2021 Regional Investments
The Partnership has firmly embraced the idea that supporting grassroots organizing and movement-building is essential for seeing real progress toward its vision of achieving racial justice and health equity. The Partnership developed a coordinated, regionally driven, six-state investment strategy that works at the intersection of community power, policy setting, narrative change, and funder capacity building at the local and state level. Organizing the work around these four interrelated strategies allows the Partnership to seed coordination and alignment across diverse fields and sectors, surface win-win solutions that bring multiple benefits, and put forth a new and cohesive narrative that is inclusive of everyone and affirms racial justice and health equity as a unifying path forward.
The investments and learning from the 2020 Covid Response Grants laid the groundwork for the Partnership’s new multi-year investment strategy. The Partnership funded community-determined strategies and campaigns in 13 Black, Indigenous, and people of color-led and/or staffed, and serving grassroots organizations in the six priority Convergence places (Buffalo, California, Chicago, Kansas, Missouri, and Louisiana). Beyond the core focus on racial justice and health equity, the Partnership did not pre-determine or restrict the issue focus of local efforts, allowing for a diverse and intersectional “bottom-up” agenda to emerge. 2021 was the first in a three-year investment strategy, honoring the commitment to long-term funding of grassroots organizations and coalitions.
By also nurturing connections across the six places, the Partnership has the opportunity to cross-pollinate learnings and strategies that can accelerate racial justice and health equity wins in other places. Regional Convergence funders are also engaging other funders to leverage additional resources for these efforts, and ultimately increasing investments in community power that build and expand the runway for shifting power structures and policies at the state and federal level.
Convergence will continue to listen to and work with its grassroots partners on how best to support and further evolve, strengthen their efforts that shift power, resources, and agency to Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color.