We build women’s collective power in the U.S.

Activist Collaboration & Care Fund Request for Proposals – Summer 2022

The mission of the Ms. Foundation for Women is to build women’s collective power in the U.S. to advance equity and justice for all. We achieve our mission by investing in, and strengthening, the capacity of women-led movements to advance meaningful social, cultural and economic change in the lives of women. Ms. has six grantmaking initiatives, one of which is the Activist Collaboration & Care Fund.

Launched in 2020, the Activist Collaboration & Care Fund (ACF) seeks to deepen collaboration across movement building organizations, learn with movement leaders, and increase investment in social justice movements across the country. It provides responsive, one-year, general operating support grants to organizations led by and for trans and cis women and girls of color and nonbinary people of color to support their collaboration efforts. Multiple forms of collaboration have been supported through the ACF, including:

  • Relationship Strengthening: Efforts to deepen relationships and build trust across organizations, including proactively preventing conflicts by building shared understanding, repairing relationships, and working through challenges that can stall cross-movement collaboration
  • Shared Analysis: Efforts to increase shared analysis, messaging, and mobilization of constituencies within and across intersecting social justice movements
  • Strategy & Action: Efforts to co-create organizing and advocacy strategies and plans that advance intersectional movements and defend against threats to the fundamental rights–and very existence–of trans and cis women and girls of color and non-binary people of color.
  • Healing Justice Support: Efforts to create policies that allow for rest and restoration; investments in training, convenings, or spaces that enable healing, resiliency, wellness, and restoration for staff engaged in collaborative movement building work.

During its first two cycles, the large majority of efforts supported by ACF focused on Relationship Strengthening and Shared Analyses. Information on past partners supported through the Activist Collaboration & Care Fund can be found here.

This summer, the ACF will invest approximately $400,000 in organizations and networks of, by, and for trans and cis women and girls of color and nonbinary people of color who are engaged in coordinated Strategy & Action and/or Healing Justice efforts. You can find the full RFP here.

This funding opportunity comes in direct response to what we continue to hear from movement leaders: greater resources for fostering collaboration, strategizing and adapting across movements, and healing, wellness, and restoration are needed.

Throughout the U.S. and U.S. territories, we continue to see multi-pronged attacks, threats, and reversals of fundamental rights. Abortion access has been systematically under attack for decades; and now, in this current social and political context, we are seeing an unprecedented escalation toward criminalizing people for accessing abortion care. Roe must be protected but legality alone has never been enough. At the same time, efforts to suppress voter engagement and limit voting rights, particularly in communities of color, remain rampant. Anti-Trans legislation has surged. These threats – among other attacks on human and civil rights – build on a history of white supremacy, patriarchy, extractive capitalism, and state violence that produced patterns of systemic abuse to control women, transpeople, gender non-conforming, and BIPOC bodies, and our wellness, cultures, and capacity to transform conditions.

Like those before them, social justice activists and organizers across diverse movements are organically coming together to better defend against increased threats, proactively strategize toward a future of justice and shared liberation, and create unified cross-movement messaging and mobilization efforts. This work can be affirming, invigorating, and nourishing. It also is demanding, for it requires emergence, adaptation, and collaboration. And we know it is fatiguing—not only because of the pervasive nature of both oppressive systems and harmful narratives; but also because, for many organizers and movement leaders, this work is deeply personal and traumatic. As such, movement leaders and organizers are working to center healing justice – that is, survival, resiliency, and sustainability practices that prioritize collective safety, collective care, and the emotional, physical, spiritual, environmental, and mental wellbeing of themselves and their communities.

Given this context, this summer, the ACF will invest approximately $400,000 in organizations’ coordinated Strategy & Action and/or Healing Justice efforts. Ms. anticipates providing approximately $20,000 in general operating support to 20 organizations and their partners during this funding round.

Timeline:

RFP ReleasedJune 8, 2022
Proposals DueJune 24, 2022 by 8:59pm PT/ 11:59pm ET
Invitations to InterviewSent by July 13, 2022
Interview Period                July 13 – 29, 2022
Award Notification            July 25 – August 5, 2022
Funding Distribution          1-2 weeks after funding notification