2012 MacArthur Awards for Creative and Effective Institutions Announced

Feb 16, 2012, 00:01 ET from MacArthur Foundation

CHICAGO, Feb. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Their missions are diverse – from protecting ecosystems to defending children's rights, from empowering girls to strengthening neighborhoods, from investigative reporting to eliminating abusive financial practices.

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The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today named 15 organizations in six countries as recipients of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.  The awards continue the Foundation's history of building and supporting institutions that address some of the world's most pressing problems in creative ways.

"From Chicago to Kampala, these extraordinary organizations demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness," said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci. "They provide new ways to address old problems.  They generate provocative ideas and they reframe well-worn debates.  And their impact is altogether disproportionate to their size." 

The recipients of the 2012 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions follow.  The size of the award varies from $350,000 to $2.5 million, depending on the annual budget of each organization.  

  • Albertine Rift Conservation SocietyKampala, Uganda ($350,000) champions collaborative conservation initiatives in one of the world's most important ecosystems;
  • Business and Professional People for the Public InterestChicago, Illinois ($750,000) works to strengthen impoverished communities, preserve and increase affordable housing, improve Chicago schools, and promote open, honest government in Illinois;
  • Carnegie Moscow CenterMoscow, Russia ($2.5 million) provides impartial analysis of Russian politics and policy;
  • Center for Investigative ReportingBerkeley, California ($1 million) produces groundbreaking nonprofit investigative journalism;
  • Center for Responsible LendingDurham, North Carolina ($2 million) protects homeownership and family assets by working to eliminate abusive financial practices and products;
  • Community Investment CorporationChicago, Illinois ($2 million) provides assistance to developers of rental housing in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods in Chicago
  • Conservation Strategy FundSebastopol, California ($750,000) trains conservation professionals in economics and policy analysis to strengthen and protect the environment;
  • Crisis ActionLondon, United Kingdom ($750,000) works to avert conflicts, prevent gross human rights abuses, and ensure that governments fulfill their obligations to protect civilians during times of conflict;
  • Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University -- New York, New York ($1 million) uses objective evidence to spur thoughtful discussion and effective reform of housing and community development policy;
  • Girls' Power Initiative -- Calabar, Nigeria ($350,000) empowers and educates adolescent girls about their sexual and reproductive health and rights;
  • International Center for Not-for-Profit LawWashington, DC ($1 million) promotes a global legal environment where civil society, philanthropy, and civic participation can thrive;
  • Moscow Helsinki Group -- Moscow, Russia ($750,000) advances the protection of human rights through advocacy, monitoring, analysis, networking, and training;
  • The Moth -- New York, New York ($750,000) is dedicated to the art of storytelling to document our common humanity;
  • National Juvenile Defender CenterWashington, DC ($750,000) supports juvenile defenders and justice system reform at the national, state, and local levels to protect all children; and
  • Red Nacional de Derechos Humanos (Red TDT)Mexico City, Mexico ($350,000) is a national network of human rights organizations that monitors and documents human rights abuses.

In making these Awards, the Foundation does not seek or accept nominations.  To qualify, organizations must demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness; have reached a critical or strategic point in their development; show strong leadership and stable financial management; have previously received MacArthur support; and engage in work central to one of MacArthur's core programs. 

The Award is not only recognition for past leadership and success but also an investment in the future.  Organizations will use this large infusion of support to build endowments, develop strategic plans, and upgrade technology and physical infrastructure.

MacArthur has a long history of strengthening institutions – from Human Rights Watch, now the largest U.S.-based human rights organization; to the World Resources Institute, the environmental think tank; to Creative Commons, which has changed the way we use and think about copyrights.

Additional information about the winning organizations, as well as overview videos about their work, is available at www.macfound.org/2012macei

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world.  In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society.  More information is available at www.macfound.org. 

SOURCE MacArthur Foundation