The AWGC leadership team would like to challenge members to focus this year’s giving cycle on nonprofit organizations led by women of color, and who are engaged in progressive social change.
We were recently inspired by a NY Times opinion article by Vanessa Daniel, executive director of Groundswell, which is a foundation that supports organizing by women of color and transgender people of color. Ms. Daniel made the important point that traditional philanthropy has historically shut out organizations that are led by women of color from receiving grant funds, even though these women are often on the cutting edge of social change.
At the end of the article, Ms. Daniel issues the challenge, “Every foundation ought to shift a majority of its giving to groups headed by people of color. We must write checks that support multi-issue organizing led by women of color on a large scale. And instead of awarding grants for individual projects, donors need to move toward multiyear, general-support funding so groups can expand. This is how we build the power of communities to win, defend, victories and win again.”
Where can we start? We ask the Alaska Women’s Giving Circle to take a strong lead in this effort. We have many important nonprofit, Tribal, and POC-lead organizations that are spearheading efforts to substantively impact our communities for the better.
We also offer the suggestion that grants be designated as operating funds and are not project-specific. Therefore, we have made some updates to our proposal structure. (see the section below)
Several members asked for ideas on organizations that could be eligible to receive funding. Here’s a short list to get you rolling:
- Native Movement
- Shiloh Community Development Inc.
- First Alaskans Institute
- Filipino Community Inc. (http://www.filcomalaska.org/home.html)
- Southcentral Foundation
- United Tribes of Bristol Bay
- Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission
- Climate Justice Initiative
- Alutiiq Heritage Foundation
- Asian Alaskan Cultural Center
- Alaska Federation of Natives
- Alaska Native Heritage Center
- Cook Inlet Tribal Council
- Alaska Native Justice Center
- Sealaska Heritage Center
- Cook Inlet Housing Authority
- Vision Maker Media (based in lower 48, but funds films in AK)
- Native American Rights Fund
- Koahnic Broadcasting
- Kawerak Inc
- Arctic Slope Community Foundation
- Alaska Community Action on Toxics (Board chair)
- Aleutian Pribilof Island Association
- Safe and Fear Free Environment (Dillingham)
There are many other organizations—consider using your network to reach out to identify other organizations.