Providing support and accompaniment to organizers and community workers is a critical part of the way Movement Matters supports our collective struggle for justice. However, we recognize that those working on the ground are only part of the movement ecosystem. We are also excited when the opportunity presents itself to accompany funders who are interested in supporting transformative work.
Over the last two years, Movement Matters has been partnering with Resourcing Radical Justice (RRJ), a funders collective that centers Black liberation as the path to a thriving Greater Washington region by advocating for philanthropic sector transformation, coordinating capacity building for and funding to Black and POC-led grassroots organizers, and building, lifting up, and learning from radical organizers.
Our Movement Matters team played two distinct roles in RRJ’s Radical Learning Series process: helping to structure and ground the development of a learning cohort and providing content training to the cohort once it had been developed.
RRJ drew on our expertise in creating values-driven, body-and-mind centered processes to help them envision the arc of their cohort design―from the application process to the learning modules to the post-workshop integration of knowledge, skills, and values. Those doing “professional” training for funders often overlook the need to allow participants to connect to their bodies, minds, and spirits as they navigate systems that may resist change. We provided concrete ways for RRJ to utilize arts and culture to avoid these traps and help participants deeply connect to new ways of thinking about funding and to navigate (personally and professionally) the obstacles they might face in implementing new approaches within their organizations.
In addition to this overall framing, Movement Matters also designed and ran two training modules within the RRJ curriculum. These modules focused on understanding how philanthropy can both support and hinder movement work for systems change and racial justice, both in terms of what they fund and how they fund it. We drew on our deep knowledge of various philanthropic efforts to support community organizing, racial equity and systems change work in the DC area over the last 25 years in crafting the training content. We helped RRJ cohort members critically reflect on and ground themselves in philanthropic practices that contribute more consistently and meaningfully to a healthy movement ecosystem. As always, these workshops were deeply rooted in Movement Matters’ popular education approach and resonated strongly with the RRJ cohort.