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2019 SXSW Community Service Honorees

The Forrest Four-Cast: November 26, 2018

Listed alphabetically by last name, the six individual honorees are as follows:

  1. Aideé Granados: Granados was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. At the end of 2014, she became a certified as a Wellness Coach and founded Rosa Es Rojo, Inc., a nonprofit committed to educating Latinas on wellness and cancer prevention in America, starting in North Texas.
  2. Mauricio Villada Lopera: Deeply committed to working with marginalized communities of all backgrounds in Medellin, Colombia, Lopera and Beatriz Peña Vasquez created a high-impact project called Expovoluntariado. The project, born out of social research, has impacted more than 120 social organizations in the country.
  3. Rwenshaun Miller: A therapist, author, and social entrepreneur, Miller is also the recipient of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation award for Advancing Minority Mental Health. In 2013, Miller founded Eustress, Inc., a nonprofit organization that raises mental health awareness through educational and inspirational content, trainings, workshops, and annual multi-city “Let’s Talk About It” walks.
  4. Sheena McFeely: Author, creator, and motivational speaker McFeely has produced, directed, and distributed ASL Nook online, which has reached more than one million hits. She is is a proud Deaf woman who believes that doing gets you somewhere, while talking gets you nowhere.
  5. Estella Sanchez: The founder and Executive Director of Sol Collective, Sanchez is an artist, activist, educator, and organizer. With an MA in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, she has dedicated her life to empowering communities using the arts to cultivate the next generation of leaders both locally and globally.
  6. Fran Tarr: The founder and director of Breaking Walls, Tarr is a renowned artist, Arts Educator and creative activist. Launched in 2011, Breaking Walls is a U.S.-based international youth empowerment movement that fosters global dialogue among the leaders of tomorrow by creating artistic, educational and community-building opportunities for youth to become empathetic, system changing leaders.

Listed alphabetically by company name, the six organizational recipients are as follows:

  1. Born2Walk: This organization aims to provide inexpensive, adjustable and modular below-knee prosthetics to developing countries at free of cost. Through the use of 3-D modeling and printing, Born2Walk is able to custom make prosthetic pieces that are then combined to form a leg and most recently, feet.
  2. Black Girls CODE: Since 2011, Black Girls CODE has been committed to providing girls from underrepresented communities access to technology and 21st century skills necessary to become tech leaders. Having reached more than 8,000 young women in 14 chapters around the world, Black Girls CODE’s organizational vision is to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17.
  3. HRA Studios & Foundation: HRAF provides music and arts outreach to treatment centers, clinics, schools, shelters, and individuals from ages 3 to 80. Program highlights include establishing a music program at a Tijuana orphanage, recording original music by a young cancer survivor at Hollywood’s Capitol Studios, and donating over a thousand instruments and creative tools in our “Play It Forward” program.
  4. Lights Camera Discover: An organization devoted to developing strategies and bringing out positive skill sets within the youth, Lights Camera Discover provides workshops to students throughout the country. Within each workshop, students learn various components of performing and digital arts.
  5. StreetBooks ATX: A mobile lending library for members of the local community with no fixed address, StreetBooks ATX aims to cultivate compassionate inclusive communities through the love of literature. The goal is to provide hope and encouragement to the frequently overlooked members of the Austin community.
  6. The Mobile River (Colorado River Alliance): The Colorado River Alliance champions the long-term vitality of the Texas Colorado River through education and engagement with programs that reach over 14,000 students and community members annually. One of the Alliance’s main programs, the Mobile River, is a water-science-center-on-wheels that delivers hands-on aquatic science and water-stewardship education directly to 7th grade students.

These individuals and companies will be honored at a special SXSW session on Sunday, March 10. Stay tuned for more information on this session.

Finally, if community service is your vibe, then check out all the cool programming that will be part of the Social & Global Impact track for the 2019 event.

These Social & Global Impact sessions run from Friday, March 8 through Wednesday, March 13.

Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.

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Celebrating creativity at SXSW. Also, reading reading reading, the Boston Red Sox, good food, exercise when possible and sleep sleep sleep.

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