The Alaska Community Foundation Funds Social Justice Causes in Alaska

The Alaska Community Foundation (ACF) is proud to announce the very first awardees from their Social Justice Grant Cycle. In its first year, this new grant program is funding $100,000 in grants to 11 organizations and partnerships who pursue progressive causes around the state.

Grants were awarded from the Social Justice Fund at ACF, one made possible by a generous $1 million pledge by John Rubini and Clare Bertucio. The goal of this fund is to raise and award $10 million over the next 10 years to the social justice sector. In this first cycle, grants were accepted by nomination, serving as a pilot for this new program. ACF received 67 nominations on behalf of organizations across Alaska. Nominees who worked towards equity in access to services, equal rights for all, and high levels of civic engagement were especially encouraged to apply. In an effort to support a broad range of needs within organizations focusing on social justice work, ACF offered flexible operational support for organizations or partnerships meeting this criteria.

“We are extremely encouraged by this first round of awards through the Social Justice Fund, and were humbled by the amount of interest in the program and the number of extremely high quality proposals we received. There is truly a great need for support in this sector across Alaska, and it is our hope that John and Clare’s great generosity will encourage others to build support for social justice causes across our state.”

– Nina Kemppel, President & CEO of ACF

Due to the large amount of nominations, many organizations who are carrying out important work in Alaska were not able to receive funding in this first cycle. With this in mind, ACF is announcing the launch of “Giving Together”, a philanthropic crowdfunding program that allows donors to leverage their resources with others at ACF and support worthy causes that need help. Fifteen organizations who applied for social justice grants are currently accessible to fund through ACF’s website. If you are interested in supporting social justice causes in Alaska through important programs and nonprofits that need our help, please visit ACF’s website: www.alaskacf.org/blog/funds/giving-together.

For a full list of organizations who received grants, see below:

Alaska Children’s Trust – $15,000

Project

Protect Our Care, a statewide non-partisan coalition of 300 individuals, organizations, nonprofits, government and businesses with a goal to ensure that Alaska has a health care system that works for all has received a one-year grant for $15,000. The backbone organization for this coalition is the Alaska Children’s Trust. In December 2016, ACT partnered with Families USA and the national Protect Our Care organization to establish Protect Our Care Alaska (POCA). The SJF grant will support the following activities: coalition building and maintenance, constituent engagement, education, and media communications.

Tanana Chiefs Conference – $15,000

Project

The Hunting and Fishing Task Force of Tanana Chiefs Conference, which serves 42 villages in interior Alaska was awarded a one year grant of $15,000. The SJF support will help strengthen the Alaska Native leadership and voice in the stewardship of their traditional territories, by directing advocacy efforts to protect Alaska Native hunting and fishing rights.

Anchorage Library Foundation – $15,000

Project

Anchorage Library Foundation in partnership with the Municipality of Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services, UAA School of Social Work, Neighborworks Alaska, and the Mayor’s Office have been awarded a one year grant of $15,000 to strengthen the Social Worker in the Library Program at Loussac Library. Many of the library’s patrons experience complex vulnerabilities and have trouble accessing services. Support will help the Library and its partners to continue this new innovative and collaborative program that serves people more effectively by meeting people where they are at, and increasing equity in access to services for this underserved population.

Catholic Social Services Refugee Assistance and Immigration Services – $15,000

Project

Catholic Social Services Refugee Assistance and Immigration Services (RAIS) has been awarded a one year grant of $15,000 to expand the RAIS program by supporting an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. In the upcoming year, VISTA volunteers at RAIS will help develop refugee job training programing to advance employment prospects for new arrivals, support the RAIS Social Enterprise Program, and develop the RAIS volunteer corps capacity. With increased levels of interested community members, RAIS will be better positioned to offer more opportunities for involvement and engagement for community members.

Aiding Women in Rape and Abuse Emergencies (AWARE) – $10,000

Project

Aiding Women in Rape and Abuse Emergencies (AWARE) serving Juneau and Southeast Alaska has been awarded a one-year grant of $10,000 to advance the Juneau Violence Prevention Coalition’s Community Restoration Project (CRP). The CRP’s mission is to organize men to end male violence against women and girls through innovative trainings, programs, and advocacy.

No Limit, Inc. – $5,000

Project

No Limit Inc has been awarded a one-year grant of $5,000 to invest in a Fairbanks Housing and Homelessness Summit. Fairbanks is on the brink of making great progress towards ending homelessness throughout the region due to increased collaborative efforts of Fairbanks Housing and Homelessness Coalition and increased focus on establishing innovative best practices. The summit will galvanize the community towards immediate action by opening up access to provider resources and directly impact positively the lives of those individuals experiencing homelessness.

Anchorage Faith and Action Congregations Together (AFACT) – $5,000

Project

Anchorage Faith and Action Congregations Together (AFACT) has been awarded a one-year grant of $5,000 to help fund an additional organizer and research to support more congregations and communities. AFACT works alongside underrepresented and marginalized communities to discover, research, and respond to real quality of life concerns, and then organizes, empowers, and mobilizes those communities to find justice.

Keys to Life – $5,000

Project

Keys to Life, based in Anchorage has been awarded a one year grant of $5,000 to sustain the organization, broaden outreach, and expand influences in Alaska. Keys to Life is dedicated to empowering, creating and strengthening an inclusive community through rich arts and cross-cultural experiences. Its grass root efforts engage and empower the community at all levels, and provides inclusive civic engagement and equal rights programs for all.

Burchell High School – $5,000

Project

Burchell High School, an trauma-sensitive alternative school of choice serving the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, has been awarded a one-year grant of $5,000 to implement a restorative justice program in the school to aid in disciplinary issues, improve students’ ability to communicate and resolve conflicts, and involve parents and the community in the restorative process. As a progressive and trauma-sensitive school, Burchell also seeks to address human trafficking and relationship skills by assessing student need and conducting an awareness and education campaign.

AK Business Development Center – $5,000

Project

Alaska Business Development Center (ABDC) was awarded a one-year grant of $5,000 to increase services to more clients. ABDC increases access to justice and tax services in rural areas statewide by offering business-related and tax services at no cost, and by serving as an advocate for equitable tax reform. ABDC served over 70 rural villages this past tax season through consultation and representation for taxpayers in controversy and those who are generally either low-income or who speak English as a second language.

Anonymous – $5,000

Project

Another organization was also awarded a small grant for an innovative project, but due to pending grants and funding opportunities we can’t reveal them at this time.