The W. Haywood Burns Institute was recognized for its work on behalf of minority youth by being selected as one of 11 organizations worldwide to receive a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.
The awards, bestowed annually by the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to outstanding grantees, were announced January 19, 2011.
The Burns Institute, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, will use its $750,000 grant to augment its operating reserve and to create an online technical-assistance training center to help jurisdictions better utilize BI's tools and methods.
"We are honored and thrilled to receive this award and to be recognized among a cohort of amazing organizations across the world engaging in important work," said James Bell, the institute’s executive director.
Organizations must demonstrate “exceptional creativity and effectiveness” and must be at a critical or strategic point in their development to qualify for the award, according to the MacArthur Foundation.
They also must have budgets under $5 million, show strong leadership and stable financial management, and engage in work central to one of MacArthur's core programs.
Grant awards ranged from $350,000 to $1 million each. Recipients included organizations in Bhutan, India, Nigeria and Mexico City, in addition to the United States.
"These exceptional organizations effectively address pressing national and international challenges and they have had an impact that is disproportionate to their small size," said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci.
“It is our hope that these awards will help position them for long-term growth and even greater impact in the years ahead."
The Burns Institute works to engage communities, policymakers and juvenile justice administrators to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system. It relies on a data-driven, consensus-based approach to change policies, procedures and practices.
It has helped more than 40 jurisdictions nationally reduce disparities and currently is contracted by counties in California and in the states of Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Washington.
The organization worked with system stakeholders in Baltimore County, Maryland, to develop policies that reduced failure-to-appear detentions for African American youth by almost 50 percent.
Its successes also include reducing African American detention admissions for school fights in Peoria County, Ill., by creating a pilot “restorative justice” project to address school zero-tolerance policies.
For more information visit the Burns Institute’s website.
The W. Haywood Burns Institute staff (bottom row, l. to r.), Ophelia Williams, Executive Assistant; Tracy Benson, CJNY Program Manager; Katina Castillo, CJNY Program Manager; Gina Peralta, Site Manager; Laura John Ridolfi, Law and Policy Analyst; Anna Wong, Policy and Research Associate; Andria Blackmon, Administrative Assistant; Malachi Larrabee-Garza, CJNY Technical Assistance Manager; Marcia Rincon-Gallardo, Site Manager; Michael Finley, Sr. Program Associate; Shadi Rahimi, Communications Director; (top row, l. to r.) Michael Harris, Deputy Director; James Bell, Executive Director; Tshaka Barrows, CJNY Program Director; and, Clinton Lacey, Site Manager. (Not pictured, Lauren Jones, Communications Assistant and Angelique Kedem, Site Manager.)