NBCUniversal Supports Next Class of Millennial Trains Innovators

NBCUniversal’s continued commitment to the Millennial Trains Project (MTP) will allow 50 young leaders to embark on life-changing journeys. 

They’re entrepreneurs, non-profit founders, social activists and changemakers. They have exciting new ideas and are working on projects that address timely social issues: Youth voter turnout. Gun violence. Equality. Government Transparency. National Service. 

And this August, on their cross-country MTP trips, they’ll further develop their ideas and bring them to fruition. 

MTP’s vintage rail cars serve as moving incubators for participants. As they traverse the country, they stop in six major American cities and meet with local leaders. In between stops, they’re brainstorming and refining their projects with each other and with mentors who come aboard.

The August 1st through 7th journey departs from Pittsburgh and will stop in Chicago, Kansas City, Albuquerque and Los Angeles. The second train runs August 8th through 18th. It begins in Los Angeles and travels through San Francisco, Denver, Milwaukee and Detroit.

NBCUniversal is proud to partner with MTP and support the next generation of leaders. In addition to sponsoring the journeys for the second year, NBCUniversal has selected a number of participants as scholarship recipients who will receive funding to cover the costs of their trips. NBCUniversal will also award Impact Grants to help participants further develop their projects once they’ve departed the train.

To meet the participants and learn more about MTP, go here.

The partnership with Millennial Trains Project is part of NBCUniversal’s unifying vision for social impact: Open Possibilities. Focused on uniting media, technology and community to ignite passion around social issues, unleash creativity and connect us to something bigger, Open Possibilities represents what is possible when we push the limits of what technology and media can achieve to move communities and people forward.

 

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016 – 15:15

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NBCUniversal Invites Consumers to Dream Green for Earth Week

This Earth Week, NBCUniversal is celebrating all the ways that we can make the world a greener place through its Dream It. Green It. campaign. 

As part of Green Is Universal, the campaign will run from April 18-22. During that week, consumers are invited to share how they’re helping the environment by using the hashtag #DreamItGreenItSweepstakes on Twitter and Instagram. Those who participate will be entered to win daily eco-prizes as part of the campaign’s sweepstakes. More information, including prizing, is at greenisuniversal.com.

NBCUniversal brands will engage their consumers with on-air, digital, and social media content. Brands will share stories and information about environmental topics, and highlight green innovations. Content will be showcased on the Dream It. Green It. microsite at greenisuniversal.com, including an animated campaign video and vignettes highlighting sustainable production practices from the set of the upcoming film The Huntsman: Winter’s War.  Additionally, NBCUniversal’s award-winning The More You Know  will feature new environmental PSAs with NBCUniversal talent sharing sustainability tips. The spots will air across NBCUniversal’s networks during Earth Week.

 

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Sunday, April 17, 2016 – 17:00

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Be K.I.N.D. to a Student in Malawi: Donate a Desk

In Malawi, only three out of five school children have a classroom desk at school, according to UNICEF. This means that most children sit in the dirt or on hard cement floors all day, making it difficult for them to concentrate on their lessons and write efficiently. 
 
Lawrence O’Donnell, host of MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, traveled to Malawi in late 2010 and saw firsthand the need for education supplies, particularly school desks. O’Donnell reached out to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for help, and was connected to a local manufacturer, who, in turn, was able to build desks for an entire classroom in just one week. Thus began the K.I.N.D. Fund (Kids In Need of Desks) in partnership with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, with the mission to provide classroom desks to primary schools in Malawi. 
 
Since its inception, the K.I.N.D. Fund has raised over $9.4 million and is on pace to deliver desks to nearly 500,000 students in Malawi. This milestone is within reach, thanks in large part to generous support from MSNBC viewers. The K.I.N.D. Fund also provides scholarships to help girls in Malawi attend secondary school.
 
You can learn more about the K.I.N.D. Fund here

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Monday, December 21, 2015 – 16:45

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NBCUniversal Legal Team Gives Back

This holiday season, six Los Angeles families grew a lot richer.
 
They adopted 10 children from the foster care system and welcomed them into loving, permanent homes, as part of National Adoption Day, on November 20, an annual event where nearly 5,000 adoptions are finalized in courts around the country. And a team of 12 NBCUniversal lawyers was there all along the way to help make it happen—and celebrate the outcome.
 
Adoption can be a lengthy process; the average child waits nearly four years, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While many families are eager to adopt foster children already living with them, they face backlogged courts, long waiting times and mountains of complicated legal filings.
 
This is where NBCU lawyers and staff, donating their legal skills and time, have been able to make a real difference. For more than seven years, in association with the Alliance for Children’s Rights, they’ve helped families navigate the adoption legal system. They’ve met with families, helped to prepare their court filings and represented them at the hearings where the adoptions are finalized.
 
“It’s the difference between having a temporary home and a forever, loving family,” says Jennifer Dominitz, SVP and Deputy Head, NBCUniversal Production Legal.
 
Adoption is just one area in which the NBCUniversal legal team gives their time and expertise.
 
“We have a really vibrant pro bono program,” Dominitz says. “We’re looking for segments of the community, people who can’t afford legal services, and we provide free representation and other assistance.”
 
NBCU’s legal pro bono committee is comprised of about a dozen employees. They identify opportunities where their colleagues can participate, then share them on the department’s intranet page and internal newsletter. Employees have worked at name-change clinics for transgender people, manned voter fraud election hotlines, helped veterans procure benefits, represented unaccompanied children from other countries in immigration proceedings and judged high school mock trial competitions.
 
“It’s long been in the DNA of the NBCUniversal Legal group to deliver vital pro bono services to people that need them.  The robust and continuous participation across the team demonstrate how much we believe in this program and our ability to affect real change through this work,” said Kimberly Harris, EVP and General Counsel, NBCUniversal.

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Monday, December 7, 2015 – 13:15

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2015 AFI Docs/NBCUniversal Impact Grant Winners Announced

The AFI DOCS Film Festival is a five day event in Washington, D.C. where filmmakers, political leaders and audiences gather together for informative documentaries and discussion. Uniquely positioned as the only film festival in the U.S. dedicated to screenings and events that connect audiences, filmmakers and policy leaders, AFI DOCS is one of the most noteworthy documentary film festivals in the world. 
 
This year, for the first time, NBCUniversal powered the AFI DOCS Impact Lab, an innovative two-day intensive program that provides filmmakers with training in advocacy, community organizing and action. In addition to hearing from prominent leaders in the documentary and changemaking field and learning how to utilize technology to engage viewers, the lab participants met with senators and congressmen on Capitol Hill to discuss how filmmakers can help impact community policy and inspire change. The AFI DOCS Impact Lab powered by NBCUniversal is incredibly unique and powerful tool for filmmakers to advance the reach of the advocacy of their films’ subject matter. 
 
In addition to the AFI DOCS Impact Lab powered by NBCUniversal, four films that participated in the Impact Lab won AFI DOCS/NBCUniversal Impact Grants. The NBCUniversal Impact Grants leverages the power of story and film to catalyze social change. By funding the outreach and social action campaigns for select films, NBCUniversal is empowering filmmakers to exponentially increase their impact and effect lasting change by supporting the social action campaigns for each of the winning documentaries. 
 
The documentary projects receiving support from the 2015 AFI DOCS/NBCUniversal Impact Grants are:
 
SALAM NEIGHBOR 
Across the Jordanian border from Syria lies the world’s second largest refugee camp.  In an effort to understand the growing crisis, a film team spends one month living in Za’tari.  The Syrian families they meet aren’t just displaced, they have no promise of a future with sufficient food, security, education or peace.  SALAM NEIGHBOR offers personal insights into the complexities of refugee life and challenges audiences to express neighborly love for people in crisis.

 
THE CONVERSATION 
THE CONVERSATION, a series of short films, uses powerful personal narratives to elevate shared experiences about race and equality that are often only discussed in the confines of like-minded communities.  The series aims to foster a deep dialogue around racial tension and polarization in the United States as well as serve as an outlet for more personal and intimate discussions about race relations in America.  Each film will be a conversation from a different personal perspective, experience and racial lens within our society.

 
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED 
The American education system was developed during the Industrial Revolution to help prepare young people to take on standard jobs of the era, which no longer exist.  So why has that system remained virtually unchanged for more than 100 years when our culture and economy have dramatically shifted to an age of information and technology?  Filmmaker Greg Whiteley explores this paradox and examines the future of education through experimental schools such as San Diego’s High Tech High, where students, teachers and parents embark on a new path that aims to spark an education revolution.

 
PEACE OFFICER 
As a sheriff in the 1970s, William “Dub” Lawrence founded Utah’s SWAT team.  Thirty years later, when a police standoff ends with that SWAT team killing his son-in-law, Dub launches a personal investigation into the case.  As the scope of his investigation grows to include several chilling cases of excessive force and questionable techniques used by law enforcement, he finds himself confronting a startling nationwide trend of increasing militarization of police forces.

Next year’s festival will be held June 22–26, 2016 in Washington, D.C. 
 
Photo: Heidi Nel 

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015 – 15:30

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Employees Raise $10 Million for United Way

The 2015 United Way Campaign was another record-breaker, with a historic $10 million raised for United Way and the thousands of nonprofit organizations it supports. More Comcast NBCUniversal employees than ever came together to pledge nearly $8 million, and the Comcast Foundation will provide an additional $2 million-plus in grants that will be shared with dozens of United Way affiliates across the country to help strengthen communities.

This year’s campaign marked a major milestone in Comcast NBCUniversal’s relationship with United Way. Since 2001, the campaign has raised more than $75 million for United Way, the nonprofit organizations it supports, and hundreds of thousands of people in need of a helping hand.

Employees’ contributions make a deep impact in the lives of the people and families that we serve and the communities that we live in. Comcast NBCUniversal is proud to join together to give back.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015 – 10:30

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NBCUniversal Celebrates Comcast Cares Day

Comcast NBCUniversal employees, family members, friends, and community partners volunteered for this year’s 14th annual Comcast Cares Day at more than 750 projects nationwide and in more than a dozen countries.

Projects took place from April 18 through April 30. Volunteers transformed classrooms, revitalized neighborhood parks and schools, and assembled military care packages for U.S. troops and veterans.

In New York, more than 200 volunteers gathered at Morningside Park to revitalize approximately 17 acres of community park space, including painting the handball court and 800 feet of fence.

Comcast Cares Day began in 2001 with 6,100 volunteers improving 110 project sites, and is a celebration of our company’s year-round commitment to service—a tradition that has grown into the largest single-day corporate volunteer event in the country.

Other #CCDAY stories from around NBCUniversal: 

NBC Bay Area

NBC DFW

NBC Connecticut

NBC Los Angeles

NBC Washington

NBC Philadelphia

NBC Miami

NBC New York

Telemundo Houston

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 – 09:30

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Green is Universal Launches #NoFoodWasted Campaign for Earth Week

Earth Week is in full swing and Green is Universal is busy showcasing NBCUniversal’s commitment to the environment with a loaded slate of green-themed programming and activities. This year, Green is Universal is celebrating Earth Week with a #NoFoodWasted campaign to raise awareness about food waste.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the average American family spends more than $2,000 on groceries they never eat. And 40 percent of all food in the United States ends up in landfills.

In order to address this issue, Green is Universal’s #NoFoodWasted campaign, NBCUniversal’s networks, digital properties and operations are informing consumers how to shop wisely, make their food last longer and find creative ways to use leftover food.

NBCUniversal digital properties are sharing an educational animated motion graphic, food-saving tips and other information. Consumers are being also encouraged to upload their #NoFoodWasted photos to Twitter and Instagram—and then see them displayed on greenisuniversal.com and many NBCUniversal sites.

NBCUniversal is also helping food trucks dish information and complimentary waste-free meals to customers in New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami and Chicago. Click here for a full food truck schedule.

In terms of programming, MSNBC will air the U.S. television premiere of the award winning documentary, Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story on April 22 at 10:00 pm ET followed by a panel moderated by MSNBC Food Correspondent and chef, Tom Colicchio. Other NBCUniversal networks including TODAY, NBC Nightly News, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers, Telemundo, USA Network, Bravo, Sprout, CNBC and others are also joining in with green programming. And keeping with NBCUniversal tradition, many network logos will appear green for Earth Day.

In addition to creating awareness through programming, our award-winning The More You Know campaign and green themed activities, NBCUniversal facilities are working to reduce food waste. Last year NBCUniversal film and TV productions donated more than 28,000 meals worth of recovered food – over 36,000 pounds. Universal Orlando prioritized food waste reduction by diverting 594 tons of organic food material from the resort away from landfills in 2014. These efforts complement operational strategies and facility features that allow NBCUniversal to reuse and recycle materials, conserve water, utilize efficient lighting and manage controls to facilitate energy efficient operations.  

Finally, NBCUniversal employees will also do their part for the environment. Thousands of employees will be active at dozens of sites in the U.S. and in countries around the world working on in environmentally-related community volunteer projects in connection with Comcast Cares Day, the company’s signature day of service. Last year Comcast Cares Day brought out nearly 95,000 Comcast NBCUniversal employees, family and friends to improve their communities.

Read more about how NBCUniversal’s Earth Week initiative and how the company is taking a bite out of food waste in Multichannel News.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015 – 15:15

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MSNBC Announces Growing Hope Challenge Winners

NBCUniversal is committed to engaging partners in pro-social initiatives across the company’s portfolio. One notable example of such a partnership is MSNBC teaming up with Net Impact, a leading nonprofit and community of more than 60,000 student and professional leaders who are dedicated to creating positive social and environmental change. Together they launched the Growing Hope Challenge in November 2014 during the Net Impact Conference in Minneapolis, Minn. 

For the challenge, college students from across the country were given the opportunity to become change-agents by tackling pressing issues in their communities. Students were asked to submit innovative, feasible, and scalable approaches to one of the following problems: making STEM opportunities more accessible for girls and young women, fighting malnourishment and hunger through technology, and promoting the expansion of renewable energies.

The winning submissions, announced on March 6, 2015, demonstrated meaningful and impactful solutions to these issues.

In the STEM category, Team Hy(pi*tia), from Baruch College, proposed an interactive online game that helps girls explore STEM careers by putting them in the shoes of famous female professionals.

To promote renewable energy, Team ChargeRage, from the University of California, Santa Barbara designed a service that provides dedicated parking spots and renewable energy charging stations to individuals in urban areas to encourage wider use of electric vehicles.

Team FreshSpire, from East Carolina University, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and the University of Pennsylvania took on the malnourishment challenge. They pitched a mobile app, called FreshSpire, that alerts users when grocers offer daily markdowns on soon-to-be discarded food, helping to make fresh food more accessible to low-income families.

The winners received an expense-free trip to Seattle, WA for the 2015 Net Impact Conference, an invitation to Net Impact’s VIP luncheon at the Conference, and a grant for the students’ Net Impact chapters to help turn their ideas into reality. The winners also received a one-hour phone call with an industry expert to further advance their ideas.

The Growing Hope Challenge is part of MSNBC’s Growing Hope initiative, which provides a communication platform for people across America to share their ideas for social change in their communities. 

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Thursday, April 16, 2015 – 16:45

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NBCUniversal and 4.0 Schools Fund Education Innovators

Committed to engaging partners in pro-social initiatives that will make an impact in local communities, NBCUniversal has partnered with 4.0 Schools, a non-profit organization dedicated to solving problems in education through innovation.

NBCUniversal and 4.0 Schools recently collaborated to challenge leaders in education, business and civics to find innovative ways for schools to foster leadership development and career progression in New Orleans’s youth. 

The results were outstanding. Held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, eight teams of social entrepreneurs pitched their ventures to a panel of experts and a live audience for a chance to win a piece of $30,000 in prize money.

After an introduction by 4.0 Schools CEO Matt Candler, the teams took turns sharing their visions in four minute increments, followed by two minutes of feedback from judges and audience members.

Three teams walked away with funding.

John Fraboni and Max Gaudin received $10,000 for Operation Spark, which provides low-income youth with software skills necessary to transition into tech careers and become community leaders.

Larry Irvin and Kristyna Jones, representing Brothers Empowered to Teach, took home $15,000. Brothers Empowered to Teach is an organization that works to incentivize men of color to choose education as their profession through student and career recruiting.

In addition to the judges’ selections, two teams—Operation Spark and unCommon Construction—were recognized with the Audience Award of $2,500 each, chosen by those in attendance. unCommon Construction builds houses with the help of high school students to enrich them with critical job skills; profits of the home sales go towards stipends and scholarships for participating students.

This partnership with 4.0 Schools is a part of NBCUniversal’s pro-social Open Possibilities initiative to enable individual potential and inspire collective action to move people forward.  

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Thursday, April 16, 2015 – 16:30

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