Funding & Project Sponsors

William and Irene Beck Foundation

The William and Irene Beck Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that provides grants, contributions, and in-kind services to other not-for-profit organizations with 501(C)3 status. It is a family foundation committed to helping programs that work against discrimination, particularly related to racism and sexism. Its primary foci are directed toward those with financial needs by providing program support and educational opportunities for low-income youth, children, as well as opportunities for job-related training for adults.

The foundation is intended to act as a catalyst for change, and supports innovative ideas, plans, and projects; it takes a pro-active part in the prevention of further problems. Its board and family members participate in as well as contribute to programs involving education, youth, and the disadvantaged. The foundation seeks to ally itself with activities and organizations which reach out to those who most need help.

Through their vision and foresight, the William and Irene Beck Foundation provides generous support for the Research Initiative, including financial support for community based research and special projects, graduate assistantships, support for the faculty fellowship program, and other underwriting.  The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is deeply grateful for the important support of the Beck Foundation and the tireless energy of Irene Beck in the creation of this effort.


 The Irwin W. Steans Center for Community-Based Service Learning

The Steans Center for Community-based Service Learning provides educational opportunities grounded in Vincentian community values to DePaul students. The Center seeks to develop mutually beneficial, reciprocal relationships with community organizations in order to develop 
a sense of social agency in students through enrollment in CbSL courses, community internships and placements, and community-based student employment. As a long-time partner of the Beck Research Initiative for Women, Gender and Community, the Steans Center co-sponsors many of its programs and projects. Not only has the Steans Center supported the work of the BRI financially, but it has also been instrumental in assisting and supporting the integration of service-learning pedagogy into our work.


Vincentian Endowment Fund, DePaul University

The Vincentian Endowment Fund was established in 1992 by a gift from the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers who sponsor the University. The endowment seeks to assist the university in its developing understanding of how, as an institution of higher education informed by the vision of Vincent de Paul, it is to be Catholic as it enters its second century. This assistance is achieved through funding appropriate grant projects that directly enhance the identity of DePaul University as a Catholic, Vincentian and urban university with special attention to the Catholic and Vincentian aspects of this identity. VEF generously provided funding for “Voices of a Movement: Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence” and “Teen Girls Re-Vision East Rogers Park.”


Cynthia L. Bischof Memorial Foundation

The Cynthia L. Bischof Memorial Foundation is a catalyst for legislative and societal change. The Foundation was a generous supporter of “Take Back the Halls: Ending Violence in Relationships and Schools,” which seeks to empower teens to become community leaders and active participants in the movement to end violence, and also sponsored a youth anti-violence conference at DePaul University in March of 2010, which was presented by the Women’s and Gender Studies program. The Cynthia L. Bischof Conference on Youth Anti-Violence sought to examine the presence of violence in communities and the ways in which anti-violence has been conceptualized, theorized, interrogated, and implemented in the lives of young people.


Taking Back our Lives

Taking Back our Lives is a community-based organization that focuses its work on ending violence against women and children through a grass roots, social justice model that empowers participants and helps them to become leaders in their own communities. Taking Back our Lives is a community partner and sponsor of the BRI and co-directs “Take Back the Halls: Ending Violence in Relationships and Schools.”


  • Eileen Fischer
  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)
  • Chicago Foundation for Women
  • Stimulus Social Club
  • DePaul University Vagina Monologues


Polk Brothers Foundation

The Polk Bros. Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for the people of Chicago and partners with local nonprofit organizations that work to reduce the impact of poverty and provide area residents with better access to quality education, preventive health care and basic human services. Through our grant making, we strive to make Chicago a place where all people have the opportunity to reach their full potential.  The Polk Brothers Foundation provided a generous grant to support programming for “Take Back the Halls: Ending Violence in Relationships and Schools.”


Girl’s Best Friend Foundation

The mission of the Girls Best Friend Foundation is to promote and protect the human rights of girls and young women by advancing and sustaining policies and programs that ensure their self-determination, power, and well-being. We support those who challenge the status quo by offering alternatives to the societal messages that girls and young women receive. The Girl’s Best Friend Foundation provided a generous grant to fund “Take Back the Halls: Ending Violence in Relationships and Schools,” and has been funding leadership, activism, and social change by girls and young women since 1994.