New coalitions and innovations seem to be springing up all over the country to address the challenges facing America’s workers, backed by a range of funders. Last week, we wrote about a big effort on jobs spearheaded by Howard Schultz and Starbucks. And yesterday we wrote about a workforce push in Newark that JPMorgan Chase is helping bankroll.
The desire to be a journalist — to tell the stories that inspire feeling and change lives — usually kicks in fairly early in life. Many of us discover in high school that a source of great meaning and gratification comes from being able to communicate with others through writing or another form of media.
Which foundations support youth journalism in its many current incarnations, which now include blogging, videography, Youtubing and podcasting? Which foundations should grant seekers for youth turn to if they want to do the work of cultivating media and journalism for young minds?
In her 2014 book, Generation Unbound: Drifting Into Sex and Parenthood Without Marriage, Isabel V. Sawhill argues that unplanned births are a main cause of poverty, and that one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty (as well as inequality) is to help women, particularly young women, prevent unplanned pregnancies.
This is hardly a new idea, but Sawhill’s research has given it more heft, and anti-poverty funders should be paying close attention. While reducing unplanned pregnancies isn’t easy, it’s arguably a much lighter lift than tackling many of the other factors that underlie poverty, and that’s especially true in light of advances in contraception, as we’ll see in a moment. Enabling women to better control their fertility is also a classic upstream intervention that forestalls the need to address a range of other social problems, delivering lots of bang for the buck. Still, for various reasons, many funders that work on poverty steer well away from this area.
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.
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?
Yesterday, we wrote about philanthropy’s major role in the Obama administration’s bid to regulate greenhouse gases from coal-fired power plants through executive action. Well, here’s a similar story: As the administration unveils a tougher rule for overtime pay this week, foundations can justly claim some of the credit.
This has been a great month for the president, as many commentators have noted, but it’s also been a good one for progressive funders who seen several longstanding investments pay off.
It really hits you how bad our roads are when they close the bridge on Park Avenue, so that we can’t even get to a friend’s house without having to go all the way down Reservoir and up Elmwood, making what used to be a 10 minute trip into a 25 minute ordeal. Infrastructure: the secret sauce that makes society possible. Please don’t let this funding lapse!
From the Whitehouse press office:
Whitehouse to Hold Press Conference on Highway Funding
Senator to Join Labor Leaders and Major Rhode Island Construction Company to Discuss Need to Pass a Highway Bill before Federals Funding Expires
Providence, RI – With federal highway funding set to expire at the end of July, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will hold a press conference on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the need to pass a long-term federal highway funding bill to create jobs, grow our economy, and make our roads and bridges safer in Rhode Island. Whitehouse will be joined for the press conference by labor leaders and a major Rhode Island construction company to discuss the effect a lapse in federal funding would have on Ocean State workers.
Whitehouse has been deeply involved in crafting the six-year transportation funding blueprint that passed out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week and awaits further action in the Senate. Whitehouse succeeded in including in the bill a provision to establish an “Assistance for Major Projects Program,” to provide funding to assist states in completing large, important, and expensive projects like reconstruction of Rhode Island’s 6-10 Connector.
EVENT: Sheldon Whitehouse Holds Press Conference on Highway Funding
WHEN: Wednesday, July 1, 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Apponaug Circulator Construction Site, 65 Centerville Road, Warwick (Across the Street from the Burger King)
According to a report compiled last year by the White House, Rhode Island had the highest percentage of deficient or obsolete bridges in America and was tied for the highest percentage of roads in poor condition. And according to the transportation research group TRIP, driving on roads in need of repair costs Rhode Island motorists $478 million a year – $637 per motorist – in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs.