Neither the founders, the staff nor the advisers have financial ties to programs being marketed to schools by the numerous small companies and several university institutes and non-profit organizations that have created these programs.
To the contrary, each of our founders has been engaged in assisting youth development, including financially, for many years. Our 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 advisory board and by others who, like Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Gil Garcetti (our headquarter city) have agreed to endorse the Campaign publicly, as have many school, community and thought leaders in LA and elsewhere, including the LA Lakers basketball team, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, and 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.”
Notable among national endorsers is Scarlett Lewis. whose son Jesse was among the 29 students shot to death at Sandy Hook. A former journalist, Scarlett researched the shooter’s history and concluded that had he experienced EQ learning in his school years, the massacre would not have taken place. Subsequently she became a national advocate for the learning in all schools and founded her own program, Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement.
From Scarlett: “I fully support the EQuip Our Kids! campaign because we need parents and the public to get behind creating whole generations of children who won’t pick up a gun to deal with any resentments and hurts that their families, society or their schools are not otherwise teaching them how to move past. We need every school to include this learning because it is the path to truly safer schools and mentally and emotionally healthy children, along with many other benefits.”
We also collaborate closely with the California Social-Emotional Learning Alliance (composed of scores of organizations and scores more individual advocates), the California After School Network, After the Bell (the state’s largest after-school program) and the LA Chamber of Commerce. LA’s Best and The Brotherhood Crusade are among dozens of other well-known endorsers.
Our organizing strategy is helped by the Massachusetts Social-Emotional Learning Alliance (sel4ma.org), which has been successful in advancing emotional intelligence learning adoption in that state.
Others endorsers include Nicholas 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, and Dr. Lori Vollandt, head of the social-emotional learning office for the LAUSD.
A representative quote [continued at top of right-hand column]
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.”
Moreover, more than 30 existing SEL program developers and marketers have welcomed and endorsed the EQuip Our Kids! Campaign, no surprise since it’s intended to validate and expand the market for their offerings.
(So as not to appear to be favoring these programs, we won’t publish a full list until such time as many other similar programs have also endorsed us as our outreach grows. Nor we will ever recommend 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.)
We do, however, strongly endorse the work of a number of leaders in the field. This includes groups such as Chicago-based CASEL, which for many years has spearheaded promoting SEL in the education community and in rating existing programs; Edutopia.org, 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.
You can become an EQuip Our Kids! 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.
CURRENT DONORS AND SPONSORING COMPANIES:
All Board of Directors members
Rosenthal Family Foundation
David and Barbara Cohen Foundation
+ 170 Others
Tender Greens Restaurants
Bob Blake & Associates
Katherine Woodward Thomas, LLC & .com
ConsciousUncoupling.com & CallinginYourSoulPartner.com
1-800 No Cuffs Law firm of Darren Kavinoky
Michael Navarre Insurance Agency
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