World Central Kitchen

Catalyst

World Central Kitchen

In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, award-winning Spanish-born American chef and restaurateur José Andrés founded World Central Kitchen (WCK). Cooking with others at a camp for displaced persons, Andrés, with the support of his wife, Patricia, along with business partner Rob Wilder and his wife, Robin, set out to use his gastronomic experience to provide hungry people with more than just relief during a disaster. The idea? To help spur urgent economic recovery through food.

Andrew Carnegie once said, “Wealth is not to feed our egos, but to feed the hungry and to help people help themselves.” He believed that philanthropy ought to challenge the causes of social ills rather than their expressions. WCK’s vision, centering the humanity of cooking and eating together, embodies this philosophy — to tackle causes, not symptoms — in the food economy. WCK’s work is made possible by volunteers, most of whom are local to the communities they serve. The WCK team mobilizes individuals with professional cooking experience, as well as anyone willing to work the lines, help with food purchases and deliveries, or simply serve a meal with a smile.

WCK is often first to the front lines. They have served more than 150 million fresh meals around the world, helping to feed the island of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and millions during the COVID-19 pandemic. They worked with the victims of the ruinous blast in Beirut and the bushfires in Australia. And WCK continues to build the largest food relief operation in Ukraine, sending trucks, trains, passenger cars, and vans across hundreds of cities and towns. WCK’s Resilience Programs strengthen sustenance security by creating systems that train chefs and school cooks, by advancing clean cooking practices, and by focusing grantmaking on farms, fisheries, and small businesses along with promoting educational and professional opportunities.

Andrés, an immigrant to America like the Scottish-born Carnegie, has developed WCK’s philanthropic philosophy into one that views food as an agent for change. Through the expansion of opportunities and resources, WCK fights hunger while enabling economic stability, spreading knowledge, and mitigating the damage of future disasters. Inspired by John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Andrés has pursued a singular mission since the founding of World Central Kitchen: “Wherever there’s a fight so hungry people may eat, we will be there.”

About  Carnegie Catalyst Award

The Carnegie Catalyst Award celebrates the transformational power of human kindness by honoring nonprofit organizations that are exceptionally effective at catalyzing people’s desire to help one another during times of crisis. The international family of Carnegie institutions named World Central Kitchen as the first-ever recipient of the Award for its extraordinary impact mobilizing volunteers to provide 150 million meals in communities affected by humanitarian and natural disasters.

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Schusterman, Lynn and Stacy

Lynn Schusterman and Stacy Schusterman

Lynn Schusterman
Stacy Schusterman

Lynn Schusterman serves as chair emerita of Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. She and her late husband, Charles, began their family foundation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1987. Through her philanthropy over the past four decades, she has been recognized as a proud supporter of Israel, the Jewish people, and her family’s hometown of Tulsa, as an advocate for addressing child abuse and neglect, as a champion of educational opportunities for all young people, and as a pioneering funder of inclusion and equality. As she wrote in 2012, “We have the opportunity to raise the bar in the faith-based world by forging a culture in which inclusivity, diversity, and equality are paramount.” In 2011 Lynn Schusterman signed the Giving Pledge, a promise by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to charitable causes.

Stacy Schusterman is a philanthropist and businesswoman. As chair of Schusterman Family Philanthropies, she oversees approximately $400 million in annual grantmaking that is invested in shaping more just and inclusive societies in the U.S. and Israel. The daughter of Charles and Lynn Schusterman, she continues the work her parents began to shape joyful and inclusive Jewish communities and to strengthen Israel as a secure homeland for the Jewish people, a thriving democracy and an inclusive society. Under her leadership, the foundation has prioritized the advancement of racial, gender, and economic equity in the U.S. through investments in K–12 education, gender and reproductive equity, democracy and voting rights, and criminal justice reform.

Over the past three decades, the Schusterman family has given more than $2 billion through their philanthropy. Among their many investments, they founded the Haruv Institute in Israel to provide training for professionals to address child abuse and neglect. They helped launch Repair the World to mobilize young Jewish adults and their communities through service and volunteerism. They have supported teacher development and the recruitment of teachers of color as part of their broader commitment to strengthening the U.S. education system. They are also major investors in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and criminal justice reform, including through their partnership with the Blue Meridian donor collaborative. Furthermore, the Schustermans invest deeply in the leadership and equality of women and girls, including through their involvement in the Collaborative for Gender + Reproductive Equity, and they have worked to help preserve safe, free, and fair access to voting.

For Lynn Schusterman and Stacy Schusterman, even as their philanthropy has expanded, it remains rooted in their deeply held Jewish values, including the pursuit of justice, repairing the world, and treating all people with dignity and respect. As Stacy Schusterman recently affirmed, “At the core of our work is our commitment to showing up with humility, embracing ongoing learning and listening deeply to our grantees and to the people and communities most impacted by the issues we address. We believe we all need to seek to understand each other’s stories and perspectives, and to foster complex conversations to better understand the full context of the issues we support.”

Hill, Lyda

Lyda Hill

Lyda Hill began her career in 1967 when she founded Hill World Travel, a market-leading travel consultancy. She spent the early part of her career building that business, moving on to prioritize venture capital investments and volunteering after selling the company in 1982. Today, she dedicates most of her time and energy to philanthropy. She is one of the few women to make the 2013 Chronicle of Philanthropy list of most generous donors and Forbes magazine’s 2014 list of top 15 entrepreneurs who give back to the community. As part of her desire to leave a lasting mark on society, Hill signed the Giving Pledge in 2010, vowing to donate the entirety of her wealth to charity and to do so largely during her lifetime.

Many nonprofit organizations have benefitted from Hill’s leadership, including the Visiting Nurse Association, the Dallas chapter of the World Presidents’ Organization, and the Dallas and Texas chapters of the American Heart Association. She was appointed to President Ronald Reagan’s Advisory Council on Private Sector Initiatives for an enormously successful project she launched in the 1980s called the Volunteer Connection, which promotes volunteerism in the Dallas/Fort Worth area — an initiative that has since been replicated across the country.

Lyda Hill Philanthropies invests in catalytic, solution-oriented initiatives that have the potential to impact global issues, reflecting Hill’s vision of mixing entrepreneurial vigor with a commitment to balancing profit with purpose. Rooted in her own battle with breast cancer, the foundation prioritizes scientific research. Hill is a strong believer that “science is the answer” to life’s most challenging issues and is committed to funding transformational advances in medical and environmental science. Among her many efforts to effect meaningful change, she has supported numerous mental health programs and research initiatives, as well as launching a venture capital fund focused on getting promising scientific advances in biomedical research to the marketplace quickly.

Closer to home, the foundation works to empower nonprofit organizations and to improve the places closest to Hill’s heart: local communities in Colorado and Texas. Hill has supported conservation projects such as the Nature Conservancy’s Mapping Ocean Wealth project and has been influential in the funding and development of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas, and the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center in Colorado Springs, among many other projects that revitalize local communities. Her recent philanthropic efforts include grants to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Moon Shots Program, which works to combat and eliminate cancer, and a grant to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to establish the Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics.

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Parton, Dolly

Dolly Parton

Honored and revered singer-songwriter Dolly Parton has had 26 songs reach number one on the Billboard Country charts. The winner of 11 Grammys, Parton received her 51st Grammy nomination in 2022. She is the first artist to have topped Billboard’s Adult Contemporary, Christian AC Airplay, Hot Country Songs, Christian Airplay, Country Airplay, and Dance/Mix Show Airplay radio charts, as well as the first country artist honored as Grammy MusiCares Person of the Year. She has 47 career Top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and 110 career-charted singles over the past five decades.

In addition to four People’s Choice Awards, three American Music Awards, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and her induction as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Parton’s accomplishments include an Emmy Award, the authorship of a range of best-selling books, co-ownership of the Dollywood Company, and her role as founder of the Dollywood Foundation. In November, Parton will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2022.

Parton founded the Dollywood Foundation in 1988 to inspire the children of Sevier County, Tennessee, where she was born and raised. The goal: to achieve educational success and decrease high school dropout rates. The foundation’s initial success launched what is now its flagship program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. This children’s book-gifting program began by sending every child in Sevier County a free, age-appropriate book each month in the mail until they reached the age of five. Parton grew up in extreme poverty, and she created the Imagination Library in honor of her father, who was illiterate, to make sure that all children had books in their home from the very start. Parton wanted the program to be stigma free, so she made sure that any child, regardless of background or income status, could receive books through the Imagination Library. “If you can read,” Parton told NPR in 2018, “even if you can’t afford education, you can go on and learn about anything you want to know. There’s a book on everything.” To date, the program has gifted over 182 million books across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Republic of Ireland.

Parton’s philanthropic work also includes donations to Vanderbilt University to fund pediatric infectious disease research and support for the development of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. The Dollywood Foundation, through its My People Fund, has supported hundreds of families who lost their homes during the 2018 wildfires in Sevier County, and also provides scholarship funds to local high school students to help further their education at any accredited university. Looking forward, the Dollywood Foundation continues to find ways to share the life and legacy of Dolly Parton as an inspiration for children to dream more, learn more, care more, and be more — not only in her Tennessee home county but around the world.

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Chandaria, Manu

Manu Chandaria

Manu Chandaria OBE CBS EBS

Manu Chandaria OBE CBS EBS is the head of the Chandaria family, which founded the Comcraft Group, a multibillion-dollar industrial conglomerate that started as a small family business and now has a presence in over 40 countries. The founding chairman of the East African Business Council and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Chandaria also chaired the Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund, which develops rehabilitative and preventive programs for homeless children and families. The recipient of six honorary degrees, he has also served in leadership roles at various Kenyan universities.

As current chair of the Chandaria Foundation, he remains invested in higher education in Africa. In addition to funding academic scholarships, he was instrumental in endowing the Chandaria School of Business at United States International University–Africa and the Chandaria Centre for Performing Arts at the University of Nairobi, among numerous other educational initiatives. The foundation also invests in the strengthening of health care infrastructures in Kenya, including support for both the Chandaria Accident and Emergency Centre at Nairobi Hospital and the Chandaria Medical Centre at Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital in Nairobi.

In an interview with the African Philanthropy Forum, Chandaria said, “The wealth that you have is not yours. You are only the trustee of the wealth you have.” Chandaria attributes his passion for philanthropy to his religious beliefs as a follower of Jainism, and his family has set up charitable trusts in many African countries in which Comcraft operates. The Chandaria Foundation’s projects have allowed the Chandaria family to create a legacy of healthier and better-educated Africans while helping to mobilize and empower new generations of business leaders across the African continent.

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