National

Racism in Philanthropy: Effective Practices for Grantmakers

In April 2017, Schott convened thought leaders to begin a dialogue challenging philanthropies to examine themselves as they encourage communities and organizations to achieve racial equity. Foundation staff and board members are overwhelmingly white, and the origins of philanthropy in the United States involve wealth creation at the expense of and to the detriment of people of color. In addition, internal practices at foundations often perpetuate inequities. This hour-long webinar offer insights and recommendation about how foundations can be more intentional and honest as they seek systemic change with regard to race, ethnicity and class in the communities they fund.

“Now more than ever before, philanthropy must apply a racial justice lens to its grantmaking and other community engagement efforts. And we must look inside our own walls to be sure we’re practicing what we preach,” said Edgar Villanueva, Schott Foundation vice-president of programs and advocacy.

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Early Administration Moves on Education: Disheartening, Disconcerting and Downright Disturbing

Tanya Clay House
Education is a civil right and it remains the responsibility of federal, state and local administrators and staff to implement ESSA in a manner that reflects this right. The combination of eliminating the ESSA Title I Accountability, State Plan and Data rules; refusing to administer and eliminating the Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunities Diversity Grants; withdrawing the transgender guidance; and proposing $3 billion of cuts to public education—just to name a few—is disheartening, disconcerting and downright disturbing to anyone who understands the history of education in America and its power to uplift all communities.

Though hailed as a bipartisan “Christmas Miracle” when it was signed into law in December 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was not an ideal bill—by far. It was not the bill most in the civil rights community wanted, nor was it the bill that many of us at the U.S. Department of Education wanted.

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Embracing Discomfort and Achieving Equity in Philanthropy

Social justice-minded philanthropies help create systems change by empowering local leadership and supporting grassroots movements to move the needle for poor communities and people of color. However, philanthropy isn’t always bringing the right tools to the task to solve these big problems rooted in social inequity, and sometimes our field perpetuates inequities in the communities we claim to care about.

When events like the murders of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling or the violence against the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe rouse the nation's attention to structural inequalities, philanthropies that have the ability to create systems change often instead provide a ritualistic, intellectual response that's safe and comfortable. But to achieve the equity we all claim to be in search of, philanthropy must have a look in the mirror and lean into some very uncomfortable conversations about who we are, what we believe, and how we could adapt our approaches to new realities and environments.

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Schott Grantees Convene to Change the Conversation

One of the pleasures of working at The Schott Foundation for Public Education is that we have the opportunity to work with and learn from our grantee partners who do incredible grassroots organizing work all across the country. These public education advocates lead campaigns in their respective regions, but on March 15 and 16 leaders from 22 of our grantee partners convened together for our first Opportunity to Learn Network Communications Summit. Experts on media training, message development, education, and social justice organizing led workshops to enhance these leaders’ skills.

One of the pleasures of working at the Schott Foundation for Public Education is that we have the opportunity to work with and learn from our grantee partners who do incredible grassroots organizing work all across the country. These public education advocates lead campaigns in their respective regions, but on March 15 and 16 leaders from 22 of our grantee partners convened together for our first Opportunity to Learn Network Communications Summit.

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Infographic: What Organizers Need to Know About ESSA

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed in 2015, was a marked shift away from its predecessor, the No Child Left Behind Act. Under ESSA, much of the decision-making, accountability, and oversight passed from the Federal government to the states. In this transfer of policymaking to the state level, ESSA includes some important opportunities for students, parents, educators and communities to have their voices heard both in state capitols and in their local districts.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed in 2015, was a marked shift away from its predecessor, the No Child Left Behind Act. Under ESSA, much of the decision-making, accountability, and oversight passed from the Federal government to the states. In this transfer of policymaking to the state level, ESSA includes some important opportunities for students, parents, educators and communities to have their voices heard both in state capitols and in their local districts.

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What Organizers Need to Know About ESSA

Publication Date: 
Tue, 2017-03-28
Type: 
graphs-visuals

In collaboration with our grantee Southern Echo, the Schott Foundation has created an infographic sketching out some key opportunities in ESSA to move the cause of education justice further and to help ensure that schools and districts are held accountable to a much better-rounded and more holistic evaluation of their performance than before.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed in 2015, was a marked shift away from its predecessor, the No Child Left Behind Act. Under ESSA, much of the decision-making, accountability, and oversight passed from the Federal government to the states. In this transfer of policymaking to the state level, ESSA includes some important opportunities for students, parents, educators and communities to have their voices heard both in state capitols and in their local districts.

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Placing Students Last Doesn’t Make America Great

Dr. John H. Jackson
A federal budget is a key opportunity to promote equity, but the current version of President Trump’s budget misses the opportunity altogether and lays waste to the very programs that we know help all students succeed. It fails to mention, let alone meaningfully invest, in federal policies that could break down the systemic barriers that limit opportunities for many of our nation’s students.

Federal budget director Mick Mulvaney, recently revealed that President Trump’s “skinny budget” proposal titled, “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” was largely culled from Trump’s speeches and interviews throughout his campaign. But for many observers, the budget proposal highlights once again the dissonance between Trump’s words and factual evidence.

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What's the Big Idea?

John H. Jackson, President & CEO, The Schott Foundation for Public Education

Sounding more like a measured politician than ever, President Donald Trump’s first Joint Address to Congress Tuesday night outlined the broad contours of his vision for a “Renewal of the American Spirit” while also challenging the nation to think big. While we accept the challenge to think big, as a philanthropic organization we are well aware that making big ideas successful requires clarity, consistency, and in most cases, big investments.

Sounding more like a measured politician than ever, President Donald Trump’s first Joint Address to Congress Tuesday night outlined the broad contours of his vision for a “Renewal of the American Spirit” while also challenging the nation to think big. While we accept the challenge to think big, as a philanthropic organization we are well aware that making big ideas successful requires clarity, consistency, and in most cases, big investments.

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Invisible No More: Native Realities in a Post-Election Era

Less than 0.3% of philanthropic dollars go to Native groups. This fact was pointed out at Philanthropy New York’s event, “Invisible No More: Native Realities in a Post-Election Era”, by Schott Foundation Vice President of Programs and Advocacy Edgar Villanueva. Alongside Edgar were Native Americans in Philanthropy CEO Sarah Eagle Heart, American Indian Law Alliance President and Executive Director Betty Lyons, and moderator Patricia Eng, who is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at The New York Women’s Foundation. The panelists discussed concerns of and hopes for philanthropy’s engagement with Native partners. Each panelist identified gaps in support for Indigenous communities but emphasized that these issues affect us all: the planet that the Native community is fighting to protect is a shared responsibility for all of us, and we must collaborate with others to save it.  

Less than 0.3% of philanthropic dollars go to Native groups. This fact was pointed out at Philanthropy New York’s event, “Invisible No More: Native Realities in a Post-Election Era”, by Schott Foundation Vice President of Programs and Advocacy Edgar Villanueva. Alongside Edgar were Native Americans in Philanthropy CEO Sarah Eagle Heart, American Indian Law Alliance President and Executive Director Betty Lyons, and moderator Patricia Eng, who is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at The New York Women’s Foundation.

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You're Invited! Schott 25th Anniversary Awards Gala

More than two decades after Schott’s founding, we remain committed to helping build the education justice movement and institutionalize the solutions that provide all students with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn.

Join us for an evening gala of live music and social justice as we celebrate 25 years of accelerating advocacy and delivering impact! We will have stellar youth entertainment and present awards that recognize and highlight community, philanthropic, and grassroots leaders who have made crucial progress in the struggle for systemic change.

More than two decades after Schott’s founding, we remain committed to helping build the education justice movement and institutionalize the solutions that provide all students with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn.

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