June 25, 2017
 
Nonprofits Get $190K to Protect Immigrants, Assist Poor Families

March 31, 2017 — The Boston Foundation this week announced that it has granted nearly $170,000 in grants to 11 Boston nonprofits that protect the legal rights of immigrants and other vulnerable communities, and awarded $20,000 to a legal services nonprofit to help poor families maintain heat and power.

“Regardless of one’s politics, the current policy shifts have created an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty, and organizations that support our diverse population are under increased stress to carry out their mission,’ said Paul Grogan, president and CEO of The Boston Foundation (TBF). “These grants support a cohort of organizations whose missions include the protection of legal rights of immigrants, LGBTQ, and other vulnerable communities.

"Our foundation was created to build and sustain a vital, prosperous city and region, where justice and opportunity are extended to everyone, and that work is as important now as it has ever been over the past 100 years.”

The following organizations received the "action response grants," although, in contrast to its normal practice, TBF did not break out amounts given to each:
  • African Community Economic Development of New England (ACEDONE)
  • Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, formerly known as GLAD, but which recently renamed itself as the GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders
  • Greater Boston Legal Services, Asian Outreach Unit
  • Hyde Square Task Force
  • International Institute of New England
  • Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
  • Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice
  • Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
  • Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
  • Student Immigrant Movement
Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, said, “As our communities face an unprecedented wave of hate, the legal resources for civil rights enforcement are limited,” said “Support from the Boston Foundation will allow us to rapidly mobilize and advocate for hate crimes investigations and civil rights enforcement in response to the growing number of incidents in Greater Boston.”

Yusufi Vali of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, said, “This grant could not have come at a better time. Our Center is the symbol of Islam in Boston, and now more than ever, both the Muslim community and our broader Greater Boston community are reaching out to us to understand the impact of the new administration’s policies and to establish policies to fight threats together."

"As the voice of the organized Jewish community in the public square, JCRC remains committed to advocating for policies supporting immigrants and refugees, civil rights, and religious tolerance,” said Jeremy Burton, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston.

National Consumer Law Center Gets $20K to Help Poor Families

The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), a Boston nonprofit that serves low-income consumers, recently received a $20,000 grant from TBF to help poor families maintain heat and power.

NCLC received the grant as part of TBF's Open Door Grants Program, which supports organizations providing immediate, direct help to residents struggling to meet basic needs during the winter season as well as systemic efforts benefiting vulnerable households for the long term.

The grant will support NCLC's Project Stay Connected, which is also funded by an anonymous donor.

“These charitable resources from local foundations are serving a critical need,” said NCLC Executive Director Rich Dubois. “The cost of energy sources (electricity, natural gas, and heating oil) in Massachusetts are among the highest of any state in the U.S., and a large percentage of our neighbors have incomes too low to afford their heat and utilities. Project Stay Connected is critical to protecting thousands of households who face utility terminations, or have to go without food to pay for their heat.”

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