Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

A foundation eager to act learns to listen first

Dec. 17, 2014, 4:35 p.m., Posted by Steve Outing


The nine fellows who will deploy the Silicon Valley Community Foundation's "Silicon Valley Stories" program. From left to right: Celina Rodriguez, David Wang, Giang Phan, Harvey Barkin, Henrietta Burroughs, Lisa Tsering, Melissa Hernandez, Rian Dundon and Veronica Taylor Avendano.

This post is one in a series on what four community and place-based foundations are learning by funding media projects that help to meet their local information needs. All are funded through the Knight Community Information Challenge.

For a growing number of community and place-based foundations, recent years have moved them from understanding that the communities they serve have a news and information gap, to beginning to act as information providers themselves to help meet that need. It’s no simple task to take a community foundation into what used to be the purview of others — most notably local news media, which have suffered nearly universally in recent years.

‘Knight Cities’ podcast: Jason Roberts on building better blocks in our communities

Dec. 17, 2014, 1:19 p.m., Posted by Carol Coletta

Before planning fatigue sets in, why not just build a better block?

That’s the approach of Jason Roberts who leads Team Better Block. Jason is a charismatic man who works with communities – first his own in Oak Cliff, Texas, and now with communities around the world – to turn vacant properties into lively, thriving blocks that showcase what’s possible in a neighborhood.  He usually has to break a few laws to do it, but the result is places people love and want to be. It’s an approach that employs acting your way to success versus planning your way to success.

LaunchCode in Miami: Solving the tech talent shortage

Dec. 17, 2014, 8:52 a.m., Posted by Jim McKelvey and Mariana Rego

The LaunchCode Story from LaunchCode on Vimeo.

Jim McKelvey is the co-founder of LaunchCode as well as several successful companies, including Square. Mariana Rego is LaunchCode’s Miami expansion coordinator.

We are so thrilled to partner with Knight Foundation to bring LaunchCode to the South Florida community.

LaunchCode began 15 months ago as a community-driven effort in St. Louis, a region that, like South Florida, has seen rapid growth in technology jobs, but has simultaneously struggled to generate enough talent to meet the needs of growing companies and to ensure diverse access to these new opportunities.

LaunchCode is designed as a community-wide solution. On one side, we partner with businesses hungry for talent. On the other, we identify, mentor and match talented, driven candidates with paid apprenticeships. In our first year in St. Louis, we helped 125 people from all backgrounds and walks of life find their first job in technology, making over 70 different companies more productive in the process.