August 26, 2016

A Community-Centered Response to Louisiana Flooding

The recent flooding disaster in Louisiana is responsible for loss of life, major destruction of property, and significant impacts on safety in a region already struggling with disinvestment. Over 10,000 people are in shelters, and thousands more will return to damaged homes, neighborhoods, and communities.

Thankfully, government’s response to this disaster has been much better than its response to Hurricane Katrina. First responders have saved lives and served evacuees, and disaster agencies are assessing the recovery landscape. Meanwhile, philanthropic organizations—like NFG partner Foundation for Louisiana—are prepared to focus financial and strategic resources to ensure disaster-impacted families can participate in the critical decisions that will dictate the terms of their recovery.

FFL has activated a Strategic Flood Response Fund to strengthen local, on-the-ground groups engaged in high-impact disaster response—now and through the critical long-term disaster planning and response phase. They have pledged that all contributions will be directed solely toward disaster relief and recovery efforts. As a statewide philanthropic organization with roots in disaster response and recovery, FFL is able to provide responsive assistance and ensure that devastated communities rebuild and become more resilient. 

FFL is guided by a set of core values and beliefs that put communities at the center of its work:

  • The grassroots wisdom of residents is one of Louisiana’s most valuable resources.
  • Individuals and families have the right to maintain their dignity amidst disaster.
  • Given appropriate resources and support, communities are able to solve their own problems and chart their own futures.
  • Increased access to resources and opportunity strengthens vulnerable communities and improves qualify of life for all residents.
  • Growing economic opportunity spurs innovation and creates shared prosperity.
  • Achieving equity and inclusion for all Louisianans requires effective public policy and systemic change.
  • Transparency and accountability are cornerstones of integrity and institutional success.
  • Collaboration and continuous learning improve the reach and quality of FFL’s work.
  • A diverse board and staff, representative of the diversity of our state, provide the best leadership for the Foundation.

This is not the first time FFL has responded to urgent crisis in its region with a long-term perspective on equitable community development. FFL was chartered in the immediate aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita by founders who knew that a responsible recovery would entail more than rebuilding what was lost. The foundation intended to alleviate what it calls “the man-made disasters of neglect and inequity” that compromised quality of life in Louisiana before as well as after the storms.

More recently, in the wake of the recent uprisings in Baton Rouge following the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling and several local police officers, FFL deployed a Rapid Response Fund to support grassroots organizing around racial inequities, police violence, and alternative police-community relations. Amidst the chaos of disaster, FFL maintains a big picture perspective on community resiliency and supports voices from underserved communities so that they are able to play meaningful roles in shaping policies that affect their lives.

To learn more about the Foundation for Louisiana or contribute to their efforts, please see FFL’s web site at www.foundationforlouisiana.org

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February 28, 2020

NFG Newsletter - February 2020

February is Black History Month and, in this newsletter, NFG honors Black resistance. Given the persistence of structural racism and the legacies of segregation, NFG has mobilized philanthropy to support POC-led organizing for equitable development since our start 40 years ago. Through our member-led and local advisor-led programming, we are lifting up how Black communities are reclaiming land ownership and addressing the racial wealth gap through grassroots power building.

At the beginning of the month, NFG’s Amplify Fund staff and steering committee spent a day with local organizers, non-profit leaders, and organizations in Charleston and Edisto Island, South Carolina — one of Amplify’s eight sites. Both national and local grantmakers learned alongside some of Amplify’s grantees, including the Center for Heirs’ Property PreservationLow Country Alliance for Model CommunitiesCarolina Youth Action Project, and South Carolina Association for Community and Economic Development, which are bringing together Black, Latinx communities and youth in the region to fight for community power, land rights, and environmental justice in the face of corporate power, criminalization of communities of color due to gentrification, and land theft.

This week, NFG’s Democratizing Development Program (DDP) hosted a two-day Health, Housing, Race, Equity and Power Funders Convening in Oakland, California. Over 100 participants grappled with how anti-Blackness and xenophobia fuel the complex housing & health crisis and community trauma, and heard examples of concrete organizing wins led by Black women from Moms 4 Housing and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. Organizers from around the country urged grantmakers to significantly invest in long-term general operating support, community ownership models, POC leadership, and 501(c)4 funding for Black, Indigenous, and POC communities engaging in policy and systems change around housing affordability and justice. 

From Amplify’s funder collaborative to the DDP convening’s planning committee, funders organizing other funders has been a key part of our work. Funder members: how are you stepping up as an organizer and moving more resources for power building in Black, Indigenous, and POC communities? We invite you to connect with NFG staffprograms, and upcoming events — including our National Convening — and be part of our community where we bring funders together to learn, connect, and mobilize resources with an intersectional and place-based focus. 

Onwards,
The NFG team

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January 23, 2020

NFG Newsletter - January 2020

Animated fireworks with the text "40 Years Strong"

This year marks NFG's 40th anniversary. During our early years, NFG was one of the few spaces in philanthropy specifically focused on people of color-led, grassroots organizing, and power building as the key to effective social change strategies. Today, NFG continues to be many funders' political home at a time when moving resources to struggles for justice is critically important: communities of color are bearing the brunt of the housing crisis, growing wealth and income inequality, and climate change; white nationalist backlash is rising; and our democracy is profoundly threatened. NFG is a space to draw support, deepen relationships, and find co-conspirators as we propel philanthropy to shift power and money towards justice and equity.

In 2020, the NFG network is continuing to explore structural racism in health and housing, racial capitalism, migrant worker justice in rural areas, reimagining community safety and justice, and more. We will also return ‘home’ to NFG’s founding city — Washington, D.C. — for our 2020 National Convening.

As we celebrate 40 years, our dynamic community of grantmakers and grassroots leaders is what makes us strong. This newsletter spotlights The Libra Foundation, an NFG member that shares our commitment to organizing funders in moving more resources to frontline communities and movements.

Keep reading below for more opportunities to engage with NFG. Whether you are new to NFG or a long-time member, we look forward to collaborating with you to accelerate racial, gender, economic, and climate justice.
 
Onwards,
The NFG team

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