Solidarity Collaborative - Proteus Fund

The United States has the potential to be the only Western democracy to peacefully transfer power from a white, cisgender male majority to a multi-identity majority— bound together by a set of democratic values more than a shared history, culture, race, ethnicity, or religion.

As the events of January 6, 2021 or the hate-motivated shootings in Charleston, Buffalo, El Paso, and Oak Creek starkly demonstrate, a transition to a majority with shared commitments to democracy, inclusion, and equality is not a given. Fully realizing an inclusive, just democracy will require coordinated and sustained intervention to withstand attempts at division and create a sense of unity and shared destiny.

In recent years, funder support of the power-building work that is happening in Black, Latinx, Native, Indigenous, AAPI, Muslim, Arab, Sikh, Jewish, and South Asian communities has increased, but not enough philanthropic attention is being paid to equally vital efforts to create intentional solidarity between and among these communities and the larger movement to advance racial justice. Despite the urgency and necessity of this work, there are many headwinds that prevent it from naturally occurring. Overwhelmed leaders lack the dedicated space or resources needed to pursue it, and in cases where there are solidarity-centered responses to crisis situations, they are often not sustained after the crisis is over, because there is no clear shared framework or capacity for continued movement solidarity building. It will take intentional work on the part of philanthropy and movement leadership along with multi-year organizing investment to establish the kind of long-term interdependence—both in word and action—that will drive transformative change.

Proteus Fund has launched the Solidarity Collaborative as not only a logical but a critical next step in advancing intersectional racial justice movements. Drawing on the effective cross-movement strategies of Proteus Fund’s other donor collaboratives, the Solidarity Collaborative will work to support authentic, action-oriented relationships centered on solidarity among field organizations, promote promising work happening between organizations through grantmaking and programmatic support, and mobilize philanthropy to help resource and scale impactful solidarity in service of racial justice and an inclusive, representative democracy.

The Solidarity Collaborative is fueled by the belief that across movements, it is in the spaces where solidarity happens that an inclusive, representative democracy is most fully realized.

The collaborative’s work will also draw from and build upon existing efforts of leaders and organizations at the forefront of solidarity work—work that offers inspiring examples of what is possible with greater intentionality around and investment in robust solidarity efforts:

  • Muslim and South Asian leaders organizing trips to the US-Mexico border to bear witness and advocate against unjust detention and anti-immigrant practices.
  • Black and Latinx organizations standing in solidarity with AAPI groups as they navigated waves of anti-Asian hate.
  • South Asian organizations hosting convenings and power-planning retreats with black-led organizations to strategize how South Asians can helpfully support their work.
  • Sikh and Native youth convening to share experiences and organize together around societal regulation of their traditional practices.

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