Uplifting Fearless Hispanic and Latin American Changemakers

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve been reflecting on the great achievements and contributions of fearless Hispanic and Latinx changemakers that have transformed our communities and the world. These contributions span the fields of medicine, law, civil rights, arts and culture, science and technology and more. And in looking back, we’ve found that the story of Latinx leaders in entrepreneurship is equally impressive and groundbreaking.

To celebrate this history of innovation and shed light on the scope of this impact, we are highlighting a few organizations that have been featuring the Hispanic and Latinx community this month. The Case Foundation strives to lift up people and ideas with the potential to change the world, and this groundswell of acknowledgment and support is encouraging.  


MacArthur Foundation

The MacArthur Foundation is focusing on amplifying the voices of MacArthur Fellows of Hispanic or Latin American descent. You can follow along on Twitter with the hashtag, #MacFellow or head over to Medium to read the full story. We particularly like this quote from Juan Salgado, a Community Leader. “Communities like ours are only as strong as the human capital they can retain and attract. If people here can get access to better economic opportunities, if they can increase their earnings while staying in their communities, then we have healthy and livable communities.” 


NASA looks back on the remarkable accomplishments of Hispanic astronauts with a particular focus on the contributions made over the last 20 years that the Space Station has been aloft. The first Hispanic-American in space was Franklin R. Chang-Díaz when he flew as a mission specialist aboard Space Shuttle Columbia’s STS-61C mission in 1986. He flew in space a record-tying six more times, including one visit to the Russian space station Mir and one to ISS.


Pixar artists are celebrating some of the many Hispanic and Latinx artists throughout history who have inspired them. Pixar Visual Development Artist Ana Ramirez shares her admiration for the artistry of director Alfonso Cuarón Orozco, winner of four Academy Awards; Pixar Story Supervisor Louis Gonzales reflects on an artist who inspires him, comic book creator Jaime Hernandez; and Pixar Story Artist Paula Assadourian pays tribute to Mexican photographer Lola Alvarez Bravo.

National Geographic

Check out National Geographic’s extensive Resource Library for videos, photographs, and articles, as they join communities across South, Central, and North America to celebrate the history, contributions, influence, and accomplishments of Latinx, Latina, Latino, and Hispanic people who have enriched the United States. 

American Society of Landscape Architects

ASLA is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a series of webinars. Register to watch one of the following presentations with experts in the field: Cultural Diversity through the Latin American Landscape; The Spectacular Nature of Ancient Mexico; On Social Urbanism and Reframing Spatial Design in Latin America; Climate Change, Landscape, Cultural and Natural Heritage.


Oriana E. Gonzales and Ariana A. Curtis of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and Sara Cohen of Because of Her Story wrote an informative blog entitled, “Nine Latinas You May Not Know This Hispanic Heritage Month.” Know their names, share their stories. 


In addition to sharing stories of Latinx changemakers in the daily Google Doodle, Google is highlighting Latinx culture everywhere from Hollywood to Congress and supporting Pop-Up Magazine, a new collection of stories celebrating Latinx voices with tales of fearless creativity, songs of love and longing, and even inspired advice for public speaking. And perhaps more important now than ever, Google is spotlighting Latinx businesses around the country and providing free tools and training to help Latino-owned businesses adapt and grow.

Marvel Entertainment

The Marvel Universe is celebrating their Hispanic and Latinx characters. From Araña to White Tiger, check out the heroes who have made their mark on Marvel. Araña is giving us some serious #BeFearless vibes: “This half-Puerto Rican, half-Mexican web-slinger crackled with bravery since her first appearance!” 

She Se Puede

The organization She Se Puede is a community for Latinas, by Latinas. They’ve reminded us that while we celebrate the amazing accomplishments of our community during this month, Latinx excellence never stops. A great reminder that changemakers are powerful all 365 days of the year!


All month, Instagram is sharing letters to “mi gente” from the Latinx community around the world. Don’t miss the stories, art, and comedy found in their #LatinxHeritageMonth story! If you’re celebrating the Hispanic or Latinx community on Instagram, tag @CaseFoundation and perhaps we’ll feature you on our Story!

We All Have a Role to Play

As another week comes to a close since the tragic killing of George Floyd, our communities and our nation are still in a world of hurt, anger and maddening frustration over the scourge of hate and systemic racism that continues to threaten the safety, well-being and rights of African-Americans and people of color in our nation.

As many leaders and individuals speak out, march and call for action and change, we are hopeful that this may be the start of an awakening in America. But we also know we’ve been here before and too often the commitment to bring about real change in our communities isn’t sustained. And we can’t ignore the divisive, threatening and ugly words and tactics of some leaders who seem to reject any suggestion that we as a nation can and should work to better protect and ensure the rights of all our neighbors.

As we write this, as two white, privileged people, we know we must commit to continue to learn, listen and do more. We started the Case Foundation more than 20 years ago to invest in people and ideas that change the world, particularly those that sought to bring hope and opportunity to those in the greatest need. Recent events remind us that we still have a very long way to go.

Real change will only come when each one of us in our lives, in our organizations, and in our communities confronts the harsh realities of American life and asks what we can do to make a real and lasting impact. We have been impressed with the way that so many organizations and people have stood up for what is right and called for all of us to reexamine our roles, our biases and our blind spots. It is clear that we all have a role to play. And it is incumbent on those of us with privileges, platforms, influence or power, to amplify the voices of those that have been drowned out and to maintain a strong drumbeat toward meaningful and sustained progress and action. We are exploring the best ways to activate our platforms and will continue to lift up those working on the front lines and bringing action to communities everywhere. We vow to continue to do this, while also working in partnership with other organizations to ensure we make the greatest impact possible.

Nations rise and fall not on the strength or weakness of their leaders, but rather on the heartfelt commitment and actions of its people. Let us agree together to do the hard work of examining what each one of us can do to make a difference, and then hold ourselves and each other accountable.

Remembering Carol Case

Our hearts are with the Case family as they mourn the passing of Steve Case’s fearless mom, Carol Case. Please join us in sending love and condolences to the Cases as they celebrate and remember her long and full life.

(August 26, 1931 – January 3, 2020)

Carol Mary Holmes Case passed away peacefully at home in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 3 with her children by her side.

Carol was born in Hilo, Hawaii on August 26, 1931 to Everett Nathan Holmes, Jr. and Berenice Castendyk Holmes.  On her mother’s side she was a descendent of Robert Halstead, an entrepreneur who emigrated from England in 1865 to Hawaii (then called the Sandwich Isles) and ended up owning and operating the Waialua Sugar Plantation. Her father’s family was also business-minded, and established the first department stores in Honokaa and Hilo in the 1880s, known as the Holmes Store.  Carol was a true Daughter of Hawaii, with roots that go back more than 150 years.

As a young girl, Carol attended a one room school in Hilo, and spent holiday time in the Volcano area, where her parents built a home which still stands today.  Fearing war with Japan, her parents moved the family in 1941 to California.  While there, Carol attended the Anna Head School for Girls, and then the University of California, both in Berkeley.

After earning her teaching credential at Cal in 1952, Carol returned to Honolulu and began teaching Kindergarten at Punahou School.  She left Punahou to raise her four children, and then returned in the 1980s, taking over as Director of Career Placement.  Her many contacts in the business community enabled Carol to create internships for students in professions that were of interest to them.  After leaving Punahou, Carol became a travel agent and traveled much of the world with her husband Dan and their many friends.

In 1953 Carol met the love of her life and married Daniel H. Case on August 14, 1954. They were happily married for 61 years until Dan’s death in 2016.  Together they raised four children Carin, Dan, Steve and Jeff.  Fortune Magazine profiled her role as a mother in 1999, noting that she believes “love, availability and direction” were among the secrets of successful parenting.

Carol was a beloved friend to many.  She was a generous and active member of the Honolulu community and participated in numerous civic groups and clubs throughout her life, often having served in positions of leadership.  She was a supportive and proud mother of her four children, and a true partner and helpmate in her marriage to her husband Dan.

In 1996, on the occasion of Carol’s 65th birthday, Dan wrote a five-page letter to their four children praising their Mom, which included the following:

“Because the odds are against my being around to give a eulogy later, I thought I would tell you a little about her now. Your Mom is a remarkable woman. She is smart, follows through extremely well, keeps making good friends without giving up her old friends, and has determination. She has been a tremendous help to me in building my law practice. She has a great sense of humor. Without question, marrying your Mom was the most important and successful thing I ever did.”

Carol was predeceased by her husband Dan and her eldest son, Daniel the III.  She is survived by her daughter Carin and her husband Matt of Healdsburg, CA; her son Steve and his wife Jean, of Washington D.C.; her son Jeff and his wife Kimberly, of Honolulu; her daughter-in-law Stacey, widow of Dan, of San Francisco, CA; 12 grandchildren, 1 great-grand daughter (with another on the way), her niece and nephew and many cousins.

At Carol’s request, a private family service will take place on the beach of her family’s beloved Malaekahana home. In lieu of flowers, donations honoring Carol’s legacy may be made to Punahou School (https://www.punahou.edu/give/give-now).

Seven Podcasts for Entrepreneurs to Explore

Everyone loves a good story of innovation, and entrepreneurs tend to have especially fascinating ones. In her best-selling book, Be Fearless, Jean Case uplifts the stories of entrepreneurs and changemakers who used innovation to change the world. She examines the core qualities of great innovators, past and present, and identifies five surprising traits they all have in common. It isn’t wealth, privilege or even genius. In fact, it is that every leader who broke through and brought forward transformational changes made a “Big Bet,” took bold risks, learned from their failures, reached beyond their bubbles and let urgency conquer fear. 

However, sometimes hearing—not just reading—stories can be uniquely powerful. So, we asked the Case Foundation team to share some of their favorite stories of entrepreneurship, as told by podcasts. While there are many great stories out there, we compiled a list of episodes that stand out. 

We hope these podcasts inspire you on your entrepreneurial journey. And if you’re interested in more content on inclusive entrepreneurship, we regularly share stories of female entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color in our weekly newsletter, Breaking Good. Sign up here!


1. GirlBoss Radio, Building a Business Around Sustainability with Sarah Paiji Yoo of Blueland

GirlBoss Radio dives into what it takes to be a successful female founder through conversations with innovative women in business. Whether you are looking for advice on advancing your career, tips for scaling a business, or just a laugh, this podcast has you covered. Hosted by Sophia Amoruso, CEO and founder of Girlboss and Neha Gandhi, editor-in-chief and COO of Girlboss.

In this episode, host Amoruso interviews co-founder and CEO of Blueland, Sarah Paiji Yoo. Blueland is aiming to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in the cleaning product industry by building concentrated cleaning solution tablets that are water activated. Listen to this episode to learn more about the growing market for environmentally sustainable businesses and how entrepreneurs are tackling global problems while making a profit.


2. Being Boss, First Year of Business at Almanac Supply Co

In this podcast, hosts Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon examine what it takes to make money doing what you love. The podcast is geared towards full-time founders, those thinking about their first fearless step and anyone looking to learn from entrepreneurs who have turned their passions into a profiting business. 

In this episode, host Emily reflects on the one year anniversary of launching her product-based business. She highlights how she dealt with the challenges along the way, made failures from her past business ventures matter, and developed the skills necessary to be CEO. Emily’s firsthand knowledge and Kathleen’s advice offer a useful case study for those wondering about getting a business off the ground.


3. How I Built This, Live Episode! Walker & Company: Tristan Walker

In this podcast from NPR, host Guy Raz profiles entrepreneurs, changemakers, and innovators whose companies are making significant impacts on the world. The episodes examine the evolution of well-known brands and how successful founders turn ideas into movements.

Guy Raz interviews Tristan Walker, an entrepreneur and CEO of Walker & Co., a company that was recently acquired by Procter & Gamble (P&G), in this special live episode. Walker explains how his frustration with the way razors irritate those with curly hair turned into his first business, a subscription shaving system and personal care product line. His company attracted millions of customers and eventually was sold to P&G. Listen to this episode for an inside look at what it takes to build momentum around your business idea. *Bonus: Check out another episode of How I Built This with Case Foundation Chairman Steve Case!


4. How Success Happens, Tech Pioneer Jean Case on How to Change the World With Your Big Idea

How Success Happens features host Robert Tuchman as he converses with successful entrepreneurs in an effort to learn from their stories. Episodes focus on both successes and failures that the entrepreneurs have faced, and how challenges they encounter along the road can ultimately transform into steps towards progress and profit. 

In this episode, Jean Case discusses her bestselling book, Be Fearless, dives into the five universal qualities of great innovators, shares tips for startups pitching to investors, as well as how to turn an idea into a life-changing endeavor. This podcast is perfect for anyone looking for a roadmap for their next breakthrough in business.


5. RISE Podcast, Serving Your Community With Your Business with Charis Jones

Hosted by New York Times best-selling author Rachel Hollis, the RISE podcast aims to offer actionable items to listeners for both business and life outside of work. Through conversations with innovative entrepreneurs and personal development experts, RISE will arm you with real-world takeaways that you can implement directly in your own life. 

In this episode, Rachel interviews entrepreneur Charis Jones, founder and CEO of Sassy Jones Boutique. Jones discusses how staying connected to a loyal fan base has been crucial for the success of her business, allowing her to scale the boutique into a seven-figure enterprise. If you are looking to start or expand your business, listen to this episode for useful marketing tips that will help you connect to customers.


6. Side Hustle Pro, How To Get Your Niche Brand Into Major Retailers with Aycee Brown

Hosted by Nicaila Matthews Okome, Side Hustle Pro features stories of Black female entrepreneurs who have turned their side hustles into full-blown, successful businesses. Every week, Black female entrepreneurs such as Lisa Price of Carol’s Daughter and Myleik Teele of CurlBox highlight their startup stories and offer advice for burgeoning side hustlers. 

In this episode, Nicaila interviews Aycee Brown, Goodnight Darling Co.’s Chief Sleep Officer. Under Brown’s direction, the niche sleep company has created partnerships with luxury boutiques and companies like West Elm to expand their in-store presence and increase the visibility of their brand. Listen to this episode to learn how Brown scaled her business into a trusted authority in the self-care field and for tips on getting your product onto the shelves of major retailers.


7. The Failure Factor, Bluemercury Co-founder and CEO Marla Beck On Failing Her Way To Success

How do successful entrepreneurs respond to failure? The Failure Factor: Stories of Career Perseverance examines how the low points of careers can motivate entrepreneurs to reach highs that they had never dreamed of. Host Megan Bruneau sits down with founders to identify how they were able to leverage their experiences of both success and failure to overcome obstacles and ultimately reach their full potential. 

In this episode, Bluemercury co-founder and CEO Marla Beck talks about the severe downturn the company faced early on and how she was able to turn the company around. Spoiler alert: Bluemercury ultimately secured a $210 million acquisition by Macy’s. Beck explains failure in two distinct ways: how she deals with failure herself and how she responds to failure as a manager overseeing staff. This is a great listen for any entrepreneur looking to make failure matter.


National Literacy Month: A few books to inspire us all to read more

Reading plays a special part in my life. So, in celebration of National Literacy Month, I wanted to share some of the books that the team at the Case Foundation and I have had the opportunity to read recently. As you might imagine, I am drawn to stories of #BeFearless leaders and insights that help lead to inspiration. I hope these stories will motivate you to look at the world with renewed curiosity, appreciation and fearlessness.

I would love to hear from you with any reflections you have after reading one of these books or with additional books you think should be added to my reading list.

Happy reading!

1. The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World, by Melinda Gates – For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people across the world with the most urgent needs. In this riveting and inspiring book, Melinda provides an eyewitness account from her travels to some of the most desperate places in the world, where women are not regarded as equals and face challenges many of us will never know. You will be pulled in and lifted up by the stories of the fearless leaders she has found in communities all around the world and how she came away with the clear vision that if you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down.

2. First: Sandra Day O’Connor, by Evan Thomas – Evan Thomas shines a light on the background and upbringing of the first female Supreme Court Justice, expanding our understanding of a woman who repeatedly shattered glass ceilings and made a fundamental impact on American society. A great way to be inspired to continue to make a difference and stand up for the values and ideals you hold dear.

3. Presidents of War, by Michael Beschloss – Michael Bechloss continues to turn out books that I can’t put down and is an inspiration to all who have sought to author a book. Based on ten years of research, Presidents of War is a fresh, masterful, intimate look at a procession of American leaders as they took the nation into conflict and mobilized their country for victory. For those of us who love presidential history, this is a must-read.

4. The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, by Elaine Weiss – One hundred years ago, America was in the throes of a landmark battle over whether women should have the right to vote. Elaine Weiss’ book turns the clock back to a time where suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade, clash with a wide range of opposing forces who see Tennessee as the place where they are going to halt the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. In a riveting read, The Women’s Hour opens your eyes to this unique period and the battle lines that were drawn in the fight for this fundamental right.

5. American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race, by Douglas Brinkley – Inspired by the celebrations around the anniversary of Apollo 11 and the first moon landing? Douglas Brinkley’s book is a great way to gain insights not only on the space race but on the extraordinary political, cultural and scientific factors at play during that time.

6. Hugs Daily Inspirations for Women: 365 devotions to inspire your day, Looking for a way to work more reading into your busy schedule and to start the day with a shot of inspiration? Look no further. I find this book of devotionals an uplifting way to kick off the day and hope you will find the uplifting quotes and the inspirational scriptures as energizing as I do.

7. This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Farm, by Ted Genoways – Focusing on the plight of a longtime family farm from harvest to harvest, Ted Genoways offers a window into everything from family dynamics to the impacts of shifting trade policy and climate change as one family seeks to pass the land they have been farming for five generations to the next generation. This is sure to prompt some gripping discussions about the role the family farm in the future of our country.

8. Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from Our Culture of Contempt, by Arthur C. Brooks – In a time of political polarization, this New York Times bestselling author offers his vision of how we can reunite the nation around principles of respect, kindness and dignity. A perfect gift for the people in your life who are looking for a playbook to make a difference in our present political environment.

9. Leadership: In Turbulent Times, by Doris Kearns Goodwin – One of my favorite historians takes a close look at four presidents—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson—to examine how they cultivated the leadership qualities needed to both succeed politically, but also to fearlessly make decisions that upended the status quo. Close looks at key junctures like Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Teddy Roosevelt’s relations with labor unions, FDR’s first 100 days and the priority LBJ placed on civil rights provide inspiration and deeper understanding of the distinct methods that each of these leaders used to distinguish themselves.

10. Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World, by Tim Marshall – While we often learn about maps in school so we can find the 50 US states or to identify countries, Tim Marshall sheds new light onto the role maps play. In fact, maps and the geography and socio-economic activity they bring to life can have deep real-world impacts. And those who ignore these realities or neglect to truly understand the implications represented on maps, often miss key elements that can have grave consequences. The insights brought to life in this book may lead you to see the world in a different light.

11. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson – Bryan Stevenson is always inspiring, calling us all to act to make the world a better place through his visionary work. This book provides an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer bursting through assumptions to find success, as well as a moving window into the lives of those he has defended. Bryan builds a bold argument for compassion in the pursuit of justice.

12. Raise Your Hand,  by Alice Paul Tapper –11-year old Alice Tapper tells the story of how she made a real change in her own behavior and, working with her Girl Scout troop and her parents, inspired girls to be more confident in school after she noticed that the girls in her class weren’t participating as much as the boys. Raise Your Hand is a book for children that echoes many of the themes of Be Fearless and reminds us of the importance of self-confidence and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Alice’s fearless attitude can inspire us all to act and empower those around us.

Hoping that this wide range of books inspires your fall reading and opens your eyes to new ideas and perspectives, and inspire you to Be Fearless.

4 Free Open Source Projects to Help You Run Your Nonprofit

Finding the right software for a nonprofit organization can take up valuable time and resources, but open source can often provide cost-effective solutions. We are thrilled to see the number of open source options for nonprofits expanding. These projects—created in and out of the social sector—are examples of the fantastic potential open source has to better equip nonprofits with cutting-edge software, often at a reduced operating cost. The continued development of open source projects for nonprofits also allows for increased collaboration between developers and nonprofits, with the potential to support communities everywhere.

At the Case Foundation, we have long been advocates for expanded use of open source by nonprofits and wanted to flag four examples of this growing trend:

If You’re Looking for an Effective CRM: CiviCRM

Customer Relation Management Systems (CRMs) are key for companies that must manage individual relationships to drive revenue, but they are also often necessary for nonprofits who must manage various types of external relationships. CiviCRM manages donors, suppliers and anyone else who helps a nonprofit achieve its mission. For example, the software can digitize and organize HR resources as well as generate reports on contributions to an organization. It allows nonprofits to both fundraise and create advocacy campaigns, like ‘Get Out the Vote’ initiatives. More than 11,000 organizations currently use this platform, showcasing the breadth of impact open source software can achieve. The National Hispanic Voter Educational Foundation, for example, implemented CiviCRM to create a database to organize over 60,000 contacts and conduct surveys in the community. Visit Project Homepage.

To Send Large Quantities of Email: Mail for Good

It is common for organizations to use email marketing platforms to share their message and news about their work, but those services often come at a price. Enter Mail for Good, which was developed in 2017 by individuals at the nonprofit Free Code Camp, which needed a better and cheaper way to send a large volume of emails. After they built it, they published the code to make sure other organizations who shared their issues could easily find a solution. Free Code Camp can now send out 800,000 emails in four hours with Mail for Good for only the $10/month it takes to support a server instead of spending thousands of dollars per month on a subscription service. Visit Project Homepage.

For Connecting an Organization to Volunteers: Sapphire

An example of how just a few individuals can make a big impact! Sapphire, created through the Code for Change program, is a volunteer management system, allowing groups to organize their paid and unpaid volunteers, communicate new opportunities and keep track of events. High School Senior Armaan Goel created Code for Change in 2018, a school club and nonprofit, to harness talent in high schools and create digital solutions for local organizations, like Exodus Refugee Immigration in Indianapolis. The refugee organization helps individuals rebuild their lives in Indiana and saves precious time and funding by using Sapphire’s digital volunteer system. Visit Project Homepage.

A Quick Way to Create a News Overview: Weekly Roundup

The Case Foundation shares much of the software we produce for our work to the open source ecosystem. A project which we find indispensable for keeping our team abreast of the latest news in impact investing, inclusive entrepreneurship and civic engagement is our Weekly Roundup. This tool allows our communications team to quickly and easily distribute news clips to staff via email. It scrapes metadata (title, date, publication, and description) from submitted URLs, then formats the information into a newsletter that users may organize and edit before sending. The system distributes the newsletter via SendGrid, taking a process that previously took several hours a week to produce and reduces it down to mere minutes, freeing up our staff time for other work. Visit Project Homepage.

The open source ecosystem contains a wealth of software and technical expertise, and we are happy to see so many join together to unleash that potential for nonprofits and foundations. The projects highlighted here are just a sampling of what can be achieved with this kind of collaboration, and we look forward to continuing to shine the light on opportunities for open source to be used to the benefit of the social sector.

Celebrating Because of Her Story: Smithsonian’s Groundbreaking American Women’s History Initiative

I remember the day my daughters discovered I had a profile on Wikipedia. It was as though I had somehow risen to a whole new level of relevance in their eyes. Even at their young age then, they had been true champions of my work and, as their mom, I knew they were proud of my accomplishments. But that day, as my youngest daughter gushed: “Mom, now you are part of history!” it occurred to me at that moment—it isn’t necessarily what we do, but rather where and how it is recorded that can change perceptions and open minds.

Today, Wikipedia has over 18 billion pageviews per month, making it one of the most visited websites in the world. There are those of us who use it routinely, and some who access it daily. Yet, only 18 percent of the 1.6 billion Wikipedia biographies in the English language are about women. Clearly, this has an impact on the results that we get when we access Wikipedia and can shape the way we see the world.

It is no longer a secret that the contributions of women have simply been left out of much of our history. Too often, the story of women in numerous fields were simply either never written or left on the cutting room floor. Using today’s parlance, one could even go so far as to say in some cases, the history that was recorded and documented is “fake news” because too often it is an incomplete or distorted picture of who did what.

The time has come to commit ourselves to the diligent effort of finding and spotlighting the stories of leaders and innovators, no matter their gender, to ensure that history and the news stories we see every day are true reflections of how we got to now, and who played a role along the way. It is for this reason that the Case Foundation is proud to support the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story, which is spearheading an effort to ensure the untold stories of women pioneers and trailblazers that shaped American society and changed the course of American history are given a proper place across all of the Smithsonian museums, exhibits and digital properties. My husband, Steve, Chairman of the Case Foundation, has long been active in the Smithsonian, now serving as Vice Chair of the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents, and has long been a champion of the Smithsonian’s efforts to incorporate a digital-first approach to increase their impact and reach 1 billion people a year. This initiative incorporates this thinking as it will launch one of its most extensive digital undertakings to document, research, collect, display and share the rich, complete and compelling story of women in America.

This initiative shows the Be Fearless principles at work as the Smithsonian makes a Big Bet—pioneering a new way of illustrating women’s pivotal roles in American society through a digital-first approach. We know the power of technology to break down barriers and are excited to support the Smithsonian as they roll out new ways to share the stories of women across the Smithsonian network. This effort will create new avenues for telling stories and add further fuel to the Smithsonian’s initiative to reach 1 billion people annually by 2020. 

Of course, the digital work will be supported by multiple traditional exhibits at the Smithsonian and we have already seen a number of exhibits open with a focus on the role women are playing, including the National Portrait Gallery’s Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence, which shines a light on the more than 80-year movement for women to obtain the right to vote as part of the larger struggle for equality that continued through the 1965 Civil Rights Act and today.

No matter the medium, we look forward to supporting the Smithsonian as they kick off this extraordinary effort, increasing their ability to bring stories of women to the forefront and—we hope—inspiring other institutions to also make a commitment to ensure the roles of women in history, science, art and all historical narratives are front-and-center.

I so strongly support this powerful new effort being undertaken at the Smithsonian that I have also agreed to co-chair, along with Smithsonian Chairman David Rubenstein, the institution’s American Women’s History Initiative National Advisory Committee, representing a committed group of leaders who will bring outside guidance and inspiration for the Smithsonian as they embark on this effort. I am excited about the people joining me and David for this work with the Smithsonian and the impact we will be able to make. All of us believe the incorporation of more stories of women is integral to understanding our history and setting examples and role models for this generation and for all those who follow in our footsteps.

Through all of these efforts, it is clear that the scale of stories that need to be unearthed and lifted up is enormous. Yet it is also matched with an unbelievable commitment and interest in ensuring that history at the Smithsonian includes “her story.” We look forward to working with the Smithsonian and to having you join us online and at the Smithsonian to celebrate the fair and equal inclusion of women into the narratives that are so central to our understanding of ourselves, our society and our country.

See the #FacesofFounders Open Source Platform In Action

As part of the Case Foundation’s commitment to Open Source, we continue to share the code that powers the technology side of our efforts. Last year, we shared the code for our #FacesofFounders website so that others would benefit from the investment we had made into cutting edge technology. Today, we’re excited to share a new video demonstrating the capability this open source platform provides for those who use and build upon it.

Launched in 2016, #FacesofFounders was a campaign to attract entrepreneurs, particularly female founders and entrepreneurs of color, to share their photos and stories of entrepreneurship on FacesofFounders.org. After a review by a panel of 40 judges, who completed their work using this open source platform, FastCompany featured the winners of the campaign. The site has since evolved into a Medium publication that continues the work of showcasing diverse entrepreneurs driving innovation and job growth.

Open source, a medium for freely sharing and collaborating on technology, is yet another way that organizations can give back in the form of their technology. We believe it is particularly important in the philanthropic field as it is an opportunity for social innovators to accelerate their own missions by tapping into the work of the collective community. One gift of open source code can have unlimited beneficiaries, and we believe it to be a key component of the ongoing democratization of technology.


This open source platform contains several features from the #FacesofFounders campaign:

Social Media Profile Photo Filter

The photo upload feature allows visitors to upload a photo (or select a Facebook or Twitter profile photo) and place a campaign-themed filter on top of it. The filtered photo can then be turned into profile images on social media sites, and added to a shared photo wall on a homepage, which will continually display all new and past filtered photos. Administrators have the ability to remove inappropriate photos from the homepage.

Story Submission

In addition to—or instead of–uploading a photo, visitors can submit stories to the judging platform. This submission tool contains customizable forms and can be placed in a “closed” state once judging begins. All submissions entered through the form then go into a queue for a site administrator to assign to judges. Because the platform is built into WordPress, it is also possible to directly upload submissions via WordPress’s dashboard.

Story Review and Judging

The third and final component of this codebase is the judging platform. As visitors submit stories, they queue in the judging section on the backend. Once all submissions are final, assigned judges can log into the platform and request submissions to review. The judges score each submission on a numeric scale, and the platform uses those scores to begin ranking each submission. Site administrators can then log in and view the stories ranked by their aggregate scores to determine winners. The entire codebase comes packaged as a WordPress theme for easy deployment and visual customization using WordPress’s robust theme system.

How You Can Use This

While the Case Foundation used this to support the FacesofFounders campaign, we expect that it can be used in a wide variety of efforts and we can’t wait for you to take advantage of this great project! To help, we’ve created a detailed technical guide that you and your team can use to understand how to best utilize the open source code. To access that guide and more resources, visit the project’s GitHub page.

To show our commitment to the open source community and the importance we place on expanding involvement in open source from the philanthropic sector, we’ve published many of our projects online. To see more of our work, visit the Case Foundation’s GitHub page.

We look forward to seeing what you do with these tools and hope many others will join in this effort and share their open source projects.