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.”

Upcoming Deadlines:  June 1, 2017 

Important things to keep in mind:

June 2017 application form for We Shall Overcome Fund

Send the original application and all supporting documents to:

We Shall Overcome Fund

Highlander Research and Education Center

1959 Highlander Way

New Market, TN 37820

Or send the original application and all supporting documents as one file in an e-mail to the WSO address at wsoadmin@highlandercenter.org.

There’s also a final report to be mailed within one month after the completion of the project. Prompt submission of your report will assure the Committee’s favorable attention to future grant requests.


We shall Overcome Fund


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:

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.


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 the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Please Note: It can take up to 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:  Brandi Augustus
Phone: 865-360-8224 Email:  wsoadmin@highlandercenter.org