Collective Future

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: Collective Future
Amount: $100,000 in 2021

What is Collective Future?

Collective Future is a 501(c)4 that works to increase civic engagement and political representation of Black communities.

Why do we think this project is important?

Black women are underrepresented at the local, state, and federal levels of government. This results in legislative policies that often directly or indirectly harm Black women, despite their commitment to championing a healthy and fully inclusive democracy.

The state of Black women and girls isn’t fully known or understood by much of the electorate and those in positions of power, in part, because of the historical erasure in storytelling. When these stories are told in mainstream media and entertainment platforms, their lived experiences are often misrepresented.

The You Are My Sister (YAMS) Institute will work to reveal narratives about Black women and girls that focus on the realities, challenges, needs, and opportunities of this community in a data-driven, yet culturally relevant manner; resulting in proposed solutions to create systemic change.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Collective Future?

In 2021, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $100,000 to Collective Future.

Working Families Organization

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: Working Families Organization, Inc.
Amount: $250,000 in 2021

What is the Working Families Organization?

Working Families Organization seeks to build a genuine, vibrant multiracial democracy. To work toward this, it organizes individuals, institutions, and movements to achieve the scale that this goal will take.

Why do we think this project is important?

Organizing for Democracy Reform is a project of Working Families Together, and aims to disrupt the culture, institutions, and rules of the game in order to unrig our political system and transform the fight for an inclusive, multi-racial democracy. Doing so requires legislative changes at the state and federal level that expand voting rights, strengthen campaign finance and ethics rules, end partisan gerrymandering, enact D.C. statehood, and more.

Working Families Organization works toward these goals by building federal and state-based organizing infrastructure to create a pro-democracy ecosystem. Working Families Organization leverages its nationwide network of supporters and activists —particularly people of color and working-class people — to advance this work.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Working Families Organization?

In 2021, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant for $250,000 to Working Families Organization, Inc.

The Hub Project

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: The Hub Project
Amount: $850,000 in 2021

What is The Hub Project?

The Hub Project, a fiscally sponsored project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, builds coalitions and provides resources, capacity, infrastructure, and expertise to advocacy campaigns working to strengthen our democracy.

Why do we think this project is important?

Democracy Fund Voice supports efforts to disrupt the culture, institutions, and rules of the game in order to unrig our political system and transform the fight for an inclusive, multi-racial democracy. Structural democracy reforms, such as filibuster reform, D.C. statehood, expanded voting access, and others are critical to creating a representative, multi-racial democracy.

Through its campaigns and coalitions, The Hub Project’s democracy program is leveraging a broad coalition of state and national organizations — many led by and serving people of color — to achieve meaningful structural democracy reforms.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting The Hub Project?

In 2021, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant for $850,000 to support The Hub Project.

Congre$$ Series

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: Congre$$ Series
Amount: $42,000 in 2021

What is Congre$$ Series?

Melissa Medina is a former Capitol hill staffer and tech entrepreneur who produces YouTube videos related to personal finance. Her Congre$$ Series project is a collection of free educational videos aimed to help congressional staffers better understand financial literacy with an aim to decrease barriers of entry and foster a more equitable and diverse workforce on Capitol Hill.

Why do we think this project is important?

The Congre$$ Series helps to create an ecosystem of empowered, diverse, knowledgeable, and talented staff leaders in Congress. The published videos raise awareness, fill knowledge gaps among congressional staff, and break down financial barriers that factor into Congress’ lack of diversity in its workforce.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Congre$$ Series?

In 2021, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $42,000 to support Melissa Medina’s Congre$$ Series project.

 

Demand Justice

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: Demand Justice
Amount: $200,000 in 2021

What is Demand Justice?

Founded in 2018, Demand Justice is a 501(c)4 organization that aims to restore the ideological balance and legitimacy of the federal courts by advocating for reforms that improve the trust in and legitimacy of the courts.

Why do we think this project is important?

The courts play an essential role in protecting the rule of law and serving as a check on the executive and legislatives branches. To play this role effectively, the judiciary must be seen as trusted and legitimate in the eyes of the public. Reforming the courts by diversifying the bench, preventing ethical violations, improving the structure of federal courts and more are critical aspects of improving trust and legitimacy.

Demand Justice works toward these goals by building a diverse pipeline of talent into the federal judiciary. By supporting those from diverse backgrounds, Demand Justice aims to shift the makeup of the federal bench to be more representative of the legal profession as a whole.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Demand Justice?

In 2021, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant for $200,000 to support Demand Justice.

Presidential Transition and Priority Setting Project

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Amount: Updated to $350,000 in 2021 — originally approved as $150,000 in 2020

What is the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights?

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights was founded in 1950 by a coalition of civil rights activists. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the Leadership Conference advocated for the passage of civil rights legislation in Congress. Their efforts resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the Civil Rights Act of 1960, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Today, the Leadership Conference is a coalition of over 200 member organizations and continues to coordinate advocacy and lobbying efforts in support of legislation that protects and expands civil and human rights.

Why do we think this project is important?

As the nation faced the realities of the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism, The Leadership Conference remained vigilant in their efforts to develop a shared transition agenda that prioritized civil rights for the 117th Congress and next administration.

The agenda was developed in close collaboration with The Leadership Conference’s eleven issue-based task forces and aimed to align coalition priorities on agenda content. Their task forces are made up of coalition members with expertise in areas such as the census, education, employment, fair courts, fair housing and lending, hate crimes, health care, immigration, justice reform, media and telecommunications, and voting rights. The Leadership Conference collaboratively refined priorities suggested by the task forces into one coherent and consistent document that serves as a resource for policymakers, civil rights advocates, and the general public alike.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

In 2020, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $150,000 to the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. In 2021 an amendment was approved to increase the amount of the grant by $200,000, for a total of $350,000.

Economic Democracy Program

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: Dēmos: A Network for Ideas and Action LTD
Amount: $75,000 in 2020

What is Dēmos: A Network for Ideas and Action LTD?

Dēmos identifies as a “think and do tank” that works to create a democracy and economy rooted in racial equity, using cutting-edge policy research, inspiring litigation, and deep relationships with grassroots organizations.

Why do we think the Economic Democracy program is important?

Dēmos believes there is a critical need to go beyond voting and direct representation by elected officials to rebuild trust to create more meaningful opportunities for Black and brown people and communities to participate in democracy in their communities, in their workplaces, and across all aspects of their daily lives. This program seeks to identify and promote practices for civic engagement across these arenas.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Dēmos: A Network for Ideas and Action LTD?

In 2020, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $75,000 to Dēmos: A Network for Ideas and Action LTD.

Vote Mama Action Fund

Type of Activity: General Operating Support
Grantee: Vote Mama Action Fund
Amount: $100,000 in 2020 over two years

What is the Vote Mama Action Fund?

The Vote Mama Action Fund is a 501(c)4 organization working in partnership with the 501(c)3 Vote Mama Foundation to achieve gender equity by breaking down barriers for working mothers to run for elected office, winning universal childcare for all Americans, and expanding the use of campaign funds for childcare for all candidates running for office. Specifically, the Vote Mama Action Fund advocates to pass family-friendly legislation and legislation that removes the barriers mothers face while running for office.

Why do we think this organization is important?

Less than 5 percent of congressional representatives are mothers of children under eighteen. While anyone taking care of children will face difficulties when it comes to the full-time job of campaigning, women are fifteen times more likely than men to be responsible for a majority of childcare. From this cultural pressure to logistical hurdles, like a lack of affordable childcare while candidates are campaigning, there are extraordinary barriers that must be overcome if women with children wish to run for office. Research indicates that removal of those barriers will strengthen the representation of working families across the country, lead to the passing of more family-friendly legislation, and help our society to better prioritize children and families.

The first steps of the Vote Mama Action Fund are launching a movement to codify the use of campaign funds for childcare at all levels of government in all fifty states by 2023, and expanding awareness of the use of campaign funds for childcare to empower mothers to run for office and win. Since piloting their movement, the use of campaign funds for childcare has been approved in seventeen states. Vote Mama Action Fund is currently partnering with legislators and candidates in ten states, with a goal of expanding campaign funds for childcare to twenty-seven states in 2021.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Vote Mama Action Fund?

In 2020, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $100,000 over two years to Vote Mama Action Fund.

Rebuilding the National Security Workforce

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: Truman National Security Project
Amount: Updated to $360,000 — originally approved as $180,000 in 2020

What is the Truman National Security Project?

Truman National Security Project is a nationwide membership of diverse leaders inspired to serve in the aftermath of 9/11 and committed to shaping and advocating for tough, smart national security solutions. They bring their members together with their partners and advisors to deliver concrete solutions to pressing global challenges for leaders at the local, state, and national levels, and coordinate their action nationwide to shape the debate, fight for policy change, and support rising leaders who share their values.

Why do we think this project is important?

For the U.S. to restore its leadership abroad, it must repair the national security workforce at home. The long-term goal of this project is to engage in and lead robust efforts to further this rebuilding. Truman National Security Project’s vision for rebuilding the national security workforce prioritizes attracting and retaining diverse, world-class talent in reformed structures that are welcoming homes for creative problem-solvers dedicated to the American project. However, these efforts will require a sustained effort over multiple years to rebuild the structures that have been allowed to disintegrate over the course of decades.

To accomplish this, Truman National Security Project created and maintained a sophisticated database of eligible members by function, agency, and clearance level to serve as a resource in 2021. A taskforce of Truman members was also built to support diversity efforts. They focused on implementation efforts and policy recommendations, the construction of a long-term strategy to support continued repair and growth, and on structured plans that support diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

Effective policymaking relies on a diplomatic and national security corps that can both provide accurate information quickly and implement policies successfully. The quality of governance in our democracy depends on this resource, and it deserves the attention and resources required to reach its maximum potential.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the Truman National Security Project?  

In 2020, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $180,000 to the Truman National Security Project. In 2021 an amendment was approved to increase the amount of the grant by $180,000 for a total of $360,000.

The Partnership for a New American Economy Action Fund

Type of Activity: General Operating Support
Grantee: The Partnership for a New American Economy Action Fund
Amount: Updated to $200,000 in 2021 — originally approved as $100,000 in 2020

What is the New American Economy Action Fund?

New American Economy Action Fund (NAE) is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization founded in 2010 to educate, empower, and support business leaders, policymakers, and citizens across the country who see the economic and social benefits of immigration. Since their founding, they have built a network of business, civic, and cultural leaders spanning both sides of the political aisle and active across all 50 states.

Their current work focuses on creating better immigration policies, changing the narrative of immigrants in the United States throughout all types of communities, and leveraging their bipartisan network to decrease polarization.

NOTE: As of January 2022, this organization has merged with the American Immigration Council. It no longer exists as a separate legal entity.

Why do we think this organization is important?

Democracy Fund Voice supports NAE’s efforts to empower local leaders to promote pluralism and overcome polarization to find solutions that benefit their communities. As polarization has dramatically increased in the United States, the broad issue of immigration has been used as a tool to further divide Americans. NAE’s work is centered around more than just changing immigration policy; they foster tough conversations among people of all ideologies around identity and values. Their approach creates a space among conservatives for dialogue around immigration as well as the values of diversity, inclusion, equity, and pluralism.

In addition to the national conversation, NAE works with local leaders to collaborate and make progress on issues that national policymakers are unable to. These initiatives fight polarization by uniting communities around tough issues like immigration, and NAE provides guidance through customized research, storytelling, coalition-building, and technical assistance in dozens of communities across the country.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the New American Economy Action Fund?

In 2020, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $100,000 to the New American Economy Action Fund. In 2021 an amendment was approved to increase the amount of the grant by $100,000 for a total of $200,000.