Grantees

meet our grantees

Through our General Grant Program – Spring/Summer Round 2022 – $220,500 was invested into 33 groups, coalitions, and organizations!

General Grant Program - Spring/Summer 2022

COALITIONS

2022 Women and Families of Returning Citizens Emergency Fund is a program led by Sisters’ Overstanding the Struggle and supported by Women Involved in ReEntry Efforts, and Mr. Roger’s Entertainment, LLC. This coalition will provide grants to women and their families being released from incarceration. The coalition will collect data to show how non-traditional funding can improve the life of previously incarcerated women and their families. The coalition will collect data and advocate for funding that is responsive to people’s needs.

40 Years and Still Running is an art-activist project documentary film about the history of the Salvadorean community in DC. Their goal is to heal & inspire the next generation of Salvadoran advocates in the District. The film bears witness to the struggles and humanity of the hundreds of thousands of people from El Salvador who made, and continue to make, the Washington DC region their home. The film will become a tool to unearth stories for healing and liberation.

Black Latinidad Collective is a collective of DC Black Diasporic people representing:  Survivor leaders, feminists, Queer Justice, Abolitionists, Survivor Advocates, Movement archivists, and Pan Africanists coming together to amplify the voices of survivors, collective struggles as Black women, femmes, gender-nonconforming and Queer realities to end gender-based violence, and Black safety.

Coalition to Close Central Cell Block(Close CCB) Black and Brown people have been subjected to inhumane conditions at the Central Cell Block (CCB)–operated by the DC Department of Corrections.  This Coalition is working to Close CCB. They are also advocating with the DC Council for alternatives to arrest that result in “cite and release”.

DC Harm Reduction and Rapid Response Team interrupts and respond to violence, and situations where someone is in danger due to a mental health crisis.  This Coalition envisions a world where folks in need of support receive compassionate care from the Coalition’s community-based groups and community members. They bring together organizations and trained, experienced individuals from across the city to respond to acute and emergent crises without involving the police. Their goals and activities are centered around 1) confronting state abuse, 2) reducing harm that comes from the criminalization of poverty, and 3) interrupting violence, with the overall goal of “we keep us safe“.

Easy 123 / Community Health Days– connects hundreds of DC Black and Brown community members who have lost loved ones to gun violence through community activations for healing and liberation. Their strategies also center on community base building, amplifying the voices of their community leaders, open communication through bi-weekly calls with coalition members, and storytelling.

Excluded Workers DC is organizing and winning funding for workers who live in DC who were excluded from federal cash assistance: undocumented residents, returning residents, and cash workers. The campaign is led by a Consejo of worker leaders who drive strategic direction and are supported by a diverse coalition. So far they have won a total of $55 million for excluded workers in the past two years. Their campaign exists to urge our local policymakers to expand support for these workers and develop a long-term solution so that they do not continue to be left out of vital government benefits like unemployment insurance and stimulus funds in the future.

Incarcerated and Returning Citizens Media Campaign is teaching media literacy, activism, and production to members of the returning citizen community. Their goal is to host workshops to teach participants media literacy and media activism so they can produce short videos that focus on campaigns that advocate for policy change that will ultimately lead to the abolition of the carceral system.

Una Memoria  Viva:  Homenaje a Claudia Jones,  Un Homenaje a la Lucha de Los Migrantes  Afro  Caribes ( A Living  Memory:  Tribute to Claudia  Jones,  a tribute to the struggle of Afro-Caribbean migrants) seeks to highlight the socio-political struggles and contribution of the Afro-Caribbean-Afro-Latin diaspora in Washington, DC. The coalition pays tribute to Claudia Jones, a Black immigrant radical activist and intellectual that centered the practice of taking space as Black political resistance. The coalition will have three public actions: a visual play about the political and cultural legacy of Claudia Jones,  a radio play “El Legado de Claudia Jones” (Claudia Jone’s Legacy), and an Afro-Latin and Caribbean Festival of Arts and Humanities in DC. The three actions will showcase the political contributions of the Afro-Caribbean-Afro-Latin diaspora in Washington DC— contributions that have often been erased from our history.

ORGANIZATIONS

Advocates for Justice launched its Birth-to-Three Campaign to ensure the District fully funds the Birth-to-Three for All DC Amendment Act of 2018 which calls for the creation of high-quality care for all; supports a skilled and experienced early childhood education workforce; makes child care affordable to all families; connect families to wrap-around services; provides more services to support social-emotional development; and expands access to services like home visiting. The Home Visiting Program remains underfunded. AJE’s campaign is working to ensure the program is fully funded.

Aint I A Woman DC  Director Brenda Hayes is working in partnership with Washington Digital Media to finalize, Aint I A Woman, a documentary film inspired by the life of Mary Lumpkin, an enslaved Black woman who was held captive on The Devil’s Half Acre in Richmond, Virginia. After a lifetime of struggle, Mary Lumpkin becomes the owner of Devil’s Half Acre. The film centers DC Black activist women like Samaria King, a Black urban farmer, and herbalist combating food apartheid in DC, and Nee Nee Taylor founder and co-conductor of Harriet’s Wildest Dreams, a Black women abolitionists-led group. The group will hold panel discussions on Black Healing and Liberation featuring DC black women activists & Mary Lumpkin’s great-great granddaughter.

Amigos Park for decades Latine neighbors have gathered at “La Esquina” (the corner) of Mt. Pleasant St & Kenyon St NW next to the 7-Eleven. Once a Salvadoran/Latine neighborhood, Mt Pleasant is now gentrified. White neighbors have utilized the District’s Nuisance laws to try to remove Latine neighbors from gathering at the corner.  Prior Councilmembers proposed a “no loitering” resolution to prevent people from gathering. In 2021, Councilmember Brianne Nadeau introduced “Sense of the Council Supporting the Establishment of Amigos Park Resolution” calling for the area to become a public space. Immigrant rights organizers are activating and occupying the corner now named “Amigos Park” by offering workshops on issues like affordable housing, education, and immigrant rights. They are also organizing to gain support from Mt Pleasant neighbors to advocate for the permanent designation and investment of Amigos Park as a gathering space for people to learn about their rights in Washington DC.

BTCC Grandfamilies Unified Project is working to organize and amplify the leadership and voice of those directly affected by raising grandchildren with very low-income and limited financial support, child care, and medical resources. The program “Engagement United Model” will amplify grandparents’ strengths and commitment to their children and to their neighborhoods to help make positive changes in their lives, their families and their communities. BTCC is working to create a DC task force dedicated to improving the quality of life for grandparents by offering outreach, advocacy, family counseling, parenting education, referral, support groups, fun activities, and linkage.

Cease Fire Don’t Smoke the Brothers & Sisters primary focus is the citywide implementation of efforts to stop violence among Black and Brown youth in the District. They are centering the voices of returning citizens and youth to address public safety and gun violence in DC.

Claudia Jones School for Political Education seeks to create a new generation of politically conscious, progressive activists and organizers from local working-class Black, Latine, and other oppressed communities in Washington, DC. They engage in democratic processes and assume leadership positions in the struggle for a fair, just, and responsible society. Using popular education, Claudia Jones School for Political Education is building the political consciousness of the Washington DC working-class community. Their work includes prepping people directly affected by issues to do advocacy by testifying at the City Council and mobilizing others in support of legislation such as the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.

Current Movements is a Black- and women-led, DC-based organization that exists to connect grassroots movements through art, film, and technology. They produce documentary films, film screenings, panel discussions, and art and popular education events, highlighting the work of activists in the DC area and connecting that work to social movements around the world. Current Movements sees their role as working to amplify and connect activist voices through film, photography, and social media. They also support aspiring BIPOC LGBTQ+ filmmakers produce documentaries on organizing & activism.

DC Peace Team’s Community  Safety Unit ( CSU) was launched last year in response to the outcry on the urgency of establishing alternative strategies for addressing the upsurge in violence in Columbia Heights Plaza. Advocates sought to protect communities most affected by violence and aggressive policing during the crisis, namely people of color, immigrants, members of the Hispanic/Latinx community, and people experiencing homelessness. The DC Peace Team is equipping people with nonviolent tools and training in nonviolent skills, restorative justice circles, unarmed civilian protection, anti-racism & equity initiatives, and policy advocacy.

EightFold Farms DC LLC uses urban agriculture to directly combat the causes of food apartheid. They are constructing a commercial mushroom farm that will be located in Ward 8 and operated by Ward 8 residents. EightFoldFarms will host workshops discussing the origins of food inequality in Wards 7 and 8 and the impact of commercial urban farming on these areas. During these workshops beginning and established farmers, food professionals, and other interested individuals will learn about the policies that created food deserts in DC, among other data, and management practices that can influence District policies and urban planning.

Friends of the DC Streetcar is organizing to advocate for funding and legislation to finish the streetcar project in Benning Rd NE. Friends of the DC Streetcar are residents, community leaders, and ANC commissioners that see this project as a transportation and racial equity issue citing decades of disinvestment in transportation projects in Wards 7 and 8. The project has seen budget cuts, delays, and opposition.  Friends of the DC Streetcar are talking to neighbors in Ward 7 and 8 to gain support and listen to neighbors’ perspectives on the issue.

Harriet’s Wildest Dreams is a Black-led abolitionist community defense hub centering all Black lives at risk for state-sanctioned violence. They build power within the people that police and prisons directly harm through the three, intertwined pillars of their work: Ella’s Emancipators take on political and community organizing campaigns. Harriet’s Responders investigate and interrupt abuse while building awareness of the impact of anti-Blackness, gentrification, and capitalism. Ida B. Free team members monitor court proceedings and bottom-line participatory defense.

I SAW! DC is a predominantly BIPOC youth-led organization from under-unacknowledged communities.  The youth researches the local history and create documentaries set to explore the intergenerational issues affecting their communities. The youth will host an exhibit and community screening with documentary video selections produced in the archives for community-based discussions, with a guest panel.

Mutual Aid Movement DC (MAM-DC) is composed of grassroots volunteers and front-line service providers working to center and support people–particular focus on seniors, families, and people of color. MAM-DC closes the gap in food insecurity, and lack of technology, among other resources the DC government fails to provide to low-earning wage community members. Using gap-closing direct services as a platform, MAM-DC mobilizes the community to advocate for funding for public programs and services.

Metropolis Club is a community-centered recovery program that supports Black & LGBTQIA+ community members in recovery. Their goal is to support individuals experiencing substance abuse and undergoing recovery become community leaders that advocate for better transitional services for individuals trying to stay clean. Metropolis club is one of the few centers that has remained open throughout the pandemic to support individuals in recovery.

Paul Laurence Dunbar Tenants Association has been organizing since 2016 to mobilize and advocate for 171 families living at Paul Laurence Apartments in Ward 1. The families that live in these apartments are black, brown, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, and seniors among other individuals from the global majority. They work as a group to prevent the displacement of their members and neighbors in a neighborhood where gentrification displaces low-earning individuals and families at a fast pace.

People Power Action seeks to build a movement of community-based leadership rooted in trust, unity, and accountability. PPA’s Voter Registration Drive and Advocacy Play programs will support current and prior unhoused neighbors to exercise their right and power to be leaders of their communities to advocate for thoughtful, responsive, and supportive government services.

Serve Your City focuses on redistributing wealth and resources to Black and Brown communities in Washington D.C. who are facing rapid displacement and systemic injustice. This work is grounded in a long tradition of mutual aid, including the Black Panther Free Lunch program, with the help of partnerships that have supported SYC’s community-led family-serving programs. Their programs are: Education and Enrichment, Health and Well-being, Food and Supplies, and Advocacy in areas where voices are not heard.

Silence Kills is organizing the Surviving Through the Arts conference, a survivor-led event which will consist of panel discussions, workshops on using one’s voice/art for advocacy, networking (with community organizations focused on DV and the Arts), and a spoken word. Silence Kills also want to create a healing series cohort where survivors are taking on a 3-month workshop series based on empowering survivors to heal and give them the tools to be successful at doing so.

 

SOAR (So Others Ascend Righteously) uses writing as a tool to create a safe space that promotes healing and emotional literacy that allows underserved communities and BIPOC young women to recognize and to reclaim their individual and collective power. SOAR is committed to filling the gap left by schools, youth training and life skill training programs that provide a limited time of support for out-of-school and out-of-work 18 -26-year-old women.

Starting With Today promotes Black wellbeing and liberation through community and advocacy programs. By strategically partnering with small Black businesses in Wards 7 and 8, SWT creates safe learning spaces to organize, raise awareness, create collective solutions, heal, and have tools, language, and training to better advocate for ourselves, our families, our communities, and the Black collective. The Shape Up: The Barbershop Talk Series and #MyHairAppt are Black spaces where Black mental health, liberation, and advocacy takes place.

SwapDC is a representation that black and brown people are a part of the climate change solution. They are aware of the effects of many racisms and want to bring awareness to environmental racism in our culture. Over the years they have encouraged more of our community to reduce, re-use and recycle which helps our planet. SwapDC produces creative recycling events to bring awareness to the consequences of consumerism on our environment and our culture. Since its debut in 2015, SwapDC has successfully recycled over 6 tons of clothing and donated even more to local shelters and those in need.

Ward 5 Mutual Aid is a part of the larger DC Mutual Aid Network, whose philosophy of mutual aid is entwined with an expansive social justice vision. Ward 5 Mutual Aid focuses on residents impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and associated ongoing community issues in Ward 5. Mutual Aid groups close the gap in food insecurity, and other resources DC government fails to provide to low-earning wage community members.

Mother’s Outreach Network will offer WE ACTT–Wellness in Advocacy by Transforming Trauma Program will support BIPOC women in transforming their trauma into political power.  The cohort will plug into the Mother’s Outreach Network’s advocacy projects: DC Guaranteed Income Coalition and Child Welfare Advocacy Projects. Participants will go on to engage in a series of political actions to create guaranteed income policy and/or child welfare policy in Washington DC, becoming agents of transformative change to benefit themselves and no-and low-income women.