10 episodes

The 'Jersey Gives a Damn' podcast captures conversation with the innovators, leaders, and changemakers making New Jersey's communities stronger. It's hosted by Aaron Turner, Chief Philanthropic Officer at the Community Foundation of New Jersey where it’s our privilege to help hundreds of philanthropically minded New Jerseyans have the greatest impact on the causes and communities they care about.

Jersey Gives a Damn - A Community Foundation of NJ Podcast The Community Foundation of New Jersey

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 9 Ratings

The 'Jersey Gives a Damn' podcast captures conversation with the innovators, leaders, and changemakers making New Jersey's communities stronger. It's hosted by Aaron Turner, Chief Philanthropic Officer at the Community Foundation of New Jersey where it’s our privilege to help hundreds of philanthropically minded New Jerseyans have the greatest impact on the causes and communities they care about.

    A closer look foster care in New Jersey

    A closer look foster care in New Jersey

    New Jersey has had a fraught history with foster care.  Many of our listeners will remember the 2003 death of 7-year-old Faheem Williams due to neglect.  His body was found in a locked basement in Newark alongside his two brothers who were starving but still alive. 



    This tragedy led to a large settlement garnering national attention. It also led to major structural and programmatic reforms, including an outside expert to monitor the state’s foster care reform efforts, a process that formally ended in March of this year. 



    As Lilo Stainton writes in NJ Spotlight: Two decades after the original settlement was crafted, New Jersey is considered a national leader in child welfare, according to some metrics, with a child protection system focused on keeping families safely together, whenever possible. 



    On today’s episode we have a conversation about the foster care system in New Jersey. We are joined by leaders from some of New Jersey’s most reputable organizations:  Liza Kirschenbaum of CASA of NJ and Edith Fiato of Roots & Wings.  



    We cover the basics of foster care in the state (some of which will surprise you), what challenges the system continues to face, and how youth experiencing the system are faring.  



    Thanks for listening.   

     

     

    More about our guests’ organizations:

     

    CASA of New Jersey: www.casaofnj.org;  To volunteer: https://casaofnj.org/steps-to-volunteer-casa/  To donate: https://casaofnj.org/helpachild/

     

    Roots & Wings:  https://rootsandwingsnj.org/   Edith Fiato can be reached at edith.fiato@rootsandwingnj.org to set up a meeting or tour their office.

     

    Please also see another worthwhile organization focused on supporting foster families and youth in foster care:  NJ Angels https://www.newjerseyangels.org

     

     

    • 34 min
    The loss of local news, its impacts and what to do about it

    The loss of local news, its impacts and what to do about it

    ‘America has lost one-third of its newspapers and two-thirds of its newspaper journalists since 2005’, according to a Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism study.   

    At the current pace, the country is on track to have lost 3,000 newspapers in the last twenty years, with fewer than 6,000 remaining.  

    Beyond the obvious information vacuum and lost jobs, studies show that the decline in local news leads to increased political polarization, more political corruption, and a greater risk of misinformation filling the void. 

    To talk about these changes -- and ways we might reverse these trends in New Jersey -- we speak with Chris Daggett from the New Jersey Civic Information Consortium, which provides financial resources for local news and information providers, and Kenny Miles of the Trenton Journal, an independent platform that specifically addresses information gaps and amplifies voices in New Jersey’s capital city.

    For more info on our guests, their organizations and related efforts: 


    NJ Civic Information Consortium:  https://njcivicinfo.org


    Trenton Journal: https://trentonjournal.com


    State of Local News Study, Northwestern: https://localnewsinitiative.northwestern.edu


    Press Forward: https://www.pressforward.news

    • 31 min
    A Conversation on Human Trafficking in New Jersey

    A Conversation on Human Trafficking in New Jersey

    We are switching things up a little for this episode. The Community Foundation of New Jersey has started a webinar series that brings in multiple experts for deep dive conversations on important topics. This webinar – presented here as a podcast – focuses on human trafficking, which is a problem globally and in New Jersey. The topic is both heartbreaking and incredibly complex, but our expert guests lay it out in understandable terms and provide guidance on how fundholders and citizens can engage. Some of the recommendations may surprise you. We were pleased to welcome leaders from the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking, the Sanar Institute, Covenant House New Jersey, and Legal Services of New Jersey, a collection of organizations committed to preventing trafficking and supporting survivors. 



    We hope you find this informative.  

    • 45 min
    What’s Up (or Down) with literacy in New Jersey?

    What’s Up (or Down) with literacy in New Jersey?

    The drop in reading scores of US children post-COVID dominated the headlines in Summer 2023 – with reading scores down in nearly every state. Unfortunately, low reading scores pre-date the pandemic, owing to intractable challenges in too many communities. “Dire,” “jarring,” and “ominous” is how one report talks about reading proficiency in New Jersey. Only a little more than 40 percent of New Jersey third graders are reading at or above proficiency. In Newark, less than 20 percent or third graders are proficient. In Camden, it’s less than 7 percent. And African American, Hispanic and children from economically disadvantaged families experience particularly low proficiency on average. 

    In this episode, we unpack what’s driving these low reading levels, what the impacts are, and ways to address it. Paula White joins the pod. She is Executive Director of JerseyCAN, a leading educational and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all New Jersey families have access to high-quality schools. Central to their mission is making sure that students get continuous support with appropriate resources and excellent teaching, regardless of their zip code, cultural background, or socioeconomic status.Hope you enjoy!

    • 24 min
    “Are the kids alright? A look at teen mental health in New Jersey”

    “Are the kids alright? A look at teen mental health in New Jersey”

    Forty-two percent of New Jersey teens have reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks in a row. Two-thirds of teens in the US who experience a mental health challenge don’t seek help. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among Americans between the ages of 15 and 19. 

    These alarming statics point to a real problem. In this episode, we hear from experts on what is driving this epidemic of worsening mental health, particularly among young people in New Jersey, what signals to look for, and what can be done to change course.   

    We discuss the topic in two parts. First with Robert Kley and Jaime Angelini, leaders from the Mental Health Association in New Jersey who share some of the foundational pieces around mental health for young people. We then hear from Jackie Looby from Cornerstone Family Programs for a deep-dive on an innovative, evidenced-based program called “Teen Mental Health First Aid.” Jackie is joined by Azaria and Andrea, New Jersey high schoolers who have been trained in Teen Mental Health First Aid and seen its impact on their peers.  If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling 988.

     

    • 31 min
    A conversation with Eva Turbiner, public health leader and just-retired CEO of Zufall Health Community Health Centers

    A conversation with Eva Turbiner, public health leader and just-retired CEO of Zufall Health Community Health Centers

    Eva Turbiner is a public health legend, having led one of New Jersey’s largest health centers serving the un-insured and under-insured, Zufall Health, for 16 years.  In this episode, Eva offers the listeners an overview of the population health needs in state, particularly for those on the margins not being served by the larger healthcare system.



    During her tenure at Zufall, the organization expanded from a single small health center in Morris County to a network of eleven clinical sites in seven New Jersey counties, serving 45,000 patients annually.  Eva’s previous posts include Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Hudson River HealthCare and as President of Palisades Planning Associates, Inc., a health care consultancy.  



    Eva retired from Zufall earlier this year but continues to lead the Health Center Advisory Board for the National Center for Health in Public Housing, among other distinguished board positions over the years. Eva has been a leader of note in advancing health justice in New Jersey and nationally and brings that hard-earned perspective as a board member here at the Community Foundation of New Jersey.





     

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

Lawilsonnj ,

The Loss of Local News episode

Thank you for making a compelling argument for supporting local news in this episode. I agree that robust and trustworthy local media is critical to a healthy democracy, as access to reliable information can indeed inspire community member engagement and facilitate government accountability. I became familiar with CFNJ through active Impact 100 Garden State membership, and I continue to be impressed and thankful for the many ways CFNJ strengthens our communities.

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