In January of 2022, freshly returned to work after a month long pause and excited to ring in the new year, SJF announced the second and final round of our Fund 4 the Frontlines Base Building Grants. Now, 5 months later, we are elated to announce the awardees: Creative Justice, Firelands Workers Action/Acción de Trabajadores, Na’ah Illahee Fund, and Unite Oregon Action!
First launched in 2020, the Base Building Grant is the culmination of the most ambitious fundraising campaign in our 44 year history (click here to read all about SJF’s Fund 4 the Frontlines campaign). These 5-year grants of $250,000 each will support grassroots base building efforts led by some of the most powerful grassroots organizers in our region. We announced the first six awardees in summer of 2020 and continue to be inspired by their organizing over the past two years.
For this round of grants, an amazing panel of SJF community members, including representatives of past Base Building Grant awardees, worked together over the past few months to review applications, go on site visits, and democratically choose the awardees. Click here to read all about the people behind the panel!
When SJF first dreamed up the Base Building Grant years and years ago, we weren’t sure if we could pull it off. Unrestricted, large, long-term grants are the gold standard in funding to support truly transformative grassroots organizing. As a small community-based foundation, we fantasized about offering this kind of resource. With your incredible support that fantasy became reality; we not only reached our original goal but raised the extra money needed to create ten Base Building Grants total. It’s been a magical experience to see these organizers at work and we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome four additional organizations to the Base Building awardees. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Essex Lordes, Grants Database Manager
Creative Justice | Seattle, WA
“Creative Justice builds community with youth most impacted by the school-to-prison-(to-deportation) pipeline. Participants and mentor artists work together to examine the root causes of incarceration, like systemic racism and other forms of oppression, creating art that articulates the power and potential of our communities.
Art makes us think and it feeds our spirit. It is also a conduit towards a more just world. By responding to personal and social issues through the creative process, youth and mentor artists engaged in Creative Justice attack systemic issue that contribute to our oppression, while building healing-centered spaces that strengthen the protective factors that help us all to thrive.”
Firelands Workers Action/Acción de Trabajadores | Greys Harbor, WA
“In the spring of 2019, working people in Washington’s rural coastal timber region came together to form Firelands. We are mill workers, nurses, cannery workers, loggers, childcare providers, grocery workers, cooks, home health aides, parents and students. We are renters, homeowners, and mobile homeowners. We join together to fight for good jobs making our rural communities healthy, vibrant places to grow up and raise a family now and for generations to come.
From farmland to timber country, rural WA is at a crossroads. We face high unemployment and poverty rates, housing shortages, health disparities, job loss, crumbling infrastructure, and lands, waters and livelihoods at risk.
Although we live in one of the most prosperous parts of the world, for many of us in rural WA, it’s just getting harder to get by. We have a choice: either we keep just getting by, putting out a new fire every day, or we can come together to organize for the good jobs, housing, healthcare, childcare, healthy lands, and dignity we all need and deserve.”
Na’ah Illahee Fund | Seattle, WA
“Launched in 2005, Na’ah Illahee Fund is rooted in a history of leadership within Indigenous-led philanthropy and serves as a facilitator and resource partner to elevate Native female-centered activism and leadership.
Embedded in community, Indigenous-led philanthropy is modeling an approach that bridges financial investment with grassroots capacity building and leadership development in culturally relevant ways. Our work addresses climate and environmental justice, food security and food sovereignty, civic participation, youth leadership, and advancing regenerative economies from a personal to systemic level. Across all of our programs and initiatives, NIF works as a convener, a bridge builder, and a capacity builder.
We believe in an intergenerational “hands in the dirt, fists in the air” approach to positive social change and equitable futures for our community and beyond. A strong network of leaders with the skills, knowledge, commitment, and resources will lead to effective and inclusive sustainability — living in balance with the natural world and one another as our people have done since time immemorial.”
Unite Oregon Action | Portland, OR
“Unite Oregon Action works across urban and rural divides to build a unified political intercultural movement for justice in Oregon. We are led by people of color, immigrants refugees, rural communities, and people experiencing poverty.
We reach 32,000+ members a year from immigrant and refugee, BIPOC, rural, and low-income communities. We train and organize members through four regional chapters across the state; many of our members volunteer regularly for our organization, serve on our board of leadership councils or on one of our many policy committees; and participate in our training and leadership development opportunities. We build grassroots political power by providing c3 and c4 political and advocacy leadership and education, activating and empowering them to organize.
We partner with our member to lift their voices and center them at policy and decision making tables. Unite Oregon connects their members to community-driven issue campaigns and ensures they have the training and platform to share their stories and perspectives for policy and systems change.”