The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy
The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University
Investing in refugee integration benefits not only refugees but whole communities. Philanthropy is particularly well positioned to sustain and expand successful national, state, and local practices, programs and policies designed to assist refugees and immigrants.
Education-specific crowdfunding sites such as DonorsChoose and AdoptAClassroom provide platforms where teachers explain how they will use donated money to benefit students. But do these sites allow us to evade hard questions about money, public education, and inequality?
We are honored to be working with the WK Kellogg Foundation on its Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Enterprise, which will help people in selected communities embrace racial healing and uproot conscious and unconscious beliefs in the hierarchy of human value. The TRHT process will adapt some practices of previous Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRC), which have been instrumental in resolving deeply rooted conflicts around the world, and apply them in the United States for a national, comprehensive enterprise to resolve the consequences of centuries of racism and structural inequities. By uncovering human rights violations and tragedies, and engaging people in a healing process, TRCs have historically restored dignity and respect on many occasions, paving the way for the transforming of societies – a prevailing objective of the U.S. effort. Sillerman Center Director Susan Eaton is serving as a consultant on this important and vital project.
On July 7, The Sillerman Center staff offered the presentation and workshop, "Striking at the Root: Social Justice Philanthropy" at Youth Philanthropy Connect's (YPC) International Conference held in Anaheim, California. Our presentation enabled grantmakers of all ages to explore the underlying theories and on-the- ground work of social justice philanthropy in the United States. Attendees also simulated the practice of social justice philanthropy by responding to community challenges presented in case studies. We were honored to be a part of the YPC Conference, which brought together young philanthropists to connect with and learn from each other and to explore new innovations in the field of grantmaking.
By providing the opportunity to plan, problem solve and create a finished product, the arts help students with 21st century skills, positively affecting a student’s success in school and beyond. Studies find that low-income students who engage with the arts earn higher GPA’s and higher rates of college acceptance and graduation than otherwise similar peers.
On June 3, The Sillerman Center, in partnership, with the NH-based Endowment for Health and the national organization, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) sponsored Strategies for a Changing Northern New England: A Funder's Briefing. The event brought together funders and community and non-profit leaders in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine to learn about demographic trends and explore opportunities and challenges related to growing cultural diversity. This meeting is part of the Sillerman Center's ongoing project, Immigrant Integration in Northern New England.
On May 13, Sillerman Center Director Susan Eaton gave a presentation on funding opportunities in immigrant integration at the annual meeting of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. The presentation explored integration efforts in Utah, Mississippi, North Carolina and Boston and also focused on the demographic changes in Connecticut over the the past 20 years.