MacArthur today announced $25 million in grants to address anti-Black racism, support Native Americans impacted by COVID-19, strengthen voter education and mobilization, and combat voter suppression. This represents the first set of grants made from MacArthur’s $125 million social bond proceeds.
“Philanthropy, like the organizations and projects we are supporting, must organize and consolidate our collective resources to meet the moment and fund a movement,” MacArthur President John Palfrey said. “Systemic racism is a clear and present danger in America. To hasten an equitable recovery and the transformation of communities in the wake of the pandemic, we are committed to a BlPOC-led reimagining of what is possible that prioritizes their vision and needs.”
In the areas of democracy and voting rights, fifteen organizations will receive grants for general operating or project support totaling $15 million. Collectively, these organizations and projects work to educate and mobilize voters, combat disinformation and voter suppression, recruit and train poll workers, improve election administration, and protect voters’ rights through litigation and other means. Further, they aim to encourage and empower historically disenfranchised and marginalized communities to participate fully in the upcoming election, specifically: people who are Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American, Indigenous, young, immigrants, and LGBTQIA+; and individuals impacted by environmental injustice, with past criminal convictions, and crime survivors.
Eleven grants will support organizations or projects that will primarily focus on nonpartisan voter education, voter protection, and get-out-the-vote efforts:
- Alliance for Safety and Justice, a project of the Tides Center: $2 million
- Alliance for Youth Organizing: $1 million
- Center for Working Families Fund’s at Tides Foundation: $1 million
- Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights for the Just Democracy Illinois collaborative: $500,000
- The Leadership Conference Education Fund: $1.8 million
- League of Conservation Voters Education Fund: $1 million
- Media Democracy Fund’s Disinformation Defense League, a project of New Venture Fund: $500,000
- MediaJustice: $400,000
- United We Dream: $500,000
- State Voices: $400,000
- Youth Engagement Fund, a project of NEO Philanthropy: $1 million
Four grants will support organizations and projects that will primarily focus on election administration, integrity and voting rights protection, using litigation, hotlines, and other means:
- Campaign Legal Center: $800,000
- Democracy Docket Legal Fund, a project of the Hopewell Fund: $800,000
- State Infrastructure Fund, a donor collaborative of NEO Philanthropy: $2.5 million
- Protect Democracy Project: $800,000
Six organizations will receive grants totaling $10 million for communities most impacted by the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism, including Black and Indigenous communities locally, nationally, and transnationally:
- The Crossroads Fund: $500,000 to support the Chicago Racial Justice Pooled Fund to support community organizing that prioritize Black leadership and/or addresses anti-Blackness using a racial, social, and economic justice lens.
- Cultural Survival: $250,000 for COVID-19 relief to Indigenous communities through urgent, community-centered projects that help Indigenous partners respond to the crisis in their local communities, using Indigenous, place-based solutions.
- Amalgamated Foundation: $3 million to support The Democracy Frontlines Fund, a donor advised fund, to support 10 organizations for Black-led community organizing efforts in response to the United States’ pervasive racial injustice.
- Native Voices Rising: $250,000 for COVID-19 relief to Indigenous communities and to amplify Native voices who are elevating Indigenous solutions to historic harms and society’s most pressing issues.
- The NDN Collective: $3 million to support the self-determination of Indigenous peoples, including efforts to improve the underlying conditions contributing to poor health outcomes from COVID-19 in Native American communities.
- $3 million to support a pooled fund to catalyze economic growth, mitigate the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19, and address the racial inequities amplified by the pandemic in the Chicago region.