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Human Rights


The final human-rights grants were awarded in the winter of 2012-2013; there will be no further consideration of human-rights applications by Columbia.


The goal is to help protect basic human rights, including economic, social, cultural, civil, and political.

(As defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, these are not privileges granted by governments, nor should governments abrogate them.)


The following two marginalized and underfunded issues were the focus, in order to bring them more attention and to seek enduring solutions (adopted July 2011):


  1. Prevention of child sexual abuse (CSA) through:

    1. school-based education programs for children, parents, and teachers;

    2. evidence-based policies and programs, including community and survivor-led programs, focused on intervention and prevention;

    3. public education to increase awareness of CSA?s prevalence within trusted circles of family and friends, and to end the taboo about its discussion.

  2. Reduction of recidivism and the number of those imprisoned in California, through:

    1. ?second-chance? education programs for juveniles and adults who are or have been incarcerated;

    2. program evaluation and documentation of the benefits of prisoner education for the students and for society at large, in terms of public safety, tax savings, and community healing.

Annual deadline: The final human-rights grants were awarded in the winter of 2012-2013; there will be no further consideration of human-rights applications by Columbia.


Geographic priority: San Francisco Bay Area


Reasons for changing the human-rights funding priorities:

Over the recent past, Columbia Foundation has provided significant funding to organizations working for fair elections/campaign-finance reform, and marriage equality: $1.7 million for marriage equality since 2002, and $2 million since 1986 for fair elections and public finance of campaigns. Today?s leading organizations in these two issue-areas have achieved high levels of visibility and stability and are supported by larger funding sources. Thus, beginning in 2011, the Columbia Foundation human-rights program was giving priority to less visible, less funded human-rights issues, as described above. The foundation?s approach to grantmaking is to try to identify needs and opportunities for start-up funding for issues and programs that have not yet attracted the attention of significant public and private funding.



 

Closing Report
(to be posted in 2014)