CHICAGO, July 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Joyce Foundation has awarded $13.7 million in grants to support organizations advocating for clean air and clean water in the Great Lakes region, sensible gun safety laws, and policies to help workers gain the skills they need for good jobs. The Chicago-based foundation also approved investments in two leading local institutions at its July Board of Directors meeting. Highlights of the July grant making include the following:
Environment: $3 million total (11 grants)
Environment Program grants included three awarded to independent, single-state environmental advocacy organizations: the Michigan Environmental Council ($1 million over 30 months); Ohio Environmental Council ($660,000 over two years); and Clean Wisconsin Inc. ($600,000 over two years). The grants support ongoing policy and advocacy work to protect and restore the Great Lakes and advance clean energy policy by advocating for increased energy efficiency requirements to reduce energy consumption.
Gun Violence Prevention: $1.3 million (8 grants)
Grants were awarded to organizations involved in research, coalition building and advocacy to reduce firearm violence. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington received a grant ($125,000, one year) to continue its work on engaging communities of color in developing locally based strategies to reduce gun violence and improve police-community relations. A grant to PICO National Network of Oakland, California ($150,000, one year) will support the Live Free Gun Violence Initiative, a series of local campaigns to highlight intersections between gun violence and mass incarceration and advocate for state gun safety agendas. Northeastern University in Boston received a grant ($540,000, two years) to conduct and disseminate research to expand scientific knowledge about firearms.
Employment: $3 million (8 grants)
Employment Program grants reflect Joyce's focus on building evidence about effective workforce policies and programs and sharing that evidence with federal policy makers and business groups to advance reforms. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce ($400,000, two years) will conduct research that integrates labor market information into education policy, planning and investment to make sure they reflect market demand.
Boston-based Jobs for the Future ($350,000 for two years) and the National Skills Coalition in Washington ($850,000 for two years) will use research findings to advocate for proven workforce development policies. Jobs for the Future will continue its management of the Congressional Staff Network for Workforce Development and Economic Security. The National Skills Coalition will engage in federal workforce policy advocacy, and provide technical support to state workforce reform coalitions.
Joint Fund for Education and Employment: $605,000 (3 grants)
The Joyce Foundation's Joint Fund for Education and Employment focuses on building pathways that connect high school, postsecondary education and work, and on improving the personal success skills of students and workers. This involves identifying and expanding policy and practice innovations to improve education and employment outcomes. One such innovation is research showing that brief, low-cost interventions can help students shift from negative mindsets ("college isn't for me") to more positive ones that can profoundly affect student achievement. Stanford University's Project for Education Research that Scales ($500,000 over three years) will support up to 100 colleges delivering mindset interventions to students and adjusting other policies that shape student experience. This project has the potential to increase post-secondary completion and employment outcomes for hundreds of thousands of people, while also yielding new insights on how colleges can structure the student experience to build learning mindsets.
Special Opportunities: $1 million (5 grants)
The Joyce Foundation's Special Opportunities Program supports important opportunities outside or across its core giving programs. Grants were awarded to two Chicago institutions, the Chicago Urban League ($200,000 over two years) and Chicago Public Media Inc. ($235,000 for one year). The Urban League will use the grant to develop a new research and policy center to inform its program development along with its advocacy and policy agendas to advance the economic, educational, and social progress of African Americans. The Chicago Public Media grant will support two distinct projects at WBEZ: in-depth reporting from the Illinois Statehouse and a series of personal stories focused on Chicago gun violence.
Joyce also awarded grants at the July meeting in its Education, Democracy and Culture programs, including the following:
- $150,000 (one year) to Boston-based Teach Plus Incorporated, to train effective teachers from high-needs schools to advocate for policy reforms at the state level – specifically around education funding and the Every Student Succeeds Act.
- $150,000 (18 months) to the Roosevelt Institute of New York to build a coalition of Illinois-based grassroots and policy organizations to bring more young people into the policy process.
- $50,000 (one year) to Chicago's South Side Community Art Center to build its internal fund-raising capacity.
More information on the July grants is available here.
Joyce works with grantee partners to improve quality of life, promote community vitality, and strive for a fair society. The independent, private foundation focuses much of its grant making in the Great Lakes region, while also partnering with public agencies, advocates and other funders to achieve broader impact. It has assets of $950 million and distributes approximately $45 million annually.
Contact: Lilly Athamanah, firstname.lastname@example.org / 312-782-2464
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SOURCE The Joyce Foundation