The New York Women’s Foundation recently announced nearly half a million dollars in its latest round of grantmaking. The money will invest in the power of women, girls and gender-expansive people to create an equitable and just future.
The Foundation is prioritizing investments in organizations that strengthen civic engagement, leadership development and movement building. The grants reflect The Foundation’s ongoing commitment to racial, gender and economic justice. The Foundation focuses strategic grantmaking on ending mass incarceration and strengthening democracy. The goal is to dismantle barriers and transform systems that perpetuate gender inequity, racism, classism and other forms of oppression.
Giving the voiceless a chance to speak
The Foundation’s fall grantmaking awarded nine grants ranging from $30,000 to $100,000 for a total of $490,000. The grants will help build upon the strengths, social capital and leadership of women, girls and gender-expansive people within local and underinvested communities. So far this year, combined with earlier grantmaking efforts, The Foundation has awarded more than $5 million to grantee partners.
“Civic engagement and criminal justice reform are central to creating a truly equitable community,” says Ana L. Oliveira, President and CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation. “The status quo is unacceptable, and we are committed to our communities and invest in the vision and leadership of our grantee partners. They know the path to success and change, and we must follow them with our resources.”
Grantee partners include 21 in 21, Higher Heights Leadership Fund, Poderistas, Sex Workers Project and Young Invincibles. These organizations center the voices and experiences of those most marginalized in civic and political spheres. This includes Black/Latinx women, youth of color and cis- and transgender people of color in the sex work industry. By elevating the leadership of underserved communities, these grantee partners will ensure that their rights, needs and voices are not only protected but utilized to strengthen democracy and accelerate policy change.
The impact of grantmaking
The Foundation’s previous round of grantmaking also focuses on the criminal justice system by engaging system-impacted individuals and communities to advance racial equity and end mass incarceration in New York City. The Foundation’s prior investments in the grantee partners working in this area have proved to be effective. For instance, New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul signed the #LessisMoreNY Act. The successful passing of this legislation is an essential first step. It highlights the necessity of continuing to invest in parole reform, decarceration and community-led safety. In this new round of grantmaking, The Foundation increases support for grantee partners engaged in timely efforts toward the closing of Riker’s Island and key decarceration policies.
A Little Piece of Light, Alliance of Families for Justice, Katal Center and VOCAL-NY are grantees that centralize their efforts on organizing, community mobilization, and legislative policy advocacy towards decarceration efforts in New York City. These grantees share the common goal of accelerating the closure of Riker’s Island. Their work continues to amplify the necessity for transformational change in NYC criminal justice systems. With this new round of funding, these grantee partners will be able to build on their success and capitalize on the momentum of a new Mayor and City Council to lead coordinated, community-led efforts toward closing Riker’s Island; transform the culture of policing, court and jail systems; and engage underrepresented communities in reform efforts.
About the New York Women’s Foundation
The New York Women’s Foundation is a voice for women and a force for change. The Foundation’s mission is to create an equitable and just future for women and families. It achieves this goal by uniting cross-cultural and community alliances that ignite action. The Foundation invests in women-led, innovative and bold community-based solutions that promote the economic security, safety, and health of the most underserved women. By the end of 2021, The Foundation will have distributed more than $100 million in its 34-year existence to over 500 organizations. This money has impacted millions of women and girls across New York City and beyond. To learn more about The New York Women’s Foundation’s work to transform lives, families and communities, please visit www.nywf.org.