Sowing the Seeds - Grassroots Internati .Sowing the Seeds The Real Patriots Act T iming has not...
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Sowing the Seeds
The Real Patriots Act
Timing has not always been our strong point at GrassrootsInternational, or maybe it has. In late 2001 and early 2002, GrassrootsInternational (GRI) put the finishing touches on a five-year strategic
plan. The context of that moment is not difficult to recall.
The September 11 attacks had recently occurred, Congress passed the U.S.A.Patriot Act and the Bush administration attacked Afghanistan with broadinternational support. Anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment ran very high in this country, and that sentiment certainly extended to those U.S. organiza-tions that would speak out against the war on terrorism and in support of the rights of the Palestinians. If the political situation was not difficultenough, a weak economy completely tanked in late 2001. Donations nose-dived to international global justice and many other causes not directlyrelated in the public mind to September 11 response. In late 2001, decliningincome forced GRI to cut back staff and grants to our partners for the firsttime in a decade.
Not at all surprisingly, all of this coincided with a period of increased activityby our international partners. Grassroots organizations throughout Brazilstepped up their work in anticipation of national elections in which WorkersParty candidate Lula would seriously contend for power. Increasing repres-sion in Haiti, combined with the almost complete disappearance of stateservices dramatically increased the pressure on Haitian organizations like the Papaye Peasant Movement. In Palestine, the armed uprising against theIsraelis entered its second year and massive Israeli military incursions created a social and a security emergency that threatened to overwhelm our
Palestinian partners. As a result, our partnersmade a strong case for increased financialsupport, but they also urged Grassroots toincrease the impact of its public educationand advocacy work in this country.
In this context, the Board of Directors ofGrassroots made a risky set of decisions.
A C A M P A I G N R E P O R T F R O M G R A S S R O O T S I N T E R N A T I O N A L. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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Global Justice FundReaches $1 Million Goal
Thank You to Our Donors
g r a s s r o o t s o n l i n e . o r g
Kinal Antzetik member cutting sugar cane nearMarques de Comilla, Mexico
With the organizations budgetunder unprecedented pressure, theydesigned a plan to double GRIsgrantmaking over the next five yearsand to dramatically increase thescope and the impact of its policyadvocacy and public education work.
Where would the funds come fromfor such bold expansion? From anational community of supportersthat agreed with Grassroots thatnow was the time for organizationscommitted to global justice to standup and model a different path toglobal security that took into accountthe intimate connection betweenglobal security and global justice.
Coincidentally, 2003 markedGrassroots 20th Anniversary andwe launched our celebration of thatanniversary under the banner, SowJustice, Reap Security. As part ofthat celebration, we moved furtherout on the limb and launched a $1 million 20th Anniversary GlobalJustice Fund, that had us going toevery single one of our donors andasking them to make an additionaldonation to help us put in place thepillars of GRIs five-year strategicplan.
Our announcement of the Fundelicited more than a little skepticism,but it also elicited an extraordinaryresponse from over one thousandpeople. Yes, this does say somethingabout the nature of the work beingdone around the world by our part-ner organizations. It also says some-thing about the spirit and solidarityof each person who did somethingto create this sign of hope in lessthan hopeful times. We salute you,we thank you and we challenge youto remain committed to a vision ofAction for Global Justice.
Building PillarsPutting a Global Justice Fund to Work
In talking with our supporters aboutthe Global Justice Fund, we focusedon the idea that GRI wanted to under-
take four new initiatives that we thoughtwould dramatically strengthen our over-seas partnerships and increase the impactof our overall work. Just on the basis ofour ongoing fundraising and grantmakingoperations, we would never have theresourceshuman or financialto makethese ideas real. The Global Justice Fundwill not fully fund these programs, but itwill surely allow us to get them off theground.
RESOURCE RIGHTS FOR ALLThis is a long-term collaboration betweenGrassroots and 6 of its partners alreadyengaged in work around land and waterrights. Together, we will give a boost to anexisting campaign in the resource rights area, such as Va Campesinas globalland reform campaign. Our initiative will include advocacy training, actionresearch, public education in the U.S. and joint work around a commonadvocacy agenda. Resource Rights for All represents a turn by GRI towardfocusing its resources (grantmaking, advocacy and education) on intensivework on a theme of particular interest to its partners.
YOUTH REMAKING OUR WORLDGrassroots is certainly not alone in realizing that youth organizing is thefuture of all social change work. Through this initiative, GRI will take a number of coordinated steps to strengthen the leadership role of youngpeople in our own workand in that of 5 of our partners that share thiscommitment. In connectionwith this initiative, we areparticularly excited aboutthe prospect of connectingyoung leaders in our partnerorganizations with eachother and with young socialchange activists in theUnited States.
Real Patriots Act continued from page 1
Landless Workers Movement (MST) supporters at the World Social Forum.
Barn raising on Haitis Central Plateau.
ITS IN THE MESSAGEWe view the extraordinary experiences of organizations like Brazils LandlessWorkers Movement (MST) and Palestines Womens Center for Legal Aidand Counseling (WCLAC) as some of The Greatest Stories Never Told.Emerging communications technologies offer new opportunities to get outthis message of hope and struggle. Building communications capacity is nolonger a nice option for social change organizations: It is an urgent necessity.Through Its In the Message, GRI will engage a small group of the partnersinvolved in the previous two programsresource rights and youth leader-shipin a participatory initiative to increase their ability to frame and disseminate their messages, while enlarging GRIs own communicationsfootprint in the United States.
DOLLARS FOR DEVELOPMENTAND CHANGE!If we learned anything about our work by creating a strategic plan, welearned that our efforts to transfer financial resources within a global net-work of social change groups is making a difference. In the five-year period,2003-2007, GRI will at least double the volume of its grantmaking activities.
These initiatives represent a determined effort to increase the impact ofGRIs work by:
Bringing more resources to this work;
Focusing those resources on strategic themes; and
Facilitating more exchange of experiences, learning and solidarity among our partners, rather than simply between GRI and those partners.
By successfully creating our 20th Anniversary Global Justice Fund, we havelaid the groundwork for each of those programs. We invite you to join us inseeing them through to the finish!
Father taking care of children while women weave,Bautista Chico, Mexico.
179 Boylston Street, 4th fl. Boston, MA 02130617.524.1400 fax: 617.524.5525
Board of DirectorsShalini Nataraj, Chair
Alejandro Amezcua Dan Connell, EmeritusLena Deevy Judith Lockhart-Radtke
Luis Prado Byron Rushing Charlotte Ryan Marilyn Tadros
Clark Taylor Emira WoodsKatherine Yih
Kevin Murray, Executive Director, GRI
StaffMaria Aguiar, Director of Global Programs
Nisrin Elamin, Advocacy CoordinatorJyoti Gupta, Development Assistant
Marjorie Dove Kent, Administrative AssistantJennifer Lemire, Program Coordinator
Orson Moon, Administrative CoordinatorDaniel Moss, Director of Development
Kevin Murray, Executive DirectorStephanie Sluka Brauer, Development
Woman raising pigeons in urban agriculture project,Jabalia, Gaza.
Via Campesina members plant a solidarity grove with treesrepresenting the small farmers who have lost their lives inthe struggle to defend their land.
grass rootson l ine .org
IndividualsHoward Aaron and Carol Fox V. Mary Abraham and Robert Radtke David Amdur Kathryn Angell John Ankele Arlene Ash Evan Ashkin and Cheryl
Baker Janet Axelrod and Tim Plenk James Babson Darla Baker Kaye and James Barker Ken Barney Emma Elizabeth Barnsley Kathleen Barry and
Robert Burnett Paul Beach Jonathan and Barbara Beckwith Michael Bedford Sarah Behrendt Douglas Bender Kostia Bergman and Libby Zimmerman
Marty Blatt Brian Bloom and Susanna Moore George and Eleanor Bollag Louise Bowditch Nancy Braus and Richard Geidel Geraldine and Michael
Buckles Martin Bunzl and Deborah Hertz Nicholas Bunzl and Judy Bernstein Bunzl Laura Burns and Jude Miller Angela Cacciarru-Sieber Bill and
Edith Cacciatore Greg Campbell James Campen and Phyllis Ewen Brad Carroll Chris Cartter and Dakota Butterfield Barbara Cartwright Joan and
Ed Cassidy Melina Cataife George and Eleano