Juneteenth commemorates the day when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, (about 50 miles from Arnold Ventures' headquarters) – two and a half years after its initial issuance. This federal holiday, celebrated on June 19 each year, marks the end of slavery in the United States. A powerful reminder of our country's deeply rooted history of systemic oppression towards Black people, Juneteenth underscores our collective responsibility to address the ongoing and pervasive nature of systemic racism.
At Arnold Ventures, we’re researching systems with an eye toward maximizing opportunity and minimizing injustice. And we have found, as the 96-year-old activist and “grandmother of Juneteenth” Opal Lee said in her crusade to make the date a national holiday, that “working together is a hell of a lot better than trying to do things by yourself.” In collaboration with grantees, Arnold Ventures is undertaking comprehensive and sustained efforts to dismantle unjust, discriminatory systems underpinning criminal justice, higher education, housing, health care, and more.
Similar racial inequities persist in other sectors. In higher education, grantee Student Defense is representing Black and female students who have alleged civil rights violations at the for-profit school Walden University. The school allegedly targeted students by race and gender with predatory recruitment practices and misrepresentations.
To create more affordable housing options in an aim to help close the wealth gap between white and Black Americans, Arnold Ventures announced support for Community Housing Capital’s BIPOC Affordable Housing Development Fund, which will provide capital and strategic guidance for minority-led non-profit housing developers working in communities of color. Since 2021, AV has committed more than $70 million in affordable housing investments that will help open the door to a better future for families long denied that opportunity.
In health care, Congressional leaders have called for urgent reform of government contractors to address inequity in organ transplantation – Black people are more likely to experience organ failure than white people and are much less likely to receive a transplant. Our portfolio supports breaking apart the national organ monopoly so that more people can get the lifesaving transplants they need.
As with the delayed news of the Emancipation Proclamation, the systems mentioned above have lagged in efforts to ensure justice and equity for Black Americans. The commemoration of Juneteenth stands as a testament to achieved freedom yet serves as a clarion call to persistently drive for systemic betterment.
“Freedom to me means everybody having what they need,” says Opal Lee. “It means education of our children, health care for every person who needs it. Freedom means being able to dialogue and learn from somebody from another race and not living in this climate of hate and resentment that we're living in now.” We agree with Opal Lee. In the midst of our changing society, we want to celebrate the steps, large and small, taken toward this vision of greater justice and opportunity.
State by State,
Affordable Prescriptions for All
By Michael Friedrich, ArnoldVentures.org contributor
What’s Happening: Maryland recently passed a law that confirms and strengthens the authority of the state’s prescription drug affordability board (PDAB) to set upper limits on what state and local governments can pay for prescription drugs, an effort to make them more affordable. With the law’s passage, Maryland leads a growing legislative movement across the United States — including efforts in Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and New Hampshire — that aims to protect patients who are struggling to afford high-cost drugs.
Why it Matters: About a quarter of Americans cannot afford the drugs they are prescribed. As a result, they may skip doses, cut pills in half, or do without one medication to afford another. These actions can have dire health consequences for patients with conditions like diabetes or congestive heart disease.
What’s Next: Emboldened by these leading states, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Virginia are also in strong positions to pass PDAB legislation and sign it into law.
One year ago, in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, the Supreme Court struck down New York’s century-old concealed-carry firearms law. In doing so, it also added a new historical analog standard that courts must now use to evaluate other gun policies and regulations.
What’s Happening: In partnership with the Duke Center for Firearms Law (DCFL), AV has released a new policy primer on the Bruen decision and what it means for gun regulations and policies. The primer contains key facts, resources, and recommendations alongside a Q&A with DCFL’s co-directors Joseph Blocher and Darrell A.H. Miller.
Why it Matters: The Bruen decision has generated a lot of confusion around what is and is not now permissible as it relates to gun policy. The primer is designed to address and dispel some of the myths and misconceptions about gun policies that have arisen over the past year since the Bruen decision. It also provides recommendations on how policymakers and advocates might advance gun policies consistent with the Court’s decision in the Bruen case.
What’s Next: With support from Arnold Ventures, DCFL will continue to analyze the implications of the Bruen decision and help to clarify which gun safety policies are consistent with this new interpretation of the Second Amendment. This includes holding conferences and symposia with a variety of stakeholders, expanding its Repository of Historical Gun Laws, and developing and publishing Second Amendment legal primers, video lessons, and reading lists.
A new report from the California Policy Lab shows that a Santa Clara County program providing earlier access to public defense led to much better case outcomes for low-income participants.
In a Philanthropy News Digest op-ed, Tim Daly from the Joyce Foundation highlights the impact of philanthropy’s contributions to research, policy development, and advocacy around extreme risk laws.
The Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice has released a new report, supported by AV, analyzing the Colorado Board of Parole’s pandemic-related related decision-making processes and early release mechanisms.
Spectrum News 1 reports on the work of Partners for Justice, an AV grantee helping public defense clients in several California counties access health and social services.
New research from the Vera Institute of Justice shows that changes to prosecution policies in Ramsey County, Minnesota have led to a 66% decrease in traffic stops of Black motorists and an 86% decrease of non-public safety traffic stops.
The Sentencing Project has released a report, supported by AV, that analyzes newly compiled national data on the nearly 30,000 people under 25 years old and younger sentenced to life without parole (and the disproportionate impact on Black people) and makes recommendations for reform.
Based on data from three jail systems across two states, a new research paper from RTI International provides strong evidence that pretrial detention increases the likelihood that people will both be re-arrested and miss court dates.
A bipartisan group in the Senate introduced legislation to lower health carecosts and disincentivize consolidation through site-neutral payment reforms in Medicare and the commercial market.
A new Families USA brief illustrates how hospitals are buying up local physician practices and driving patients to higher cost settings as a way to extract even higher prices.
In a new Health Affairs Forefront piece, AV grantees Joshua M. Liao and Amol S. Navathediscuss recent policy changes to enhance participation in Medicare’s ACO program among less resourced providers and to advance health equity.
In Politico, Richard Lardner, Jennifer Mcdermott, and Aaron Kessler dive into the massive waste, fraud, and abuse in COVID-19 relief programs.
Elaine Maag compares the relative values of reforming the Child Tax Credit and expanding the standard deduction for AV grantee the Tax Policy Center.
Also for the Tax Policy Center, Robert A. Weinberger discusses takeaways from the 2022 tax filing season.
AV grantee the Tax Foundation’s Daniel Bunn and Sean Bray review the state of play on the global tax agreement.
Evidence-Based Policy and Higher Education
In an op-ed in The Hill, AV’s Kelly McManus, vice president of higher education, and Shrutika Sabarwal, director of evidence-based policy, call on Congress to support proven student success programs like CUNY’s ACE and ASAP.
Job cuts in the commercial media sector have been the highest on record this year, but nonprofit news remains a bright spot. Nonprofit newsroom members of the Institute for Nonprofit News now employ nearly 4,000 people – a 15% increase in workforce size compared to last year – rivalling some of the nation’s largest for-profit newspaper chains.
Nonprofit CatchLight is placing visual journalists in local nonprofit newsrooms, helping build connections, and tell deeper, richer stories about the communities they serve.
New York State’s prison agency reversed a decision to bar incarcerated journalists from publishing their work a day after the nonprofit news outlet New York Focus exposed the policy.
Media paywalls keep vital news and information out of the hands of those who need it most.
The Global Investigative Journalism Network has a new executive director. Emilia Díaz-Struck will lead the organization after a successful tenure at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, where she oversaw groundbreaking investigations, including the Panama Papers.
In The Atlantic, Jerusalem Demsas writes about the lessons learned after the city of Denver prevented developers from building new homes on a former golf course.
What We're Watching
Award-winning filmmaker and University of Texas Associate Professor Ya'ke Smith has been lauded for this documentary on Juneteenth, which documents the history of Juneteenth and its intersection with Black Christianity. In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Smith said of the film, "We show you the history, but we also are very clear that the history affects the present and will affect the future. And this idea of true and absolute liberation and freedom is something we’re still striving for." Watch the trailer or see the full film, which is just over an hour.
On Thursday, June 22,Mark E. Miller, the executive vice president of health care for Arnold Ventures, is heading to the Rocky Mountains to speak at Aspen Ideas: Health. The health arm of the annual Aspen Ideas Festival runs June 21 to 24. Miller will talk about philanthropy’s impact on health, health care, and health policy.
Also on Thursday, June 22, at noon (EDT) at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., AV grantee Student Defense will host a panel discussion on the U.S. Department of Education’s ongoing rulemaking for gainful employment, financial responsibility, administrative capability. Learn more and registerhere.
On Tuesday, June 27, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EDT), AV grantee the Urban Institute will be hosting an online conversation about postsecondary education for people who are incarcerated. Learn more and register here.
Some Final Inspiration
Doug Main of National Geographic documents the Great Goose Family Migration of Washington, D.C.(from Nat Geog’s headquarters to Constitution Gardens) with an assist from City Wildlife, involving perilous leaps, street-crossings, and goslings.
The Pretrial Justice team has released a request for proposals that will help inform and advance the field’s collective understanding of the policies and practices related to pretrial release decisions, pretrial release conditions, and pretrial services.
The Higher Education and Evidence-Based Policy teams have created a request for proposals for rigorous impact evaluations of programs and practices (“interventions”) to promote college success in the United States.
You are receiving this email because you registered for news updates from Arnold Ventures.
1717 West Loop South
Houston, TX 77027
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp