FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund is on a roll, and they’re not letting up anytime soon. Shortly after finishing their 10th anniversary celebrations, the FRIDA team announced the next round of grants to 93 organizations, bringing their total grantee cohort to 252 activist groups in 115 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, the Asian continent, Caucasus, Central and Eastern Europe, and the African continent.
This marks FRIDA’s largest grantee cohort since the organization’s founding, and the next step in FRIDA’s robust five-year plan.
“Young feminist movements are abundant spaces for dreaming and reimagining of alternate realities,” says Chief of Programs Jovana Djordjevic. “They are co-creating new strategies to organize intersectionality and build connections across movements. Young feminist movements are resourceful in many ways, but they are also at risk, overstretch and need flexible funds that will help them move, rest and exist in all their beauty, diversity and power.”
The 93 new grantees join a powerful class of organizations devoted to women and girls around the world. This application cycle also represents a new high for FRIDA: The organization received 1,001 grant requests in seven languages.
Putting the Power in Girls’ Hands
In order to maximize their participatory grantmaking model, FRIDA turned the grantmaking decision process over to the applicants themselves. Applicants voted on the groups they felt led the most relevant work in their sectors.
As the organization put it in their press release, “FRIDA believes that young feminists are the experts of their own reality, and so should be the ones deciding where the grants go.”
“During the call for proposals we received amazing and creative proposals that express the dream of co-creating young feminist realities,” says Veronica Veloso, Program Officer for Participatory Grantmaking and Operations at FRIDA. “It is not possible to read them with purely rational eyes. As FRIDA staff, we are also activists, and we are moved by the emotion and aspirations of a new world. We see in the proposals a sigh of hope and strength. That is why it is very hard not to be able to support all groups. Awarding grants to social movements is to invest in a future where grants and funds are no longer needed. But, while they are, we are committed to collaborating and strengthening our connections with different funds and donors so that more groups can be supported.”
Introducing the Grantees
This year’s grantees span a variety of industries, campaigns, challenges, and missions. Recently, FRIDA published an online “zine” introducing the new grantees. (You can view the full zine here.)
One of the 93 new grantees is Meandering Mountain Mahilayein, an informal collective that works together to understand, respond to, create public interaction around and amplify the voices and stories of Muslim women in India. While their region is predominantly rural, it is fast growing with a lot of migrant workers bearing the brunt of this “development”.
“We wish to understand different women’s experiences through diverse realities,” said an MMM representative. “Women do more than 70% of the work in fields, forests and city-building. Yet, they are marginally involved in any form of decision making. We aim to challenge the propaganda of media and mainstream discourse, especially by bringing women’s perspectives out into public and web spaces.”
The new groups’ activisms span a variety of thematic areas that are key in combatting and dismantling inequalities and the oppressive structures that subjugate girls, young women, trans non-binary and intersex youth, everywhere: from peace building, media, climate and environmental justice, acess to education, economic, social and cultural rights to Female Genital Mutilation, gender based violence, early and forced marriage, and sexual reproductive health and rights.
They are fighting to promote real and lasting changes in order to improve the lives of girls, women, LGBTQAI+ people, sex workers, indigenous youth, people living with HIV/AIDS, migrants and people living with disabilities, among other vulnerable groups.
“Our magic lies in the diversity of our group — of age, experiences, activist methods and approaches, personalities, and identities,” wrote a representative for LOBBY LGBT, a Polish community organization dedicated to fighting for the rights of the queer community in Poland.
This commitment to diversity represents a wonderful collective mentality throughout all of FRIDA’s 93 new grantees. The “magic” of FRIDA is in putting the power in girls’ hands: Each $6,000 grant to these young feminist organizations is given flexibly with no strings attached, offering these girls a chance for true leadership and change within their communities.
“FRIDA’s participatory grantmaking process opens space for young feminist activists to learn about each other’s strategies, move in solidarity and support the critical work in their context,” says Djordjevic. “It is also an opportunity to reimagine ways in how we collectively decide about the resources available to us, practice solidarity economy and reflect on how we exchange and build with our community where we actively participate in our own healing process.”
About FRIDA| The Young Feminist Fund: Founded in 2010, FRIDA supports young, diverse, local, radical feminist and LBTQIA+ organizations, initiatives and movements. FRIDA’s participatory grantmaking model puts funding decisions in the hands of the community we are a part of. FRIDA grantee partners all aim to dismantle patriarchy, rights violations, and power inequalities in their diverse manifestations globally.
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