September 12, 2016

Foundation for Louisiana Supports Baton Rouge Organizing with Rapid Response Fund

This press release was originally released by Foundation for Louisiana on July 21, 2016 at https://www.foundationforlouisiana.org/news/75/rapid-response-fund.


 

Baton Rouge, LA — Foundation for Louisiana (FFL) stands in solidarity with the Baton Rouge community and people across Louisiana and across the nation who are outraged, hurt and engaged by the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling, Deputy Brad Garafola with East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office and officers Matthew Gerald and Montrell Jackson of the Baton Rouge Police Department — as well as the three other injured police officers.

Urgent situations such as community emergency and disasters require swift, on-the-ground philanthropic responses and ongoing strategic analysis. Supported with seed funding from the Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, the FFL Rapid Response Fund has now been activated. The Executives’ Alliance funding will cover administrative costs and will ensure that all monies donated will go directly to the organizations working on the frontlines. The fund is accepting investments from both institutional and individual donors who are interested in supporting individuals and organizations who are on the front lines in organizing around systemic issues of police violence, police-community
relations, the right to protest and policy reform.

The longstanding distrust between police and communities of color, at times like this, is most evident. We recognize that this distrust is the result of the unresolved legacy of slavery and racism, which has resulted in the criminalization and mass incarceration of black and brown people at alarmingly disproportionate rates. This is particularly true in Louisiana where there are well-documented cases of police brutality, that are illustrative of the troubled history between police and people of color that dates back hundreds of years. That is why, even during difficult times like these, we stand in solidarity with those demanding justice and who are pushing honest conversations that will bring about solutions. While we grieve the loss of lives, we must also continue to demand an end to police violence, eliminate racial disparities in the criminal justice system and build trust between police and the communities they serve.

“We’re reminded by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his letter from a Birmingham jail, ‘We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right,’” said Flozell Daniels Jr., Foundation for Louisiana’s CEO. “Now, more than ever, we must honor the many innocent lives lost to police violence by resourcing the people who are leading the charge to achieve justice and equal accountability for everyone. These are times for courage, unabridged love for humanity and laser-focused attention on practices that work to ensure everyone receives justice and safety.”

To invest in the FFL Rapid Response Fund, please visit www.foundationforlouisiana.donate or call FFL Programs A at 225-383-1672 for more details. More information including grant guidelines and application can be found at https://www.foundationforlouisiana.org/news/75/rapid-response-fund.

Foundation for Louisiana (FFL) is a social justice, statewide philanthropy and intermediary based in Baton Rouge whose mission is to invest in people and practices that work to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities. Founded in the disaster times of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita more than 10 years ago, FFL remains a solution partner and equity advocate for and with people in traditionally excluded communities and funders that are allied with them.

For more information, contact:
Ameca A. Reali
New Orleans Program Officer
Foundation for Louisiana 225-772-7060 (m) | 225-383-1672 (o)
areali@foundationforlouisiana.org

March 21, 2019

Welcoming Two New FJE Coordinating Committee Members

The Funders for a Just Economy welcomes Andre Oliver and Marissa Guananja to its Coordinating Committee, the leadership body of the program.

Andre OliverAndre Oliver was appointed senior program officer at the James Irvine Foundation in 2014. He played an instrumental role in developing –and now manages –the Foundation’s Fair Work initiative, which aims to expand the voice and influence of low-wage workers on the issues that affect their lives and livelihoods. Andre also led the Foundation’s Leadership Awards program from 2014 to 2018.

He brings more than two decades of experience in the public policy and advocacy arenas, holding senior positions within philanthropy, political consulting, and government. Prior to joining Irvine, Andre was a senior strategist for one of the nation’s leading political consulting firms, with a deep involvement in California’s ballot initiatives, statewide, and local elections. Previously, he was Director of Communications for the Rockefeller Foundation, and served in various roles within the Clinton Administration, including Special Assistant to the President in the Office of Public Liaison, and Director of Communications and Strategic Planning at the U.S. Peace Corps.

Marissa GuananjaMarissa Guananja is a program officer for Family Economic Security at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. In this role, Marissa is responsible for identifying and nurturing opportunities for affecting positive systemic change within communities aimed at creating conditions in which children can develop, learn and grow.  She works closely with staff to ensure integration and coordination of efforts.

Prior to joining the foundation in 2015, Marissa served as the director of CONNECT (operated by The Neighborhood Developers) in Chelsea, Massachusetts. In this position, she managed staff and committees to carry out CONNECT’s mission of moving families in poverty to economic stability. Marissa has also held various positions with Neighborhood Developers, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and served as a board member with Massachusetts Community and Banking Council.

We are honored that they have joined FJE in this capacity alongside Alejandra Ibañez (Woods Fund Chicago, FJE Co-Chair), Marjona Jones (UU Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, FJE Co-Chair), Shona Chakravartty (Hill Snowdon Foundation), José García (Ford Foundation), Emma Oppenheim (Open Society Foundations), Anna Quinn (NoVo Foundation), Adriana Rocha (NFG), and Bob Shull (Public Welfare Foundation).

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March 21, 2019

The Amplify Fund is Expanding Support for Power Building and Equitable Development in 2019

When Neighborhood Funders Group launched the Amplify Fund in 2018, it was with a singular core purpose: to bring together funders to learn, collaborate and mobilize resources toward power building and organizing for equitable development.

The Fund aims to strengthen the ability of communities of color and low-income communities to guide decisions about just and equitable development and to shape the places they live. This ambitious goal is grounded in the belief that, as a society, we need a sustainable political and governing infrastructure that prioritizes the needs of people above corporations. Communities that are underrepresented in our civic culture also need to be authentic stakeholders in the decisions that affect their daily lives.

One of our first questions in the Fund’s design was where this multi-site, place-based grantmaking fund would operate. From the outset, we knew we wanted to be in places where work at the intersection of power building and equitable development was being driven by impacted communities. This is typified by grassroots groups across Puerto Rico that are building power with hurricane-impacted communities to alter the course of disaster capitalism, ensure dignified housing, exert community influence over the application of federal disaster relief funds, and bring about a new energy future for the island.

We were clear we wanted to work in communities of color and with low-income people in places that were politically alive in the national arena and where the local politics speak to who we are as a nation, but are frequently overlooked by national philanthropy—like Missouri. Specifically, in the St Louis region, the 2014 murder of Michael Brown Jr. resulted in a new awareness of the ways in which the deep racial segregation and disinvestment of Black communities has had negative outcomes for the region as a whole. Yet, Missouri often is not included in national philanthropic funding strategies.

And, we could see we needed to work in places where we would have strong funding partners who could help us build momentum for long-term sustainable funding. This is the case among the funders that have formed the Fund for an Inclusive California, which is working across the state to build power with communities of color affected by the housing crisis.

In our vision, when people of color and low-income communities have the power to transform the places where they live, the results can shift historical inequities and result in a more just future. To that end, we continue to grow the Fund and are working now with a set of local leaders in North Carolina to determine our funding strategy there. And, this month, we culminated a process of further learning and analysis gained from talking with local leaders – funders and field leaders – and national leaders from across the country to determine additional places to support local work. Beginning in late 2019, Amplify Fund will be dedicating resources to four new places - Pittsburgh, Nashville, South Carolina and Nevada.

Everywhere Amplify works, we strive to increase organizing capacity in communities of color and low-income communities and to rely on their wisdom in developing solutions for long-standing inequities by supporting locally driven collaborations, movement building, and risk-taking. The way we work in each place is different, and tailored to the local context: 

  • Nevada and South Carolina will join North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Missouri, as places where we are co-creating grantmaking strategies with guidance from local advisors, including organizers, funders, and those impacted by the issues firsthand. That process will help us to determine where in each state we will specifically focus and what our grantmaking focus will attempt to help shift in the local landscape.
  • In Pittsburgh and Nashville we will work in a slightly different way, using targeted opportunity grants to support groups, coalitions, and campaigns and lean into timely opportunities to accelerate ongoing work with additional resources. 
  • In California, we are proud to continue partnering with Fund for an Inclusive California to engage a table of local CA-based funders and community leaders to help build the funding strategy in the state. 

Through our grantmaking and funder organizing in all eight Amplify places over the next three years, we will move resources to efforts led by people of color and low-income communities working to build power to advance their vision of equitable development. We will provide general operating support to local groups, coalitions, and tables that center racial justice and community power. And, to be effective in responding to local circumstances, we will continue to listen to and work hand in hand with local leaders to understand regional context and needs.

We are incredibly excited to work in partnership with local leaders in this expanded set of geographies to put power in the hands of people whose wisdom is best suited to influence the decisions that shape the places where they live. Amplify members currently include the Ford Foundation, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, JPB Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Moriah Fund, Open Society Foundations, Surdna Foundation, and The California Endowment. The fund is looking to raise at least $17 million to support grantmaking and programming for its eight places over a four-year period. To date, the member funders have pooled a good portion of this budget goal, but we’re not all the way there yet. We invite other funders in the NFG network and beyond to join Amplify’s current funding partners to increase support for communities working at the intersection of power-building and equitable development. 

For more information about how to join the Amplify Fund, please contact amplify@nfg.org.