“How do we demonstrate our humanity in the face of great adversity?” – Fred Brown
On March 22nd, The Forbes Funds was joined by Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning and Executive Director of Grable Foundation to share about organic strategic collaborations and the transformational ideas encompassed in his new book, When You Wonder, You’re Learning. Gregg also has a prominent history with The Forbes Funds as its former president and founder of the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership in 2004/5.
In addition to this meeting digest, a recording of the call can be accessed at this link.
About Remake Learning
Remake Learning is a network that began in 2007, where education researchers convened to discuss the future of learning. The group grew up to 500 organizations as new frameworks and approaches were discussed, and these forms of learning took shape to leverage catalytic grantmaking, shared genius, and the power of collective impact.
Remake learning has expanded its impact nationwide and beyond. In 2021, it is tasked with considering the profile of its learners, deeply activating young peoples’ skills in a way that young people, communities, and agencies can move into the future with.
Fundamentals of Remake Learning Efforts
When learning is engaging, learners have the time, resources, support, environment, and encouragement to be active problem-solvers, creators, innovators, advocates, and citizens.
When learning is relevant, it resonates with a learner’s interests, culture, context, community, identity, abilities, and experiences, while allow room for exposure and growth. It also prepares learners for a future where interdisciplinary skills like creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration will be increasingly salient.
When learning is equitable, more supports and opportunities are afforded to those of greatest need. Based on national and regional research, this means a particular focus on working alongside as well as uplifting and supporting the voices, strength, and potential of learners in poverty; learners of color; learners in rural areas; girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math); and learners with exceptionalities.
Community Solutions from Remake Learning
Moonshot Grants – bold, experimental, just
Research and development to allow organizations serving young people to participate in regional change-making for the post-pandemic future. This work leverages local insights as well as national thought leaders to think about radical solutions.
A campaign dedicated to creating a conducive environment for the future of learning. This effort is a reminder of the promise, potential, and hope of our new problem-solving abilities and knowledge of young generations. In light of the pandemic, it is important to consider the ways organizations and educational institutions have pivoted to adapt to learners’ needs, as well as the ways learning can be improved now and moving forward into a new reality. This campaign hinges on the notion of being prepared for what comes next, no matter what tomorrow brings. The 2021 campaign launched last Thursday, March 18th and its efforts can be found on your favorite social media at #RemakeTomorrow.
Upcoming “remaking tomorrow efforts,” which will make a point to highlight bright spots and wrestling with the future of learning. As the world grapples with new realities, identifying areas of strength and opportunities to galvanize and transform life as we know it are critical to not only recovery but growth. Grounding the innovation and the educational legacy of Pittsburgh icon Fred Rogers, connecting timeless and classic learning with new approaches.
To that end, this book draws upon the types of skills young people need in the familiar legend of Fred Rogers, with context for helping our young learners ignite their futures. The book was even endorsed by Joanne Rogers, wife of the late Fred Rogers.
The book will be launching on April 20th, 2021 and can be pre-ordered at Whenyouwonder.org
Public Policy Updates from Arthur Pang
COVID cases and deaths continue to fall while partially vaccinated rise. Biden is expected to announce a new goal for vaccination, as the 100M in the first 100 days was met several weeks early. Many frontline workers in states nationwide are receiving vaccinations, including workers at food processing plants. While the US should have vaccines for all eligible adults by May, many poorer countries are still struggling to access supply.
AstraZeneca will be submitting their vaccine for FDA approval, and supply of millions of the vaccines has been shipped to Canada and Mexico. If approved, this vaccine would dramatically increase the number of vaccines available.
In a push to have a return to full-time schooling, the CDC says elementary schools, some middle and high schools can reopen with kids three feet apart as long as everyone is wearing a mask.
Jobless claims rose to 770,000 last week, still elevated above pre-pandemic peaks of 695,000, yet still lower than the levels reported in January. The unemployment rate ticked down to 6.2%. Additionally, tax day was pushed back for 2020 filings to May 17th.
The procedure to stall student loan payments has saved approximately 42 million Americans payments in interest up to $4.8B. After the $1.9T stimulus package, Democrats are considering further budget reconciliations with infrastructure, jobs, climate, and healthcare as likely candidates. Republicans are suing regarding a provision in the bill, citing that states should be able to control their own tax policies.
U.S. Senate voted to confirm New Mexico Representative Deb Haaland confirmed as Interior Secretary, the first Native American woman to be at the helm in that department. Several critical agency positions remain unfilled related to immigration, gun violence, and COVID.
Bills for farm workers and Dreamers have passed in the Senate, albeit they are expected to struggle in the Senate as contention is present related to Trump-era immigration policy. There are currently 14,000 unaccompanied children now in U.S. custody.
Policing and Race
#StopAsianHate rises as Asian Americans seek to increase awareness around growing violence and rhetorical attacks. Over the weekend, hundreds rallied in Oaklands to “Stop Asian Hate” with a candlelight vigil downtown on Saturday.
In Pennsylvania news, 400,000 more shots were administered in the last week. In Allegheny county, despite rising partial vaccinations, there is still concern regarding an additional surge, as cases have failed to drop since early January. Of additional concern is the Pittsburgh unemployment rate, which stands at 8.1%, higher than the US average, and primarily impacts service and hospitality regions.
The Wolf Administration announced emergency rental assistance, funded by federal dollars, including $569 million for individual households as well as $279 million for counties. A local cooperative effort In Allegheny county is providing $36 million dollars and providing drop-in centers for those that need computers and Wi-Fi.
Finally, the Port Authority increased its fares to 2.75 but is also eliminating $1 transfer fees. Additionally, in celebration of 125 years of Carnegie Public Library, four artists were commissioned to design library cards with their interpretation of Carnegie’s famous words, “free to the people.”
Remarks from Fred Brown
Both in response to the collaborative work of Remake Learning and the departure of Temeca Simpson, Fred Remarked on the need for strategic partnership and collective sharing of gifts.
“This work doesn’t exist without strategic partnership and people giving their gifts.”
“Gregg’s work and work of others in our region really represent a pivot for our region and a path forward. There is no single point of contact that can solve today’s social phenomenon, but yet we must seek to create change first within ourselves, and then within our ecosystems of work and play.”
You can register for future Community Solutions Calls and programming by The Forbes Funds at this link. Thank you for tuning in!