XQ Institute is a New Initiative Incubated by the Emerson Collective

XQ Institute To Make Significant Announcement on Think It Up
September 11, 2015 Roadblock Telecast on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC
8 pm ET & PT / 7 pm CT

Jessica Biel, Common, James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel, Austin Mahone,
Logan Paul, Eric Stonestreet, Justin Timberlake and Stevie Wonder Join Roster of Telecast Participants; Big Sean Joins Previously Announced Musical Performers | | Twitter: @think_it_up | Instagram: @think_it_up

LOS ANGELES and OAKLAND, Sept. 10 – The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a leading charitable organization of the entertainment industry, today announced that the XQ Institute is the founding collaborator of its national Think It Up education initiative. XQ Institute, dedicated to rethinking school in America and to creating new learning opportunities for young people that open up the possibilities of the wider world, has joined forces with EIF to help bring about a renewed sense of promise for America’s public school students.

Think It Up launched in July as a new movement in support of the nation’s students, teachers and schools, generating excitement about learning everywhere in America. By creating opportunities to unlock their passions, talents, and strengths, Think It Up will help students, working together with their teachers, forge lasting connections between their learning experiences now and the futures they shape for themselves. Think It Up will begin to roll out this fall by inviting public school students in grades 7-12 to work with their teachers to develop projects that both harness their passions and apply what they are learning to address real-world problems, generate new ideas and make a difference. These innovative student-powered, teacher-led learning projects will be funded on, which will be powered by the popular teacher crowd-funding platform

“We are profoundly grateful for all of the XQ Institute’s support and guidance, and excited to collaborate with them to call on America to become part of a movement for American education,” said Entertainment Industry Foundation President and CEO Lisa Paulsen. “The XQ team dreams big about how to improve things for students and teachers, and the entertainment community is ready help make those dreams a reality,” she said.

Think It Up will officially kick off on Friday, September 11, 2015, when ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC simultaneously broadcast a star-studded fundraising event in support of the national education initiative live from Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport. The program will spotlight powerful stories of teachers and students working together on the types of projects to be supported through Think It Up, and include live musical performances from Justin Bieber, Kacey Musgraves, and Big Sean, and comedic sketches and more. The XQ Institute will make a significant announcement during the telecast.

“Our passion at the XQ Institute is to fuel a movement for students, to inspire great high schools, and even to rethink school itself. America must foster students who are curious, engaged, creative—armed with the new literacies, knowledge, and skills needed to thrive. To do that, we must use our collective imagination—across every city and town. XQ is proud to collaborate with EIF and the Hollywood community to cultivate a culture of learning,” said Laurene Powell Jobs, President of the Emerson Collective and Chair of the XQ Institute’s Board of Directors.

Jessica Biel, Common, James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel, Austin Mahone, Logan Paul, Big Sean, Eric Stonestreet, Justin Timberlake and Stevie Wonder join previously announced telecast participants Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell, Halle Berry, Justin Bieber, Julie Chen, Stephen Colbert, Terry Crews, Jennifer Garner, Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Lautner, Joe Manganiello, Matthew McConaughey, Seth Meyers, Kacey Musgraves, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Renner, Ryan Seacrest, J.K. Simmons, and Jessica Williams.

“In the most successful schools, students are agents of their own learning. They seek it out. They take charge. What they see in the media reinforces that drive. We are excited to partner with EIF to help put the needs of young people and their teachers front and center in the nation’s consciousness,” said Russlynn Ali, CEO of the XQ Institute and a member of the Think It Up Education Initiative and Grants Advisory Committee. “Think It Up is a galvanizing leap into a new era, drawing on all of us to support every student in America," she concluded.

As the founding collaborator, the XQ Institute is supporting Think It Up’s substance and design, providing input in areas ranging from student/teacher partnerships and collaboration to developing the higher skills students need to be prepared for the real world.

iHeartMedia recently became a major supporter of Think It Up. In addition to the XQ Institute, Think It Up’s other major supporters currently include Ashoka, via its Start Empathy Initiative; The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; ExxonMobil; and Staples.

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About the XQ Institute

XQ Institute is an organization dedicated to rethinking school in America in order to create new learning opportunities for young people and open up the possibilities of the wider world. The Institute’s board of directors is chaired by Laurene Powell Jobs, President of the Emerson Collective. The CEO is Russlynn Ali, former Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, and Managing Director of Education at the Emerson Collective. For more information, visit

About the Entertainment Industry Foundation

The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), established in 1942, harnesses the collective power of the entire industry to generate awareness and funds for critical health, educational and social issues. Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), EIF’s largest initiative, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease. SU2C accelerates research to get new therapies to patients quickly. Since its founding seven years ago, SU2C has launched 16 collaborative “Dream Teams” comprising over 940 scientists from 123 leading institutions around the world. That research, including 151 planned, initiated or completed clinical trials, has led to Food and Drug Administration approval of two new treatments. In just 15 months, Hunger Is, EIF’s collaboration with The Safeway Foundation, has significantly raised awareness of childhood hunger in the United States and over $10 Million to support breakfast, afterschool and out-of-school meal programs.

About Think It Up

Think It Up is an initiative of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, created to bring broad cultural attention to the urgency of improving the learning experience in America. The national education initiative will seek to reframe the public discussion about education, create a culture of excitement about learning everywhere in America and build a sense of optimism about the potential of education in classrooms across the country.

Think It Up will invite 7th – 12th grade public and charter school students to work with their teachers to develop projects that draw on their passions and help pursue their educational goals. The projects will entail rigorous skill development that prepares American youth for post-high school life, helping pave the way for career success, regardless of the path. Posted on, in collaboration with, the student-powered, teacher-led projects will be crowdfunded by citizen donors beginning September 2015. will make it possible for major donors, such as corporations, philanthropists and foundations, to match some public contributions.

Mat Newman / Rogers & Cowan

Melissa Schumer / Rogers & Cowan

Photos: Jessica Biel (CC 3.0 BY-SA) Georges Biard; Justin Timberlake (CC 3.0 BY-SA) Georges Biard.