U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Releases Report: Racial Disparities in Maternal Health

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released the report, Racial Disparities in Maternal Health. The report examines the federal role in addressing racial disparities in maternal health, including negative pregnancy-related health outcomes and pregnancy-related deaths of women in the United States. As attention of these disparities increases, so does the focus on disparities such as, Black women in the U.S. are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women in the U.S., and Native American women are more than two times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women in the U.S. These disparities have become more severe over the last thirty years.”At the federal level,” Norma V. Cantú, Chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights notes, “efforts can be made to improve hospital quality, particularly for women of color if maternal health disparities are to be eliminated. Improvements in safety culture are linked with improved maternal health outcomes. One recommendation for improving safety in maternal healthcare is to implement standardized care practices across hospitals and health systems and to standardize data collection systems.”Testimony received by the Commission shows the federal government can play an influential role in reducing racial disparities in maternal health outcomes. Improving access to quality maternity care for women is critical, including preconception and inter-conception care to manage chronic illness and optimize health; prenatal care; delivery care; and postpartum care for 12 months post-delivery, all of which is necessary for improving pregnancy-outcomes.The Commission held a public virtual briefing on this subject in November 2020 to collect information from subject matter experts such as government officials, academics, healthcare providers, advocates, and impacted persons. We invite you to view the virtual briefing on the Commission’s YouTube page. The Colorado and South Dakota State Advisory Committees to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights also collected and provided testimony on related civil rights issues within their respective jurisdictions.SOURCE U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Rep. Demings Comments on 9/11


20 Years Since the Attacks

ORLANDO, FL – Rep. Val Demings (FL-10) observed the 20 year anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, by remembering both the deaths of the many American civilians who perished and the bravery of the many first responders who rushed in to help:

“On September 11th, 2001, I was at Orlando International Airport commanding the Orlando Police’s Airport Division. I will never forget the devastation and heartbreak of that day, and how it changed how we looked at the world. Twenty years later, the attacks remain seared in my memory as we work to keep America safe. I have often thought of those we lost — almost 3000 people — and the bravery and sacrifice of so many first responders — 344 firefighters and 71 police officers. As we look back on this solemn day, I hope that every person will join me in saying a prayer for the families of the victims, for peace, and for the safety and security of all Americans.”

Op-Ed– 9/11 at 20: Our Moral Obligation After Two Decades of War


First, Washington needs to stop killing people. Next, we have to challenge our nation’s assumptions and priorities.

Rev. Dr. William Barber II
Tope Folarin

September 11, 2021

The day after President Biden’s speech defending the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, a new poll indicated a significant majority of people in the U.S. supported the move. More than two-thirds agreed the U.S. had failed to achieve its goals in Afghanistan. That’s a far cry from the 88 percent who supported the war when it was launched in October 2001. 

Spending more on the U.S. military budget than the next 10 countries combined represents a huge part of the reason we have to struggle so hard to fund crucial social needs—from healthcare to climate to education and more.

In part, this is a movement victory. 

Movements against the war on terror emerged within days of the 9/11 attacks, even before the first U.S. bombers assaulted Kabul. This rising anti-war drumbeat played a major part in pulling public opinion away from support for Washington’s “forever wars.” It wasn’t a given that Biden would pull out of Afghanistan—other presidents have promised to do so and then failed. This time, there is no question that public opposition to the war was critical to Biden’s decision. 

That shift also shows that people across the U.S. have learned some harsh realities that anti-war activists mobilized around for years.

Americans now agree there is no military solution to terrorism. They recognize that governments and military forces that are created and imposed by occupying armies will never be, and never be seen as, fighting for the people or the country, but only as fighting for an unwelcome foreign government. They’ve come to accept that women’s rights and democracy can’t be won and that terrorism can’t be defeated, by acts of war. 

And most of all we’ve all learned that the costs of war—human, moral, and economic—are simply too high. 

President Biden was right to focus the country’s attention on the staggering economic cost of the war he was ending—more than $2 trillion, just for the war in Afghanistan, he reminded us. That translates to $300 million every day for two decades. 

And that’s just a small part of our government’s staggering spending on the militarization of our society during these 20 years of the war on terror. The National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies has calculated that cost at $21 trillion. Beyond the trillions spent on the military around the world, it includes spending on militarizing police and U.S. borders, as well as domestic surveillance and repression. 

For a fraction of that cost we could create millions of well-paying jobs, guarantee every child access to pre-school, transform our electrical grid to clean energy, and pay for vaccines for entire populations of low-income countries—all of which would have made us far safer than going to war.

And then there’s the human cost. According to the Costs of War Project at Brown University, the war in Afghanistan killed 170,000 Afghans. All told, 900,000 people have been killed in the post-9/11 wars overall, with the largest share in Iraq. And those are conservative estimates. Millions more have been injured and tens of millions more displaced, forced from their homes and too often from their country.

Finally, there is the moral and political cost. Neither the war of choice in Afghanistan nor the other wars that followed should have happened. Afghanistan was about vengeance, not justice, Iraq was fought for oil and power and bases, not for non-existent weapons of mass destruction… Yet our presidents waged these wars, and our Congress funded them, year after year. Countless lives have been lost or destroyed, and our democracy has been weakened in the process.

So what is our moral obligation now? 

First, Washington needs to stop killing people. Not only in Afghanistan but in Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and in all the places where U.S. troops, CIA operatives, and U.S. mercenaries work in the shadows and kill people. It needs to stop. We all also have a moral obligation to help the refugees and displaced peoples from these conflicts, and we owe debts of compensation and reparations to the people who remain in their war-torn countries.

For Afghans, the end of the U.S. war doesn’t mean an end of conflict and struggle. But it does mean the end of bombing of their hospitals, the end of missile strikes on wedding parties and funerals, the end of Special Forces operatives kicking down doors and killing people in their own homes. It means starting to reclaim their country.

Certainly, we must challenge the regressive and misogynist acts of the Taliban and hope that the transformations of the last 20 years—in the people of Afghanistan and their relationship with the rest of the world—will lead to major changes. But that does not diminish our own obligations, rooted in recognition of the harm that U.S. actions have brought to so many innocent Afghans.

Next, we have a moral obligation to challenge our nation’s assumptions and priorities.

We have to reverse the popular assumption that having the most powerful military and the biggest nuclear arsenal in the world somehow makes us a better, “exceptional” country. We have to challenge the notion that maintaining more than 800 environmentally and socially destructive military bases across the globe somehow wins us friends and allies among the world’s peoples. 

And finally, we have to broaden the understanding that spending more on the U.S. military budget than the next 10 countries combined represents a huge part of the reason we have to struggle so hard to fund crucial social needs—from healthcare to climate to education and more.

Many Afghans, though of course not all, agree with Mahbooba Seraj, founder of the Afghan Women’s Network, when she said the end of Washington’s long war in Afghanistan brought her “an absolute sense of relief.” For Afghans, the end of the U.S. war doesn’t mean an end of conflict and struggle. But it does mean the end of bombing of their hospitals, the end of missile strikes on wedding parties and funerals, the end of Special Forces operatives kicking down doors and killing people in their own homes. It means starting to reclaim their country.

And maybe, just maybe, this might mean the beginning of reclaiming our country, too—for people, for the planet, for jobs, for healthcare, for education, and more. For our democracy. 

Ending the war in Afghanistan is a start, but our movements still have a lot of work left to do.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.


Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, and co-chair of the the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. His books include: “The Third Reconstruction: How A Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear” (2016), “Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing” (2018) and “We Are Called to Be a Movement” (2020). Follow him on Twitter @RevDrBarber.


Tope Folarin is the Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Studies, and author of A Particular Kind of Black Man.

Elevate Our Kids, Phillips 66, T-Mobile Help Bridge K-12 Digital Divide through Chromebook Donation


Tulsa Public Schools Receive Hotspots and Chromebooks for Back to School Learning

HOUSTON, Sep. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Back to School is in full swing and Elevate Our Kids (EOK or is happy to reflect on 2021 progress after launching in the fall of 2020. With this reflection, we are excited to announce our first generous donation coming in from Phillips 66, an energy manufacturing and logistics company based in Houston, Texas. With this generous donation, EOK was able to fund and supply 150 Chromebooks acquired from to Tulsa Public Schools (, along with T-Mobile Internet access and hotspots devices. 

The digital divide continues to create challenges for families and schools who lack the financial resources for quality devices and Internet access or broadband. As such, there is more work to do and EOK is proud to partner with some of the leading organizations working to close the homework gap. EOK is honored to partner with T-Mobile’s Project 10Million, an initiative aimed at delivering internet connectivity to millions of underserved student households. With the support of Elevate our Kids, T-Mobile is covering the costs for hotspot devices and 5-years of service for families in need. This service is perfect for families who do not have broadband or Internet, and need additional support. Visit to learn more and apply. 

“We know that there is a significant digital divide in our city,” said Chief Information and Analytics Officer Joe Jennings. “These Chromebooks and hotspot devices provide the tools that connect our most vulnerable students to the opportunities and activities that Tulsa Public Schools provides for their academic and social emotional learning experiences.”

“Elevate Our Kids noticed a complete gap in the U.S. K-12 Education market, as students and families in lockdown were forced to set up their homes for online and remote learning,” states Stephanie Atkinson, President of “EOK jumped in to come up with fundraising and distribution of laptops and Chromebooks to under-resourced and under-served communities, schools, and students as we believe students deserved better resources and quality educational tools at home.”

For more information and to learn more, please visit


About Tulsa Public Schools 
Tulsa Public Schools is a destination for extraordinary educators who work with our community and families to ignite the joy of learning and prepare every student for the greatest success in college, careers, and life. Learn more about the district by visiting

About Phillips 66 
Phillips 66 is a diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company. With a portfolio of Midstream, Chemicals, Refining, and Marketing and Specialties businesses, the company processes, transports, stores and markets fuels and products globally. Phillips 66 Partners, the company’s master limited partnership, is integral to the portfolio. Headquartered in Houston, the company has 14,000 employees committed to safety and operating excellence. Phillips 66 had $57 billion of assets as of June 30, 2021. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @Phillips66Co.

About Elevate Our Kids is a non-profit organization to gather and distribute resources, computing devices, and learning tools to support in kids’ education in under-resourced communities. Our vision seeks to bridge the digital divide to prepare all kids with the foundation of a quality K-12 education, and our mission is to elevate K-12 students by providing needed resources, devices, and tools to under-resourced schools and families. Visit us at to learn more.

McDonald’s Partners with Vispero to Provide Access for Blind and Low Vision Customers in US Self Order Kiosks


Comprehensive Solution Pushes the Bounds for the Future of Inclusive Kiosks

CLEARWATER, Fla., Sept. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Vispero™, the global leader for assistive technology products for the blind and low vision community, has been selected by McDonald’s to assist in providing customers with an accessible kiosk experience. Vispero’s product, JAWS Kiosk, has been deployed to select McDonald’s US company owned restaurants, as well as newly deployed kiosks in US franchise locations. 

Creating an accessible and usable kiosk experience for McDonald’s customers required an understanding of McDonald’s robust self order kiosk interface and a plan for making the extensive McDonald’s menu easily navigable and intuitive for blind customers. 

“The selection of JAWS Kiosk as a solution for McDonald’s is a game changer for providing equal access in Quick Service Restaurants for blind and low vision customers,” states Matt Ater, Vice President of Corporate Business Development and Software at Vispero. “At Vispero, our goal is to innovate for customers with disabilities. Working with McDonald’s allows us to ensure our products are reaching people when they need it most.”

JAWS Kiosk will allow blind and low vision users the ability to interact with a self order kiosk by inserting headphones into the headphone jack, located on the navigation pad, which will then navigate the kiosk screen, reading the content as they move through the application.

“McDonald’s prides itself on fostering an inclusive restaurant experience for all,” said Kelsey Hall, Senior Manager of Global Digital Accessibility at McDonald’s. “This inclusive kiosk solution ensures blind and low vision customers can independently order their McDonald’s favorites for themselves, their families, and their friends.”

McDonald’s is in the process of deploying this solution to corporate owned stores and select franchise locations across the US.

About Vispero 
Vispero is the global leader for assistive technology products for those with vision impairments. Freedom Scientific, TPGi, Enhanced Vision and Optelec, all Vispero brands, have a long history of innovation for customers with accessibility needs. Today our product portfolio is considered one of the most diverse and reliable on the market. For more information, visit

A Red Flag on the West Coast


By Ben Jealous

In just a few days, California will wrap up its recall election targeting Governor Gavin Newsom, a scheme orchestrated by a Far Right still seething over the Big Lie. At first glance that may seem like a problem that only affects California. But it’s not, and the red flag being raised in the West deserves attention from all of us.

Thanks to an oddity of California law, voters could end up replacing Newsom with a candidate who wins only a fraction of the total vote. That’s because there are more than 40 people on a list of folks vying to be that replacement, a list that by law does not include Newsom. 

Whoever gets the most votes in the overcrowded field, wins, and for weeks now the leader has been Larry Elder, an ultraconservative talk show host whose extreme positions embrace racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, COVID-denying, and anti-environment stances – among others.

Elder’s ascendance is very troubling on a whole host of levels. That it was engineered at all in a progressive state like California shows the stop-at-nothing determination of a Far Right enraged and emboldened by the Big Lie.
And Elder himself is a marquee example of the type of candidate that could soon be foisted on voters everywhere. He is more than just one person running for one office; he is the product of an unsavory stew of extremist factions liberated by Trump to do their worst.
One of Elder’s biggest promoters is a radio host named Eric Metaxas, the host of a “Stop the Steal” rally where the Oath Keepers threatened civil war if Trump didn’t stay in power after losing to Joe Biden. Another is a megachurch pastor named Jack Hibbs, who says Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris have “antichrist views.”

Elder is a Black man who allies himself with white supremacists. He denies that systemic racism exists. He argued forcefully to the Los Angeles Times that he wants to “change the rhetoric about how bad the cops are.” 

According to the same Times article, he “shared a graphic with so-called facts depicting Black people as murderous,” cherry-picking and skewing data to suggest Black people are disproportionately criminal. This is tragic.

From a national standpoint, Elder’s election would certainly send a very dangerous message and encourage extremists. But it would also have the potential for more concrete effects. If California’s 88-year-old senior U.S. senator, Dianne Feinstein, had to step down during an Elder term, he could appoint someone to her seat and flip the Senate. That would spell doom for the agenda we elected the Biden-Harris administration to advance.

As someone who grew up in California, and whose parents still live there, I find all of this incredibly disturbing. I worry that progressive Californians, thinking “it can’t happen here,” will dismiss the chance of an ultraconservative coup in their state and skip voting against the recall. I’m aware that conservatives in the state, by contrast, are incredibly energized to get their voters to the polls. This is a train wreck that could really happen and could have ripple effects nationwide – but it’s not too late to stop it.

I’m talking to everyone I know in California about the urgency of voting no on the recall. All of us need to do the same. This is a critically important moment in the battle against the far-right extremism that threatens to overtake us as a country. We can’t miss the chance to nip this dangerous trend in the bud, wherever it threatens to bloom.

Ben Jealous serves as president of People For the American Way. Jealous has decades of experience as a leader, coalition builder, campaigner for social justice and seasoned nonprofit executive. In 2008, he was chosen as the youngest-ever president and CEO of the NAACP. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and he has taught at Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Provides Weekly Reemployment Assistance Update – September 7


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) issued its weekly Reemployment Assistance updates. Daily updates can be found on the Reemployment Assistance (RA) Claims Dashboard.  PAYMENT PROGRESS:  As of September 6, DEO has paid 2,416,702 claimants more than $31.5 billion ($31,563,730,116). Over 5.6 million (5,652,901) unique claims have been processed, representing 99.2 percent of unique claims submitted. 97.7 percent of all eligible benefits requested prior to August 13, 2021, for state Reemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) have been paid to claimants. Additionally, 99.9 percent of all eligible benefits requested by claimants for weeks of unemployment prior to July 25, 2020, have also received their corresponding Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits for that week. DEO recommends that claimants and employers utilize the Reemployment Assistance Help Center—an online portal for claimants and employers to provide and receive additional information from DEO. This online resource continues to be updated with additional features for claimants and employers to notify DEO of instances of Reemployment Assistance fraud or identity theft, provide documentation to DEO, and has several resourceful materials for claimants or employers who have additional questions. To visit the Reemployment Assistance Help Center, click here.  UpdatesThe Department understands the challenges many Floridians face with accessing the Reemployment Assistance system due to bad actors attempting to gain access to personal information and accounts. To alleviate these challenges and add an additional security measure to combat fraudulent activity, the Department implemented a new log-in method as part of the Reemployment Assistance account log-in process. All Reemployment Assistance claimants logging-in to their Reemployment Assistance accounts are required to set up multi-factor authentication in order to access their account. Multi-factor authentication is a common best-practice tool that is often required to securely access a variety of websites and software applications. For step-by-step instructions on how to access your Reemployment Assistance Account with multi-factor authentication, click here.  This new log-in method will not affect a claimant’s ability to continue requesting or receiving Reemployment Assistance benefits.

Federal Unemployment Benefits  The federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) supplemental benefit programs expired on September 6, 2021. Claimants will have 30 days after the expiration date of September 6, 2021, to submit an application for PUA benefits.The Department will continue to pay eligible claimants the PUA and PEUC benefits they are owed for weeks of unemployment through the week ending September 4, 2021. Claimants will have the opportunity to request their weekly benefit payments when they become available and on the day they are advised to do so in their Reemployment Assistance account.  The state previously withdrew participation from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) and Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) programs effective June 30, 2021, as part of Florida’s ‘Return to Work’ initiative that was announced due to significant economic growth. Florida businesses and employers are hiring across the state and need unemployed Floridians to return to the workforce. There continues to be many job opportunities available for Floridians throughout the state, with more than 545,000 jobs posted online. The Department encourages Floridians in search of work to utilize the CareerSource Florida network or for assistance in returning to the workforce.  

CONNECT Hours. DEO will be conducting nightly maintenance to the CONNECT system to process claims and payments. CONNECT’s regularly scheduled hours are from 8 a.m. to 7:59 p.m. daily, Monday – Friday.Beginning Saturday, September 11, through Sunday, September 12, CONNECT will be unavailable to claimants while DEO works to continue to process payments, and send necessary correspondence to claimants. CONNECT will be available Monday, September 13, at 8:00 a.m. This schedule does not affect individuals who wish to file a new claim. Individuals can file a new claim 24 hours a day, seven days per week at and select “File a Claim.”   

Customer Service Centers. Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Centers are available this week Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for all account inquiries and questions. On Saturday, September 11, through Sunday, September 12, staff resources will be dedicated to processing claims and payments. The Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Center will reopen Monday, September 13, at 7:30 a.m. For additional questions, please visit the Reemployment Assistance Help Center. This online portal can assist claimants or employers provide additional information to DEO. Individuals can also notify DEO of suspected Reemployment Assistance fraud or identity theft. To access this new online portal, click here.  

Additional Resources. If an individual is not eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance benefits, there are additional resources readily available to Floridians and their families. DEO, in partnership with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), provide additional opportunities and resources for Florida families who need additional assistance. Resources include food assistance for low-income households, medical assistance, and temporary financial assistance to families who qualify. For more information, click here

About DEO
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts, expediting economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities and promote economic resiliency. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit

Rapidly Expanding International Prepaid Market Creates New Opportunities


New Mercator Advisory Group report explores opportunities and trajectories within the global prepaid market as e-commerce and demand for alternatives to cash rises.

BOSTON, Sept. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Mercator Advisory Group’s most recent report, International Prepaid Market Developments and Growth Trends, reveals some of the most important trends within the global prepaid market. 

The international prepaid market is booming, but it is not expanding at the same rate everywhere. In emerging markets in Latin America and Asia, where consumers have more limited access to other forms of cashless payments, prepaid cards serve an important role in daily life. As e-commerce and demand for non-cash payment types rises in these regions, prepaid cards are experiencing profound growth. 

On the other hand, in regions where prepaid markets are well established—namely Europe and North America—legislators are cracking down on fraud associated with prepaid cards. New regulations may threaten the growth of prepaid card markets in these regions. 

Across all regions, prepaid card markets have found new use cases in recent times and there is a great deal more growth to be had within the market. 

“The prepaid market is witnessing sustained and significant growth throughout the world, with an average estimated CAGR of 13% through the year 2023. As e-commerce spreads globally and demand grows for cashless payment methods, prepaid cards stand to benefit. Government initiatives in support of transitions to cashless payments are numerous,” states Laura Handly, analyst at Mercator Advisory Group, and the author of the report. 

Highlights of this report include: 

  •     A review of trends within the global prepaid market 
  •     An examination of trends within the prepaid market by region 
  •     An exploration of innovative global use cases for prepaid 
  •     Predictions for the future of the prepaid market 
  •     Recommendations for issuers of prepaid cards

This report is 15 pages long and contains five exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this report include: 
American Express, Coinbase,, GiveDirectly, Global Payments/TSYS, Green Dot Corporation, HSBC Holdings, JP Morgan Chase, Mastercard, Visa

Members of Mercator Advisory Group Prepaid Service have access to this report as well as the upcoming research for the year ahead, presentations, analyst access and other membership benefits. 

Please visit us online at

Creating a Thriving Small Business is as Simple as ABC


Miami, FL, Sept. 7, 2021 ― Would you rather spend all of your time working in your small business or working on your small business and guiding it to the next level? Knock It Out of the Park Leadership, from veteran business coach Michael Dill,makes charting a course toward small business success as easy as ABC.  

Dill keeps his approach simple and actionable, with an ABC format that reveals 26-plus tactics and tools that readers can use immediately to propel themselves and their businesses forward. 

“Leaders and team members who master these lessons and incorporate them daily at work and in life experience increases in clarity, confidence, communication, ownership, leadership, retention, productivity, revenues, margins and profits,” says Dill.

Packed with stories and real-life experiences, Knock It Out of the Park Leadership shares street-smart strategies to help readers master their strengths, navigate their vulnerabilities and become admired leaders in any organization. 

Dill used his decades of experience in the restaurant and financial industries as well as coaching clients to consistent successes to inform the practical, adaptable lessons featured in his book. 

Whether you’re a new leader or entrepreneur still learning the basics, or a seasoned professional wanting to sharpen your skillset, Knock It Out of the Park Leadership can help you master the traits you need to build a profitable business, an empowered team and a wonderful life. 

“You don’t just want a home run,” Dill says. “You want to knock your business out of the park.”

About the Author

Coach Michael Dill is an award-winning certified business coach, speaker and trainer. He brings more than 40 years of business and entrepreneurial experience in his leadership, team training and mentoring practice. Dill’s passion is to encourage and challenge business owners and entrepreneurs to become their best selves both personally and professionally to obtain all they want in their business and life. 

For more information, please visit, or follow the author on Facebook (ActionCoachMichaelDill) or YouTube (

Knock It Out of the Park Leadership: The ABC’s of Entrepreneurial Success 

Publisher: Panoma Press

Release Date: August 31, 2021

ISBN-13: 978-1784529512

Available from and other online retailers

Vilcek Foundation awards $600,000 to immigrant professionals in the United States

The Vilcek Foundation Prizes celebrate foreign-born leaders in science, dance, and biotechnology

NEW YORK, Sept. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Vilcek Foundation announces the recipients of the 2022 Vilcek Foundation Prizes, totaling $600,000. These prizes recognize foreign-born scientists and artists in the United States, and are an important part of the foundation’s work to celebrate the enormous contributions immigrants make to intellectual and cultural life.

The Vilcek Foundation announces the recipients of the 2022 Vilcek Foundation Prizes, totaling $600,000.

Each year, the foundation awards three major prizes: the Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science, the Vilcek Prize in the Arts and Humanities, and the Vilcek Prize for Excellence. In 2022, the Vilcek Prize in the Arts and Humanities is awarded in dance; the 2022 Vilcek Prize for Excellence is awarded in biotechnology. Recipients of these three prizes each receive an unrestricted cash award of $100,000.

The foundation also awards six Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise to immigrant professionals whose early-career work represents a significant contribution to their field, and demonstrates exceptional insight or innovation. In 2022, three Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise are being awarded in two categories: biomedical science and dance. Recipients of the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise each receive a cash award of $50,000.

“The intellectual and cultural contributions of immigrants are a vital part of the fabric of everyday life in the United States,” said Vilcek Foundation President Rick Kinsel. “The 2022 Vilcek Foundation Prizes celebrate outstanding immigrant professionals in biomedical research and technology, and in dance and movement arts.” 

The Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science

The 2022 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science is awarded to Vishva M. Dixit, vice president of early discovery research and physiological chemistry at Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. Born in Kenya to Indian parents, Dixit receives the 2022 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science for his groundbreaking discoveries on the mechanism of apoptosis—a biochemical process of programmed cell death implicated in both normal human development and disease—and for his research into the cellular and molecular processes that drive inflammatory signaling.  

“Vishva Dixit is a molecular biologist, physician, and pathologist whose scientific publications rank among the most-cited in the world; his work has elucidated molecular mechanisms of inflammation and has become part of standard scientific textbooks,” said Vilcek Foundation Chairman and CEO Jan Vilcek. “As the recipient of the 2022 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science, Dixit joins the ranks of other exceptional immigrant scientists whose work has shaped our scientific understanding of biology and human health.”   

The Vilcek Prize in Dance

The 2022 Vilcek Prize in Dance is awarded to Soledad Barrio. Born in Spain, Barrio is the lead dancer and choreographer of New York’s Noche Flamenca, the company she cofounded with Martín Santangelo in 1993. A resident teaching artist at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Barrio has won awards in over 15 countries for her work, including a “Bessie” award for Outstanding Creative Achievement and a 2015 Dance Magazine Exceptional Artist award. 

“Soledad Barrio is a virtuoso—her commitment to her artistry is nonpareil,” said Vilcek Foundation Cofounder, Vice Chairman and Secretary Marica Vilcek. “Just as Baryshnikov did with ballet, Barrio has transformed the genre of flamenco with new life and energy, attracting new audiences and inspiring dancers and choreographers the world over.” 

The Vilcek Prize for Excellence

The 2022 Vilcek Prize for Excellence is awarded in biotechnology to Katalin Karikó. The Hungarian-born biochemist receives the prize for her pioneering research leadership into the development of mRNA therapeutics, which led to the development of mRNA vaccines for COVID-19.

The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science

Markita del Carpio Landry (b. Canada, to a Bolivian mother and French Canadian father), Hani Goodarzi (b. Iran), and Harris Wang (b. China)  are the recipients of the 2022 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science.

Markita del Carpio Landry receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for the development of probes to visualize neurochemical communication in the brain, and for breakthroughs in gene-editing technologies with applications for agriculture and the development of biologic drugs. 

Hani Goodarzi receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for using modeling and computational methods to uncover novel molecular players and pathways and therapeutic targets in cancer metastasis and for developing sophisticated molecular tools for the early detection and monitoring of cancer.

Harris Wang receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for the development and application of Mutiplex Automated Genome Engineering (MAGE), a platform to track, program, and engineer entire microbial communities and ecosystems for a range of diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Dance

The 2022 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Dance are awarded to Tatiana Desardouin (b. Switzerland, of Haitian descent), Tamisha Guy(b. Trinidad and Tobago), and Leonardo Sandoval (b. Brazil).

Tatiana Desardouin receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Dance for her presentation of hip-hop and house dance that brings the vernacular tradition of these genres in the Black diaspora to her performances, choreography, and artistic direction. 

Tamisha Guy receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Dance for her evocative and intuitive performance style that blends elements of contemporary, modern, and narrative dance traditions, and for her commitment to furthering her own practice through instruction, collaboration, and mentorship. 

Leonardo Sandoval receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Dance for his dynamic choreography that expands the boundaries of tap as a genre and his unique practice that engages elements of Afro-Brazilian dance traditions including samba, forró, maracatu, and passinho.

In 2021 and 2022, the Vilcek Foundation will produce videos, articles, and profiles celebrating all nine of the 2022 Vilcek Foundation Prizewinners and their work. The recipients of all of the 2022 Vilcek Foundation Prizes will be honored in an online ceremony in the spring of 2022.

The Vilcek Foundation

The Vilcek Foundation raises awareness of immigrant contributions in the United States and the contributions of foreign-born individuals to the arts, sciences, and humanities. The foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. The mission of the foundation was inspired by the couple’s respective careers in biomedical science and art history. Since 2000, the foundation has awarded over $6.4 million in prizes to foreign-born individuals and has supported organizations with over $5.5 million in grants.

The Vilcek Foundation is a private operating foundation, a federally tax-exempt nonprofit organization under IRS Section 501(c)(3).