The Edward W. Hazen Foundation is a private foundation founded in 1925, committed to supporting the organizing and leadership of young people and communities of color in dismantling structural inequity based on race and class. The Foundation prioritizes support for grassroots and community-based organizations working on youth organizing for issues of social and racial equity and educational justice.
In its early years, the Foundation was concerned with the lack of value-based and religious instruction in higher education. At one point the Foundation focused on offering opportunities to students in Africa and South Asia to attend postsecondary schools in the U.S. However, in the 1970s, public education and youth development emerged as distinct philanthropic areas of interest. In response to this shift, the Foundation’s education funding focused on making public education work to serve the interest of all students. The Hazen Foundation was an early supporter of initiatives such as peer counseling in schools, bilingual education, career counseling, and community service programs.
Today, the Hazen Foundation seeks to use its position of privilege and resources to shift power to our grantees, centering their work and the needs of their communities. Young people of color today are bearing the brunt of a fractured democracy: the erosion of public education, endless attacks on immigrants, and a juvenile justice system that is anything but just. Amid national unrest and injustice, young people are speaking out and stepping up. From civil rights to climate change to sensible gun control, young people are consistently at the frontlines of our nation’s most important struggles. It’s time for those with power and privilege to follow their lead.