Though the days have become colder and darker, we’re keeping spirits up by heading into the winter season with more virtual opportunities to connect and be in community. For instance, see below to learn more about our upcoming “Racial Justice &… Series” and other pieces of good news, something we can all use a bit more of these days!
Have a good holiday and stay safe everyone!
The Maine Initiatives Team
Register Today: Racial Justice &… Series!
We can’t wait for next month’s series called: “Racial Justice and…”! You won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear directly from grassroots leaders challenging the ways that racism shows up in our community’s policies, practices, and culture.
This panel series will be hosted and facilitated by Samaa Abdurraqib, co-founder of The For Us, By Us Fund. The first three sessions will address the intersections of racial justice with decarceration, housing justice, and health equity.
This virtual series is free to the public and registration for the first three sessions is now open. Register today and share with your networks!
Grants for Change
Last week, we announced the 20 grassroots organizations selected for the 2020 Grants for Change program! These grantees are transforming our state by tirelessly organizing and advocating for racial justice.
These organizations are joined by the grantees selected through our radically participatory grantmaking process in 2018 and 2019, resulting in $400,000 in grants to be disbursed this fall. Special thanks to the Pull Up Fund who has made an ongoing investment in Maine Initiatives and bolstered our grantmaking to move more money into the hands of anti-racist activists across Maine!
Letter from Phil: Systemic Racism in Maine is Real.
On an October 28th, Senator Susan Collins took the debate stage and claimed that systemic racism is not a problem in Maine. Our Executive Director, Phil Walsh, wrote a letter in response.
He writes: “Either Sen. Collins is ignorant of the rampant racial disparities in our state across many measures; or she thinks those disparities reflect fair and just outcomes of our systems, structures and institutions. We beg to differ. As a foundation that has made addressing systemic racism in Maine a central focus of our work, we stand with the organizations and leaders that see the problems of systemic racism, have the courage to name it, and are working to fix it. These organizations are doing heroic work and deserve support, praise and thanks. Not denial.” Check out the full letter here.
COVID-19 Issue Spotlights Re-Cap
Last month, our COVID-19 Issue Spotlight focused on Get out the Vote work. Even though the election has passed, these organizations did a tremendous amount of work to ensure that voting was accessible for eligible Mainers.
Importantly, these organizations targeted communities who have historically been disenfranchised: People of Color, Immigrants, Indigenous folks, Women, incarcerated Mainers, and Homeless citizens. Their efforts to expand and protect democracy will have ripple effects for years to come. Check out the full spotlight issue here!