The Southern Movement Infrastructure Exchange is a new collaborative initiative dedicated to growing and strengthening a network of responsive, values-aligned fiscal sponsors and other intermediaries to grow, connect, and leverage their resources to fuel grassroots-led movements.
The project is led by the Campaign for Southern Equality and the Southern Vision Alliance, with support from the Out in the South Fund.
About the Southern Movement Infrastructure Exchange
We’ve been saying for a long time that grassroots leaders have the potential to transform the South, but they need the funding and support to sustain and amplify their efforts. Indeed, that belief is foundational to our work across the Campaign for Southern Equality and why we created our Southern Equality Fund.
Overall, the South receives roughly 25% of national LGBTQ funding. The vast majority of that funding goes to large nonprofit organizations in large cities, often removed from the communities most directly impacted. Throughout the South, low-wealth queer and trans people of color, immigrants, and folks in rural communities have always led tremendous grassroots responses to forces that acutely impact LGBTQ communities, including regressive legislation, housing and job precarity, and police brutality.
To sustain their efforts, these grassroots organizers seek funding, but often, they are turned away because they do not have 501(c)(3) status. Simply put, the current system of funding isn’t designed to support power-building at the grassroots level. Limited funding hasn’t stopped queer grassroots organizers from doing outstanding work – but imagine what might be possible if we could remove this structural barrier to funding for those on the frontlines of this work.
It’s time to explore how we can make the vision of the Southern Movement Infrastructure Exchange – which will grow and strengthen a network of responsive, values-aligned fiscal sponsors and other intermediaries to grow, connect, and leverage their resources to fuel grassroots-led movements – a reality.
July 2019 Convening at the Highlander Center
CSE and SVA hosted an in-person convening to kick off the Southern Movement InfrastructureExchange (SMIE) from July 11-14 at the Highlander Center in New Market, TN.
The Southern Vision Alliance (SVA) supports emergent grassroots groups & efforts organizing for social, racial, economic, gender, and environmental justice in the US South. We build movement infrastructure, mobilize resources, and incubate collaborative solidarity.
This project aligns with the Campaign for Southern Equality’s Southern Equality Fund, which provides funding and training to Southern LGBTQ folks doing heroic organizing in their hometowns. We prioritize groups and individual leaders whose access to funding and support is limited due to barriers such as not having 501c3 status, or being located in a rural area.
The Out in the South Fund, a project of Funders for LGBTQ Issues, provided support for the Southern Movement Infrastructure Exchange. The Out in the South Fund is a collaborative fund that awards matching and planning grants to catalyze locally-driven Southern funds that address the needs and strengthen the assets of LGBTQ communities in the South.
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