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The Edward W. Hazen Foundation is a private foundation founded in 1925, committed to supporting organizing and leadership of young people and communities of color in dismantling structural inequity based on race and class. The Foundation’s current grantmaking targets grassroots and community-based organizations working on public education and youth development. In the area of public education, we support community organizing for educational justice. Similarly, in the area of youth development, we favor proposals that focus on engaging young people in community organizing on issues of social and racial equity.

During its early years, the Foundation was particularly concerned with the lack of value-based and religious instruction in higher education. The Foundation resources during that period targeted higher education initiatives in religion and values, college student counseling, international cooperation, and the Hazen fellowship program.

In the 70’s, public education and youth development emerged as distinct program areas. Between 1975 and 1989, youth development grantmaking targeted middle and high school-age youth, favoring initiatives in such areas as juvenile justice, voluntarism, youth employment, teen pregnancy prevention, and computer literacy.

The Foundation’s public education funding during this time focused on making education work to serve the interest of all students. Hazen was an early supporter of such efforts as peer counseling in schools, bilingual education for language minority students, arts-in-the-schools programs, alternative schools, career counseling and community service programs.

Since 1989, the Foundation’s funding has focused primarily on community organizing for school reform, and youth organizing. The Foundation has designed its current grantmaking strategy with the following goals in mind:

  • To foster effective schools for all students
  • Full partnership for parents and communities working to reform and restructure their school systems
  • Development of young people as leaders for social change
  • Policies, social systems and public institutions that are supportive, responsible and accountable to youth and their communities.