Pictured from left to right: (front) Barbara Resendiz, Ruth Maciulis, Caroline Wooten, Cherie Lockett, Erica Knox, Michael Aguhar (middle) Felicia Slaton-Young, LaTierra Piphus, Robin Semer, Jessie Robinson, Gaby Wagener-Sobrero, Wendy Weinstock Brown, Jessica Barrett, Anjali Misra, Tomás Uriostegui (back) Aisha Truss-Miller, Meredith Coulter, Lena Singer, Elli Krandel, Bill Lamme, Jake Wild Crea, Jonah Krischer, Gabriel Jones, Jazmin Garcia, Erica Lynette Edwards, Lizette Garza, Jane Kimondo (not pictured: Jojo Galvan, Mike Strode)Crossroads Fund is excited to announce that the 2020 Giving Project cohort raised $174,116 – a new record! This multi-racial, cross-class, intersectional group of 24 people faced an unprecedented challenge by raising these funds while sheltering-in-place as existing inequalities intensified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, the group rose to the occasion and demonstrated organizing by pooling resources from 355 donors to be in solidarity with movement groups.
“Being a part of Crossroads Fund’s 2020 Giving Project cohort transformed my understanding of mutual aid. I’m thankful for the guidance that staff gave us to direct our energy around donor organizing and participatory grant-making during such a critical time for supporting our communities’ health and safety. I learned that pre-existing inequalities were only being exacerbated by the pandemic, and that solidarity efforts (such as the Giving Project) are important antidotes. It was an incredible opportunity to show up alongside fellow Chicagoans and help amplify collective liberation work through impactful giving.”
– Anjali Misra, 2020 Giving Project participant
In the current moment where corporations and the wealthy are exploiting disaster capitalism to extract even more from Black and brown communities, the Giving Project granted these funds to 36 organizations who are in the streets challenging the very foundations of white supremacy and racial capitalism. These grantees are leading the calls to defund the police, constructing mutual aid networks to support those most impacted by the pandemic, and are galvanizing a radical imagination to cultivate communities of care.
The 2020 Giving Project listens to Jane Kimondo’s instructions during an introductory activity in January 2020.
“During the pandemic and uprisings, there are/were moments when I felt powerless; crushed that my experiences and that of my people would never matter in a nation that took so much from us, and has done nothing to reconcile its moral and financial debts. The Giving Project gave space for me to voice my rage of deprivation and acknowledge my privilege- to feel it and work through it, constructively. Learning about the work of dope-as-f* grassroots agencies fighting for transformative change and freedom, and the teaching-learning within the GP cohort helped to restore my hope, when I had lost all hope for change. Reflecting on the GP experience helps me LIVE (beyond simply surviving) through the pandemic and the pain of disparity, ignorance and tolerance of anti-Black violence and oppression, and the heartbreak of gun-violence in our city. When I was overcome with feelings of powerlessness it was the Giving Project that fostered a space for me to exercise my leadership and power in the struggle for liberation, when no other spaces could or would. I am forever grateful for the entire experience.”
– Aisha Truss-Miller, 2020 Giving Project participant
The Giving Project program is part of Crossroads Fund’s commitment to racial justice. Through staff-facilitated training on white supremacy, anti-Blackness, and power, the cohort centers the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and nuanced discussions dive deep into the realities of structural oppression in our society. The cohort explored how race and class show up in fundraising and grantmaking. Each participant made a meaningful gift and mobilized their networks to support grassroots organizations in Chicago fighting for racial justice. Join us in congratulating them on their boldness and determination to fund groups fighting on the front lines for change.
The Giving Project is an innovative model for democratizing philanthropy and grassroots organizing. Through political education that explores race and class, alumni of the Giving Project are equipped with fundraising and grantmaking skills, to be stronger advocates in raising money for progressive movements. Since 2015, the Giving Project program has raised more than $650,000 from over 1,000 donors.
Crossroads Fund is a public foundation that supports grassroots organizations for racial, social, and economic justice.