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Barr Foundation Supports Sasaki Foundation in Promoting Equity in Design

WATERTOWN, MA – The Sasaki Foundation announced it has received its first grant from the Barr Foundation. The funding will be used to help Sasaki Foundation leverage design to advance equity and inclusive growth—strengthening and empowering local communities.

Through its research, programs, and partnerships, Sasaki Foundation will take a multi-disciplinary approach to tackling global challenges. Using design thinking—the iterative practice of understanding, innovating, prototyping, testing, and implementing—the Foundation bridges the physical environment; community and social needs; policies and governance; and economic forces with community stewardship to shape our collective futures, together.

“Design has the power to address the most urgent societal, structural, and physical challenges we face today, from social equity to mobility to environmental resilience. It is an agent of change. And yet, access to design—for communities that need it the most—is often limited,” says Alexandra Lee, Executive Director of Sasaki Foundation. “Whether it’s testing new ideas to prevent displacement of long-time community residents, or supporting organizations to build a diverse pipeline of design professionals, the Sasaki Foundation wants to use our position to give communities the resources to work with us to effect tangible, positive change.”

At the end of June, Sasaki Foundation will issue a Call for Proposals to recruit applicants for the Sasaki Foundation Design Awards, up to four $15,000 awards given to teams employing community-based approaches to tackle large-scale issues like climate adaptation, housing, and transit access.

About Sasaki Foundation

The Sasaki Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, was established by the friends and family of Hideo Sasaki, founder of the global design firm Sasaki, to continue his legacy of advancing rigorous and challenging research in design. Since its founding in 2000, the Sasaki Foundation has awarded $385,000 in grants to pursue focused research initiatives, foster diversity and equity in the design field, and connect young people to mentorship and resources. The Sasaki Foundation resides at the Incubator at Sasaki and serves as the steward and curator for this facility. For more information, visit or follow @SasakiFdn and @SasakiIncubator.

About the Barr Foundation

The Barr Foundation’s mission is to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and connect all students to success in high school and beyond. Founded in 1997, Barr now has assets of $1.7 billion, and has contributed more than $837 million to charitable causes. For more information, visit or follow @BarrFdn.

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