Resilience Fund Announces Grants to Support Family Reunification and Immigrants’ Rights

Releases Call for Proposals to Identify Community-Based Solutions Addressing Policy Shifts Affecting the Region


The Resilience Fund has announced $80,000 in emergency grants to two local organizations working to assist with reuniting immigrant families separated at the border and to protect the civil rights of immigrant children detained in Maryland and Virginia. 

The Resilience Fund was created in early 2017 as a collaborative partnership of the Greater Washington Community Foundation, the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, and other foundation and individual contributors. It seeks to address the critical needs of nonprofits responding to changes in federal policy and budget priorities, as well as the climate of intolerance and hate, both of which are disproportionately impacting people of color, and immigrant and refugee communities. The Fund's main objective is to provide funding in response to both urgent and systemic issues facing our community ̶ in the near-term and long-term ̶ and to be nimble in responding to new issues as they emerge.

Since the Fund’s inception, it has raised and leveraged more than $1 million and made rapid response grants to 10 organizations working in the areas of immigrants’ rights, grassroots community engagement, anti-bullying and anti-bigotry. Last fall, the Fund initially focused on changes to international travel, immigration, and deportation policies affecting residents and families in the Greater Washington region. Its first round of grants supported four immigrant-serving organizations working to ensure community members understand their legal and civil rights, take precautions to stabilize their families in the event they are detained, and receive legal representation. Soon after, the Fund responded to increases in incidents of hate, intolerance and incivility in the Greater Washington region by focusing its second round of grantmaking on building community cohesion and combating anti-other sentiment. The Fund made grants to four local organizations focused on grassroots community engagement and to two national organizations to expand educational programs in local schools that teach news literacy as well as tolerance, respect and inclusion.

Grant Awards

The Resilience Fund’s latest grants will support:

  • CAIR Coalition will receive a $50,000 grant for its Detained Children’s Program which provides Know Your Rights presentations, individual legal screenings, and pro bono representation to unaccompanied minor children. This program has screened over 40 children separated from their families at the border and detained in facilities in Maryland and Virginia while they wait to be reunified with their parents. CAIR is working to find and interview separated parents and assist them with obtaining support services to fill out the required paperwork to sponsor their children. Grant funds will allow CAIR to expand its staff capacity to match families with local service providers to ensure each child has pro bono representation in Immigration Court. Currently, CAIR Coalition is the only nonprofit legal services organization assisting separated children and adults in detention facilities in Maryland and Virginia.

  • The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs will receive a $30,000 grant to expand staff capacity to respond to the urgent civil rights needs of the immigrant community, including a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of unaccompanied immigrant children detained at a juvenile center in Virginia. The suit alleges systemic discrimination by staff, use of excessive force, inappropriate use of restraint and/or seclusion and routine denial of necessary mental health care. The children range in age from 10 years old to 17 and are all refugees fleeing from violence in Central America. Grant funds will help to engage professional interpreters for clients who have limited English or do not speak English at all, help to locate children who have been released to a family member or sponsor to collect and preserve their testimony about the facility, and to support staff time for this case

Call for Proposals

The Resilience Fund is interested in identifying additional community-based solutions that will respond to current or emerging issues impacting our neighbors or communities. Interested organizations located in or serving the Greater Washington region may submit a letter of inquiry for a rapid response grant. We will entertain inquiries linked to immigration, other policy roll-backs that disproportionately impact various communities in our region, and efforts that expand access to citizenship and democracy. The Fund is also interested in work happening regionally that may have been impacted by the humanitarian crisis at the US border with Mexico, particularly work that centers around legal support for detained parents or children who have been separated and are now being held in the Greater Washington region. Inquiries related to other emerging issues are welcomed.

Grants may support special projects, programs, or include general operating support. Grant awards may range from $10,000-$50,000. For more details on proposal submission guidelines, click here. Letters of inquiry may be submitted through our online application system. Contact Melen Hagos with questions at