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#RCLC13 Keynote Introduction

#RCLC13 Keynote Introduction


Dr. Hodges:
Good morning. Now, it is my honor and extreme privilege to introduce our keynote speaker Jennifer Buffett, president and founder of the Novo Foundation. Jennifer is a philanthropist. Now this word philanthropist, in its most frequently accepted definition, is understood as someone who simply gives money or funds well-intended projects. However, as I have come to know Jennifer, her work through the NoVo Foundation is a product of her compassionate view of the world and her philanthropic disposition is specifically designed to ensure that NoVo is a catalyst for global change. You see, Jennifer and the NoVo Foundation act upon the highest definition of philanthropy by going to the root of the words, “anthro” and “philo,” which combined mean, “for the love of human beings.” I want to pause and let you absorb that. For the love of human beings. Jennifer’s deep commitment to seeing change in the world, for being the change, and for catalyzing the change all begins and ends with a love for humanity and through that she is an example that we all can follow. She sets the example that we can all do our work of educating all children as a catalyst for change and for the love of humanity. By following her example, we can all invest in others, we can all be the change,
we can all be philanthropists. Jennifer’s strategy for the Foundation serving as a catalyst for change is to develop strategic partnerships to accomplish goals toward a higher vision—a vision of a world that operates on the principles of mutual respect, collaboration, and civic participation. But her work doesn’t stop with envisioning what might be. Every day, her dedicated leadership inspires educators to translate vision into concrete actions. The NoVo Foundation has partnered with CASEL’s Collaborating District Initiative, which brings together eight of the largest school districts in America to make sure children are taught social and emotional competencies as a foundation for academic change and improvement. Through this work, Jennifer is impacting the lives of nearly one million children and almost 45,000 teachers every day. Every child in these districts will be positively influenced in some way because Jennifer is acting on a vision through partnerships to create change. Jennifer founded the NoVo Foundation in 2006 with her husband, Peter Buffett, and in 2008 they were awarded the Clinton Global Citizen Award for their visionary leadership and sustainable, scalable work in solving pressing global change. President Clinton noted that, “their innovative approach to philanthropy has leveraged the capacity of existing organizations to effect real, positive change.” We at Responsive Classroom are an existing organization and are pleased that NoVo has decided to partner with us as we scale up to realize our own mission of high-quality education for every child, every day, in every school. Please help me to welcome my friend and a wonderful human being, and a wonderful human being, who does her work for the love of other human beings, the president and founder of the NoVo Foundation, Jennifer Buffett. [ Applause ]

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