The Rights Faith & Democracy Collaborative (RFDC) is a newly created grantmaking fund that opposes the inappropriate use of religious exemptions to curtail reproductive health, rights and justice, discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community, and otherwise undermine fundamental rights and liberties essential to a healthy democracy. By focusing specifically on state-based initiatives, the RFDC seeks to strengthen movement capacity on the ground and support a diverse field of organizations engaged in innovative and comprehensive public education efforts, including related advocacy and organizing work in this area.
The vision of this new fund is to nurture strategies and organizations that:
- Seek to build smart and effective collaborations between the reproductive equity and LGBTQ movements, especially at the state and local level;
- Elevate the voices and influence of faith leaders and religious communities in supporting equal rights and opportunities for everyone while also protecting legitimate constitutionally protected religious liberty rights;
- Bring a racial justice lens to this work given the disproportionate impact on communities of color of discriminatory practices fostered by overly broad religious exemptions
In addition to nurturing and supporting this type of work, the RFDC will serve as a vehicle for broader donor education and mobilization in order to achieve deeper funder alignment as well as enhanced donor collaboration in this grantmaking area.
The RFDC was created in response to an urgent nationwide call to action to oppose ongoing and growing efforts in too many states to ‘legalize’ discrimination and restrict fundamental human and civil rights under the guise of protecting ‘religious liberty.’ By pooling their resources and efforts, the founding members of this donor collaborative and Proteus Fund hope to support and sustain a broad-based movement committed to a democracy based on equal rights and opportunities for all.