Nonprofit founded by two OUWB students nominated for Billion Acts of Peace Award

A nonprofit that’s delivered more than 54,000 meals to Detroiters in need — and was started by two OUWB students — is a finalist for a 2021 Billion Acts of Peace Award.

Detroit Feedback Loop (DFL) is one of seven finalists for the award, each selected from millions of other projects and organizations from around the world.

DFL was started in 2017 by Nicholas Ang and Camilla Cascardo, who are now third-year medical students at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. The nonprofit aims to connect cafeterias, restaurants, and other businesses that have leftover food with Detroit residents who are in need.

The Billion Acts Campaign is led by 14 Nobel Peace Laureates, including The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchu and other Nobel Peace Prize winners who have worked with the PeaceJam organization for 21 years to mentor over 1.2 million youth worldwide.

According to its website, Billion Acts annually “reviews millions of Acts of Peace and Projects from nearly every country around the world, to identify, celebrate and amplify the amazing youth leaders who are creating change in their corner of the world. Each year, a new truly incredible group of winners are chosen and celebrated worldwide.”

“It’s really heartwarming to see that people appreciate the work we’ve done,” said Cascardo.

The OUWB students don’t know who nominated DFL. Cascardo said it was a “shock” to learn DFL was named a finalist for 2021.

As a finalist, DFL is featured on the Billion Acts website (if at least 500 people click on “support” for DFL by Dec. 16 — the same day this year’s winners will be announced — the nonprofit will receive a $500 grant).

Ang said he’s hopeful being named as a finalist will raise awareness and inspire others to start and lead similar projects in other regions.

“(Being a finalist) gives us an opportunity to share the lessons we learned from building this organization,” said Ang. “We all recognize problems. It’s harder to figure out what the solutions are…but you just have to take the time to look around and find ways to connect resources like we did.”

(Only partial stories are posted here with hopes to provide a brief overview and introduction to my most recent work. The full version of this story may be found on the OUWB website here.)

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