2021-2022 Grantees

Beloved Community Incubator ($10,000)
BCI provides support for cooperatives and other ‘solidarity economy’ groups in the DC area that are led by poor and working-class people of color striving to create living-wage jobs. BCI’s support includes business and leadership development, governance and conflict resolution training and legal, bookkeeping and administrative services.

Black Lives Matter DC ($10,000)
BLM-DC is a membership-based abolitionist coalition that centers Black people most at risk of state-authorized violence against Black people in Washington. Beckner’s grant supported a police reform campaign focused on the Metropolitan Police Department’s Gun Recovery Unit (GRU). BLM-DC’s approach included political education in the Black community to deepen understanding about the GRU and its tactics, and then highlighting how families and neighborhoods are being harmed. The ultimate goal was an engaged base of advocates, organizers and activists who use organizing, movement building and direct action to press for deep change in the way safety is understood and created in Black communities.

Fair Budget Coalition ($10,000)
FBC creates the space for advocacy groups, direct service organizations and members of the community to come together to advocate for budget and policy initiatives that address systemic racial, economic and social inequality in the District. Composed of more than 50 organizations and dozens of community members, FBC’s policy recommendations come directly from the concerns and needs of those impacted by the local policy and budgetary environment. Beckner’s grant supported the Coalition’s core work: supporting voices and building power among historically marginalized communities; building an annual budget platform that addresses inequities; and expanding the coalition so that impacted communities — particularly those in Wards 7 and 8 — are consistently centered.

Food Justice DMV ($10,000)
Food Justice DMV was founded in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic by a group of volunteers who were concerned about their most economically vulnerable neighbors, who were losing their jobs and likely ineligible for government benefits. The volunteers quickly set up a brand new food distribution operation that soon served more than 6,000 families in the DMV, including 1,300 in the District. Mirroring the pandemic-generated food-delivery culture in the market economy, FJDMV established a volunteer-powered delivery system to families and apartment communities. Beckner’s support helped FJDMV continue to serve DC families as government subsidies for fresh food became less available.

Harriet’s Wildest Dreams ($10,000)
HWD is a Black-led abolitionist community defense hub centering all Black lives at risk for state-sanctioned violence in the Greater Washington area. The organization was founded in 2021 by Black female and nonbinary people with experience organizing in Black communities including the community of formerly incarcerated women. Beckner’s grant supported the Ida B. Free Court Watch and Participatory Defense initiateve, which has three interdependent parts: 1) court watch, to observe judges and prosecutors and collect data on systemic abuses (e.g., over-charging defendants); 2) court support, volunteers mobilized to show committed community support for those facing charges in court (in-person or virtual) during hearings and trials; and, 3) participatory defense, weekly clinics to inform and prepare community members who will walk beside those facing charges to help them wield their legal power and assert their human dignity.

Many Languages One Voice ($10,000)
MLOV is a resource for immigrants in the District who do not speak English as a first language. The organization helps immigrants attain tools and develop leadership skills that enable greater civic involvement on issues affecting their lives. MLOV’s priority in the second-half of the COVID-19 era was on ensuring that the city’s recovery from the pandemic would be racially equitable and immigrant-inclusive — a #JustRecovery. Approximately 75% of MLOV’s members — who are largely low-income, undocumented and mixed-status families in Wards 1 and 4 — remained unemployed and ineligible for public benefits available to other COVID-impacted city residents. Their plans included addressing vaccine hesitancy and access; helping families meet their childcare needs in an accessible and affordable way through childcare pods; and organizing for stronger worker protections.

No Justice, No Pride ($5,000)
NJNP was founded in 2017 to fight for trans justice and to end the LGBT “equality” movement’s complicity with systems of oppression that further marginalize Trans and Queer individuals. It employs several strategies to create a city that is healthier and safer to live in for Black and Brown trans women. A major element of their work is leasing housing where trans women of color without their own homes can live safely.

Rising Organizers ($9,530)
Rising Organizers was founded in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election as a response to the demand, particularly from young people, for education about the art and tools of organizing. The organization trains leaders in building power in communities and nurtures a mutually supportive community among emerging organizers. Committed to removing barriers such as cost, educational background and experience, Rising Organizers offers free public training. Some of the local organizers they have trained are already working in organizations around the city. However, are others looking for places to plug in. Beckner’s grant was awarded for Rising Organizers’ first DC Grassroots Organizing Fair, which will be an opportunity for organizations needing organizers and organizers looking to put their skills to work to find each other.

The Safe Sister’s Circle (TSSC) ($10,000)
The Safe Sisters Circle, founded and led by Black women, serves Black women and girls who are survivors of domestic abuse or sexual assault. Its services are free, holistic and culturally specific. Its cornerstone program, East of the River Legal Services, addresses survivors’ legal needs ranging from orders of protection to representation in criminal court cases. TSSC also educates young people on healthy relationships, consent and reproductive justice. Beckner’s grant helped the organization, at their clients’ request, begin trauma-informed support groups for Black women who have experienced gender-based violence.