Our Ms. South strategy supports the leadership of Women and Girls of Color (WGOC) in the South and strengthens the ecosystem of Southern WGOC-led organizations. We aim to do so via targeted funding in 14 key states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. This strategy is informed by our Pocket Change report and strategic plan, with the goals of strengthening the organizational and financial sustainability of an ecosystem of WGOC-led organizations; increasing connectivity between WGOC-led organizations; and positioning WGOC leaders as key experts and decision-makers in shaping policy and culture change. We will support the leadership of Southern WGOC through capacity building, networking, communications to amplify the work of their organizations, and advocacy within the philanthropic community to increase giving to WGOC by a significant margin.
WGOC are pivotal frontline leaders and organizers in the powerful social change movements that have paved the way for a more equitable and just democracy. They have led nearly every impactful grassroots movement in United States history. They are the primary constituency most impacted by inequity and live at the intersection of multiple systems of oppression including white supremacy, patriarchy, colonization, and unbridled capitalism. And yet, their work is under-resourced. We believe that using an intersectional framework will wield the full strength of WGOC’s knowledge, experience, and networks and lead to transformational change.
We are excited to embark upon the fourth year of our multi-year program strategy. In this round of grantmaking, we will invest over $1,500,000 in support of WGOC-led groups in the U.S. South across the spectrum of movement building and organizing, building on our investment of over $4M to date.
Beginning with our inaugural grant cycle in 2020, the Foundation conducted three consecutive open calls for proposals for Ms. South. We were humbled by the magnitude of the response, and we were privileged to learn about the incredible range of intersectional and cross-movement work happening across the South.
This year, rather than issuing a fourth open call, the Foundation will focus on directing resources toward current Ms. South grantee partners. This is a reflection of our commitment to deepening our relationships with our partners, as we work to support the strength, reach, and stability of these dynamic organizations, especially in this critical moment in our movements. We recognize the importance of cultivating additional funding partnerships in the South, and we are committed to continuing to identify resources to help us expand the portfolio. If you would like to connect with the Foundation regarding being considered for an upcoming Ms. South funding cycle, please contact Samantha Franklin, Senior Program Officer, at [email protected].