Wanna Help Make New York City a Just Town? Here’s How

Colorlines.com editor Kai Wright will join a remarkable celebration of grassroots organizing on May 8--and he's asking the Colorines community to help him support that vital work.

By Kai Wright Apr 25, 2012

At Colorlines.com, we pride ourselves on making a lot out of a little. It’s a cliche of indy publishing and grassroots activism, but it’s a hard fact: Every dollar counts. I’ve practiced this kind of journalism my whole career, and as a result I’ve got a keen understanding of the thin line between solvent and broke. So it’s not lightly that I tell you the following: The scrappy, grassroots work that keeps a city like mine churning desperately needs a foundation like the North Star Fund. I believe that so strongly, that I’m taking the unusual step of using this space to ask if you will join me in supporting North Star’s crucial work.

I’m humbled to be among the people that the North Star Fund is honoring at its Community Gala on May 8. I’d be delighted if the Colorlines.com community would join me, either by attending the event or supporting the work with a donation.

Since its founding in 1979, the North Star Fund has awarded approximately $37 million to over 1,700 community groups–from kitchen table activists fighting for better housing, to citywide movements to protect civil rights. Scores of New York’s most effective grassroots organizing groups got their first grant from North Star–maybe even some of you.

And it’s not just grants. North Star supports both individuals and organizations in developing themselves as leaders, working collaboratively and building coalitions across the boundaries that the right creates.

But perhaps most importantly, to me, North Star Fund understands that the best solutions to community problems come from the community itself. That’s our starting point at Colorlines.com, too. We don’t seek understanding by asking power brokers; we turn to the people and communities confronting the issues we cover daily. Similarly, North Star puts resources in the hands of people directly affected by injustice. Funding decisions are made by a community funding committee, not by a staff sitting on high.

So if you’re not familiar with the North Star Fund, I hope you’ll check out their work–and the work of the leaders they support. And then I hope you’ll join me in supporting that work. Because every dollar counts when you’re building community from the ground up.