Meyer awards $3,015,000 to 26 organizations in May

July 27, 2021

As many in our region cautiously welcome back the simple things we missed before social distancing – hugging family we haven’t seen in months or walking mask-free in the park with friends – the joys of returning to pre-pandemic life are not equally felt. COVID-19 cases and deaths in our region are on the decline, but as public health officials warn of a new variant, one thing is certain: we cannot take our vigilant eyes off an equitable recovery. Given the many ways the pandemic disproportionately and devastatingly harmed and continues to harm Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities, recovery must center their needs and demands to create a post-pandemic region where all can thrive.

To bring about a just and equitable COVID-19 recovery, the focus of Meyer’s grantmaking in 2021, the Foundation awarded $3,015,000 to 26 organizations in May 2021.

In 2020, Tenants and Workers United organized outdoor grocery gift card distributions in the Alexandria City, south Fairfax County, and Woodbridge communities.

Photo credit: Tenants and Workers United

In keeping with our commitment to build the power of people and communities most directly affected by racial injustice, we made some of our largest grants to community organizing and base-building groups, including Tenants and Workers United, New Virginia Majority Education Fund, Many Languages One Voice, and Justice for Muslims Collective. These organizations are working to build the enduring power of Black, Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander, immigrant, and communities of color historically excluded from economic opportunity – communities disproportionately harmed by COVID-19 – by developing local leaders, identifying issues of concern to those communities, and creating campaigns to address those concerns and influence key decisionmakers.

Advocacy organizations are tackling issues made more pressing by the pandemic, including protecting renters as eviction moratoriums are lifted and housing courts re-open, litigating to ensure that students incarcerated in the DC jail have access to special education and services to which they are entitled, pushing local and state lawmakers to enact budgets and use federal American Rescue Plan funding in ways that will foster an equitable recovery, and elevating the voice and power of child care workers in Prince George’s County (the vast majority of whom are women of color) in debates about their wages, working conditions, and COVID-19 relief.

One organization imagines a post-COVID community with equitable access to digital technologies and is leading a pilot project to expand Wi-Fi and computer access in four DC wards. Another builds on its blog and communications platform to highlight issues of housing and transportation equity in the region and aims to change the narrative in the process.

Although these grantee partners are of different sizes, from different parts of the region, and use different tactics, they share one overarching North Star: changing the systems that failed so many of our communities during the pandemic. Their visions for a COVID-19 recovery that is rooted in equity and justice and that invests in the power and potential of BIPOC communities and leaders, nurtures hope that we can create a region where all can thrive.

OrganizationPurposeGrant AmountGeography
Advocates for Children and Youthto support general operations40,000MD
Association of American Colleges and Universitiesto support Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers over two years150,000MD
Central American Resource Centerto support general operations75,000DC
Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysisto support general operations over two years ($160,000) and work to decriminalize poverty ($75,000)235,000VA
Community Bridgesto support general operations30,000MD
Community Family Life Servicesto support the equitable digital access project over three years225,000DC
DC Fiscal Policy Instituteto support general operations over two years200,000DC
Enterprise Community Partnersto support general operations in the Greater Washington region90,000Regional
First Generation College Boundto support general operations over two years150,000MD
Greater Greater Washington Education Projectto support the Greater Greater Washington Education Project's work towards housing and transportation equity in the Greater Washington region over two years150,000Regional
Justice for Muslims Collectiveto support general operations of the Justice for Muslims Collective in the Greater Washington region over three years240,000Regional
Legal Counsel for the Elderlyto support general operations40,000DC
Many Languages One Voiceto support general operations over three years300,000DC
Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizationsto support general operations ($50,000) and Maryland Latinos Unidos ($30,000)80,000MD
Maryland Hunger Solutionsto support general operations of Maryland Hunger Solutions25,000MD
Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Familiesto support Charting Equity Efforts for Impact over two years50,000MD
Montgomery County Renters Allianceto support general operations75,000MD
Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Allianceto support general operations30,000VA
Prince George's Child Resource Centerto support general operations over two years100,000MD
Prince George's Leadership Action Networkto support general operations80,000MD
School Justice Projectto support general operations75,000DC
Serve Your Cityto support general operations50,000DC
Shaw Community Centerto support general operations20,000DC
Tenants and Workers Unitedto support general operations over three years210,000VA
Virginia New Majority Education Fundto support general operations ($180,0000) over three years and civic engagement on redistricting ($40,000)220,000VA
Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairsto support general operations75,000DC