Purpose Prize

Marc Freedman Portrait

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Overheard on Text: Imposter Syndrome

Overheard on Text: Imposter Syndrome

As colleagues from different generations (x/millennial), we’ve been leading talks and workshops sharing our insights about working across generations – what we call “cogeneration.” As we plan, we’re usually texting furiously, sharing ideas and reflections. So we...

This Cogenerational Pair Calls for ‘Radical Inclusion’ of Youth

This Cogenerational Pair Calls for ‘Radical Inclusion’ of Youth

I was thrilled when I heard about the new book, Why Aren’t We Doing This! Collaborating with Minors in Major Ways, written by Denise Webb, age 20, and Wendy Schaetzel Lesko, age 73, (both pictured above) and published by Youth Infusion, a clearinghouse co-founded by...

Music Is Having a Moment — And It’s a Cogenerational One.

Music Is Having a Moment — And It’s a Cogenerational One.

Sunday’s show featured three big moments reminding us that music can be a bridge not only across race, culture, and genre, but also age. Tracy Chapman & Luke Combs. Much attention, rightfully, has gone to the duet between Tracy Chapman, who turns 60 next month,...

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Kenneth Bacon
1933-2009

Refugees International
Purpose Prize Fellow 2009

Bacon transformed Refugees International into a leading voice for peacekeeping, developing sustained, focused initiatives — rather than jumping from crisis to crisis, as in the past.

During the Clinton administration, Bacon was a familiar face on television as the bow-tied Pentagon spokesman updating reporters on the war in Bosnia and other military action. When he accepted a less visible post as president of Refugees International in 2001, he brought a journalist’s sensibility to the humanitarian organization, overhauling its communications operation to effectively tell the story of refugees’ plight. “One of the most rewarding parts of the job is sharing what I know, particularly in the field of communications, with a much younger staff,” Bacon said. “They, in turn, have taught me about Facebook, Twitter, and other networking operations that have become an important part of nongovernmental organization outreach.” Bacon molded Refugees International from a largely volunteer organization into a focused nonprofit with a multilingual staff of nearly 30. Under Bacon’s leadership, Refugees International pressured the federal government to allocate $200 million in humanitarian funding to Iraqi refugees from Oct. 2007 to Sept. 2008 and admit 13,784 Iraqis during that time span, nearly six times the admissions in the five prior years combined, according to the organization. Until his death at age 64 on Aug. 15 of melanoma-related complications, Bacon spotlighted what he considered the biggest developing story for refugees: the coming displacement of as many as 150 million people due to climate change.