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Milestones

This month of June holds many milestones for Maine Initiatives.

We’re now a staff of eleven with Alana Dao and Stacey Tran joining the team! Alana and Stacey are already beloved members of our communities and it’s a huge honor to begin working with them both in this capacity. We’re also settling into our new office space at 57 Exchange Street in Portland and will be hosting an open house for our community on June 25. Let us know if you can come by!

This month we will have all three of our participatory grantmaking programs active! This is a first for us. We are building and resourcing social change efforts with you!

Hundreds of readers over the years have given time and wisdom to this community-based grantmaking process through the Grants for Change Program (G4C). The 2024 G4C cycle is launching next week. If you’re interested in hearing first about this opportunity, as an Organizational Applicant or as an Application Reader, click here.

The Immigrant-Led Organization (ILO) Fund is in the middle of its first participatory process and already off to a successful start with a large number of applications from established and emerging organizations in the sector. If you missed last month’s eNews, please read Shima’s announcement about the newly redesigned ILO Fund here. Sign up here to be an ILO application Reader.

We’re also in the second year of the Outdoor Equity Fund, a partnership with the Nature Based Education Consortium. Next weekend a 25-person, all-BIPOC, grantmaking committee will meet for two days to select this year’s cohort, strengthening the ecosystem of outdoor equity efforts statewide.

In the coming weeks, we’ll have exciting news to share about MaineShare, and its new online giving platform. Stay tuned!

Finally, we’re recruiting for our first Giving Project. We are calling-in community activists and donor organizers to engage in deep, transformative work together around race and class…and then to resource the infrastructure for community organizing that our communities have been asking for. Stacey and I are traveling to Chicago this summer with the Giving Project Network to learn from grassroots community organizers at the center of some of the most important efforts in the country.

Through our participatory grantmaking, workplace giving, and community organizing efforts we are democratizing the process of returning resources to the community, now more important than ever. With so much uncertainty in the world, in our country, and in our state, this is the time to come together to resource ourselves and each other. It’s all connected. From Black Liberation, to Indigenous Sovereignty, to a Free Palestine. We build strength together.

This month holds many firsts for Maine Initiatives. Each of these milestones is another step toward liberation for all. None of us are free, until all of us are free.

Join us in that lifelong endeavor, one first at a time.

In solidarity,

Julian

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