The Rising Tides of Justice

As we kick off 2024, we’re reflecting on the rising tides of justice and the urgency of our mission to shift power to communities who have been historically denied it. Across the United States and around the world, movement leaders are bravely speaking out and taking action to overcome systemic barriers and build a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities. Our work has never been more necessary, timely, and interconnected.

In 2023, attacks on affirmative action, reproductive justice, and democracy threatened to roll back decades of social progress. The philanthropic sector was rocked by an economic downturn and a slowdown in charitable giving. Undeterred, our donors continued to respond to our call to “get off your assets” through bold investments in service of our mission. With their support, we were able to grant $50 million through our Tides-led initiatives to frontline organizations advancing justice and equity. Together with our partners, we fought to protect our democracy, doubled down on our commitment to racial equity and justice, and centered the leadership of communities of color, women and girls, young people, and other underrepresented groups.

Let’s take a look back at some of Tides’ key power-shifting moments of 2023.

  • Tides Foundation’s Healthy Democracy Fund contributed $5.7 million to two ballot initiatives in Ohio to protect the ballot as a tool for direct democracy and restore abortion access through constitutional amendments.
  • Tides’ donor community granted $5 million to organizations providing emergency relief to communities impacted by the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. We also joined with other institutional funders, individual donors, and philanthropic institutions to call for an immediate ceasefire, the unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid to affected communities, and adherence to international humanitarian and human rights laws.
  • We partnered with Google to support their $20 million Cybersecurity Clinics Fund. The clinics, hosted at universities across America, help local, under-resourced organizations get the cyber assistance they need, while building a diverse pipeline of talent into the cybersecurity field.
  • We welcomed our second cohort of fellows from Bowie State University, Maryland’s oldest historically Black university, as part of our efforts to create a pathway into philanthropy for students from HBCUs.
  • Together with Legacy Plus, we hosted two fundraising events for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s family’s Realizing the Dream initiative, a collaboration to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington and to mark the 95th anniversary of Dr. King’s birth by launching a multiyear youth service program.
  • Tides relaunched The Stronger Together Fund, a joint effort between Tides Center and Tides Foundation, to provide partners with general operating support to build their internal capacity.
  • Tides Center provided capacity building on strategic financial planning, fundraising, and grant proposal writing to our fiscal sponsorship partners.
  • Anticipating the harmful, scapegoating rhetoric that emerges around immigrants every election season, Tides Foundation launched the Immigrants Belong (I-Belong) Fund to provide frontline BIPOC and immigrant-led organizations with resources to develop innovative, pro-immigrant media and storytelling content.
  • Building on our three-year, $3 million commitment to the Democracy Frontlines Fund, in 2023 we extended our commitment to enhance the resources we are able to offer to the Slate of Black-led organizations through the 2025–2026 grantmaking cycle.
  • Tides Foundation teamed up with the American Psychological Association to launch their Racial Equity Fund. This important initiative acknowledges the role of systemic racism in our institutions and seeks to repair harm caused by racial inequities in the field of psychology.
  • Tides Foundation and a consortium of foundations joined the Practitioners’ Voice California Fund, which granted nearly $2 million to community-based organizations focused on improving early childhood systems and supporting early childhood practitioners.
  • In 2023, the Trans Justice Funding Project, a Tides Foundation partner for 11 years, granted a record amount of funding to grassroots trans-led organizations fighting for safety, health, and dignity across the country.

Looking ahead to 2024, a critical year for our democracy and social justice, Tides will intentionally accelerate our power-shifting work with doers and donors to center and amplify the impact of proximate leaders. For example, Tides’ Healthy Democracy Fund will continue to support the nonpartisan activities of state and local organizations that are rooted in and led by people of color, young people, and low-income people to ensure their voices are protected and heard during this pivotal election cycle. Our Just Health Fund, which launched last year, will ramp up efforts to support reproductive justice and other pressing health equity issues affecting marginalized groups in the US. And as proximate leaders across the country face the most critical challenges of our time, Tides is more committed than ever to supporting the changemakers who will guide us toward a better future.

We are grateful to be on this journey with mission-aligned partners. Together we will channel our beliefs into collective, sustainable action for 2024 and beyond.

In solidarity,
Janiece Evans-Page
CEO, Tides

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