News

With Racial Justice Orgs Struggling During Pandemic, Surdna Foundation Pledges $36 Million

“We are increasing our spending to give grantees breathing room to respond to the demands of today and make progress toward long-term reforms that address deep structural racism,” the foundation says.

Designing Justice+Designing Spaces (DJDS), an Oakland-bassed nonprofit real estate and architecture firm with a mission to end mass incarceration, is one of the Surdna Foundation’s grantees (image courtesy of DJDS)

The Surdna Foundation in New York announced yesterday, October 14, that it will pledge an additional $36 million over the next three years to projects that advance racial justice. Combined with the foundation’s annual grantmaking of roughly $41.5 million, this new funding will bring the foundation’s total support of artists, art organizations, and businesses in communities of color to about $160 million between now and the end of 2023.

Founded in 1917 by John Emory Andrus, the Surdna Foundation supports racial justice and sustainability projects within marginalized communities across the United States. In a statement to Hyperallergic, the foundation said it is now “stepping up its grantmaking to meet the urgent needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities amid the pandemic and ongoing anti-Black racism.”

The increased funding will support artists and arts organizations that are threatened by losses in revenue during the pandemic: grassroots organizations and networks working at the intersection of racial, economic, and climate justice; businesses and entrepreneurs of color in need of access to capital; and efforts to abolish youth prisons, among other projects.

“We are at a pivotal moment in our nation’s long journey toward racial justice,” said Don Chen, president of the Surdna Foundation. “We are increasing our spending to give grantees breathing room to respond to the demands of today and make progress toward long-term reforms that address deep structural racism. Our grantee partners bring the lived experience, creativity, networks, strategies, and solutions to realize a more just and sustainable nation.”

The foundation says that the new funds will, for the time being, support previously identified projects in its programs Inclusive Economies, Sustainable Environments, Thriving Cultures, and Impact Investing. Opportunities for new grantees will be announced at a later date.

comments (0)