Maria and Greg Jobin-Leeds were presented the Community Change Champion Award by the Center for Community Change at the organization's annual gala in Washington, DC

Washington, DC, May 9, 2008 -- Maria and Greg Jobin-Leeds were presented the Community Change Champion Award by the Center for Community Change at the organization’s annual gala in Washington, DC on May 5, 2008. Greg Jobin-Leeds is co-founder and Chair of The Schott Foundation for Public Education (Schott) and is co-founder and board director of the Access Strategies Fund(Access). Maria Jobin-Leeds is the Chairperson and founder of Access, and also serves on Schott’s board of directors.

Maria and Greg work diligently to make sure their philanthropic efforts are both strategic and advance civil rights.

In the acceptance speech at the Center for Community Change Gala, Greg commented on several points from “10 Best Practices for Strategic Philanthropy to Advance Civil Rights,” an article he and Maria wrote which appears in the Spring 2008 issue of Responsive Philanthropy.

“Excellence is the result of inclusion, not exclusion: You can’t advocate successfully for lower income communities and communities of color unless the face and practice of your foundation and grantees reflect diversity. Recipient community leaders should participate in all stages of project development. Never hold a highlevel meeting without representatives of the community you intend to impact. Do not replicate the problem you are trying to solve,” said Greg.

Schott seeks to develop and strengthen a broad-based and representative movement to achieve fully resourced high quality preK-12 public education.

The Schott Foundation received the 2007 Critical Impact Award from the Council on Foundations for its successful efforts to reform New York City’s school finance system and guarantee an opportunity for a sound basic education for all of the city’s students.

Access works to engage voters in disenfranchised communities to participate more actively in the electoral process, leveraging their voting power to improve public policy.

Access’s program work played a key role in Massachusetts’ recent election of its first African American governor by laying the nonpartisan groundwork that turned out new voters, especially minority voters.

Along with their work for Schott and Access, Greg and Maria serve on a number of other boards, including the Campaign for America’s Future. Together they run the Partnership for Democracy and Education, a national effort focused on voter turnout, issue campaigns and candidate support.

Founded in 1968 to honor the life of Robert F. Kennedy, the Center for Community Change works to confront the vital issues of today and build the social movements of tomorrow. The Center believes that vibrant communitybased organizations, led by the people most affected by social and economic injustice, are key to building a new politics based on community values.