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In 2011 and 2012, more than 600 community members participated in an intensive visioning process to map out how Bread & Roses should continue meeting the needs of movements for change in the Philadelphia region. The biggest takeaway? More grants and bigger grants are needed to build stronger movements. Inspired by a model pioneered by Social Justice Fund Northwest, Bread & Roses is launching a new collective fundraising and giving model, Giving Projects, to increase the number and size of grants to grassroots groups making change.
“What I love about Bread & Roses is that it funds organizations that can’t get funding elsewhere,” says Phil Straus, a Bread & Roses donor since 1979. “As a donor, I don’t have the resources or time to find and evaluate these organizations.” Like Phil, many donors rely on Bread & Roses to identify groups in the Philadelphia region that are organizing, getting people energized, and taking political action.
“The most important thing to know is that we’re doing this with girls, not for girls,” says board chair Charlotte Jacobs. In GJL’s Girls Justice Institutes, girls and young women develop skills in leadership, activism, and organizing. After the Institutes, the participants continue meeting to identify issues they care about and launch campaigns to make change in their schools and neighborhoods.
Twenty years ago, the late entrepreneur, inventor, and activist Jonathan Lax created a scholarship to support gay men in pursuing higher education. Since then, the Lax Scholarship Committee has awarded 166 scholarships to gay men in our region. On October 9, Bread & Roses supporters and LGBT scholars and activists gathered at William Way LGBT Community Center to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the scholarship and to award 2015 scholarships to Jacob Adens-Cooke, John Christopher, Jordan Ostrum, and Ibrahim Vicks.