Our communities are only as just as we make them. Through our words and our actions. Through our solidarity. And, increasingly, through our resistance. Which is why I am so pleased and proud today to announce to you the Solidarity Fund grant awards.
In January, when President Trump issued the first of the Executive Orders limiting travel from seven majority-Muslim countries, we responded.
We marched. We rallied. We protested. We reached out to our immigrant neighbors to let them know that this unilateral action by the new President did not represent our views or values.
But we also recognized that passive resistance and protest was not enough. We needed to be proactive. We — as individuals and collectively as Maine Initiatives — needed to take affirmative action that would put our values into the public sphere.
Thus was born the Solidarity Fund.
In February, we issued a brief statement announcing the Solidarity Fund. In the statement, we affirmed our support for the immigrant community in Maine, rejected any attempts to marginalize our immigrant neighbors, and pledged our support for the immigrant-led organizations in Maine.
We asked you to join us. And join you did! Over two months, we raised $50,000 from the community to provide tangible support to immigrant-led organizations in our communities. Thank you for all of your support!
Today, we are proud to announce to you the twelve organizations receiving Solidarity Fund grants. Each one will receive a general operating support grant of $4,166. Our congratulations to all of our new grantees:
- Arab American Culture and Entertainment Organization
- Capital Area New Mainers Project
- Congolese Community Association of Maine
- Djibouti Community and Volunteer Services
- Empower the Immigrant Woman
- In Her Presence
- Iraqi Community Association of Maine
- New England Arab American Organization
- Rwandese Community Association of Maine
- Somali Community Center of Maine
- Sustainable Livelihoods Relief Organization
- United Youth Empowerment Services
We will be sharing more about these important and impressive organizations over the next several months, but please take few minutes to learn more about them here. And we encourage you to support them directly, as they do the important work of helping our immigrant communities prosper and thrive in our state.
Thank you for joining us in this act of solidarity and resistance. There is great strength in collective action.