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Investing in Black Activists: Introducing The People’s Fund by Mercy For Animals

In June, Mercy For Animals committed to nine actions in support of racial justice. In line with our values and our ambition to be a more antiracist organization, a key component of our first commitment is to partner with and invest in Black activists and their communities.
In keeping with our first commitment, we are excited to launch a pilot grant program that will distribute funds to Black activists working to build a compassionate plant-based food system—work that both reduces animal suffering and helps communities thrive.

“I’m excited that Mercy For Animals can make a significant investment in our commitment to being a more antiracist organization,” said Leah Garcés, president of Mercy For Animals. “Through The People’s Fund, we hope to make a meaningful contribution to Black animal advocates, their communities, and our movement.”

The People’s Fund will provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 (USD) to Black activists working in the U.S. animal protection movement or related movements (vegan food-justice movements, for example).
How does this program work?

We want to fund mission-aligned activists whose work contributes to a world where animals are respected, protected, and free.
We hope to fund individuals or organizations who have a clear strategy and aim to create lasting structural change by reforming our food system into one that is healthy, sustainable, equitable, and just. We are especially interested in applicants who operate within a clear racial justice and intersectional framework.
The application review committee includes our president and four members of our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Committee. We will also invite a Black advocate with community organizing experience to join the committee.
Applicants to The People’s Fund program must meet several eligibility requirements:
  • Identify as Black. This includes African American, Afro-Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, and other Black identities.
  • Reside and work in the United States. This encompasses all U.S. states and territories, including the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.
  • Share Mercy For Animals’ mission. Our mission is to construct a compassionate food system—accessible to all—by reducing suffering and ending the exploitation of animals for food.
  • Be formally affiliated with an organization that has IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status or a fiscal sponsor that does. Applicants must also demonstrate how they will use the funds in support of their mission.
  • Establish a need for funding. We aim to provide funds to those who otherwise might not be able to do their work or whose work would be significantly limited in scope or impact without funding.
Are you interested? Know someone who might be? Applications for The People’s Fund program are due November 10, 2020, and applicants will receive notification of acceptance or denial by December 10, 2020. Funds will be distributed by December 31, 2020.
Learn more and apply here!
If you think your work aligns with the spirit of this program but aren’t sure, please contact Jamie Berger at [email protected] to discuss.