August 9, 2008 by Marc Fest
August 10, 2008 by Marc Fest
May 1, 2009 by Marc Fest
November 1, 2010 by Marc Fest
April 3, 2011 by Marc Fest
O’Miami, a county-wide poetry festival, is under way. Its ambitious goal: for every single person in Miami-Dade County to encounter a poem during the month of April. Produced by the University of Wynwood and funded by Knight Foundation, O, Miami is a month-long series of events and projects with the simple goal of every person in Miami-Dade County finding a poem. Mixing traditional readings with innovative poetry-in-public-places projects, the festival will weave poetry into the fabric of the city’s existing infrastructure and cultural life. Events will be conducted in multiple languages, sometimes simultaneously, often in collaboration with other cultural organizations. O, Miami culminates in a four-day series of readings from April 27-30, 2011 at the Frank Gehry-designed New World Symphony Hall on Miami Beach.
July 22, 2011 by Marc Fest
Practitioners, academics, public officials, funders, and others are gathering in downtown Boston today for the Third Annual Conference in Civic Studies at Tisch College, Tufts University. Its title is “Frontiers of Democracy: Innovations in Civic Practice, Theory, and Education." Paula Ellis, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, and Damian Thorman, National Program Director, are both representing Knight Foundation at the conference.
November 2, 2012 by Marc Fest
Photo Credit: Flickr user ccho
Within hours of Sandy hitting the Northeast this week, the team at Recovers.org was on the ground, helping communities organize their response through its new web and mobile platform.
To date, four communities in New York - including hard hit Staten Island - are using the 2012 Knight News Challenge winner’s platform to coordinate everything from food donations for the mentally ill to volunteer translators for those left isolated in Chinatown.
Though Knight Foundation’s mission does not focus on disaster relief, its goal of promoting informed and engaged communities inevitably involves supporting technologies that people use to make their communities more resilient. Through both the News Challenge and Tech For Engagement initiatives, Knight has funded several disaster-related projects that tap the power of communities to help themselves.
June 28, 2013 by Marc Fest
Marc Fest is a consultant for Knight Foundation and the New Americans Campaign, a Knight-funded project to modernize naturalization assistance in the United States. Below, he writes about a recent “mega workshop” held in Miami to help 1,000 green card holders begin the complex citizenship process.
The air was sweltering on a recent Saturday at Miami Dade College. But about 1,000 people didn’t mind standing in line. They had come to change their lives by embarking on the challenging path towards American citizenship at Miami’s first “mega workshop.” The event, organized by the New Americans Campaign, a nationwide effort of more than 100 partner organizations, is partially funded by Knight Foundation. The goal: to use novel and more efficient approaches to help green card holders become American citizens. Its local organizers were excited, but also a bit nervous, about trying their new ideas.
Two hundred lawyers, law students, and paralegals signed up as volunteers. “Naturalization can be a complex process,” explained Randy McGrorty, director of Catholic Legal Services at the Archdiocese of Miami, the lead organizer of the event. “We were very careful with the people we selected,” he said, “and there were many training opportunities.”
September 2, 2010 by Marc Fest
May 2, 2009 by Marc Fest
September 17, 2013 by Marc Fest
Knight Foundation supports the New Americans Campaign, a bipartisan national coalition working to modernize and streamline access to naturalization services. Above: Want citizenship? There's an app for that!
Today is Citizenship Day (aka “Constitution Day”), which commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 and recognizes the efforts of people who have made the decision to become American citizens. It’s a great occasion to ask this question: Did you know that there are more than 8 million green card holders in this country (sometimes called “the forgotten 8 million”) who could become U.S. residents right now—if they only wanted to?
The New Americans Campaign, funded in part by Knight Foundation, aims to modernize the ways in which service providers help these Lawful Permanent Residents embark on the naturalization process. But to many green card holders it is tempting to maintain the status quo because they think they’re only missing out on the ability to vote. Many don’t realize that there are economic benefits—both for the individual and the nation—to becoming a citizen. For example, a study published in December 2012 by the University of Southern California (“Citizen Gain”) found that citizenship alone can boost individual earnings by 8 percent to 11 percent, leading to a potential $21 billion to $45 billion increase in cumulative earnings over 10 years nationwide. Becoming a U.S. citizen confers other benefits as well: Citizens often become more engaged in their communities, they gain the ability to sponsor family members for immigration, and many government employment opportunities require citizenship.