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Generative Innovations

The work of racial healing affirms our humanity and creates space for sharing truths, stories and histories with one another. Often this work happens through in-person racial healing circles. Despite social distancing, communities are finding creative ways to bring people together online during this pandemic. Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation efforts like the Virtual Healing Project in Kalamazoo, Michigan and a Racial Healing and COVID-19 Instagram Live in Dallas, Texas, are just two examples.

Creativity and responsiveness to COVID-19 abound among WKKF’s Catalyzing Community Giving (CCG) grantees–dedicated to expanding locally driven philanthropy by communities of color. Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy circulated an open letter to philanthropy, signed by more than 350, asking groups to confront racism in coronavirus relief efforts. The Latino Community Foundation created the Love Not Fear Fund to channel dollars to Latino-led organizations serving California’s most vulnerable communities. Last week, New England Blacks in Philanthropy hosted a webinar with infectious disease experts from the Boston Medical Center called Community in the Time of Corona: Rumors, Videos, Disparity and Distrust. The Hispanic Federation assembled a list of useful resources for nonprofits. And Native Americans in Philanthropy partnered with the Decolonizing Wealth Project and the National Urban Indian Family Coalition to establish the Native American Community Response Fund. For other examples, visit any of the 32 CCG grantees’ websites.

Ensuring equitable access to learning matters – both now and in the future. The Education Trust created a helpful doc outlining five ways state education leaders can help ensure equitable access to learning during COVID-19 school closures. The Alliance for Resource Equity is helping all of us understand what’s called education resource equity. This might help schools, systems and communities avoid implementing a “one-size-fits-all” approach for students. 

Looking for resources to help navigate all things COVID-19? Our partner, the Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy, which helps philanthropic partners across the state work together and learn from one another, produced this COVID-19 resource guide. From navigating the CARES Act, to crisis communication to fundraising and business strategy, it’s a timely treasure trove of information for nonprofits.

Many WKKF grantees and partners are finding creative ways to quickly respond to urgent coronavirus-related needs. As Haiti’s oldest newspaper Le Nouvelliste reported, organizations working in agriculture and arts and crafts sectors have joined forces with the Scouts of Haiti and Timberland to create Koud Konbit, or Sewing Cooperative, which provides materials and equipment for tailors so they can stay home and generate income by sewing masks for free distribution around the country.

In Mexico, grantees are stepping up to respond to the need for reliable information about the pandemic in certain languages. The government announced last week that it is distributing hundreds of informational materials on the coronavirus in several languages, and the Indigenous Professional Center for Consultations, Defense and Translation is contributing to that broad effort. Other Mexico grantees have been developing COVID-19-related flyers and videos in various languages. Check out this profile of one example, Vientos Culturales.

Spanish-speakers in New Mexico are also receiving trust-worthy, lifesaving COVID-19 information in Spanish thanks to WKKF grantee, Somos un Pueblo Unido. Joining community organizations, healthcare groups and government agencies, they deliver vital information via Facebook Live broadcasts in Spanish on safety and health information, school district distance learning programs, filing for unemployment benefits, mortgage payments, food aid and navigating social welfare.

A New Mexico grassroots organization – the New Mexico Dream Team – is leading an innovative and digital path for census organizers to ensure migrants, Indigenous, people of color and low income communities are counted in the midst of unprecedented census operation suspensions and health and safety concerns. They are also raising funds and holding informational clinics for undocumented families in New Mexico having a hard time accessing and receiving benefits during this time.



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