– NOTICE –
RACIAL JUSTICE GRANT APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.
Applicants will be notified of the status of their applications in November 2023.
Indigenous peoples, Black people and racialized people experience systemic and institutional racism in many facets of their lives. These systemic inequities and biases exist within the legal/justice system, and in the laws, policies and programs that impact people living across BC. The law and the legal/justice system play significant roles in shaping the way people experience the world and each individual’s place and status within it. Inequities within these systems have a determining influence on people’s lives, and racialized individuals and communities experience this first-hand every day.
Long known and understood by individuals and communities facing these injustices, racial injustice and inequity are also acknowledged by federal, provincial, and local governments, legislative bodies, Human Rights Commissions in BC and across Canada, and the Courts. As part of the legal profession in British Columbia, the Law Foundation shares in the collective obligation to work toward eradicating racial injustice in and through the legal system. The Law Foundation believes it needs to do more to meet this obligation.
The Law Foundation is also committed to supporting the implementation of the spirit, intent and content of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and the Calls for Justice of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. In announcing the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, the government and First Nations Leadership Council jointly recognized that Indigenous Peoples in BC face enduring oppression and harm due to colonialism, and that law and legal mechanisms are a part of both the problem and the solution.
The Law Foundation created the Racial Justice Grants Call to support work and develop community infrastructure intended to advance racial justice. Through this second round of the Racial Justice Grants Call, $1.3 million is available for Development Grants of up to $50,000 for one year.
RACIAL JUSTICE GRANTMAKING FRAMEWORK, GUIDING PRINCIPLES, AND GRANTING PRIORITIES
The Foundation acknowledges the concept below is not the only definition or understanding of racial justice. Our intention is to offer a premise in which we can begin to build shared language and understanding of racial justice to guide our work and grantmaking moving forward.
Racial justice decenters whiteness, acknowledges historical and current systems of harm to create deliberate systems that support the transformation of laws and policies, and generates collective power to access, build and uphold rights including those set out in the Charter, Indigenous legal orders and international law, for Indigenous, Black and racialized communities.
Guiding Principles and Granting Priorities
These guiding principles are the values that build and inform the work of racial justice:
Racial justice work is led by, focused on serving and accountable to racialized communities and what matters to them.
The work of racial justice requires understanding of how race and structural racism play a role on the lived experiences of racialized communities and the collective actions that need to be taken to examine, identify and address the harmful impacts.
Racial justice will need to consider the analysis of race with other factors such as sexuality, gender, class, disability, geography and culture to better understand the priorities of the most marginalized members of racialized communities to create holistic solutions and/or strategies.
The work of racial justice should be by and for racialized communities by engaging them through accessible, inclusive, trauma informed and culturally appropriate approaches.
Racial justice cannot be achieved by a single organization or grassroots group working in isolation. It requires an effort to engage power holders and the broader society in addressing a systemic problem or injustice while promoting an alternative vision or solution. This work may involve a range of intersecting approaches through a set of distinct stages over a long-term period of time, often involving a range of organizations and groups working in collaboration. It often includes but is not limited to:
- Researching, developing and proposing solutions to the root causes of social problems.
- Amplifying the voices of those affected by structural racism and supporting people to exercise their collective power.
- Pursuing structural change by building something larger than a particular organization.
- Promoting visions and values for society based on fairness, justice, and democracy – meaningful engagement.
- Efforts using a variety of means of public communication through education, media and the arts.
Only those applications and groups/organizations most closely aligned with the guiding principles will be considered for funding.
Additionally, for this round of the Racial Justice Grants Call, applications from communities outside of the Greater Vancouver area will be prioritized for funding.
WHO CAN APPLYWe welcome applications from:
- Existing non-profit organizations;
- Collaborative entities or groups;
- People who are seeking to establish new organizations, collaboratives or groups if they operate (or intend to operate) in BC and/or for the benefit of people living in BC (referred to below as “grant-seekers”).
Note on Applications relating to Justice for Indigenous PeoplesIndigenous peoples and communities in BC experience many forms of racism and racialization. The Law Foundation recognizes, however, that a racial justice framework and calls to combat systemic discrimination may not necessarily be appropriate or sufficiently expansive when it comes to initiatives or legal issues impacting Indigenous peoples. This is because the rights of Indigenous peoples are distinct from the rights of other communities impacted by racism and include inherent rights to land, self-determination and self-government. The Law Foundation further recognizes that additional and unique approaches are required to support Indigenous justice and the restoration of Indigenous legal traditions and systems. Funding has been made available under the Indigenous Justice Fund for projects focused on reviving Indigenous law and legal orders, as well as applications of Indigenous law in community including those focused on restorative justice. This call welcomes Indigenous-led applications and/or applications pertaining to Indigenous justice. These applications will be considered for funding under this racial justice funding call and may also be eligible or referred to other streams of funding at the Law Foundation. With that in mind, there is project funding available through the Indigenous Justice Fund for Indigenous-led organizations and/or Nations to gather, emerge and/or advance ideas that will better their community and uplift Indigenous justice. Please contact indigenousjustice[at]lawfoundationbc.org for more information.
TYPES OF APPLICATIONS THAT COULD BE ELIGIBLE
This program is meant for applications that aim to build the conditions necessary to advance racial justice as described by the guiding principles above.
Funded applications will have to align with one or more of the Law Foundation’s mandate areas. If you are unsure whether your idea will qualify, please contact our staff listed below.
There are multiple legal orders operating in the lands known as British Columbia, including Indigenous laws. Eligible applications may target a wide range of issues within this legal context and the context of racial justice, and do not need to be aimed at the Crown’s justice system or the courts. For instance, applications may cover the criminal justice system, human rights and access to the courts and other decision-making bodies, as well as government decision-making across a range of systems, such as social benefits, healthcare, planning and land use – all of which involve the law.
Applications may be for discrete projects but may also relate to the creation or sustaining of an organization or infrastructure to do the work – in the case of a new organization, a forward-looking version of the above considerations will be taken into account.
The Law Foundation invites applications from a single group or organization as well as those that involve collaboration among several groups or organizations. The Law Foundation does not prefer one form over the other and trusts grant-seekers to determine whether a joint application with other groups or organizations will better serve the proposed work.
Note on Ineligible Applications
This grant program is not intended to fund applications whose main purpose is the production of research studies, educational resources, and reports, though applications can certainly include publication, education, and research as part of their workplan as tools to achieve the goal of the application. If you are unsure whether your idea will qualify, please contact our staff listed below.
This grant program is not intended to fund equity, diversity, or inclusion training for board/staff of organizations or program audits; if you are an existing Law Foundation grantee that is seeking support for such work with your team, please contact your Law Foundation program director/manager.
AMOUNT AND DURATION
Development Grants – up to $50,000 for one year
These short-term grants are meant to provide flexible funding to develop capacity, early-stage ideas, and plans that may lead to new programming, projects, or infrastructure with the long-term vision to advance racial justice. Types of activities that could be funded include, but are not limited to:
- Community consultation;
- Issue identification and research;
- Strategic planning in connection to a project or program;
- Assessments or feasibility studies for expanding programs and projects;
- Increasing group or organizational capacity through specific skills training and/or new tools.
Pilot projects, experimentation and new approaches to building power and capacity to advance racial justice will also be considered. Funding for existing projects and programs may be considered where there is a clear connection to the grant-seeker’s vision of advancing racial justice.
These grants can be for operational funding, capacity-building, and substantive work in relation to a project. Start-up funding may also be considered in circumstances where new infrastructure or a new organization is needed to do the work.
Depending on the scope, organizational capacity, and available funds, a longer duration or a higher grant amount may also be considered on an exceptional basis.
HOW TO APPLY
Grant-seekers will fill out an application and provide information about their group/organization and proposed work. Depending on the information contained in the application, the Law Foundation might ask for some additional detail, including a budget.
The Law Foundation uses the SmartSimple online grant management system. The SmartSimple Portal can be found here.
Please note that groups and organizations new to the Law Foundation’s SmartSimple system will need to first register an account for their group or organization. After clicking on the Register button, please select Organization as your registration type. Please then select Yes to the question “Are you applying for funding from the Law Foundation of BC?”. From there, you can enter your organization and key contact information. If you do not have an organizational address, simply enter “N/A” for all address fields during account set-up (we ask that you please avoid providing any personal/home addresses).
A PDF version of the application can be found here. This PDF is provided for reference only. To be considered for funding, please submit your application through SmartSimple by 5 PM PST August 3, 2023.
TIMELINE & GRANT REVIEW PROCESS
Applications for the first round opened on June 26, 2023, and will be accepted until August 3, 2023.
Decisions will be communicated by November 2023.
Foundation staff hosted two information sessions on July 13 and 24 and provided an overview of the funding call and answered additional questions grant-seekers had about the application process. The information sessions were held online over Zoom and were optional to attend. Both information sessions had the same content, however ASL interpretation was provided at the July 24 session.
Presentation slides from the information sessions can now be found here.