The Spencer, Doris Duke Charitable, and William T. Grant foundations have announced nearly $2 million in grants to encourage research institutions to build sustained public-private research-practice partnerships aimed at reducing disparities in youth outcomes.
Awarded through the William T. Grant Foundation’s Institutional Challenge Grantprogram, grants of $650,000 over three years will be awarded to Boston College, Northwestern University, and the University of California, Berkeley in support of the development or expansion of partnerships with local nonprofits or school districts focused on addressing challenges such as chronic absenteeism, racial gaps in school discipline, and youth homelessness.
To that end, the Northwestern-Evanston Education Research Alliance, a partnership between the Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy, Evanston Township High School District 202, and Evanston/Skokie District 65, will conduct research focused on promoting racial and economic equity and excellence in learning environments both in school and out of school; the University of California, Berkeley and the San Francisco Unified School District will work to strengthen an existing partnership focused on reducing disparities in chronic absenteeism; and the Boston College School of Social Work and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley will work to refine, expand, and evaluate a recently piloted intervention designed to prevent homelessness and mitigate the disruptions it causes in school.
“There is much that needs to be done in tackling social problems,” said Grant Foundation president Adam Gamoran. “One powerful approach is for foundations to work together to incentivize new ways of working to advance goals for social change. In pooling our funding, we are amplifying the call for more universities to step up and support collaborative research and build sustained partnerships with public serving agencies and nonprofits so that critical problems can be addressed in more immediate and relevant ways.”