Purpose Prize

Marc Freedman Portrait

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The Impact of Intergenerational Service

The Impact of Intergenerational Service

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCElJjBO8Zo National service in this country is predominantly age-segregated. AmeriCorps largely enrolls young adults, while AmeriCorps Seniors exclusively recruits older ones. As a result, we’re missing big opportunities to pair the...

These 10 Innovators Use Cogeneration to Advance Economic Opportunity

These 10 Innovators Use Cogeneration to Advance Economic Opportunity

Our first group of CoGen Challenge awardees are bringing older and younger people together  to boost the economic prospects of substitute teachers, artists with disabilities, people without homes, girls facing hardship in Appalachia, and so much more.   To learn more...

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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.