Meyer awards $635,000 to eight organizations in March

May 19, 2022

In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of organizations came together to push the DC Council to allocate funds for direct cash assistance to workers (including undocumented immigrants, returning residents, and other people working in the informal cash economy) who were left out of federal COVID relief programs. Many of these were Black, Latinx, and immigrant workers who had higher levels of unemployment before the start of the pandemic and were hit particularly hard by the job losses and cratering of the economy that the pandemic unleashed. Without the cash assistance that unemployment benefits and federal stimulus checks provided to many other out-of-work residents, these residents faced unprecedented financial hardship in paying rent, feeding their families, and meeting basic needs.

A graphic from the Don’t Exclude Me/No Me Excluyas Campaign from the Excluded Workers Coalition, featuring black and white text on a red background that reads: Don’t Exclude Me. No Me Excluyas. We demand $160M for fiscal year 2023

A graphic from the Don’t Exclude Me/No Me Excluyas Campaign from the Excluded Workers Coalition

In 2020, this group of organizations, known as the Excluded Workers Coalition, secured $14 million from the DC Council for one-time cash payments of $1,000 to workers left out of other government-sponsored COVID relief programs. In 2021, the Coalition’s efforts led to $41 million for excluded workers. Seeing the difference this money made to thousands of workers, the campaign has brought together a diverse set of people who have been underserved by various programs and will continue to develop long-term strategies for and with these communities.

The work of the Excluded Workers Coalition exemplifies the Meyer Foundation’s aspirations for our Just & Equitable COVID-19 Recovery grantmaking. This grantmaking isn’t about the virus that causes COVID, or medical recovery, or even public health recovery. It is about changing the systems that failed so many Black and brown people over the past two years (and that were failing them long before anyone had heard of the SARS COV-2 virus) to create a post-pandemic region that is racially and economically just.

Last month, Meyer awarded $635,000 in grants to eight organizations (including DC Jobs with Justice, which houses the Excluded Workers Coalition) helping to build a more just Greater Washington community. The work of these organizations spans policy advocacy in housing and education, organizing workers to push for living wages and safe working conditions, and assisting immigrants who are creating worker-owned cooperative businesses. This round of grantmaking also supports the work of two new grantee partners. Collective Action for Safe Spaces organizes survivors of patriarchal violence to transform systems of policing and incarceration. The Parent Leadership Training Institute trains parents of Alexandria Public Schools students to advocate for their children’s educational needs — work that is especially critical given the education disparities that widened during the pandemic.

Recently I was asked, “What will happen to Meyer’s Just & Equitable COVID-19 Recovery work once the pandemic ends?”

Given that our grantee partners are tackling racial and economic injustices that are deeply entrenched in our country’s history, our answer to that question at Meyer is: “The work to change these systems will continue.”

Below, access the list of grants awarded to partners in March toward a Just & Equitable COVID-19 Recovery, as well as our three latest additions to the Fund for Black-led Change (Black Church Food Security NetworkCritical ExposureOut for Justice), which we’ll share more about soon!

OrganizationAmountGrant PurposeGeographic Area ServedWebsite
Beloved Community Incubator75,000to support general operationsDistrict of Columbiawww.belovedcommunityincubator.org
Black Church Food Security Network150,000to support general operations of the Black Church Food Security Network in the Greater Washington regionGreater Washington Regionwww.BlackChurchFoodSecurity.net
Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development75,000to support general operationsDistrict of Columbiawww.cnhed.org
Collective Action For Safe Spaces100,000to support general operations over two yearsDistrict of Columbiawww.collectiveactiondc.org
Critical Exposure50,000to support general operationsDistrict of Columbiawww.criticalexposure.org
DC Jobs With Justice150,000to support the Excluded Worker Coalition over two yearsDistrict of Columbiawww.dcjwj.org
DC KinCare Alliance100,000to support general operations over two yearsDistrict of Columbiawww.dckincare.org
Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations80,000to support general operations ($50,000) and Maryland Latinos Unidos ($30,000)Marylandwww.marylandnonprofits.org
Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance30,000to support general operationsVirginiawww.nvaha.org
Out for Justice150,000to support general operationsMarylandwww.out4justice.org
PLTI of Alexandria25,000to support general operationsVirginiawww.plt-alex.org