George Soros’ Open Society Foundations announced $220 million in investments to help emerging organizations and leaders who are building power in black communities across the U.S. The foundation is supporting the movement toward “racial justice”.
George Soros’ Open Society Foundations announces grants
Of the pledged amount, the largest share will go toward five-year grants to “black-led” justice organizations. George Soros’ Open Society Foundations has pledged $150 million to organizations that have been helping create and sustain momentum toward racial equality.
The foundation said in a press release that its response reflects its “conviction that real progress requires sustained support over many years and letting leaders accountable to impacted communities shape the path forward.”
Open Society Foundations President Patrick Gaspard said in a statement that they realize that the “struggle to dismantle systemic racism” is ongoing. He said the fight has gone on from the beginning of the republic into the present day and is “embedded in every level of government and in our penal and justice systems.”
“But the power surge of people who have taken to the streets to demand that this nation do better-people of all ages, from all backgrounds, and in every corner of this country—gives hope to us all,” he added.
Among the recipients of the grants are emerging groups like Black Voters Matter and Circle for Justice Innovations. Other recipients are described as “established forces for civil rights” like Repairers of the Breach and the Equal Justice Initiative.
The foundation said some recipients are “fighting for an end to policing as we know it,” while others are “fighting for access to the ballot.” It added that together, the organizations that have received these grants “make up a vital ecosystem of justice.”
In addition to the five-year grants, George Soros’ Open Society Foundations will also make $70 million in investments toward advancing “racial justice”. These initiatives will include investments in some cities that are reimagining public safety and “moving beyond the culture of criminalization and incarceration.”
Other investments will help nurture young people’s civic engagement. The foundation said some young people have engaged in activism for the first time in response to the political movement. Summer internships have been canceled in the uncertain job market hit by the pandemic, and high schools and colleges are unsure about whether they will be able to reopen their campuses in the fall. Thus, the foundation wants to create opportunities for students to sign up for fellowships and internships focused on racial justice, mentorship, organizing and democracy.
The Open Society Foundations will also provide support for efforts to fight voter suppression and disinformation and to ensure safe, secure elections during the pandemic.