American Refugee Committee’s Unique Partnership to Help Somalia Awarded “Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation”

The Drucker Institute and Coca-Cola Foundation Award $100,000 to American Refugee Committee for Co-Creating Relief Program with Somali Diaspora

Chosen from Among 600+ Other Nominations

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (September 26, 2012)

The American Refugee Committee has been awarded the 2012 Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation. The Awards committee recognized ARC for its "I AM A STAR" program, which engages the Somali community around the globe to help shape ARC's humanitarian response in Somalia—uniting and strengthening communities both and in Somalia. ARC was chosen from among more than 600 other nonprofits nominated for the Award.

In a statement issued by the Drucker Institute, Executive Director Rick Wartzman stated:

“Peter Drucker would have loved the idea at the heart of ‘I AM A STAR’… This is a social innovation at its best.”

ARC will receive a $100,000 prize from the Coca-Cola Foundation. Information on the Award can be found here:

The “I AM A STAR” program was developed in Minnesota, home to North America’s largest Somali community. The program has since expanded globally—engaging Somali communities in other U.S. cities and in places like Norway, Sweden, Qatar, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom—to help provide relief in Somalia, home to the world's worst humanitarian crisis. The “I AM A STAR” program also has engaged tens of thousands of people online and in communities to build a global movement of support for Somalia.

“The American Refugee Committee is truly honored to be recognized by the Drucker Institute,” said Daniel Wordsworth, ARC’s President. “This Award is a real tribute to the incredible work of the global Somali diaspora, who have co-created ‘I AM A STAR’—and also to the tens of thousands of people around the globe who have taken creative action to help Somalia. There are people all around the world who are ready to work together across geographic and cultural distances to help tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. This represents an amazing challenge and opportunity to all of us in the social sector.”

Businesses—including UCare, Greater Twin Cities United Way, The Mosaic Company, General Mills, and Best Buy—provided critical funding to launch ARC’s work in building community both in local communities and in Somalia. Somali businesses including Dahabshiil and Hormuud Telecommunications also provided support.

Administered annually since 1991, the Drucker Award is granted to a social-sector organization that demonstrates Peter F. Drucker’s definition of innovation: “change that creates a new dimension of performance.” In addition, the judges look for programs that are highly effective and that have made a difference in the lives of the people they serve. The Drucker Institute will honor the American Refugee Committee at a November CEO Forum in Claremont, California.

In all, the Drucker Institute received 612 applications from nonprofits in 49 states and the District of Columbia.

American Refugee Committee programs are built from the ground up. We work with people at the most vulnerable points in their lives, when they have lost everything to war or disaster. They let us know what they need most, and we work together to develop ways to help them get it. Our programs are as diverse as the people we serve, but they all work together for the same goal: to help people take back control of their lives. We have worked with refugees around the world for more than 30 years, and our 2,000 staff members help nearly 2.5 million people a year throughout Africa and Asia. We also actively partner with people and organizations to create important change in the world. ARC is building a 21st Century humanitarian organization rooted in co-creating with committed people to provide more meaningful solutions to humanitarian crises worldwide. Our “I AM A STAR” campaign serves as a grassroots platform to take action for Somalia, connect with others, and support and be inspired by our global neighbors. ARC teams operate relief programs on the ground in Somalia, offering life-saving services such as clean water, health care, sanitation, employment opportunities, and programs to keep women and children safe. We are based in Minneapolis, MN. To learn more, visit or

Contact: Therese Gales, American Refugee Committee; 612-607-6494;

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