The internet is a great platform to voice your ideas and advocate for social change. Kiersten Marek, writer for news website Inside Philanthropy, uses CoPromote to spread her knowledge and connect with other like minded individuals. Using real life experience, she brings different perspective on many issues. Check out the chat we had with Kiersten below about her content, and the issues she is most passionate about!
This week, Housing Secretary Julian Castro announced new rules designed to fight residential segregation. Amid heightened pressure from the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund and other top civil rights organizations, the Obama administration unveiled requirements that cities and towns analyze their housing patterns for racial bias and publicly report this information. In addition, communities will now need to set goals to further reduce segregation, and these goals will be tracked over time.
Where did all this momentum for change on housing come from? And how can funders capitalize on it?
The health and safety of sex workers: It’s not an issue most of us tend to think about every day, but it’s yet another example of how marginalized populations are often left out of essential public policy discussions on subjects like health care, housing, education, and workforce development.
That’s why we thought it would be a good idea to jump on the phone with some leaders in the field of health and safety for sex workers to find out what philanthropy is doing, and what philanthropy could do, about this segment of our community. We talked with Scott Campbell, executive director of the Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF), and Crystal DeBoise, co-director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, to learn more about what is going on for sex workers, and what philanthropy can do to bring this issue in from the margins.
On Twitter, lots of folks in the nonprofit sector are passing on the news of the end of MacArthur’s work in studying and building affordable housing. There is very little commentary, yet. It seems like people just don’t know what to say.
The article in the Chicago Tribune—the only article available online about the announcement so far—reads like a grim obituary, sharing the highlights of MacArthur’s investments in housing initiatives, and quoting housing leaders who are already feeling the pain about MacArthur bowing out. Other leaders pay tribute to MacArthur’s housing work and the way in which a lot of big things could not have happened without the foundation’s support.
For longtime rock star Jon Bon Jovi, both creative juice and philanthropic prowess seem to be flowing quite readily these days. While Bon Jovi reports spending many daytime hours in the studio working on a new album, he is also winning awards for his philanthropic efforts, particularly for his foundation’s work with distressed communities and affordable housing.
Besides squeezing out The Boss as New Jersey’s top rocker, Jon Bon Jovi is squeezing in a lot of time for his charitable work. His foundation, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation (formerly the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation) is a non-profit organization doing work all over the country to help poor and middle class families fight the tide of inequality.
What does it take to create a vibrant city with lots of opportunity? Well, in an earlier times, people might have cited a big anchor business or port facility or prime tourist attraction. But after years of thinking and research about urban renewal, the answers have gotten more nuanced and complex.
A city has got to attract talented people—like those creatives we always hear about—but not in a way that pushes out the working class that actually makes things go. Developing a cutting edge industry can be a boon, but cities also need to nurture ladders of opportunity that lead upward from low-wage service jobs. You want engaged citizens, yes, but too much NIMBYism can make it hard to undertake big projects.
It’s not easy distilling the secret sauce of urban vitality, but the Knight Foundation is making an effort with its Knight Cities Challenge, which just announced 32 winners to divvy up $5 million in funding from the foundation.
Member-funded credit unions have a strong capacity to positively impact the community, not only in providing lower cost financial services, but also in providing funding for programs that respond to community needs. An example of a state credit union that is pushing the boundaries of impact in housing: the State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Foundation of North Carolina, which recently announced a new investment of $10 million over a three-year period to build or renovate a home in every one of the state’s 100 counties.