Calling all Grassroots Organizers

The Union Square Awards Program is giving some grassroots activists the chance to survive, and even flourish, in this economic downturn. "Committed to supporting innovative grassroots organizations in New York City," The Union Square Awards Program, in corroboration with the Tides Center, is awarding $50,000 to emerging grassroots orgs "addressing critical social justice issues in New York City." At a time when social justice issues are second-fiddle to economic politics, these grants are needed more than ever. Just because times are rough monetarily doesn't mean that social problems disappear- in fact, signs point to them deteriorating faster than ever.

According to World Hunger Year's Growing Justice Funding Newsletter, "the program particularly looks to support organizations working on homelessness and hunger, HIV/AIDS prevention, education, and treatment, youth leadership and organizing, family and community development, economic self-sufficiency, and conflict resolution." These are all major issues in New York that are often ignored by big budget operators and major politicians.

In addition, there is a Union Square Arts Award that grants $35,000 to an arts organization that deals with youth and/or low-income communities. At times like this, it is important to go back to America's most vital resource- its citizens. Grassroots organizations are an endangered species in this current economic climate, and we have to insure that the hardworking and passionate activists get the monetary support to continue their work, on behalf of all of us. The Union Square Awards Program realizes this, and is doing its part to keep grassroots organizations up and running. Donors should look at how they can support programs, and developing ideas, in their communities led by citizens not backed by a major organization. You never know from where the next social breakthrough will arise.

Dana Variano

Posted at 3:35 PM, May 06, 2009 in Arts and Culture | Education | Nonprofit Management | Philanthropic Strategy | Permalink | Comments (1)


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