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 Deadline January 20, 2015

Important things to keep in mind:

Click here to download the application form for the We Shall Overcome Fund.

Email file to Elizabeth Wright at Elizabeth@highlandercenter.org


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. For example, if your event will occur in June 2014, you should apply by the January 15, 2015 deadline.


Contact: Tufara Muhammad for more information
Phone: 865-335-2443 Email: tufara@highlandercenter.org