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$15 Million in New Grants

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The Foundation wrapped up 2020 by awarding 110 new grants totaling nearly $15 million to nonprofits and other organizations in December. These grants recognize the innovative ideas and hard work of these organizations in addressing the unique challenges our communities face at the end of a difficult year.

Below are a few grant recipients in each of Joyce’s programs, highlighting some of the key issues we are prioritizing in 2021. Please click on the links below to learn more about their work.

Culture

Asian Improv aRts Midwest, Black Ensemble Theater, Chicago Sinfonietta, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, and South Side Community Arts Center, $30,000 each for one year in general operating funds, to support BIPOC-led and BIPOC-serving arts organizations through the COVID-19 economic downturn. In 2020, the Foundation awarded a total of $2 million to support BIPOC artists and art organizations.

Democracy

Michigan Nonprofit Association, $250,000 for one year, to promote community engagement in Michigan’s first-ever independent political redistricting process in 2021, built on the state’s 2019-2020 census engagement, and Voices for Racial Justice, $120,000 for one year, to focus on civic engagement in redistricting and other issues among people of color in Minnesota.

Education & Economic Mobility

Council of Chief State School Officers, $500,000 for one year, to work with nonprofits to provide technical assistance to school districts and schools in Illinois and Minnesota to help with re-opening and learning loss post COVID-19 pandemic.

Education Counsel, LLC, $156,000 for four months, to investigate how Congress could use its authority to more fully remedy racial inequality in higher education, and the Resources Legacy Fund, $100,000 for one year, to support the Student Borrower Protection Center’s efforts to reduce racial disparities in student loan repayment.

University of Utah’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, $99,000 for 15 months, to convene researchers and develop a research agenda on how dual credit/dual enrollment programs can improve college access and completion for students of color and students who face structural barriers to social and economic progress.

Environment: Climate Solutions and Great Lakes Water Quality

Environmental Health Watch, $120,000 for two years, for capacity building and community driven advocacy on local and state lead and water policy in Ohio, and to defend existing investments from expected budget cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Illinois Environmental Council Education Fund, $300,000 for two years, for a statewide education and outreach campaign to support strong, equitable clean energy policies and reduce global-warming and carbon pollution in collaboration with communities and other groups across Illinois.

Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform

Columbia (University) Justice Lab, $216,905 for 18 months, for a national research project on youthful offender laws in order to inform systemic emerging-adult justice reforms, with the aim of reducing harmful impacts and racial disparities resulting from involvement in the adult justice system.

The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence, $50,000 for one year, to implement a plan to reduce domestic violence homicide in Cook County by dispossessing firearms from domestic abusers, and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, $50,000 for three months, to plan a new project to provide mentorship and technical assistance for public officials tasked with dispossessing domestic abusers of firearms in the Great Lakes region.

Special Opportunities

Vera Institute of Justice, $300,000 for two years, to support and expand the Safety & Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Initiative, which provides legal services to immigrants facing the devastating consequences of detention and deportation.

About The Joyce Foundation

Joyce is a nonpartisan, private foundation that invests in evidence-informed public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.

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2015 Joyce Awards recipient Sanford Biggers