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Showing posts from May, 2017

Expanding Early Childhood Leadership in Illinois

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by Cornelia Grumman, Director, Education Program With support from the McCormick Foundation’s Education Program, the Erikson Institute in March launched a new track of its Early Childhood Leadership Academy. The McCormick Foundation Executive Fellows program trains high-level leaders across disciplines — including politics, government, law enforcement, education, the law — about key components of the early education system. Fellows will hear from experts on leading-edge research, visit exemplary early childhood settings, network with cross-sector leaders and receive on-demand online content. Equipped with this information, the executives can make better informed decisions about policies and resource allocation in their respective fields to advance outcomes for young children.

Discussing Controversial Topics: Civic Education is Key

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by Shawn P. Healy, Director, Democracy Program In April, I participated on a panel at a Council on Foundations’ preconference in Dallas, discussing Philanthropy’s Role in Strengthening America’s Democracy. I was asked to weigh in on a narrative that dominates our county today: (1) Are we a divided country? (2) And if so, how do you see civic education helping to bridge our differences? The McCormick Foundation’s statewide civic education work offers guidance on how schools and educators can begin bridging ideological and geographic divides. Context matters a great deal. A controversial issue in one region is settled in another. Research suggests that most of us follow the guidance of our grandparents to not discuss politics or religion . For the junkies among us, we're more likely to discuss politics among those with whom we agree, leading to the ideological amplification that increasingly cripples our democracy . Understanding how to productively discuss controversial topics a

Securing Meaningful Careers for Chicago Veterans

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by Megan Everett, Director, Veterans Program There are a lot of misconceptions about veterans. PTSD or on the brink of committing suicide. Physically aggressive. Broken heroes. The list goes on and on. Veteran-stereotypes are just that, stereotypes. And like most stereotypes they are not true. The reality is most veterans are neither heroes nor broken, they are normal people looking to lead happy lives, have loving families, and obtain meaningful, successful careers. Sadly, this is not reality that most veterans face when returning from service. According to a recent survey issued by the University of Southern California and Loyal University of Chicago, Chicago veterans are unprepared for the shift from military to civilian workforce, and, consequently struggle during the transition process. The study also showed about half of post-9/11 veterans, returning to Chicago, will experience a period of unemployment. Here’s the thing — veterans ARE trained leaders for whom account

Remembering the Forgotten War: WWI Centennial

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One hundred years ago, the United States entered "the war to end all wars." Two momentous events in 1917 set the U.S. Army on its path from the U.S.-Mexican border in Texas to the poppy-covered fields of Cantigny, France. Germany’s resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare provoked an American declaration of war in April and a promise from President Woodrow Wilson to immediately dispatch “a division” to France, which at the time the U.S. had none. The four infantry regiments selected to comprise the “First Expeditionary Division,” were among the very first to arrive in France in June 1917 and complete enough training to be ready by the spring of 1918. The 1 st Division's formative experience preparing for combat on the Western Front in World War I challenged soldiers in ways their counterparts today might recognize - raw recruits manning a new organization; extreme personnel turbulence; unfamiliar technology; precarious relationships with allies; doctrinal uncerta