Joyce 70 Years

Share This Page

Summer 2018 Newsletter | The Joyce Foundation


Celebrating 70 Years of Grantmaking

Last month, the Joyce Foundation celebrated its 70th Anniversary with past and present board members and staff. We were honored to have Joyce Awardee Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. create custom artwork for attendees, and thrilled at the treat of hearing Carpacho Y Su Super Combo perform music from Joyce Awardee Sandra Delgado and Teatro Vista's "La Havana Madrid"! Special thanks to Fulton Market Films for capturing the event through video and photography.

The Joyce Foundation Awards $17.5 Million in Grants

Joyce awarded $17.5 million in summer grants in efforts to expand access to higher education, community voices in environmental policy, research on gun violence, voting rights, and career opportunities in the arts for people of color.

Investments Intern Neha Kavi Reflects on her Summer with Joyce

This summer, the Joyce Foundation welcomed rising University of Chicago sophomore Neha Kavi as its investments intern through the institution's John W. Rogers, Jr. program. Read and learn more about Neha and her time with us.

American Democracy in Crisis: The Challenges of Voter Knowledge, Participation, and Polarization

The Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic published results from the first in a series of polls exploring challenges to democratic institutions and practices. The Joyce Foundation, together with our colleagues at the Michigan-based Kresge Foundation and the Minnesota-based McKnight Foundation, is supporting this effort to learn how all Americans, and especially in our region, experience and perceive democracy. Read analyses of the first poll here.

Joyce Responds to the Immigration Crisis for Families

In response to recent events, three organizations working to protect the rights of immigrant and refugee families received grants from Joyce's Special Opportunities fund. Learn more about them here.

Seize the Moment: 5 Ways to Improve Teacher Quality

In early July, Stephanie Banchero, Education Program Director at the Joyce Foundation, penned a column in the Chicago Tribune highlighting five ways to improve teacher quality. Click here to get her take.

The Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities (PSPC)

In a piece published in Crain's Chicago Business, Ellen Alberding and fellow foundation leaders described the goals of the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities and their efforts to help combat gun violence in the city. See what they had to say here.

City Club of Chicago: The Future of Digital Media

At the City Club of Chicago in May, Joyce Foundation President Ellen Alberding moderated a panel on the future of digital media featuring leaders from the Sun-Times, Block Club Chicago, the TRiiBE, and TribuneTake a look at video of the discussion.

Three Questions w/ Soledad McGrath, Senior Program Officer, Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform

What is the current landscape in philanthropy on criminal justice reform, and where does Joyce fit in?

The field has supported, and in large part continues to support, reform efforts that target low-level, nonviolent offenses such as low-level drug offenses and property crimes. It’s an appropriate and still necessary focus but it is not enough to fully tackle the problem of mass incarceration.

It’s exciting to see Joyce push the boundaries by focusing on the intersection of gun violence and criminal justice reform. We have an exciting opportunity to explore fresh and innovative approaches to a complex set of problems and we are already beginning to identify programs that may serve as models for ways to respond to gun violence that may be more effective at curbing further violence, sparing youth involvement - or deeper involvement - with the justice system, and restoring the legitimacy of the justice system.

What is the connection between gun violence prevention and criminal justice reform, and why is Joyce connecting the two?

It may not seem like it at first blush but they are intertwined. The goal of our expanded program is to build safe and just communities, and communities plagued by gun violence are often the same communities disproportionately bearing the impact of harsh and excessively punitive criminal justice policies. To help improve public safety, Joyce is taking a comprehensive approach that focuses on efforts to prevent and reduce violence as well as promote fair, effective and humane responses by the justice system. We will focus on the young adult population – individuals aged 18-25 – that are overrepresented in the justice system as both offenders and victims.

When we sharpen our focus on young adults from low-income communities and communities of color, they often succinctly illustrate the relationship between gun violence and the justice system and highlight both the challenges and opportunities in working with these youth.

As a field, we are learning a great deal about young adults in the justice system but there is still much more to learn. And there is still a significant amount of debate about what will work. Do we raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction? Do we create a third system or a hybrid system? Or, do we tailor community-based responses to better reflect the needs and strengths of these youth?

We will support research to better understand how the justice system responds to young adults engaged in high risk behaviors, such as illegal gun-carrying, to help inform practice and policy change.

What role do strong police-community relations play to improve public safety?

Police and the communities they serve need to work together to co-produce public safety but this is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, when there is deep mistrust. I’m particularly excited that the third pillar of the expanded program is policing because this allows us to support jurisdictions in our region with tools and resources to help them achieve this goal. As we support efforts to build trust and enhance police legitimacy, strong police-community relations are foundational. Without this core component, we may see other reform efforts succeed in the short term, but lack sustainability.

Our grantmaking already includes work to pilot community engagement and neighborhood policing efforts that have the potential to be transformative and we will continue to look for more.

Ultimately, by identifying and supporting promising models for police-community engagement, we also hope to spur policy and practice change in the broader policing arena.