What will the Hazen Foundation Support?
In the past five years, Hazen’s funding contributed significantly to the development and expansion of the youth organizing field through its focus on increasing the number of community organizations involved in the work, supporting different youth organizing models and approaches, as well as connecting youth organizers and young leaders to one another. As a result, there are now clusters of young leaders and organizers who are engaged in school and community decision-making throughout the country. Equally important, Hazen-supported youth organizing groups have won numerous victories around education reform, community improvements, safety, recreation, jobs, transportation, anti-racism and other issues.
During 2005-2009, Hazen will allocate approximately $2.5 million in youth development grants using a multi-pronged strategy that includes:
1. Focused, Sustained, Funding for a Core Cohort of Youth Organizing Groups – During 2005-2009, while maintaining a national program, Hazen will fund primarily existing youth organizing groups around the country that are poised to increase the number and leadership capacity of the young people involved in their work, as well as expand the scope, scale and impact of their organizing on concrete issues that affect young people’s development, in particular youth of color and lower income youth and their communities in order to enable existing youth organizing groups to expand their membership base, increase the number and strengthen the capacity of their core youth leaders and organizers, and attract the necessary resources needed to deepen and scale up their work in order to affect larger scale policy and community change. Specifically, Hazen will support:
Existing youth organizing groups that are conducting or are ready to undertake promising organizing campaigns around key issues affecting low income youth and communities of color (i.e., public education, juvenile justice, community and youth public investments, environmental justice, etc) and that have a viable plan for involving more young people in their work and enhancing their leadership capacity;
A few capacity building initiatives that are focused on helping youth organizing groups strengthen their practice and increase the scale and impact of their organizing work.
2. Fostering Peer-to-Peer Learning, Networks and Coalitions – In partnership with other funders and youth organizing intermediaries Hazen will continue to create and/or expand opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and creation of formal networks and coalitions as a way to foster greater communications and collaboration among youth organizing groups and to raise the visibility and sense of movement of the young people involved in their work. To this end the Foundation will:
Support on a limited basis the efforts of youth organizing intermediaries to provide networking and training opportunities for youth leaders and organizers in the same region;
Develop and implement in partnership with other funders, youth organizing practitioners and/or intermediaries regular national convenings for youth leaders from across the country and from different organizing disciplines;
Promote and support the creation of new networks and /or coalitions of youth organizing groups to pursue joint organizing campaigns.
3. Collaboration and Partnering with Funders – During the period 2005-2009, and in partnership with the other funders, Hazen will work to help develop stable local, regional and national funding structures to help expand, strengthen and sustain youth organizing over the long term. During this period the Foundation will work to:
Create or support opportunities to bring youth organizing practitioners and funders together locally, regionally and nationally to strategize on how to strengthen, sustain, and move the field forward;
Help create a sustainable funding pool for youth organizing in the South in collaboration with local, regional and national funders working in this region.
4. Documentation & Dissemination of Best Practices, Successes & Models – During the next five years Hazen will continue to support documentation and dissemination of information about the maturing field of youth organizing though papers, articles, case studies and reports about successful youth organizing approaches, models, and campaigns. Similarly, Foundation staff will continue to participate actively in local, regional and national meetings, briefings and conferences of funders, in particular youth development funders and community foundations and be a resource to others (e.g. academics, youth development experts, etc) who want to learn more about the practice and promise of youth organizing.
Over the period 2005-2009, it is expected that Hazen will fund primarily existing youth organizing groups that:
Are poised to expand the scope, scale and impact of their organizing on concrete issues that affect young people’s development, in particular youth of color and lower income youth and their communities;
Have a well-developed strategy for building a larger, stronger, leadership and membership base and an action plan for increasing the leadership capacity of young people involved in the work as well;
Whose work can serve to inform that of other organizations in the field as well as to demonstrate the effectiveness of youth organizing as a strategy for youth leadership development and social change.
Further, the Foundation will seek to fund groups that are located primarily in parts of the country where there are clusters of youth organizing groups, youth organizing intermediaries and a current or potential base of funders to support the work.