We’ve Been Making Impact

What impact has WDN had so far this year? Continue reading to find out.

Jean Hardisty Initiative
In the face of rampant white supremacist violence and rhetoric, WDN is supporting Black-led movements that are channeling protest energy into building power. So far in 2019, we have invested nearly half a million dollars into Black-led movements.
This month, we approved $400,000 to support groundbreaking work, including:

  • An app to engage four million Black individuals across the country
  • A pilot project in Los Angeles to do deep leadership development with a cohort of Black movement leaders over a year
  • Cross-racial solidarity and organizing among diverse communities, including Black, Latinx, Native, and Muslim-American communities
  • A project exploring revenue-generating models so that the Movement for Black Lives can be self-sustaining

Earlier this year, the committee awarded a $50,000 grant to the Black-Led Movement Fund at Borealis Philanthropy to support capacity building and to be a part of the coalition of funders who are backing the Movement for Black Lives.

Emergent Fund
We are thrilled to share that the Emergent Fund made its first-quarter awards for 2019. We awarded $165,000 to 12 organizations. Groups include:

  • Assata’s Daughters: a Black feminist organization working with Chicago youth
  • Florida Immigrant Coalition: Anti-Immigrant Bill Rapid Response
  • Campaign for Southern Equality: Resilience & Healing Special Project for LGBT Southerners
  • Maven Leadership Collective: a movement of queer and trans social entrepreneurs of color and allies that are radically redefining leadership
  • For the full list and descriptions of the Emergent Fund grantees, watch the listserv for a write-up from Margery Goldman, WDN’s Hardisty Initiative’s representative to the Fund.

The Emergent Fund is a partnership among WDN, Solidaire, the Democracy Alliance, and the Threshold Foundation. We support emergent strategies that help communities respond to rapidly changing conditions and projects seeking long-term social and economic justice.

Reflective Democracy
The Campaign has hired Rebecca Thompson, formerly of EMILY’s List and one of the leading experts and voices in the country on women of color in politics. Rebecca is working with the Campaign’s new cohort of grantees. Late last year, we awarded funds to grassroots organizations to build upon their strength as sources of voters (or activists) to become sources of effective public leaders.

Chicago Sunrise Movement Rallies for a Green New Deal Chicago Illinois 2-27-19 6309

Image Credit: Ce Miller Photography

Impact Collectives
Safe & Sustainable Future
So far this year, we have invested $215,000 in women-led and people of color-led climate justice initiatives. Our focus has been on Puerto Rico and women-led just transition efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

The Collective has also been learning about organizing efforts around the Green New Deal. We approved $100,000 to support the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led organization dedicated to solidifying the public and political consensus around the Green New Deal.

We also sponsored the Climate Justice Alliance’s (CJA) convening last month in New Mexico. CJA is the preeminent network of people of color and Native-led environmental justice organizations in the country.

Participation & Representation
The P&R Impact Collective has been taking stock of our 2018 grants supporting voter pink whitehouse and vote buttonjustice and exploring investments in multiracial coalition building. Earlier this year, we held a webinar with grantees from Georgia and Florida about the intersection of race and civic engagement in the South. Last month, we held a webinar with Jackie Payne, director of GALvanize. Jackie has done deep research on white women voters who could be brought into the progressive coalition as voters. Check out what Collective member Gretchen Sisson has to say:

As an organization of mostly white women, we have an obligation to account for our fellow white women’s consistent conservatism and find ways to move this voting bloc in a more progressive direction. Of course, this must be done in conjunction with our work ensuring political power is also shifting to communities of color.

Opportunity & Equality
The O&E Collective is working at the intersection of economic justice and resisting sexual

#metoo protest

Image Credit: Alec Perkins

violence. Our goal is to harness the energy of the #MeToo moment to pass laws and enact policy at the local level. Earlier this year, we awarded $75,000 to Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) to establish a State Action Hub. ERA’s work is underway as they staff up for this multi-state initiative.

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