Solidarity Fund for COVID-19 Organizing Grantees

The Solidarity Fund for COVID-19 Organizing was established on April 8, 2020 to support vital community organizing during this crisis. Grant applications are being reviewed by a community review panel on a weekly basis.

As of January 1, Bread & Roses Community Fund has made $725,500 in grants to 72 grassroots community organizing groups through this fund.

December 30 Grantees

Woori Center, which means “we, our” in Korean, organizes Korean and Asian Americans towards achieving social, racial, and economic justice through political education and community organizing. In response to COVID-19, Woori established a COVID-19 relief fund to provide financial assistance for community members who are ineligible for federal relief funds and unable to apply for unemployment benefits.

December 19 Grantees

Girls Rock Philly is a youth-centered music organization dedicated to building an intergenerational community of girls, women, and trans and gender-expansive people. In June, they co-hosted the Emergency Art Action to #FundBlackFutures and #DefundThePPD. During COVID-19, they are developing free digital programs to support the immediate needs of their youth participants.

November 6 Grantees

National Institute for Healthy Human Spaces, Inc. advocates for communities inordinately affected by environmental racism and overburdened by environmental degradation, especially in communities of color and working-class neighborhoods. In response to COVID-19, they are designing tools and training to educate community members on the pandemic, including mitigation, resources, and misinformation.

Native American House Alliance Inc. fosters and preserves Native American culture, promoting an accurate understanding of the Native American experience, history, and culture. 

November 3 Grantees

Women’s Medical Fund (WMF) protects and expands abortion access for people living in poverty through direct service and community organizing. During COVID-19, WMF community organizing volunteers engaged in a reproductive mutual aid to distribute condoms, emergency contraception, and pregnancy tests to individuals.

Women’s Community Revitalization Project (WCRP) is enabling social and economic equity for low-income women and their families through affordable housing, supportive services, policy advocacy, leadership, dignity, and justice in our communities. As COVID-19 has heightened the urgent need for affordable housing, WCRP has shifted their organizing to safely engage residents in community-led projects.

October 19 Grantees

One Fair Wage is a national coalition campaigning for fair wages among tipped and subminimum wage workers. Their new chapter rooted in Philadelphia is organizing tipped workers to #StrikeNotStarve as indoor dining reopens during COVID-19.

Right to Redemption (R2R) is a crusade to end the sentencing of human beings to life in prison without the possibility of parole, or death by incarceration, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. They are led by currently incarcerated people facing death by incarceration. During COVID-19, R2R is navigating strict prison lockdown measures to continue their advocacy against death by incarceration.

We Reign Inc. creates safe, brave spaces where Black girls are visible and able to develop the skills needed to become advocates, activists, organizers, and change agents in their own lives and communities. In response to COVID-19, they are developing agenda and policy recommendations to be shared with elected officials that addresses the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on the lives of Black girls and young women.

October 10 Grantees

Northeast Philadelphia Against Racism (NEAR) was organized in the summer to facilitate dialogue, refection, and participatory action against entrenched racism in Northeast Philadelphia, parts of Montgomery and Bucks County, and beyond.

August 10 Grantees

Power Street Theatre is a multicultural, multidisciplinary collective of artists devoted to producing innovative, inspiring stories that address social justice issues and spur social change. During COVID-19, they are working to connect grassroots organizing and the arts. They plan to lead a Digital Rally for Philly Arts to stand in solidarity with Black communities and advocate for a city budget that uplifts all people in Philadelphia.

August 3 Grantees

Philly Neighborhood Networks‘ mission is to engage, educate, and empower neighbors to support candidates and policies for progressive social, economic, and political change. They plan to host a ten-course workshop focused on the functions of city council and the role that councilmembers play in the everyday lives of the city’s residents.

VietLead works to develop culturally-centered and community-driven solutions to improve health, increase sovereignty, and develop Vietnamese leadership in solidarity with other working class communities of color. In response to COVID-19, they are organizing around school re-opening plans to educate parents and students and fight immediate and long-term health risks within Philadelphia public schools.

July 10 Grantees

Philly Thrive is a multi-racial, cross-class community group organizing for environmental justice and the #RightToBreathe in Philadelphia. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed Philly Thrive to move their community building and organizing over to virtual platforms, which do not sufficiently meet the needs of youth who have been uniquely impacted as their support spaces have largely closed. Philly Thrive is uplifting children and young adults as powerful changemakers by developing a community for youth that validates their experiences and helps to channel their interests and emotions into work for justice and political change.

Women Who Never Give Up is a group of currently and formerly incarcerated people and their families advocating for change in the criminal justice system. Since the COVID pandemic disproportionately affects incarcerated people, Women Who Never Give Up is launching campaigns to secure the release of incarcerated people by educating and mobilizing communities and building cases with advocates, prosecutors, and family members.

July 3 Grantees

ACT UP Philadelphia is a diverse, nonpartisan group of individuals united in anger to end the AIDS crisis using direct action. Just as the HIV epidemic disproportionately affects poor Black and Brown people, the COVID pandemic is affecting ACT UP’s membership and constituency, especially people experiencing homelessness. In response, ACT UP is building leadership among people in the homeless community as well as planning direct actions around targeted city officials to highlight systemic racial injustice, the lack of affordable housing, and the lack of resources allocated to housing and vulnerable communities in the city budget.

Popular Alliance for Undocumented Workers’ Rights (PAUWR) advocates for justice, equality, and dignity for undocumented restaurant workers by organizing for fair immigration laws and policies. Because the pandemic has had devastating effects on undocumented workers and their families due to a lack of workplace protections, ineligibility for unemployment benefits, higher rates of food insecurity and compromised immune systems, and a fear of deportation when visiting food banks and health centers, PAUWR has been building power among restaurant workers and increasing outreach to Latinx community members to assess needs and distribute meals, information, and resources.

Urban Tree Connection‘s mission is to build a neighborhood-rooted food and land system in Haddington, a majority-Black neighborhood. Their zip code has among the highest positive COVID-19 cases and death rates in Philadelphia, and residents are facing high rates of unemployment with additional barriers to resources due to lack of technology. In response, Urban Tree Connection is adapting their space to meet the demands of social distancing, growing more immuno-boosting and culturally significant crops, and organizing block captains to distribute free food shares and educational resources around health, wellness, and food sovereignty to the community.

June 26 Grantee

Stay True Philadelphia educates and empowers low-income Black and Brown youth through social and creative engagement around topics of racial justice, food security, poverty, and homelessness. They are facilitating a six-month documentary storytelling program in which youth will learn to ask questions, engage with and interview organizers on the front lines, attend and host community meetings, and formulate their own methods to offer aid during this time.

June 19 Grantees

Haitian American Voice organizes Black immigrants in electoral politics through consciousness-raising, skill-building, and leadership development. They are responding to the pandemic by recruiting Haitian community members to educate each other on how to stay safe as well as hosting monthly Zoom trainings on systems of oppression, successful organizing movements, and the power of voting.

Project SAFE is a sex worker-led organization that promotes gender and racial justice in harm reduction and public health by creating safer spaces for sex workers, distributing supplies, and advocating for competent medical and mental healthcare as well as policies that counteract the criminalization of sex work and drug use. In response to the pandemic, Project SAFE has partnered with Philadelphia Red Umbrella Alliance to raise funds for a mutual aid project, the Sex Worker Relief Fund, which directly supports sex workers who have lost income and are ineligible for financial relief programs.

June 12 Grantees

The Agape African Senior Center empowers and connects African and Caribbean elderly immigrants, They are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by organizing sustainable systems of accountability and care within their community through hotlines, weekly town meetings, phone check-ins, and resource distribution.

Spiral Q employs art to connect people, actions, neighborhoods, organizations, and movements to each other and to their collective creative power to overcome oppression. As the pandemic has threatened both Spiral Q’s resources as well as city funding for arts, they are co-organizing responses with other activist groups in addition to distributing resources around predatory home buying, mental health, and artistic creation.

June 5 Grantees

The African Family Health Organization (AFAHO) organizes African and Caribbean immigrants and refugees to gain access to critical health, social, and educational programs. Using the trust they have established in the community, they have been distributing food and supplies, creating language-appropriate audio and visual materials, and going door-to-door to curb this pandemic and assist members in need.

Black and Brown Workers Cooperative fights for and in solidarity with Black and Brown marginalized workers for liberation through grassroots worker-owned enterprises. The COVID-19 pandemic has instigated a massive housing crisis as unemployment soars, which has disproportionately affected Black, Brown, poor and working class folks. In response, BBWC is working in solidarity with the People’s Peace Park and PHA resistance movement organizers to clean out abandoned houses in the city to quietly move folks who are homeless and/or unstably housed into these spaces.

New Sanctuary Movement builds power in immigrant communities through direct action and capacity building. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they hired five community members, domestic workers who suffered job loss, to support community needs including job loss, food access, and tenants’ rights. They also organized a community forum with councilmember Helen Gym where over 100 people shared the struggles they face and laid out demands.

One Art Community Center, located in West Philly, provides space and programming to facilitate holistic healing, environmental sustainability and food production, and opportunities for artistic and cultural engagement. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, their revenue streams have been devastated and their community members are facing increasing rates of food insecurity. In response, One Art is doubling their food production, organizing an Urban Survival Skill film series, investing in a proper wash station and solar systems, and increasing their digital infrastructure.

Sisters Returning Home assists women returning from prison by re-establishing their connections to family, directing them to resources, and helping to build self-respect, self-confidence, and self-sufficiency. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sisters Returning Home has lost funding and many women they work with have lost jobs and access to critical resources. They are using this grant to invest in technology and pay phone bills to allow their community members to stay connected to each other, access mental health services, and attend community workshops and mentoring programs.

William Way LGBT Community Center encourages, supports, and advocates for the well-being and acceptance of sexual and gender minorities in the Philadelphia region. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have organized daily virtual meetings for trans people, gender non-conforming people, and people of color to organize, share community responses to urgent needs, support impacted LGBTQ workers, and overcome isolation.

May 29 Grantee

Asian Americans United is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by distributing emergency resources and supplies to undocumented community members, expanding language access, and conducting educational webinars regarding the Census, mail-in voting, and legal rights for ICE detainees.

May 22 Grantees

The Coalition to Respect Every Worker (CREW) organizes to win and enforce local labor laws in Philadelphia. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic they are expanding their digital organizing capacity so they can continue holding virtual City Council meetings, mobilizing car caravans, developing member leadership, and advocating for policies that support and protect frontline and low-wage workers.

Germantown Residents for Economic Alternatives Together (GREAT) works toward cooperative ownership, resource and skill-sharing, and cultivating spaces that spur creativity, interdependence, resilience, and self-determination. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, GREAT launched a mutual aid fund and is facilitating online gatherings to share knowledge about anticapitalist economies and build the capacity and leadership of its members.

Goods & Services is a drug user–led activism and advocacy group pushing for policies and initiatives that include people who use drugs and people affected by the war on drugs. Goods & Services is providing kits with clean needles, bandages, and naloxone, as well as providing trainings on harm-reduction, overdose prevention, and naloxone use.

March On Harrisburg works to end corruption by pushing for bills that end gerrymandering and by securing and expanding the right to vote. Because COVID-19 has made voting by mail a necessity, they are pressuring the State Legislature to pass a bill to mail a ballot to every voter and working to educate community members about vote by mail and help them navigate the process.

One Pennsylvania is responding to the existing housing crisis in Philadelphia, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. They are organizing low-income renters and homeowners to push for changes in housing policy and pressuring both elected officials and private individuals to make necessary concessions such as a six-month freeze on rent and mortgage payments, a Housing Emergency Fund, and safe housing for the houseless.

May 15 Grantees

Free the Vulnerable fights for the release and protection of aging people in Pennsylvania’s prisons during the COVID-19 crisis. They frame their work in a larger mission to abolish mass incarceration and plan to use this grant to pay organizers to help with their organizing around COVID-19 in prisons.

Girls Justice League is dedicated to taking action for social, educational, and economic justice for girls, young women, and those who identify as female in Philadelphia. They plan to use this grant to support their organization in a time of revenue loss as well as to support new programming centered on healing for girls of color who are impacted by limited health resources, stress, and anxiety.

Pennsylvania Domestic Workers Alliance exists to build power, recognition, and respect for nannies, house cleaners, and caregivers in Philadelphia. They are responding to COVID-19 by building and deepening their base, organizing around the new Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, and working to support the immediate needs of domestic workers in Philadelphia.

Womanist Working Collective is a grassroots social action and support collective for Black women (cis and trans), femmes, and gender non-conforming folks. In response to COVID-19, they are forming a mutual aid fund, joining in coalition with other organizations working on mutual aid, and expanding their time bank.

May 8 Grantees

215 People’s Alliance is an multiracial collaborative dedicated to fighting for equity and justice in Philadelphia. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they launched a food security and employment survival project called the People’s Kitchen in collaboration South Philly Barbacoa and World Central Kitchen which brings chefs from local restaurants to cook culturally diverse meals for 250 community members every week.

Ardella’s House is an advocacy organization committed to empowering women with criminal justice histories. They are advocating for just policies while supporting people released from prisons in accessing PPE, transportation, clothing, food, and jobs.

Faith in New Jersey is a multi-faith, multiracial network of faith leaders and communities working together to advance social and economic justice. They are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by organizing community health centers, community-based organizations, and faith institutions in Black, Latino, and immigrant neighborhoods to set up neighborhood-based testing sites and build out a community-based contact tracing program.

Pennsylvania Prison Society fights for humane prison conditions and a more just approach to the carceral system. They are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by disseminating information into prisons and surrounding communities, mentoring incarcerated people, and mobilizing community members to pressure facilities and public officials to end harmful practices and adopt institutional policy changes.

The Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities is a coalition of community, disability, faith, labor and urban agriculture organizations that fights for the expansion and protection of affordable, accessible housing and green space. Because the COVID-19 shutdowns have necessitated major revisions to the city budget, they are launching an urgent campaign to put pressure on the Mayor to keep all committed funding in the Housing Trust Fund, a critical source of affordable housing resources for the city.

Urban Creators is an urban farm, public park, outdoor classroom, venue for artistic and cultural expression, and co-working space for small local businesses, artists, organizers, and creators located in north Philadelphia. Because their neighborhood is facing higher risks of mortality rates, unemployment, and food insecurity, Urban Creators is growing more organic produce, running a weekly “Mobile Market” to provide food, critical items, and information to neighbors, and renovating its website to hold online classes, workshops, conversations, artist showcases, virtual parties, and gatherings.

May 1 Grantees

Make the Road PA builds power in Latinx and immigrant communities and working-class communities of color. As the COVID-19 impacts their communities disproportionately, they are responding with a comprehensive digital and telephonic system to maintain programs and campaigns, build a platform that represents their community’s needs, and connect community members to resources.

Parapower organizes predominantly Black and Latinx paraprofessionals to fight for better working conditions. As the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many paraprofessionals to lose their second and third jobs, Parapower is distributing emergency grants and laptops through their Parapower Relief Fund.

Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation fights to protect Chinatown and to address cultural barriers for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) immigrant communities. Because AAPI communities are experiencing economic devastation and increased acts of racism, harassment, and violence, PCDC is providing translation services and building technology capacity to empower its community to report bias incidents, access information and social benefits, and adapt to remote work.

¡Presente! Media is a production cooperative that uses media as a tool to advocate for cultural equity, uplift narratives, and impact local policy to ensure long-term and sustainable relief for their communities. To ensure that local media narratives about the impact of this pandemic include a racial, immigrant, and economic justice lens, ¡Presente! Media is launching a digital platform which will feature stories of grassroots groups and POC, immigrant, and queer artists.

Put People First! PA fights to secure healthcare rights through organizing, educating, and empowering working class communities of Pennsylvania. Put People First! PA is holding online and offline spaces for community members to come together, share information and resources, and demand action from local and state governments.

The Village of Arts & Humanities works to amplify the voices and aspirations of the North Philadelphia community by providing arts-based opportunities that engage youth and their families, revitalize physical space, and preserve Black heritage. As the COVID-19 pandemic has put incarcerated young people increasingly at risk, they are coordinating with a coalition of organizations across the city and nation to call on governors, local governments, courts, and system administrators to divert and responsibly release youth from custody.

Why Not Prosper works toward prison reform by advocating for social justice and empowering incarcerated women. Because COVID-19 disproportionately impacts Black and Latinx communities, they are hosting educational conference calls, expanding hotline services to women returnees, sharing health and wellness resources, and distributing PPE to community members and incarcerated women.

April 24 Grantees

Free Migration Project works at the intersection of law and community organizing. Because the COVID-19 pandemic puts detained individuals at increased risk of infection, Free Migration Project is taking legal actions and conducting a public campaign to pressure the PA Department of Human Services to shut down the Berks County Residential Center.

Mary’s Daughter for the Formerly Incarcerated is led by currently and formerly incarcerated Black women, girls, and LGBTQ people who advocate for prison abolition and gender justice. They are fundraising for a Mother’s Day Bail Out and providing members with political education, therapeutic support, re-entry programming, care packages, PPE, transportation, housing, groceries, and COVID-19 testing.

North Philly Peace Park is a resident-led, land-based revolutionary neighborhood movement championing food sovereignty, education, and community. They are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by acquiring PPE for their predominantly working-class and Black community members and bolstering their monthly free produce distributions and education programs.

Pennsylvania Debt Collective organizes people with consumer, housing, medical, student, or utility debt through education, direct action, and advocacy. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has led to mass layoffs, especially in low-income and Black and Brown communities, they are working in coalition with other grassroots organizations to build a strong debtors’ movement to pressure city and state legislatures to keep courts closed and provide meaningful debt relief and cancellation.

Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance improves the lives of people in the Philadelphia region by growing an equitable and cooperative economy. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color, immigrant communities, and low-income communities, they are providing mutual aid and technical assistance to co-ops led by these communities and organizing workers to advocate for policies that address their needs.

Philadelphia Jobs with Justice is a coalition of labor unions and student, community, and faith groups organizing for the fair treatment of workers. As the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the precarious situations of many workers, they are taking steps to transform and expand their solidarity network to include both union and non-union workers.

The Philadelphia Public School Notebook is an independent, nonprofit news service serving supporters of the Philadelphia public schools. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep educational inequities since many families cannot access distance learning without home computers or internet access. The Notebook is responding by informing parents, students, and educators about emerging news and resources and providing a platform for people to share experiences and commentaries.

Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign is led by homeless or formerly homeless poor people and people of color who are working to build a broad movement to abolish poverty. They are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by securing housing, organizing food distributions and deliveries, and building the leadership and organizing capacity of poor and homeless people.

POWER is an interfaith organization committed to challenging structurally racist systems and policies. In response to COVID-19, POWER is facilitating a series of communal seminars that bridge healing experiences with organizing tactics that advance their community’s collective liberation.

Restaurant Opportunities Center of Pennsylvania works to improve wages and working conditions and build power with Philadelphia’s restaurant workers. In light of COVID-19-related layoffs in the restaurant industry, they are advocating for emergency protections and for a fully-funded Philadelphia Labor Law Enforcement Office and providing financial assistance and political education to members.

Teacher Action Group Philly, an organization dedicated to strengthening community ownership and influence within schools and over education policy decisions, is supporting the newly-formed Philly Hub of Liberatory Academics collective to organize educators and launch a digital forum for students to access digital materials that are culturally and politically responsive to the times of COVID-19 and beyond. participates in community development through art, design, and a weekly Free Brunch Program. They will continue organizing mutual aid systems for their community around food, medicine, and mask distribution as well as providing daily wellness check-ins.

Youth Art & Self-empowerment Project (YASP) is a youth-led organization empowering currently and formerly incarcerated young people to challenge mass incarceration and take control of their futures. Because the COVID-19 pandemic puts incarcerated individuals at increased risk of infection, YASP is fighting for an immediate, massive decarceration of city jails and juvenile detention centers.

April 17 Grantees

Amistad Law Project is a West Philadelphia-based public interest law center and organizing project. They are pressuring Governor Wolf to use his reprieve powers to temporarily suspend the sentences of the approximately 12,000 incarcerated people who are vulnerable to COVID-19. They are hoping to use this short-term crisis as a call to mobilize people and expand their base long-term and help permanently reduce prison populations.

Coalition for Restaurant Health and Safety (CRHS) is a group of restaurant workers in Philadelphia dedicated to ending gender-based violence in the workplace. COVID-19 has led to many restaurant workers losing jobs and having limited hours. In response, CRHS is reorienting their grassroots organizing and education model to help restaurant workers weather this crisis through worker mobilization, distribution of vital information, and bottom-up support networks.

Healing Communities, led by formerly incarcerated individuals, trains faith communities to engage in restorative justice, connect returning citizens to resources, provide spiritual support, and advocate for political change on local, state, and federal levels. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Healing Communities is moving organizing meetings to reliable online platforms, increasing social media presence, and advancing legislative advocacy around COVID-19 decarceration.

Philadelphia Community Bail Fund posts bail for people who cannot afford to pay. Because the COVID-19 pandemic puts incarcerated individuals at increased risk of infection, they are fighting for decarceration by pressuring the First Judicial District, judges, and Mayor Kenney to release all individuals held pre-trial.

Philadelphia Teamsters for a Democratic Union is a worker-led, grassroots movement that organizes economic justice campaigns, develops grassroots leaders, and promotes community-labor alliances to improve workers’ rights. They are organizing UPS workers to demand personal protective equipment from their employer as well as spreading awareness to all workers about their COVID-19 health and safety rights through communication campaigns, Zoom meetings, and mentorship.

Philadelphia Unemployment Project (PUP) organizes and provides services to the unemployed and low-income people of the Philadelphia area. Due to COVID-19, over 800,000 people were laid off in two weeks in March alone in PA. PUP is organizing unemployed people to increase access to unemployment benefits and make change in the state unemployment system.

The Sappho and LaRoyce Foundation organizes LGBTQ people and women of color to sustain holistic healing. They are supporting community needs, organizing mutual aid systems, and developing emergency response teams to support community members suffering mental health issues and domestic violence, both of which have increased since COVID-19 began.

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