“Gun violence affects all our communities, and disproportionately impacts youth of color. Young people across the country are providing the leadership we need to put a stop to gun violence. They are a powerful force for change, and we need invest in them to help them achieve their vision for a safe future for all. We stand with our nation’s youth in saying enough.”—Deborah Rappaport, founder and CEO, Rappaport Family Foundation
We are proud to announce the latest cohort of RFF Spark Initiative grantees, three organizations working to prevent gun violence by building the leadership, power and voice of students, particularly community college students. These new grants are part of our pledge to invest up to $2 million over the next two years in initiatives and efforts to mobilize, train and develop student leaders to protect democracy and strengthen communities.
Community Justice Reform Coalition, $250,000:The national advocacy coalition will work in three cities—Miami, Chicago and Baltimore—and will implement trainings centering on police-community relationships and violence prevention solutions. CJRC will also facilitate in-person educational training sessions focused on policy and local organizing efforts to end gun violence by establishing gun violence prevention or crime task forces, and will double the size of their speaker’s bureau from 20 to 40.
Alliance for Youth Organizing, $150,000: The nationwide network of organizations will educate and train over 1,000 youth advocates to support local organizing around violence prevention, policy and running electoral organizing programs. AYO will also focus on engaging more than 500,000 young people prior to the November election.
Center for American Progress’ Generation Progress, $45,000: With a focus on creating an ecosystem for young progressives to develop public policy solutions, Generation Progress will develop state-based policy agendas and toolkits to engage young people on gun policy prior to the November election.
The previous round of grants, awarded in November 2017, were made to support eight grassroots and national organizations focused on issues affecting students across the country, from police reform and accountability to student engagement and justice for undocumented students. Through this grantmaking, Rappaport Family Foundation aims to provide the necessary resources for organizations to increase their capacity, go beyond their comfort zones and pursue unconventional or untested approaches.