Meet the foundations we that we are honoring virtually at 2021 NCRP Impact Awards
“SMASHING SILOS” AWARD FOR INTERSECTIONAL GRANTMAKING:
THIRD WAVE FUND
Since 1996, Third Wave Fund has resourced and supported youth-led, intersectional gender justice activism and organizing work. As a gender justice funder with leadership that reflects the communities they serve, Third Wave’s grantmaking and donor mobilizing strives to advance the community power, well-being and self-determination of young Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) most directly impacted by and best positioned to end gender oppression.
Third Wave recognizes that gender oppression is inextricably interrelated to classism, racism, and ableism, and that gender justice can only truly be achieved when all forms of oppression cease to exist. Some examples of grantees who reflect this commitment to this intersectional work include:
• G.L.I.T.S: Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society works to free Black trans women from the Rikers Island jail, and recently purchased a building to house Black trans people through a grassroots fundraising campaign.
• DJCC & CRC: Disability Justice Culture Club and Community Ready Corp coordinated BIPOC, trans, and queer, disabled and/or neurodivergent-led reciprocal mutual aid, care networks, and local organizing following the Bay Area’s stay-at-home order in 2020.
• When grantee Colectivo Intercultural TRANSgrediendo lost their leader, Lorena Borjas, to COVID-19 in the spring of 2020, the Sex Worker Giving Circle, housed at Third Wave, joined with them to mourn the loss of their elder and pillar for the community, and continued to resource their life-saving mutual aid work.
Sex workers remain consistently at the forefront of Third Wave’s funding by supporting grantees overturning local anti-sex worker laws, creating COVID-19 risk reduction materials, and resourcing jail support efforts for sex workers behind bars.
SUPPORTING THE ORGANIZER’S JOURNEYS OF GROWTH & HEALING
Third Wave recognizes that even though young people bring critical analysis and power to all movements for justice and collective liberation, few funds are available for BIPOC gender justice organizations in both moments of crisis and long-term sustainability.
Leaders say that philanthropy has a responsibility to be responsive and accessible to all people along the path to justice. Through monthly rapid-response grants, capacity-building resources, and multi-year funding, the fund supports grantee partners in working toward personal and structural change, focusing on gender, racial, economic, disability, healing, and transformative justice to achieve well-being, self-determination, and liberation for all.
When the initial impacts of the pandemic were felt in early 2020, Third Wave received ten times the amount of rapid response funding requests than any previous year. They pivoted swiftly, reallocated every spare dollar, and fundraised to move over a year’s worth of rapid response grants in 9 weeks. In total, Third Wave granted over two million dollars to gender justice movements across the U.S. and territories, nearly doubling our grantmaking budget from 2019.
Ultimately, Third Wave aims to shift decision-making power to the people and communities traditionally and continuously left out of philanthropy.
As Third Wave Co-Executive Director Ana Conner said in a Teen Vogue op-ed written in 2020, “At Third Wave Fund, we’re working toward a world where philanthropy is no longer needed because all people everywhere are flourishing. But we also recognize that we’re not there yet. Philanthropy is a system that helps justify the consolidation of power and wealth, giving foundations a way to do good even as they benefit from wealth inequality. But we know our movements need all kinds of support — including the financial resources philanthropy can and must provide. Right now, we need private foundations to serve grassroots movements, helping us transition to an equitable and just world.”
Co-Executive Director KiyomiFujikawa agrees.
“Our vision of a just world stands out boldly and unapologetically because we envision a world where people are fully resourced and empowered, and no longer need to rely on traditional philanthropic funding. In this world, wealth, power, and all forms of life-giving resources are redistributed and shared, and philanthropy is no longer understood as “charity” controlled by a few, but instead is in the hands of communities.”