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Making Headlines: Grantees in the News, September 2020

The Heising-Simons Foundation is proud to regularly see its grantee partners featured in media outlets across the country, providing an expert voice on a timely issue or being highlighted for their accomplishments and hard work. Here are some news items that have featured our grantees in September 2020.

‘Where Are the Rest of You?’ With as Many as 600,000 Students Skipping Kindergarten During the Pandemic, Districts Plead With Parents Not to Delay
The 74, September 24, 2020
This article about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting pre-K and child care enrollment, as well as distance learning, cites data and insights from the Rapid Assessment of Pandemic Impact on Development – Early Childhood (RAPID-EC Project) at University of Oregon. The RAPID-EC Project is supported by the Foundation’s Education program.

School Attendance In The COVID Era: What Counts As ‘Present’?
NPR, September 24, 2020
Grantee Attendance Works is featured in this piece highlighting the complexities of measuring student attendance in an era of virtual learning. Recently, Attendance Work’s work was also featured in a New York Times article. In addition, the organization penned a blog post emphasizing the need to take a positive problem-solving approach to responding to absences. Attendance Work is supported by the Foundation’s Education program.

California Plans to Ban Sales of New Gas-Powered Cars in 15 Years
The New York Times, September 23, 2020
“It’s feasible, but it’s going to take California pulling all the levers at its disposal,” Don Anair, deputy director at Union of Concerned Scientists, says about California Governor’s executive order to require the state to sell only zero-emission passenger vehicles by 2035. Union of Concerned Scientists is supported by the Foundation’s Climate and Clean Energy program.

Here’s How Researchers Discovered Pi Earth, The Planet With A 3.14 Day Orbit
Forbes, September 23, 2020
Led by planetary scientist Julien de Wit at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Search for habitable Planets EClipsing Ultra-cOOl Stars (SPECULOOS) survey has discovered a planet roughly the size of Earth whose atmosphere could harbor potential signs of life. Contributing to the findings is also Heising-Simons Foundation 51 Pegasi B Fellow Benjamin Rackham. SPECULOOS is supported by the Foundation’s Science program.

Social Entrepreneur and STEM Advocate Maya Ajmera Receives 2020 NSB Public Service Award
National Science Board, September 22, 2020
The National Science Board has announced that entrepreneur Maya Ajmera is a recipient of its 2020 Public Service Award. Ajmera is President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News. The Heising-Simons Foundation’s Science program supports Science News’ coverage of physics, astronomy, and COVID-19.

Big find! Scientists Spot Giant Alien Planet Orbiting Close to Dead Star’s Corpse, September 17, 2020
Planetary scientist and Heising-Simons Foundation 51 Pegasi b Fellow Juliette Becker has co-authored a new study that has “spotted signs of an intact giant planet circling a superdense stellar corpse known as a white dwarf.” Becker’s work is supported by the Foundation’s Science program.

COVID-19 And the Case for Electric Cars
The Baltimore Sun, September 17, 2020
“Hastening the transition to electric vehicles can be a natural part of how we rebuild our economy,” writes Shelley Francis, co-founder of EVHybridNoire, in this opinion piece. EVHybridNoire, supported by the Foundation’s Climate and Clean Energy program, is the country’s first multi-cultural organization focused on E-Mobility, environmental, energy and transportation equity.

4 Podcasts to Help Heal Your Mind
The New York Times, September 13, 2020
This article recommends KQED’s “Truth Be Told,” an advice show “for people of color, by people of color” that delivers “guidance on issues ranging from grieving a deported family member to how to handle it if you feel as if you’re not good enough.” The show is supported by the Foundation’s Community and Opportunity program.

Journalist Maria Hinojosa Tells Latinos, Silenced Voices: ‘We need you’
MPR News, September 13, 2020
In this interview, journalist Maria Hinojosa talks about her new memoir, “Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America,” and the need to tell new and diverse stories about immigrants that challenge the current dominant narrative in the United States. Hinojosa is the founder of Futuro Media Group, an independent nonprofit organization producing multimedia journalism that gives a critical voice to the diversity of the American experience. Futuro Media Group is supported by the Foundation’s Community and Opportunity program.

‘The Most Crushing, Anxious Parenting Choice’: To Return to Day Care or Not?
The Washington Post, September 3, 2020
This piece explores the tough choices parents of young children have to make as they determine whether or not to let their children go back to daycare or preschool, and features Melissa Boteach, vice president of income security and child care at the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). “Part of what this pandemic has laid bare is what we’ve known all along — that child care is a public good, just like clean air and water and roads,” Boteach said. “It is basic infrastructure that allows the economy to function.” NWLC is supported by the Foundation’s Education program.

UCSF Study: San Francisco’s Low-Income Latinx Essential Workers Still At High Risk For COVID-19 Infections
KPIX 5 News, September 2, 2020
“Seven months into this pandemic, low-income Latinx essential workers living in close-knit family units continue to be uniquely vulnerable,” said Dr. Diane Havlir, chief of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG). In March 2020, the Heising-Simons Foundation made a $2 million grant to the UCSF Foundation to establish a COVID-19 Response Initiative at ZSFG. See the Foundation’s announcement here.