21CF partners with PepsiCo to launch 'The Search for Hidden Figures' contest, empowering young women to pursue STEM careers
To celebrate the release of "Hidden Figures," 20th Century Fox's upcoming film following three female African American mathematicians during the 1960's Space Race, 21st Century Fox has teamed with PepsiCo to launch "The Search for Hidden Figures," a contest encouraging young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The contest asks high-school and college students, as well as professionals, to answer essay questions and provide video submissions about the importance of STEM to themselves and the world. More than $200,000 in scholarships and other awards will be granted to the 12 winners, and more will receive membership to the New York Academy of Sciences and other prizes. "Hidden Figures" stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe and more. Pharrell Williams served as composer and producer on the film, which will open in theaters on Jan. 6, 2017.
Henson plays Katherine G. Johnson, a NASA mathematician and pioneer in American space exploration who calculated the trajectory for the space flight of Alan Shepard, the first American in space; John Glenn, the first American to orbit earth; and Apollo 11, the first human mission to the moon. The film tells the story of Johnson, along with her colleagues Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Monáe), as they work on the John Glenn mission.
"We are honored to have the opportunity to share the story of Katherine Johnson and her peers whose contributions have remained hidden for too long," said Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox. "At 21CF, we believe in the power of storytelling to inspire the next generation of talent to dream bigger and unlock their full potential, and through The Search for Hidden Figures contest, we are excited to give young women across the country the encouragement to pursue those dreams."
Submissions are now open and will run until Dec. 10. Then, from Dec. 17-30, 50 semifinalists will be selected and invited to submit a video response to a new question about STEM. A panel of judges including "Hidden Figures" producers Pharrell Williams; Donna Gigliotti; Fox 2000 Pictures President Elizabeth Gabler; and NYAS President and CEO Ellis Rubinstein, will choose two grand prize winners and 10 runners-up from this group. The 10 runners-up will each receive $10,000 scholarships, and the two grand prize winners will receive $50,000 scholarships, along with access to the NYAS STEM skills training programs and a trip to the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida. Winners will be announced on Jan. 12.
In addition to the contest, the Search for Hidden Figures website also features a collection of STEM games, quizzes and challenges for students and fans of the film to test their skills. 21CF has also launched a national TV and digital campaign featuring Henson and the rest of the film's cast encouraging young women to get involved.
FOX and National Geographic to air Breakthrough Prize ceremony this December, celebrating top scientists and students
National Geographic will once again air a live broadcast of the Breakthrough Prize ceremony, an annual awards show honoring the year's leading scientists and researchers for their contributions to the fields of fundamental physics, life sciences and mathematics. The December 4 ceremony will be hosted by Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman and feature a performance by 15-time Grammy-winning singer Alicia Keys, among other celebrity appearances. Following the live presentation, an edited one-hour version will air on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 7:00PM ET/PT on the FOX network and globally on National Geographic in 171 countries and 45 languages.
"We are proud to join forces with Don [Mischer, producer] and the Breakthrough Prize team not only to honor the best and brightest in science shaping the world of today and tomorrow, but also to bring this important event to the broadest global audience possible," said Courteney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic Global Networks, ahead of last year's awards. "National Geographic was founded on the spirit of mavericks, and this partnership affords us the opportunity to continue this great tradition by recognizing those who are breaking barriers and expanding the limits of possibility."
Now in its fifth year, the Breakthrough Prize is one of the most lucrative awards in the world of science, recognizing both outstanding career achievement and emerging talent. Across the three categories of fundamental physics, life sciences and mathematics, eight $3 million awards will be given to 12 individuals. Additionally, another six $100,000 prizes will be awarded to the 10 winners of the New Horizons in Physics and Mathematics Prizes.
For the second year in a row, the ceremony will also recognize the winner of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, which asks students from around the world ages 13-18 to make a short film that brings to life an important scientific idea. The winning student will win a $250,000 scholarship, as well as a state-of-the-art science lab for his/her school. The student's teacher will also win $50,000. In total, the Breakthrough Prize will award $25 million throughout the ceremony this year.
Tech industry leaders Sergey Brin (Google), Anne Wojcicki (23andMe), Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan (Facebook), Yuri Milner and Julia Milner (DST Global), and Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang (Alibaba) launched the prize in 2012 in order to celebrate scientists and generate excitement about the pursuit of science as a career. Vanity Fair editor Gradyon Carter joins them this year as a lead sponsor.
Learn more about this year's Breakthrough Prize and browse clips from last year's ceremony, hosted by Seth MacFarlane.
21st Century Fox and Give a Note award music education grants to 20 schools, announce 'Music Education Idol' winners
21st Century Fox and Give a Note Foundation honored the legacy of "American Idol" this summer by asking students, parents and the general public to nominate exceptional music educators as "Music Education Idols." This week, 21CF and Give a Note are highlighting the importance of music education in schools by awarding 20 "MusicEd Idols" $1,000 grants for each of their school's music programs.
Music teachers across the U.S. were honored with video testimonials about how they encouraged their students to discover their creative potential.
"We were so inspired by the students who submitted nominations and the music educators who motivate them every day to work hard and achieve their dreams," said Shira Oberlander, Executive Director of Social Impact for 21st Century Fox. "We are thrilled to support these teachers in their work to make a difference in students' lives."
This round of grants continues a five-year relationship between 21CF and Give a Note in support of music education.
Since 2011, 21st Century Fox businesses have donated more than $1 million to underfunded music programs in schools across the country as part of the company's commitment to support the next generation of artists and creators.
"We appreciate the continued support of 21st Century Fox to reach more students in more schools with the power of music," said Jane Mell Balek, Give a Note Chief Executive Officer. "This is a wonderful opportunity to shine a spotlight on great music programs, which benefit students in all U.S. schools. These stories cannot be told enough, and we encourage communities to support their local school's music programs and the teachers who make them possible."
Fox Colleagues Dominate Nautica Malibu Triathlon, Raise $96,000 for Pediatric Cancer Research at Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Photo by Patrick Pumpuang
The weekend of September 16th was a victorious and charitable one for the Fox Triathlon Team, who dominated the 30th annual Nautica Malibu Triathlon. Held on the sands of Zuma Beach, the Nautica Malibu Triathlon is one of the nation's most iconic triathlons and philanthropic events, challenging top athletes and celebrities while raising approximately $1 million annually for pediatric cancer research at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).
Hollywood's top studios, production companies, and agencies compete in the Entertainment Industry Challenge, vying for the titles of fastest team and top fundraisers. Fox won Sunday's sprint distance triathlon with a total team time of 18:21:16 (counting the fastest five male and five female times), the second time in team history.
The 96 Fox Triathlon Team participants also raised over $97,000 to win the per-capita fundraising title, the fifth time since 2010. To date, the Fox Triathlon Team has raised approximately $660,000 for CHLA through individual and team fundraising efforts.
The Fox Triathlon Team was founded by a handful of employees in 2010 as a charitable and corporate wellness group. The team - which now has over 250 members - began competing in local running events and triathlons, seeking support and participants across the company. With the involvement of several key executives and eager teammates, the Fox Triathlon Team grew into a well-known employee organization at Fox Los Angeles and a formidable force in the Team's annual flagship event, the Malibu Triathlon.
Over the years, the Fox Triathlon Team has become a diverse studio network, with everyone from beginner to pro athletes, and entry-level to C-suite Fox personnel taking part. In addition to the Malibu Triathlon, team members also participate in a variety of events throughout the year, including a 5Ks, 10Ks, half/full marathons, cycling events, and a range of triathlons from sprint to Ironman distances. The team is currently led by two of its co-founders, Craig Nesbitt and Ligaya Lange, as well as Lorie Juckett who joined the team in 2011. Hundreds of Fox employees and their friends and family have been part of the team, and continue to contribute to its overall management and success.
For more information about the Fox Tri Team, contact Fox.Triathlon@Fox.com.
Top fundraisers for the Fox Triathlon Team:
• Rich Culver ($17,361 - 2nd overall highest fundraiser) • Mamie Coleman ($6,550) • Matt Schuler ($3,998)
Fastest Fox Finishers:
• Katie Lanvin - 1st in division (1:47:21.43) • Reilly Smith - 4th in division (1:24:15.07) • Richard Culver - 4th in division (1:35:48.70) • Mike Moral - 4th in division (1:37:01.36) • Mike Stotland (1:44:26.09) • Dave Kneeland (1:44:41.50) • Marissa Melnick (1:59:30.36) • Lesley-Ann Lanigan (2:03:12.32) • Brandi Dicker (2:07:45.04) • Lorie Juckett (2:11:38.30)
Reflections on Nat Geo Photo Camp: Shenandoah Students from Baltimore's Refugee Youth Project Learn to Tell Their Story Through Photography
Photo by Ronan Donovan/National Geographic
Editor's note: The following was written by NGP Associate Producer Amber Seyler, who recently attended National Geographic's Photo Camp in Shenandoah National Park.
I first learned about National Geographic's Photo Camp when I was compiling footage for a year-end impact video for the Society. I began asking around and discovered that a Photo Camp was going to take place with youth from Baltimore in Shenandoah National Park and would involve Nat Geo photographers John Stanmeyer and Amy Toensing. Little did I know that this simple footage search would turn into one of the most profound experiences of my life.
National Geographic partners with VisionWorkshops' Kirsten Elstner to help run the Photo Camp program. Kirsten alone was an inspiration. Since the program's inception, the goal has been to bring the power of photography to young people in populations whose stories were dramatically underrepresented in the media and arts, and to give them the skills to have ownership of their own stories.
Photo by Ronan Donovan/National Geographic
Baltimore's Refugee Youth Project helped identify 18 young refugees to participate in Photo Camp Shenandoah. The students came from 10 different countries and ranged in age from 14 to 19 years old. Some were very new to the United States, some had been here for years, but they all had a story.
Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studio President Vanessa Morrison Joins 'Variety Inclusion Summit' Panel on Diversity in Entertainment
Image: Chelsea Lauren/Variety/REX/Shutterstock
On Tuesday, the Variety Inclusion Summit, sponsored by 20th Century Fox, hosted elite gathering of leaders and innovators in support of diversity - the inclusion of different genders, races, abilities, sexual identities, ethnicities, ages, and more - in film, TV, and digital media. The list of 22 prominent speakers included musician and producer Pharrell Williams, FX's American Horror Story series regular Jamie Brewer, 20th Century Fox's New Girl executive producer Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, and Fox Animation and Bly Sky Studio President Vanessa Morrison.
The daylong summit held at the Beverly Hills Montage Hotel focused on the state of diverse representation in Hollywood, inclusion efforts that are already underway, and the impact these efforts have had on the entertainment business. Across the board, experts agreed that eliminating past exclusion practices is smart both creatively and financially within the industry.
Among the top entertainment executives who made their voice heard in the fight for an inclusive community was Morrison, who spoke on the Opportunities in an Inclusive Entertainment Industry panel.
The panel, comprising top studio and network chiefs, discussed how they are encouraging diversity in their ranks for the continued growth of their business.
"You have to see it to know that you can be it," Morrison said of the importance of inclusivity both in front of, and behind, the camera.
Morrison's panel also parsed complicated issues of diversity and inclusion such as current challenges related to ageism, diversity hiring at the executive level, and partnerships with advocacy organizations to encourage inclusive business practices and operations.
Other panels that took place during the summit include Ageism in Hollywood: The Last Bias; Hollywood's Influence on an Inclusive Society; and Innovators of Inclusive Storytelling.