We are excited to announce the first six grantees of the 2021 Rapid Response and Seed grants! Grassroots organizers have responded to the crises of the past year (plus a few months) with imagination and power. They’ve connected with their communities, asked people what they need, and dreamed up plans of action rooted in collective healing and transforming systems. We’re proud to support the work of these six grantees through our Rapid Response and Seed grants. (Go here to learn more about these grants!
We send a giant THANK YOU to these grantees for their leadership, and gratitude to our whole community for pulling together for survival, joy, and transformation.
JCARE | Grants Pass, OR: JCARE (Josephine Connect Act and Respond for Equity) is a new organization working toward social justice in Josephine County, Oregon (“Jo Co”). They promote culture and policy change in their region through education, networking, and communications support to groups and individuals. They are seeking seed funding to support these startup activities: launching the JCARE brand via a bilingual website; working with a consultant to complete the JCARE strategic planning process; paying membership dues to the Rural Organizing Project for ongoing support; running an initial storytelling event series to launch their community engagement efforts; and supporting training on systemic racism and/or housing justice for their leadership, membership and the wider Jo Co community.
Missoula Food Share Project | Missoula, MT: The Missoula Food Share Project is a mutual aid program that works to expand the mutual aid system beyond monetary exchange. They seek to provide more equitable access to food resources, particularly in response to the food insecurity crisis exacerbated by COVID-19. They are grounded in cultivating liberation within food systems and community. Recognizing that Missoula’s food system remains a predominantly white space, they work not only to distribute local produce to Missoula’s BIPOC community, but also to uplift BIPOC food sovereignty movements. Their focus at this time is to create a bridge between local farm networks and people to whom these networks are currently inaccessible, specifically low-income people, houseless people, and the BIPOC community.
On The Inside | Portland, OR:On The Inside builds a creative connection for incarcerated women, both individually and collectively. They do this by telling stories, igniting hearts, and sparking dialogue. Creative connection for a greater good, they create community for women on the inside and outside by breaking down the walls that keep them apart. The United States houses over 1.3 million incarcerated women. They aim to change that. Creativity is what keeps us alive, it is what draws us together. Stories save us and have the ability to heal us; healing is both collective and deeply personal. On The Inside creates shared dialogue by holding a container for women to transform themselves through creative prompts where each woman has a voice in the room, through exploratory movement, creating a rolodex of emotions to draw from, and boundaries to hold.
Oromia Community Center in Washington | Seattle, WA:Oromia Community Center is an organization that aims to serve all Oromo communities residing in Washington under one umbrella by bringing the community together to solve inequalities and injustices. They serve more than 10,000 underserved Oromo’s and other underrepresented communities who are alienated and need help navigating through different resources that are made more accessible to other communities.
SEA Potential | Renton, WA: BIPOC are excluded from environmental spaces and conversations, yet BIPOC communities are disproportionately impacted by environmental issues. SEA Potential recognizes that water is a universal connector and that there is a vast and diverse cultural relationship to water that should be celebrated, and healed, for BIPOC communities. In order to solve our most pressing environmental and community issues, diversity of thought is critical. SEA Potential is led by Black women working to include BIPOC professionals and BIPOC youth in these conversations and decisions. They offer opportunities and safe spaces to explore marine science and cultural and community connections to water and environment. They understand that when an ecosystem is diverse, it produces better. SEA Potential applies this knowledge to their approach in partners, outcomes, and goals.
Rapid Response Grants
PDX Alliance for Self-Care | Portland, OR: PDX Alliance for Self-Care’s (PDX ASC) mission is to connect marginalized and vulnerable communities with self-care resources, practitioners, education, events, and advocacy. While much of their programming focuses on nature education, food sovereignty, holistic wellness, and academic resources for BIPOC youth and families, they also coordinate health services for marginalized organizers and community members.