Bank of the West Names Finalists for 2013 Philanthropy Awards

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Bank of the West Names Finalists for 2013 Philanthropy Awards

Hip hop therapy program, Los Angeles river revitalization and a youth-led nonprofit vie for $50,000 grant
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Monday, September 23, 2013 - 4:15pm

CONTENT: Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 23, 2013 / 3BL Media/ PRNewswire/ -- Bank of the West today announced the three nonprofits that are in the running to win a $50,000 cash grant through Bank of the West's fourth annual award for Innovation in Philanthropy. The following three finalists were chosen from more than 225 nominees in the 19 western states in which the bank operates:

  • Beats Rhymes and Life, Inc., Oakland, California
  • LA River Revitalization Corporation, Los Angeles, California
  • Momentum Alliance, Portland, Oregon


The nonprofit winner will be determined through public voting on the bank's Facebook page: From Sept. 23 to Oct. 4, members of the public are encouraged to view the video profile for each finalist, consider each organization's mission and community work, then vote for the nonprofit of their choice. Supporters are allowed one vote a day, every day through Oct. 4. The organization with the most votes will receive the $50,000 cash grant. The two runners-up will each receive a $10,000 cash grant.

"The Innovation in Philanthropy Award is a rare opportunity for a rising nonprofit to be recognized for its programs and community efforts," said Alec Gorynski, community affairs manager at Bank of the West. "These three finalists exemplify extraordinary leadership and have taken innovative approaches to how they effect change in their communities. We look forward to hearing from our Facebook and regional communities as they vote on the organization of their choice, and to celebrating the work of our nonprofit partners who are dedicated to making our neighborhoods a better place to live and work."

The three nonprofit finalists were chosen by an independent selection committee of foundation leaders. Winners will be announced at the Bank of the West Philanthropy Awards celebration in San Francisco on October 22.


Founded in 2012 and located in Oakland, Calif., Beats Rhymes and Life, Inc. (BRL) is dedicated to improving the mental health and social outcomes among urban youth by using hip hop and other forms of youth culture as a catalyst for positive change.  Through its innovative Rap Therapy program, BRL integrates elements of hip hop culture in a therapeutic setting to foster healthy relationships and equip young people with the skills to become healers, helpers and change-makers in their communities.


Started in 2007, the LA River Revitalization Corporation works to create vibrant communities with greater open space, enhanced green infrastructure and better recreational facilities along California's Los Angeles River.  It does this through sustainable land use projects, advocacy for river-friendly policy, and programs for community benefit that will create a continuous 51-mile greenway corridor along the LA River to connect people throughout Los Angeles, restore natural habitat in park-poor communities, and leave an open space legacy for generations to come.


Founded in 2011 in Portland, Ore., Momentum Alliance is led by young people to inspire other youth to realize their power individually and collectively, and to mentor future leaders.  Believing that youth who have faced obstacles and achieved their goals are best suited to inspire others, Momentum Alliance brings together individuals from all backgrounds, including youth who are undocumented, immigrant, LGBTQ and low-income, to build alliances and train future leaders in order to promote diversity among decision-makers in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

About Bank of the West

Founded in 1874, $64 billion-asset Bank of the West (, member FDIC and equal housing lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 600 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees. 

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Keywords: Research, Reports & Publications | Innovation | Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | bank of west | csr | finalists | hip hop therapy program | philanthropy awards | sustainability

CONTENT: Press Release