Media Justice Fund

Media justice exists when all people—especially people of color, poor and working-class people, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQI+ people—are able to create and share information, ideas, and stories to shift power and build movements for racial, social, and economic justice. 

The Media Justice Fund is a special fund at the Bread & Roses Community Fund that provides $20,000 grants to groups using community organizing to create change in policies or practices.   

Does my group qualify for a Media Justice Fund grant?

The Media Justice Fund makes grants to groups that are:   

  1. organizing to change policies or practices related to the production, licensing, or distribution of media, or 
  2. using media as a tool in their social change plan which includes short- and long-term goals that are specific and achievable.  

Applicants must select one of these two tracks, and the Media Justice Fund will award a minimum of 7 grants in each track.

Groups must also meet Bread & Roses’ eligibility criteria: 

  • Meet Bread & Roses Community Fund’s basic requirements
  • Have a long-term vision for social justice and engage in strategies that promote sustainable social change, including: 
    • A focus on community organizing and activism (not social service, self-help, or educational programs) 
    • A clear understanding of the root causes of the problem or issue that they are working to resolve 
    • A vision that emphasizes changing the systems that create or perpetuate the problem or issue being addressed 
    • A strategy that includes building a local base for taking collective action by the community affected by the problem or issue and results in concrete outcomes at the neighborhood, city, state or national level 
    • Leadership that is primarily composed of people most affected by the problem or issue that is being addressed 

The Media Justice Fund does not support: 

  • Individual media-makers 
  • Direct service work/social services, self-help/empowerment programs, educational programs, or advocacy 
  • Research 
  • Schools 
  • Capital campaigns or building projects 
  • Scholarships, fellowships, or grants to individuals  

What is the award size from the Media Justice Fund?

The Media Justice Fund makes $20,000 grants. Awardees can select a grant period of 12 or 24 months. 

Where does the money for these grants come from?

The Media Justice Fund is a special fund at Bread & Roses Community Fund made possible through a partnership with the Independence Public Media Foundation (IPMF). The money for these grants will be raised by the 2022 Media Justice Giving Project with support from IPMF. You can support their fundraising by making a gift using our general donation form and writing “2022 Media Justice Fund” in the notes.

What are examples of work eligible for grants from the Media Justice Fund?

An example of organizing to change media policies or practices that would qualify for this fund is:  

  • CAP Comcast Between 2014 and 2016 the CAP (Corporate Accountability Project) Comcast campaign focused on securing a variety of demands from the Comcast Corporation as it negotiated a franchise agreement with its hometown of Philadelphia, PA. Comcast’s franchise agreement, set for and renegotiated every 15 years, gives the company permission to use public “right-of-way” to operate its cable system and deliver cable service. 

Examples of using media as a tool in a social change plan that would qualify for this fund are: 

  • Human Rights Coalition is a grassroots non-profit group of currently and formerly incarcerated people, their families, and supporters that challenges the punitive, retributive nature of the penal system and works to transform that to a model of rehabilitation and successful reintegration into society. Their quarterly magazine The Movement is a powerful voice for public awareness the serves both to connect people inside to the outside world and to plug the public into issues affecting incarcerated people. 

  • Heal, Empower, Atone, Restore, Transform (H.E.A.R.T) is a digital storytelling series to take back control of the narrative on police and violence in our city that grew out of the Shift The Narrative Project, a collaboration among movement and community leaders including Movement Alliance Project, Free Press, MIC Center, Amistad Law Project, Reclaim Philadelphia, POWER, and Youth Art and Self-Empowerment Project (YASP). As the coalition works to abolish police and prison, they are sharing their stories and exposing the many ways the criminal legal system fails to keep us safe. As part of reimagining public safety, they are talking about harm, healing, accountability, and justice; while centering the voices of those who are survivors of violence and those who are leading community-based processes for healing and accountability. 

Apply to the Media Justice Fund

The deadline to apply is has passed.

2022 Virtual Information Sessions

To support groups that are considering applying, we held two virtual sessions:

Information Session
October 20, 2022 | 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Application Assistance
November 1, 2022 | 11:00-12:00 p.m.

Bread & Roses Media Justice Fund History 

A previous Media Justice Fund run by Bread & Roses from 2007 to 2009 funded groups that continue to organize for media justice in Philadelphia, including: 

  • Philadelphia Public Access Corporation was a network of individuals and organizations working for the establishment of public access community television in Philadelphia where all citizens could have access to equipment and training to create and air television programs. The Coalition worked to hold the city accountable for 1983 legislation that promised public access. They were successful and led to the creation of PhillyCAM
  • Philadelphia Independent Media Center’s Media Mobilizing Project received funding from the Media Justice Fund when it was a multimedia campaign to document everyday poverty in Philadelphia, and to use media to build solidarity across different movements for economic justice, with campaigns involving hotel worker rights, anti-gentrification, and immigrant justice. MMP became Movement Alliance Project in 2020.  
  • Philadelphia Public School Notebook, a predecessor to Chalkbeat Philadelphia, was a quarterly newspaper with online and community outreach programs seeking to promote public involvement in the Philadelphia public school system and to contribute to a grassroots movement for educational reform in the city. This publication