Created to nurture grassroots efforts within African American communities to use art and activism for justice, the We Shall Overcome Fund supports organizing in the South that is at the nexus of culture and social change. Started in 1966 and housed at Highlander, the Fund provides small grants ($2,000 maximum) for projects that reflect a blend of culture and struggle, embodied in the primary anthem of the Civil Rights Movement, “We Shall Overcome.”
During the grant cycle ending January 15, 2009, twelve $1,000 grants were awarded. The following is a list of the recipients and their projects:
- 2nd Chance Organization, Inc. (Lexington, MS) – “Where are the Children?”
- Action Communication and Education Reform (Duck Hill, MS) – Project CAM
- African American Connection of the Performing Arts (Cave Spring, GA) – “Remembering Our Past and Securing Our Future”
- Black Community Developers, Inc. (Little Rock, AR) – Non-violence through Literacy
- The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. (Knoxville, TN) – Youth Theatre Festival
- Emerging ChangeMakers Network (Mobile, AL) – Selma Leadership Summit
- Jean Childs Young Institute for Youth Leadership (Atlanta, GA) – Youth Leadership Program: Youth Empowerment Forum 2009
- Kaleidoscopic Productions (Bowie, MD) – Celebrating Our Civil Rights Legacy
- Men Under Guidance Acting Before Early Extinction (M.U.G.A.B.E.E.) (Utica, MS) – Race Peace (Mississippi)
- Patrick Oliver (Little Rock, AR) – Reading and Writing for Success Training Workshops
- People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources (PODER) (Austin, TX) -Young Scholars for Justice: Understanding the Environment through Culture and Arts
- Voices in the Treetops (Paula Larke) (Stone Mountain, GA) – Stone Mountain Peace Tree Suite
Any person or non-profit group/organization that uses arts, culture and community activism to organize for social, economic and political justice to the benefit of African American communities may apply. Requests are accepted from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. The next deadline is June 1, 2009.
For more information about the January 2009 grantees and their projects, click here. For information about applying to the We Shall Overcome Fund, click here.