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The Time is Now

Join Bold Philanthropic Pledge to Protect Abortion Access and Reproductive Justice

Dear Philanthropic Colleagues and Co-Conspirators,

We begin this letter at the start of Pride, a month where we celebrate and recommit ourselves to the fight for queer and trans liberation. We anticipate that this particular June will be heavy, but we are determined to leverage our power and perch within philanthropy for our collective liberation. 

In the past several months, we have seen and experienced multiple mass shootings, specifically targeting Black, Asian, Latine, and other people of color, as well as shootings at schools like Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. These targeted acts of violence have once again stolen lives from our families and communities, and are taking place against a backdrop of emboldened white supremacy, rising authoritarianism, patriarchy, misogyny, transphobia, and weak state leadership and oversight.

It is against this same backdrop that the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization United States Supreme Court draft opinion was leaked, suggesting that Roe v. Wade will be overturned this summer. This news was another gut punch to many in philanthropy. However, while gender equity and reproductive justice funders already connected to the work were similarly dismayed by the news, we were not surprised. For years, we have been following the lead of our grantee and movement partners by investing in and organizing for abortion access as part of a broader approach to reproductive justice. Reproductive justice, a framework developed by Black women, calls on us to fully embody intersectional approaches to solve this crisis. That framework connects abortion access, birth justice, climate and economic justice, and many forms of bodily autonomy, including freedom from state violence. This work is a testament to the power of consistent and persistent organizing. It is also a reminder that the current challenges to abortion access are a backlash to the very real wins of the reproductive justice movement, including in expanding our understanding of what is possible. 

We understand that the struggle we face now has been building over decades. We recognize the need to move beyond rapid response funding towards multi-year investments in bold movement building work led by the communities at the center of injustice in order to build power for the long-term. This will require multiple philanthropic giving strategies.

We welcome funders and donors who want to join our collective efforts, especially anyone who is newly committed or re-energized by the latest news in this struggle. If you’re looking for ways to increase or deepen your investment in the fight to protect abortion access and bodily autonomy, here are five immediate actions that you and philanthropy at large can take:

  1. Give Now and With Trust: Well-known national reproductive rights organizations will be flooded with resources and high-profile legal nonprofits will also get a boost in funding to fight these issues at the federal and local levels. This is great, and it’s only part of what’s needed right now. Consider giving locally and often to the abortion funds, practical support networks, independent abortion providers, and reproductive justice organizations in your cities and states. Trust that they have decades of experience working with abortion seekers, clinics, and volunteers. When you give, don’t set restrictions or require lengthy applications, reports, meetings, or other paperwork as part of your grants and donations. Organizations like Groundswell Fund, Ms. Foundation for Women, Third Wave Fund, and your local feminist fund can also quickly and flexibly deploy an influx of dollars where they are needed the most, especially to grassroots, local, and smaller budget groups. It will be critical to invest at the state level, as that is where many of the decisions will be made if Roe is overturned, and to invest in feminist funds that center gender and racial justice with a clear and unapologetic focus on reproductive justice.  For example, Women’s Foundation California, New York Women’s Foundation, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, and Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, among other state-based women’s funds. Philanthropic support during this moment and beyond will also serve to address the significant underinvestment in gender justice, with less than 2% of overall philanthropic dollars going to women’s and girls’ organizations.
  1. Listen to Movement Leadership: Roe has always been a floor rather than a ceiling for our communities, particularly concerning full accessibility to abortion and full-spectrum reproductive care. Reproductive, gender, and birth justice movement leaders have been organizing in their communities and on the ground for decades, and have a clear vision for building a world where accessibility, agency, and self-determination are centered. But should Roe be overturned, the decision will have an outsized effect on BIPOC people who can become pregnant, and increase the risk of criminalization for pregnancy outcomes and self-managed abortion. The implications within and across states will be dramatic.  As a philanthropic community, it will be critical to think strategically about support in both states that experience abortion bans as well as those that are expected to see a dramatic influx of people who are able to travel to seek abortion care. In this moment, it’s critical to listen, learn, and follow the lead of people on the front lines, particularly those who have had abortions and BIPOC-led organizations highlighted in the previous bullet point; they are experts on what is happening on the ground and are the luminaries who know the best path forward.
  1. Plan for the Future while Acknowledging the Past: The future that BIPOC-led reproductive health, rights, and justice groups envision is one where abortion is available, affordable, accessible, and stigma-free. It is one where no one is denied care, where pregnancy outcomes are drastically improved, and abortion is decriminalized. And it is one where these issues are linked to racial, economic, immigration, disability, and LGBTQ justice. The likely reversal of Roe is part of a broader attack on bodily autonomy and civil and human rights that includes anti-trans legislative efforts, threats to marriage equality, and voter disenfranchisement. As SisterSong Executive Director Monica Simpson and many of our other grantee and movement partners remind us, efforts to restrict abortion rights and access are rooted in a long history of racism, classism, and misogyny. We must also acknowledge past and present harms in the reproductive rights movement, where white women’s concerns and leadership were and still are centered. As a result, they successfully won the legal right to choose while Black and Brown women, transgender and non-binary people, women struggling financially, young people, people with disabilities, undocumented people, among other marginalized communities, have been and still are forcibly sterilized and denied access to the full spectrum of safe pregnancy and birth care. In 2022 and beyond, we will not win without investing in an intersectional, BIPOC-led approach.
  1. Collaborate Across Strategies and Issues: Whether grassroots organizing, culture and narrative change, financial and practical support, research, legal support, policy advocacy, or impact litigation, ensuring continued abortion access will require us to use all the strategies we have at our disposal to win. We won’t make it if funding continues to flow only on certain issues, or within siloed investment strategies. Collaboration among funders and philanthropy serving organizations, such as Funders for Reproductive Equity, organizers, lawyers, activists, medical providers, progressives, moderates, among other allies, will be critical in this fight. We must practice and embody trust-based philanthropy. Radical trust, love, and community is the way forward, and will require donors and funders to be more inclusive, and less bureaucratic in their decision-making.
  1. Invest in Existing Movement Infrastructure for the Long-Term: For decades, networks of grassroots organizations led by people of color have been serving as safe havens for their communities, providing critically needed access to care.  For these organizations, abortion access has always been essential. But what movement leaders have continually uplifted through lessons learned from deep community investment is that full spectrum reproductive and gender-affirming care is equally critical. This care cannot be provided without long-term vision, plans for sustainability, and culturally congruent providers.

    As funders, it’s essential that we understand the infrastructure that already exists. We have a responsibility to ensure that we are not engaging in extractive practices, dropping in unannounced, putting unnecessary stipulations on resources, or leaving if the situation feels insurmountable. Rather, our highest purpose in the current moment is to move flexible, multi-year, general operating support dollars to the field, moving resources quickly and without any strings attached. Rather than creating new initiatives, we must move resources that can resource existing BIPOC, Transgender, and Non-Binary organizations and leadership at scale. These organizations and leaders have the vision, decades-long track record, and relationships with communities on the ground already, and are best placed to advocate for their communities, build power for the long-term, and fight back against current oppressive legislation at the local, state, and federal levels.

As Black Queer poet and activist Audre Lorde once reminded us, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” Our liberation is bound to one another’s, and the surest way to freedom is to follow, and fund, those who know the way.

Join us on the path forward. 

Signed:

  • Dimple Abichandani, Executive Director, General Service Foundation
  • M. Saida Agostini Bostic, President, Funders for LGBTQ Issues
  • Ana Marie Argilagos, President & CEO, Hispanics in Philanthropy
  • Elizabeth Barajas-Román, President & CEO, Women’s Funding Network
  • Rocio L. Córdoba, Executive Director, Funders for Reproductive Equity
  • Aaron Dorfman, President & CEO, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
  • Patricia Eng, President & CEO, AAPIP
  • Gina Jackson, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Return to the Heart Foundation
  • Sheena Johnson & Meenakshi Menon, Interim Co-Executive Directors, Groundswell Fund
  • Tynesha McHarris, Co-Founder, Black Feminist Fund
  • Joy Messinger, Director of Training and Leadership Development, Funders for Justice
  • Lorraine Ramirez, Executive Director, Funders for Justice
  • alicia sanchez gill, Executive Director, Emergent Fund
  • Suzanne Taylor Batten, President & CEO, ABFE
  • Tania Turner, Executive Director, Fondo Semillas
  • Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO, Ms. Foundation for Women

Pledged:

  • AAPI Civic Engagement Fund
  • Zeina Abdel Khalik,Co- CEO, Doria Feminist Fund
  • Amalgamated Foundation
  • Diana Alonzo Watkins, Board of Instigator Member, Diverse City Fund
  • Carol Andreae
  • Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
  • Mallory Austin
  • Shante Avant,Vice President, Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis
  • Joannye Belanger
  • Susan Benford, Chair, Philanos
  • Black Feminist Fund
  • Boldly Go Philanthropy
  • Borealis Philanthropy
  • Boston Women’s Fund
  • Melanie Brown
  • Suzanne Brown Peters, CEO, Peters Associates
  • Butler Family Fund
  • California Wellness Foundation
  • Gladys Carrión, Esq., Senior Fellow, Puerto Rico Women’s Foundation
  • Cauze Charitable Fund
  • Merle Chambers, Founder, Chambers Initiative
  • Channel Foundation
  • Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies
  • Chicago Foundation for Women
  • Chinook Fund
  • Chrysalis Foundation
  • Collaborative for Gender + Reproductive Equity
  • COLLECTIVE FUTURE FUND
  • Verónica Colón Rosario, Executive Director, Puerto Rico Women’s Foundation
  • Will Cordery, Founder & Principal, Freedom Futures
  • Aimee Cunningham, President & CEO, The Boone Family Foundation
  • Democracy Alliance
  • Diverse City Fund
  • Dr. Denise Dunning, Ph.D., Founder & Executive Director, Rise Up
  • Eileen Fisher Foundation
  • Stephanie Ellis-Smith, CEO, Phila Engaged Giving
  • Equality Fund
  • Satonya Fair, President & CEO, PEAK Grantmaking
  • Fondo de Mujeres Bolivia Apthapi Jopueti
  • The Ford Foundation
  • Foundation for a Just Society
  • The Fund for Women & Girls
  • Funders Concerned About AIDS
  • The Funders Network
  • Gender Justice Fund
  • Gender Justice LA
  • General Service Foundation
  • Susan Graham
  • Storme Gray, Executive Director, EPIP
  • Sarah Haacke Byrd, CEO, Women Moving Millions
  • Donna Hall, President & CEO, Women Donors Network and WDN Action
  • Crystal Hayling, Executive Director, The Libra Foundation
  • Her Future Fund
  • Hill-Snowdon Foundation
  • Horning Family Foundation
  • How Women Lead
  • Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN)
  • Hyams Foundation
  • inroads (The International Network for the Reduction of Abortion Discrimination and Stigma)
  • International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women (IWC)
  • Ipas
  • Irving Harris Foundation
  • Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation
  • Jess Jacobs
  • Seema Jalan, Executive Director, Universal Access Project
  • Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
  • Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches
  • Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York
  • John M. Lloyd Foundation
  • Kenneth Rainin Foundation
  • Surina Khan, CEO, Women’s Foundation California
  • Lawanna Kimbro, Esq., Managing Director, Stardust Fund
  • Nancy Klavans
  • Kolibri Foundation
  • Alicia Lara
  • Mijo Lee
  • Makenzie Lennington
  • Janet Levinger
  • The Libra Foundation
  • Lyn Loewi
  • Michele Lord, President, NEO Philanthropy
  • Adriana Loson-Ceballos, Co-Founder, Colmena-Consulting
  • Maine Women’s Fund
  • Latanya Mapp Frett, President and CEO, Global Fund for Women
  • Lyle Matthew Kan, Interim National Director, CHANGE Philanthropy
  • Marin Community Foundation
  • Gladys Mezrahi
  • Jessica Mowles, Program Director, Overbrook Foundation
  • Muirfield Foundation
  • Joanne Murray, Executive Director, Women’s Fund SouthCoast
  • New Hampshire Women’s Foundation
  • New York Foundation
  • New York Women’s Foundation
  • NewMexicoWomen.org
  • North Star Fund
  • Jill Nowak, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Missouri Foundation for Health
  • Kelly Nowlin
  • Ana L. Oliveira, President & CEO, The New York Women’s Foundation
  • Lisa Owens, Executive Director, Hyams Foundation
  • Partners Asia
  • Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE)
  • The Praxis Project
  • The Prospect Hill Foundation
  • PRBB Foundation
  • The Prentice Foundation
  • Pride Foundation
  • Regan Pritzker
  • Progressive Mutliplier
  • Puerto Rico Women’s Foundation
  • Queer Crescent
  • Anna Quinn, Founding Partner, Shake the Table
  • Gabriella Quizena
  • Resource Generation
  • Mónica Ramírez, Founder and President, Justice for Migrant Women
  • Lori Robinson, Executive Director, VidaAfrolatina
  • Lariza Romero Fonseca
  • Rockflower Partners Inc.
  • Rose Community Foundation
  • Carmen Rojas, Ph.D., President & CEO, Marguerite Casey Foundation
  • Lutonya Russell-Humes, Sr. Director, Fund for Women and Girls, Fairfield County Community Foundation
  • Scherman Foundation
  • Seattle International Foundation
  • Judith Selzer,Co-Founder and Board Member, Women’s Foundation of Florida
  • Paulette Senior, President & Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Women’s Foundation
  • Jenna Skinner Scanlan
  • Social Justice Fund NW
  • Solidaire Network
  • Jennifer Steadman
  • The Summit Foundation
  • Yifat Susskind, Executive Director, MADRE
  • Tara Health Foundation
  • Third Wave Fund
  • Transgender Advocates Knowledgable Empowering (TAKE)
  • Tzedek Social Justice Fund
  • Unboxed Philanthropy Advisors
  • Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights
  • Valentine Foundation
  • Washington Area Women’s Foundation
  • Shana Weiss, Leader, Silva-Weiss Family Foundation
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • The Women’s Foundation of Colorado
  • Women’s Foundation of Florida
  • Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis
  • Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona
  • Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
  • Women’s Foundation of Oregon
  • Women’s Foundation of the South
  • The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio
  • Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee
  • Women’s Fund of Hawaii
  • The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade
  • Women’s Fund of Rhode Island
  • Women’s Fund SouthCoast
  • The Women’s Fund of Western Massachussetts

In solidarity signed:

  • Ingrid Ahrend-Vo
  • Moses Ambrose Obiro
  • Stephanie Anderson Ladd
  • Natalie Arnold
  • Sierra Austin, Ph.D.
  • Kelly Baden
  • Eva Barajas
  • Donna Barkman
  • Rachel Basse
  • Gail Bermingham
  • Peggy Bird
  • Birthmark Doulas + NOLA Breastfeeding Center
  • Black Trans Women, Inc.
  • Jessie Bluedorn
  • Jackson Brandstetter
  • Debra L Breen
  • Kathryn Burns
  • Ellen Cabler
  • California Native Vote Project
  • Andrea Carlise
  • Kylie Carrithers
  • Yael Chanoff
  • Roslyn Dawson Thompson, President & CEO, DAWSON Communications + Strategy + Governance
  • Ruby DayBranch
  • Patricia DeLuca
  • Aleida Diaz
  • Susan Dickler
  • Carol Didek
  • Jeannie Diefenderfer
  • Mark Diekmann
  • Elizabeth Doyel, Partner, Superior Blue Strategies
  • Sher Emerick Safran
  • Laura Emrick
  • Faith Choice Ohio
  • Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM)
  • The Front Door Agency, Inc
  • Mary Ann Fastook
  • Linda Frankel
  • FREE THE WORK
  • Leandra Gallego
  • María-Paula Garcia
  • Linda Gilleran
  • Gender Justice LA
  • Rachel Ginsberg
  • Janet Gonzalez
  • Nicky Goren, President, NG Strategies LLC
  • Annette Govan
  • Juliet Gray
  • Shelli Greenslade
  • Jensyn Hallett
  • Dr. Gehad Hamdy, Founder and Managing Director, Speak Up
  • Allison Hermann
  • Dr. Tiffany Hinton
  • MJ Hood
  • Biola lbiefo Ogunyemi
  • Celeste James
  • Beth Kanter
  • Samantha King
  • Mary Katherine Magnoli
  • Joy Keys
  • Dr. Jeanne Klein
  • Anu Kumar, MPH, Ph.D., President & CEO, Ipas
  • Pam Kunick-Cohen
  • Noelle Leczel
  • LEVEL UP IMPACT GROUP LLC
  • Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, Founder & Principal, JL-S Consulting
  • Jocelyn Lucas Kiroauc
  • Mary M. Luke
  • Josh MacKinnon
  • Make It Work Nevada
  • Jamie Manson, M.Div., President, Catholics for Choice
  • gabriela martinez
  • Erin Matson, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Reproaction
  • Susan McPherson
  • Andrea Mercado, Executive Director, Florida Rising
  • National Crittenton
  • Isabirye Nasibu
  • Nifin’akanga movement
  • Kelly Nowlin
  • Christian F. Nunes, National President, National Organization for Women
  • Organisation paysanne pour le développement durable
  • Mary Porfido
  • Poderistas
  • Elizabeth Quizena
  • Bandana Rana
  • Deborah Reichert
  • Barbara Rizzo
  • Guillermo Rodolfo
  • Francine Rodriguez, Manager of Community Services, Family Outreach of Amherst/CHD
  • Camille Romero
  • Gloria Romero Roses
  • Mio Santana
  • Iliana Santillan
  • Lilian Santini
  • Elise Scheck Bonwitt
  • Laurie Scop
  • Tuti Scott, President and Founder, Changemaker Strategies
  • Pamela Seng
  • SHAKHI ‘Friends of Women’
  • Stephanie Shoemaker
  • Elisa Slattery
  • lois slovin
  • Kevin Sprague
  • Melanie Strong, Founding Partner, NEXT VENTURES
  • StrongRapport
  • Kirsti Tcherkoyan, CEO, 20/20 Insights
  • Jaya Tiwari
  • Alex Varlet
  • Phyllis Vecchia
  • Alejandra Villalobos
  • Carmen Vivian Rivera
  • Michelle Vohs, Gender Justice Coordinator, Asian American Organizing Project
  • WAKE
  • Rebecca Waxman
  • Emily Weltman, Founder, Principal Consultant, Collective Flow Consulting
  • Carolyn West
  • Jamia Wilson, Author
  • Womenful Voice
  • Wright Collective
  • Ms. Lana Yang

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Philanthropy Advocacy Member Bureau Statement of Solidarity