. Join us to highlight a very compelling community partnership program that demonstrates how low-income communities can gain access to solar energy and skilled jobs in a growth industry. Great visuals with top officials from the Obama Administration, job trainees, community partners and volunteers in hard-hats on rooftops installing solar energy systems.

WHO:  The following speakers are confirmed:

·         HUD Secretary Julián Castro

·         EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

·         Erica Mackie, Co-Founder & CEO, and Nicole Steele, Executive Director for Mid-Atlantic, GRID Alternatives

·         Susanne Slater, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C.

The following VIPs will also be available to the media:

·         Dan Utech, Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change

·         Mike Boots, Acting Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality

·         Mike Golden, President, Greater Washington, DC – Wells Fargo

WHAT: GRID Alternatives launches its mid-Atlantic presence by installing solar photovoltaic systems on 10 Habitat for Humanity of Washington D.C. homes in the economically challenged Ivy City community in Northeast Washington, D.C.  The nation’s largest solar non-profit, GRID has a decade-long track-record successfully deploying solar in low-income communities in Calif., Col., NJ and NY. Its expansion into the mid-Atlantic was seeded by a major grant from Wells Fargo. Project participants include job trainees from Sasha Bruce Youthwork, employee volunteers from Wells Fargo and other community and corporate volunteers.

WHERE: 1810 Providence Pl. NE, Washington, D.C.

WHEN: Kick-off event Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (remarks from U.S. Agency leaders at 10:30). RSVP for other opportunities during the week.

*** Great video and photo opportunities for broadcast, print, and online media ***

WHY:  This project and GRID Alternatives’ expansion to the mid-Atlantic raise important policy issues around making clean energy and the high-growth solar industry more accessible to all communities.

The project demonstrates:

·         Relevant job training in a growth industry for young people in the greatest need.

·         The need to expand and adapt solar policies that are effective in reaching underserved communities.

·         Cooperative effort by community partners in finance, housing and government.

·         How to create access for low-income communities to clean energy options.

·         An effective way to help low-income families save significantly on their energy bills.

Additional Context

This event occurs shortly after second quarter reports of significant growth by the U.S. solar industry; ahead of the 24th Annual Solar and Green Homes Tour (51 locations in Washington, D.C. area on Oct. 4-5 and around the nation sponsored by the American Solar Energy Society); and coincides with the George Washington University Solar Institute’s Annual Symposium focused on low-income communities, Sept. 23-4, and the release of new reports from the Center for American Progress about access to solar by low-income and rural families.

RSVP and Interviews

To arrange interviews and RSVP to attend, contact Julian Foley at and at 510-731-1188. While the press conference and formal remarks occur Sept. 18, the media is welcome to visit anytime during the installation on Sept. 18-19 (Thurs. and Fri.) and Sept. 22-23 (Mon. and Tues.) between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.



GRID Alternatives is a nonprofit organization that makes renewable energy technology and job training accessible to low-income communities. We bring together community partners, volunteers and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families, providing energy cost savings, valuable hands-on experience, and a source of clean, local energy that benefits us all. More than 4,500 families have benefited from our work to date, saving $113 million in lifetime electricity costs, and over 17,500 people have received solar training. GRID Alternatives has 10 regional offices and affiliates serving California, Colorado, the New York tri-state region, the mid-Atlantic region, and Tribal communities nationwide. For more information, visit

Wells Fargo provided a $2 million investment expansion grant to GRID Alternatives to help bring clean, affordable solar energy to communities that can benefit the most from energy solutions that are environmentally and economically sustainable.

Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. believes that everyone deserves a house they want to call home. That’s why we work to reduce poverty housing in the nation’s capital by building affordable, energy- and resource-efficient homes for people in need. DC Habitat builds and rehabilitates homes in order to sell them at affordable terms to low-income, working families. Visit us at for more information.

Note: Latest quarterly solar energy growth data reported by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research at


Tweet me: .@GRID, @WellsFargo and White House administrators talk jobs, #solar, #energy on 9/18. Join the conversation

KEYWORDS: Energy, Wells Fargo, Habitat for Humanity, Washington DC, Solar Energy, climate change, energy conservation

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IU, Kelley School and Whirlpool Partnering on Fifth Habitat for Humanity Campus Build in Bloomington

New home being built Sept. 24 to Oct. 4 near IU Memorial Stadium

SOURCE: Whirlpool Corporation


Construction will begin Sept. 24 on the fifth Habitat for Humanity home that will be built for a Bloomington family by Indiana University students, faculty and alumni on campus, with support from Whirlpool Corp.

Since 2010, four Bloomington families have accepted their house keys on the football field at IU’s Memorial Stadium, not far from where the houses were built, across 17th Street and near the Virgil T. DeVault Alumni Center.

This fall, Tracey Hodge, an IU Health Bloomington Hospital employee, and her son Dante will become the fifth family to work with hundreds of volunteers on a home and to raise awareness about the importance of quality affordable housing in the community.

This also is the fifth year that Whirlpool has sponsored the blitz home build in a joint effort with IU, its Kelley School of Business and Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County.

The build dates encompass back-to-back home football games of the IU Hoosiers with the University of Maryland on Sept. 27 and the University of North Texas on Oct. 4. The Hodges will receive the keys to their new home before the North Texas game. The house will be moved to its final location the following day.

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About Whirlpool Corp.
Whirlpool Corp. is the world’s leading global manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion in 2013, 69,000 employees and 59 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names. It works to earn the trust of consumers in nearly every country by focusing on what matters most. Additional information about the company can be found at

Tweet me: .@WhirlpoolCorp sponsors blitz home build with @IUBloomington, @KelleyIndy & Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County

KEYWORDS: Volunteerism & Community Engagement, whirlpool corporation, habitat for humanity international, Indiana University Bloomington, @WhirlpoolCorp, Monroe County Indiana

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1.1 Billion Packages with Bio-Based Caps Delivered to Customers in 2013

SOURCE: Tetra Pak


We strongly believe that the most effective way to ensure a sustainable future for the packaging industry is to increase our use of renewable resources. Our ambition is to develop a package made entirely from renewable materials; compared with today, when renewable material accounts for around 70% of a carton, averaged across our entire portfolio.

Tetra Pak has continued to lead the industry towards fully renewable packages. In 2013, 1.1 billion packages were delivered to customers featuring bio-based caps, nearly doubling the number sold in 2012. By using bio-based caps derived from sugar cane, we increase the renewable content of our packages and reduce the environmental footprint.

In 2013, we took major steps forward with the global release of the bio-based LightCap™ 30, made from highdensity polyethylene (HDPE) derived from sugar cane. The Norwegian dairy cooperative TINE was our first customer in Europe to use bio-based caps. And in March 2014, we launched the world’s first bio-based opening for gable-top packages, also made from HDPE.

The bio-based version of TwistCap OSO 34 increases the proportion of renewable material in a one-litre Tetra Rex carton by 4% to a total of 84%.



Tetra Pak is the world’s leading food processing and packaging solutions company. Working closely with our customers and suppliers, we provide safe, innovative and environmentally sound products that each day meet the needs of hundreds of millions of people in more than 170 countries around the world. With more than 23,000 employees based in over 80 countries, we believe in responsible industry leadership and a sustainable approach to business. Our motto, “PROTECTS WHAT’S GOOD™,” reflects our vision to make food safe and available, everywhere.

More information about Tetra Pak is available at

Tweet me: 1.1 billion packages with #bio-based caps delivered to customers in 2013 #TetraPak

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Tetra Pak, bio-based, sugar cane, renewable resources, caps


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Together We Can Empower Our Girls

SOURCE: Verizon


This summer, while most kids their age were hitting the beach in Miami, a group of high school girls were working hard. They were learning how to code and more.

We watched as 40 Miami-Dade County 11th and 12th grade girls learned computer science skills as part of an intense Summer Immersion Program. For seven weeks, the girls received mentorship and more than 250 hours of intensive classroom instruction in computing; mobile app development; robotics; graphics and animation; data structures and algorithms; and Web development and design. 


Read the full article on Huffington Post, here.

Tweet me: This new school year, empower the girls in your life. Find out how: #STEM #coding

Contact Info:

KEYWORDS: Education, Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Verizon, Miami-Dade County, STEM, Summer Immersion Program, Girls Who Code

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