July 11, 2017
Jeff Raikes, Aspen Ideas Festival
By Kelly Ngo
Communications Officer

At the 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival Jeff Raikes, Darren Walker, and Michele Norris discussed color-blindness and its implications for our lives and social policies. You can listen to their conversation here.

Most people are raised to think that noticing race is impolite. We’re taught that color-blindness, or not seeing race, is something to aspire to. But color-blindness, however well-intentioned, is an insidious form of racial oppression — one that denies the full existence and experiences of people of color.

At the Aspen Ideas Festival, Raikes Foundation Co-Founder Jeff Raikes sat down with Ford Foundation President Darren Walker and the Aspen Institute’s Michele Norris to discuss the real-world implications race-blind culture and social policy, as well as the affect color-blindness has had on their own lives. Their conversation tackles uncomfortable truths about race and equity, privilege and meritocracy, as well as the role we all have to play in correcting the misconceived notion of colorblindness.

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June 16, 2017

This guest blog post was written by Erin Lovell, executive director of Legal Counsel for Youth and Children. 

Like thousands of youth and young adults in King County, Jessica* struggled with homelessness. Unlike many, however, Jessica also has a developmental disability, which put her in an even more vulnerable situation. Her relatives had been investigated several times for taking advantage of her. 

When we, the team at Legal Counsel for Youth and Children (LCYC), first met with Jessica, she not only lacked housing, she was unable to access her social security income and generally did not know what to do with herself day to day. 

An LCYC staff attorney began working with Jessica through our homeless youth pilot project, Legal Services Partnership for Youth (LSPY). Together, Jessica and the attorney advocated for housing and connected Jessica with professional payee services, so Jessica could access her social security funds. 

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June 13, 2017
Giving Compass
By Stephanie Fuerstner Gillis
Senior Advisor, Impact-Driven Philanthropy Initiative

America has a long-standing tradition of generosity. As a nation, we contribute nearly $400 billion each year to issues and causes. Though we often think of large foundations when we think about philanthropy, more than 70 percent of giving in this country is directed by individuals writing checks or giving online. 

Among individuals, most (85 percent) say they care about the impact of their gifts, but only 32 percent conduct research online, and only 9 percent  compare organizations. At the same time, our nation is anticipating the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in our history, and expects up to $60 trillion will be passed along to heirs and some $20 trillion will be given to nonprofits over the next 50 years. 

This generosity presents an enormous opportunity to make progress on pressing social issues and solve some of our greatest challenges, but if donors aren’t making informed, intentional investments, we will squander this chance. We see an exciting opportunity to direct more of these donations to make faster and deeper progress on issues and in communities. 

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May 23, 2017
Children working in a garden
By Juliet Taylor
Program Officer, Raikes Foundation

Last summer I was elated to find a Washington Post headline asking, “Are Summer Camps the Next Frontier in Helping Disadvantaged Students Catch up?”. Educators have long pointed to the ways in which additional learning opportunities before and after school, as well as during the summer, expand horizons for vulnerable students and create needed continuity in their development.

Fast forward a few months however, and the largest federal program supporting expanded learning opportunities (ELO) for kids from low-income communities is now on the chopping block.

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