Rose Community Foundation makes $1 million in grants to organizations working with immigrants, refugees and communities vulnerable to hate and discrimination

With the desire to help make Greater Denver a welcoming and safe place for all, Rose Community Foundation awarded more than $1 million in grants in 2018 to local nonprofits serving immigrants and refugees, as well as communities vulnerable to discrimination and hate crimes.

“As a foundation rooted in values of social justice and inclusion, we are compelled to stand up for those who feel threatened by uncertainty in the immigration policy landscape, troubling upticks in hate crimes or escalating discriminatory rhetoric,” said Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, president and CEO of Rose Community Foundation. “We aim to stay abreast of evolving community needs in these arenas to determine how philanthropic dollars can be deployed to help.”

The initiative, known as the Community Action Fund, was launched by Rose Community Foundation in 2016 to respond to emerging issues that threatened the sense of safety and security for communities in the Greater Denver area.

“Greater Denver is fortunate to have numerous nonprofit organizations serving and standing up for populations who are experiencing heightened fears and concerns as a result of policies, language, and even violence directed at them,” said Katherine Gold, board chair for Rose Community Foundation. “Those frontline organizations have been facing increased demand and stresses, and Rose Community Foundation’s Community Action Fund is intended to support those needs.”

2018 grants from Rose Community Foundation’s Community Action Fund, ranging from $1,000 to nearly $100,000, were distributed to more than 45 nonprofits in the following areas:

  • Legal Services: Grants to organizations serving immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from a variety of countries and providing services including filing for green cards, applying for special immigrant juvenile status for children, or representing children in the court system and detention cases.
    • Catholic Charities | Legal Aid Services Program
    • Center for Immigrants and Immigration Services | Pro-Bono Legal Program
    • Colorado African Organization | Elder Refugee Citizen Project
    • The Denver Foundation | Denver’s Legal Defense Fund
    • ECDC African Community Center of Denver | Legal Program
    • Mile High Ministries | Justice and Mercy Legal Aid Clinic Juvenile Immigration Project
    • Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center | Legal Support for Youth Under 21
    • Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network | Children’s Program Legal Fellow
    • Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning | Translation and Interpretation Services
  • Healing Divides: Grants to organizations working against hate, encouraging community healing and inclusion, and educating around the power of compassion.
    • The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado | Progressive Congregation Network
    • Matthew Shepard Foundation
    • Mountain View United Church | Rocky Mountain Welcome Center
    • Shorter Community African Methodist Episcopal Church | Race Talk University
    • Village Exchange Center | programming for refugee and immigrant young adults and multi-faith cross-cultural events
  • Help the Helpers: In order to address the capacity constraints of organizations serving the Community Action Fund target populations, grants were distributed to 10 organizations to build capacity and provide support for frontline staff and volunteers.
    • Asian Pacific Development Center of Colorado | APIAdvocates: Our Voices, Our Communities
    • Boulder Pride
    • Center for Immigrants and Immigration Services
    • Colorado Circles for Change (formerly VORP) | Calpulli (Community of Families)
    • Denver Inner City Parish
    • Ethiopian Community Development Council | African Community Center of Denver
    • El Comité de Longmont
    • Lutheran Family Services, Rocky Mountains
    • Mercy Housing | Grace Apartments Citizenship Project
    • Muslim Family Services of Colorado | Project Restore
  • Building Capacity & Leadership: Grants to organizations that are creating opportunities for immigrant and refugee families and communities vulnerable to discrimination to empower themselves and their communities.
    • Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition | America Is Home Initiative
    • Denver Public Schools Foundation | African American Young Ladies Summit Series
    • Latino Community Foundation of Colorado
    • Muslim American Society Denver Chapter | Muslim Youth Empowerment Conference
    • Rose Community Foundation’s Roots and Branches 2018 Grantmaking
    • Together We Count
    • United for a New Economy | Transformative Leadership for Change Fellowship
  • Direct Service Provision: Grants to organizations providing necessary, niche services to immigrants and refugees as well as others vulnerable to hate and discrimination.
    • Denver Health & Hospitals Foundation | Human Rights Clinic
    • Denver Public Library | New Americans Project
    • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of Colorado
    • Metropolitan State University of Denver Foundation | DACA Renewal Fund

Further grantmaking was done within the Foundation’s focus areas of Aging, Child and Family Development, Education, Health, and Jewish Life:

  • Anti-Defamation League, Mountain States Regional Office | Words to Action (Jewish Life)
  • Aurora Public School District | APS Welcome Center (Education)
  • Centro San Juan Diego | adult education, personal development and family support services (Child and Family Development)
  • Colorado African Organization – Elder Refugee Citizen Project (Aging)
  • Colorado Nonprofit Development Center | Mile High Health Alliance (Health)
  • Denver Regional Council of Governments | Elder Refugee Program (Aging)
  • El Centro Humanitario Para Los Trabajadores | La Piñata de Aprendizaje (Child and Family Development)
  • Fax Aurora Community Economic Opportunity Project (Child and Family Development)
  • Florence Crittenton Services of Colorado | Legal Clinic (Child and Family Development)
  • Intercambio Uniting Communities (Child and Family Development)
  • Jewish Family Service of Colorado | refugee and immigrant services (Aging, Health, and Jewish Life)
  • Latina SafeHouse Initiative | building capacity for technology (Health)
  • Mountain View United Church | Rocky Mountain Welcome Center (Child and Family Development)
  • New Legacy Charter High School | A Lasting Legacy: Early Learning Center Support (Child and Family Development)
  • One Colorado Education Fund | statewide assessment on LGBTQ health (Health)
  • Sheridan High School | support for immigrant students (Education)
  • Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning | Project SHINE (Aging)
  • Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning | Connecting Youth Building Community (Education and Health)
  • Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center – Queer Seder and Pride (Jewish Life)
  • STRIVE Preparatory Schools – support for immigrant students (Education)

In addition to grantmaking, Rose Community Foundation’s Community Action work also included thought leadership to address emerging issues. For example, the Foundation presented a forum in October 2018 to highlight the importance of having an accurate 2020 Census count and to raise awareness of local organizations that are mobilizing to ensure an accurate count through outreach and education. Preventing an undercount in the 2020 Census is critical to Colorado receiving the federal funds and Congressional apportionment that our population size warrants. Yet there are numerous challenges, including the participation concerns of immigrant communities, potential technology issues, federal under-funding of the Census, and historic undercount trends among young children, older adults, rural populations and communities of color. In anticipation of those challenges, Rose Community Foundation partnered with Together We Count, the Colorado Association of FundersCommunity Resource CenterColorado Nonprofit Association, and Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce to host a day-long forum on the upcoming census.

“The breadth of work that Rose Community Foundation’s Community Action Fund was able to support in 2018 illustrates the wide array of services being offered in the Greater Denver area to stand up for and support our neighbors who may feel particularly vulnerable,” said Lent. “As we remain committed to this initiative into 2019, we will continue to explore how to best respond to community needs and engage others in the effort to help make our community safe and welcoming for all.”

Rose Community Foundation dedicated $800,000 to the Community Action Fund in its 2018 budget and raised another $229,000 from 60 donors in the community.

“Being joined in this work by the individual philanthropy of our board, committee members, donors and other community leaders speaks to the values in Greater Denver to support people from all backgrounds and experiences,” said Gold.


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