Executives’ Alliance Foundation Leaders “Ban the Box”

March 3, 2016 | Bryan Barajas

According to a recent press release, leaders from 42 foundations announced they have “banned the box” by adopting fair chance hiring policies or ensuring that questions about criminal convictions do not appear on applications for employment with their foundations. The foundations are members and allies of the Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color—a philanthropic network committed to improving outcomes for boys and men of color, their families, and their communities.

This philanthropic call to action also follows positive developments in the private sector, with employers such as Starbucks, Facebook, and Target leading the way. President Obama also took action to move toward banning the box in the federal government’s hiring process.

According to the Executives’ Alliance, the need for action is urgent. Over 70 million Americans have arrest or conviction records that can show up in background checks, reducing the likelihood of a callback interview for an entry-level job by 50 percent. This takes a particularly heavy toll on communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by mass incarceration.

Research shows that employing formerly incarcerated people reduces recidivism and strengthens families. By adopting fair hiring policies, foundations are playing their part as employers to remove the stigma associated with a record, and setting an example for other foundations and their grantees to follow.

Executives’ Alliance members and allies have reviewed their hiring policies and practices to ensure they are in compliance with the civil rights and consumer laws regulating criminal background checks for employment and guidance on the use of criminal records issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  In addition, the Alliance has commissioned the National Employment Law Project to develop a Model Fair Chance Hiring Policy and Toolkit for employers in the philanthropic sector.  The model policy will incorporate key features of the nation’s strongest fair hiring laws (adopted by New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and other major cities).

The foundations taking action include:  

Andrus Family Fund, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Arcus Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, Black Belt Community Foundation, Butler Family Fund, California Community Foundation, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, Casey Family Programs, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Consumer Health Foundation, Deaconess Foundation, East Bay Community Foundation, Ford Foundation, Foundation for the Mid South, Edward W. Hazen Foundation, Foundation for Louisiana, Kapor Center for Social Impact, Kresge Foundation, The Jacob & Valeria Langeloth Foundation, Liberty Hill Foundation, Living Cities, Lumina Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Missouri Foundation For Health, Nathan Cummings Foundation,  NBPA Foundation, Nelly Mae Education Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Public Welfare Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Rosenberg Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, The Schott Foundation for Public Education, Sierra Health Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, The Skillman Foundation, Southern Education Foundation, Tides, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. 

They also issued a challenge to all U.S. philanthropic institutions to follow suit and eliminate barriers to employment for people with arrest and conviction records.

SOURCE Executives’ Alliance

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