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KSU Journalism Center Gets $100K Gift

The Harnisch family’s support has helped the Center for Sustainable Journalism become a national leader in coverage of youth justice and youth services issues.

Kennesaw State University announced Wednesday the Center for Sustainable Journalism received a $100,000 gift from the Harnisch Family Philanthropies. The new gift will help the center continue its growth as a national source for news and developments in the youth services field.

Ruth Ann Harnisch, president of The Harnisch Foundation, is a longtime benefactor of Kennesaw State and was instrumental in establishing the center, which she has supported continuously since its inception in 2009.

“This additional support from Ruth Ann and Bill Harnisch means a lot to everyone involved in the center,” said Leonard Witt, executive director of the center. “From the beginning, Ruth has provided advice and inspired us in our quest to be the go-to place to cover youth-oriented issues. The new gift indicates that we have used their investments in us well, which is an important beacon for any start-up with high aspirations for success.”

The Harnisch family’s support has helped the Center for Sustainable Journalism become a national leader in coverage of youth justice and youth services issues through its online Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, JJIE.org and Youth Today, an online and print newspaper aimed at youth services administrators, policymakers and government officials.

“The Center for Sustainable Journalism team has rapidly become the nation’s leading source of news and opinion about children who need help and are somewhere in the system,” Harnisch said when she announced the gift.  “The center produces the most important journalism available for people who work with youth in education, criminal justice and social services, as well as for concerned parents and citizens. This work is growing so fast that it requires more investment. That’s why we and so many other foundations are stepping up right now.”

In March 2012, the Center for Sustainable Journalism added Youth Today to its portfolio. Founded in 1984, it features in-depth articles on issues and events of major importance to professionals who work with America’s youth.

“Having more than 400,000 unique visitors annually at our two sites demonstrates that people are hungry for youth justice related news. Gifts like the one from the Harnisch Family Philanthropies allow us to work with top-notch journalists to shine a spotlight on often forgotten youth populations,” said John Fleming, editor of both Youth Today and JJIE.org.

In addition to the initial support from the Harnisch Family Philanthropies, the Center for Sustainable Journalism has also received grants in the past year from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Tow Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations.

Editor's note: This article was prepared by Tiffany Capuano of Kennesaw State University.

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