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PRESS RELEASE: Maine Initiatives Awards $516,920 to Grassroots Organizations Responding to COVID-19

Maine Initiatives Awards $516,920 to Grassroots Organizations Responding to COVID-19

Portland, ME–Maine Initiatives, a community-based foundation based in Portland, Maine, announces $516,920 in grants to 57 community-based nonprofit organizations responding to the COVID-19 crisis across the state of Maine.

These grants are made from the COVID-19 Community Care Fund, which is an emergency response community fund that supports organizations working to advance racial justice in Maine, and the Immigrant-Led Organizations Fund, a pooled fund of the Immigrant & Refugee Funders Collaborative, established to support immigrant-led and immigrant-serving organizations in Maine.

These grants will ensure that grassroots organizations are able to connect people to immediate assistance, advocate on behalf of community members that are most directly impacted, and help to shape the long term response to injustices being exacerbated by this crisis.

“The COVID-19 crisis is a perfect example of how – if something goes wrong in our society – it goes more wrong for the people who have been pushed to the margins. The COVID-19 crisis is disrupting all our lives, but the disruption for the immigrant community, for indigenous communities, for black and brown folks is greater,” says Phil Walsh, the Executive Director of Maine Initiatives, “which is why we prioritize organizations led by and serving those communities in our grantmaking. Justice requires that the voices, leadership and needs of those who are most directly impacted are centered in any response to this crisis.”

The COVID-19 Community Care Fund is an emergency-response community fund: fully supported by generous donations from individuals and foundations from across the state. “We launched the Fund on March 20th and have received an incredible outpouring of support from community members that know how important it is to support grassroots organizing and advocacy work at this moment,” says Andrea Berry, Director of Communications and Engagement at Maine Initiatives. “We saw particular support from individuals pledging their federal stimulus checks to the COVID-19 Community Care Fund, looking to direct that money to those in need in their community.”  The Fund is still accepting donations and Maine Initiatives will continue to make grants from this Fund to support organizations led-by and serving people who are the most vulnerable during this crisis.

Recipients of grants from the COVID-19 Community Care Fund include:

Abbe Museum
Abyssinian Meeting House
American Friends Service Committee- Wabanaki Program
Black Artist Forum
Democracy Maine
Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective
Four Directions Development Corporation
Harriet Tubman Movement Coalition
Homeless Voices for Justice
Indigo Arts Alliance
Maine Center for Electronic Music
Maine Inside Out
Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition
Maine-Wabanaki REACH
Nibezun
Operation Breaking Stereotypes
Portland Outright
Raise-Op Housing Cooperative
Resources for Organizing and Social Change
Rise and Shine Youth Retreat
Southern Maine Workers’ Center
Sunlight Media Collective
Survivor Speak USA
The Third Place
Tree Street Yout
Wabanaki Women’s Coalition

Recipients of the Immigrant-Led Organizations Fund include:

Angolan Community Association
Cambodian Community Association of Maine
Capital Area New Mainers Project
Choose Yourself
Congolese Community of Maine
Djiboutian American Empowerment Project
Gateway Community Services
Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center
Hope Acts
Immigrant Resource Center
In Her Presence
Intercultural Community Center of Maine
Ladder to the Moon Network (Amjambo Africa)
Maine Access Immigrant Network
Maine Community Integration
Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services
Maine Immigrants Rights’ Coalition
Mano en Mano
New England Arab American Organization
New Mainers Public Health Initiative
New Roots Cooperative Farm
Portland Empowered
Presente! Maine
ProsperityME
Rwandese Community Association
Somali Bantu Community Association
Somali Community Center of Maine
South Sudanese Community Association of Maine
Sustainable Livelihoods Relief Organization
United Youth Empowerment Services
Women United Around the World

 

For more information about the COVID-19 Community Care Fund or to donate, go to bit.ly/communitycarefund or contact:

Andrea Berry
Director of Communications and Engagement
andrea@maineinitiatives.org

For more information about the Immigrant-Led Organizations Fund and/or the Immigrant & Refugee Funders Collaborative, please contact:

Shima Kabirigi
Coordinator of the Immigrant & Refugee Funders Collaborative
Program Officer, Maine Initiatives
shima@maineinitiatives.org

About Maine Initiatives:

Maine Initiatives, a fund for change, cultivates social, economic, and environmental justice through grants and other support to grassroots organizations in Maine communities. They are a network of more than 2,000 individual donors and activists supporting greater justice and equity in Maine through informed, intentional, and collective philanthropy. To learn more about Maine Initiatives please visit www.maineinitiatives.org.

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