Just Beginnings Collaborative (JBC) Announces #WeSeeYouFund to Alleviate Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on Work to End Child Sexual Abuse

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Coalition of survivor-leaders and funder allies is seeking to amplify healing, interrupting, and preventing child sexual abuse during critical public health moment

On May 11, 2020, Just Beginnings Collaborative (JBC) announced a call for grant proposals from survivor-led organizations working to end child sexual abuse amidst the current global health crisis. As part of the We See You Fund (#weseeyoufund), these grants will be available to organizations shifting their work and adapting practices in order to address the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The full call for proposals and application form are available at: http://justbeginnings.org/funding-opportunities/

Regional and national efforts to slow the spread of the virus continue to have unprecedented ramifications, one of which is the increased invisibility of children. Even prior to the pandemic, the sexual harming of children was simultaneously widespread and invisible. What little information is available paints a complicated picture: despite 70% of all reported sexual assaults in the United States involving someone under the age of 17, there is a lack of discussion, intervention, or prevention work occurring. Add to this the potentially vast number of cases that go unreported. JBC’s plan to give these immediate need grants is guided by the belief that, despite these obstacles, solutions exist and are appearing in this new landscape as well.

“We are acting quickly but not in despair,” said JBC Executive Director Nicole Pittman. “Our decision to launch the We See You Fund comes from a place of urgency and continued hope. The strains on our systems have made more children vulnerable. But they have also prompted novel solutions and turns to each other for help. Many people blocked from institutional access or opportunity have used mutual aid and collective strength to thrive. We want them to know that we see them, we hear them, and we want to amplify their creative strategies in this turbulent moment.”

JBC specifically centers work with multiply vulnerable children—Black and Indigenous, queer and trans, children with disabilities, and those without a permanent physical residence—who are at the greatest risk of harm at this time. Young people belonging to these groups are often overlooked by institutions, and in the midst of a public health crisis the support they may have had through community, extended family, friends, and organizers in the field is further limited. JBC’s call for proposals specifically seeks to support survivor-led efforts arising from communities that cannot readily rely on law enforcement, child welfare, or healthcare services.

“Now more than ever we must look to people who have been negotiating precariousness well before COVID-19. Their wisdom is a necessary ingredient to ending child sexual abuse and subsequent cycles of violence. With the announcement of the We See You Fund, we know this is a small first step, which is why we are also calling on the philanthropic community to keep this window of visibility open. We must act to aid the vulnerable and keep systemic problems from retreating to the periphery again.”

JBC’s We See You Fund application period will remain open from May 11, 2020 through May 29, 2020, but applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early. All applicants will be notified of their status within two weeks. Approved grantees will receive up to $5,000 in funding.

About Just Beginnings Collaborative
Since 2015, Just Beginnings Collaborative has cultivated an alliance of survivor-leaders and funders dedicated to ending child sexual abuse and fostering a branching process of interconnection to get there. We support survivor-centered efforts that propagate transformative practices in criss-crossing root systems. We align with funders who want those roots to penetrate the philanthropic world. We grow through and past binaries of good and evil. We advance a campaign to re-story child sexual abuse by traversing a vast horizontal root web of influences. Where others have seen only inevitability, we move in tremendous possibility.

JBC operates under the fiscal sponsorship of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (http://www.rockpa.org). For more information, please visit http://www.justbeginnings.org.

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Seth Stewart
@Just_Beginnings
since: 04/2020
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