Detroiters move $100K to grassroots organizations working towards transformative systems change

July 13th 2021

The Transforming Power Fund has awarded five grassroots organizations with Movement Building grants to support their community organizing in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park. Each organization will receive a grant of general operating support totaling $20,000 over two years.

Our 2021 Movement Building grant partners are helping to build strong social justice movements in Detroit by contributing to an ecosystem of organizing strategies that shift us towards community-driven solutions and transformative change. Our 2021 Movement Building grant partners are:

ComeUnity One Stop is focused on supporting communities and their young people in reaching their fullest potential. In centering the process of community building, ComeUnity One Stop is partnering with the emerging Eastside Community Land Trust to preserve the community’s history and culture, and promote its social capital by being proactive against gentrification’s harmful effects.

Detroit is Different’s mission is to provide the Detroit community with an opportunity to share their perspectives, thoughts, feelings, and information utilizing media tools we have access to. Detroit Is Different’s goal is to amplify the voices and nurture the dynamic culture of our community through media.

The People’s Action (TPA) is dedicated to ensuring the integrity and future of undeserved people is not exploited. Their mission is to vastly improve the socioeconomic condition of African-Americans and other historically oppressed people. TPA takes action and fights for the human rights and dignity of all human beings facing exploitation and injustice.

The Detroit People’s Food Co-Op is an African American led, community-owned grocery cooperative. The co-op’s purpose is to provide improved access to healthy food and food education to Detroit residents. Meeting the needs of the community is achieved through the democratic control of the co-op by its member/owners.

MIStudentsDream is a coalition of educators, students, and community members in Metro Detroit who organize, educate, and advocate at the intersection of education and immigration justice. They organize to make schools & classrooms safer and more supportive spaces, support leadership development for youth and teachers, and collaborate with local organizations on pro-immigrant policy change.

TPF grew out a city-wide effort, initiated by Detroit’s social justice community, to bring more foundation resources to social justice movements and to demonstrate a more equitable approach to traditional philanthropy. That is why grant decisions for the 2021 Movement Building Fund were led by our inaugural Giving Project, a cross-class, cross-race group of Detroiters who learned skills in fundraising and grantmaking while moving resources to the frontlines of social change in Detroit. 

The Giving Project prioritized its funding to local organizations that are addressing the following issues: anti-violence, digital and media justice, disability justice, displacement, economic justice, education, environmental justice, food justice, and water. These issues had been previously identified by community members through an intentional community engagement process in 2018. The Giving Project also sought out key characteristics in strong Movement Building candidates, particularly organizations that:

…are constituent-led. They prioritize leadership and representation from groups that are most impacted by the issues.

…engage in strategic organizing. They can demonstrate how they are organizing people to act collectively, and can share why it’s especially strategic in this current political environment.

collaborate to build collective power. They participate in, and can describe their role in, important collaborations and/or coalitions.

…are organizationally sound. They have the internal capacity and systems to sustain itself as a strong, impactful entity.

For more information about the Giving Project, TPF grants, and other opportunities, scroll to the bottom of our homepage to sign up for our mailing list.

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