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Facing History and Ourselves Hosts First Annual Upstander Awards and Community Conversation with John Amaechi

LOS ANGELES, California (April 8, 2014) – The Los Angeles office of the international nonprofit Facing History and Ourselves, in partnership with The Allstate Foundation, is proud to host a Community Conversation with psychologist, human rights advocate, New York Times best-selling author, and former NBA player John Amaechi OBE. The evening will also celebrate the work of the Los Angeles Facing History Partnership Schools and showcase local Upstanders. This free event takes place at the Aratani/Japan America Theatre on Thursday, April 24, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. after a reception at 4:30 p.m.

John Amaechi OBE is a psychologist, organizational consultant, high-performance executive coach. He is also a senior fellow at the Applied Centre for Emotional Literacy, Learning and Research. In his New York Times best-selling book, Man in the Middle, Amaechi chronicles his life and work. The most important theme Amaechi hoped to illustrate through his personal story of struggle and triumph was that “...despite what we are often told, the most unlikely of people, in the most improbable of circumstances can become extraordinary.”

As an organizational consultant and educator, Amaechi speaks to diverse audiences in the United States and Europe about identity and inclusion awareness and the power of words. He believes that when chosen mindfully, words can bring people together instead of reinforcing negative stereotypes. 

The evening will also honor local Upstanders -- individuals who have made a positive impact in their communities -- from the Los Angeles Facing History Partnership Schools Network. Since 2010, educators and administrators from these Los Angeles schools have worked closely with Facing History staff and use Facing History strategies and resources in their approach to teaching history, literature, and art, as well as in their efforts to encourage students to think about civic responsibility, create projects that integrate technology and media literacy, and to promote a whole-school culture that is active and caring.

Facing History initiated the Los Angeles Partnership Schools Network in 2010 with funding from the John W. Carson Foundation, Inc., in order to connect schools that needed significant support and innovative tools to nurture and educate students. Over the last four years, the Network has grown from five public high schools in the downtown area to 25 schools that will reach over 14,000 students each year.

The event is part of a national series of Community Conversations that brings prominent scholars, authors, filmmakers, and policy leaders to participate in discussions about civic engagement, individual and collective responsibility, and tolerance. All Community Conversations events are free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Visit facinghistory.org/communityconversations or call 213-202-2811 x228. Limited spaces are available.

About Facing History and Ourselves
Facing History and Ourselves was founded in 1976 by educators who believed that instilling intellectual vigor and curiosity goes hand-in-hand with teaching facts and figures. From the disturbing lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides to struggles for civil rights from Birmingham to South Africa, we trust students to wrestle with complex moments in human history, and work to help them understand the range of human behavior. These students learn to connect the dots between the ethical choices they’ll face in life and the positive outcomes they can create in their community and the world. For more information, visit facinghistory.org.

About The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit allstatefoundation.org.


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