Learn more. Stand up. Speak out.
Summer in Maine, in vacationland. Finally! Time to gather outside with friends and to visit your favorite swimming spot.
Summertime in Maine…and I keep thinking about the Neo-Nazis setting up shop just north of where I live. Maybe you’ve read about it. It’s not new news, but it’s recently gained statewide and national attention.
Maine is in a moment. A moment with roots in the 7,000 person Ku Klux Klan rally in Portland one hundred years ago this year. A moment marked by the white supremacist march in Portland this past April. Maine is in a moment and this is a call to the Maine Initiatives’ community. You might be asking yourself, what can I do? There is much we all can and should do. Learn more. Stand up. Speak out.
Here at Maine Initiatives, we are committed to building community power to advance racial justice. We believe this is a shared responsibility of all of us. The centerpiece of this work for us is the Grants for Change Program, through which we invite community members to come together through our participatory grantmaking process to learn about and to support BIPOC-led, grassroots racial justice efforts in Maine, unceded Wabanaki territory.
Each summer we invite community participation in our grantmaking process. Last year, nearly 300 people participated in this process: reading and reviewing proposals, learning about and supporting BIPOC-led activism in our state. Since 2016, more than 1,000 community volunteers have brought the Grants for Change process to life, helping us make $2.3 million in grants to 56 community-based organizations leading efforts to counter hate and advance racial justice in Maine.
This year’s process is now open. We invite you to join this movement. There has never been a better moment.
Please consider taking this opportunity to learn about, gather together around, and support the critical efforts of racial justice organizers and activists in your community.
With deep appreciation,
Director, Grants for Change