A total of $516,920 in grants have been awarded to 57 community-based nonprofit organizations responding to the COVID-19 crisis across the state of Maine, according to a news release from Andrea Berry, director of Communications and Engagement, Maine Initiatives, a community-based foundation based in Portland.

These grants are made from the COVID-19 Community Care Fund, which is an emergency response community fund that supports organizations working to advance racial justice in Maine, and the Immigrant-Led Organizations Fund, a pooled fund of the Immigrant & Refugee Funders Collaborative, established to support immigrant-led and immigrant-serving organizations in Maine.

These grants will ensure that grassroots organizations are able to connect people to immediate assistance, advocate on behalf of community members that are most directly impacted, and help to shape the long term response to injustices being exacerbated by this crisis.

“The COVID-19 crisis is a perfect example of how – if something goes wrong in our society – it goes more wrong for the people who have been pushed to the margins. The COVID-19 crisis is disrupting all our lives, but the disruption for the immigrant community, for indigenous communities, for black and brown folks is greater, which is why we prioritize organizations led by and serving those communities in our grantmaking. Justice requires that the voices, leadership and needs of those who are most directly impacted are centered in any response to this crisis,” said Phil Walsh, executive director of Maine Initiatives, according to the release.

The COVID-19 Community Care Fund is an emergency-response community fund: fully supported by generous donations from individuals and foundations from across the state. The fund is still accepting donations and Maine Initiatives will continue to make grants from this Fund to support organizations led-by and serving people who are the most vulnerable during this crisis.

Recipients of grants from the COVID-19 Community Care Fund include:
• Abbe Museum;
•Abyssinian Meeting House;
•American Friends Service Committee — Wabanaki Program;
•Black Artist Forum;
• Democracy Maine;
• Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective;
• Four Directions Development Corporation;
• Harriet Tubman Movement Coalition;
• Homeless Voices for Justice;
• Indigo Arts Alliance;
• Maine Center for Electronic Music;
• Maine Inside Out;
• Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition;
• Maine-Wabanaki REACH;
• Nibezun;
• Operation Breaking Stereotypes;
• Portland Outright;
• Raise-Op Housing Cooperative;
• Resources for Organizing and Social Change;
• Rise and Shine Youth Retreat;
• Southern Maine Workers’ Center;
• Sunlight Media Collective;
• Survivor Speak USA;
• The Third Place;
• Tree Street Youth; and
• Wabanaki Women’s Coalition.

Recipients of the Immigrant-Led Organizations Fund include:
• Angolan Community Association;
• Cambodian Community Association of Maine;
• Capital Area New Mainers Project;
• Choose Yourself;
• Congolese Community of Maine;
• Djiboutian American Empowerment Project;
• Gateway Community Services;
• Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center;
• Hope Acts;
• Immigrant Resource Center;
• In Her Presence;
• Intercultural Community Center of Maine;
• Ladder to the Moon Network (Amjambo Africa);
• Maine Access Immigrant Network;
• Maine Community Integration;
• Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services;
• Maine Immigrants Rights’ Coalition;
• Mano en Mano;
• New England Arab American Organization;
• New Mainers Public Health Initiative;
• New Roots Cooperative Farm;
• Portland Empowered;
• Presente! Maine;
• ProsperityME;
• Rwandese Community Association;
• Somali Bantu Community Association;
• Somali Community Center of Maine;
• South Sudanese Community Association of Maine;
• Sustainable Livelihoods Relief Organization;
• United Youth Empowerment Services; and
• Women United Around the World.

For more information about the COVID-19 Community Care Fund or to donate, go to bit.ly/communitycarefund or contact Berry at andrea@maineinitiatives.org.
For more information about the Immigrant-Led Organizations Fund and/or the Immigrant & Refugee Funders Collaborative, contact Shima Kabirigi, coordinator of the Immigrant & Refugee Funders Collaborative Program officer, Maine Initiatives, at shima@maineinitiatives.org.

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