September 8, 2011

The Following article originated from

The Annie E. Casey Foundation was established in 1948 by Jim Casey, one of the founders of United Parcel Service, along with his two brothers and his sister, in honor of their mother. What started as a foundation devoted to supporting child welfare and long-term foster care, has refocused, over the decades, into an organization emphasizing multiculturalism and race-based programs for minorities.

The Casey Foundation favors the presence of a large, centralized government exercising control over the health care services, employment, and personal incomes of American citizens. To influence policymakers, program administrators, the news media, and other audiences in supporting innovations it regards as progressive, the Foundation led a consortium of philanthropies that provided funds to the Urban Institute for a comprehensive, nonpartisan research project called Assessing the New Federalism. Its findings confirmed the Casey Foundation's belief that adequate incomes and child care arrangements are best ensured by increased government spending and an expansion of federal welfare bureaucracy.

Because it believes that the federal government does too little to alleviate poverty in America, the Foundation has identified the "challenge of helping rebuild distressed communities" as its top grant-making priority for the immediate future. To address the problem of poverty (and its associated ills), the Casey Foundation in 1995 launched a "Jobs Initiative Program" to provide funding and support "for community-based initiatives [in such fields as construction, healthcare, manufacturing, and teleservices] in five cities in order to help young, low-income workers find meaningful jobs."

The Foundation also oversees initiatives to increase the pay and lighten the workload of social service employees; to "improve the access of disadvantaged young adults to family-supporting employment"; to provide mental health services and discussion-group forums "for children and families in disadvantaged neighborhoods"; to fund "a wide range of organizations that work directly with disadvantaged children, youth, and families, primarily in Baltimore City"; "to improve housing and social and physical infrastructure"; and to "increase public and private investment in [low-income] neighborhoods."

Another area toward which the Casey Foundation directs its philanthropy is criminal justice. Frowning upon incarceration as a means of motivating youthful offenders to reform their lives, the Foundation established its Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) in 1992 "to reduce the number of children inappropriately incarcerated; to minimize the number of youth who fail to appear in court or commit delinquent acts; to redirect public funds toward successful alternatives; and to improve conditions of confinement." The Casey Foundation website features articles lauding protesters who try to prevent the construction or expansion of juvenile detention centers.

The Foundation's opposition to the incarceration of teenagers is based on the premise that every stage of the juvenile-justice system, from arrest through sentencing, is rife with racial injustice. "Nationwide," the Foundation laments, "minority youth represent two-thirds of detained youth, but only about one-third of the total youth population. . . . It is impossible to talk about juvenile detention reform without talking about the disproportionate confinement of youth of color." In the Foundation's analysis, this imbalance is largely a function of racism and discrimination.

In 2006 the Casey Foundation issued a report titled: “Race Matters: Unequal Opportunity Within Criminal Justice.” This study concluded that the U.S. justice system is rife with “embedded racial inequities” that “work against women and men of color”; “racial stereotyping and discrimination”; “disproportionality at every step of the criminal justice process”; “statutory biases”; “poverty’s interaction with race in criminal defense”; “disproportionate imprisonment”; “differential post-release consequences”; “disparate impact on families and children”; and “disparate impact on neighborhoods.”

The Casey Foundation produces a policy magazine called AdvoCasey, which highlights "issues and policies that affect the lives of children and families in the United States." In addition, the Casey Foundation website provides links to a number of publications on such topics as: child welfare; neighborhood development; economic development; welfare reform; jobs; education; foster care; government reform and public policy; teen pregnancy; juvenile justice; and leadership development.

Among the many hundreds of Casey Foundation grantees are the following: the Tides Foundation; the Tides Center; the radical Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); Advocates for Youth; National Public Radio (NPR); the Brookings Institution; the Alan Guttmacher Institute; Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), Inc.; the Council on Foundations; the Fifth Avenue Committee; the Colorado Progressive Coalition; the Brennan Center for Justice; My Sisters Place; Public Broadcasting Service (PBS); the Women's Funding Network; the Arab American Institute Foundation; the National Organizers Alliance; the Rockefeller Family Fund; the Funders Network on Population; the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; the Aspen Institute; Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S.; Planned Parenthood; the Public Justice Center; the National Council of La Raza; the Save Middle East Action Committee; the See Forever Foundation; the Institute for Womens Policy Research; Childrens Rights; the Coalition on Human Needs; the Food Research and Action Center; the Coalition for Juvenile Justice; the Center for Law and Social Policy; We the People Media; the Center for Participatory Change; the National Trust for the Development of African American Men; the National Latino Fatherhood and Family Institute; the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy; the National Indian Child Welfare Association; the Center for Community Change; Girls Incorporated; Reproductive Health and Rights; the Social Policy Action Network; Progressive, Inc.; the Center for Black Womens Wellness; the Center for Community Alternatives; the Immigrant Advocacy Center; the Tavis Smiley Foundation; the American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education; the Urban Institute; the Kingsley House for the Black Men United for Change; the Youth Law Center; the Neighborhood Funders Group; the American Institute for Social Justice, Inc.; the Homeless Persons Representation Project; the Institute for Justice; the National Immigration Law Center; the New America Foundation; the Committee for the Prison Moratorium Project; the Independent Media Center; the Womens Prison Association and Home; the Multicultural Youth Tour of What's Now; the Martin Luther King Jr. Association for Nonviolence; the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies; the Handgun Epidemic Lowering Plan Network; the Childrens Defense Fund; the Black Women's Agenda, Inc.; the Institute for Community Peace; Direct Action for Rights and Equality; the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice; the Center for the Study of Social Policy; the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights; Children Now; the Center for Third World Organizing; the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; the Crispus Attucks Development Corporation; Lawyers for Children; The Children; the Legal Action Center; Demos: A Network for Ideas and Action; the Juvenile Justice Association; Hispanas Unidas; Doctors Against Handgun Injury; Bread for the World Institute; the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management; Alternative Directions; Alianza Dominicana; the Greater Baltimore Crisis Pregnancy Center; the InterTribal Voices of Children and Families; the Juvenile Law Center; the Interaction Institute for Social Change; Girls Inc.; and the Ms. Foundation for Women.


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