Interviews on Town & Country’s Philanthropy Issue 2022: Proof of Hope

Steph & Ayesha Curry play the long game

Game Changer. It’s a term often used to describe the best shooter in NBA history. But the real change is happening off the pitch, where this duo is determined to raise the children of their community, and beyond.

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“An impact, not a legacy.” Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s philanthropic mantra reminds them to always “focus on the job”.


Companions of War

adrian cheng

Courtesy of New World Development

Adrian Cheng

In 2020, at the age of 40, Hong Kong-born entrepreneur Adrian Cheng took the reins of his family’s sprawling real estate and business empire. He also doubled down on his commitment to addressing long-standing issues and emerging pandemic issues affecting his hometown. In August, he launched the WEMP Foundation (acronym for Wellness, EQ, Mental Health and Parenting), which promotes programs that support child development. He also ran New World Build for Good, a non-profit social housing venture. In response to the pandemic, he helped launch Share for Good, an online platform that facilitates donations to needy families in Hong Kong. “Giving people hope and dreams is important.” Cheng tells GTC. “But we also look at social impact, finding solutions, achieving serious change, scaling up change, and then maximizing problem solving towards a better quality of life for all.”

david ambroz

Courtesy of David Ambroz

David Ambroz

Long before David Ambroz became an Amazon executive, before he was named America’s Champion for Change by President Barack Obama in 2016, and before he earned a JD from UCLA Law School, he was a child living on the streets of New York with his siblings and his mentally ill mother. The family was in and out of the shelters, constantly short of food, and on one terrible winter night they nearly froze to death. Ambroz entered foster care at age 12, endured several traumatic placements before successfully changing his life (his brother and sister did too), a saga he recounts in A Place Called Home: A Memoir, published in September. Ambroz has dedicated his life to advocating for a better system for families in need, through activism, corporate responsibility roles at Disney and now Amazon, and as co-founder of FosterMorea coalition of businesses and non-profit groups working to support young people living in foster care.

Jennifer Garner is stronger than you think

The actress is the celebrity next door, our best friend. And a silent killer who picks up the phone and calls just about anyone, even Senator Joe Manchin, for a good cause. Who says nice girls finish last?

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“She’s stronger than she thinks,” Garner says of an upcoming character. The same could be said of the actress.

Michael Schwartz

Companions of War


your mother cares

Emily Kornya Courtesy of YourMomCares

The defining moment for the founders of YourMomCare, an organization that harnesses the influence of celebrity and the power of persuasion of the mom, was born eight years ago when First Lady Michelle Obama invited Sharon Feldstein (mother of Jonah Hill and Beanie Feldstein), Patsy Noah (Adam Levine’s mother) and Terria Joseph (Alicia Keys’ mother) to do a public service announcement supporting the Affordable Care Act. Since then, they have been joined by a host of other mothers, including Robin Paul (mother of Chris Paul), Lori Woodley (mother of Shailene Woodley) and Donna Jordan (mother of Michael B. Jordan), who use their influence to help create new and fund existing programs that support children’s mental health. Current projects include a pilot program with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to create an interactive mobile platform that helps children learn coping skills. The group also supports the Children’s Health Fund, which provides social and mental wellness services.

Claire Babineaux

Rob Kim

Feed America

Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feed America, has seen firsthand the devastating and lasting effects that hunger can have on the lives of children. She is the granddaughter of tenant farmers in Louisiana and the daughter of parents who adopted or fostered more than 100 children, many of whom arrived home malnourished. In 2018, she left a high-level job at Walmart to join Feeding America, an organization that works with a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries to provide food to insecure individuals and families. eating. During the pandemic, Feeding America faced unprecedented demand, and Babineaux-Fontenot helped facilitate and direct large donations (Jeff Bezos donated $100 million in 2020) to serve millions of families. additional. In September, the organization released a report based on a survey of 36,000 people in 50 states who offered policy advice to the Biden administration.

What is Questlove eating?

The Oscar-winning pop culture polymath found inspiration at the intersection of food and philanthropy.

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Ahmir Khalib Thompson, better known as Questlove, is a musician, actor, producer and author. His greatest passion? Food-related philanthropy.

Michael Schwartz

Companions of War

i have a poop

Valerie Macon

Ai-jen Poo

Earlier this year, when it was announced that CIM would begin representing Ai-jen Poo and her organization, the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), you would have been forgiven for asking why the co-founder and president of a national labor movement would need a Hollywood agent. The answer is simple: Poo is one of his generation’s most accomplished and compelling advocates for the type of underrepresented populations that are too often overlooked by lawmakers and support groups (e.g., people who work in private homes as housekeepers, nannies and orderlies). ). She is also a sought-after author and speaker, a MacArthur Fellow, a Ford Foundation trustee, and an advocate and expert on long-term care and other issues. Did we mention she knows how to craft a piece for a good cause? In 2018, at the height of the #MeToo movement, Meryl Streep brought her as a date to the Golden Globe Awards.

Ray Dalio

Amy Harris/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Ray Dalio

In 2011, Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates (he is famous in corporate culture for his “radical transparency”), and his wife Barbara made the Giving Pledge, promising to give away the majority of their fortune before their death. . They wasted no time increasing funding for Dalio Philanthropies (founded in 2003), which has allocated more than $6 billion to date to initiatives that support education, women entrepreneurs, ocean exploration and health. In the latter category, they have made particularly impactful contributions, including allocating $50 million in 2020 to establish the Dalio Center for Health Justice at New York–Presbyterian Hospital, where Dalio serves as a trustee. The center’s goal is to “understand and address the root causes of health inequities with the goal of setting a new standard of health justice for the communities we serve.” The couple announced their donation in a letter, noting that they “believe that access to health care and education of equal quality are the most basic necessities of a just and well-governed society.”

Evidence of Hope: America’s Youth

If it’s ever been discussed whether youth and wisdom can co-exist, these young activists and first-time voters put it aside. So put aside your pessimism, your cynicism, your fatigue: the children are fine, and they know what it takes to make a more perfect union.

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“By embracing the demands of younger generations, we honor all the struggles that led up to this moment. We’ve been working on the art of democracy for a long time – and as most artists will tell you, the real work begins with revising . “


Companions of War

sean penn and ann lee

Nilaya Sabnis

Anne Lee

Working with a celebrity partner, especially someone as famous as Sean Penn, can be a challenge for non-Hollywood types, but not for Ann Lee, CEO and co-founder of Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE). Lee, a humanitarian response expert with more than two decades of experience, can handle any scene or emergency preparedness area. Lee and Penn met in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and she joined his fledgling relief group, helping mobilize doctors and aid workers. Soon after, they founded CORE, which grew into an international crisis response NGO that responded to disasters in Puerto Rico, Ukraine and Pakistan. Getting people to help after something bad has happened is just one of many goals. Lee has made it a priority to work with individuals, especially women and youth, in disaster-prone areas like the Southern “hurricane belt” to prepare for future calamities so they can help others while helping themselves.

Ruth Jurgensen

Courtesy of Ruth Jürgensen

Ruth Jurgensen

Preparation for preparation was founded in 1978 by a committed educator who was obsessed with finding ways to bring economically disadvantaged but academically promising students of color from New York’s public schools into – and through – its predominantly affluent private schools and white. Forty-four years (and thousands of program alumni) later, Ruth Jurgensen, CEO of Prep for Prep since 2020, is also committed to that goal, but with a few changes. Today, the mission is “to develop future leaders by creating access for young people of color to world-class education, leadership development, and career advancement opportunities.” This means focusing on the life experience of students and constantly seeking their input to chart the preparation for The Future of Preparation. Jurgensen is uniquely qualified for this role. As a star teacher and later high-level administrator at independent schools in New York and Chicago, she made listening to and learning from students her personal lesson plan.

Changing of the guard

They can already determine elections and use social media for change. Soon these younger generations will also control trillions of dollars. But they don’t write checks like their grandparents did.

city ​​countryside november 2022


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