Racial Justice FAQ

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PURPOSE

This funding is intended for proposals with the long-term vision to advance racial justice.

Under this funding call, grant-seekers can apply for Development Grants which are intended to provide funding to develop capacity, early-stage projects, and plans that may lead to new programming, projects, or infrastructure.

The Law Foundation shares in the collective obligation to work toward eradicating racial injustice and recognizes the need for grants that directly target and address racism within the legal system. In recent years, the Law Foundation has reviewed its grantmaking processes to address potential barriers related to the goals of building racial justice and combatting systemic racism and discrimination. This is ongoing work at the Law Foundation with this second round of the Racial Justice Grants Call being shaped by learnings and grantee feedback from the inaugural round of funding which issued its first grants in 2022.

The Law Foundation acknowledges there is not only one definition or understanding of racial justice. However, the following outlines a premise from which the Law Foundation can begin to build shared language and understanding to guide its work and grantmaking:

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. 

To further support shared language and understanding of racial justice, and to guide grantmaking, the Law Foundation has also developed a racial justice grantmaking framework which includes the following guiding principles, as outlined in the funding call: 

  • Community Accountability;
  • Use of Anti-Racism Frame;
  • Intersectionality;
  • Meaningful Engagement; and
  • Collaborative Community Advocacy.

We strongly encourage grant-seekers to review the Law Foundation’s racial justice grantmaking framework in full. The framework can be found here

ELIGIBILITY

The following groups may apply for funding:

  • Existing non-profit organizations;
  • Collaborative entities or groups; and
  • People who are seeking to establish new organizations, collaboratives, or groups.

For clarity, Indigenous groups, communities, and/or First Nations are also eligible for funding and grant-seekers do not need to identify as law-focused groups and organizations, as long as their proposed work is connected with the legal system or the impact of laws and policies on people’s lives.

This call supports capacity-building activities and may fund people who are seeking to establish new organizations, collaboratives, or groups. As such, grant-seekers do not need to be a registered charity or other qualified donee.

Grant-seekers also do not necessarily need to be registered non-profit societies. Grant-seekers can however choose to submit a joint proposal with an organization that is a non-profit.

Grant-seekers who are not registered or incorporated, including those seeking to establish new organizations, collaboratives, or groups, can expect additional discussion with the Law Foundation so together we can identify the best way to provide funding to you. Grant-seekers who plan for another organization to receive and administer funds on their behalf if funded are also asked to identify this in their application. 

Grants are intended to be flexible, and funds can be used for both projects and core operating costs. This funding call also encourages capacity-building activities in relation to racial justice.

The types of activities that could be funded include community consultation; issue identification and research; strategic planning in connection to a project or program; assessments or feasibility studies for expanding programs and projects; and activities that increase group or organizational capacity through specific skills training and/or new tools.

Start-up funding may be considered in circumstances where new infrastructure is needed to do the work. Funding for existing projects and programs may also be considered where there is a clear connection to the grant-seeker’s vision of advancing racial justice.

The following will not be funded:

  • Proposals whose main purpose is the production of research studies, educational resources, and reports (proposals can include publication, education, and research as tools to achieve the ultimate goal of the proposal);
  • Equity, diversity, and inclusion training for board/staff of organizations or program audits;
  • Proposals that do not align with one ore more of the Law Foundation’s mandate areas; and
  • Projects that will not significantly involve or benefit people living in BC.

In addition, because of the targeted focus of this funding call, funding will not be provided to proposals that only have connections to communities impacted by racism but that are not closely aligned to a vision of racial justice.

Yes, White-led groups and organizations may submit applications under this call. However, in assessing any application, the Law Foundation will consider the degree to which it aligns with the Law Foundation’s racial justice grantmaking framework, including the guiding principles of Community Accountability and Meaningful Engagement. The Law Foundation may also consider a group or organization’s track record with regards to racial justice work as well as other factors, such as the extent to which the group or organization makes investments from its own resources to make racial justice a priority in its work.

The Law Foundation recognizes the complexity and intersectional nature of identities. The Law Foundation also recognizes that concepts of race and a racial justice framework may not necessarily be appropriate or sufficiently expansive when it comes to Indigeneity and Indigenous identities. The Law Foundation does not have a rigid way of defining whether a group or organization is Indigenous-, Black-, or -other racialized-community-led and, for the purposes of these grants, will ask grant-seekers to self-identity and indicate the extent to which their group or board/staff leadership identifies as Indigenous, Black, and/or racialized.

Yes, this call welcomes Indigenous-led proposals and/or proposals pertaining to Indigenous justice issues. Funding has also 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.

Please visit the Indigenous Justice page to see current opportunities or contact indigenousjustice[at]lawfoundationbc.org Envelope Icon for more information.

Yes, depending on the nature and scope of the work being proposed. Please note that eligible grant-seekers must operate or intend to operate in BC and/or propose work that will significantly benefit people living in BC.

Groups and organizations based in or serving the Greater Vancouver area are welcome to apply for funding. However, it is expected that a significant amount of funding will be awarded to groups and organizations from communities outside of the Greater Vancouver area, in keeping with the granting priorities for this round of funding. Please note that the Law Foundation may also consider additional factors in assessing any application, including the communities that would be served and engaged and the focus, subject matter, and legal mandate area of the proposed work, with the aim of funding a diverse and representative range of groups and organizations seeking to advance racial justice in BC. If you are considering applying and would like to first speak to someone at the Law Foundation, please email rjgc[at]lawfoundationbc.org Envelope Icon.

The Law Foundations has five mandates funding areas:

  • Legal education;
  • Legal research;
  • Legal aid;
  • Law reform; and
  • Law libraries.

For more information on the Law Foundation’s mandated funding areas, please click here.

The Law Foundation takes an expansive view of its mandated funded areas. Eligible proposals may target a wide range of issues within the legal context and the context of racial justice, and do not need to be aimed at the Crown’s justice system or the courts. To speak to someone at the Law Foundation about your idea, please email rjgc[at]lawfoundationbc.org Envelope Icon.

Past and ongoing grantees of the Law Foundation are welcome to apply for funding. 

However, one of the aims of this funding stream is to support communities in building power, including newer or grassroots racialized groups and organizations who may be under resourced, developing their capacity, and/or new to granting processes. While not determinative, it is expected that most funding this round will be awarded to groups and organizations who have not previously received Law Foundation funding. 

If you received a Development Grant last year and are interested in applying for a grant, please contact Meseret Taye, Program Director, Racial Justice, first to discuss funding opportunities. Initiative grantees that received multi-year funding last year will have to complete their existing project and report on their learnings and outcomes to be eligible for another racial justice grant.

Yes, Development Grants are specifically intended to support early-stage projects and plans that may lead to new programming, projects, or infrastructure.

Generally, we ask that grant-seekers prioritize and only submit one application, however if you have more than one project idea, please get in touch with us at rjgc[at]lawfoundationbc.org Envelope Icon to discuss.

We offer some flexibility, but generally groups and organizations should expect to start their grant within one year of receiving funding. If your group or organization may not be ready to use grant funds within a one-year period, we encourage you to consider applying for funding in a future round.

GRANT PROGRAM DETAILS

Development Grants are intended for activity up to one year. Depending on the scope of work, organizational capacity, and available funds, a longer duration or a higher grant amount may also be considered on an exceptional basis.

This is the second round of the Racial Justice Grants Call, and the Law Foundation plans to make multiple rounds of grants from this fund as well as support other racial justice focused grantmaking. 

Grant-seekers applying for a Development Grant can request up to $50,000 for one year. 

$1.3 million is available for this round of the Racial Justice Grants Call.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Grant-seekers will complete an application using the Law Foundation’s SmartSimple online grant submission and management system. 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. You can find the Smart Simple Portal here

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).

The application consists of four required narrative questions, one optional narrative question, and a series of fill-in fields. No budget is required but may be requested at a later stage.

We have set a limit of 500 words (approximately one page length) for each narrative question. The word limit is set to respect grant-seekers’ time and reduce the pressure to figure out every aspect of the project at this point. In addition, it allows the Foundation to review applications efficiently. If you have additional information to communicate about your proposed project or idea, we ask you use the optional fifth question at the end of the application from (Foundation staff will also reach out during review of applications, if any additional information or clarity is needed).

Applications will be reviewed and assessed for alignment with the Law Foundation’s racial justice grantmaking framework and the granting priorities for this round of funding. We are looking for ideas, proposed solutions, and visions of racial justice – not perfect spelling and grammar.

 Competitive applications are likely to be:

  • Led by, focused on serving, and accountable to racialized communities (Community Accountability guiding principal)
  • Able to demonstrate an understanding/analysis of structural racism (Use of Anti-Racism Frame guiding principle)
  • Aligned with one or more of the other guiding principles from the Foundation’s racial justice grantmaking framework (Intersectionality; Meaningful Engagement; Collaborative Community Advocacy)
  • Focused on communities outside of the Greater Vancouver area

We expect to communicate decisions by November 2023. If for any reason this timeline changes, we will let all grant-seekers know.

Grant-seekers will be asked to provide one report for the grant, consisting of both financial reporting (in writing) and narrative activity reporting (either in writing or provided orally). The Law Foundation convenes grantees for shared learning opportunities and Development grantees will be invited to participate in these events.

SUPPORT

We are happy to answer your questions. Please contact Law Foundation staff at racialjustice[at]lawfoundationbc.org Envelope Icon .

You can also find the slides from the information sessions held on July 13 and July 24th here.

Technical questions or access needs can also be shared with Law Foundation staff at racialjustice[at]lawfoundationbc.org Envelope Icon .