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CHICAGO, IL --(Marketwired - March 07, 2016) - The Robert R. McCormick Foundation announced nearly $6 million in grants to support organizations committed to strengthening democracy and enhancing civic engagement in Illinois. The Democracy Program focuses on three pillars essential to a healthy democratic society -- civic education and engagement; high quality journalism that informs and engages the public; and government institutions and practices that are accountable to the people.
"We believe that when citizens have the news and information they need and are able to engage with effective government institutions, our democracy can thrive," said John Sirek, Director of the Democracy Program at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. "With the hard work and commitment of these grantees, we feel that the future of Illinois' civic life looks bright."
In addition to investing in these programs, the McCormick Foundation, along with other statewide philanthropic and corporate organizations, have been working hard to ensure civic education is once again a priority Illinois schools. Recently, the Foundation helped lead a successful legislative effort to require Illinois high school students to complete a semester-long civics course to graduate. The new requirement takes effect on July 1, 2016, and applies to incoming freshmen for the 2016-2017 school year.
"By equipping young people with civic knowledge and skills we can help prepare the next generation to take the reins and become active and effective participants in the civic life of our community," said David Hiller, President and CEO of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
Among the approved grants for the Democracy Program:
About the Robert R. McCormick Foundation
The Robert R. McCormick Foundation's mission is fostering communities of educated, informed, and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic grant-making and Cantigny Park, the Foundation works to make life better in Chicagoland. The McCormick Foundation, among the nation's largest foundations with more than $1.5 billion in assets, was established in 1955 upon the death of Col. Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. Find out more at www.mccormickfoundation.org, follow us on Twitter (@McCormick_Fdn) and like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mccormickfoundation).