Real Change Happens Next Door, Not in Washington

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Dear Resister,

You and I know that real change doesn’t happen in Washington D.C.; it happens right next door.


Amid increasing nationalism and prejudice, a global pandemic, and a wide-scale economic crisis, you helped keep our grantees on a steady march towards progress. So I don’t want to talk about what Washington can accomplish—I want to talk about what YOU can.



Resisters like you have been a lifeline to our grantees. Between January and May alone, we awarded a whopping $208,000 in both General and Rapid Response grants to 115 organizations across the country.


That averages out to $1,808.70 a grantee—almost meaningless to large organizations with massive overheads but revolutionary to our nimble network of grassroots activists. So when I say your gift makes a difference, I mean it.


[Image description: Six multicolored people cutouts strung along a fence with writing on them. There’s a white banner in front of the cutouts that reads: “STOP SHUT OFFS! A “National Grid” sign is in the background]

You helped us respond swiftly in support of Norwalk Mutual Aid1 in Norwalk, CT, who saw neighbors struggling to make ends meet as a direct result of the pandemic. Starting in March, they began bi-weekly grocery distribution of shelf-stable foods, produce, several pounds of chicken, bread, eggs, and milk to 150 families.


In Rhode Island, you’re standing in solidarity with the George Wiley Center2 (Pawtucket, RI), which has also been distributing produce to food-insecure neighbors, including locally-caught fresh fish through a partnership with nearby commercial fisheries. Their work in bringing economic justice to Rhode Island has gone far beyond food relief: they’ve also lobbied for—and won—a moratorium on utility shutoffs for low-income gas and electricity customers receiving discounted rates.


The impact of your support doesn’t stop there. In May, the George Wiley Center joined forces with a coalition of fellow grassroots organizations—including another Resist grantee, Alliance to Mobilize our Resistance (AMOR)3 (Providence, RI)—to pool and redistribute funds to those reeling from the effects of COVID-19. Your support is going towards legal fees, rent and mortgage payments, utilities, medical care, street medic training, PPE, tuition, and laptops for low-income students through their efforts.

 

[Image description: Four people in a tunnel wearing masks and holding up a banner that reads: “INVESCO: CANCEL THE ICE CONTRACT; SHUT DOWN WYATT”]

I have no idea what 2021 will hold for any of us. I do know this: you have the power to take real change into your own hands. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together – and this is just the beginning.


On behalf of myself and our thousands of grantees, thank you for being a beacon of hope!


In solidarity,


Kendra Hicks


Co-Director, Radical Philanthropy



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