The Stuart Foundation is a family foundation dedicated to improving life outcomes for young people through education.
For 35 years, we have contributed to the conditions in which all children can develop into successful and contributing adults. We do our work in California and Washington State.
The January 6, 2021 assault on the United States Capitol was a violent attack on our democracy and the rule of law, fueled by a dangerous failure of leadership, conspiracy theories and racist rhetoric. The disproportionately light police response was as troubling as the events themselves.
As we process these deeply unsettling events, we know this: More than ever, our children need the capacity to discern fact from fiction. To know the principles of our democracy and both the privilege and obligation they have to participate in and protect it. To understand differing points of view and life experiences in a society as diverse as America. And to fight for a more just and inclusive democracy where everyone belongs.
At the Stuart Foundation, we redouble our commitment to help youth thrive, regardless of neighborhood or circumstance. Our democracy, more precious for its fragility, cannot succeed without a robust and equitable system of public schools in which young people can shape their futures, and ours. We send our thanks to the dedicated educators who are guiding their students as they make sense of this disturbing moment in our nation’s history, even while they navigate the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racism.
I have also joined my fellow leaders in philanthropy in this message expressing our outrage and condemnation of the violent efforts to interrupt the peaceful transition of power.
Neither lies nor mobs can deter us from our commitment to democracy and the institutions essential to its longevity.
We are inspired and guided by the work of our grantees and partners who are elevating the need to renew the promise of public education and to disrupt longstanding inequities, and to make schools places that foster intellectual curiosity and that center shared human connection by build strong relationships between educators and students – especially for students of color, foster youth, English Learners and those who face systemic barriers to opportunity.
Over the past few months, our grantees have produced a number of essential and timely reports and resources that help us understand what is needed during this time: effective, equity-driven responses by systems for families. In addition to the insights offered in each resource, these publications taken together call for policymakers and educators to listen and learn as deeply as possible during this disruption to traditional schooling – which is not affecting all students equally. We are pleased to share these resources and invite you to apply this information in reimagining how schools can advance equitable outcomes and success for young people in this moment and over the long-term.
Improving life outcomes for young people through education.
We believe all children can succeed in school and in life if they have opportunity and support. To make this aspiration real, we must navigate away from narrow definitions of achievement toward an approach that supports a well-rounded education for all children, especially those who are furthest from opportunity. This kind of learning is found within schools and systems that are intentionally designed to deliver it and where students are seen and valued, and have the agency and support needed to succeed.
Our Desired Future
We envision schools and school systems with both the people and the means to break stubborn historical links between race, class and academic achievement. These schools accomplish the most important work there is: helping every child thrive, regardless of neighborhood or circumstance.