March 4, 2019

Monday, March 4, 2019

MI Nonprofits Count Campaign Highlighted in National Census Scan

Census 2020 is now just a year away and we’re getting a closer look at how philanthropy across the country is supporting efforts for a complete, accurate and equitable census count.

Grassroots Solutions and the Bauman Foundation have released the Census 2020 State Landscape Scan which features the work underway in Michigan being led by the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) in partnership with CMF.

The scan outlines the unique systems put in place to support census efforts across the country, showcasing the work of philanthropy in six states and detailing their varied implementation efforts for those who may want to model such work in their own communities.

CMF worked with MNA and funders to help create the Michigan Nonprofits Count Campaign that launched in 2017 with support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The campaign assets have grown to $5.4 million and is supported by more than 40 CMF members.

The scan details the infrastructure of the campaign. CMF worked with MNA to create the framework that leverages the community leadership and grantmaking expertise of community foundations, United Ways and other community-based organizations as regional hubs connecting the state level activities with the grassroots organizations that are closest to the people that are hardest to count.   

“This framework has matured into the basis of the campaign infrastructure and has the promise of becoming a sustainable resource to support future civic engagement and democracy-related work,” Debbie McKeon, executive vice president and COO at CMF said. “What began as a framework to allow place-based funders to grant into a statewide pooled fund quickly transitioned to a core campaign component once we began deep conversations with community foundation leadership and realized the potential.”

As it has now emerged as a national model, McKeon is sharing CMF’s learnings in meetings and webinars nationally to be a resource to the work of others.

"It’s an honor to have our campaign recognized as a national model,” Joan Gustafson, external affairs officer at MNA said. “It is truly a testament to our strong partnership with CMF and our commitment to ensuring a fair and accurate count in Michigan."

MNA leads the statewide infrastructure and regional hubs, which in turn are led by local community foundations or another local entity. With the addition of a 13th census hub last week, the campaign now covers every region of our state. The regional hubs will receive mini-grants to grant to grassroots organizations doing on-the-ground outreach efforts. Seven CMF member community foundations are serving as regional hubs in their area.

The scan also details the challenges facing each of the six states highlighted in the brief.

Michigan snapshot:

  • Our state relies more on federal funding than any other state in the country except Mississippi, as 40 percent of our state funding comes from the federal funding derived from census data.

  • Michigan stands to lose an estimated $1,800 per person, per year, for 10 years for every person who isn’t counted.

  • Michigan is home to a number of residents who are part of historically undercounted populations. Detroit had some of the highest undercount numbers in the last census.

  • Communities most at-risk for being undercounted are Arab Americans, immigrants, Latinx, children under the age of 5, rural residents and African-Americans in urban areas.

The scan shares that the use of regional hubs in Michigan will help to leverage the work of local governments in alignment with the nonprofit campaign. MNA and CMF have held education briefings and meetings with mayors in urban and rural areas across the state.

Gustafson shares that the campaign is working closely with the 13 regional hubs to develop local get-out-the-count initiatives and administer mini-grants to community-based nonprofit organizations in their respective regions.

Want more?

Check out the scan.

Connect with the Michigan Nonprofits Count Campaign.







Michigan Safety and Justice Roundtable Reports

Two new reports are providing a comprehensive look at some of the issues youth and adults are facing within our justice system and recommendations for justice reform in Michigan.

The Hudson-Webber Foundation, in partnership with The Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the Michigan League for Public Policy, has released the reports which were developed from data and input gathered during the Michigan Safety and Justice Roundtable.

“The roundtable and resulting reports reflect input of diverse leaders and experts from across disciplines who came together with a shared mission to improve outcomes for thousands of justice-involved adults and youth across Michigan,” Melanca Clark, president and CEO of the Hudson-Webber Foundation and CMF Trustee said.

Data at a glance:

  • In January 2018, nearly 99,000 Michigan residents were under the supervision of the Department of Corrections, including those on probation and parole.

  • Michigan incarcerates 40,000 people at any given time in 31 prisons.

  • 95 percent of those who are incarcerated will return home.

  • More than 10,000 Michigan youth are arrested every year, 90 percent of whom are arrested for non-violent offenses.

  • Michigan is one of only four states that automatically considers 17-year-olds as adults (instead of juveniles) in the justice system.

The two reports examine a range of areas and issues affecting those who are considered justice-involved, including data reporting, poverty, lengths of stay and much more. We’re taking a look at a few areas that particularly relate to philanthropy.

Expanding community-based care for justice-involved youth
The report shares that Michigan is the 6th highest in the nation when it comes to confining youth. The data also shows that those who are arrested before the age of 18 have a higher likelihood of being arrested as adults. The report recommends education and awareness about community-based alternatives to incarceration for youth. In addition, the report highlights the proposed legislation which seeks to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction from 17 to 18 and prohibit placing youth charged as adults in adult facilities.

Community policing
According to the report, 88 percent of police departments do some form of community policing and it can be quite effective, particularly when it’s building trust between law enforcement and communities. However, there are barriers such as strained relationships between law enforcement and underserved communities or communities of color, a lack of funding for such innovative programs and the difficulty in recruiting and training officers while also ensuring they reflect the diverse community they serve.

What’s working
The report shares that Flint’s Neighborhood Service Center, supported by the Ruth Mott Foundation, provides neighborhood service officers who are on-site to provide crime prevention information, file police reports for residents and document blight complaints. This ensures residents have a point of contact and can free up law enforcement officers for community policing efforts.

Overrepresentation of underserved populations in Michigan prisons
In Michigan, 56 percent of those incarcerated are people of color, while 20 percent of our state’s population are people of color. In addition, two-thirds of Michigan’s prison population has a history of substance abuse and one-fifth of prisoners have been diagnosed with a mental illness. The report suggests that community-based alternatives to incarceration could better support these individuals.

Potential action items:

  • Focus on cross-system partnerships to increase incentives and opportunities for local jurisdictions to implement community-based programming. The report shares this could include restorative justice practices or therapeutic courts.

  • Support educational opportunities for anti-bias trainings, best practices for community-based services and use of restorative justice techniques.

Removing post incarceration barriers
The report shares that since 2005 Michigan has strategically made efforts to reduce recidivism rates from 45.7 percent to 28 percent. However, that still means approximately one in every three people released will return to prison. Connecting individuals with support and opportunities once they return to their communities is critical.

What’s working
The Detroit Justice Center (DJC), which the McGregor Fund helped to launch in 2018 with a lead gift, is a community law center which addresses the harmful consequences of mass incarceration and the criminalization of poverty for Detroit families. The DJC helps to remove legal barriers facing those who have been released from incarceration, including restoring suspended driver’s licenses and expunging criminal records.

The report also highlights the work of the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) Vocational Village which provides individuals nearing release with hands-on work in carpentry, plumbing, electrical and other vocational trades. In 2016, the Office of Foundation Liaison invited CMF members on a site visit of the program at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility.

Both reports provide an extensive look into our justice system and policies to help provide equitable opportunities for those who are justice-involved.

As for next steps, Clark shares: “These reports provide specific, tangible ideas and resources for the next generation of policymakers in our state. We hope they will serve as a blueprint for creating a non-partisan and comprehensive vision for fair and effective justice in Michigan.”

Want more?

Read the full reports and connect with resources from the Michigan Safety and Justice Roundtable.







Climate Action Movement in Michigan

Michigan has an environmental roadmap of policy recommendations produced by the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and Michigan Environmental Council that includes helping our state ensure clean drinking water and mitigating the effects of climate change. Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration has announced environmental issues will be a top priority. A first of its kind Climate Action Summit was held in Grand Rapids last month to bring together climate experts, advocates and leaders focused on solutions.

These actions and others show a growing momentum for advancing climate action in our state.

Tom Porter, president of The Porter Family Foundation and co-chair of CMF’s Green and Blue Network (GBN), says he has seen a promising change in the climate change conversation.

“When we began work on [climate change] in 2014 people wouldn’t use the words ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’,” Porter said.

It was around that time that The Porter Family Foundation provided seed money to help create the Michigan Climate Action Network (MiCAN), which is comprised of individuals, groups, nonprofits and funders working toward solutions to “put us on a path of climate stability.” Fifty organizations are members of the network, including CMF members The Porter Family Foundation, Colina Foundation and Americana Foundation.

MiCAN hosted the sold-out Climate Action Summit for 300 attendees in Grand Rapids.

The summit was sponsored in part by CMF members the Wege Foundation and The Porter Family Foundation.

Porter said the overwhelming response to the summit demonstrates how the climate change conversation is evolving in Michigan.

“We had talked about doing this before, but we didn’t think the state was ready for it. It was so controversial to talk about climate change when we began,” Porter said. “But last year was a breakthrough year for climate change in a number of ways.”

For instance, in 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was released which showed that we must reduce our climate emissions by half by 2030 or the impacts will get much worse. Porter said media coverage of extreme weather events such as wildfires and flooding also became common place.

MiCAN says that data has indicated extreme weather events in 2017 cost the U.S. more than $300 billion.

Katie Madigan, director of MiCAN, recently wrote an op-ed for Bridge Magazine pointing to the urgency on a global level and in Michigan, and highlighted the work underway to combat it.

“Michigan has the 10th highest climate emissions in the country, and the U.S. has the second highest climate emissions in the world,” Madigan wrote. “Every state, including Michigan, must do its part, and policies set in Lansing — like the renewable and energy efficiency standards — are already making a difference in reducing our climate emissions.”

Porter said Governor Whitmer and her administration have made environmental issues a top priority, which is helping to spotlight the issue.

As MLive reported, Liesl Clark, director of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), made her first public appearance at the MiCAN Climate Action Summit, sharing the importance of this work for Michigan.

Porter said the summit was a success and hopes to see it become an annual event.

“It was truly inspiring,” Porter said. “It was gratifying to have the Wege Foundation there as a sponsor, as well as several other foundations – the Americana Foundation and Colina Foundation – so from a foundation perspective hopefully we can engage other foundations in this work.”

Want more?

Join the Green and Blue Network for their March 15 gathering in Owosso, PFAS: How Can Foundations Help.








The Gerber Foundation supports study to enhance the experience of babies and their parents in the NICU

Content excerpted from a press release. Read the full release.

Through the support of The Gerber Foundation, a team at Northwestern University team has developed a pair of soft, flexible wireless sensors that replace the tangle of wire-based sensors that currently monitor babies in hospitals' neonatal intensive care units (NICU) and pose a barrier to parent-baby cuddling and physical bonding.

"Wires are going up to the monitor, down to the baby, maybe going through holes in an incubator," Dr. Aaron Hamvas, co-author of the study, the Raymond and Hazel Speck Berry Professor of Neonatology at Feinberg, division head of neonatology at Lurie Children's said. "Nurses and parents try to get the babies all bundled, so they don't accidentally pull anything off them or out of the wall. It's very, very cumbersome and stressful. If the baby were totally unencumbered, it would be tremendously more efficient and less prone to problems."

The mass of wires that surround newborns in the NICU are often bigger than the babies themselves. Typically, five or six wires connect electrodes on each baby to monitors for breathing, blood pressure, blood oxygen, heartbeat and more. Although these wires ensure health and safety, they constrain the baby's movements and pose a major barrier to physical bonding during a critical period of development.

"We know that skin-to-skin contact is so important for newborns -- especially those who are sick or premature," Dr. Amy Paller, a pediatric dermatologist at Lurie Children's said. "It's been shown to decrease the risk of pulmonary complications, liver issues and infections. Yet, when you have wires everywhere and the baby is tethered to a bed, it's really hard to make skin-to-skin contact."

The device also could help fill in information gaps that exist during skin-to-skin contact. If physicians can continue to measure infants' vital signs while being held by their parents, they might learn more about just how critical this contact might be.

The team estimates that the wireless sensors will appear in American hospitals within the next two to three years. The team hopes to send sensors to tens of thousands of families in developing countries over the next year as part of an international effort.

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