Showing posts from August, 2020

Democracy Program Grant Opportunity

The Essentials Through 5pm CT on Monday, October 5th, 2020 the Democracy Program is accepting Letters of Inquiry (LOI) to support programs and organizations working in our three Focus Areas : Strengthen Local Journalism, Engage Youth Civically and Invigorate Public Institutions. Grant requests may be for work in any Focus Area and should be over $50,000. How to Apply for a Grant Visit the Democracy Program’s “Apply for a Grant” page where you will find our funding criteria (e.g. you must be a 501(c)(3)nonprofit), a timeline for our review process, and a link to the online portal through which you must submit your LOI. What is an LOI? The LOI is the first stage in our two-stage application process for evaluating grant requests. The first stage of the process serves as an introduction for the Democracy Program staff to your organization and the work you propose to undertake during the grant period and how it aligns with our strategy. The LOI provides helpful information on: Adm

Veterans Addressing Food Insecurities During COVID-19

This article is the first in a series written by the McCormick Foundation’s Veterans Program, introducing topics that have impacted the Veterans Community in 2020. This article introduces the issue of food insecurity in the veteran community. Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center had been closed for non-essential operations, including its food pantries, one of the first of its kind to open back in 1996. In response to the closure, a grassroots group of active veterans led by the Travis Manion Foundation began conversations to discuss emerging issues including food insecurity and how to reopen the facility. Hosted by the nearby First Immanuel Lutheran Church, a little more than a mile from the original location of the food pantry, the local community joined with veterans to provide prearranged food bags for veterans and nearby residents. Since May, the group has gathered on five occasions (with a sixth planned for late August)

Achieving the Civic Mission of News

Mapping Chicago’s local news coverage In the Democracy Program, we envision a day when all residents of the Chicago region will be informed and engaged citizens. To achieve this goal, we need to ensure there is sufficient high-quality, civically relevant, and personally resonant information available to each resident of our region. A new study by the Center for Media Engagement reveals topical and geographic gaps we need to fill in our information ecosystem to achieve this vision. It builds on earlier work and shows how these gaps align with low community confidence in the local news media. Understanding the gaps Researchers collected all articles published on the websites of 21 local news organizations over a two-week period. They then mapped the locations mentioned and the topics covered in each article. The research revealed a geographic imbalance in local news coverage. Chicago’s North Side and Downtown are mentioned more than twice as much as the South Side and more t