Last summer Maine-Wabanaki REACH staff took part in Grants for Change, a unique participatory grant making and decision-making process sponsored by Maine Initiatives. This unique process engaged the broader Maine community and Maine-based nonprofit organizations who work to advance racial justice and equity in Maine communities.
Maine Initiatives set out to make general operating grants over the next three years to a cohort of ten organizations and to offer them training, capacity building and collective learning around issues of racial justice and equity.
REACH was excited to be part of the Grants for Change process; we submitted a grant proposal and several staff members participated as grant readers, evaluating grant applications from other nonprofits and submitting feedback.
Last month members of our REACH team participated in the first meeting of the Racial Justice Grantee Cohort. We were pleased to meet the folks we will be working so closely with as we build our organizational and collective capacity to advance racial justice in Maine.
The Grants for Change Cohort includes: In Her Presence, Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, Maine Inside Out, Maine-Wabanaki REACH, Mano en Mano, Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellows, New Mainer’s Tenants’ Association, Raise-Op Housing Cooperative, Somali Bantu Mutual Assistance Association of Lewiston/Auburn and Tree Street Youth. These ten organizations will receive a $25,000 general operating grant over a three-year period.
This educational, networking and grant making process was a first for Maine Initiatives. We are grateful to them for their vision and innovation in creating this unique approach to making grants and creating community and look forward to our work together.