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!
On Wednesday, July 22, Los Angeles County’s recently formed Office of Child Protection will hold a community forum to discuss the simultaneously disquieting and promising prospect of using “big data” to help determine which children are the most likely to be abused.
The question of whether child welfare agencies should apply a statistical discipline called “predictive analytics,” which uses data to infer what may happen in the future, has sparked a now global debate weighing civil liberties, racial profiling and the alluring potential of accurately directing limited public funds to better protect children. Despite the understandable fears that come with applying an algorithm to the very human question of family dysfunction versus family strength, evidence from its use in other child welfare administrations shows promise.
There’s lots happening in philanthropy these days around fatherhood, and with new attention being brought to the subject by President Obama, we at Inside Philanthropy figured it was a good time to survey some of the more innovative and promising fatherhood-fostering initiatives out there.
Foundations have been interested in fatherhood issues for at least two decades; see, for example, this 2000 overview of “donors and the burgeoning fatherhood movement” by the Philanthropy Roundtable. Today, a number of funders that address human services, criminal justice, and economic development invest to shape the role of fatherhood in these issues.
If you’ve been reading Inside Philanthropy lately, you know that a number of tech companies and leaders have stepped forward in the past year to address gender issues in tech with philanthropic initiatives. Awareness on this issue is finally growing, although change is still slow.
Now imagine that you are lesbian or transgender. The lack of representation for these minorities in the tech world is not even tracked for data, but based on the experiences of trans and lesbian people in the field, the need for more work on equity for this group is very real. With a high level of isolation and very few role models, lesbian and transgender folks face added challenges in starting and maintaining careers in the tech industry.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation is named after a widow who struggled to raise her four children as a single mother. One of her children, Jim, founded UPS and became wealthy—while never forgetting where he came from. For decades, the Annie E. Casey Foundation—now with assets of some $3 billion—has been a premier grantmaker focused on the well-being of children and families. Inevitably, these issues have taken the foundation deep into the realm of public policy, and since the mid-1990s, it has led a broad push to reduce poverty and expand opportunity for low-income communities.
As Casey’s director of policy reform and advocacy, Michael Laracy has been near the center of that push for 21 years. He advances the foundation’s efforts to inform, guide and influence public policy at the state and federal levels. He also takes care of the foundation’s KIDS COUNT network and State Priorities Partnership (previously called the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative, or SFAI).
There’s lots happening in philanthropy these days around fatherhood, and with Father’s Day just around the corner, we figured it was a good time to survey some of more innovative and promising fatherhood-fostering initiatives out there.
But first, a quick review of where we are in time on the role of fathers. Those of us who were fortunate enough to benefit from a positive fathering relationship understand the massive value of this. But having a nurturing and involved father was not always the norm, and in different times in America’s history, father involvement in the family has come in and out of fashion. Fathers in Colonial times were more involved with children since religious beliefs dictated that work and home duties be closely aligned, whereas 19th century industrialization required men to work away from home and resulted in women being relegated as sole caretakers of the home and children as well as “dependents” on the husband as “provider.”
The MacArthur Foundation may be trimming its sails in some areas, like winding down its housing work, but that hasn’t stopped it from launching a new effort to reform America’s wasteful and unjust system of jails.
As we reported earlier this year, the foundation is putting up $75 million over the next five years to reform how U.S. jails operate, a new initiative that instantly made MacArthur one of the biggest funders of criminal justice reform in the country—and at an opportune moment when the pendulum is swinging fast against yesterday’s Draconian anti-crime policies. (The foundation has long worked on juvenile justice issues.)
Now the foundation has announced its winners for the Safety and Justice Challenge, awarding $150,000 to 20 jurisdictions across the U.S to foster innovation and reduce the use of jails.