Justice League Meets Justice Challenge – Press Release



Evanston Community Foundation’s Partners for the Future Grant Supports Youth Justice

The James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy (“Moran Center”) has successfully completed a“Partners for the Future” (PFF) challenge grant from the Evanston Community Foundation (“ECF”), receiving $100,000 in matching funds. The Moran Center publicly launched the “Justice Challenge” in January 2017, asking donors to join the “Justice League” by making a commitment to close the justice gap for kids in our community. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and the Moran Center completed the terms of the matching challenge well in advance of the one-year deadline.

The Partners for the Future challenge grant is a donor-advised ECF initiative that invests in the capacity of high-performing Evanston non-profits ready to develop greater support. The challenge to the Moran Center was to raise new or increased gifts of $5,000 from individual donors; each qualified gift was then matched by ECF.

On November 1, 2017, the Moran Center hosted a celebratory luncheon at The Barn in Evanston. Executive Director, Patrick Keenan-Devlin shared with donors that the funds raised through the Partners for the Future challenge grant will go toward creating a school-based civil legal clinic, broadening access to mental health supports, and advocating for critical systemic reforms.

Moran Center Board Chair Betsy Lehman presented the Moran Center’s long-term vision of creating a “Restorative Justice” city in Evanston. “By creating safe and welcoming spaces, a sense of belonging for our youth, and advocating for community-based solutions, as opposed to pushing kids out of our schools and our community, we can restore trust, build respect, and enhance the social-emotional competencies of all Evanston residents, and most importantly, of some of our most vulnerable children and families.”

“The Partners for the Future challenge grant is intended to help organizations go to the next level in their ability to raise major gifts to realize their missions,” said Marybeth Schroeder, Vice President for Programs at ECF.  “The Moran Center board and staff did an incredible job inspiring both longtime donors and new supporters.  They’ve built a strong foundation for continued growth.”

“This challenge grant propels the Moran Center’s capacity to deliver our unique model of advocating for kids and their families by providing integrated legal representation and social work services. We are very grateful to the Evanston Community Foundation for providing us with this opportunity, and even more grateful to our ‘Justice Leaguers’ who generously supported our vision for building a more just, accessible, and supportive community for Evanston’s’ kids,” said Patrick Keenan-Devlin, Executive Director of the Moran Center.

The Moran Center’s Director of Strategic Partnerships Joi-Anissa Russell adds, “It is very compelling to offer our donors the chance to double their impact. Their generosity allows us to ‘go deeper’ in seeking equitable and just solutions for our clients.”

Photos by Rich Foreman Photography.