Casey Family Programs is quite literally a national funder – it works to support children and families in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and tribal nations.
However, the operating foundation clearly understands the importance of the South to its broader mission. It’s an active and engaged member of SECF and its managing director of public policy, Christine Calpin, has served for several years on the SECF Public Policy Committee.
“Our work in the South and SECF is centered in our belief that we must be sure to engage in all communities and with partners like SECF to realize our goal of all children living with their families in thriving communities,” Christine said. “As part of our national strategy, we have invested our resources and aligned our work to be sure we are engaged in as many communities as possible.”
Recently, Christine deepened her involvement by joining the Advocacy Subcommittee – the first of four new subcommittees established to work with the Equity Committee on integrating the Equity Framework into SECF’s internal and external operations.
The subcommittee’s priorities for this year are to develop an advocacy strategy that will support achieving equity through changes in policies, practices and systems, and to establish a process for collaboration between the SECF Public Policy and Equity Committees.
“There is little question that policies at the federal, state, local, and tribal level have led to the inequities we see,” Christine said. “If we are to truly be successful in advancing equity, we must examine and truly understand all of our history and experiences which have created the challenges and barriers that exist today. That includes looking at our policies through a lens of equity.”
Public policy has also long been essential to the work Casey Family Programs does across the country. Christine believes policy advocacy is one of the best tools available to philanthropy as it works to improve communities and the lives of people.
“Philanthropy plays such a pivotal role in our communities in understanding the challenges and also seeing solutions, and so I hope we can continue to influence policy that aligns with our values and truly allows our families to live in thriving communities,” she said. “I hope the work of the Public Policy Committee can truly bring the voice of philanthropy forward in how best to advance outcomes among children and families.”