TSNE Aids Grassroots Groups With Grants to Support Community Organizing


TSNE today announces grant initiatives aimed at supporting the efforts of grassroots, community groups in the region to organize and collaborate around issues impacting communities of color and emerging threats to the civil liberties of immigrants and other vulnerable populations.

TSNE awarded grants to six Massachusetts and Rhode Island-based networks through its Inclusion Initiative fund to support the collective efforts of the networks to develop new economic models that serve to lift people out of poverty. Each network was awarded a $33,000 Implementation Grant funding a broad range of projects including the formation of worker owned-cooperatives, a business incubator for Native American artists and the development of a resident-led network for direct equity investments in local businesses in Roxbury and Dorchester. This is the second round of funding for these networks who were awarded an Inclusion Initiative Planning Grant last year.

“TSNE is proud to be a partner in these transformative visions to develop systemic solutions to address the wealth inequality that persists in our communities of color,” says Trina Jackson, TSNE’s Practice Leader for Community Engagement. “They are modeling more democratic economic systems and putting people and planet over profit.”

Since beginning its grant making in 2001, TSNE has distributed and invested $6.3 million in direct support for community-based groups in the region. The Inclusion Initiative has funded 14 networks in Massachusetts and Rhode Island since 2014, distributing nearly $865,000 in collaborative, community-led solutions to solving the persistent and systemic problems that perpetuate poverty and wealth inequality.

“Through the Inclusion Initiative and other grants and community-based investments over the past two decades, TSNE has made a significant commitment to accelerating the efforts of grassroots groups to create strong and inclusive organizations and communities,” says Tammy Dowley-Blackman, Board President. “And, there has never been a better time for us to continue to expand our commitments to the work of the activists and advocates seeking to make a more just and equitable society for all of us.”

TSNE has also committed an additional $25,000 from its staff-led Innovation Fund to support the emerging needs of groups who are organizing urgent responses to policy shifts that impact the liberties of immigrants and other vulnerable populations. The additional grant funding will include a $4,800 donation to the Boston-based PAIR (Political Asylum/Immigration Representation) project to continue its efforts to provide free immigration services to indigent asylum-seekers and detained immigrants.

“The time is now—the need is great,” says Anita Sharma, Executive Director, PAIR Project. “It is critical for funders to step forward with resources to support groups on the front lines working with vulnerable people. We could not do this work without support from organizations like TSNE MissionWorks.”


TSNE’s Inclusion Initiative Grantees include:

BLUE HILL CORRIDOR PLANNING NETWORK (Boston, Mass.)  Awarded $33,000 to continue building a resident-led planning commission to monitor development in their neighborhoods and start a market for residents promoting their home- based businesses.

WAMPANOAG LANGUAGE CHILDREN’S HOUSE NETWORK (Mashpee, Mass.) Awarded $33,000 to assist native parents and children in public schools who are implementing a language reclamation project.

POWER NETWORK (Central Falls, R.I.) Awarded $33,000 to assist undocumented workers in developing worker-owned cleaning cooperatives.

STEP UP NETWORK (Providence, R.I.) Awarded $33,000 to support a youth-led network working to change public policy on police misconduct and racial profiling.

INDIGENOUS EMPOWERMENT NETWORK (Exeter, R.I.) Awarded $33,000 to develop an incubator for native artists and businesses to network and sell crafts to generate economic opportunities.

UJIMA PROJECT NETWORK (Boston, Mass.) Awarded $33,000 to implement a democratic, resident informed mechanism for direct equity investments in local businesses in Roxbury and Dorchester.