Wrapping up 2019: Final Updates from WDN’s Initiatives

As we wrap up the year, we are excited to share a few final updates from WDN’s initiatives. The Impact Collectives have been hard at work awarding final grants for the year. We’re finishing 2019 strong and supporting the following organizations:

This year, the Emergent Fund moved over $1 million to sixty-nine grantees, with most of them getting their funding within a week of our decision. alicia sanchez gill, the Fund’s director, reflected on the year in a letter to supporters. Check out some highlights below and read her full letter here.

In 2019 the Emergent Fund…

  • Supported organizations responding to the immigration raids in Mississippi in August with resources for families and communities, and funded the work to shut down detention centers in Oklahoma.
  • Supported Native-led organizing and direct actions in protest of a telescope to be built on the sacred site of Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in Hawaii.
  • Partnered with Groundswell Fund and supported reproductive justice groups in the aftermath of abortion bans passed in Alabama, Georgia, and other states.
  • Added Deepa Iyer, South Asian American writer, lawyer, strategist, facilitator, and activist to our Advisory Council.
  • Funded projects in 28 states that are organizing at the intersections of media, housing and economic, criminal, education, environmental, food and climate, immigrant, racial and gender, LGBTQIA+ and reproductive JUSTICE.

The Opportunity & Equality Impact Collective met one last time this year to award $300,000 to five state-based worker justice organizations—most of which are driven by grassroots organizing.

  • MS Black Women’s Roundtable: $90,000 for economic justice advocacy and organizing by and for Black women and girls in Mississippi.
  • Women’s Law Project (Pennsylvania): $90,000 for legal representation and advocacy on policy reform for worker justice.
  • PA Domestic Workers Alliance: $70,000 for domestic worker organizing focused on workers’ rights enforcement campaigns and base-building.
  • 9to5: Colorado: $25,000 for additional member training in support of 9to5’s mission of economic security for low-wage women workers.
  • 9to5: Georgia: $25,000 for state policy capacity building in support of 9to5’s mission of economic security for low-wage women workers.

The Jean Hardisty Initiative had a productive grantmaking year! The Hardisty Committee (made up of 10 WDN members) met throughout the year to award $1.45 million to Black-led work. Here are some highlights:

  • One hundred percent of the grants that went out from the Hardisty Initiative were to organizations led or co-led by Black women.
  • A grantmaking process that is deeply connected to movement leaders and what they need. We gave critical bridge funding to the Electoral Justice Project, led by Jessica Byrd, between foundation grant cycles, and gave ongoing support to the pillars of the Movement for Black Lives infrastructure.
  • Catalytic support to new visionary efforts getting off the ground, like supporting Charlene Carruthers as she started a new institute, the Center for Leadership and Transformation in Chicago.

The Participation & Representation Impact Collective focused its grantmaking on Pennsylvania and awarded $50,000 each to CASA and Make the Road Pennsylvania.

The Safe & Sustainable Future Impact Collective awarded a second grant of $100,000 to the Sunrise Movement Education FundVarshini Prakash is the executive director of Sunrise and spoke at WDN Connect in Chicago.

The Reflective Democracy Campaign, entirely funded by WDN members, has been able to:

  • release a study shattering the myth that women and people of color are less electable;
  • build on our groundbreaking research on elected prosecutors to reveal the growing success of reflective candidates;
  • convene discussions with over 100 political donors and power brokers nationwide about the role of political gatekeepers in shaping who can run for office and win;
  • celebrate the nationwide broadcast of Councilwoman, a documentary we supported telling the story of an immigrant hotel housekeeper’s election to the Providence, RI City Council; and
  • award our final grants for the year totaling $450,000 to Take Action Minnesota, Texas Organizing Project Education Fund, and Michigan United.

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