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The Joyce Foundation Awards $14.3 Million in Grants


The Joyce Foundation has awarded $14.3 million in its latest round of grant-making, nearly one-third of that to organizations working on educator quality in grades K-12, greater college completion opportunities for African American and Latinx students, and other strategies in its Education & Economic Mobility Program. The program made 29 grants totaling $4.4 million.

The foundation awarded a total of 93 grants across six program areas during its November 28-29 Board of Directors meeting, its third and final round of 2018 grant making. In addition to the Education & Economic Mobility grants, awards were as follows:

  • Environment: $2.5 million, 11 grants
  • Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform: $3.4 million, 22 grants
  • Democracy: $2.6 million, 14 grants
  • Culture: $595,000, 11 grants
  • Special Opportunities: $865,000, six grants

The Special Opportunities Program gives the foundation a measure of flexible funding for responding to important opportunities outside or across core grant programs, such as public engagement projects.

The Joyce Foundation focuses its grant making on supporting policies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation of Great Lakes residents.

November 2018 Approved Grants


Cleveland Public Theatre Cleveland, OH $50,000
To support "Rastus and Hattie" (1yr)

Ensemble Español Chicago, IL $25,000
To support "Naked Skin" (1 yr)

The Era Footwork Crew Chicago, IL $20,000
To support their organization (1 yr)

Haitian American Museum of Chicago Chicago, IL $30,000
To support "First Haitians Chicago" (2 yrs)

Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN $50,000
To support artist Bryan Thao Worra (1 yr)

Playhouse Square Foundation Cleveland, OH $50,000
To support Cartography (1 yr)

Puerto Rican Arts Alliance Chicago, IL $100,000
To support a conservatory program (2 yrs)

TRUE Skool Inc. Milwaukee, WI $50,000
To highlight the contributions of female hip hop artists through commissions of original works of breakdance, mural/graffiti and MC (1 yr)

The University of Chicago Chicago, IL $50,000
To support "People, Energy, Light, Power: [Re]Construction of Ethos" (1 yr)

University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL $50,000
To support Adela Goldbard (1 yr)

Victory Gardens Theater Chicago, IL $120,000
To support "Investing in Citizen Artists" (2 yrs)


365 Media Foundation Inc. Madison, WI $150,000
To support a writer to develop media content and a Director of Engagement to meet with stakeholders, develop content, and document conversations and strategies stemming from the Strategies and Solutions panels (2 yrs)

The Center for Michigan Ann Arbor, MI $300,000
For renewal (2 yrs)

Chicago Public Media Inc. Chicago, IL $500,000
To support their organization (2 yrs)

Chicago Votes Chicago, IL $150,000
To develop new leaders that will integrate culture and civics in an effort (1 yr)

Illinois Campaign for Political Reform Chicago, IL $50,000
To develop a community-driven election reform plan that will boost voter engagement. (1 yr)

Institute for Nonprofit News Los Angeles, CA $150,000
For the Block Club Chicago (2 yrs)

Institute for Nonprofit News Los Angeles, CA $50,000
To support the Amplify program (1 yr)

League of Women Voters of Ohio Education Fund Columbus, OH $150,000
For continued support (2 yrs)

Ohio Voice Columbus, OH $180,000
To continue our voting rights, election administration, and election protection program in 2019-2020 (2 yrs)

Voices for Racial Justice Minneapolis, MN $100,000
To advance democracy reform and explore 2020 Census participation among immigrants, people of color, and American Indians in Minnesota (2 yrs)

William J. Brennan Jr. Center for Justice New York, NY $400,000
To support their organization (2 yrs)

American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan Detroit, MI $200,000
To support public education about the voting rights and redistricting reform proposals that will appear on the November 2018 ballot, along with voter education and voter protection in communities of color that have historically been targeted for voter suppression tactics by opponents of ballot initiatives. (1 yr)

Campaign Legal Center Washington, DC $200,000
To support the remand phase of the Gill v. Whitford gerrymandering litigation in Wisconsin, as well as its public education #FairMaps campaign to grow support for independent redistricting commissions in the Great Lakes region. (1 yr)

League of Women Voters of Michigan Education Fund Lansing, MI $50,000 To support additional discovery in their lawsuit challenging Michigan’s gerrymandered districts and using the results of that discovery to help shape the public narrative about gerrymandering (1 yr) 

Education & Economic Mobility

Advance Illinois Chicago, IL $300,000
To help develop a data reporting and accountability system aimed at strengthening Illinois' educator preparation programs (2 yrs)   

The Brookings Institution Washington, DC $150,000
To identify the best state and federal policy path for regional public universities, which are experiencing growing financial precariousness (18 mos)

The Columbus Partnership Denver, CO $200,000
to incubate and launch a business-oriented education advocacy group to improve P-20 outcomes in Ohio (2 yrs)

Education Leaders of Color Los Angeles, CA $75,000
to elevate the voices of leaders of color in national and local education policy debates (1 yr)

Education Reform Now Inc New York, NY $150,000
to improve attainment outcomes for students of color and low-income students in the Great Lakes through state and federal policy (18 mos)

Educators for Excellence New York, NY $300,000
to mobilize teachers to transform their unions and elevate teacher voice in education policy conversations (1 yr)

Indiana Community Action Association Indianapolis, IN $350,000
to support long-term advocacy towards paid family leave, job quality, and EITC reforms in Indiana (3 yrs)

Lorain County Community College Foundation Elyria, OH $75,000
to support the Ohio Manufacturing Workforce Partnership's efforts to expand existing manufacturing apprenticeship models, to educate on applied baccalaureate models, and to reach new audiences about manufacturing opportunities (1 yr)

M E B Alliance for Educator Diversity Inc Austin, TX $175,000
to work with three Illinois teacher preparation programs to improve practices and conduct a landscape scan of the challenges and strengths of minority-serving programs in the state (1 yr)

Minnesota Comeback Minneapolis, MN $200,000
to support its Talent and Policy teams and their efforts to ensure high-quality teachers for Minneapolis/Minnesota classroom (2 yrs)

Minnesota Education Equity Partnership St. Paul, MN $75,000
To develop an equity-focused higher education policy agenda (1 yr)

Bipartisan Policy Center Inc. Washington, DC $175,000
To develop bipartisan policy proposals for state-federal partnership in higher education (1 yr)

National Council on Teacher Quality Washington, DC $200,000
To advocate for changes to states' teacher quality policies to attract, better prepare and retain excellent teachers (1 yr)

New Leaders New York, NY $200,000
To create and publish a white paper on how states, schools and districts can build teacher and principal distributive leadership systems in schools (1 yr)

New Profit Inc. Boston, MA $100,000
To support the College Access and Success Learning Lab, which works to spread innovative policies and practices that could increase college readiness and success for low-income youth and students of color in school districts (1 yr)

Kids First Chicago Chicago, IL $150,000
To fund policy development, advocacy, and parent organizing around high-quality schools in every neighborhood (2 yrs)

The Ohio State University Foundation Columbus, OH $300,000
To increase the number of transfer students who go on to earn a Bachelor's degree from OSU's Columbus campus and to champion two-year transfer as a strategy for selective public colleges (3 yrs)

The Franklin And Eleanor Roosevelt Institute New York, NY $75,000
To explore new, innovative federal higher education policies based on regulatory approaches in other industries (1 yr)

Thrive Chicago Chicago, IL $250,000
To continue and deepen its work to reduce summer melt in Chicago (2 yrs)

Transcend Inc. Hastings on Hudson, NY $75,000
To support the Dream + Discover Project, which aims to pilot and spread innovative school models nationwide (1 yr)

The University of Chicago Chicago, IL $25,000
To partner with City Colleges of Chicago around a research agenda that would inform new practices and policies to improve students' college outcomes (1 yr)

University of Washington Foundation Seattle, WA $200,000
To launch the "Big Think Network," a cohort of forward-thinking policy leaders that will reimagine the policy conditions necessary to scale individualized pathways for students and then build blueprints to do so(2 yrs)

University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI $75,000
To support development and dissemination of 5-7 academic working papers on college-level funding disparities (1 yr)

Veterans Education Success Chevy Chase, MD $100,000
To create and disseminate research to improve federal higher education policy with a focus on veterans (18 mos)

Bellwether Education Partners Sudbury, MA $112,000
To fund strategic consulting help for Advance Illinois as it prepares its new strategic vision. (3 mos)

The Chicago Public Education Fund Chicago, IL $25,000
For data support for partners in the national Principal Community of Practice. (3 mos)

Education First Consulting LLC Seattle, WA $20,000
To conduct a landscape scan of the state- and district-level policies and practices on principal quality in Minnesota/Minneapolis Public Schools(3 mos)

Education First Consulting LLC Seattle, WA $200,000
To provide technical assistance to Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago to build upon and accelerate initiatives in Chicago to improve alignment and coordination across these institutions to improve how student (1 yr)

Leung Consulting LLC Dallas, TX $33,325
To document and publish concrete state and local approaches to tackling the future of work (1 yr) 


Conservation Minnesota Minneapolis, MN $100,000
To support their organization (1 yr)

Elevate Energy Chicago, IL $150,000
To support Elevate Energy's efforts to document energy insecurity in Illinois and use real people's stories to advocate for equitable implementation of clean energy policy in the state (1 yr)

Environmental Defence Canada Inc. Toronto, Ontario $50,000
To support their efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes (1 yr)

Environmental Defense Fund Inc. New York, NY $700,000
Reduce pollution and  energy costs by advancing clean energy in Illinois and Ohio, which targets the Joyce Foundation priorities of remedying economic inequities in the provision of clean energy, while also mitigating climate change (2 yrs)

Fresh Energy St. Paul, MN $300,000 
To support Minnesota state policy work on renewable electricity, energy efficiency, energy access and equity, and electric transportation (2 yrs)

Illinois Environmental Council Education Fund Springfield, IL $200,000
To support ongoing education and organizing efforts on energy efficiency, publicly owned electric vehicles, and carbon pollution (2 yrs)

Michigan Environmental Council Lansing, MI $700,000
To provide ongoing support for our work to lead Michigan in addressing the two primary concerns of the Joyce Foundation’s environmental program: meeting the long-term environmental challenges of climate change, and protecting the Great Lakes (2 yrs)

The Cleveland Foundation Cleveland, OH $50,000
To explore launching of a broad coalition of business, consumer, and nontraditional allies to support policy for a healthy Lake Erie and clean, safe, affordable drinking water (1 yr)

Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy Minneapolis, MN $65,000  
To support Minnesota youth petitioning for new, path-breaking climate regulations in the state (1 yr)

Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy St. Paul, MN $135,000
For its Clean Energy program, enabling Minnesota youth to petition for new, path-breaking climate regulation in the state (1 yr)

Northland College Ashland, WI $30,000
To support public education efforts in conjunction with the release of the second edition of Peter Annin's book, The Great Lakes Water Wars, to be published by Island Press (1 yr) 

Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform

Center for American Progress Washington, DC $250,000
To support the development of a progressive public safety agenda for municipal leaders (2 yrs) Education Fund Oakland, CA $350,000
To advance prosecutorial reform activities, support narrative change to reduce overcriminalization of communities of color and to support continuation of gun violence prevention campaigns (2 yrs

Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY $200,000
For its Justice Lab to organize and convene a Square One Future of Justice Policy Roundtable, focused on addressing violence in criminal justice reform (1 yr)

Doctors for America Washington, DC $70,000
For a project to engage physicians in Wisconsin and Minnesota in gun violence prevention (1 yr)

Duke University Durham, NC $150,000
To support the Duke Center for Firearms Law (2 yrs)

Fund for the City of New York New York, NY $140,000
For the Center for Court Innovation to lead a one-year planning period design and develop a pilot restorative justice program responsive to conditions of violence in Detroit (1 yr)

Gun Violence Prevention Education Center Arlington Heights, IL $158,000
For policy implementation and statewide outreach in Illinois (1 yr)

Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence Chicago, IL $160,000
For policy education and advocacy to reduce gun violence in Illinois (1 yr)

Juvenile Law Center Philadelphia, PA $200,720
For research (1 yr)

Loyola University - Chicago Chicago, IL $215,000
For its Center on Criminal Justice Research, Policy and Practice to conduct research and analysis on criminal justice system responses to gun offending in Illinois (20 mos)

Major Cities Chiefs Association, $30,000
To create a workplan that builds upon its current portfolio and creates a roadmap for future activities. (2 yrs)

MicroGrants Minneapolis, MN $100,000
n support of the Lights On! program (1 yr)

New Venture Fund Washington, DC $200,000
To support the Fund for a Safer Future (2 yrs)

New York University New York, NY $375,000
In support of a pilot community engagement initiative in Chicago and to develop and advance a positive framework for effective policing (1 yr)

Seattle University Seattle, WA $300,000
To support their organization (1 yr)

St. Sabina Church dba The Faith Community of St. Sabina Chicago, IL $60,000
To support the Purpose Over Pain project (1 yr)

Tides Center San Francisco, CA $100,000
To support their organization (1 yr)

Violence Policy Center Washington, DC $175,265
For research, publication, education and technical support to reduce firearms violence in the Great Lakes region and the nation (1 yr)

Center for American Progress Washington, DC $25,000
For the 2018 Smart on Crime Innovations Conference (6 mos)

City of Chicago Chicago, IL $131,670
For continued support of two staff positions focused on police reform and gun violence prevention. (1 yr)

New York University New York, NY $15,000
For a fall 2018 convening on public safety (6 mos)

Urban Institute Washington, DC $30,224
For dissemination of the Chicago Young Adult Public Safety Survey (3 mos) 

Special Opportunities

Forefront Chicago, IL $100,000
To support the 2020 census (1 yr)

Minnesota Council on Foundations Minneapolis, MN $200,000
For its Minnesota Census Mobilization Partnership program (2 yrs) $200,000 (2 yrs)

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights Chicago, IL $150,000
For its National Immigrant Justice Center to advance protections for immigrant families and refugees (2 yrs)

Tufts University Medford, MA $50,000
For its Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) for their 22x20 campaign (1 yr)

Vera Institute of Justice Inc. New York, NY $300,000  
To support the SAFE (Safety and Fairness for Everyone) Cities Network that provides immigration legal services (2 yrs)

The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights Chicago, IL $65,000
To hire a family reunification coordinator (1 yr)