Allies & Endorsers

The Big EQ Campaign is a fully independent non-profit organization founded by a few media-savvy business leaders guided by educators and non-profit veterans highly knowledgeable about and instrumental in extending social and emotional learning in the education realm.

Neither the founders, the staff nor the advisers have financial ties to SEL programs being marketed to schools by the numerous small companies and several university institutes and non-profit organizations that have created these programs.

On the contrary, each of our founders has been engaged in assisting youth development programs in different ways, including financially, for many years. Our simple motivation is the elevation of schools and society to a new level.

The Campaign has been bolstered by a number of business, civic and non-profit leaders who have joined our growing advisory board and by others who, like Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Gil Garcetti (our headquarter city) have agreed to publicly endorse the Campaign along with several school, community and thought leaders in LA and elsewhere, including Steven Zimmer, former president of the Los Angeles Unified District School Board (LAUSD), who has actively helped the campaign and has stated “We’ve needed an ally like the campaign for many years and thank you for creating one.”

We are also in collaboration with the California SEL Alliance (which we helped organize), the California After School Network, After the Bell. the LA Chamber of Commerce, LA’s Best. and the Brotherhood Campaign, among dozens of others. Our organizing strategy is helped by the Massachusetts Social-Emotional Learning Alliance (, which has been successful in advancing SEL adoption in that state.

Among endorsers and helpers of our EQuip Our Kids! campaign are the Los Angeles Lakers.

Others endorsers include former HUD Secretary Henry CisnerosNicholas Haan, director of Global Grand Challenges; Shane Goldsmith, executive director of Liberty Hill Foundation; Albert Retana, president of Community Coalition; Dan Gilbert, project manager of the national Afterschool Alliance, Billie Weiss, founder and former chair of the Violence Prevention Coalition of Great Los Angeles; Dr. Lori Vollandt, head of  the SEL office for the LAUSD, and Michelle Cauley, SEL Wellness Facilitator for the  District, among others.

A representative quote from endorsers is that from Diego Arancibia, director of after-school support for the Santa Clara County Office of Education:

“I want to commend The Big EQ Campaign for helping us educators by making the public aware of the tremendous benefits or social and emotional skills learning in our schools and after-school programs. In Santa Clara county we are devoted to giving each child a chance to excel in school and in life and we think this kind of education can be a major factor. The more the public knows and gets behind the movement, the faster we can add this crucial dimension to our education system.”

For our part, although completely independent of both for-profit and non-profit organizations, The Big EQ Campaign strongly endorses the work of a number of entities that are leaders in the SEL and EQ field.

This includes groups such as the Collaborate for Academic and Social and Emotional Learning based in Chicago (CASEL), which for many years has spearheaded promoting SEL

in the education community and in rating existing programs;, which is the major focus of the George Lucas Educational Foundation; and the National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development, recently formed to promote SEL integrated with academic studies.

With these and several other important non-profit organizations, BIG EQ is exploring how we can assist their efforts and potential alliances and collaborative endeavors.

More than 30 existing SEL program developers and marketers have welcomed and endorsed The Big EQ Campaign, no surprise since our campaign is intended to validate and expand the market for their offerings. (So as not to appear to be favoring these programs, Big EQ will not publish a full list until such time as many other similar programs have also endorsed us as our outreach grows.)

For the record, Big EQ will never recommend nor endorse any single program. That is the purview of other entities, such as CASEL. For us, it is up to school administrators to choose those programs that best suit their student bodies. Our task is to motivate them to act soon, because we believe the time is now.

Meanwhile we are inviting citizen endorsements to be published shortly to demonstrate the popularity of the cause.

You can become an Endorser, allowing us to include your name or the name of your business or organization on our coming citizens Endorsers List. Just email us with your stated permission plus a few-words description of you or your organization, and include your location and contact information so we can fact-check that it is you.


Major Donors

All Board of Directors members

Earthways Foundation

Rosenthal Family Foundation

Livingry Foundation

David and Barbara Cohen Foundation

Susan Mahlmann

Andrew Ungerleider

Isaac Mizraki

Rafe Furst

James Gilbert

Ryan McEvoy

Jerry Manpearl

Dale Miller

+ 70 Others

Business Sponsors

Tender Greens Restaurants

Shout! Factory

Bob Blake & Associates

Mahlmann-Media, Inc.

Katherine Woodward Thomas, LLC & .com &

Veztek USA

1-800 No Cuffs Law firm of Darren Kavinoky

Michael Navarre Insurance Agency

Versal, Inc.

Congratulations on the Big EQ Campaign. It will address a real need in our schools. It will assist students and teachers with the education intangibles: confidence, motivation, direction, fore-sight, determination, self-awareness, and assertiveness. I stand ready to support your work. You are engaged in a truly important endeavor and can touch many lives.

Former U.S. Secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development
and founder and Chairman of the urban development company CityView

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