“Power, properly understood, is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political and economic change.” 

—Martin Luther King, Jr.

Girls’ Collectives in India

“Collectivizing” girls means regularly bringing groups of girls together to learn about shared challenges and take action toward common, long-term goals. 

In India, a country with a strong history of autonomous, feminist community organizing, American Jewish World Service supported feminist organizations who launched girls’ collectives as a strategy for empowering adolescent girls as movement leaders and agents of social change.

Awaaz-e-Niswan, 2015, by Jonathan Torgovnik

Montana Powerbuilding

Powerbuilding, for Kendeda, was a strategy to help get people more of what they want.

Kendeda consistently invested in helping Montana organizations working to build the voice of those with little or no ability to influence decisions that impact them.

We supported Western Native Voice, focused on the Native American community and Forward Montana, an effort of the younger generation building power through voter registration, education and civic engagement. We funded coalitions of sometimes disparate partners working together on a common goal, like the Gallatin Forest Partnership (GFP), made up of businesses, landowners, conservationists and mountain bikers to develop a common vision for the Gallatin range near Bozeman, MT.

Forward Montana

Montana State students registering to vote

Climate Justice

Addressing the root causes of climate change means focusing on economic and racial injustice, and building power and agency among communities on the front lines of the climate crisis.

The Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and US Climate Action Network, all long-time Kendeda partners, are leveraging the voice and wisdom of communities. Their work involves scaling up just transitions from extractive to regenerative economies that dismantle climate injustice and its impacts.

US Climate Action Network

People's Climate March

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

Justice League

Nine core grantees made up the heart of Kendeda’s Atlanta Equity portfolioa cohort that came to be known affectionately as the “Justice League.” These equity champions brought different lenses and approaches encompassing housing justice, educational equity, criminal justice reform, environmental justice and equitable wealth building.

In addition to investing deeply in each organization’s operations and growth, Kendeda supported them as a collective. This included funding several immersive retreats designed to provide space for reflection, relationship-building and collaborative strategizing.

Broadening the Gun Violence Prevention Movement

As a funder of gun violence prevention, Kendeda invested in a wide range of approaches to try and turn the tide on a uniquely American public health crisis. Chief among them: identifying emergent organizations who represented new voices, new perspectives and new solutions.

Community Justice showed that real solutions to gun violence are not possible without the voices and leadership of Black and brown communities. Guns Down America helped establish a left flank in the movement with its unapologetic “fewer guns everywhere” message. And Project Unloaded centered its work on culture change strategies to shift, generationally, the very nature of America's relationship to firearms.

Drawdown Georgia

While power building out in the world is critical, power sharing within philanthropy is often overlooked.

Drawdown Georgia’s Climate Solutions and Equity Grants Program focused on advancing equity-focused climate solutions in Georgia. The process mirrored the intention, with five family foundations partnering with a BIPOC women-led review panel from the community to broaden and diversify the initiative’s decision-making power. 

Voices of our Grantees

Beyond our grantmaking dollars, one of our most powerful contributions to social movements involved elevating the voices of grantee partners as movement leaders. 

Grantees across our program areas participated in processes to help clarify this moment and share their thinking on how their respective fields ought to evolve. Our commitment involved amplifying the “voices of our grantees” with our respective fields. 

We hope that funders and practitioners engage with these insights and use the wisdom to inform their approaches to future work.