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Announcement

Bezos Family Foundation program launches challenge to address key world needs

September 14, 2021, SEATTLE — Today, Students Rebuild, a Bezos Family Foundation program that mobilizes young people to take action on the world's most critical problems, announced the launch of its latest initiative, the “World Needs Challenge.”

The Students Rebuild World Needs Challenge provides students and educators around the globe the opportunity to become “art-ivists” using art and activism to design posters to amplify the messages they care about.

“As we continue to navigate a worldwide pandemic, natural disasters, and so many more challenges, we need the voices of young people to lead us into a better tomorrow,” said Jackie Bezos, president of the Bezos Family Foundation. “The vision and energy of youth, and their unique ability to cast a way forward, is a catalyst for the change we can create as a global community.” 

This year’s World Needs Challenge lets young people learn about key global issues and use images, words and colors to design posters to amplify why their cause matters. Students Rebuild is partnering with seven organizations that are empowering and supporting students and educators all over the world to take action for the Challenge, including The King Center, CARE, The Nature Conservancy, International Rescue Committee, and No Kid Hungry.

“The King Center is honored to join in partnership with the Students Rebuild Changemaker Challenge. The Bezos Family Foundation’s generous donation allows our organization to expand the teachings and methodologies of my father, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s as it relates to nonviolent social change,” said Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center. “We believe each of our students that advance through our Leadership Academy and who attends our Students with King program have the potential to become change makers and the capability of leaving a lasting impact in their communities by creating a more just, humane, equitable and peaceful environment.”

“The work to overcome bias and address social injustice has never been more important,” CARE President & CEO Michelle Nunn said. “That is why it is a privilege to partner with the Bezos Family Foundation in working with the next generation of leaders to build a more just and peaceful world.” 

“We know we cannot achieve a world where the diversity of life thrives without the energy and engagement of the next generation. And it’s critical that we provide young people with the tools and information to turn that energy into action,” said The Nature Conservancy CEO Jennifer Morris. “We are thrilled to work with the Bezos Family Foundation and their Students Rebuild Challenge and grateful for their investment in both youth and nature.” 

“As the world only begins to recover from the pandemic, it is crucial that the international community not forget the millions of vulnerable children – especially refugees and displaced people – who were already living in areas of crisis with little-to-no access to education,” said Lauren Gray, Senior Director of Global Corporate Partnerships, International Rescue Committee. “With support from Students Rebuild and the Bezos Family Foundation, IRC teams in Bangladesh will be able to provide pop-up education opportunities for Rohingya refugee children, in both academic subjects and social-emotional skills.” 

“We’re honored to be joining the Bezos Family Foundation in the incredible Students Rebuild Challenge for the second year,” said Tom Nelson, President & CEO of Share Our Strength, the organization behind the No Kid Hungry campaign. “Hunger relief is always a critical issue, and unfortunately it has become even more dire in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, among so many other national and global crises. We’re grateful that support from this challenge will assist us in providing domestic school meal grants, an international grant to the Akshaya Patra Foundation in India, and other efforts to connect kids and families in need to meals.”

For each award created and shared with Students Rebuild, the Bezos Family Foundation will make a $5 donation—up to $2,500,000—to organizations addressing global issues. Since its inception, Students Rebuild has raised more than $8 million in matching funds for projects. The World Needs Challenges runs from September 22, 2021, to June 3, 2022.

The complete list of grantees and their projects are:

  • CARE —To support two of CARE’s initiatives, both focused on youth peacebuilding and engaging across lines of difference
  • Creative Reaction Lab —To reach at least 5,000 young people through Creative Reaction Lab’s grant distribution to arts organizations. 
  • Global Nomads Group —To offer content and experiences that intend to improve the youth outcomes, including empathy, sense of belonging and global awareness. 
  • International Rescue Committee —To support educational experiences and curriculum to reach 800 children in Bangladesh that are Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar.  
  • The King Center —To support reaching more than 20,000 youth over two years through “Youth Against Racism,” an initiative including two key youth development programs.
  • The Nature Conservancy —To support the creation of virtual field trips that will engage at least 300,000 youth.
  • No Kid Hungry —To connect children and families in need with as many as 3,750,000 nutritious meals