We Shall Overcome Fund

“We Shall Overcome” served as the theme song of the Civil Rights Movement and is now a worldwide anthem for freedom and justice. Since 1966, the Highlander Research and Education Center has administered the We Shall Overcome Fund, which is generated by royalties from the commercial use of the song “We Shall Overcome.”

 

We Shall Overcome Fund support has been vital to the success of cultural and social programs in rural and urban communities throughout the South. Our funding provides critical support to initiate and sustain innovative efforts at the nexus of culture and social change.

 

Purpose

 

Created to nurture grassroots efforts within African American communities to use art and activism against injustice, the We Shall Overcome Fund supports organizing in the South that is at the nexus of culture and social change.

 

Because of the song’s history and use in the primarily southern-based struggle against racism and injustice, African American communities must benefit from Fund-supported projects. We strongly encourage proposals from diverse racial and ethnic communities working in coalition to end racism, economic and environmental injustice, sexism and homophobia.

The We Shall Overcome Fund supports a wide range of projects including:

-Performance and visual arts projects linked to or directly serving efforts that seek to transform unjust social, economic, and political environments/conditions/imbalances.

Workshops, conferences, and research projects that use arts and culture to build coalitions, share information, inspire, and mobilize people to take action

-Preservation of Civil Rights Movement documents; multi-media research projects that document and share the history of the Movement

We Shall Overcome Fund support has been vital to the success of cultural and social programs in rural and urban communities throughout the South. Our funding provides critical support to initiate and sustain innovative efforts at the nexus of culture and social change.

Application Information

For projects that use arts, culture and community activism to organize for social, economic, and political justice to the benefit of African American communities. Requests are accepted from Alabama, Arkansas, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Who Can Apply?

Cultural Activists
Educators
Organizers
Organizations

Project funding not to exceed $2,000

To apply you must complete an application form.

Next Open Date

January 2021 (Deadline Monday, February 1).

Important things to keep in mind

The application form requires:

– Applicant contact information (including full name, phone number, address, email address, social media handles for person and/or organization)
-3 signed letters of support
-Budget
-Budget narrative (no more than one page which explains use of all requested funds)
-Work samples (hyperlinks or uploads to support your grant narrative)
-Project description (must fit in application box, 1-2 pages)

Grant Instructions

Project Description: Submit a brief description of the project in a 1 to 2-page letter: location, aims—be sure to include how the project will blend culture and social change, proposed outcome(s), and your qualifications to carry out the project.

Project Budget: Include a project budget showing how the requested funds will be used. Please remember: Project funding is not to exceed $2,000. If your project will require support beyond the funding limit of the Fund, please state how you intend to obtain additional monies needed.

Letter of Support: Attach reference letters from three individuals or organizations in your community who know of your work and support your application but who are not affiliated with your organization or, if you are an individual, with your project. References should describe and comment on you or your organization’s work in the areas of arts, culture, and social change and should specifically address your or your organization’s ability to carry out the proposed project.

Please Note: If your project is funded, you will be required to acknowledge the We Shall Overcome Fund in literature, programs, and advertisements for the funded event or project and to submit a final report within 30 days of the funded event or project completion. If a final report is not submitted, future applications will not be considered.

Final Report Instructions: Within 30 days, submit the description of your final project, attendance numbers, press coverage, success and challenges, testimonials, event flyer, video, audio and other documentation via the final report form.

Please Note: It can take at least 30 days after a deadline for applications to be processed and funding decisions to be made. Therefore, if your project/event will occur within 30 days of a deadline, you should apply during the previous grant cycle.

Contact: Coy@highlandercenter.org

Contact Us

1959 Highlander Way

New Market, TN 37820

(865) 933-3443