Each year, the Viacommunity Award recognizes two Viacom employees who have gone above and beyond to make an impact in their communities with a $10,000 donation to the organizations of their choice. With more than a hundred submissions from colleagues across the company, it was truly a difficult decision to pick just two winners.
This year, Viacom is proud to present the coveted Viacommunity Awards to Kevin Chalk and Hasani Henderson for their incredible efforts with two amazing organizations, Back on My Feet and #TheTakeBack.
Kevin Chalk, Director of Finance, TV Licensing, Paramount
In recognition of his incredible work with Back on My Feet, an organization that combats homelessness through the power of running, community support, and essential employment and housing resources.
As a lead volunteer for Team Union Rescue Mission in Downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row area, Kevin helps revolutionize the way our society approaches homelessness. He facilitates three early morning runs and one longer 10- to 20-mile run every week for his team, which is made up of individuals from homeless and residential facilities around the country. After 30 days in the program, members with 90 percent attendance earn the opportunity to move into the second phase of the program, called Next Steps, which provides educational support, job training programs, housing resources, and employment partnership referrals. Kevin’s success is measured by the 14,731 cumulative miles that he and his team members ran in 2016 while also competing in numerous local races. In addition to helping members make lasting changes in their lives one step at a time, Kevin serves on the Advisory Board for the organization. He has assisted in organizing events such as a fundraiser during the 2016 New York City Marathon and shoe drive on the Paramount lot that collected 14 boxes of gently worn shoes.
“Viacom’s generous gift will help provide practical training and employment resources for achieving independence, an environment that promotes accountability, and a community that offers compassion and hope for our members.”
– Kevin Chalk
Hasani Henderson, Ad Sales Assistant, BET
Having grown up on the South Side of Chicago and having personally lost many people near and dear to him due to gun violence, Hasani became motivated to found #TheTakeBack, an anti-violence/gun prevention initiative. Over the past three summers, he has been instrumental in organizing an annual day of fun in a safe and encouraging environment to cultivate youth in under-privileged neighborhoods in Chicago. Since the organization’s inception, Hasani has recruited and trained more than 65 young adults to go into the neighborhood and oversee activities while guiding the young participants. Kids participate in various games, arts and crafts, and music-filled dance activities for an action-packed day of fun. In addition, every child receives a free meal and school supplies for the upcoming year. The organization has also provided scholarships for students since 2014.
“Through this generous contribution, we will be capable of providing a safe space for youth to engage in active play in a neighborhood that is riddled with violence and chaos. We’ll also be capable of giving more scholarship money than we’ve ever given while also allowing us to create fundraising opportunities for future years. We are so humbled, elated and grateful.”
– Hasani Henderson