Oct 22-24 in Chicago: Confronting the International Association of Chiefs of Police

Disruption can oftentimes be a very stressful thing. Disruption can cause nervousness and anxiety in the person doing the disruption, and tension and anger in the person being disrupted. Disruption can also be a source of movement and progress. It’s safe to assume that the disruption of Democratic Presidential candidates by Black Lives Matter leaders has spurred those candidates to quickly develop policy platforms that address racial justice. Being disruptive may not always be polite and respectable, but it can make a statement and more importantly move your agenda.

It is with this in mind that the Workers Center For Racial Justice and our strategic partners at Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL) and the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP 100) are planning to disrupt the annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in October. On October 22-24 we are holding a counter conference to the IACP annual conference, culminating in a massive 10,000-person protest against the organization and their allies.

The IACP is a 100-year old organization that has spent years nurturing racially biased attitudes, policies and practices to grow within their organizations. They have turned a blind-eye as their officers routinely violate the civil, constitutional and human rights of Black people and other people of color. Along with encouraging a culture of violence and demonization towards Black communities and other communities of color to take hold within their departments, the IACP also actively advocates for laws that continue to criminalize our communities. The IACP continues to oppose ending the senseless War on Black people, also known as the War on Drugs, by opposing any and all efforts to legalize or decriminalize drugs by local, state and the federal governments. They oppose all needle exchange policies, which have a proven track record of helping to reduce the spread HIV/AIDS. However, they have no shame in actively advocating for the continued distribution of military equipment by the Department of Defense to local police departments throughout the country.

As the leaders of police departments from across the world, the IACP has the power to both change the cultures within their departments, as well as influence local, state and federal policies that continue to criminalize our communities. On October 24th, the WCRJ, BYP 100, SOUL and organizations from throughout the country will demand the IACP begin using their power for good instead of evil. Join us on October 24th as we say to the IACP ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

 

If you would like more information and are interested in providing grant or donation resources to support the mobilization, please contact:

DeAngelo Bester
Executive Director
Workers Center for Racial Justice
Chicago, IL

deangelo@center4racialjustice.org
www.center4racialjustice.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.