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Maine Initiatives announces its 2023 Grants for Change Cohort.

Maine Initiatives announces its 2023 Grants for Change Cohort, awarding $540,000 in new grants to 12 community-based organizations whose work advances racial justice in Maine.



December 7, 2023

Maine Initiatives is thrilled to announce the 2023 Grants for Change Cohort: 

Alpha Legal Foundation
Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective
Food For All Services
Indigo Arts Alliance
Juneteenth Downeast
Maine Community Integration
Maine Youth Justice
Maine’s Black Future Podcast
Presente! Maine
Resources for Organizing and Social Change
Sipayik Resilience Committee
Youth Led Justice

The missions of these 12 organizations are varied and rich, reflecting the incredible diversity of racial justice work happening in our communities right now, such as:

  • Leading efforts to diversify the legal profession in Maine; 
  • Initiating and sustaining community-led food and medicine projects across tribal communities in the Northeast;
  • Providing food-insecure new Immigrants with respect, dignity, and appreciation through a culturally relevant food market; 
  • Bringing Black and Brown artists together as they engage in their creative processes to foster community and build relationships rooted in co-mentorship; 
  • Convening people of the African diaspora through events, programming, and celebration to replenish that which was taken away; 
  • Integrating New Mainers into their communities while respecting and uplifting their diverse cultures, identities, and traditions;
  • Advancing criminal justice reform by strengthening communities, addressing the root causes of harm, and promoting individual and collective well being, not incarceration;
  • Highlighting Black excellence across Maine and showcasing Maine’s Black historical figures and Black changemakers today through a podcast and digital platform;
  • Empowering displaced Indigenous and Afro-Latinx peoples of Maine through survival programs, community power building, cultural celebration, and transformative healing practice;
  • Building and supporting a movement for nonviolent social change that will educate, activate, and empower people in Maine through grassroots community organizing; 
  • Fostering climate resilience and energy efficient technology for members of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point; and
  • Creating healthier, safer, and stronger communities through educating youth in restorative justice.

Each organization will receive a $45,000 grant paid out over three years, $15,000 per year, and are invited to participate together in a series of peer learning, training, capacity-building, and community outreach activities over the course of their grant period.

The 12 organizations in the 2023 Grants for Change Cohort were selected through our participatory, community-led process, and are recognized as groups doing critical work to advance racial justice in Maine, unceded Wabanaki territory. The participatory process included nearly 200 volunteer readers who evaluated applicant proposals and culminated with a 3-day convening of over 40 community leaders to build relationships, discuss, deliberate, and decide the final 12 grantees.

Grants for Change at Maine Initiatives is a grantmaking and community organizing program. It funds and strengthens Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color-led and -serving nonprofit organizations that are leading the work of advancing racial justice in Maine, and engages and connects communities around shared values of racial justice and equity. Since 2016, Grants for Change has committed $3,375,000 in unrestricted, general operating support to 62 organizations in Maine. 

Maine Initiatives is a community-based foundation supporting social, economic, and environmental justice in Maine through informed, intentional, and collective philanthropy. Our core programs are Grants for Change, the Immigrant Led Organizations Fund, the Outdoor Equity FundThe Giving Project, and MaineShare.

Image: The staff of Indigo Arts Alliance, 2023 Grants for Change Grantee

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