Southern Partners Fund Awards Nearly $400,000 in 2012 Grants to Support Community Organizing in the Rural South

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SPF Grants support a wide variety of human and civil rights efforts including voting rights, immigrant rights and education reform

Southern Partners Fund (SPF) awarded nearly $400,000 in grants to more than 75 rural community-based organizations across the south in 2012. Funding to these widely diverse grassroots organizations supported efforts ranging from voter education and get out the vote activities in North Carolina, to immigrant rights advocacy in Alabama as well as educational reform, environmental justice activism and youth leadership programs in Mississippi. Since its creation in 1998, SPF has awarded $9 million to grassroots groups in the rural South.

Southern Partners Fund is an Atlanta-based regional grant making foundation created to give voice and opportunity to marginalized and underserved families and communities in the rural south. The organization combines the power of grassroots controlled grant making with capacity building programming for its grantees. “Citizens across the nation are demanding that we pay more attention to issues like economic inequality, immigration, social equality for gays, and improved access for voters - issues fundamental to a vision of ever widening inclusion and the hope this engenders for America,” said SPF Interim Executive Director, Ron White. “We at SPF find broad alignment with this call to action and philanthropy’s mission to promote the common good. SPF’s focus is on building the capacity of rural community organizations with funding, programming and networking, to ultimately transform the South’s rural communities into a highly connected, democratically controlled, broad-based network with the ability to influence the social and economic destiny of the region.”

Many of our grantees have over 40 years of experience using creative strategies to build strong communities. Our grantee partners are from areas of the South where organizing and community were rooted in the Civil Rights Movement and the Latino Farmworker Movement. The organizations and leadership that we fund live and walk in a historical reality that includes communities from: Selma, Alabama to Tupelo, Mississippi to New Orleans, Louisiana, to farm worker communities in Apopka, Florida, to Appalachian women in rural West Virginia.”

The following nine Southern states received SPF grants from its 2012 Regular Grant Cycle, Justice Fund for Disaster Relief and Renewal, and Special Initiative and Discretionary Funds:

  •     Alabama ($53,000)
  •     Arkansas ($11,000)
  •     Florida ($38,800)
  •     Georgia ($101,808)
  •     Mississippi ($53,900)
  •     North Carolina ($93,211)
  •     South Carolina ($21,500)
  •     Tennessee ($19,000)
  •     West Virginia ($5,270)

Southern Partners Fund is a 501(c) (3) public foundation created to serve grassroots social change organizations throughout the Southeastern U.S. The organization supports work in more than 200 rural communities across 12 states; Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Our Mission is to support rural Southern communities and organizations seeking social, economic, and environmental justice by providing them with financial resources, technical assistance and training, and access to systems of information and power to shift the balance of power in their communities.

Want to learn more or contribute to Southern Partners Fund’s effort to bring equity and prosperity to the South? Visit us: http://www.spfund.org.

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Rose Johnson

Rasheedah Ali
Southern Partners Fund
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