June 21, 2022

Marguerite Casey Foundation Invests $6M into Organizations Bridging Social Justice Scholarship and Social Movements

SEATTLE (June 21, 2022) — Today, the Marguerite Casey Foundation (MCF) announced a $6 million investment into four organizations working toward bridging the worlds of social justice scholarship and social movements. The investments of the MCF are aimed at shifting the balance of power in society to those who have long been excluded from having it. 

“We believe that bold investments in ideas about how to shift power in society must be matched with bold investments in organizing efforts that help bring them to life,” said Dr. Carmen Rojas, MCF’s president and CEO. “Organizing efforts should be multiracial and durable in nature to ensure that their impact reflects the character of the communities they aim to serve, and leaves those communities changed, more informed, more free, and better able to shape our democracy and economy.”

Critical to the MCF’s strategy is supporting leaders that are matching their ideas about how to shift power with organizing efforts that put those ideas into action. The following organizations will each receive a one-time $1.5 million grant to support their work: 

The Portal Project of the Social Justice Initiative at University of Illinois Chicago

"Over the past year the Portal Project has convened nearly 200 scholars, artists and activists to explore the meaning of justice in the 21st century, centering those communities most impacted by various forms of injustice. This generous grant will allow us to deepen and expand our work in creative and meaningful ways,” said Barbara Ransby, John D. MacArthur Professor and Chair in Black Studies, Gender and Women's Studies and History, Director of the Social Justice Initiative at University of Illinois at Chicago, and founder of The Portal Project. “The Portal Project is not only an interdisciplinary, intergenerational site of new knowledge creation, but we also seek to make the collective insights produced through our work accessible to a wide and diverse public through book, graphics, videos and  art exhibitions and productions. Support from the Marguerite Casey Foundation will further enable this production and dissemination of community engaged scholarship on social justice.”

UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy

“This grant provides invaluable support to the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy where we have been building an inter-institutional space connecting university-based and movement-based scholars in the shared work of research and scholarship to analyze and challenge dispossession and displacement in U.S. cities and communities,” said Ananya Roy, Founding Director, UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy. 

Haymarket Books

“This grant will be transformational for our work at Haymarket Books, allowing us to undertake new initiatives to support our authors and their vital work, to reach underserved readers, including people who are incarcerated, and to advance political education projects linked to grassroots organizing,” said publisher Julie Fain.

Highlander Research and Education Center

“The time for multi-racial, multi-sector, multi-tactical, strategies is now. The theory, practice, and summation required to envision, build, implement, and synthesize the lessons required to build those strategies requires significant investment. It is an honor to continue stewarding a praxis that believes in and practices the methodological truth that bringing people together across their real or perceived differences, can build containers for new knowledge. The truth that new knowledge creates the ideas and actions of people most directly impacted by the systems that harm our communities. The collective action we create will save lives, build democracy and promote positive change.” said Ash-Lee Henderson, Co-Executive Director of Highlander Research & Education Center. 

About Marguerite Casey Foundation
Marguerite Casey Foundation supports leaders, scholars and initiatives focused on shifting the balance of power in society — building power for communities that continue to be excluded from shaping how society works and from sharing in its rewards and freedoms. Our board members, leadership, and staff are committed to building a just economy and fully realized democracy, and to providing unfettered support to the bold strategies and leadership that are required to bring about major change in our lifetime. 

Connect with Marguerite Casey Foundation on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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