We partnered with six national organizations to identify chapters, offices, and affiliates under significant pressure. We prioritized grants to communities that do not have access to philanthropic support and offered flexible funding to meet the needs of their communities as they see best.
Protecting immigrant rights with the new Regional Center for Border Rights in El Paso, TX - $500,000 total
American Civil Liberties Union
The ACLU works in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. The ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.
We felt compelled to support the ACLU’s Regional Center for Boarder Rights (RCBR) in El Paso, TX due to the new administration’s call to “Build the Wall” and its policy of mandatorily detaining immigrants apprehended at the border. Decisions to increase the workforce of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and ramp up federal and local immigration programs that “deputize” local law enforcement agents to enforce federal immigration laws further place immigrant communities at risk.
The RCBR is at the epicenter of border enforcement activity and the potential civil and human rights abuses that come with it. With this funding, the ACLU will expand staffing in the areas of communications, legal support, and policy counsel. This will allow the RCBR to: expand documentation of border abuses through Freedom of Information Act requests and other means; expand communications capacity to find the stories that can influence local and federal policy makers and the public; and research, develop, and publish human rights reports. In doing so, it aims to frame expanded border enforcement as reactionary and unworthy of American taxpayers.
Safeguarding access to health care at 8 affiliates across 16 states - $1,000,000 total
Planned Parenthood’s health centers provide basic health care to 2.4 million people a year. PPFA provides its affiliates with tools, training, and consultation in a variety of areas — including governance, strategic restructuring, and clinical support — so that they remain operationally strong, financially stable, and able to provide the highest quality of care possible in a changing health care marketplace.
Under this administration, the threats to “defund” Planned Parenthood are real and imminent and stand to disproportionately affect people of color, those with low incomes, and those living in rural areas. Since federal dollars cannot be used for abortion services, “defunding” Planned Parenthood really means blocking patients who rely on public health care programs like Medicaid and Title X from getting essential, preventative health care at a Planned Parenthood health center. Approximately 60% of Planned Parenthood patients rely on these programs to access care.
In consultation with Planned Parenthood, we identified 8 affiliates that are on the frontline of attacks to funding and access to services. These affiliates, located in the South and Midwest face particularly hostile political environments, have limited philanthropic support, serve a high number of clients on Medicaid, operate in rural communities, and are fighting to ensure that women have access to safe and legal abortion services. Collectively, these eight affiliates operate 90 health centers that provide healthcare to more than 267,000 people each year.
Critical support for 15 affiliates across 11 states - $500,000 total
For more than 130 years, HIAS has been working to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands because of who they are. HIAS supports refugees who have faced persecution for their ethnicity, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation. Its affiliates provide direct services to help refugees rebuild their lives in safety and dignity. In the midst of the largest refugee crisis in recorded history, with over 65 million people displaced around the world, HIAS plays a critical role in ensuring that refugees entering the United States get the services they need to survive and thrive.
We worked with HIAS to identify affiliates that had immediate needs and were resettling high numbers of refugees. These affiliates are on the front lines and operate under threat of reductions in public funding for resettlement services, have limited private funding, and are facing immediate staffing and/or service reductions.
Strengthen chapters in 37 states and support all Muslim communities in the US - $500,000 total
Council on American-Islamic Relations
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is a grassroots civil rights advocacy group and America's largest Muslim civil liberties organization. With regional offices nationwide, CAIR promotes a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America through media relations, government relations, education and advocacy, and it works to ensure the Muslim voice is fairly represented. CAIR chapters are on the frontlines ensuring that the American Muslim community is strong, resilient, and empowered. CAIR’s grassroots presence ensures direct services and immediate assistance are available to communities in need.
Currently, American Muslims are experiencing unprecedented levels of hate, bias, and bigotry. Communities across the country are dealing with arsons, vandalism, assaults, violence, harassment, verbal abuse, school bullying, and more. Communities that lack a local CAIR chapter are often vulnerable to increased hate attacks and bias incidents, see fewer individuals willing to report discrimination due to fear and intimidation, and have lower than desired levels of civic engagement and community involvement from the Muslim community.
With this grant, CAIR is working to reach American Muslims who may not be getting the support they need because of their geographic location. CAIR is working to strengthen its network by opening new chapters, implementing Know Your Rights campaigns, offering leadership development training, and working to streamline civil rights advocacy systems.
Bolster 10 offices across 6 states through general support - $500,000 total
International Rescue Committee
In the US, the International Rescue Committee supports refugees and other displaced people to rebuild their lives through comprehensive resettlement and integration services in 27 cities. Its US refugee program is one of the few lifelines for the more than 60 million people fleeing war and persecution from countries such as Syria, Iraq, Burma, DR Congo, Somalia, and Sudan.
While IRC only resettles refugees in welcoming communities, national politics have made this more difficult by bolstering anti-refugee and anti-immigrant sentiments. The negative political and public environment surrounding refugees over the past two years and the divisive policies implemented by the new administration have put the victims of the world’s worst humanitarian crises at further risk by emboldened, authorized discrimination, unprecedented disruptions to the refugee admission process, and severe funding cuts.
In partnership with the IRC, we identified ten offices whose programs ensure that refugees thrive in America. Their work includes intensifying public education and civic engagement, expanding programmatic support in social services, combatting discrimination in schools and communities, and increasing immigration services to protect refugees from deportation.
Strengthening services at 22 affiliates across 9 states - $500,000 total
UnidosUS collaborates closely with more than 250 community groups across the country that provide services to millions of Hispanic Americans and that use their expertise to give voice to issues facing Latinos. These nonprofits provide direct services —including educational tools for children and adults, workforce support, health services, cultural integration programs, and policy advocacy — that support the well-being of all American families.
There is a growing need for these services due to the harsh rhetoric of the new administration has caused unprecedented worry and concern in Latino communities about how their lives may be impacted by issues ranging from immigration to health care to education. Recent federal and state policies have left immigrant children and families, regardless of their immigration status, vulnerable to immigration enforcement and extreme levels of stress and fear.
We partnered with 22 organizations affiliated with UnidosUS working in states that had immediate specific needs or had seen a significant increase in client visits since the 2016 election. All of the organizations we supported provide direct services to families.
ABOUT SOLIDARITY GIVING
Solidarity Giving is a donor advised fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation that was created by Tegan and Brian Acton. In addition to Solidarity Giving, the Actons established Sunlight Giving and Acton Family Giving. Together, the three philanthropic entities work to support communities and families across the country.
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