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In the News: June 2013

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
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| Jun 28, 2013

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

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Yes, Foster Collaborations, But How?

BY Amy Dominguez-Arms
Amy Dominguez-Arms
As Director of the California Democracy program, Amy leads strategies aimed at i
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| Jun 25, 2013

The following is a blog post Amy Dominguez-Arms wrote for the Social Impact Exchange blog during the organization’s recent conference on Scaling Impact, on June 18-20 in New York City.

I was re-inspired by my fellow panelists and other speakers at the Social Impact Exchange Conference this week about the many ways philanthropy can contribute to social good. At the same time, I was struck by the complexities involved in how we select and exercise different roles.

During our panel discussion on “When is Philanthropy
(Ir) Relevant?” Sam Karp of the California HealthCare Foundation described his foundation’s leadership of an eleven-state, cross-sector collaborative to develop a standardized user-friendly interface for health care enrollment connected to implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Sharon Alpert of the Surdna Foundation talked about Surdna’s work to support and network city officials across the country and others dedicated to implementing sustainability strategies. And, at the opening luncheon on Wednesday, Rip Rapson shared the Kresge Foundation’s impressive multifaceted effort to reinvigorate Detroit’s economy. In each case, funders had identified an opportunity to tackle a critical issue by pulling together creative cross-sector partnerships.

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Arts Grantees Explore Arts Engagement

BY Jeanne Sakamoto
Jeanne Sakamoto
Jeanne Sakamoto has worked at Irvine since 2004 and helps oversee many of the Fo
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| Jun 18, 2013
Last Friday, our board approved 27 new grants as part of our statewide Exploring Engagement Fund and another six grants as part of our more targeted Exploring Engagement Fund for Priority Regions (focused on the Inland Empire and San Joaquin Valley). We are now partnering with 86 grantees across the state to experiment with a wide variety of new arts engagement opportunities for Californians.

With this latest round of grants, organizations from Ukiah to Fresno to San Diego will be experimenting over the next two years with new models of arts engagement. While each project is distinct to the organization’s expertise, community and artistic discipline, we saw some recurring themes across this diverse set of grants.

For many organizations, Exploring Engagement Fund projects will help them connect to specific types of audiences and participants that may have had little contact with the organization or the art form it presents. The Anaheim Ballet, for example, will connect to new audiences in new ways through a series of unexpected, brief dance performances and participatory instruction sessions in nontraditional spaces during peak pedestrian traffic times, attempting to spark interest in and conversation about their art form.

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Irvine Board Approves $20.45 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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| Jun 17, 2013

Our Board of Directors approved $20.45 million in grants at its quarterly meeting last week. Of the 52 approved grants, 35 are in the Arts, 12 within California Democracy, and five in our Youth program.

Here are some highlights from these new grants:

Exploring Engagement Funds — We added 33 new grantees to the Exploring Engagement Funds as part of the Arts program's goal to promote engagement in the arts for all Californians. Grand Vision Foundation and Company of Angels are examples of grantees that are exploring new practices that deepen and expand connections with their communities.

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Guest Post: What Happens “When the People Draw the Lines”?

BY Raphael J. Sonenshein
Raphael J. Sonenshein
Raphael J. Sonenshein is the Executive Director of the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Ins
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| Jun 12, 2013

By Raphael J. Sonenshein, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at Cal State Los Angeles

Back in 2008, California voters narrowly approved a ballot measure to turn the state’s redistricting process upside down. Instead of Sacramento’s incumbent elected officials (and sometimes judges) drawing the lines, the job would be handed over to a citizen commission. Two years later, the voters added congressional districts to the commission’s charge. By 2011, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission was up and running.

The League of Women Voters of California and The James Irvine Foundation asked me to research and write an independent assessment of this new redistricting process. The result is the report issued this week, “When the People Draw the Lines.”

I found that the citizen redistricting process was essentially successful. At the same time, it was clear that the commission faced some organizational obstacles that need to be corrected in time for the next citizen redistricting commission.

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Irvine In The News: May 2013

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

Strengthening College Connections

BY Kenji Treanor
Kenji Treanor
Kenji Treanor has worked at Irvine since 2004 and helps oversee Youth program gr
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| May 24, 2013
Educators have been working to extend the impact of Linked Learning by strengthening connections between high school and community college, sharing practices and data as part of the California Community College Linked Learning Initiative (CCCLLI). Earlier this month, as I attended a CCCLLI event in Sacramento, I found myself excited by some early results.

The initiative is showing promising signs of improving students’ success. Specifically:

  • At Pasadena City College, the overall grade point average of students in the CCCLLI-supported program was 3.31 compared to 2.74 for non-program students.
  • At Sacramento City College, 93% of students in the CCCLLI-supported program completed at least 13 units in their first semester compared to just 21% of non-program students who completed 13 units within six semesters.

These early outcomes from within the initiative – which includes high school and community college educators from eight sites across the state – are very encouraging as Irvine strives to strengthen Linked Learning students’ transition into college and attainment of credentials. All of the CCCLLI sites are using five strategies toward this objective:

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A Transparency Mindset in the Foundation Boardroom

BY Jim Canales
Jim Canales
Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine
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| May 22, 2013

In an essay this week for the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, Irvine President and CEO Jim Canales addresses three questions that we should be asking to bring greater transparency to foundation boardrooms. The essay is reprinted here:

With its recent report, Foundation Transparency: What Nonprofits Want, the Center for Effective Philanthropy examines the nonprofit perspective, outlining the benefits of foundation transparency to the partners we support. As we continue to explore the merits of greater transparency in philanthropy, I propose we add another dimension to the discussion by asking: What about transparency in foundation boardrooms?

In my view, one of the fundamental duties of a foundation CEO is to construct time with the board in ways that engage trustees in substantive ways and that add value to the work of the foundation. Information sharing certainly deserves its place on board meeting agendas, but it should not comprise the majority of the board’s time together. Rather, we should be building into our board agendas opportunities for strategic dialogue, robust engagement, and, yes, even debate and disagreement. And, as we do so, a transparency mindset is essential.

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Recognizing the Value of Public Participation

BY Amy Dominguez-Arms
Amy Dominguez-Arms
As Director of the California Democracy program, Amy leads strategies aimed at i
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| May 21, 2013 1

At Irvine, we believe a healthy democracy depends on decision making informed by the views and experiences of a broad cross-section of our communities. That’s why we’re heartened by the many public officials and civic leaders who place a high value on public participation and are interested in exploring new strategies to engage the public in decisions affecting their future

A new study, commissioned by the Irvine Foundation, shows that public officials and civic organization leaders have much more in common in their views of public engagement in local decision-making than we might assume. In the study of more than 900 elected and nonelected public officials and more than 500 leaders of civic and community-based organizations across California, Public Agenda found the following:

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USC Report: Immigration Reform Could Boost California Economy

BY Amy Dominguez-Arms
Amy Dominguez-Arms
As Director of the California Democracy program, Amy leads strategies aimed at i
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| May 08, 2013
The USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration just released a new report titled What's at Stake for the State: Undocumented Californians, Immigration Reform and Our Future Together. Funded in part by the Irvine Foundation, the report calculates the potential economic gains to California overall and in specific regions through national immigration reform. The researchers provide as a conservative estimate that the state’s economy could grow by $4.5 billion annually once undocumented residents have access to the greater educational and economic opportunities afforded by authorization and citizenship. The report authors call for California to plan ahead and to learn from existing regional cross-sector collaborations for effective integration of all residents into our society. One of the report authors, Dr. Manuel Pastor, made the case for reform in a compelling op-ed column in the Sacramento Bee. Here is the beginning of Dr. Pastor’s column:

 

Viewpoints: Why immigration overhaul matters to state
By Manuel Pastor

Reprinted from The Sacramento Bee, May 7, 2013

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