CHICAGO, Dec. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Joyce Foundation has awarded more than $10 million in grants to support organizations advocating clean energy and energy efficiency policies in the Great Lakes region, help roll out a new data reporting system designed to strengthen teacher preparedness programs, and fund research and advocacy to advance common-sense gun violence prevention policies.
The Chicago-based foundation approved these and other investments at its December Board of Directors meeting, one of three grant making sessions held each year.
Joyce works with grantee partners to develop and advance evidence-based policy solutions to improve quality of life, promote community vitality, and strive for a fair society. It focuses much of its grant making on the Great Lakes region, and also partners with public agencies, advocates and other funders across the country to achieve broader impact.
Highlights of the December round of grant making include the following:
Education: $2.3 million total (11 grants)
Several Education Program grants focus on helping advocacy groups shape the state plans required under the Every Student Succeeds Act to ensure the plans' top priorities include: teacher quality, the needs of low-income and minority students, and strong supports to schools. They include grants to Minnesota Comeback ($200,000, 1 year); Migration Policy Institute ($120,000, 1 year); Students for Education Reform ($100,000, 1 year); and Educators for Excellence ($275,000, 1 year). Joyce also awarded a grant to Advance Illinois ($400,000, 2 years) to work with the Illinois State Board of Education to help roll out a new data reporting system aimed at strengthening teacher preparation programs.
Employment: $1.3 million (6 grants)
Employment Program grants reflect Joyce's focus on building evidence about effective workforce policies and programs and sharing that evidence with federal and state policy makers and business groups to support change. The Business Roundtable ($500,000, 2 years) will support the work of the National Network of Business and Industry Associations in its work to build a unified business perspective on skills issues. Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Good Jobs LLC ($170,000, 1 year) will launch an initiative that aims to build on insights from Zeynep Ton's book The Good Jobs Strategy to get more companies to provide good jobs to their employees as part of return-maximizing strategies.
Joint Fund for Education and Employment: $1.5 million (8 grants)
Chris Hulleman, a professor at the University of Virginia, was awarded a two-year, $540,000 grant to demonstrate how psychology-based "mindset" interventions can improve employment outcomes and increase student engagement. Mindset interventions use brief readings or reflections to change students' mental disposition toward academic work, and can produce measurable improvement in academic outcomes.
Environment: $1.5 million (6 grants)
Several Environment Program grants will advance the goal of putting the Midwest on a path of accelerating reductions in power sector carbon dioxide emissions, by increasing use of energy efficiency alongside cleaner power generation. Fresh Energy of St. Paul, Minnesota ($300,000, 2 years) will work on Minnesota energy efficiency and carbon pollution policy. The Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. of New York ($700,000, 2 years) will advance energy efficiency, smart grid, and related clean energy policies in Illinois and Ohio. And the Illinois Environmental Council Education Fund ($180,000, 2 years) will continue energy efficiency and carbon pollution reduction education and organizing efforts.
Gun Violence Prevention: $1 million (6 grants)
Grants were awarded to organizations involved in research, coalition building and advocacy to reduce firearm violence. The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence received a grant ($225,000, 1 year) for policy education and advocacy to reduce gun violence. The University of Chicago Crime Lab ($50,000, 1 year) will provide support to the City of Chicago to help produce a firearm tracing report, and provide ongoing analysis of crime data to inform gun violence prevention efforts.
Democracy: $1.3 million (10 grants)
Democracy Program grants support state-based advocacy efforts on democracy reforms in areas such as election administration, voting rights, redistricting, and judicial selection. The League of Women Voters of Ohio Education Fund ($160,000, 2 years) will continue advocacy and public education on democracy issues. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Inc. ($100,000, 2 years) will build coalitions and public awareness to promote automatic voter registration. The William J. Brennan Center for Justice in New York ($400,000, 2 years) will provide research, technical assistance, and litigation support on voting rights, redistricting, and fair courts in the Great Lakes states.
Culture Program: $250,000 (5 grants)
The foundation awarded $250,000 (1 year, $50,000 each) to five collaborations between arts organizations and artists of color in Chicago, Cleveland, and the Twin Cities. The Joyce Awards support the creative development of artists of color and engagement of the communities in which commissioned works will be presented. Since the competition started in 2003, Joyce has awarded nearly $3 million to commission 55 new works.
Special Opportunities Program: $625,000 (4 grants)
The Special Opportunities Program supports important opportunities that span core Joyce grant programs. In Communications, Joyce awarded $75,000 for one year to Madison365.com, to support expansion of the media outlet's daily online coverage of public affairs, business and culture for African Americans and Latinos. Madison365's social media presence also provides a robust platform for conversations about issues affecting Wisconsin's communities of color.
More information on the Joyce Foundation's latest round of grants is available HERE.
Contact: Lilly Athamanah, email@example.com / 312-782-2464
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SOURCE The Joyce Foundation