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Carnegie Corporation of New York;
There is a new urgency today for American philanthropies to protect the right to vote for all eligible citizens. The philanthropic community has worked alongside the government to protect these rights for decades, but since a 2013 Supreme Court ruling eliminated key parts of the Voting Rights Act, there has been a dramatic increase across the country in barriers to voting. These new barriers often disproportionately affect low-income voters, rural voters, communities of color, young people, and people with disabilities.
American philanthropies now have an opportunity to protect and strengthen U.S. democracy by providing badly needed investments in the country's voting infrastructure, paying attention to these issues beyond election time, and joining with others to support litigation against illegal voting barriers.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
My visit to the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) was motivated by two interrelated research projects. The first was to study materials related to the transnational construction of the academic field of Afro-Brazilian studies in the 1930s and 1940s. The second project was to focus on the impact of the making of Afro-American studies and African studies proper, in both North and South America, and on the life and trajectories of the independence leaders of African countries from the 1950s – especially the Mozambican, Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane. The week I spent at the Rockefeller Archive Center, thanks to a small research stipend which I obtained, has proven highly productive for both research projects.
The Teagle Foundation is pleased to announce the release of its 2019 Annual Report. The report features an essay by President Andrew Delbanco, "Turning Challenges into Opportunities."
Rockefeller Archive Center;
On February 29, 1968, readers of the New York Review of Books would encounter a stirring indictment of the United States of America: In an open letter, titled "On Leaving America," and addressed to Wesleyan University president Edwin D. Etherington, the German writer Hans Magnus Enzensberger publicly renounced a fellowship that sponsored his stay at the school. America's activities in Vietnam made it so that Enzensberger could no longer accept the support from Wesleyan, while millions of Vietnamese suffered. Instead, the politically committed writer would take to Cuba to see if he could somehow contribute to its revolutionary transformation. "Verbal opposition is today in danger of becoming a harmless spectator sport, licensed, well-regulated and, up to a point, even encouraged by the powerful," Enzensberger writes in conclusion. Supported by a respectable American institution of higher learning, Enzensberger felt disarmed in his opposition, adding that "the mere fact of my being here on these terms would devalue whatever I might have to say."
American Jewish World Service;
AJWS' board pulled off a successful transition involving a long-serving executive, Ruth Messinger, and her faithful deputy, Robert Bank. It was a high stakes, high emotion realignment requiring each stakeholder to take deliberate, courageous steps to help move the process along.
How do you fill the shoes of a beloved executive director whose shoes seem too big to fill? In 2017, TUFTS Hillel faced this challenge with its 1st CEO transition in a generation. As the process evolved, one thing became clear to the board: its new CEO needed the same gravitas and stature.
Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston;
Few organizations in Jewish life can match the scale and scope of CJP's search for a new CEO—or the pedigree of its search committee. But in assembling a team of all-stars—and then executing a search with precision and professionalism—CJP's board provides a model to which all organizations can aspire.
As the long-tenured executive vice president at Bend the Arc, Stosh Cotler was told by the board that it wished to consider her for the role of CEO, a position that had recently opened up. The only problem was that Cotler didn't see herself as CEO material.
Ascendium Education Group (formerly known as Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates) has invested heavily to advance postsecondary success for low-income students, students of color, and first-generation students. Since 2012, Ascendium has awarded over $10.2 million in Dash Emergency Grants to 63 two- and four-year institutions. Through Dash, colleges administer emergency aid (EA) grants to meet students' unanticipated expenses so that more of these students stay on track for completion. These small grants, often $500 or less, can make the difference in whether a student is able to remain in school. Ascendium contracted with Equal Measure in late 2017 to create a set of tools to help the field codify the process of awarding emergency aid. Emergency Aid for Higher Education: A Toolkit and Resource Guide for DecisionMakers is the result of more than 10 months of research, interviews, focus groups, and webinars with Dash Emergency Grant recipients that elucidated current best practices, and gaps, in administering EA programs.
National Congress of American Indians;
Native Americans are unfortunately invisible to many. Most Americans likely have attended or currentlyattend a school where information about Native Americans is either completely absent from theclassroom or relegated to brief mentions, negative information, or inaccurate stereotypes. This resultsin an enduring and damaging narrative regarding Native peoples, tribal nations, and their citizens.Even though some exceptional efforts are happening around the country to bring accurate, culturallyresponsive, tribally specific, and contemporary content about Native Americans into mainstreameducation systems, much work remains to be done.This report is an analysis of the landscape of current state efforts to bring high-quality educationalcontent about Native peoples and communities into all kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12) classroomsacross the United States.
Global Alliance for Community Philanthropy;
From 2013 – 2019, six U.S.‑based donor organizations, all active internationally, came together with the support of the GFCF to work as an alliance to build and promote community philanthropy as a global movement. There were three underlying factors that made this initiative unusual:
The Alliance was a mix of private and public donor entities, who do not often work together in this way.
It was based on a commitment to work collaboratively over a number of years around an idea.
A key motivation was to promote new approaches to community philanthropy as an important part of the development portfolio to donors operating internationally.
Surely, this makes it a story worth telling – not just to see if the collaboration achieved its goals, but also to explore what it means to be part of an 'alliance' and what lessons this Alliance may have for other donors across the globe seeking to collaborate in new ways to make a difference.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
One of the primary goals of the founders of the National Committee on United States-China Relations was to encourage discussion of China policy. In 1966, when they formed the group, there was little debate on the topic, and much public ignorance concerning current and recent events on the Chinese mainland. While the NCUSCR as an organization took no political positions, its leaders all supported ending the U.S. isolation of the Chinese Communists and pursuing a new policy of outreach and rapprochement. This occasioned some opposition from conservatives who supported existing policies, and who saw the Committee as a de facto lobby, despite its leaders' protestations of non-partisanship and its tax-exempt status as a non-political organization. Within less than five years, the Committee appeared to become a victim of its own success. Discussion of the issue was uncontroversial, and President Nixon had begun the process of outreach to China. The organization gave serious consideration to closing up shop. Yet rapprochement, while threatening one primary mission, increased opportunities to pursue the other: public education, particularly in the form of cultural exchanges. This gave the group new relevance and renewed public prominence, allowing it to maintain its presence and persevere.