Forward Fund Grants $250,000 to Nonprofits and Activists Fighting for Racial Equity

Responding to a collective re-traumatization that communities of color have faced in the wake of the trial of Derek Chauvin and the ensuing recent incidents of racialized violence, 50 nonprofit organizations and individual organizers in Massachusetts have each received $5,000 to support their ongoing racial equity work.

The Forward Fund, managed by King Boston, has been funded by contributions to date totaling $100,000 from more than a dozen philanthropic partners and community advisors, as well as $150,000 from the Barr Foundation.

“For this round of giving, we were intentional about giving to organizations and organizers all across the Commonwealth,” said Imari Paris Jeffries, Executive Director of King Boston. “This is a moment in time that we can’t gloss over. We need to help these organizations take a stand and make an impact, and that’s what these funds will do.”

King Boston is a privately funded initiative currently housed at The Boston Foundation, working to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King while addressing economic and racial inequities. The 50 organizations selected by the Forward Fund Advisory Committee to receive grants have missions that align with the Kings’ work and legacy, including social justice groups and organizations, BIPOC-led initiatives, and trauma response and healing projects.

This round of grants follows the November 2020 grants when the Forward Fund donated to five grassroots organizations that responded to postelection needs.

All grants distributed at this time will support organizations across Massachusetts that work to address racialized trauma and healing, particularly through non-clinical settings; organize communities of color to advocate for reforms in policing; make meaning of this moment through cultural organizing; and/or organize responses to violence in the community.

      The following are among the grantees:

      •Sean Ellis

      •Neenah Estrella-Luna

      •Muslim Justice League

      •Asian American Resource Workshop

      •Families for Justice and Healing

      •Twelfth Baptist Church

      •North American Indian Center of Boston


      •City Life/Vida Urbana

      •Maverick Landing Community Services

      •Right to the City

      •Amplify LatinX

      •Louis D. Brown Peace Institute

      •North Shore Juneteenth Association

The Forward Fund was established by an Advisory Committee in the Fall of 2020 to support BIPOC-led grassroots organizations providing direct service and working on base building efforts, with a focus on historically marginalized communities targeted by the federal voting process and aftermath. It has since been repositioned as a fund to respond generally to heightened moments of racialized injustice.

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