Congratulations to Vincent Atchity Named Executive Director of Equitas Foundation

“I am thrilled to be joining the Equitas Foundation,” said Vincent Atchity. “In the two short years the organization has been in operation, it has already laid a solid foundation through researching and elevating best practices, connecting with community advocates, and providing support for implementing community mapping exercises. I look forward to helping the organization thrive and grow in the coming years.”

Equitas Foundation announces Vincent Atchity as new Executive Director to lead the strategic direction for the organization by catalyzing relationships, facilitating collaboration of community leaders, and serving as an advocate for individuals with mental illness in the criminal justice system. Vincent will assist Equitas to achieve its vision of helping communities institute diversion practices in the justice system to better support these individuals by connecting them with treatment and resources.

 Equitas Foundation announced today that Vincent Atchity has been named as the non-profit’s new Executive Director. In this role, Vincent will lead the strategic direction for the organization by catalyzing relationships, facilitating collaboration of community leaders, and serving as an advocate for individuals with mental illness in the criminal justice system. Vincent will assist Equitas to achieve its vision of helping communities institute diversion practices in the justice system to better support these individuals by connecting them with treatment and resources.

Vincent is an accomplished national leader in community health management with a proven talent for leading successful start-up initiatives. In his most recent position as COO of the North Colorado Health Alliance, he was responsible for establishing and managing a network of 70 cross-sector organizations and ensuring their collaborative efforts toward sustainable community health were impactful. Vincent’s career experience also includes several positions in higher education, including serving as Assistant Dean at Fordham University and at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health. Vincent earned his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees at the University of Southern California, and an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.

Equitas’ largest undertaking in 2015 has been facilitating the Diversion Power program by initiating the Early Diversion "Train the Trainers" State Initiative via a partnership with the Colorado State Office of Behavioral Health and working directly with communities on “Sequential Intercept Model Mapping” to conduct an asset and gap analysis to identify where persons with mental illness, brain challenges, and/or substance use disorders are falling through the cracks of the criminal justice process. From there, the communities are able to identify opportunities for reform based on evidence-based best practices.

The Equitas Foundation launched Diversion Power out of the recognition that Colorado rural communities face particular challenges in access to treatment, including vast geographic and transportation challenges, a lack of resources, and being underserved by community mental and behavioral health centers, hospitals, and the state-wide crisis stabilization system. The Equitas Foundation is committed to partnering with communities to promote diversion out of the criminal justice system and increasing access to treatment.

About Equitas

Equitas was founded in 2013 by the David & Laura Merage Foundation. Equitas promotes collaboration, innovation, and systems change to benefit people with mental disorders and brain challenges in the criminal justice system. Through the exploration and dissemination of best practices, Equitas ensures that law enforcement and the justice system are fully informed, empowered, and engaged to address the needs of people with mental disorders and hidden brain challenges. For more information, visit

About the David & Laura Merage Foundation

The David & Laura Merage Foundation promotes self-sufficiency through education and community development. The foundation supports programs that are focused on social change and result in children, families and communities improving the quality and circumstances of their lives. David & Laura Merage believe that education is the gateway to optimal life outcomes. For more information, please visit

Yoga Gives Back to bestow author with inaugural Namaste Award in Malibu


Yoga Gives Back proudly announces that Mallika Chopra, author of “Living with Intent,” will receive the first-ever Yoga Gives Back Namaste Award at the foundation’s fourth-annual Thank You Mother India fundraiser on Sept. 26, in Malibu.

The Thank You Mother India fundraiser is an evening when 200 members of the Southern California yoga community come together for an altruistic cause and express gratitude to Mother India for the gift of yoga.

“The Namaste Award was established in 2015 to recognize special people who have gone beyond the practice and teaching of yoga to incorporate noble humanitarian service, which elevates humankind and helps make the world a better place,” said Kayoko Mitsumatsu, a Tokyo-born documentary film producer and practicing yogi, who founded the LA-based non rofit Yoga Gives Back in 2007. “I am thrilled to present our first Namaste Award to Mallika Chopra, who is passionate about the power of meditation and will lead a special meditation at the event.

While it’s common for many to perceive yoga as a mere physical exercise, through deeper study, we learn that the ultimate goal of yoga is to unite with the Divine Self—where meditation plays an important role in achieving this. Namaste, which means “the divinity in me salutes divinity in you” in Sanskrit, symbolizes Yoga Gives Back’s mission, which is to help others, and is the inspiration for the award.

Mitsumatsu founded YGB because she was deeply moved by the degree of poverty experienced by people in India.

“While benefiting so much from regular yoga practice and teachings, it hit me hard that 75 percent of India’s population still live on under $2 a day,” she said. “It became very clear to me that if everyone worldwide who enjoys yoga donates the cost of one yoga class to help those less fortunate, we can effect real change in the birthplace of yoga.”

The fundraiser will take place at the home of philanthropist Amarjit Marwah at 6 p.m. on Sept. 26, at 29057 Pacific Coast Highway.

Following a welcome reception, there will be a seated three-course dinner featuring the Namaste Award ceremony, followed by a short YGB FILMS presentation, silent and live auction, raffle and live performance by the Odissi dancers.

Each event attendee will receive a generous gift bag from the event sponsors.

This local Malibu fundraiser serves as the launch for YGB’s annual five-month, global fundraising campaign.

From September 2015 through January 2016, more than 150 YGB events will take place in over 15 countries heightening awareness of the realities faced by the poor, especially women and children India. “In 2014-2015, nearly $70,000 was raised globally through this annual global campaign. Yoga studios and communities hosted special yoga classes or fundraiser events whose proceeds raised the majority of funding for YGB’s programs,” says Mitsumatsu. “Including the proceeds of this year’s Malibu event, our end goal this year is to arrive at $100,000.”

“For the cost of one yoga class, you can change a life” is the organization’s mantra, which has grown 35 percent every year since 2009, and now funds nearly 700 mothers and children in Karnataka and West Bengal, India.

YGB’s micro-loans and educational scholarships offer a minimum five-year commitment to each recipient. 

Tickets for the event are $180 or $125 if purchased with a new membership. Complimentary valet is provided.

For more informtion, email,
call (310) 991-9599 or visit

Reposted from Malibu Surfside News

Toyoko - July, 2015

Mucago okra a la Izumi Mitsumatsu-hiroe

With Castaic obsessed Takeshina soba chef

Beef Carpaccio at the port

Georgetown University 50th Reuniion

With Special Collections Librarian John Buchtel looking at Atchity Aguillard Collection. — with John R. Buchtel at Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
With Bob Shrum after breakfast. — with Robert Shrum at Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
With Class honcho George Thibault — at Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
Opening cocktail party, Bulldog Tavern — with Robert Shrum and Susan Hamilton at Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Game Day! Two of my favorites- my nephew and Sporting KC — with Kevin Calhoun at Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City. [via Laurie Atchity Dressman]

Kayoko's Fascinating Ebola Project for NHK!

Finally we finished filming in London yesterday!!!

This is the British volunteer nurse who contracted with Ebola and recovered…he talked very honestly how he got saved with the first class treatment where thousands of Africans just die because of the lack of such support and medical system,,,fascinating person, who returned to Sierra Leone as soon as he recovered from Ebola as he knew he had gained some immunity from his contraction to Ebola and recovery! Unknown heroes are everywhere in this story, especially in West Africa where so many medical staff died by caring patients. Protagonist of this documentary is Dr Khan who died of Ebola in Sierra Leone last year.

We were lucky to visit him in Suffolk, 2.5 hours out of London, really beautiful British country side, peaceful and people are so nice!!