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The Power of Connecting the Generations

May 4, 2021

For those who offer funding and those who seek it, business journalist Sarah Murray makes the case for intergenerational solutions.So what can funders—particularly philanthropic foundations—do to help break down the cultural and institutions barriers between generations? A number of ideas emerged from Murray's research. Here are a few:Funders could use age diversity, like income equality and racial diversity, as a lens through which to design and evaluate all programs and strategies.Funders could create an intergenerational pillar to support initiatives and nonprofits that are bringing together different age groups in their models for social change.Funders could consider more flexible grantmaking to support cross-generational initiatives that don't fit into traditional funding boxes.Click "Download" to access this resource online.

No Going Back: Policies for an Equitable and Inclusive Los Angeles

September 9, 2020

Prior to the stay-at-home public health directive, civic boosters promoted Los Angeles as a metropolis that was confronting its problems and making progress. Local and state governments enjoyed budget surpluses, unprecedented investments were committed by Angelenos to respond to homelessness, and access to health care and high school graduation rates were at historically high levels, while unemployment and crime rates were at celebrated lows. But behind this glossy view of LA, a closer look at the data would have revealed a very different reality, where decades of structural and systemic racism resulted in significant social, economic, and racial inequality. Just a few months into a global pandemic, the cracks in the broken systems have become gaping holes, widening each day. Today, the calls for systemic change are loud, consequential and urgent.Early in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ten foundations wisely convened a diverse group of community, civic, non-profit, labor and business leaders to identify the systemic issues emerging from the crisis and to offer up a blueprint for building a more equitable and inclusive LA. Their past philanthropic work had made it clear that Los Angeles was becoming increasingly inequitable, and they feared the acceleration of disparate impact centered on income and race. The Committee for Greater LA was formed, and for the past five months, it has steered the analytical work completed by two of LA's leading institutions, UCLA and USC, supported by a team of consultants. The report that follows reflects our discourse, analysis and discovery.

Inequality in 1,100 Popular Films.

July 1, 2018

The study reveals how little top-grossing movies have changed when it comes to the on-screen prevalence and portrayal of females, underrepresented racial/ ethnic groups, the LGBT community, and individuals with disabilities. The study is the largest and most comprehensive intersectional analysis of characters in motion picture content to date.

Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative: Final Report

April 5, 2017

In November 2015 the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution directing the LA County Arts Commission to conduct a county wide conversation about ways to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in cultural organizations for all LA County residents, focusing on four key target areas: Boards of Directors, Staffing, Audience/Participants, and Programming. To this the Arts Commission added a fifth: Artists/Creators. Through this process 13 actionable recommendations emerged. These recommendations open the doors to resources and promote tools that can break down barriers of exclusion in ways that foster and promote arts and culture – as well as the benefits they provide – for all residents of LA County. This report describes the process the Arts Commission went through as well as our findings and recommendations. It may also serve as a model for how other agencies - arts or otherwise - can plan and lead other initiatives to improve cultural equity and inclusion for their residents.

What Made Me the Teacher I Am Today? A Reflection by Selected Leonore Annenberg-Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows

May 3, 2016

The report offers a series of short essays from 18 teachers, each reflecting on what inspired and guided them into the teaching profession. Some of the highlights include:"I've come to realize that my learning process in the classroom actually feels a whole lot like the science I practiced at the bench: engineering experimental procedures, collecting and analyzing data, and formulating questions about next steps. It turns out that my scientific worldview can really improve learning outcomes for my students," said Kristin Milks, a biology and earth science teacher in Bloomington, IN, who enrolled in a teacher preparation program shortly after completing her Ph.D. in biochemistry."What transforms someone from being a good teacher to being a great teacher is the passion to make connections with students, to constantly evaluate and adjust their practice to do what is in the students' best interest," said Catherine Ann Haney, a Virginia Spanish teacher who has recently been teaching in Santiago, Chile."Enrolling in a teacher education program, instead of starting my career as a teacher first and then obtaining my master's degree after, meant I had a cohort of other soon-to-be teachers to learn with as we persevered through a very rigorous and demanding year," said Jeremy Cress, a math teacher in Philadelphia."I realized that being a good math teacher does not mean explaining clearly, making kids like me, or making math fun. Rather, it means giving students the opportunity to solve problems by themselves from start to finish, to struggle and persevere, and to learn from each other's particular strengths," said Brittany Leknes, a math teacher from Sunnyvale, CA."Together my students and I co-create their identities, their sense of themselves, and their understanding of their place in society. Because I believe wholly in my students' own power, I teach to disrupt school cultures that suggest that students need to be anything less than their whole selves," said Kayla Vinson, who taught social students in the Harlem Children's Zone.Created in 2007, the Leonore Annenberg-Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship was designed to serve as the equivalent of a national "Rhodes Scholarship" for teaching. Working with Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Virginia, and the University of Washington, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation provided $30,000 stipends for exceptionally able candidates to complete a yearlong master's degree program. In exchange, the teacher candidates agreed to teach for three years in high-need secondary schools across the country. The Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship was funded through grants from the Annenberg Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York. It served as the basis for the Woodrow Wilson Foundation's successful Teaching Fellowship program, which now operates in five states (Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio), operating in partnership with 28 universities. Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows complete a rigorous yearlong master's degree program, coupled with a robust yearlong clinical experience. Once they earn their degrees, Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows teach in high-need STEM classrooms, while receiving three years of coaching and mentoring.

Human Trafficking Online: The Role of Social Media and Online Classifieds

September 20, 2011

Examines the role of online technologies in human trafficking and ways to leverage them for actionable, data-driven, real-time information to help victims. Calls for action by governments, tech firms, and NGOs to address the problem.

Philanthropic Foundations: Growing Funders of the News

July 3, 2009

Updates April 2008 discussions on the role of foundations in supporting journalism, including creating journalism units within NGOs, collaborations with for-profit news organizations, and investment in local news sites and news and information nonprofits.

The Climate Gap: Inequalities in How Climate Change Hurts Americans & How to Close the Gap

May 31, 2009

By now, virtually all Americans concur that climate change is real, and could pose devastating consequences for our nation and our children. Equally real is the "Climate Gap" -- the sometimes hidden and often-unequal impact climate change will have on people of color and the poor in the United States. This report helps to document the Climate Gap, connecting the dots between research on heat waves, air quality, and other challenges associated with climate change. But we do more than point out an urgent problem; we also explore how we might best combine efforts to both solve climate change and close the Climate Gap -- including an appendix focused on California's global warming policy and a special accompanying analysis of the federal-level American Clean Energy Security Act.

Strengthening Nonprofit Minority Leadership and the Capacity of Minority-Led and Other Grassroots Community-Based Organizations

December 22, 2008

Identifies ways to build diversity and capacity among the state's nonprofit leadership, including major multiyear grants to minority-led groups and others serving diverse and/or low-income communities. Outlines each participating foundation's commitments.

The Houston A+ Challenge: Staying the Course

August 15, 2007

With support from the Ford Foundation, the Houston A+ Challenge participated in Public Education Network's Gulf States Initiative, designed to enlarge the role of the public in school improvement in the Gulf States region. Public Education Network (PEN) is a network of local education funds (LEFs) across the nation. In PEN's view, "public responsibility" will not emerge from conventional, smaller-scale efforts to involve parents more closely with their children's schools or to inform the community about a superintendent's program. Instead, PEN initiatives take as their premise that in a democracy, public schools can only improve in a sustainable way if a broad-based coalition of community members pushes them to improve and holds them accountable. The Gulf States Initiative charged six LEFs, including the Houston A+ Challenge, with moving their communities toward different and more substantial forms of responsibility for their schools.

Challenged Schools, Remarkable Results: Three Lessons from California's Highest Achieving High Schools

November 1, 2005

Springboard Schools' New Report Reveals 3 Secrets that Help Low-Income, English-Learning, and Minority Students Succeed Ten "challenged" high schools in California beat the odds Springboard Schools, a San Francisco-based nonprofit and non-partisan research organization focused on education reform, today released a new report identifying California's highest achieving, challenged high schools - those with large numbers of low-income students, English learners, and few resources. Most importantly, the report reveals the three secrets of their success. According to the report, Challenged Schools, Remarkable Results: Three Lessons from California's Highest Achieving High Schools, these schools, unlike average high schools with similar demographics, share three secrets of success: use of consistent curricula coupled with frequent diagnostic tests, adoption of best practices, and investment in teacher improvement. The three practices resulted in dramatic gains for these high schools serving large populations of low-income, minority, and English-language learners. "These strategies sound simple, but they are challenging and even revolutionary, because they call into question many commonly held beliefs about teaching and about how high schools work," said Merrill Vargo, executive director of Springboard Schools. The report identifies 10 high-performing, challenged California high schools. They are located throughout the state, and all have recently made dramatic turnarounds in student achievement. At one, Bolsa Grande High School (Garden Grove USD), with high populations of English-language learners and low-income students, 57.4% of all students scored at the proficient or advanced-proficient level for English Language Arts and math this year -- more than 2-1/2 times better than the 2005 AYP target under NCLB. The report also reveals that the definition of "best practices" - which traditionally meant classroom-level practices or programs - needs to be dramatically expanded to include every aspect of administration, teaching, and testing, at every level. More information, and the 73-page report, Challenged Schools, Remarkable Results: Three Lessons from California's Highest Achieving High Schools, are available on Springboard Schools' website:

Creating Opportunities: Fifteen Years of Advancing the Public Good

May 1, 2005

Examines the scope and depth of the foundation's investments in education, the arts, civic life, and health. Outlines the development of the foundation's philanthropic mission and strategy during its first fifteen years, beginning in 1989.