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September 27, 2021
Two Cambridge Nonprofits Get $1.4M to Advance Racial Justice

July 29, 2021 — Two Cambridge-based nonprofits—one that advocates for Indigenous people’s rights and the other that uses data and technology to make concrete change in the lives of Black people—recently received $1.4 million from the MacArthur Foundation to advance their work for racial and ethnic justice.

“As we emerge from this moment of crisis, we have an opportunity to improve the critical systems that people and places need to thrive. Our systems and structures must be rebuilt,” said MacArthur President John Palfrey. “We are committed to ensuring that our response to the pandemic is focused on supporting the reimagining of systems that create a more just, equitable, and resilient world.”

The grants were included in $80 million that the foundation awarded to organizations nationwide.

Receiving the grants were the following:

Cultural Survival, an Indigenous-led nonprofit that advocates for Indigenous Peoples' rights around the world, received $900,000 to support four programs: Community Media, Indigenous Rights Radio, the Keepers of the Earth Fund, and Bazaars (Sustainable Livelihoods).

Since, 1972, Cultural Survival has supported Indigenous communities' self-determination, cultures, and political resilience. The organization, according to the foundation, “works for a future that respects and honors Indigenous peoples' inherent rights and dynamic cultures and empowers Indigenous peoples to pursue their self-determination and sustain their lands, cultures, and ecosystems.”

Data for Black Lives, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of using data and technology to make concrete change in the lives of Black people, received $500,000 for general operating support.

Data for Black Lives is working to support a network of grassroots racial justice organizations to challenge discriminatory uses of data and algorithms across systems. The foundation noted, “With a national network of thousands of scientists and activists, it is working to build a future in which data and technology are forces for good, rather than instruments of oppression, in Black communities. The award provides general operating support to the organization.”

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