CHICAGO, Dec. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Joyce Foundation observes 70 years of philanthropy in 2018 by looking to the future, investing a projected $150 million over the next three years in policies preparing the next generation of Great Lakes residents to thrive in education, careers, and community. The foundation's new strategic priorities also sharpen its focus on advancing racial equity and economic mobility as essential conditions for broad-based economic growth.
"The 2018-2020 grant portfolio deepens the Joyce Foundation's commitment to improve quality of life, promote safe and healthy communities, and build a just society in the Great Lakes region," said Ellen Alberding, foundation president. "In unifying our grant programs around policies that support young people and advance racial equity and economic mobility, we hope to achieve significant progress toward a more prosperous and equitable future for the region."
Established in 1948, Joyce focuses most of its grant making on advancing policy in six Great Lakes states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. It invests in research, policy solutions informed by research, and advocacy to build support for policy change.
Over the next 20 years, the population of the Great Lakes region is projected to grow, but grow more slowly than the rest of the nation, with population increases led by children of color. In addition, it will age more rapidly. A steady stream of new births will account for much of the region's growth, rather than migration from other states or countries. The overall trendline suggests that prospects for shared prosperity will rely to a great extent on children born here and young adults who already live in the region. Cities and regions with educated and skilled workers are likely to drive economic growth. (See The Future of the Great Lakes Region; Urban Institute Research Report; March 2017)
Advancing racial equity and economic mobility reflects the foundation's longstanding belief in a just and inclusive society, and that they are essential conditions for building broad-based prosperity.
"The region's success is tied to the aspirations of young people of color, so we must address a history of persistent racial disparities in wealth, income, and education," said Beth Swanson, Vice President of Strategy and Programs at Joyce. "The new strategy will focus on expanding opportunity for lower-income and minority children and removing barriers that can prevent them from reaching their full potential."
The grant-making portfolio adopted by the Joyce Board of Directors in early December includes the following five core programs (projected 2018-2020 grant totals in parentheses).
- The Education & Economic Mobility Program ($43 million) pursues increased economic mobility through equitable access to high-quality education and jobs. Joyce supports policies to ensure that low-income students and students of color attend K-12 schools with high-quality educators, graduate with the momentum they need to succeed in college, and attain postsecondary credentials that lead to careers with family-sustaining wages.
- The Environment Program ($25.5 million) addresses long-term environmental challenges facing the next generation in the Great Lakes region -- climate change and threats to the health of the Great Lakes. And it will add a new emphasis on policies aimed at access for all to safe, clean, affordable drinking water, along with a focus on grants ensuring that residents of communities seriously impacted by environmental challenges have a say in policy making.
- The Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform Program ($21.6 million) seeks safe and just communities through stronger policies to reduce gun violence. It will add a new focus on building greater trust between policy and communities, and on reducing incarceration of young offenders.
- The Democracy Program ($14 million) promotes an informed, engaged, and representative democracy serving the public interest. Joyce will focus its core democracy work on voting rights and redistricting reform, and add support for public interest media.
- The Culture Program ($6.2 million) aims to inspire creativity and cultural stewardship in the next generation of Great Lakes residents by strengthening the role of artists and arts organizations in fostering culturally vibrant and sustainable communities. It supports projects building organizational and community capacity in the arts that reflect equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The foundation has also projected $6.2 million over the three years for its Special Opportunities Program, which gives it a measure of flexibility in responding to important opportunities outside its core programs, or to develop new ideas and promote innovation in how the foundation and its grantees operate.
In addition to adopting the new strategy, the Joyce Board of Directors approved $13 million in grants closing out the 2015-2017 strategy cycle, several of which reflect the foundation's new emphasis on young people, racial equity, and economic mobility.
More information on December grants can be found here.
SOURCE The Joyce Foundation