macarthur grants

The MacArthur Foundation announced a grant of $400,000 to the New York-based American India Foundation for a two-year grant to support COVID-affected urban street vendors revive their trade and livelihood. The Indian American-led foundation is one of several receiving around $80 million in MacArthur grants centered on advancing racial and ethnic justice. Above: Indian women buy colorful bangles from a street vendor in Ranchi, Jharkhand, July 20. (ANI photo)

The MacArthur Foundation July 27 announced roughly $80 million in grants centered on advancing racial and ethnic justice, including some with a focus on helping communities in India.

The Equitable Recovery grants are funded by MacArthur’s social bonds, issued in response to the crises of the pandemic and racial inequity, a news release said.

“As we emerge from this moment of crisis, we have an opportunity to improve the critical systems that people and places need to thrive. Our systems and structures must be rebuilt,” said MacArthur president John Palfrey. “We are committed to ensuring that our response to the pandemic is focused on supporting the reimagining of systems that create a more just, equitable, and resilient world,” he said.

Among the grant recipients are the New York-based American India Foundation, receiving $400,000 for a two-year grant to support COVID-affected urban street vendors revive their trade and livelihood; Kolkata-based Child In Need Institute, which received $750,000 for two years to provide health information and services to communities affected by COVID-19; Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Cultural Survival, which received $900,000 for two years in support of Equitable Recovery for indigenous communities, notably in Northern India; Bangalore-based Give Foundation, which received $300,000 for one year to provide food relief through the India COVID Response Fund; Bangalore-based Karuna Trust, receiving $800,000 for one year to strengthen primary healthcare infrastructure for COVID-19 management in India; Bangalore-based SELCO Foundation, with a one-year $200,000 grant to support the COVID-19 response in the state of Odisha by creating an inclusive and climate-smart healthcare infrastructure; and Pune-based Swayam Shikshan Prayog, which received $350,000 for seven months to provide COVID-19 relief for marginalized communities in 100 villages of Western India.

The MacArthur Foundation is supporting work in four areas: racial justice; self-determination of indigenous people; public health equity and COVID-19 mitigation and recovery; and an equitable housing demonstration project.

MacArthur also will take a leadership role in positioning reparations and racial healing as issues that philanthropy helps to meaningfully address, it said.

Self-determination of indigenous peoples supports uplifting indigenous communities to enable autonomous pursuit of a recovery guided by their priorities, cultures, and practices, the release noted.

Public health equity and COVID-19 mitigation and recovery supports improving access to resources for immediate health challenges while advancing new policies, models, and structures to support a more equitable and resilient public health sector in the future.

An equitable housing demonstration project supports restoring communities and reducing incarceration and housing instability by generating an array of housing solutions that can help to permanently end the use of jails and prisons as housing of last resort, the foundation added.

MacArthur identified the areas through a participatory process with a diverse group of external advisers. The foundation’s participatory process aimed to center the voices of communities that are affected by its decisions and have a stake in the grantmaking outcomes.

Almost two-thirds of the awards represent new grantee relationships, and most of the organizations are Black, indigenous, and people of color-led or -serving.

The grants also reflect MacArthur’s global reach, with 45 percent of the new funding supports work outside of the U.S., including 12 percent in India, and 14 percent in Nigeria, where MacArthur has offices, the release notes.

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