Special Initiative in 2017 aims to bolster organizations’ capacity to respond to shifting national context.
Announced with a blog post from Barr’s president and trustee, Jim Canales, in March 2017, this Special Initiative seeks to be responsive to dramatic shifts in the national context, to increased polarization, and to growing concerns about threats to equity and opportunity for vulnerable populations. Its two goals are:
To support frontline organizations working with vulnerable communities, promoting human rights, and protecting civil liberties in Massachusetts through legal protection, community education and organizing, and public awareness efforts.
To strengthen and sustain journalism in the United States as an essential part of democracy, with a focus on investigative journalism and protections for freedom of the press.
Consistent with our approach across Barr’s core program areas, this Special Initiative combines a regional focus with selective national engagement. Most grants offer unrestricted operating support, and nearly all are multi-year grants, to provide some stability after a time when some organizations are experiencing a one-time influx of resources, but are uncertain about the continuation of that support.
As of August 1, 2017, Barr has awarded 17 grants totaling $3,035,000 as part of this Special Initiative. Information on these grants is available below.