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Social Goodness: How digital is helping public institutions drive impact



(Family Features) While companies that want to stay competitive in the private sector often rely on new technologies to boost productivity and drive efficiencies, public institutions – including the criminal justice system – frequently lag behind in applying these digital tools. However, when implemented correctly, technology can help level the playing field for underserved communities.

Making a Case for Transformation
In the United States, more than 10,000 developmentally disabled people are sent to prison each month. California opened a complex legal pathway in 2021 for developmentally disabled people to appeal for treatment instead of prison time. Most of these individuals are represented by public defenders – attorneys provided by the county. For public defenders, locating and gaining access to their clients’ records, including medical and mental health records, has historically been time- and labor-intensive. The inefficient analog system that handled hundreds of millions of court documents contributed to this burden.

To help combat these time-consuming challenges, public defenders are turning toward technology and harnessing its capabilities for the good of their clients. For example, a modern client case management system created by digital consultancy Publicis Sapient and the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office – the first public defender’s office ever established and still the nation’s largest – helped a developmentally disabled defendant avoid a lengthy prison sentence after an altercation with his brother-in-law.

Lights, Camera, Impact
The case is now chronicled in a short film, “Forgiving Johnny,” which was created by Academy Award-winning director Ben Proudfoot and produced by Publicis Sapient, to shed light on the positive impact technology can have on people and, ultimately, society. The film follows the journey of Los Angeles County public defender Noah Cox and the case against his client, Johnny Reyes, an individual with developmental disabilities who faced a 20-year prison sentence.

Cox needed access to Reyes’ past case files, including documentation that showed how his fetal alcohol syndrome disorder led to intellectual impairment. Using the cutting-edge client case management system that helped digitize about 160 million files and records for the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, Cox was able to digitally access the documentation he needed quickly and push for diversion and treatment for Reyes rather than incarceration.

It was this system that allowed Cox to be more effective and work faster than he had before, ultimately giving him more time to build a stronger case. This digital solution required a few clicks, when in the past, the paper mountain would have made forgiveness for clients next to impossible.

To learn more about how digital business transformation can lead to more positive human outcomes, and to watch the film, visit publicissapient.com.

Photos courtesy of Breakwater Studios

“Forgiving Johnny”


The Arizona Diamondbacks: More Than Just a Baseball Team

Arizona Diamondbacks: More than a baseball team. They excel in philanthropy, supporting their community through charitable initiatives. #Diamondbacks #Arizona #Community



Image: Rebecca Washington

When you step into a ballpark, the sights and sounds of the game surround you. The aroma of hot dogs and the refreshing taste of a cold beer are often part of the experience. Perhaps you’ll even have the chance to catch a fly ball. But beyond the thrill of the game, there’s something special about the Arizona Diamondbacks. As a team deeply invested in their community, the Diamondbacks have made a significant impact through their philanthropic efforts. Let’s explore how this Major League Baseball team has gone above and beyond to support their community through charitable initiatives.

The Arizona Diamondback Foundation:
Working at Chase Ballpark has given me the opportunity to witness firsthand the incredible work of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the community. Since its establishment in 1997, the Arizona Diamondback Foundation has been a driving force behind numerous charitable endeavors. This nonprofit organization has consistently contributed $50 million annually to various charities, focusing on areas such as homelessness, indigent healthcare, and children’s programs.

D-backs Give Back

Supporting Education and Youth Programs:
One of the standout initiatives of the Diamondbacks is their dedication to education and youth development. They have refurbished 41 baseball fields across the state, providing safe and enjoyable spaces for young athletes. Additionally, the Diamondbacks have partnered with organizations like the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Maricopa County, recognizing their outstanding work in these areas.

Recognizing Academic Excellence:
The Arizona Diamondbacks also recognize the importance of education and academic excellence. Through their commitment to supporting schools, they established an excellent award program. By the end of 2012, they had awarded $250,000 to 51 schools across the state, highlighting and celebrating the achievements of students and educators alike.


The 50/50 Raffle:
During every Diamondbacks game, fans have the opportunity to participate in a 50/50 raffle. Half of the proceeds from this raffle go to a designated charity, while the other half goes to the lucky ticket holder. This unique initiative not only raises funds for worthy causes but also engages fans in the spirit of giving back.

A Community-Driven Team:
When you enter Chase Ballpark in Arizona to witness a Diamondbacks game, it’s clear that they are more than just a baseball team. They are a team committed to making a positive impact on the community they call home. By supporting various charitable initiatives, the Diamondbacks have demonstrated their dedication to improving the lives of those in need.

Image: Rebecca Washington

The Arizona Diamondbacks have proven themselves to be champions not only on the baseball field but also in their unwavering commitment to the community. Through the Arizona Diamondback Foundation, their investment in education, youth programs, and charitable initiatives has made a significant difference in the lives of many. So, next time you head to a Diamondbacks game, remember that you’re not just supporting a baseball team, but an organization that truly cares about its community. Join them in their mission to make a positive impact and witness the power of sports in transforming lives.

If you’re interested in learning about the ways in which Dback engages with the community, please visit this link for more information. https://www.mlb.com/dbacks/community

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Hawaii Creators fosters community, collaboration across the Aloha State



HONOLULU /PRNewswire/ — The timeless traditions of storytelling and collaboration in Hawaii have a new home with the launch of Hawaii Creators (HawaiiCreators.com), an open community of artists and performers spanning the Hawaiian Islands.

Originally founded in 2016 as Hawaii Social Media Services, the name Hawaii Creators reflects the greater diversity and inclusiveness of today’s traditional and digital platforms for expression and interaction.

“Even before the web and social media, technology was a transformative force in connecting people globally,” says co-founder Peter Kay, a serial entrepreneur and life-long media maker. “Hawaii, despite its isolation, embraced its potential and power to entertain and educate people around the world, and today that potential is limitless—everyone deserves to be seen and heard.”

“Hawaii Creators is not a clique or a club, and we even shy away from the word ‘influencer,'” says co-founder Ryan Ozawa, a native Hawaiian journalist with more than 30 years’ experience in online publishing. “We welcome people who create because it’s a passion or calling as much as those who see it as a career, and we measure success by the number of stories told and lives touched, not the number of likes or brand deals.”

While online community building is a distinct strength of Hawaii Creators members, the group is also committed to real, in-person, face-to-face interaction and events.

“Coming out of the pandemic, I think people crave the warmth and energy you can only get when gathered in the same space,” says co-founder, musician, and event organizer Emi Hart. “Hawaii Creators will bring people together to forge deeper connections, learn together, and truly appreciate our island home.”

The heart of Hawaii Creators are the words, images, sounds, and flavors that its members share with the world. As a group, Hawaii Creators will focus on helping people who are new to content creation and digital media, providing training and one-on-one mentorship, connecting members with each other for collaborative projects, and organizing meetups, presentations, and workshops.

“Everybody has a story, and we’re going to help people tell theirs,” Kay says. “Next month we’re launching a series of live-streamed Hawaii Creators conversations—interviews with members where we can learn who they are, why they do what they do, how they’ve grown, and where they’re headed.”

“If someone wants to make a living as a creator, we’ll share all the knowledge and tools we can to help them succeed,” adds Hart, who was the first community manager for Yelp Hawaii and organized some of Hawaii’s most successful social media campaigns. “But Hawaii Creators celebrates everyone, and many of our members freely share their mana’o, their aloha, simply because it makes people happy.”

About Hawaii Creators

Hawaii Creators is an open, inclusive, supportive, and collaborative community of storytellers, artists and performers in, from, and inspired by the Aloha State. The group comprises creators in every medium, from authors, bloggers, and podcasters to YouTubers, Twitch streamers, lifecasters and broadcasters. Founded in 2016 as HawaiiSocial.com (dba Hawaii Social Media Services), Hawaii Creators has seen dozens of platforms come and go, but the irresistible spirit of the islands has consistently sustained and grown the reach and influence of Hawaii’s people. For more information, visit HawaiiCreators.com.

SOURCE Hawaii Creators

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Metrolink Expands Service: San Bernardino Line Supports I-10 Closure

Metrolink expands service on San Bernardino Line to ease traffic congestion during I-10 freeway closure, providing a convenient alternative for travelers.



Image: Metrolink

In response to the recent closure of a crucial section of the I-10 freeway in downtown Los Angeles, Metrolink has stepped up to provide expanded weekday service along the San Bernardino Line. This measure aims to ensure that travel from the Inland Empire to downtown Los Angeles remains accessible during the closure period. The closure, caused by fire damage, has significantly affected the daily commute of over 300,000 vehicles. Governor Gavin Newsom estimates that repairs will take 3-5 weeks.


Expanded Service:
Starting November 14, Metrolink will introduce four extra trains in each direction, with three in the morning and one in the afternoon, connecting L.A. Union Station and the Covina Station. These trains will make stops at all stations in between. Additionally, an evening train will run between L.A. Union Station and the Rancho Cucamonga Station. To accommodate the increased demand, extra passenger cars will be added to San Bernardino Line trains.

Benefits for Travelers:
Metrolink’s additional service on the San Bernardino Line will greatly alleviate traffic congestion caused by the freeway closure. It provides a safe and convenient alternative for travelers who need to reach downtown Los Angeles. Moreover, Metrolink ticketholders can enjoy free connections to most local public transit services, including all LA Metro bus and rail lines.

Metrolink’s proactive response to the I-10 freeway closure demonstrates its commitment to supporting commuters and ensuring their access to downtown Los Angeles. By expanding service on the San Bernardino Line and offering free connections to other public transit options, Metrolink aims to minimize the impact of the closure on travelers and alleviate traffic congestion. This temporary measure will provide a reliable and convenient transportation solution until the freeway repairs are completed. https://metrolinktrains.com/news/metrolink-news/metrolink-expands-service-on-san-bernardino-line-to-support-travelers-impacted-by-i-10-freeway-closure/

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