Academy for Social Purpose in Responsible Entertainment


Peter Samuelson, MA, President


Dr. D. Andy Rice, PhD, ASPIRE Fellow at UCLA


The Academy for Social Purpose in Responsible Entertainment (ASPIRE) partners with universities, community organizations, scholars, and activists to advocate for sustainability and social justice through media-focused teaching and research.  ASPIRE teaches digital media production to undergraduates of all majors to enhance their lifelong capacities to undertake social issue advocacy.

Paul Blavin

Paul has over 30 years of successful business experience identifying and investing in undervalued assets. He founded Graceful Light Entertainment in 2013. Graceful Light Entertainment is committed to harnessing the power of exceptional art (including video, music and film) to inspire hope, create awareness of critical human issues and, ultimately, compel positive social action. This mission is based upon the belief that when you reach one's heart the opportunities are endless!

Paul credits his business success to very good instincts, honest and ethical behavior, hard work, patience, a long-term focus, and always investing in high quality people. In his prior career, Paul served as an investment banker with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, the President of First Mercury Financial Corporation, a publicly traded insurance company, and co-founded and managed a private investment partnership, PWB Value Partners, L.P. His partnership began in 1995 with 3 investors and $3.2 million under management. Over 14 years, the business grew to more than 80 investors and approximately $2.0 billion. Paul was blessed to be trusted to invest on behalf of many of the wealthiest families in the United States and, eventually, several leading university endowments and insurance companies. Net of fees and expenses, his firm consistently outperformed the S&P 500 index from inception to the final return of capital to his investors.

On a more personal note, Paul is 49 years old and has been married to his soulmate Amy for over 21 years. Amy and Paul are blessed with 2 children ages 18 and 16. Paul was born and raised in Southfield Michigan - just outside of Detroit. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with High Distinction from the University of Michigan and earned an MBA at Harvard Business School. Paul and Amy are the proud founders of the Blavin Scholars Programs at the University of Michigan and Northern Arizona University to support youth aging out of foster care to achieve their dreams of a post-secondary education and a better life. Here is a link to a video introduction to the Blavin Scholars Program at the University of Michigan: These 2 programs are endowed to support 25 young men and women annually. The Blavin's goal is to eventually support 100 Blavin Scholars on an annual basis.

Paul Blavin is an Executive Producer of the new work-in-progress documentary on the subject of college campus rape, from Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick, makers of the 2012-13 Academy Award nominated film Invisible War. He is on the Board of Advisors of the Academy for Social Purpose in Responsible Entertainment at UCLA, HYPE Helping Young People Excel, and the Hualalai Ohana Foundation.