One of the most important aspects of creating transformative change is making sure that those most impacted by problems are meaningfully involved in the development and implementation of solutions.
And while centering those most impacted by a problem might seem like common sense, impacted-communities and people are often the last folks to be consulted by would-be problem solvers. Fortunately, that’s starting to change, but as more and more philanthropists and nonprofit leaders wake up to the need for authentic engagement with impacted-communities, they’re running into a new problem.
How do you engage people with lived-experience in change? How do traditional decision makers meaningfully share power?
I feel very fortunate to have been a part of an organization that’s been focused on answering that question for more than a decade. As the former Director of Youth Programs at The Mockingbird Society, I saw firsthand the incredible change that can happen when young people from across Washington state have the opportunity to meaningfully shape the foster care and homelessness systems for themselves and for those who will come after them.Read More
We’re excited to announce the newest member of the Raikes Foundation youth homelessness team, Paula Carvalho. Paula was the Director of Youth Programs at The Mockingbird Society, where she oversaw the organization’s statewide dual focus on youth development and systems reform.
Paula will help lead the Foundation’s work to support coordinated community efforts to address youth homelessness. Having both lived experience in foster care and youth homelessness, she balances deep professional experience with compassion and perspective to policy analysis, leadership across the sector, and collaboration with youth.
“Paula is the leader we need in youth homelessness,” says Casey Trupin, director of youth homelessness at the foundation. “Her deep commitment to authentically engaging young people in the decisions and programs that impact their lives will be an invaluable asset to our work moving forward.”Read More
Social Justice Fund Northwest (NW) is building relationships across race and class through philanthropy.
You might have heard of giving circles before. Giving circles are a form of philanthropy where groups of individuals donate money or time to a communal fund in order to raise awareness and engagement in a certain issue.
Social Justice Fund NW developed a new form of collaborative philanthropy, the Giving Project model, which it is now helping expand to other funds across the country, thanks in part to support from the Raikes Foundation. The goal of a Giving Project is to share giving power across race and class in order to fund grassroots movements for social change, facilitating an inclusive process where people of all economic classes and income levels offer their knowledge, life experience, and financial contributions. Partly through a partnership with Resource Generation, it has brought into these circles inheritors of significant wealth who want to give in ways more likely to make a difference.Read More
Anyone paying close attention to the field of education and philanthropy’s role in it has noticed a shift in focus over the past several years – a shift I think signals real opportunity for young people.
The latest report from Grantmakers for Education, Trends in Education Philanthropy, sheds light on where these shifts have been concentrated over the past decade, which to my mind reflects that the field of philanthropy is learning from mistakes and doing a better job of listening to communities.
Two of shifts I’m most excited about are:Read More