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White House Summit Builds Momentum for Linked Learning

BY Anne Stanton
Anne Stanton
As Director of the Youth program, Anne Stanton leads Irvine’s strategies to esta
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| Jan 16, 2014

The White House today will be hosting an all-day summit dedicated to increasing college opportunity for low-income and disadvantaged students. In addition to President Obama and the First Lady, participants will include college presidents from around the country, along with other educators and advocates working on college access and opportunity. I am certainly honored to be participating in this summit, but I’m mostly excited because of what it indicates about the growing national interest and momentum for Linked Learning.

Linked Learning integrates rigorous academics with career-based learning and real-world workplace experiences. Thanks to the hard work of our grantees and other partners, Linked Learning is expanding throughout California and recent evidence shows that it’s posting measurable success for high school students. We certainly believe that Linked Learning is a great way to prepare all students for success in college and their careers, and are pleased that policymakers across the nation are taking notice.

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An Update from Irvine Board Chair Greg Avis on CEO Search

BY Greg Avis
Greg Avis
Greg Avis is chair of the board of The James Irvine Foundation. Avis is a Foundi
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| Jan 16, 2014

With the start of the new year, I wanted to provide another update on our search for the next Irvine Foundation President and CEO. The search committee has selected Spencer Stuart, a national executive search firm, to partner with the committee and the board. The decision comes after committee interviews with several national search firms.

Spencer Stuart is one of the world’s leading executive search consulting firms, and has completed national foundation CEO search assignments for the Gates, Ford, and MacArthur foundations, among others. We are delighted to partner with Spencer Stuart and have full confidence that they will support the search committee in developing a careful process that takes into account the importance of this position for the Irvine Foundation, its grantees and partners.

We will continue to provide updates here, when available. When the position specification is finalized, we will post it with the appropriate contact information. In the meantime, if you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact us here. Read more >>
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Weaving Arts Engagement into our DNA

BY Josephine Ramirez
Josephine Ramirez
As Arts Program Director, Josephine is leading the implementation of a new grant
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| Jan 10, 2014

At Irvine, we talk a lot about the “new California.” It’s shorthand for the ongoing evolution of our state, one driven by demographic shifts, innovations in technology and other forces that drive home the adage, the only constant is change.

For the past two years, our arts program has focused on encouraging arts organizations to adapt to these changes. Through our Exploring Engagement Fund, we’ve made grants to nonprofits that are experimenting with arts engagement practices and reshaping the who, how and where of engaging new and diverse audiences and participants. This type of risk innovation is essential for the future and health of the field and we will continue to invest in it.

But piloting innovation has always been just one aspect of our strategy. From the beginning, we’ve known that, to truly adapt to a new California — which is to say, a state of continual change — requires a much deeper approach: one that shifts engagement from something we do to who we are.

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In the News: December 2013

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
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| Jan 01, 2014

In December 2013, the following published articles mentioned the work of the Foundation or our grantees:

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What was the Buzz in 2013?

BY Joyce Sood
Joyce Sood
As Digital Communications Officer, Joyce Sood leads Irvine's social media and di
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| Dec 26, 2013

2013 was a big year for Irvine — from moving our San Francisco office to announcing a leadership transition to launching a new strategy in our California Democracy program. Here’s a look back at some of our biggest moments trending on Twitter this past year:

President and CEO Jim Canales blogged about transparency in philanthropy.

 

We refined our work in California Democracy.

 

Jim announced he will be stepping down as Irvine’s CEO.

 

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Guest Post: Connecting Schools with Industry Professionals

BY Jennifer Ortega
Jennifer Ortega
As the California director for the national business leaders organization Americ
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| Dec 20, 2013

California State Director, America’s Edge

As the Linked Learning movement builds momentum throughout California, it is imperative that the field create systems to better connect schools with local industry professionals so students get essential work-based learning experiences.

Given the data on California’s skills gap, such partnerships that prepare young people for success in college and the workforce are truly needed. These partnerships give employers the opportunity to help inform students about their industry and coach students who might one day work for their company.

While this “return on investment” is a good reason for employers to get involved, a new incentive for school-business partnerships has emerged. Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg proposed and pressed for a $250 million set-aside in the 2013-14 state budget to support the development of systems for strong regional partnerships among school districts, community colleges, and employers. Known as the Career Pathways Trust, this $250 million will be distributed by the California Department of Education in the form of competitive grants in 2014.

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An Update from Irvine Board Chair Greg Avis

BY Greg Avis
Greg Avis
Greg Avis is chair of the board of The James Irvine Foundation. Avis is a Foundi
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| Dec 16, 2013

Earlier this month, the James Irvine Foundation’s Board of Directors met for its December meeting. We greatly enjoy these quarterly meetings for the opportunity to deeply engage with the staff and the Foundation’s programmatic work to expand opportunity for the people of California. Among other exciting developments from this meeting, including our approval of a set of grants, we made progress on some next steps regarding planning for Jim Canales’ departure as Irvine Foundation President and CEO. I want to provide several updates for you here.

During the meeting, the board appointed our Executive Vice President Don Howard to serve as the Foundation’s Interim President and CEO upon Jim’s departure on February 14. Don has been a long-time trusted colleague for Irvine, between his current tenure overseeing the Foundation’s program and grantmaking activities, and his previous years serving as a trusted strategic advisor to Irvine. The board is deeply committed to making sure that the Foundation continues with its momentum and impact. With the tenure and strength of the senior leadership team in place at Irvine, including Don, the organization is in a strong place as we search for the Foundation’s next president and CEO.

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Irvine Board Approves $18.5 Million in Grants

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
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| Dec 09, 2013

Our Board of Directors approved $18.5 million in grants at its quarterly meeting last week. Of the 23 approved grants, 10 grants were within Arts, nine grants within California Democracy, two in our Youth program, one in Special Initiatives, and one Special Opportunity grant.

Here are some highlights of the new grants:

New California Arts Fund — The Arts program made grants to 10 organizations totaling over $8 million under the New California Arts Fund (NCAF). These grants, part of the next phase of our Arts strategy, will support arts nonprofits to adapt to change and move engagement to the core of their mission.

Voter Outreach and Technology (VOTE) Initiative — Our California Democracy program made grants to organizations as part of the Voter and Civic Engagement priority. The Regents of the University of California received $400,000 to evaluate voter outreach experiments and identify best practices in nonpartisan voter mobilization. Together, these grants are experimenting with new voter-targeting methods to effectively incorporate new technologies to increase the impact of voter outreach efforts.

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In the News: November 2013

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
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| Dec 01, 2013

Guest Post: Immigrant Integration - California Leads the Way

BY Reshma Shamasunder
Reshma Shamasunder
Reshma Shamasunder has served as Executive Director of the California Immigrant
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| Nov 27, 2013

Executive Director, California Immigrant Policy Center

The courage and determination of immigrant Californians have transformed the state – and they will soon transform the nation.

We’re experiencing what Governor Jerry Brown declared a “grand and great transition” towards a more inclusive future. This really is the “Year of the Immigrant” in California.

I’m proud to be a Californian and advocate for immigrant rights during this exciting moment – a feeling reverberating throughout our state’s immigrant communities. Recent victories advance true inclusion of immigrants and lay the groundwork for important fights ahead.

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