The Next Chapter of Our Above and Beyond Solidarity

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March 8, 2021

by Cindy del Rosario-Tapan, former Director of Communications

Thousand Currents is deepening our commitment to movements and grassroots formations who are fighting for transformative change

It has been one long year since the COVID-19 pandemic took over virtually every aspect of our lives, exacerbating the severity of the crisis we are in—a crisis caused by many overlapping factors. In the global context of climate emergencies, widening economic stratification, rising authoritarianism, and the criminalization of dissent, Thousand Currents’ partners remind us each day that the pursuit of just futures means building a world free from oppression and violence. 

For funders, this moment is about doing much more than checking off any one box, it is about taking a systemic approach to cultural, social, economic, and political change. With this international solidarity in mind, we recognize how important it is to deepen our commitment to fund people and communities who are on the frontlines fighting for and building the systemic changes we need.

Thousand Currents’ grantmaking ecosystem currently includes alliance building partners, catalyst partners, longer term partners, and senior partners whose work focuses on food sovereignty, alternative economics, and climate justice in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America. Through good times and bad, our grassroots partners tell us what kind of support they need — and we respond accordingly. As part of our Above and Beyond campaign last year, we provided rapid response grants to 62 partner organizations to support their COVID-19 relief and response work. In anticipation of the prolonged  health, social and economic impact of the pandemic, we also made a commitment to double our funding to long-term partners for two years to help them manage the conditions of uncertainty and complexity they will continue to face.   

Our Above and Beyond solidarity includes continuing to work to strike a balance between the need for longer term partnerships and the need to support a broader range of groups as part of a response to particular social, economic, political, and cultural moments. To that end, we have also launched a one-year Special Initiative designed to fund movement and grassroots formations not a part of our current grantmaking ecosystem who are fighting against anti-Blackness, the criminalization of dissent, authoritarianism and violence. From now through the end of 2021, we will disburse $3M in one-time unrestricted grants to these movement and grassroots formations in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States of America. 

The grassroots and movement formations who will receive funding through the Special Initiative address the impacts of anti-Blackness, the criminalization of dissent, authoritarianism and violence through work that builds broad-based political, social, economic, and cultural systemic change. This includes groups who are: resisting anti-Black racism and violence; decommodifying and returning water, health, safety, food, housing, labor, and land to the commons; ensuring universal access to basic services; building power from below; building the solidarity economy; defending bodily autonomy; and addressing the root causes and impacts of climate change through building sustainable ways of relating to each other and the planet. For more than 35 years, Thousand Currents has provided more than $20M to 1,000 community-led initiatives in the Global South. In this critical moment, the Above and Beyond emergency grants, the doubling of funding amounts to longer-term partners, and the Special Initiative are the next steps in Thousand Currents’ long standing commitment to uphold what underpins all of our work: the principle of solidarity.