SOUTHERN PARTNERS FUND
Democratic Philanthropy in Action
SPF’s board determined it was critical to prioritize census and redistricting organizing in 2019 and 2020 grantmaking and trainings. In 2019, census grants and trainings focused on ensuring as many people as possible who live in hard to count rural areas, mostly people of color, were counted. Following the Census work carried out in late 2019 and 2020, SPF shifted towards redistricting organizing for 2021 to help every community, regardless of race or economic status, get a seat at the table. Currently, much of SPF’s work still centers around voter rights and engagement, immigration rights, and education reform.
SPF's Lead Initiative for 2021 – Redistricting Organizing and Trainings
SPF’s 2019/2020 census grantmaking targeted the integration of census work into the work organizations were already doing under the major initiatives SPF adopted in 2013. In an effort to continue the work our grantee partners have carried out in increasing Census participation, SPF shifted 2021 grantmaking towards redistricting. As it stands today, large swaths of voters from low-income communities of color throughout the rural South are still systematically disenfranchised due to the apportionment and redrawing of congressional districts undertaken by both prior and current state legislatures.
Putting increased pressure on Southern state legislatures to fairly redraw district boundaries is crucial in lifting the voices that have traditionally been silenced. As apportionment and redistricting only occur once every 10 years following the Census, SPF is focused on doubling down on its efforts to support the groups working so hard to make sure there’s a seat for everyone at the table.
SPF trainings and webinars assist organizations in learning HOW to integrate redistricting work into the work they are doing in three major initiatives.
SPF's Major Initiatives
In 2013, SPF’s board and members adopted its Southern Organizing Strategy, allocating 60% of its grantmaking to three major initiatives:
Voter Rights & Engagement
Voter Rights & Engagement
Registered over 300,000 voters and played a major role in fighting people of color voter suppression in GA, FL, NC, among others.
Increased public education budgets in local school districts by $15 million, financing new, improved programs for 30,000 students of color in low wealth communities.
Forced institutional changes in local school systems, eliminating race-based disciplinary practices around suspensions, expulsions, and other punishments in over 50 schools, impacting 40,000 students.
Assisted over 50,000 immigrants detained illegally by police, sheriffs, and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
Enabled over 20,000 children of immigrants to access public education.