National Grassroots Organizing

GrASSROOTS organizing

National Grant Program

Featured grant partner stories
Human Rights Coalition

The Human Rights Coalition (HRC) was founded and is led by currently and formerly incarcerated people, their families, and supporters. It was formed to support families in coping with the stress and hardships created by having a loved one incarcerated, as well as to challenge the punitive, retributive nature of the penal system and to work to transform that into a model of rehabilitation and successful reintegration to society. HRC organizes to shut down toxic prisons, abolish solitary confinement, establish voting rights for incarcerated citizens, and the release of aging and elderly people in prisons.▸

Within what looks like a march or protest, a young black male holds a red and black banner with an older black woman. The banner reads: Human Rights Coalition.
Felony Murder Elimination Project

Felony Murder Elimination Project (FMEP) is a grassroots organization led by formerly incarcerated people and family members of individuals suffering under extreme criminal sentencing. FMEP are committed to ending the felony murder rule in California, an egregious form of sentencing which imposes life without parole and death penalty sentences on individuals for the actions of others. FMEP has created an advocacy pipeline between individuals currently serving extreme sentences and those seeking to end extreme sentencing on the outside. Their campaign seeks to educate the general public on the extremely disturbing racial disparities in extreme sentencing, the misshapen laws that have lead to the punishment of survivors of domestic abuse and the way in which these laws trap young people in endless punishment.
In 2023, FMEP will continue to outreach, orient and include family members of individuals serving extreme sentences in the statewide campaign to end draconian punishment. They will utilize their broad cohort of directly impacted people to educate the public on the horrifying consequences of felony murder sentencing. FMEP will put pressure on state institutions, including District Attorney’s offices, the CDCR, and the Board of Parole Hearings through grassroots organizing. Finally, they will continue promoting the leadership of directly impacted people by participating in broad coalitional justice reform work. ▸

Artistic drawing of man holding a portrait of a loved one who is incarcerated. A circular shape behind the man appears like a sun, with a note saying, "27 years behind bars, for the action of another, and every day, I wish you were home"
Artwork by Kate Deciccio
Adelante Student Voices

Adelante Student Voices is a network of undocumented youth activists across New York State that brings together students, their families, educators, and other allies using a popular education model that centralizes the experience of undocumented youth from small towns and rural areas when identifying issues and solutions. Young people become members as high school or GED students when they participate in Adelante’s intensive Summer Program. Adelante not only offers support to students when seeking access to higher education, but also provides the space and tools for the members to make social change through participation in campaigns and coalitions.

Funding was provided in support of Adelante’s transition to direct organizing, including hiring a part time Youth Organizer. In the past, they have participated in grassroots coalitions. Now, the youth want to take on leadership roles as youth organizers in direct organizing. They are preparing a campaign aimed at discrimination against immigrants students within K-12 school systems. ▸

Latina/Latino youth stand and kneel together with handmade signs supporting immigration form. In front of them is a colorful sign saying, "Citizenship for All"
Photo: Alicia Lewis
Homes for All St. Louis

Homes For All St. Louis (HFASTL) convenes housing adjacent organizations together to create a more renter-friendly environment in policy, housing quality and economic stability. HFASTL organizes tenants, builds tenant associations, provides free legal and advocacy through their Renter Hotline, and advocates for renter-friendly policy. Tenant leader(s) are the primary organizers in their buildings, and receive training in campaign and strategy development, power analysis, etc. Once tenant associations are built and formalized, they act as an accountability mechanism for the landlord and can wage a comprehensive campaign to improve living conditions.
HFASTL’s current ongoing organizing and campaign efforts are organizing four apartment complexes (Odin properties) on the west side of the City of St. Louis experiencing poor housing conditions, illegal evictions and gentrification pressures, and passing a tenants bill of rights (TBOR) ordinance in the City of St. Louis. ▸

A group of people walk along a sidewalk holding a white banner with black painted words across that reads: Eviction Kills. There are cartoon images of skulls on the banner. A protester leads the group holding a loudspeaker.
Photo: Richard Reilly
Black Workers Matter – Chicago West Side

Black Workers Matter is an independent group of workers fighting discrimination/segregation in hiring and on the job in Chicago West Side industrial districts. Black Workers Matter is a movement made up and governed by worker-members that targets the “Segregationist Employment Model”, a strategy to suppress wages by dividing workers–isolating and exploiting immigrant workers while practicing other discrimination against U.S.-born and Black workers. BWM gives attention to the discrimination against Black workers, while being committed to Solidarity—uniting workers of all identities—as the key to power. In the long term, BLM aims to end management domination by organizing cooperative control.▸

A group of black workers and white allies stand on a city sidewalk with signs and a banner that reads: Black Workers Matter
Black Hills Clean Water Alliance

Black Hills Clean Water Alliance (BHCWA) is a membership-based grassroots alliance that protects the region’s water by opposing new large-scale uranium, lithium, gold and rare earth mining in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. Native and women-led, BHCWA focuses on environmental justice, especially for indigenous people, both within and outside the organization, and is one of the few multi-racial organizations in an area that is deeply divided by race.

BHCWA utilizes direct action, training and mentorship efforts, organizing around environmental review processes, legal cases, coalition-building, social media, public events, and media outreach, to fight environmentally destructive mining proposals. ▸

A group of older folks appear to be protesting near a community square by a fountain. Two older men hold a banner that reads: Don't Stress - Take Action! Say "NO MORE MINING"
Photo: Carla Rae Marshall