Peace Strategic Initiative Grant Highlights
In 2015, the Compton Foundation Board of Directors committed up to $5 million over three years for a special peace and national security initiative. The initiative responds to evidence that demonstrates that national security policies and peace processes are more effective, just, and lasting when they engage women’s voices—and an inclusive policy lens. Distinct from the Foundation’s existing peace program, this initiative aims to leverage the upcoming presidential transition and the opportunities it brings for media attention, policy development, and agency appointments to integrate an inclusive, gendered perspective into US foreign policy and national security for the next administration and beyond.
The Women, Peace, and Security Initiative (WPSI) launched in Spring 2016 with a set of exploratory grants, with subsequent grant rounds in Fall 2016, Spring 2017, and Fall 2017. The grants fall into three strategic approaches:
1) The first aligns messaging on women, peace, and security (WPS) to engage mainstream foreign policy and national security connections, ranging from traditional communications to creative storytelling that illustrates the importance of an inclusive gender lens.
2) The second integrates WPS into mainstream foreign policy and national security organizations by building relationships between those groups and WPS organizations, cultivating mainstream voices as new WPS champions, and supporting the academic centers that strengthen the field with research and train the next generation of national security leaders.
3) The third influences the appointments and policy positions of the new administration to ensure they include an inclusive security perspective.
This initiative is time-limited and grants are made by invitation only. A description of the grants we have made so far can be found below.
|Center for New American Security||Finding a Balance: Putting Women at the Center of National Security||$100,000|
|The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) was founded in 2007 to develop strong, pragmatic, and principled national security and defense policies. As an independent and nonpartisan research institution, CNAS engages policymakers, experts, and the public with innovative fact-based research and analysis to shape national security conversations. CNAS employs a nimble, bipartisan team of experts and former (and future) policymakers with strong connections throughout the national security community. It is small, focused, and has a track record of influencing debates on key national security and defense issues. With Compton support, CNAS plans to continue bringing to its projects a special focus on the importance of inclusivity, women's leadership, and gender balance.
|Columbia University||Furthering the Establishment of a Network of Scholars on WPS and Gender in Global Affairs||$50,000|
|Today’s changed geopolitical context renders especially urgent the establishment of an international, interdisciplinary network of academic centers and scholars focused on women and gender in international affairs. Such a network can help promote the sharing of resources and best practices, and enable a common conversation on challenges faced. Building on the first phase of this project, which confirmed interest in such a network, a renewal grant will help ensure the participation of academics in a broad range of geopolitical contexts, convene academics and practitioners, and establish platforms for future activities.|
|Consortium on Gender, Security, and Human Rights/University of Massachusetts Foundation||Feminist Roadmap for Sustainable Peace||$50,000|
|Even the most socially inclusive peace agreement will be followed by a series of predictable processes which tend to undermine both the WPS agenda and many other progressive aspects of the peace agreement. Thus, for the WPS agenda to be a truly transformative tool in building sustainable peace, it requires forward-looking expert knowledge of postwar political-economic processes and dynamics; analysis of their impact on gender relations and other structural inequalities; and recommendations for how to engage and modify those processes to be more supportive of the societal transformations critical to building sustainable peace. The Feminist Roadmap for Sustainable Peace will provide that knowledge and analysis. The project, led by the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights, uses an innovative international knowledge-building process to generate new ideas and strategies that will have real policy impact, while at the same time broadening and deepening the academic agenda on WPS.|
|Council on Foreign Relations||Project on Women, Peace, and Security||$125,000|
|The Project on Women, Peace, and Security will continue to leverage the Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) role as a preeminent nonpartisan foreign policy think tank to elevate the issue of women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution on the mainstream US foreign policy agenda. Despite strong evidence that women’s participation in peace and security processes improves stability around the world, policymakers continue to minimize or overlook the importance of policies to promote women’s inclusion. A Compton grant to this project will help elevate awareness of the strategic value of women’s participation, and provide education, analysis, and concrete policy recommendations for government officials, policymakers, business executives, civic actors, and other elite opinion leaders who have the ability to reform security policies and ensure that inclusive security is a priority in US foreign policy.
|Fuller Project for International Reporting||General Support||$100,000|
|The Fuller Project for International Reporting is a global, multimedia journalism organization that reports the news that most impacts women, with a focus on solutions and women’s involvement in peace and security. Its team of seasoned, award-winning, international journalists envision a world where the media values stories about women that move solutions forward, where newsrooms are no longer dominated by one gender, and where an inclusive lens ensures that women and issues that impact them receive equal credit in the news. The Fuller Project is inspired by research demonstrating that a world in which women are free from oppression is more peaceful, economically vibrant and just for all. A renewal grant will support the team to produce research-based news content focused on women’s vital role in US foreign policy and national security; amplify the work of others in the field and reduce silos; and promote coverage of women leading change and of men as allies in gender equity.|
|Futures Without Violence||WPS under the New Administration: Ending Violence Against Women as Central to National Security||$75,000|
|Research shows that ending violence against women is a means to create safety and stability for women and nations. Through this framework, Futures Without Violence will convene leaders across the political spectrum who are actively working on women, peace, and security, in order to develop a strategy to advance a coordinated agenda within the context of the new administration. In preparation for the proposed workshop, Futures Without Violence will conduct key informant interviews, with a focus on identifying and testing strategies to reach and engage conservative-leaning leaders in this area. With data in hand, Futures will help ensure the group’s resulting strategy is practical, actionable, and informed by a diverse set of perspectives.|
|Georgetown Institute for WPS||General Support||$100,000|
|With a renewal grant from the Compton Foundation, the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) is developing new strategies to spotlight critical WPS issues, communicate its research findings, and convene global influencers to advance the WPS agenda. GIWPS is bringing together members of Congress and cabinet members with leaders of the WPS field to provide critical insights to the policy community. The team frames data and upcoming research findings through policy briefs, op-eds, and videos in ways to promote awareness and knowledge among decision makers and stakeholders. And, lastly, the Institute is expanding its oral histories project to include more interviews with critical women leaders in current hotspots around the world—as well as disseminating the stories through additional mediums, such as podcasts, to amplify their reach.|
|Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative / University of Denver||The Role of Inclusion in Successful Nonviolent Protest Campaigns: Research and Implications for Practice||$100,000|
|Inclusive approaches lead to more successful, durable, and peaceful outcomes, and this key insight drives a range of policy decisions around the globe. With the rising prevalence and visibility of protest campaigns to resist authoritarianism and protect the rights of all people worldwide, there is an urgent need to better understand whether and when inclusive strategies also lead to more successful movement outcomes. As part of the Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative at the University of Denver, Professors Erica Chenoweth and Marie Berry are conducting research to operationalize and measure the participation of women in nonviolent protest campaigns. Their goal is to evaluate how strategies that prioritize the inclusion of women are related to movement success. This research has the potential to reveal essential knowledge for building movements that prioritize women’s leadership and engagement.|
|Inclusive Security||General Support||$75,000|
|Inclusive Security’s bold goal is to change the international security paradigm by weaving women’s experience and expertise in peace and security into the fabric of government and institutional decision-making. Embedded in its work is the knowledge that exclusion is a key driver of violent conflict, and to be effective, governments, organizations, and individuals must reflect and deeply engage the diverse populations they serve. When jointly brought to bear, women’s and men’s distinct perspectives, life experiences, and leadership approaches result in better governance and more sustainable peace. A grant from Compton will enable Inclusive Security to continue to inspire, equip, and connect US and international policymakers and women leaders to build inclusive peace and security.|
|International Center for Research on Women||General Support, Policy & Advocacy Program||$125,000/2 years|
|The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) is a premier research institute advancing gender equality. Its evidence-based advocacy identifies policy solutions and fights for meaningful, measurable results. Funding from the Compton Foundation will enable ICRW to combat today’s unprecedented assault on America’s foreign policy gender architecture by buttressing evidence-based policy advocacy across a host of foreign policy and national security issues. This will include fighting for the preservation and full implementation of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, and leveraging ICRW’s thought leadership on gender equality and women’s rights to insert the WPS agenda in global policy dialogues. With this support, ICRW will also build coalitions, coordinate and strengthen movements to align and sharpen advocacy messages and tactics, and increase the sustainability of ICRW’s policy and advocacy program by strengthening its funding pipeline.
|International Civil Society Action Network||General Support||$100,000|
|With funding from the Compton Foundation last year, the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) took the stories and practical knowledge of women, peace, and security gathered from its global network of peacebuilders and brought them into the public and policy domain through mainstream and creative media. With a renewal grant, ICAN will build on this foundation, keeping up its op-eds and Peace Heroes series, and strengthening its media ties; partnering with others in this field, such as the Council on Foreign Relations and Peace is Loud, to reach bigger audiences; and using creative storytelling to enable culture and policy change, including exploring alternative models like TV and film.|
|Just Vision||Amplifying Women’s Leadership in Nonviolent Movement Building||$75,000|
|Just Vision amplifies the efforts of Palestinian and Israeli grassroots leaders advocating for equality, dignity and freedom, and puts a spotlight on women who are crucial to these efforts but are too frequently made invisible. In the coming months, it will launch the impact campaign for its documentary, “Naila and the Uprising,” which brings to light the story of the women who clandestinely fueled the most sustained unarmed civil resistance movement in Palestinian history. Using the film as an anchor, the impact campaign presents an opportunity to expand understanding of and generate support for the crucial role women play in advocating for nonviolent strategies and leading movements for rights, dignity and the well-being of all in Israel, Palestine and beyond. By engaging media, thought leaders, policymakers, faith communities, women’s groups, students and educators, Just Vision aims to shape the cultural norms and perceptions that ultimately drive policymaking on these issues.|
|Ms. Magazine||General Support: Ms. Advancing Ideas and Action for Women, Peace & Security||$100,000|
|Ms. provides a platform for robust dialogue from a women’s lens that other media often overlook or won’t cover. Because Ms. has long been influential in both the women’s rights community and journalism circles, it is in a unique position to move ideas that frame policy debates around women, peace and security. Through powerful storytelling, Ms. can demonstrate how women’s empowerment is fundamental for peace and security, fostering an active democratic civil society, and reducing extremism. With a renewal grant, Ms. will lift up women’s personal stories and feature experts who present the larger frameworks around gender inclusion policies. This work will cultivate a constituency in the US and inform thought leaders in support of a gender-inclusive foreign policy agenda. Ms. will collaborate with other Compton grantees and the broader WPS community to influence critical policy positions and to press policymakers to be accountable for implementing a foreign policy agenda that puts women at the center.|
|New America Foundation||Not Secondary, But Central||$125,000|
|New America brings its unique blend of security policy experience, media expertise, and narrative skill to the challenge of moving the women, peace, and security agenda from social science data to policy reality. With Compton’s support, New America’s groundbreaking research—the first ever to query elites and policymakers on their understanding of gender’s role in policymaking—showed major gaps in the field. Having documented that the media misses the stories of how gender shapes violence and peace, New America will broaden media perspectives by working directly with reporters and editors. Having demonstrated that security policymakers don’t know the social science that demonstrates how gender-differentiated analysis and policymaking shed light on policy outcomes, New America will partner with Peace is Loud, the Institute for Inclusive Security, and others to develop curricula and teaching modules for college and graduate school, to ensure that the next generation of policymakers is familiar with the data and how to use it when they move into decision-making roles.|
|NGO Working Group on WPS||General Support||$150,000/2 years|
|The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security (NGOWG) aims to ensure that the voices of women human rights defenders, activists, and peacebuilders are directly integrated into the decisions of the UN Security Council. Working in partnership with women human rights defenders and civil society leaders from conflict-affected countries, and leveraging its highest levels of access to UN leadership and UN Member State missions in New York, the NGOWG advocates for the respect of women’s human rights, for gender to be mainstreamed throughout every peacekeeping and peacebuilding mission, and for women to have meaningful participation across all conflict prevention and resolution efforts. Twice a year, the NGOWG briefs the UN Security Council on the women, peace and security agenda. In the second year of a two-year grant, the NGO Working Group will continue to provide critical infrastructure and capacity for the women, peace, and security field.|
|NGO Working Group on WPS||Strengthening WPS Advocacy and Accountability||$50,000|
|Even as the NGOWG successfully advocates for women’s participation in and access to the UN Security Council and international peace and security processes, the lack of concrete accountability systems remains a major barrier to effective implementation of the women, peace, and security agenda. A new grant from Compton will support the development of a triangular advocacy model that enables women’s civil society at local, national, regional and global levels to coordinate dynamic responses to emerging WPS-related issues, making possible the collaboration and shared messaging that can hold leaders accountable at all levels for their decision-making. This grant will also allow the NGOWG to address gaps in the way in which leaders in the UN and governments are held accountable by initiating a process that would result in a set of gender performance indicators that could be integrated into existing oversight and accountability mechanisms.|
|Peace is Loud||General Support||$150,000|
|Peace is Loud uses personal narratives to advance women’s leadership in building inclusive, secure and prosperous societies. A renewal grant will support Peace is Loud as it launches its Women, War, and Peace: Part II film series, telling the stories of women who have persevered against great odds to gain a political voice and a seat at the table, from Tahrir Square to Belfast and Bangladesh. In the upcoming year, Peace is Loud will integrate its three programs—film impact campaigns, speakers bureau, and Mina’s List—into a new strategic framework that maps pathways across the work, leveraging the organization’s unique culture change and policy change approach to expand the reach and influence of women at decision-making tables.|
|Ploughshares Fund||Ploughshares Fund Women’s Initiative: Transforming Thinking, Advancing Policy||$100,000|
|Ploughshares Fund is a leading peace and security organization focused on reducing threats posed by nuclear weapons. Ploughshares’ new Women’s Initiative has emerged from the understanding that women’s voices and perspectives are essential in creating more just, effective and peace-oriented national security and foreign policies. Guided by the expertise and collective vision of women from both inside and outside the traditional arms control community, Ploughshares seeks to build a network that brings together feminist scholars, activists, and experts to create and promote an inclusive national security and foreign policy agenda. Concurrently, a new grantmaking fund will increase the number and influence of women with inclusive security perspectives in the nuclear security field, and challenge the thinking and structures that keep nuclear weapons at center of our national and global security policies.|
|San Francisco Film Society||Women, Peace, and Security Fellowship||$75,000/2 years|
|The Women, Peace and Security Fellowship will support documentary and narrative filmmakers dedicated to elevating women’s efforts to end conflict and advance peace. To ensure that projects developed during these fellowships will result in compelling, completed films, SFFILM will offer fellows financial support, networking opportunities, connections to advisors with expertise in the subject matter of their films, and active mentorship from SFFILM staff and SFFILM’s mentorship advisory board. SFFILM aims to inspire filmmakers to tell stories of courageous female leaders and their impact on war and peace, generate conversation across public audiences, and influence policymakers to invest in women as essential actors in effective peacebuilding and violence prevention. A Compton grant will support this new fellowship over the course of two years.|
|Spectrum Media / Peace Direct||War Stories, Peace Stories: Peace, Conflict, & the Media||$50,000|
|Media coverage and storytelling can influence peace processes, sway the escalation or reduction of conflict, and affect the confidence, trust, and expectations of the parties involved. Through a daylong symposium and a concurrent weeklong Peace Film Series across New York City, War Stories, Peace Stories (WSPS) will challenge journalists, peacebuilders, and others to explore the ways in which they communicate the world’s stories of violence and conflict resolution, all the while centering women’s leadership and voices. A grant will support the planning and execution of the symposium and film series.|
|Truman Center for National Policy||Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders: Women in Peace and Security||$100,000|
|The Truman Center for National Policy (Truman) strives to create a more inclusive national security sector in which highly qualified women achieve equal representation in leadership positions and policymaking roles. This goal grows out of Truman’s underlying belief that female national security experts can share a necessary, gendered lens as a critical aspect of their professional expertise, that can help lead to more effective security policies, and that seeing women national security experts can, in and of itself, help to shift the debate about which experience is most relevant in security debates. Truman will leverage its unique position as a convener and trainer to develop a cohort of women from across the country working in security-related positions including military leadership, civilian policymaking, political advising, and communications at the national, state, and local levels, and position them as vocal and visible leaders within the national security space. Truman will provide its next class of Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) members with opportunities to build skills and relationships through leadership development, networking, and training programming.|
|US Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security||Maintaining US Leadership on the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda||$100,000|
|The US Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security (US CSWG), established in 2010, is a nonpartisan network of 35 civil society organizations with expertise on the impact of violent conflict on women and the participation of women in peacebuilding. With Compton support, the US CSWG will leverage its expertise to advance US leadership on the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda. Building on a foundation of collaborative work, the US CSWG will focus on outreach to the executive branch around national security concerns and the WPS agenda, cultivating continued bipartisan support and leadership of WPS in Congress, and strengthening connections with the traditional security community, and national and international civil society actors.|
|WomanStats/Texas A&M University||Women, Peace, and Security in the Heartland: Leadership, Research, Education||$100,000/2 years|
|In the second year of its two-year grant, the Program on Women, Peace, and Security at Texas A&M University’s George HW Bush School of Government and Public Service will continue cutting-edge research through Professor Valerie Hudson’s WomanStats Project, which examines the link between the security of women and the security of the countries in which they live; build connections throughout Texas and the heartland to broaden the constituency supporting the Women, Peace, and Security agenda; and educate and mentor Masters students at the Bush School who are entering public service in the national security and foreign policy arenas.|