Grants for Change 2016 Grantees

Each of these 10 organizations embody a unique approach to racial justice and racial equity issues in Maine. Chosen through a radically participatory community-based process, Maine Initiatives hopes this cohort will offer inspiration and opportunities to advance justice and equity. We encourage you to explore each organization’s web-presence to learn about their work, and to get involved as a volunteer, donor, and advocate for racial justice and racial equity in Maine.

In Her Presence: Organized and led by immigrant women living in Maine, we strive to bring together immigrant women from across communities and generations to ensure that Maine’s economic agenda includes the aspirations and needs of immigrant women. We create spaces that support women’s empowerment and personal ambitions without losing our unique identity and connect immigrant women and girls for collective empowerment in their communities to address common challenges and issues.

Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition: The Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition strives to improve the legal, social and economic conditions experienced by Maine’s Immigrants – enhancing their lives and strengthening Maine – through advocacy, information sharing, and fostering collaboration among member organizations.

This mission is important and specific in Maine as the coalition is the umbrella for the immigrants’ rights movement in Maine. With 52 member organizations, MIRC is one of the most diverse coalition in Maine. From immigrant groups, advocacy organizations to service providers and faith congregations, the coalition encompasses most of the constituencies that care about immigrants’ rights and immigrant integration.

Maine Inside Out: Maine Inside Out initiates dialogue, develops leadership, and builds community across boundaries with collaborative original theater, inside and outside correctional facilities. We are committed to dismantling all forms of oppression and building a movement for transformative justice in our communities.

Maine Inside Out seeks to end youth incarceration and build a movement for transformative justice in Maine by initiating dialogue, developing and supporting youth leadership, and modeling and reinforcing collaborative community-based approaches to conflict resolution and repairing harm.

Maine Inside Out believes that Maine can lead the country in eliminating youth incarceration and instead, support meaningful community based efforts to address the needs of young people who have caused harm and been harmed themselves.

Maine-Wabanaki REACH: REACH believes Wabanaki and Maine people want to change that narrative and be in right relationship with each other and the earth and we have confidence in the transformative power of processes of truth, healing and change. We know that shining a light on the past and within ourselves, families and communities is a critical step in moving Maine toward true racial justice and equity.

Mano en Mano : Mano en Mano builds a stronger and more inclusive Downeast Maine by working with diverse populations to provide educational and affordable housing opportunities, remove barriers to health and social services, and advocate for social justice.

Mano en Mano helps farmworkers and New Mainers thrive in Downeast Maine. For us, that means not only meeting the needs of community members today, such as healthcare, social services, housing, employment assistance, and education; but also challenging the reasons why those needs exist in the first place.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellows : The Martin Luther King Jr. Fellows (King Fellows) advance racial equity and social justice through a multidimensional enrichment and leadership program for youth of color dedicated to systems reform.

Racial justice and equity is our mission. It is all that we seek to achieve; it is at the center of all that we do and all that we envision as we know that by addressing this exclusively, we will positively help to dismantle others forms of systemic inequality and injustice.

King Fellows fosters greater racial justice and equity through youth engagement, public dialogue, community service, creative arts projects and direct action. King Fellows have intentional discussion with policy makers and are dedicated to creating a strong youth of color voice at tables where key decisions are made.

New Mainers Tenants’ Association : The New Mainers Tenants’ Association (NMTA) creates housing justice through empowerment-based education, outreach, leadership development, organizing, and advocacy on behalf of the new Mainers communities.

Raise-Op Housing Cooperative : Raise­-Op provides housing where Social and Financial Equity can be developed and sustained for all current and future members. The four principles that support this mission are: Respect for other people and cooperative property; Accountability to the cooperative and to each other; Integration across different social groups; Solidarity with individual members who face various social and economic challenges, and ​Solidarity ​with the movement for safe and affordable housing.

Somali Bantu Mutual Assistance Association of Lewiston/Auburn : The Somali Bantu Mutual Assistance Association of Lewiston/Auburn (SBCMALA) assists members of the refugee community at large on housing, employment, literacy and education, health, and safety matters. This includes empowering children and families to achieve lifelong success through personal and social change, by providing them with information about how to connect to a new life in the United States.

Tree Street Youth : Tree Street Youth Center supports the youth of Lewiston-Auburn through academics, the arts and athletics while providing a safe space that encourages healthy physical, social, emotional, and academic development while building unity across lines of difference.

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