2018-2019 Convergence Partnership Grants

Responding to changing community and political contexts in 2017, Convergence Partnership engaged in a series of internal and external discussions to re-examine how our grantmaking could better support racial justice and health equity. Six places (Buffalo, California, Chicago, Kansas, Kansas City Metro Region, and Louisiana) were prioritized for place-based investments based on an analysis of the following criteria:
  • Political, geographic, and demographic salience;

  • Presence of other funder collaborative investments;

  • Priority places for partner institutions; and

  • Alignment with Convergence Partnership priority issues (at the time these included: resilient equitable development with a focus on transportation and housing, food systems, and prevention and health systems).

As a result, in 2018 the Partnership provided grants to seven organizations in six places that organize philanthropy and its constituencies to advocate for solutions that create equitable changes for diverse communities across the country. Grantees included six local and regional funders and one statewide grassroots network to support placed-based efforts that amplified investments in grassroots organizing; advanced local and regional policy and advocacy priorities; and shifted narratives to support racial justice quity:  

In addition to funding these specific places, the Partnership brought on a set of national organizations to provide strategic support and technical assistance to the grantees, the Convergence Network, and the national partnership on narrative change, food systems and policy, local economic development, and grassroots organizing and power building. This robust resource team informed and supported local, national, and network-wide strategies and activities and accelerated Convergence-wide learning and progress by building synergy between efforts. The resource team consisted of Smart Growth America, Working Narratives, The Food and Agriculture Policy Collaborative* (FAPC), and the Center for Popular Democracy

*A partnership of Fair Food Network, Food Research & Action Center, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, PolicyLink, Reinvestment Fund, and The Food Trust

View the sidebar for descriptions of the funded work followed by links to longer stories that capture the experiences and impacts of this work from the perspectives of the community members, grassroots and community organizations, and funder partners involved.