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Saturday, May 9, 2020

Here's how grassroots groups are making a difference, and how you can help them. | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Here's how grassroots groups are making a difference, and how you can help them. | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Here's how grassroots groups are making a difference, and how you can help them.

Learn how the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization
is bringing people together to respond to the crisis >

Loving Communities Response FundThe Schott Foundation’s partners are providing critically-needed aid in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, just as they’ve done during previous crises. At the same time they are fighting to ensure those most impacted by school closures, job and housing insecurity, and hunger are included in shaping policies and allocating resources, especially in historically marginalized Black and brown communities.

We formed the Loving Communities Response Fund (LCRF) to make sure people have the resources they need to respond, and we’re doing so in partnership with national networks Journey For Justice Alliance, Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools and Dignity in Schools Campaign, who all have extensive grassroots impact across the country.

Below are just a few of the organizations we’re supporting — with your help — through the Fund.
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Step Up Louisiana
Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO)
 Chicago, IL
KOCO is a pillar of the North Kenwood and Oakland communities in Chicago, and now are providing direct assistance, including grocery delivery through their Mutual Aid Program. KOCO organizers are also fighting to ensure that the people most impacted are not left behind by city and state emergency measures.

One PAOne PA Pennsylvania statewide
The statewide group One PA has built a comprehensive policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic, its core message being that low-income communities of color must have a seat at the decision-making table to ensure that the recovery is just, equitable, and doesn’t leave them even worse off. One PA advocates are organizing to press Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe to ban evictions and cancel both rent and mortgage payments for the duration of the crisis.

Grassroots ArkansasGrassroots Arkansas Little Rock, AR
The education justice organization Grassroots Arkansas has been systematically assessing the needs of most-impacted residents in Little Rock and beyond to connect them with resources and immediate support. Advocates are pushing the Little Rock School District to ensure that all students have computers and internet access from home, and pressing the state to mandate habitable living standards for renters. Members are also fighting for a release process for non-violent inmates and for safety measures in state and federal prisons.

Mass JwJMassachusetts Jobs With Justice (JWJ) Massachusetts statewide
JWJ organizers are currently providing large-scale coordination and support to local mutual aid groups across Massachusetts. They recently launched a fund to support undocumented workers, who are both among the worst-hit by the crisis and least able to access government support. JWJ also joined efforts to push against standardized testing in the fall and successfully pressed the state to suspend MCAS tests for the remainder of this year, allowing educators and students to focus on learning and personal wellbeing during the crisis.

CPUCamden Parents Union (CPU) Camden, NJ
CPU members are raising their voices against education inequities during the pandemic and working with other local groups, recently holding virtual community town halls with policymakers to discuss responses to the crisis. Organizers stepped up when they saw that the city's COVID response was woefully insufficient in reaching Black communities, especially for seniors: CPU has helped distribute food and cleaning supplies through an accessible storefront as well as safely doorknocking and disseminating important health information.

MCANMassachusetts Communities Action Network (MCAN) Massachusetts statewide
At the statewide level, MCAN is doubling down to meet people’s needs and move responsive legislation, like an eviction and foreclosure moratorium, a mortgage forbearance bill, and an expansion of paid family medical leave. Grassroots MCAN affiliate groups in towns and cities across the state are establishing local relief funds, mobilizing resources, and reaching out to at-risk individuals in their communities.

Step Up Louisiana
Step Up Louisiana Louisiana statewide
Step Up Louisiana is expanding its work during this crisis, adding team members focused on a community-centered COVID-19 response and support, from parent organizing to job loss assistance. Step Up is also assembling local resource guides, providing virtual meeting space for advocates, fighting for better treatment of healthcare and hospitality workers, and pushing back against austerity and budget cuts.
Organizations and communities supported by the Schott Foundation come from generations of people grounded in community, organized and resilient in the face of structural violence and institutionalized racism. The inequities and challenges they must confront now are even greater. We must stand in solidarity to sustain and strengthen this vital network of advocates and the families and students whom they support, to both survive in the months ahead and sow the seeds of a better world in the future.

This critical, life-saving work can’t be accomplished without your help. Donate to the Loving Communities Response Fund today.