We are coming to the end of another year, one that was filled with heartache, loss, frustration, exhaustion, and pain. And at the same time, there is hope witnessing and experiencing the deep solidarity and collective strength of communities coming together. Read more from Executive Director Amanda Navarro, on Convergence’s year and commitments to a future where the resources and influence of philanthropy are fully aligned to the priorities of people at the frontlines of injustice.
Breaking down barriers to political and civic engagement is an integral part of building long-term community power. Our grantees, Destination Innovation, The Community / La Comunidad, and Omni Circle Group, are showing up for their communities by investing in young people’s leadership, making government services more accessible, and demystifying the political process. Part three in “Powerful Ripples of Change,” blog series.
In this second post in our Powerful Ripples of Change series, we are spotlighting the intersectional work of climate justice and resilience efforts and health equity. As the ongoing climate crisis worsens, Black and Brown communities are often forced to bear the burdens of extreme weather and natural disasters. Our grantees, Grand Caillou/Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw (GCDBBCC), United Houma Nation (LA), and Heart of the City Neighborhoods are not just stepping up to help their communities recover and heal from these crises, but building organizational infrastructure that can support their communities in the long-term.
Three years ago, Convergence Partnership shifted our funding strategies to focus on the intersections of racial justice and health equity. We are now celebrating nearly $3 million in grants to 12 frontline, people of color led and staffed organizations that are growing civic, economic, and narrative power. We are marking this milestone in a series of blog posts, “Powerful Ripples of Change,” that spotlights these organizations, their accomplishments, and the powerful work they have underway.
At the turn of a new year, we often think about having a fresh start. Executive Director Amanda Navarro shares what is ahead in 2023 for Convergence Partnership, embracing the opportunity and responsibility to remain committed to partners on the frontlines, and not to backslide to philanthropy’s old habits.
In 2020, Convergence streamlined and transformed our grantmaking application and reporting requirements, deepening our commitment to equitable and responsive grantmaking practices and elevating community voices. Rather than final written reports, we collaborated with Working Narratives to offer grantees the option to have their work documented through locally produced podcast episodes. This guide shares practical tips and resources for funders reimagining their reporting practices.
Season 1, Episode 5: In this episode, local audio producer and artist Maria Ta shares the multidisciplinary community theater project by Ujima Company to educate their community about lead poisoning. Their Legacy of Lead production brings forward the stories of those directly impacted by lead poisoning and educates the community about how concentrated poverty adversely affects the health of communities of color. The second segment, hosted by Andrea Ó Súilleabháin of the Partnership for the Public Good, discusses strategies for racial justice and health equity in the fight against lead poisoning in Buffalo homes and neighborhoods with Rahwa Ghirmatzion from PUSH Buffalo, Jessica Bauer Walker of Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo, and Maria Ta of Ujima Company. This episode is hosted by Justice Gatson, a Kansas City based organizer, who organizes intersectional movements that uplift the voices of the most marginalized groups.
Season 1, Episode 4: In this episode, local audio producer Lety Valencia of Faith in the Valley shares the fight against evictions and displacement in California’s San Joaquin Valley. She interviews organizers who worked with residents as they faced a slew of evictions and a lack of response by elected officials. The second segment, hosted by Francisco Dueñas of Housing Now, engages housing activists and policy experts from Housing Now’s statewide coalition who share frontline experiences of the fight for housing rights in California. We hear from Héctor Malvido of Ensuring Opportunity Campaign, Ethan Hill & Ali Akhtar of UAW 2865, Sonya Gray-Hunn of Congregations Organized with Prophetic Engagement, Cynthia Guerra of Kennedy Commission, and Christian Flores of Inland Congregations United for Change. This episode is hosted by Justice Gatson, a Kansas City based organizer, who organizes intersectional movements that uplift the voices of the most marginalized groups.
Season 1, Episode 3: In this episode, local audio producer Cynthia Fails interviews Ave Stokes about a year-long process to bring Black and Latinx communities together to heal historic divides and build collective power. Stokes describes why this work is critical for the racial justice and health equity movement in Kansas City, MO, and what they are learning from the process. Stokes also shares his reflections on funding disparities faced by Black and Latinx led organizations and the challenges these disparities pose to building grassroots power. The second segment, hosted by Justice Gatson of Reale Justice Network, continues the conversation, further examining the year-long process of bridge-building between Black and Latinx communities in Missouri. We hear from Victor Morales of Kansas/Missouri Dream Alliance, Mo Del Villar of ACLU of Missouri, Edgar Palacios of Latinx Education Collaborative, Ave Stokes of Alive & Well Communities, and Hakima Tafunzi Payne of the Uzazi Village. This episode is hosted by Justice Gatson, a Kansas City based organizer, who organizes intersectional movements that uplift the voices of the most marginalized groups.
Season 1, Episode 2: In this episode, local audio producer Marquel Dominique interviews House of Tulip’s co-founders–Mariah Moore and Milan Nicole Sherry–about what inspired them to work for transgender and gender non-conforming housing justice in New Orleans. In the second segment, Morgan Shannon of Power Coalition for Equity and Justice and Milan Nicole Sherry share the stories that drive them to fight for justice by providing mutual aid and building grassroots power in the face of the pandemic. This episode is hosted by Justice Gatson, a Kansas City based organizer, who organizes intersectional movements that uplift the voices of the most marginalized groups.