RISE TOGETHER FUND

TOWARD AN INCLUSIVE, EQUITABLE, AND JUST SOCIETY

America is a land of diverse races and faiths, but not all communities have experienced equal protection or justice as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. In particular, Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities frequently experience acts of anti-Muslim bigotry and xenophobia as well as structural and societal barriers designed to sideline these growing and influential communities. Nevertheless, Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities are rising together locally and nationally to build community power and resilience, to diversify the media coverage of Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities, and to advocate for the rights of their communities and all those impacted by racism and xenophobia. As the only national donor collaborative dedicated to supporting MASA communities, the RISE Together Fund bolsters the critical work of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian individuals, organizations and communities to defend and uphold the Rights of their communities, leading to Inclusion in a just, multi-racial democracy. Our name reflects our understanding that we must build relationships and Solidarity within the Muslim, Arab and South Asian field and with allies across social and racial justice movements in order to realize Equity and justice in America. We will achieve Rights, Inclusion, Solidarity, and Equity (RISE) Together. As we do this, our role goes beyond traditional grantmaking. We intentionally direct our grants toward building long-term, sustainable movements, and then also work alongside our grantees and others in the Muslim, Arab and South Asian field to help them grow, connect, and develop a collective voice.

Our Impact

In 2018, RTF released our landscape research study, “Reshaping the Country: The Growth of Muslim, Arab and South Asian Communities in the United States,” which examined areas of the country where Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities are growing most quickly around the US but are under-resourced. One of the key metro-regions we came across through this study was in Minnesota. In June 2019, RTF Program Officer Claire Downing conducted a site visit in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, meeting with local organizations, allies, and staff of a local elected official. In addition, we partnered with the Minnesota Council on Foundations and four community funders to host a half-day briefing on our Muslim, Arab and South Asian growth and landscape research in the Twin Cities greater metro area on October 17 with more than 40 attendees, enhancing the relationships we had made in this region. Following the event, we surveyed the attendees, 80% of which said they would consider making a grant to one of the groups featured on the two panels we curated.

Georgia Muslim Voter Project is expanding the Muslim, Arab and South Asian electorate in a crucial Southern state (where Muslim, Arab and South Asian populations are growing). In 2019, GAMVP made a deliberate decision to expand their work within Georgia given the clear needs and potential within the state, rather than to expand their national presence. GAMVP applied a methodical approach when selecting which new Georgia counties to begin working within. They looked at the population density of each precinct in Georgia, matched it to a surname match for likely Muslim voters, then compared these two figures to the number of mosques in the area. This analysis led GAMVP to decide to expand further into Bibb, Chatham, and Clarke counties, building on their existing presence in Gwinnett, DeKalb, Fulton and Cobb counties. In 2020, GAMVP has engaged in their civic engagement work across these new regions, making tactical pivots since the COVID outbreak. They have partnered with local restaurants and grocery stores to place QR codes that link to a voter registration site, registering 41 people in the span of just two weeks. GAMVP understands the new reality and has adjusted to ensure their communities are not left behind and continue to be supported.

In 2019, a number of MASA organizations including RTF grantees like SAALT, Sikh Coalition, and others including rapid response grantee Adhikaar, responded to the increasing detention of South Asian Americans at borders with translation and know your rights support, as well as galvanizing broad, multiracial coalitions to call attention to this new and disturbing trend. Similarly, the detention and deportation of Iranian Americans, particularly students, increased in late 2019 as the U.S. and Iran came to the brink of war, and Muslim, Arab and South Asian organizations including RTF grantees NIAC, rapid response grantee Council on American-Islamic Relations-Washington (CAIR-WA) and convening fund grantee Muslim Justice League provided organizing and advocacy support including at border crossings and airports. In 2020, RTF is also working closely with aligning movements such as anti-war coalitions and immigrant rights organizations to emphasize that Muslim, Arab and South Asian voices and perspectives must be included in any efforts related to South Asian and/or Iranian detention and deportation.

  • Local Level

    In 2018, RTF released our landscape research study, “Reshaping the Country: The Growth of Muslim, Arab and South Asian Communities in the United States,” which examined areas of the country where Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities are growing most quickly around the US but are under-resourced. One of the key metro-regions we came across through this study was in Minnesota. In June 2019, RTF Program Officer Claire Downing conducted a site visit in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, meeting with local organizations, allies, and staff of a local elected official. In addition, we partnered with the Minnesota Council on Foundations and four community funders to host a half-day briefing on our Muslim, Arab and South Asian growth and landscape research in the Twin Cities greater metro area on October 17 with more than 40 attendees, enhancing the relationships we had made in this region. Following the event, we surveyed the attendees, 80% of which said they would consider making a grant to one of the groups featured on the two panels we curated.

  • State Level

    Georgia Muslim Voter Project is expanding the Muslim, Arab and South Asian electorate in a crucial Southern state (where Muslim, Arab and South Asian populations are growing). In 2019, GAMVP made a deliberate decision to expand their work within Georgia given the clear needs and potential within the state, rather than to expand their national presence. GAMVP applied a methodical approach when selecting which new Georgia counties to begin working within. They looked at the population density of each precinct in Georgia, matched it to a surname match for likely Muslim voters, then compared these two figures to the number of mosques in the area. This analysis led GAMVP to decide to expand further into Bibb, Chatham, and Clarke counties, building on their existing presence in Gwinnett, DeKalb, Fulton and Cobb counties. In 2020, GAMVP has engaged in their civic engagement work across these new regions, making tactical pivots since the COVID outbreak. They have partnered with local restaurants and grocery stores to place QR codes that link to a voter registration site, registering 41 people in the span of just two weeks. GAMVP understands the new reality and has adjusted to ensure their communities are not left behind and continue to be supported.

  • Federal Level

    In 2019, a number of MASA organizations including RTF grantees like SAALT, Sikh Coalition, and others including rapid response grantee Adhikaar, responded to the increasing detention of South Asian Americans at borders with translation and know your rights support, as well as galvanizing broad, multiracial coalitions to call attention to this new and disturbing trend. Similarly, the detention and deportation of Iranian Americans, particularly students, increased in late 2019 as the U.S. and Iran came to the brink of war, and Muslim, Arab and South Asian organizations including RTF grantees NIAC, rapid response grantee Council on American-Islamic Relations-Washington (CAIR-WA) and convening fund grantee Muslim Justice League provided organizing and advocacy support including at border crossings and airports. In 2020, RTF is also working closely with aligning movements such as anti-war coalitions and immigrant rights organizations to emphasize that Muslim, Arab and South Asian voices and perspectives must be included in any efforts related to South Asian and/or Iranian detention and deportation.

Our Grantmaking

Hear directly from our grantees on their triumphs, challenges, and hopes for the future:

340

Total 501(c)(3) Grants To-Date

$15,691,991

33

501(c)(4) Grants To-Date

$1,990,992

500+

Organizations Reached

Click here to explore all RISE Together Fund grants
Explore RTF Grants
Apply for a rapid response grant
Read the RFP

Our Strategy

  • Build the pipeline of leadership
  • Grow philanthropic support for Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities
  • Increase civic engagement
  • Build broad-based, racial justice focused coalitions
  • Shape coordinated, strategic messaging
  • Support the vision for a long-term, sustainable movement

We Support

  • Grassroots organizing
  • Civic engagement
  • Youth engagement
  • Local policy advocacy
  • Federal policy advocacy
  • Legal support/Know Your Rights
  • Communications

#NoMuslimBanEver

On June 27, 2018 the Supreme Court upheld the "Muslim Ban," siding with the Trump administration. The RTF played a central role in the national and regional mobilization efforts to oppose these Executive Orders. The #NoMuslimBanEver campaign has been a watershed in Muslim, Arab and South Asian leadership, putting the voices of the most impacted at the forefront of a truly intersectional national grassroots movement.

Get in Touch

What's your relationship to the field?