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U.S. Programs Awards 27 "Seize the Day" Grants

The following brief descriptions detail 27 grants made to date through the Seize the Day special funding initiative. The grants are grouped under the four strategies outlined by the fund: 

  • Advancing the most challenging issues—including mass incarceration, immigration, drug policy, and structural inequality—as part of a transformative national agenda;
  • Ensuring transparency, accountability and equity in the development and implementation of economic recovery plans;
  • Increasing public participation in policy reform efforts by those most impacted, including people of color, immigrant, and low-income communities;
  • Integrating recent innovations in organizing and technology into more organizations and movements.

Criminal Justice & Drug Policy Reform

Council on State Governments
$350,000, 2 years

To support the Council on State Governments (in addition to $700,000 in project support and funding to offset the JEHT Foundation's closure) to conduct research, provide technical assistance, and facilitate public education related to the development of federal criminal justice policy priorities.

Justice Policy Institute
$340,000, 2 years

To further the project's mission to reduce instances of adult and juvenile incarceration through research, communications, organizing, and policy advocacy; to support an emerging network of criminal justice advocates in Maryland to significantly advance policy reforms at the state and national levels; and to develop a policy report which contextualizes and compares incarceration rates and social structures of the United States with other Western countries to encourage reform that reduces incarceration rates.

Legal Action Center
$600,000, 2 years

To support the Legal Action Center's efforts to conduct public education, policy analysis and development, and advocacy at the federal and local levels to reform national drug and criminal justice policies.

Trust For America's Health
$155,000, 18 months

To support the Trust for America's Health's efforts to conduct public education about the scientific basis and effectiveness of needle exchange programs and to broaden the coalition of organizations supporting needle exchange.

Confronting Structural Inequality

Center for Social Inclusion
$500,000, 1 year

To support the Center for Social Inclusion's three-part plan to advance structural reforms that achieve equity for communities of color, women, and low-income communities.

Ms. Foundation
$300,000, 1 year

To provide Ms. Foundation with project support for its efforts to ensure that marginalized populations, specifically low-income women and women of color, benefit from the opportunities presented in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
$355,000, 2 years

To support the Task Force in leading a collaborative effort involving leading LGBT rights and civil rights groups to advocate for non-legislative changes that can be made at the federal executive branch and agency levels to eliminate the structural barriers that prevent LGBT people from enjoying equality and opportunity in the United States.

Opportunity Agenda
$200,000, 18 months

To provide project support to the Opportunity Agenda for its efforts to work with national and regional partners to ensure that publicly funded and regulated projects provide equal and expanded opportunity to all the communities they serve. 

Poverty and Race Research Action Council
$400,000, 2 years

To enable the Poverty and Race Research Action Counsel to engage in multiple strategies, including direct advocacy, policy analysis and research, and coordinating coalition efforts, to advance civil rights rules in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program and restore housing mobility incentives under the Section 8 "Housing Choice Voucher Program."

Transparency, Equity, & Accountability

Focus Project for OMB Watch / Bailout Watch
$350,000, 2 years

To support the launch of Bailout Watch, a national transparency effort to spotlight how prior stimulus funds are being used and propose new methods for increasing transparency and accountability in future stimulus discussions.

Fund for Constitutional Government / Coalition for an Accountable Recovery
$100,000, 1 year

To support three national convenings for state and federal level organizations seeking to build the Coalition for an Accountable Recovery and to ensure that recovery dollars move to the state level in as transparent a process as possible.

Institute for Policy Studies
$400,000, 2 years

To support the organization's work in partnership with the Inter-Alliance Dialogue, an effort that includes five national, grassroots organizing networks that are rooted in people of color, low-income and/or immigrant communities, and represents domestic workers, janitors, day laborers, housing activists, worker rights advocates and others from the front lines of the economic crisis.

 New America Media
$500,000, 21 months for Economic Stimulus Package Newsbeat; 2 years for Four Pillars Project

To provide support for two New America Media projects: (1) Economic Stimulus Package Newsbeat, which would increase the ethnic media sector's capacity to inform ethnic minority and immigrant audiences about the impact of stimulus funding on their communities; and (2) Four Pillars Project, which would broaden and deepen the links between the ethnic media sector and immigrant rights organizations, supporting the Four Pillars campaign.  

Partnership for Working Families
$100,000, 7 months

To provide project support for a Partnership for Working Families' convening, Advancing the New Urban Agenda, and follow-up coalition and policy development work in 8-12 cities. The convening and related efforts would build local capacity to track development and design of economic stimulus related projects.

$500,000, 1 year

To support three principal areas of PolicyLink's work: 1) Ensuring that the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) at the federal level addresses the particular needs of low-income people, women, and people of color; 2) Building a field strategy to shape implementation of ARRA funding by providing technical assistance, training, and re-granting to state and local organizations; and 3) Strengthening the Equity Now national network of nearly 2,500 local organizations.

USAction Education Fund / Rebuild and Renew America Now
$500,000, 1 year

To support Rebuild and Renew America Now, a project aiming to raise public awareness of tax fairness issues and the federal budget.

Public Participation in Advocacy

 Arabella Legacy Fund / Unity Education 2009
$100,000, 1 year

To support the Arabella Legacy Fund, a a coalition of issue and constituency organizations that seek to: 1) Advance social justice; 2) Discuss and prioritize issues of interest; and 3) Develop public education strategies to engage multiple and diverse constituencies.

Center for Civic Policy
$200,000, 2 years

To support the Center for Civic Policy, an Albuquerque-based organization that utilizes innovative strategies to build non-partisan civic engagement capacity.  

National Council of La Raza / Democracia U.S.A.
$500,000/ 2 years

To support Democracia U.S.A., a Miami-based national organization that advances civic engagement among the nation's fasting growing demographic group by conducting nonpartisan voter registration and voter education in Latino communities.

Rockefeller Family Fund / Voter Registration Modernization Project
$300,000, 1 year

To support a new coalition of the Rockefeller Family Fund that seeks to transform our nation's voter registration process through the creation of an automatic or universal system of registration.

Jobs with Justice / Inter-Alliance Dialogue
$70,000, 6 months

To support an upcoming convening and strategy session for the Inter-Alliance Dialogue, a partnership of five national, people of color-led grassroots organizing networks that seek to advance an urban community rooted agenda to shift the federal debate on economic recovery, structural inequality, and green equity issues.

Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund
$200,000, 1 year

To support the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund's project on federal judicial nominations.

National Training and Information Center
$600,000, 2 years

To support capacity-building and affiliate development for a large, national community organizing network that will allow it to maximize its impact on advancing immigrants' rights, TARP accountability, and housing equity.

PICO National Network
$600,000, 2 years

To support capacity building and affiliate development for a large, national congregation-based organizing network active on immigrants' rights, housing equity, and economic opportunity.

The Urban Justice Center / Right to the City Alliance
$500,000, 2 years

To the support the Brooklyn-based Right to the City Alliance, an emerging national alliance of urban base-building organizations and allies committed to urban justice, human rights, and democracy.

Advocacy & Organizing

ProgressNow Education
$250,000, 1 year

To support ProgressNow Educationin its efforts to build state capacity to impact federal level issues, including the economic recovery, and to expand its criminal justice and drug policy reform work.

League of Young Voters Education Fund / Citizen Engagement Laboratory and Color of Change
$250,000, 1 year

To support efforts to expand public participation, particularly from communities most impacted by structural inequality; advance the hardest issues, including criminal justice reform and immigration; and integrate innovative social engagement into the larger social justice organizational ecosystem.

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