PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Meyer Memorial has Trust announced 150 Annual Funding Opportunity grants, totaling $21.3 million, to organizations working to create a more equitable and flourishing Oregon. These grants will support organizations that work with and grow communities that have long experienced disparities.
Meyer redesigned its grants program five years ago and has since focused on investments that break down inequities through local and statewide policy and systems change. Last fall, in its 2019 Annual Funding Opportunity, Meyer awarded 142 grants, totaling $17.5 million.
The Central Oregon grants include:
For general operating support of FAN Advocate Services across Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties
To advocate for and support implementation of clean energy and efficiency upgrades for residents living on low-incomes in Deschutes County
To improve Latinx student achievement and leadership skills through school-based Spanish literacy and parent engagement in Central Oregon
For a collaborative that supports increasing outdoor access for central Oregon’s Latinx communities
For general operating support of this organization that convenes and facilitates collaborative efforts to meet in-stream and community water needs
To develop and implement a plan that will establish a sustainable, culturally relevant food system in the Warm Springs community
The AFO awards make up roughly two-thirds of Meyer’s annual grantmaking. In this tumultuous year, Meyer has awarded $1.9 million statewide in response to the pandemic, $250,000 for emergency wildfire relief in communities wrestling with the fires’ immediate aftermath and an additional $1 million for the 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund, a partnership with Oregon Community Foundation and Ford Family Foundation to invest in recovery and rebuilding — particularly for Oregon’s vulnerable communities.
In July, Meyer also awarded $1.3 million through Justice Oregon for Black Lives, a new five-year, $25 million initiative to invest in Black-led and Black-serving organizations, community well-being and lasting strategic change. RFPs and other opportunity grants make up the remainder of
Meyer’s grantmaking this year.
This batch of grants support people and communities across Oregon, from the Northeastern corner to the Southern coast. The awards center around innovative practices, economic justice, intersectional organizing, community-centered advocacy, healthy democracy and responsive operations – outcomes reflected in Meyer’s four portfolios:
● Civic engagement, community connection, belonging and systems change;
● Advancing education equity through systems and policy-level change while improving student achievement and college and career readiness;
● An environmental movement that is effective and relevant for all of Oregon’s diverse communities with impacts and benefits that are equitably distributed among them, coupled with healthy natural systems that adapt to changing conditions and long-term impacts;
● Stronger, more equitable and effective affordable housing systems and strategies, the increase and preservation of affordable rental units and, finally, housing stability and success for priority populations.
● 48 grants totaling $6.3 million through Meyer’s Building Community portfolio, which supports work that strengthens Oregon communities
● 31 grants totaling $4.4 million through the Equitable Education portfolio, working to advance education equity and improve student achievement
● 45 grants totaling $6 million through the Healthy Environment to nurture Oregon’s environment and diverse communities
● 26 grants totaling $4.5 million through the Housing Opportunities portfolio, working to build and preserve affordable housing units, strengthen the affordable housing sector and increase housing stability for marginalized Oregonians
● 51 grants totaling $7.8 million for general operating support sustain nonprofit organizations’ day-to-day operations.
● 10 grants totaling $1.4 million for advocacy efforts across the state
“We are proud to support community efforts that, taken together, help to show the way forward to a more flourishing and equitable state of Oregon,” said Kaberi Banarjee Murthy, Meyer’s director of program and strategy.
Some highlights among the awards:
● A $70,000 Building Community grant to Next Up for leadership development, voter engagement and policy advocacy work aimed at making Oregon a place where policymakers are more accountable to younger generations.more just and equitable Oregon
● A $185,000 Equitable Education grant to Chemeketa Community College to support the Biliteracy Pathway and Leadership Training for biliterate/bicultural teachers in Oregon
● A $250,000 Healthy Environment grant for Living Cully, a collaborative made up of Hacienda CDC, Native American Youth and Family Center, Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East and Verde to address disparities in housing, income, health, education and natural resources in Portland’s Cully neighborhood
● A $124,462 Housing Opportunities grant to JOIN for work that centers the voices of those with lived experience of homelessness and extreme housing instability in order to educate and inform public officials and decision-makers working to solve Oregon’s housing crisis
Established in 1982 from the estate of grocery store founder Fred G. Meyer, Meyer Memorial Trust has awarded grants and program-related investments in excess of $834 million to more than 3,400 organizations. With current assets of approximately $840 million, Meyer focuses on work in Oregon in four areas Oregonians have identified as crucial to making the state better for all its residents: housing, education, the environment and building stronger communities.
In July, Meyer launched Justice Oregon for Black Lives, a five-year, $25 million initiative to uplift Black Oregonians, leadership and organizations by deepening investment in Black-led and Black-serving organizations, community well-being and lasting strategic change. Learn more at mmt.org.
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