The Resilience Fund, a component fund of the Greater Washington Community Foundation, today announced $135,000 in new grants to organizations working to address the recent increase in hate, intolerance and incivility in the Greater Washington region. With this new round of grants, the Resilience Fund is supporting several local grassroots organizations working to build community cohesion through powerful conversations and neighbor-to-neighbor engagement. This round also invests in national organizations offering local anti-bullying/anti-bigotry interventions and techniques for teaching young people how to identify “fake news.”
$50,000 grant to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to expand the number of schools in the region benefitting from the No Place for Hate program, which provides an organizing framework for combating bias, bullying, and bigotry, leading to long-term solutions for creating and maintaining a positive school climate.
$25,000 grant to the News Literacy Project to expand the reach of its checkology® virtual classroom – an online platform for teaching middle and high school students how to sort fact from falsehood in the digital age – and to co-sponsor a NewsLitCamp that places educators in a local newsroom for training and workshops with journalists.
$20,000 grant to IMPACT Silver Spring to strengthen social cohesion and bridge racial and socio-economic divides in diverse communities by hosting a series of events and community conversations to raise individual awareness and understanding of the connection between historical and structural racism and today’s challenges.
$15,000 grant to Progressive Maryland to expand staffing capacity to train and mobilize a newly-expanded volunteer base of Maryland residents who are ready to build community cohesion by acting to ensure fair elections, increase the minimum wage, and improve access to healthcare.
$15,000 grant to Many Languages, One Voice (MLOV) to support monthly "Community Center Sundays" as part of the DC Immigrant Organizing Center, providing cultural celebration, healing, and information and education sessions for community members.
$10,000 grant to the Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund to support its Seat at the Table program, an effort to strengthen community and a path to progress by creating space to discuss issues that matter most to Prince George’s County residents.
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.
Over the summer, the Resilience Fund awarded its first grants — three grants totaling $110,000 — to community organizations working throughout the region to support residents and families affected by changes in international travel, immigration, and deportation policies. The grants supported the region’s networks of immigrant-serving organizations to expand their collaborative work to ensure that community members understand their legal and civil rights, take precautions to stabilize their families in the event they are detained, and receive legal representation.
In early September, following the President’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Fund announced a $25,000 emergency response grant to Ayuda. The grant helped Ayuda address the urgent and immediate need for emergency clinics to prepare and file DACA renewal applications in DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland before the October 5 filing deadline. Ayuda also provided legal services and consultations to advise DACA recipients regarding possible avenues of relief that may be available to them.
“A recent study from the Greater Washington Community Foundation and Urban Institute found that although our region is diverse and generally more accepting of people from different backgrounds, discrimination remains a very real concern for many residents,” said Tonia Wellons, VP of Community Investment for The Community Foundation. “The Resilience Fund is responding to community needs to ensure our neighborhoods remain resilient, thriving, and more equitable and inclusive places to live despite the implications of policy shifts and ‘anti-other’ sentiments that impact us locally. We invite those who are concerned about what is happening in our communities to stand with us against hate and intolerance by contributing to this Fund today.”
The current round of grants reflects the Resilience Fund’s interest in supporting broader efforts across the region to address the climate of hate and intolerance, and the uptick in violent incidents linked to race, religion, national origin, and other differences. Grantee organizations were identified through an open call for ideas conducted by the Fund’s Steering Committee to identify community-based solutions that work to limit intolerance and build community cohesion.
The Fund has raised more than $500,000 to date, and has expanded its goal to reach $1 million by March 2018. More information is available online at www.thecommunityfoundation.org/resiliencefund.