Meyer awards $740,000 in project grants to 19 organizations

December 21, 2020
by Karen FitzGerald, Vice President for Community Partnerships & Learning

As we close out 2020, COVID-19 cases and casualties continue to rise and continue to cut a destructive path through Black, Latinx, and other communities of color in our region and around the country.

Hopeful news about vaccines puts the end of the pandemic in our sight, even if that end is still many months away. But recovering and rebuilding from COVID-19 does not and should not mean returning to a pre-pandemic “normal.” The racial inequities and injustices that were a feature of that “normal” — and the COVID-19 pandemic that has both exposed and made them worse — kept everyone in our region from thriving.

To promote an equitable and just path forward, the Meyer Foundation awarded $740,000 in project grants to 19 organizations working to create a racially just post-COVID region.

Given the breadth and depth of the pandemic’s damage, the work of these 19 grantee partners touches many communities and many issues. These 19 grants include support for the Cancel Rent and #JustRecoveryDC campaigns in DC, and the Health Care for All and Fund our Schools campaigns in Virginia. They will support community organizing and power building in the African immigrant community in Montgomery County, among people experiencing homelessness and among returning citizens in DC, with AAPI tenants in Arlington, and in immigrant communities in Northern Virginia. Advocacy efforts will bolster the childcare workforce and reform the pre-trial detention system in Prince George’s County, and promote educational equity for Black and Latinx students in Montgomery County Public Schools.

Despite differences in geography and tactics, all of these grantee partners share a deep commitment to dismantling systems that created inequities before the COVID-19 pandemic and to rebuilding better systems centered on values of equity and justice.

In keeping with Meyer’s commitment to support BIPOC led-organizations, nearly all of these grantee partners are led by Black, Latinx, or Asian-American people. When we announced the grant round in October, we expressed particular interest in supporting organizations with annual operating budgets of less than $1 million, organizations not previously funded by Meyer, and coalitions (both formal and informal). We can report that nearly two thirds have annual operating budgets of less than $1 million, nearly half are first-time Meyer grantee partners, and more than one third represent coalitions.

The region’s recovery from COVID and its far-ranging consequences won’t be quick or easy. As we all continue to battle these crises, working toward an equitable and just recovery in our region will be a priority for the Meyer Foundation for the foreseeable future. The work of these 19 organizations, along with that of many other Meyer grantee partners, lays a solid foundation that we hope will inspire solidarity among all stakeholders in the region.

OrganizationGrant AmountPurposeGeography
Advocates for Justice and Education25,000To support the Education Justice ProjectDC
Afrithrive40,000To support Becoming Empowered Leaders for Immigrants Health EquityMD
Beloved Community Incubator40,000To support organizing and advocacy of workers and worker cooperatives in the Greater Washington regionRegional
Black Swan Academy40,000To support Envisioning Safety on Our Campuses & CommunitiesDC
Fair Budget Coalition50,000To support the #JustRecoveryDC CampaignDC
Future Foundation40,000To support the Community Care CollectiveDC
Generation Hope30,000To support addressing systemic challenges facing student parents and their childrenRegional
Identity50,000To support the Black and Brown Coalition for Educational Equity and ExcellenceMD
La ColectiVA45,000To support organizing for La ColectiVA's Recovery Toward LiberationVA
Legal Aid Justice Center30,000To support Fund Our Schools in Northern VirginiaVA
Life After Release 60,000To support Life After Release Fund's Community Defense Project ($40,000) and the Justice and Liberation Institute ($20,000)MD
Long Live GoGo40,000To support cultural organizing and political education in DCDC
NAKASEC25,000To support Health Care for All in VirginiaVA
New Virginia Majority Education Fund30,000To support the ACE Collaborative's organizing during the COVID-19 housing crisisVA
ONE DC50,000To support the DC Cancel Rent CampaignDC
People For Fairness Coalition25,000To support organizing among people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity in DCDC
Prince George's Child Resource Center40,000To support child care workforce recoveryMD
The Commonwealth Institute50,000To support Fair Funding for Virginia's FamiliesVA
Voices for a Second Chance30,000To support the Transformative Empowerment Action Mandate (TEAM)DC