Posted by IDEX
“How do we fund social justice movement building?” This may be the single most important question members of the Bay Area Justice Funders Network (BAJFN) wrestle with every day. To help answer it, and to better understand the local social justice philanthropic landscape, BAJFN conducted a first-ever member survey in Fall 2012. Our goals were to learn about what issues, work, or geographies are prioritized, Where there may be opportunities for coordination, and to establish a baseline tor the amount of philanthropic dollars granted by Bay Area philanthropies to advance social justice issues and movement.
Thus begins the introduction to BAJFN’s new study, “Funding Movement Building: Bay Area Approaches“. The study features IDEX and 25 other foundations and funds based in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can read the full report here.
Let us know your thoughts about the study, and how it relates to IDEX’s work, in the comments.
Posted by IDEX
Here is a brief run-down on the activities our partners undertook to celebrate International Women’s Day 2013.
SDCEA – South Africa
More than 50 south Durban women took on the street of Austerville drive to Quality Street, expressing and voice themselves out. Posters and placards were held up high with messages such as ‘Stop Rape’ , ‘ you strike a women’ you strike a rock’, ‘No to domestic abuse’, etc. This picket was a symbol of women’s solidarity and an indication of the power possessed by women. Women are being abused, raped, have their rights violated daily, but they are as strong as a rock. The picket took place at the Nelson Mandela Stone, this further illustrated that if ‘you strike a women’ you strike a rock’. Words of empowerment, motivation and encouragement were shared amongst the women. A pledge was read out and handed out to all the participants as a token of appreciation. Red balloons were relieved into the air to commemorate the liberation of women.
PWN – South Africa
At Etwatwa in Daveyton (township), PWN Coordinators: Lindiwe Mahlangu and Penny Dhlamini are hosting a Women Celebration on what women have achieved in the past 5 years. In Wattvile (township), PWN Coordinators: Benoni Madingane Kunyamane and Azola Goqwana are hosting a Community Dialogues on Women Rights .
Prudence Mabele will be attending CSW 57 to participate in an event on Gender Based Violence : A call for Multi-sectoral Interventions and Actions then Reception on International Women’s Day (March 8) at the Mission house of Germany.
PWN community members Will have a IMBIZO (forum for discussion) AT FREEDOM SQUARE talking about WOMEN RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS on March 20 in remembrance of our Human Rights day
AFEDES - Guatemala
They will be participating in a national march that will be happening in Guatemala City – where they demand pressure on the government to stop acting unconstitutionally against the mechanisms that have been established and ratified at the international level for the defense of women’s rights. AFEDES will also use the women’s rights month as the framework for carrying out their annual general assembly with AFEDES members as well as a gathering of community members and allies.
Ñepi Behña – Mexico
Ñepi Behña is as an active member of the RedPar Network (National Network of Rural Promoters and Assessors). RedPar will be given an award on March 8th by AMER (Mexican Association for Rural Studies) for their Research Study on the impact of climate change on women and strategies to mitigate them. Ñepi Behña contributed a lot of input into this research study based on their work indigenous women in Hidalgo, so they feel proud of this award.The awards will be given in Guadalajara through a national event, organized by AMER.
Posted by IDEX
Today is International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate the innumerable contributions women make to the world and to renew our commitment to work for true equality for women and girls.
Women’s empowerment is one of IDEX’s three core issues; and for very good reason. Our approach to community-driven development is centered on holistic solution to the world’s challenges. It’s impossible to work towards social justice while ignoring the gender-based violence, discrimination and dis-empowerment that befalls half the population.
Around the world, it is estimated that as many as one in three women will experience rape or gender-based violence in their lifetimes. That adds up to one billion women – a mind-boggling, unconscionable number. In addition to violence, women face incredible challenges from systemic discrimination in access to education, health care, land ownership and opportunities for earning a living. In far too many communities in far too many countries, women have to fight just to secure their basic human rights.
IDEX’s partners are in the vanguard of that struggle for women’s human rights. Click through to this page for the latest stories from our partners in Asia, Africa, and Latin America who are making hard-fought progress towards full women’s empowerment.
The successes that these marginalized community groups have won are truly worthy of celebration as we think about the power of women everywhere – and their plight.
Posted by IDEX
The Night for the One Billion, a performance/dance/ritual mash-up that was Oakland’s contribution to a worldwide day of action on February 14th, was an incredible evening of expression in solidarity with the global struggle against gender-based violence.
The Night was organized by our Board member Diane Dodge and a cadre of allies that went well beyond the extra mile in ensuring the event was a rousing success. The First Presbyterian Church of Oakland was packed to its 600 person capacity as drums were beat, songs were sung and the choreographed dance was performed in unison by everyone in attendance. All of the proceeds from the event are earmarked for IDEX and other local groups working with women and girls.
Although IDEX works on women’s empowerment, this evening brought us much greater exposure to local feminist and women’s human rights supporters. It also connected us to the type of larger movement (Eve Ensler’s V-Day and One Billion Rising campaigns) that we have not previously taken part in directly – expanding our visibility and solidarity network.
Thank you to all the beautiful, courageous people who came to DANCE, STRIKE and RISE last night!
Posted by IDEX
The recent rape of a 23-year old medical student in New Delhi shocked and outraged many of us. All forms of media were abuzz with protests and reactions. Many voices, most of them female, pilloried the societal norms and values that led to such a ghastly event. Young men and women took to the streets of New Delhi, surrounding the President’s residence and Parliament itself. In response, the Indian government set up a Commission and has fast-tracked legislation to bring justice to rape victims. No doubt that such legislation is urgent and fills a lacuna, but it does not address deep-seated patriarchal, religious, and cultural attitudes that conspire to oppress and repress women.
Such laws also reinforce the second-class status of women, victimizing them in perpetuity. What we don’t often hear are stories of women empowering themselves, fighting for gender equity and an end to violence and injustice. And because gender discrimination is globalized, transcending class, geography, and language, it is equally important to globalize stories of resistance, progressive social change, and gender equity.
International Development Exchange (IDEX) has the privilege of supporting pioneering and visionary women leaders from among the most marginalized, exploited, and impoverished communities worldwide working indefatigably for gender equity. Many of these women are victims of triple discrimination, based on their gender, low-income levels, and their indigenous heritage. Many of them face formidable odds, ranging from existential threats, violence, fear, insecurity, an absence of basic services, and low-education levels to lack of support from families and communities. Yet, they battle every day, leading community groups, creating viable livelihoods, caring for the most vulnerable, speaking in public, managing natural resources, choosing healthy and safe ways to live their sexuality, organizing themselves to defend their human rights, and holding authorities responsible for delivery of services. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by IDEX
Take action now: Sign on to this petition and letter to the Mexican Authorities. (Organized by Grassroots International)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2013
Angela Martínez, American Jewish World Service: email@example.com
Philip McManus, Appleton Foundation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saulo Araujo, Grassroots International: email@example.com
Wind Farm Mega-Project in Oaxaca sparks resistance, repression and death threats
Sixteen international organizations issued an appeal to end the use of violence and death threats to ram through the construction of Latin America’s largest wind farm in Oaxaca, Mexico. They called for guarantees to ensure the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous communities engaged in peaceful resistance.
The appeal was directed to Oaxaca state government officials and Mareña Renovables, the conglomerate responsible for the project, and its corporate investors: the global investment bank Macquarie, based in Australia; the Dutch pension investment group PGGM; and the Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan
The proposed project in and around the community of San Dionisio del Mar (Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico) has sparked prolonged and energetic resistance from local residents. They denounce Mareña Renovables for imposing the project against their will. They complain that the corporate sponsors have not been forthcoming about potential environmental impacts of the massive project and that other wind farms in Oaxaca have negatively impacted the livelihoods of communities where they are located.
The organizations signing the appeal include:
Alliance for Global Justice
American Jewish World Service
Campaign for Labor Rights
Fellowship of Reconciliation/USA
Forging Alliances South and North
Fund for Nonviolence
Institute for Policy Studies, Global Economy Project
International Development Exchange (IDEX)
International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net)
Marin Interfaith Task Force on the Americas
Washinton Office on Latin America (WOLA)
In their letter to the corporate investors, they note:
“The ongoing social conflict and the violent incidents call into question the compliance of Mexican authorities and the corporate sponsors with their responsibility to insure the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous community to the proposed project, as required by national and international law. These doubts were reinforced by the December 7, 2012 decision of a federal judge to grant an injunction (amparo) temporarily halting the construction of the wind park because it represents a violation of the land rights of the community.
“Moreover, we are extremely concerned about the acts of aggression and death threats against several individuals who are publicly known as opponents of the project, including Isaul Celaya (Ikojts/Huave leader from San Dionisio del Mar, Oaxaca), Bettina Cruz Velásquez and Rodrigo Flores Peñaloza (who are both with the Asamblea de Pueblos del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio) and Juan Carlos Beas Torres (from UCIZONI/ Unión de Comunidades Indígenas de la Zona Norte del Istmo). These threats have come in shouts during public marches, anonymous phone calls, and warnings through third parties. They take place in a context of public vilification in some local media that augments a climate of hostility against those who simply insist that protest is a right, not a crime.
“Any project of this scale will command the resources necessary to secure the support of some politicians and some local residents. But there is no shortcut to a democratic resolution based on truly free, prior and informed consent of the community upon whose resources the project depends.”
Mareña Renovables plans to construct a giant wind farm in and around the small community of San Dionisio del Mar (about 5,000 inhabitants). Most of the community members are of the Ikojts indigenous group (also known as Ikoots or Huave). The community is located in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, a narrow stretch of land between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. High average wind speeds make it attractive for wind power development.
Mareña Renovables is a consortium of three partners: the global investment bank Macquarie, based in Australia; the Dutch pension investment group PGGM; and the Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan. The project will include turbines constructed by the Danish Company Vestas Wind Systems and the involvement of two wind power companies: Grupo Preneal of Spain, and DEMEX of Mexico. Once completed, the project would be the largest wind farm in Latin America.
The project also has funding from the Inter-American Development Bank and a dozen other banks. FEMSA (the largest beverage company in Latin America) and Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma (the Mexican bottler for Heineken) have reportedly pre-purchased options on the electricity to be produced by the wind farm.
The project is designed to generate 396 megawatts of power from 102 wind turbines in San Dionisio del Mar and 30 more in neighboring Santa Maria del Mar. It also includes two electric transformer substations, six access roads, and additional support structures.
Posted by IDEX
In his recent article on Huffington Post, Jonathan Lewis gives charity ads that play up the pity angle a failing grade. The late night ads that try to guilt trip you into donating miss the mark for a number of reasons, says Lewis. One of the main ones is that they show developing countries as “helpless” victims and “places of poverty”.
Lewis, IDEX and our grantee partners all know that that picture is far from reality. The Global South is rich in resources, ingenuity, intelligence, cultural traditions, and innovation. In fact, even global investment firms have come to this conclusion: investment rating agency Morningstar recently ranked an entirely Africa-based index fund as its category’s top recommendation. Yes, the communities there face many challenges, but they have also drawn on their inherent wealth to develop local solutions.
So, just say no to charities that try to paint the Global South as pathetic victims. When you look to support a cause, choose an organization that enables local leaders to apply their holistic solutions to their communities’ challenges in ways that respect local context and indigenous practices. Choose organizations that make deep partnerships with local leaders and organizations rather than imbalanced relationships of saviors and victims.
IDEX would never make a commercial featuring images of people in Africa (or Asia, or Latin America) as helpless victims whose only salvation lies through our help. It’s not the way we operate. But more than that, it’s simply not true. Our network of partners includes pioneering groups that are locally-led, grounded in indigenous communities and amazingly impressive in their capabilities. They are awe-inspiring, not pathetic. The support that IDEX gives its partners doesn’t stem from our sadness at the problems they face, but from our respect for the solutions they’ve developed.
The next time you choose to make a donation, choose an organization that respects you enough to know the difference between emotionally manipulative marketing and the real capacity for people to change the world for the better.
Posted by IDEX
IDEX recognizes National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the U.S. Around the world there are currently more slaves – victims of human trafficking – than there has ever been before. Working with our partners in Asia, Africa and South America, IDEX connects donors to the grassroots organizations leading the charge for social justice and the preservation of human rights – including the fight against human trafficking.
It is estimated that as many as 27 million men, women, and children around the world are victims of what is now often described with the umbrella term “human trafficking.”
-U.S. State Department
One of IDEX’s potential Catalyst Grantees is Impluse, an NGO in Northeastern India. Their strategy fights both the outcome of human trafficking – the displaced and abused victims – and the root causes – the entrenched poverty that makes the traffickers’ false offers so appealing. Impulse addresses the issue using the “Five P’s” (Policing, Persecution, Protection, Prevention, Press) and the “Three R’s” (Rescue, Rehabilitation and Repatriation).
Learn more about the success that Impulse has won and the challenges they have faced in this blog post from our Executive Director’s visit in 2011.
You can also watch the video “Breaking Free” which highlights the work that Impulse is doing to end trafficking.
Posted by IDEX
Yolanda Alindor of the San Francisco Foundation tackles the prickly issue of class in her latest blog post. As an organization that bridges the huge class divide between the grassroots in the Global South and donors in the Global North, IDEX sees the awareness and discussion of class as a crucial component of authentic, respectful philanthropy.
Why Discuss Class?
December 7, 2012 by Yolanda Alindor
A few weeks ago, my book club discussed Danny Dorling’s No Nonsense Guide to Equality. Danny Dorling is a British economist who creatively and repeatedly made the case for why equality is better for everyone–rich and poor alike—than inequality. Many of his examples were startling: inequality affects selection of careers and marriage partners, the stature that children attain, as well as infant mortality rates and the level of crime. It was both true and surprising when one of the readers called the book subversive.
I took the opportunity to mention that I have been, for some years now, making sporadic efforts to start an ongoing conversation on class issues here at the Foundation. When I first arrived at the Foundation to run the Multicultural Fellowship Program (then 25-years old), I was surprised to find that there was no mention of class issues in the otherwise comprehensive curriculum that I inherited.
One of the book club members asked me: “So what do you hope to achieve by having a discussion on class issues at your Foundation?” To me, the case for talking about class seems patently obvious: grantmakers should have a basic understanding of the foundation’s role in society. As a community foundation, that includes awareness about our multiple roles in working with wealthy donors as well as the nonprofits that service and work with the most disenfranchised sectors in our region. So what I hope to achieve is an opportunity for emerging grantmakers to create a personal framework that defines the socio-political values underlying their work. To me, the question of “Why discuss class issues?” is akin to asking, “Why would you teach mathematicians about the number system?”
Yet it was also a great question. Discussions on class are remarkably absent from the philanthropic discourse nationally. Yes, we talk endlessly about serving the underserved, providing a safety net, increasing accessibility, decreasing disparities, etc, but these conversations are remarkably devoid of the class context within which we do this work. I wonder: How can this be? To paraphrase Mike Royko, no self-respecting grantmaker should want to be wrapped in a cloak of ignorance.
But philanthropy is only reflective of American society; like star-struck lovers, we remain focused on the romantic vision of the American Dream, not wanting or willing to see that over the last 30+ years that Dream has increasingly become an empty fantasy for the majority of us (yes, that would be the 99%). It turns out that it’s not easy to have discussions on class issues, largely because we are so inexperienced in doing so. I am heartened, however, that here at The San Francisco Foundation, we are re-doubling our efforts to understand the economic impacts of our country’s political decisions and to work with community partners that also see and speak to how political action—or inaction– affect the communities we serve. I like to call it a class analysis.
Posted by IDEX
IDEX has received a 2012 Top-Rated Award from GreatNonprofits.org, a nonprofit review and rating site. We’d like to extend our deepest gratitude to all those who took the time to complete a review. To read the glowing comments, or to write your own review, visit the IDEX profile on GreatNonprofits.
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