Jan/Feb Newsletter

A message from Diane and John:
Save the Date: May 3, 2016

We are celebrating World Press Freedom Day with our first JAMES FOLEY FREEDOM AWARDS black tie reception and dinner at the Newseum in Washington DC on May 3rd at 6:30pm.

In partnership with the Newseum, we will also offer a free screening of “Jim, the James Foley Story” in the Newseum’s Annenberg Theater from 4 to 6pm.

This year’s honorees are:
David Bradley of Atlantic Media
David Rohde of Thomson Reuters
Nadia Alawa of NuDay Syria

for continuing Jim’s work on behalf of American hostages, freelance conflict journalists and vulnerable children.

We have sponsor opportunities available for this special event. If you or your company/organization are interested in supporting this event as a sponsor, please contact Mariann Murphy, Executive Director at 603.948.1339 or email mmurphy@jamesfoleyfoundation.org.

We have an e-vite and a traditional invitation. Do you know someone in the DC area who would like to attend? Please email us their contact information and if you would like to include a personal message. For more information or to register for this event, please visit our Events page or click here.

We want to thank film director, Brian Oakes, and co-writer, Heather MacDonald, childhood friends of Jim’s, for their work on the film. They did a masterful job capturing the essence of Jim and his challenging legacy. The film received the coveted Audience Award at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in Park City.

The Foundation will be using the film for educational and fundraising screenings. If you are interested in organizing a screening in your area, please contact Mariann Murphy, Executive Director at 603.948.1339 or email mmurphy@jamesfoleyfoundation.org.

With deep gratitude and love,
Diane & John


REMEMBER ROBERT LEVINSON (2007) and AUSTIN TICE (2012) and other unnamed Americans still being held hostage.

We celebrate Freedom for Americans from Iran and Bahrain:
Journalist Jason Rezaian held since 2014
Pastor Saeed Abedini since 2012
Marine vet Amir Hekmati since 2011
Student Matthew Trevithickj
Journalist Anna Therese Day

The US Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell has referred several families to the Foundation. We continue to collaborate to keep American hostages a priority!


The Foundation helped convene an international coalition to promote increased safety and equity for freelance journalists in conflict zones. The coalition has now chosen the name, A Culture of Safety Alliance or “ACOS”.

ACOS held their quarterly meeting in Paris in early February in an effort to increase the European presence in the Alliance. Diane Foley was in Paris for the UNESCO conference and attended the ACOS meeting to represent the Foundation.

Diane Foley was a featured speaker at the February UNESCO conference entitled “News Organizations Standing Up for the Safety of Media Professionals”. Diane was joined on panel by Director-General Irina Bokova and Christiane Amanpour. Violence towards journalists continues to be a challenge globally.
Journalism matters for society and for what UNESCO calls the “free flow” of ideas and information.

Because of the service they provide to the public, those who do journalism need to be protected. On this basis, UNESCO organized an international conference for the leading decision-makers of news organizations, especially owners, publishers, chief executives and editors-in-chief.

The conference objective was to provide news organizations with a platform to discuss existing and new measures aimed to strengthen journalists’ safety worldwide and engage with UNESCO Member States on these issues. It was held to deepen knowledge about the issues of journalists’ safety, to share industry good practices, to promote dialogue on the issue, and to identify gaps for possible follow up.

Click here to read more about the conference.


Foley 5K

Even though the 2nd Annual Foley 5K is months away (October 15, 2016), you can start organizing your group or team in your area for the virtual run or the event in Rochester NH.

For more information or to register, please click here to visit the Foley 5K website.

Last year we had about 1,000 runners in NH and another 1,000 runners worldwide in our virtual run. Let’s see how many more we can have running this year!


JIM: The James Foley Story to Premiere at Sundance

On Saturday, January 23rd, the new documentary film, “JIM: The James Foley Story” will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Directed by close childhood friend Brian Oakes, the film tells the story of Jim’s life through intimate interviews with his family, friends and fellow journalists – while fellow hostages reveal never-before-heard details of his captivity with a chilling intimacy that reveals their courageous untold story of perseverance. Made with unparalleled access (including footage Foley shot himself), and using carefully rendered, sensitive recreations, Oakes takes viewers deep into the darkness and valor of Jim’s captivity. What emerges is a powerful chronicle of bravery, compassion and pain at the dawn of America’s war with ISIS.

The film will air on HBO on Saturday, February 6th, at 9pm.

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JIM: The James Foley Story

The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation (JWFLF) is proud to announce that Jim: The James Foley Story, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, has received the Audience Award in the US Documentary category at Sundance. Brian Oakes, a childhood friend of Jim’s and the film director, accepted the award on behalf of the film team.  The Audience Award is based on the ratings received from the audience at each screening during the Festival.

Jim: The James Foley Story can be viewed on HBO or through HBO NOW and HBO GO (visit the HBO website for the viewing schedule). The film has been praised as a powerful look into journalistic bravery and provides dramatic insight into Jim’s life and captivity through the personal experiences of former hostages, his former colleagues and his family.

“We are honored that HBO has chosen to make Jim a part of the HBO family.  Jim’s story is important for so many reasons, most notably it speaks to the silent crisis faced by families if a loved one is taken hostage.  It also shows the world the risks that are undertaken by freelance journalists to tell the frontline stories our nation depends on.  We could not be prouder of our son and we are grateful to Brian Oakes for creating a film that captured these issues so poignantly,” said John and Diane Foley.

The documentary was honored by legendary musician Sting, who not only wrote a song titled The Empty Chair for the film, but also spoke at length about the power and influence of the Jim documentary.  “It’s a very devastating film and at the end I had to be picked up off the floor… this movie is the antidote to the nonsense that we see going on in the world now,” said Sting while performing The Empty Chair for a live audience at the Sundance ASCAP Music Café in Park City, Utah.

“We are so humbled and honored to be a part of Jim and the effort to show the world who Jim really was. Brian Oakes, the filmmaker, was Jim’s childhood friend and has known our family for nearly 4 decades. The film is a beautiful representation of who Jim really was, his humanity and his unwavering desire to help those in need,” added Diane and John Foley.


Statement from John & Diane Foley on Jihadi John

“It is a very small solace to learn that Jihadi John may have been killed by the U.S. government.

“His death does not bring Jim back.  If only so much effort had been given to finding and rescuing Jim and the other hostages who were subsequently murdered by ISIS, they might be alive today.

“Our focus is on Jim’s life and all the good that he did in the world. We remain humble and proud of his unwavering commitment to give voice to the voiceless as a journalist, a teacher and a friend.

“As we continue to honor Jim’s life, we are grateful to the thousands of people who supported Jim throughout his captivity and who continue to support his legacy today through The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation.

“The Foundation is committed to defending the rights of every American citizen by advocating for the safe release of Americans kidnapped abroad, advancing safety measures for freelance journalists in conflict zones, and providing underprivileged youth with access to education.”


“He made such an impact:” 20 Jesuit schools spend the weekend remembering James Foley

The Marquette University campus is holding a weekend of remembrance in honor of alumnus, James Foley. The American journalist was kidnapped and murdered in Syria by members of the Islamic State in August of 2014. Foley, a journalist held several times while reporting in the Middle East, told the University prayer kept his mind focused. Article by Jonathon Gregg. Read more.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation (JWFLF) announced that over 2,000 runners across the globe participated in the inaugural Foley Foundation 5K to not only honor Jim’s life and legacy but also the work of the Foundation in support of hostage advocacy, freelance reporter safety and youth education.

“Today was a proud day for our family. We knew Jim had a significant impact on many people, but today we truly felt and saw how many lives Jim has touched. We are honored to support the work that Jim dedicated his life to and we want to thank each and every supporter for their commitment to ensuring Jim’s legacy lives on,” said Diane and John Foley.

The Foley Foundation 5K had over 2,000 participants. Over 1,000 in Rochester, NH and over 1,000 joining the movement from across the world, including China, France, Turkey and London to name a few.

The event raised over $65,000 for the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, which will be used to further Jim’s legacy as a committed freelance journalist and compassionate teacher.

Beyond the monetary success of the event, the Foundation was overwhelmed and humbled by the hundreds of tributes and sentiments in honor of Jim shared by race participants. To read some of the participants’ well wishes please click here. Photos of the event are available here.

The Foundation thanked the following sponsors for their continued and unwavering support of the inaugural Foley Foundation 5K: Coed Sportswear, Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Wentworth Douglass Hospital, Turbocam International, Drummond Woodsum, Eastern Swing Fore Charities, Bernier Insurance, Revolution Taproom & Grill, Lilac City Pediatrics, Newton Running, Smuttynose Brewing, Holy Rosary Credit Union, Piscataqua Savings Bank, Albany Engineered Composites, Alliance for Dental Care, Rochester Rotary, Sysco and Safran.

JWFLF also recognized the organizers of the 5K whose tireless commitment to JWFLF over the past several months made this event possible. The 5K run committee included: Walter Hoerman, MD (Lilac City Pediatrics), Stacey Marchionni (Revolution Taproom & Grill), Brian Hughes (Holy Rosary Credit Union), Martha Foley-Jackson (James W. Foley Legacy Foundation), Paula Foley (Drummond Woodsum) and Mike Ambra, DMD (Alliance for Dental Care).


James W. Foley Legacy Foundation Hosts First 5k- October 17th

Foley_Brabo_001The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation (JWFLF) will be hosting the first Foley Foundation 5K on October 17. For those of you who are not familiar with JWFLF, Diane and John Foley established the Foundation following the tragic murder of their son Jim Foley in August 2014 to carry out his legacy. Jim was a courageous American journalist who was killed after being held hostage in Syria by ISIS for more than 600 days.

The 2015 Foley Foundation 5K will take place in Rochester, NH, and JWFLF will also host a virtual run on October 17 to encourage participation from friends and supporters across the globe. The race will commemorate Jim’s life and raise funds for American hostage advocacy, press freedom and educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth, which were passions for Jim.

Runners for both the Rochester race and virtual run can register for the event at www.foleyrun.org. If interested in forming a virtual Foley 5K running group in your local community, please reach out to foleyfoundation5k@gmail.com. For those who are unable to run on October 17, please join us by making a donation to the Foundation at www.foleyrun.org.

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Global Post remembers Jim through his work, not his death

Global Post, the online news site that employed James Foley up through his death last year, has compiled some of his best work, in order to remember Jim’s impact on the world.

Jim reported across Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. He told stories of soldiers, rebels, and the every day citizens who’s lives were upended by the conflicts that ravages their countries.


Global Post has also included the original stories in their entirety, on their site:

Life on the front lines: A view from James Foley’s camera