New York, NY, August 2008 - During the turbulent years of the civil rights movement, Harry Wachtel, a close advisor to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. founded the Drum Major Foundation to support the work of Dr. King and other civil rights activists. In the years prior to his assassination, Dr. King informally referred to the foundation as his think tank. Forty years later, the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy (DMI) exists today to support social and economic justice, fulfilling the same mission as it did during the civil rights movement.
The Schott Foundation for Public Education provided support this year for the Summer Institute for DMI Scholars, which provides a 14-day intensive training that expands the Scholars’ understanding of public policy and develops basic skills in issue-based research, public policy writing, understanding of spheres of influence in public policy, and career networking.
In the fall of 2006, DMI launched its DMI Scholars program. The program offers young activists from diverse communities -- who otherwise might not have access to the public policy field -- a transformative experience that impacts their vision of how they can affect their world, unpack their assumptions about public policy and government, and help them to develop the skills needed to successfully influence public policy. Each Scholar brings a commitment to activism and interests including immigration, public education and poverty, and a desire to learn how public policy can advance an agenda of fairness and equity.
DMI Scholars program is designed to meet three overarching goals:
- Introduce creative, bright, progressive college students from underrepresented communities to the public policy-making process and specifically to the role and significance of public policy in advancing a progressive agenda.
- Equip the Scholars with basic skills- including critical thinking, research and writing- to enter the public policy world.
- Facilitate networking with progressives currently in the public policy world.
A progressive policy think tank, DMI conducts research and holds convenings on a wide range of often overlooked social and economic issues. The organization uses its leverage to engage policymakers and opinion leaders. For more information, visit:
About The Schott Foundation for Public Education
Founded in 1991, The Schott Foundation for Public Education seeks to develop and strengthen a broad-based and representative movement to achieve fully resourced high quality preK-12 public education.