The Edward W. Hazen Foundation is a private foundation founded in 1925 committed to supporting organizing and leadership of young people and communities of color in dismantling structural inequity based on race and class. The Foundation's current grantmaking targets grassroots and community-based organizations working on public education and youth development. In the area of public education, we are primarily interested community organizing around public school reform issues. Similarly, in the area of youth development, we favor proposals that focus on engaging young people in community organizing on concrete social issues.
From its inception, the Foundation has concentrated primarily on the education and development of young people "…those who in the natural course of events will be the leaders of tomorrow," as expressed by Mr. Hazen.
During its early years, the Foundation was particularly concerned with the lack of value-based and religious instruction in higher education. The Foundation resources targeted higher education initiatives in religion and values, college student counseling, international cooperation, and the Hazen fellowship program.
In the 70's, public education and youth development emerged as distinct program areas. Between 1975 and 1989, youth development grantmaking targeted middle and high school-age youth, favoring initiatives in such areas as juvenile justice, voluntarism, youth employment, teen pregnancy prevention, and computer literacy.
The Foundation’s public education funding during this period focused on making education work to serve the interest of students. Hazen was an early supporter of such efforts as peer counseling in schools, bilingual education for language minority students, arts-in-the-schools programs, alternative schools, career counseling and community service programs.
Since 1989, the Foundation's funding has focused primarily on community organizing for school reform, and youth organizing. The Foundation has designed its current grantmaking strategy with the following goals in mind:
- To foster effective schools for all students
- Full partnership for parents and communities working to reform and restructure their school systems
- Development of young people as leaders for social change
- Policies, social systems and public institutions that are supportive, responsible and accountable to youth and their communities.
Edward W. Hazen, an executive with the Curtis Publishing Company of Philadelphia, and later State Senator, established the Foundation in 1925. A nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, the Foundation is committed to supporting organizing and leadership of young people and communities of color in dismantling structural inequity based on race and class. This goal remains faithful to Mr. Hazen's original intentions and values - values that honored individual achievement and civic participation.