Thank you for joining us or tuning in as we paid tribute a group of changemakers at the 2013 In Harmony with Hope awards ceremony on Thursday, September 26, 2013.  If you missed it, you can still tune in and watch the replay on our historical streaming page, and check our awards page for details about our 2014 event, which will be posted in the coming months.


Bay Area television anchor Wendy Tokuda was the perfect celebrity emcee for the evening of good news… good news that rippled out to the local and national media. The event was reported on in The San Jose Mercury News, The Boston Globe, CC Times, LA Daily News, The Sacramento Bee & San Mateo Daily Journal and other newspapers. It was also listed in numerous online calendars, even SiliconBeat found the event noteworthy.

It was an event to remember, a night celebrating hope, empowerment and transformation. The news theme was a feature throughout the evening, and turned up in the newsprint flowers hiding among the live flower arrangements. Winners from previous years – Paul Minorini of Boys Hope Girls Hope and Gary Oppenheimer of were in attendance, as were representatives from The Carter Center (former first lady Rosalynn Carter is a recipient). Taking their seats, guests perused their own individual copies of The Hope Herald. Then, the house lights dimmed, and the evening opened. First up, the Bailen Brothers – winners of the 2013 Elfenworks / Campus Moviefest  social justice prize in music – took the stage and treated the audience to a new song, I am a Bohemian, returning later to play their winning song, Lady Liberty.  After a brief introduction by Executive Director Ken Tam and a few words from Brad Lambert of Wells Fargo Bank, David Roemer, founder of Campus Moviefest, shared the good news about the Social Justice prize with the numbers zero, one thousand, and one million.  Tune in and learn what he meant  and to see the festivities, including a short address by our CEO and words from the honorees that had some of the audience in tears… of joy!

What did the attendees think of the event? Read for yourself:

  • “Afterwards, I really did have hope we can make things better. My only regret was that more people could not see, feel and discover what the lucky few in the audience did.”
  • “I couldn’t let the day pass without telling you how moving and inspiring the award program was last night. Thank you so much for inviting me. The three people you chose to win the award were just remarkable, I will continue to share their stories.”
  • “I am so fortunate to have experienced your mission and foundation and all the more, the energy and inspiration and hope so pervasive in all you and your followers exhibit.”
  • “The IHH event was even more amazing than usual. I was uplifted and heartened … and that’s important.”

2013 In Harmony with Hope Award Honorees

[Streaming Event Page] [Press Release IHH 2013] [About IHH Award]

Christa Gannon, JD (Founder), FLY, Fresh Lifelines for Youth

ihh2013-headshot-gannonChrista Gannon and Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY) provide support and the  promise of a new direction to thousands of troubled and at-risk youth in Silicon Valley each year. In 1996, Gannon, a law school student, realized that young people who are in trouble with the law might be less likely to re-offend if they understood the law and the consequences of their crimes. Following a 12-week law course, 70  youth who want and need to transform their lives can enter a one- to two-year leadership training, giving them the skills and support they need to realize their true potential. A two-year mentor program helps another 100 kids struggling with drug or alcohol use, and a middle school platform reaches out to 1,000 at-risk kids before they get into trouble. FLY costs less than 10% the cost of incarceration, and more than 80% of all youth in FLY’s programs share that FLY inspired them to change their lives and helped them develop the skills and confidence to make change happen. In FLY’s Leadership Program 80% get engaged in school following the program.  [harmony page]

Gary Slutkin, MD, (Founder) Cure Violence – formerly CeaseFire

ihh2013-headshot-slutkinEpidemiologist Gary Slutkin’s expertise in combatting infectious disease around the world informs his radically different approach to stemming the tide of violence in American cities. In 2000 he formed Chicago-based Cure Violence (then called CeaseFire), convinced that violence could be halted with a three-pronged approach taken directly from the public health model: first, interrupt the transmission; second, identify and change the thinking of the highest potential transmitters; and third, change social norms. At the core of the program are the violence interrupters and outreach workers—veterans of the street who are carefully recruited and trained to stem the flow of violence. From the first (and formerly worst) neighborhood in Chicago where they began, Cure Violence has effectively reduced shootings and killing by 41-73%, in urban neighborhoods around the country, and indeed, around the world. [harmony page]

Andrew Yang, (Founder) Venture for America

ihh2013-headshot-yangAt Venture for America (VFA), Andrew Yang is redirecting enterprising college graduates into early-stage businesses in underserved American cities. The program is revitalizing American cities and communities through entrepreneurship and allowing top graduates to earn hands-on business experience and grow a culture of achievement. And it provides an alternative to the predictable post-graduate march into low-growth sectors like financial services, consulting, or the law in cities like New York, Boston, San Francisco, or Washington, DC. In just its second year, VFA has placed 120 graduates in two-year fellowships with exciting start-ups in cities like Detroit, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Pittsburgh. The 80 new Fellows in 2013 were selected from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants. VFA’s goal is to create 100,000 new jobs by 2025—and they seem to be right on track.] [harmony page]

Performing Artist: The Bailen Brothers

Described by Entertainment Weekly as one of the “Top 5 indie discoveries of the CMJ music festival,” The Bailen Brothers “compositions are impressively crisp, with a flawless brass section and two-part vocal harmonies to rival Simon & Garfunkel.” (  Hailing from NYU and Juilliard, songwriting twin duo David and Daniel Bailen have been on the NY club scene and touring since 2007, including Florence, Italy, where venues included Milan’s Blue Note and The Pinocchio Club. Back stateside, they were voted the best college band in the North-East by College Battle and Grammy U, and one of the top 5 bands in Manhattan by WNYC radio and The Greene Space. They have written music for and/or been featured on Nickelodeon, Huffington Post,, Refinery 29, The Man Repeller, Marc Jacobs, Victoria’s Secret PINK, Guess Bambini, Vogue Bambini, The Globe and Mail, and more. In 2012 they released their first full-length album “Must Be Mistaken” co-produced with world-renowned producer, Joe Mardin (Raul Midon, Jewel, Nora Jones). They have played on the Vh1 Save the Music Breaking Through Concert Series, Harlem Jazz Museum’s Annual July 4th Concert in the Park, and the CMJ Music Marathon. They have also held residencies and played shows at The Studio @ Webster Hall, The Bowery Poetry Club, The Local 269, The Bitter End, Sullivan Hall, Tammany Hall, The Triad Theater, The Laurie Beechman Theater, The Double Seven, and many more.

Celebrity Emcee:  Wendy Tokuda

Bay Area television anchor Wendy Tokuda joined us as our celebrity emcee. Wendy Tokuda has anchored and reported in the Bay Area for nearly 30 years. While Wendy retired from daily anchoring in 2010, she continues to profiles low-income, at-risk Bay Area teenagers in her series, Students Rising Above, and has dedicated herself to helping students reach their potential through a nonprofit of that same name.


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