In 2020, on-the-ground, relentless, strategic and long-term organizing of community groups turned out voters in record numbers. Relationships rooted in deep trust inspired staff and volunteers to go into communities and work on the ground in spite of personal risk of illness (COVID) and threats and intimidation by right wing entities. Years of community-level leadership development fueled organizers to stay in the fight long after the rest of us were tired. In retaliation against the power of a growing electorate of working class people of color, voter suppression laws have been enacted in many states including the brutal blow this past week to the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. Even as the right is emboldened and becoming more militant, our social movements remain strong, undeterred and up to the challenge of scaling their imaginative, structural change work.
To accompany this movement-led work, we are reenergizing Solidaire Action, the political power building arm of Solidaire Network.
With the help of our fiscal sponsor, Tides Advocacy, and a newly formed Advisory Board of donor members and movement leaders, we are honored to roll out a new strategy and a new website. Please join us through your giving and through your actions.
Since our origin ten years ago, the Solidaire community has believed in and flanked social movements as a necessary force for progressive power building in the United States and beyond.
We have long funded actions that protect the vote, strengthen local organizing capacity, advance campaigns and nurture independent political organizations. We believe that our social movements can and do avert authoritarianism and build a genuine democracy, where all people can live with dignity and thrive.
And yet we know that long-term funding and support remains woefully in short supply to help our communities transform fragile wins into durable political power. No single issue, consultant, group, organization or strategy has ever won progressive victories alone. These wins have been the culmination of decades of organizing, with multi-issue, multiracial, intergenerational coalitions, alliances, networks and social movements, often led by working class people of color.
We are honored to fund and partner long-term with many such movement organizations that are employing a multiplicity of strategies to build power with deep accountability.
Without their strategies, a multiracial democracy will remain a fading dream!
We are inspired by movement partners like Our Voice Our Vote Arizona, a member-led organization that is building power by mobilizing voters, training the next generation of leaders, electing champions into office, and holding elected officials accountable. Another movement partner, Native Peoples Action, provides Alaska Native communities and their traditional values with a voice at all levels of policy making. WV Can’t Wait, another movement organization, reminds us that for too long, the wealthy good ol' boys club—of both parties—has rigged the system against the working people of the state. Three years since inception, they have recruited and trained hundreds of local candidates who refuse to take corporate cash and who answer to the working people of West Virginia. In 2020, six state-based Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) c4 organizations united to form Asian American Power Network (AAPN); their aim was to create strong, well-resourced c4 infrastructure to help build an America where AAPI communities have equal power and access. AAPN is now growing its base building partners doing year-round organizing on progressive policy issues and working to elect local policy champions - from California to Pennsylvania to North Carolina.
To learn about our current grantee partners, please check out our website.
Through Solidaire Action, we aim to expand and increase long-term, general operating support funding to movement partners.
This strategy is a direct and deliberate response to our movement partners’ mandates to fund them to win for the long haul. We aim to be led in all we do by our movement grantee partners who are the true experts of what it will take to achieve lasting social, cultural, political and ecological transformation for politics, people and the planet.
We know that the funding landscape for democracy is vast and deep with seasoned leadership. We know we have much to learn from our peers and allies. We also believe that together, we will make progressive governing power a reality by building as movements say, a bigger “We”. Our grassroots organizers have taught us that we have to engage in principled struggle and dialogue so that our energies, resources and efforts are not wasted on interpersonal conflicts, credit siphoning and short-termism.
We have an opportunity to organize so much wealth in the United States towards our shared vision of a multiracial, pluralistic, feminist democracy.
To that end, Solidaire Action will continue to take a movement building approach in our work to organize donors, funders and other philanthropies. We will demonstrate new solidarities with each other to build a collective project towards resourcing lasting movement infrastructure for liberation. We will lead with our values of abundance, interdependence, mutuality, and trusting the leadership of movements. Our social movements are imaginatively building a united front for democracy, justice and liberation.
It’s time philanthropy did the same.