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New & Noteworthy

News and Stories from Stone, its Grantees, and the Issues it invests in.

Racial Equity Again Focus of 2020 Grantee Convening

December 7, 2020
National Leaders Speak About Education in Covid-19 and Covid-19 Recovery In September, Fifty-Two W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation grantees from all three of its program areas gathered for Transformation for Racial Equity: Moving Toward Action, the 2020 Annual Grantee Convening. Grounded by presentations from Linda Darling-Hammond, Learning Policy Institute, LaShawn Route’ Chatmon, National […]

In Wake of Multiple Crises, Stone Grantees Take Action

August 26, 2020
The beginning of summer 2020 was marked by national and international protests against the people and systems responsible for the centuries of violence and injustices against Black and other people of color. The recent murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Oluwatoyin Salau, Rayshard Brooks, and countless others killed by police have prompted a reflection on individual and systematic racism and oppression. The W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation is renewing its commitment to uplifting the work and voices of community members, and implementing sustainable, equitable systems change. To do this, we have decided to spotlight and reflect upon the many statements issued by our grantees following the murder of George Floyd.

New Data Show Statewide Snapshot of Kindergarten Readiness

August 26, 2020
Data from the statewide Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS), released today by the Illinois State Board of Education, provides a snapshot of the skills of beginning kindergarteners in Illinois in the fall of 2019 and reflects the third consecutive year of increases in kindergarten readiness scores. Given KIDS is a relatively new tool, teachers are gaining expertise in observational data collection each year of implementation – making data and trends more conclusive every year.

Standing with Black Children and Families-A Statement from the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative

June 3, 2020
Once again, the often-ignored grip of racism has erupted in America. Last week another unarmed Black man, George Floyd, was killed by a White police officer. It took nearly nine minutes to kill Mr. Floyd and he pleaded for his life for seven and a half of those minutes. This happened on the heels of the killing of first-responder Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was ambushed and murdered by police officers in her home while she slept. Her murder coincided with a surfaced video of the reckless, cold-blooded killing of Ahmaud Arbery who was hunted down by white American domestic terrorists, while he jogged in his neighborhood. These deaths are not isolated incidences; these are the ones that made the headline news. They are visible markers of racism – a White supremacy system built to oppress. All of this unfolds against the backdrop of the COVID-19 global pandemic that has killed over 103,000 Americans with communities of color, particularly Black communities, falling ill and dying at disproportionate rates. The trauma of this pandemic coupled with the terror of relentless racism calls for us, stewards of philanthropic resources, privilege, and power to speak up, stand up, and act against discrimination, injustices, and oppression being visited upon Black communities and other communities of color.The United States is built on the backs of enslaved people and systematically maintained through our various systems, policies, cultures, and biases. Unfortunately, the perniciousness of racism begins before Black and Brown children are born and is imprinted throughout their life course. It can be seen in the segregated and low wealth communities, resource-poor educational institutions and health agencies, and in many communities, the boarded-up houses. As funders who focus on young children and their families, we see effects that are wide ranging across lack of access to high quality care for physical and mental health, racial disparities in early education, and a lack of economic justice.

Grantees Consider Equity at 2019 Convening

December 12, 2019
The W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation hosted its annual Grantee Convening in September 2019. Grantees from of the Foundation's portfolios, Education, Early Childhood Development, and Youth Development, gathered to discuss equity in their work. They recognized that regardless of where they work and what age group they work with, they all face histories of oppression and systems that were designed to sift and sort, rather than achieve excellent outcomes for all. To get to a place where outcomes are not determined by race, the organizations must adapt to and overcome environments shaped by personal biases and structural racism. As context, attendees heard from Chicago's newly appointed Chief Equity Officer, Candace Moore.