Liz Mohn, vice-chair of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board, is to receive Spain’s Grand Cross of the Order for Civil Merit (La Gran Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil). The award is being bestowed by King Juan Carlos for her work as a board member of the Fundación Bertelsmann.
Based in Barcelona, the Fundación Bertelsmann carries out projects aimed at increasing civic engagement in Spain. As part of its activities, the foundation will be opening a new Center of Excellence for Community Foundations. Community foundations, common to the Anglo-Saxon world but previously unknown in Spain, are designed to encourage community members to become more involved in communal life. In addition, the foundation also promotes corporate social responsibility among the business community and promotes projects for increasing interfaith dialogue and intercultural exchange.
The Fundación Bertelsmann was established in 1995 by Reinhard Mohn. Initially it dedicated itself to launching pilot projects for promoting reading, media literacy and library management throughout Spain. Its activities have included a comparative study of 20 Spanish libraries and projects promoting partnerships between public libraries and schools in 7 Spanish communities. Today the foundation offers a number of services, including online continuing education courses for librarians. To date it has spent over €9 million on philanthropic initiatives for Spain’s public libraries.
On Nov. 23 and 24, 2006, Liz Mohn will be participating in the first event in a new series organized by the Fundación Bertelsmann. The “Díalogo y Acción” (Dialogue and Action) series provides a venue for discussing issues relating to civic engagement, corporate social responsibility and political governance. Some 150 participants from numerous countries will be attending the event, including Spain’s crown prince, Felipe.
About the Bertelsmann Stiftung
The Bertelsmann Stiftung views itself as a catalyst for social change promoting reforms in the areas of education, business, social affairs, healthcare and international understanding. The foundation was established in 1977 by Reinhold Mohn and is majority shareholder in Bertelsmann AG. In carrying out its project work, the Bertelsmann Stiftung is politically nonpartisan and operates independently of the Bertelsmann Group.
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