An Interview with Jennifer Humke, Senior Program Officer, MacArthur Foundation…On How Bottom-Up, Citizen-Made Media Strengthens Democracy

Jennifer Humke

Jennifer Humke is senior program officer for Journalism and Media at the John D. and Catherine T.  MacArthur Foundation. Jennifer focuses primarily on grantmaking in participatory civic media as part of the journalism and media team. In this role, she makes grants to enable more individuals and groups to use participatory media for social change. Recently, Janet Camarena, director of transparency initiatives for Foundation Center, interviewed Jennifer about how supporting citizen-made media can improve our democracy.

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Staff Pick: The Promise and Limits of First Amendment Rights on College Campuses

Rebecca Leviss

Institutions of higher learning are natural places for the open exchange of ideas, debating diverse viewpoints, and learning from people who come from different backgrounds. Yet, in recent years, the issue of free speech on college campuses has at once empowered, and also confused, isolated, and angered students, university administrations, alumni, and the American public.

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Philanthropy in the War Zone

Brad Smith

Most of the things philanthropists care about — civility, moderation, partnership, consensus — are fast disappearing. Our country, and much of the world, seem to be moving to a kind of scorched-earth politics in which division along ethnic, racial, religious, gender and identity lines is the currency of power. How should foundations navigate the world of 2018 and beyond? To be sure, foundations have something valuable to contribute. But will they use them to fight, transcend, or simply ignore the conflict that surrounds them?

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Now More Than Ever, Foundations Need to Step Up for Democracy

Mark Rosenman

Charities have created little opportunity for themselves to be heard on the tax bill, and it's unlikely their collective voice could affect anything but the proposed repeal of the Johnson Amendment — an action that, if not dropped from the final bill, would turn tax-exempt organizations into partisan political action groups.

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Mobilizing Community College Students to Protect Our Democracy

Catalina Ruiz-Healy

Today, almost half of undergraduates in the United States are enrolled in community colleges. Compared to students at the nation's four-year colleges and universities, community college students are significantly more diverse. By mobilizing students to become active in their communities (and society more broadly), we ensure that government and other institutions are more accountable to everybody — not just the privileged (or loudest) few.

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Foundation Funding for U.S. Democracy': What Does the Data Say?

Larry McGill

Concerns about U.S. democracy are on the minds of America's philanthropic institutions. We know, of course, about the "dark money" that is being pumped into the electoral process in an attempt to influence the outcomes of U.S. elections. But what about the efforts of U.S. foundations who see the task of improving U.S. democracy as an important part of their philanthropic missions?

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