The Edward W. Hazen Foundation, a private foundation established in 1925, is committed to supporting organizing and leadership of young people and communities of color in dismantling structural inequity based on race and class.

We should be alarmed by schools’ creepy plan to monitor students

By Lori Bezahler

This year, students in Florida headed back to school for reading, writing and a new Big Brother. The Florida Schools Safety Portal, a statewide database, will collect, sort and analyze sensitive data about students to share with law enforcement. Created in response to the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, the portal is described as an early warning system to identify and assess potential threats. But responding to legitimate concerns about school shootings with a system that invades student privacy and labels children as threats will not make schools safer.

Click Here for Full Article


Hazen Welcomes New Board Members



July 18, 2019


Contact: Kari Hudnell, kari@abpartners.co, 609-668-0560



Alberto Retana, Rukia Lumumba and Lorella Praeli join the Hazen Foundation’s board of trustees, bringing new experience and energy as the Foundation goes all in for racial and education justice

NEW YORK – The Hazen Foundation, a private foundation supporting communities of color fighting for education and racial justice, has elected three new members to the board of trustees: Alberto Retana, Rukia Lumumba and Lorella Praeli, who will begin their terms immediately.


They will join the board leadership at a critical time when the foundation is going all in to support young people of color, their families, and communities rising up to challenge racist, homophobic, and xenophobic sentiment and policies. As long time campaigners and community organizers, these new board members will provide insight and guidance to align the foundation’s grantmaking  with insights from the field. All of these new board members are younger leaders of color who stand out from typical foundation trustees: a national survey of Foundation board members found that 85% of board members were white and 68% were over the age of 50.


“The Hazen Foundation is committed to sharing leadership with the field, and the selection of Rukia, Alberto and Lorella as trustees is an important testament to our institution living out our values,” said Lori Bezahler, president of the Hazen Foundation.  “All three new trustees have been personally affected by the issues central to our work, and they are impressive leaders, organizers, and advocates for racial justice.”


As young people and communities of color continue to build their power to fight against structural inequity based on race and class, those who oppose them continue to scale up their attacks.  Hazen’s new board members are leaders in their communities and the national movement for racial and education justice, and their appointment to the Hazen Foundation board comes at a crucially important moment both for the foundation and the country.


“As the foundation moves into this phase of intensifying & expanding our giving, we are fortunate to engage each of these highly strategic movement leaders with the level of depth,  intersectional expertise, and demonstrated commitment to our shared values,” added Lori Villarosa, Chair of the Board of Trustees and founder and executive director of the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity.


A community organizer and champion for educational justice, Alberto Retana has worked in Los Angeles and across the country to advance racial and economic justice for marginalized communities. A former youth organizer with Hazen Foundation grantee Community Coalition, he currently serves as President & CEO of Community Coalition Los Angeles, and was the Director of Community Outreach for the U.S. Department of Education in the Obama Administration. 


Lorella Praeli, a long time advocate for immigrant justice, is currently the Deputy National Political Director and Director of Immigration Policy & Campaigns at the American Civil Liberties Union. A formerly undocumented person herself, Praeli previously served as director of advocacy and policy for United We Dream and as national Latino vote director at Hillary for America.


A legal professional who has built her career supporting young people and fighting for improvements to our justice system, Rukia Lumumba will be a formidable addition to the board. She currently services as the Executive Director of the People’s Advocacy Institute and Co-Lead of the Electoral Justice Project of the Movement for Black Lives allowing her to work at the intersections of criminal justice and electoral justice to make transformative system change. 




The Edward W. Hazen Foundation, a private foundation established in 1925, is committed to supporting organizing and leadership of young people and communities of color in dismantling structural inequity based on race and class.



The Edward W. Hazen Foundation is entering its final period of work, choosing to put all of our resources into the field in this time of challenge and possibility.

Across the country, young people of color, their families, and communities are rising up to challenge racist, homophobic, and xenophobic sentiment and challenge discriminatory policing, mass incarceration, punitive school discipline, immigrant detention and deportation, privatization of education and other public systems  For Hazen’s grantees, the rhetoric and actions in this moment are not new, although the broad public attention may be. Hazen believes that our fundamental support of organizing for racial justice is needed now, perhaps more than ever. We have determined that now is the time to put resources into the hands of the communities that must be in the forefront of the struggle.  Thus, the Foundation will spend out its full assets over the next 5 years.

Please read our plan for the culmination of the Foundation’s work here.

For more coverage of Hazen’s plans, read this piece in The Chronicle of Philanthropy  and PND Blog

The Special Olympics are safe, but what about other programs DeVos would cut? | The Hill

By Lori Bezahler

Many were shocked by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s recent plan to defund the Special Olympics. This is a well regarded, much loved program, so the outcry was appropriate and hardly unexpected. While it is important that this damaging cut be restored, where is the outrage over the cuts being proposed for other critical educational programs?

Click Here for Article

What Happens When You Put Young People of Color at the Center of #NeverAgain | The Nation

Gun control becomes only one part of the larger solution to violence in our communities.

By Lori Bezahler

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have catalyzed a social movement demanding an end to gun violence. While their leadership and moral authority have undoubtedly taken the movement to another level, youth-led activism against gun violence is not, in fact, new.

Click Here for Article

Are We Criminalizing Our Students | Education Week

An overemphasis on criminal justice undermines K-12 education

By Lori Bezahler & Allison R. Brown

It’s been said that a budget is a statement of policy, the surest way to determine the values and priorities a society embraces. How then should we interpret the extraordinary spending spree that the United States has engaged in for the past three decades, investing trillions of dollars to expand a criminal-justice system that has incarcerated millions while states struggle to provide adequate funding for education?

Click Here for Article

How Our Schools Are Holding Black Girls Back | TIME

We need to make changes that put all of our students on the path to success

By Lori Bezahler, Cassie Schwerner and Kavitha Mediratta

Click Here For Full Article