November 10, 2011

The Following article originated from

Beatrice Joyce Kean established the Joyce Foundation in 1948 after accumulating hundreds of millions of dollars in the lumber industry (via family-owned timberlands, plywood and saw mills, and wholesale and retail building-material distribution facilities). During her lifetime, most of Ms. Kean's modestly small philanthropic gifts were to apolitical recipients such as hospitals and health organizations. After her death in 1972, a professional staff took control of the Foundation and began to move it toward the political left. At first, universities and cultural institutions were added to its roster of grant recipients. A few years later, radical environmentalist and conservation groups entered the picture, as eventually did organizations dedicated to social justice, prison reform, and increased funding for government and social services, particularly for minorities. A notable recent member of the Joyce Foundation's Board of Directors was Barack Obama, who ran successfully as the Democratic candidate for an Illinois Senate seat in 2004.

Today the Joyce Foundation seeks to “suppor[t] efforts to protect the natural environment of the Great Lakes, to reduce poverty and violence in the region, and to ensure that its people have access to good schools, decent jobs, and a diverse and thriving culture.” The Foundation has six main Giving Programs toward which it directs its philanthropy:

(a) The Environmental Program funds organizations that oppose the use of land for such endeavors as logging, mining, construction, and oil exploration; many of these groups are hostile to a capitalist economic model as well. The Environmental Program warns of global warming -- which it attributes largely to pollution created by industrial endeavors -- and advocates the increased use of bicycles and mass transit as transportation alternatives to cars.

(b) The Anti-Gun Program seeks to drive small gun dealerships out of business by placing the firearms industry completely under consumer product health and safety oversight. It misrepresents the findings of research on gun-related deaths by failing to distinguish between gun-related deaths among inner-city gang members, where the death rates from shootings are astronomical, and gun-related deaths among members of the general population, which are relatively rare. As a result, it depicts gun violence as a national epidemic, thereby creating a perceived justification for what it hopes will be the erosion of Second Amendment rights.

(c) The Cultural Program seeks to "encourage the major cultural organizations to increase the participation of people of color" in their activities and their employ -- and to bring "diverse audiences together to share common cultural experiences."

(d) The Employment Program says that 20 percent of all workers earn too little to lift themselves out of poverty. To combat this problem, the Foundation advocates policies that "improve job retention and stability, including work-related benefits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, health insurance, and child care," though it does not fund programs that offer job training or placement services for individuals.

(e) The Money and Politics program decries the effect that big money plays in American political life, and urges ever-stronger campaign finance reform laws. It also supports groups dedicated to coalition-building, advocacy, and litigation. The objective is to use trial lawyers and activist judges to promote leftist agendas that the citizenry and its elected lawmakers do not pass via the legislative process.

(f) The Education Program stresses the importance of early childhood education and the recruitment of good teachers to "high-need schools" (i.e., inner-city schools). Calling for increased government spending on public education, this program supports universal pre-school and "high quality early learning opportunities, especially for low-income and minority children." It favors "social promotion" (whereby students are promoted to the next grade even if they are academically unprepared for such a move). And it supports teacher-preparation programs with an "urban focus," and which offer the option of "high quality alternative certification" -- meaning that individuals who are unable to receive regular certification may still become classroom teachers.

Among the many recipients of Joyce Foundation funding are: the Tides Foundation; the Tides Center; the Center for Science in the Public Interest; the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; the Union of Concerned Scientists; the Environmental Defense Fund; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Physicians for Social Responsibility; Izaak Walton League of America; the World Wildlife Fund; the Sierra Club; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; the National Council of La Raza; the League of Women Voters; the Center for Community Change; Alliance for Justice; the World Resources Institute; Common Cause; the Environmental Law Institute; the Environmental Working Group; the Brookings Institution; SUSTAIN; the Center for a Sustainable Economy; the National Wildlife Federation; Greenpeace; Friends of the Earth; the America Farmland Trust; the American Bar Association; Environmental Media Services; the Environmental Law Society; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Education Fund; the Urban Institute; the Council on Foundations; the League of Conservation Voters; the Environmental Grantmakers Association; the Farmers Legal Action Group; the U.S. Public Interest Research Group; the Earth Day Network; the Public Citizen Foundation; the American Friends Service Committee; National Public Radio; the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; the Children's Defense Fund of Ohio; the Jane Addams Resource Corporation; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the World Resources Institute; the Democracy 21 Education Fund; the National Network of Grantmakers; the Nine to Five Working Women Education Fund; the Rockefeller Family Fund; the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; the World Resources Institute; the League of Conservation Voters; the Rocky Mountain Institute; the Environmental Law and Policy Center; the New America Foundation; the Consumers Union; the Poverty and Race Research Action Council; the Center for Economic Progress; the Delta Institute; the Center for Law and Social Policy; AFL-CIO Working for America Institute; the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago; the Citizen Advocacy Center; the Legal Action Center; Facing History and Ourselves National Foundation; the Legal Action Center of the City of New York; the National Employment Law Project; the National Center on Poverty Law, Inc.; the Million Mom March Foundation; the Center for Urban Research and Policy Studies; the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics; the Nature Conservancy; the National Voting Rights Institute;  the Center for Rural Affairs; the Jobs Now Coalition; the Biodiversity Project; the Campaign Finance Institute; the Food Research and Action Center; American Rivers; Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice; the Child and Family Policy Center; the Ecology Center; the Open Lands Project; the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium; the Democracy 21 Education Fund; the Edmund S. Muskie Foundation; the Land Stewardship Project; the Tellus Institute; Work, Welfare and Families; the Center for Public Integrity; the Third Way Foundation; the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence; the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort Educational Fund; the Handgun Epidemic Lowering Plan Network; the Council Against Handgun Violence; Legal Community Against Violence; Handgun Free America; the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence; the Coalition Against Gun Violence; the Violence Policy Center; the National Association for Public Interest Law; the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; the Institute for Women's Policy Research; the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy; the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture; the William J. Brennan Center for Justice; the Civil Society Institute; the Minnesota Project; the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights; the Center for Voting and Democracy; the Center for Economic and Policy Research; the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies; the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources; the Center for Responsive Politics; the Public Campaign; and the Proteus Fund.


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