Mural on Lake Street in Minneapolis, MN supported by members of Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia that states “From the grips of landlords to the community”

"Land is a basic requirement of life" - Gilda Haas

Hi friend,

The statement above from Gilda Haas during the Land Stewardship Learning Series launch helped chart the direction and tone of the learning series. Speakers reminded us that supporting community ownership means supporting tenants rights, people power, and resident organizing so people can meet their basic needs.

It also means investing in tools like shared cooperatives and community land trusts so that residents can build local systems of care instead of relying on systems that incarcerate and extract from our communities. And as Robert de la Riva mentioned, those outcomes mean that  “we won’t have to be stressed to live in a home.” He also mentioned that community ownership means unlearning myths that housing is a commodity or that land is simply a real estate proposition. This process means  imagining and practicing systems that demonstrate how land, when stewarded and invested in effectively, can provide the fundamental basis for living, aging in place, and caring for loved ones.

Listen to the first 20 minutes of our Land Stewardship Learning Series to hear Andre Perry, Gilda Haas, Roberto de la Riva, and Roberto Garcia Ceballos define what land ownership means and raise questions for what your institution can consider when supporting this work:

  • How do you balance tenant power in a way that does not recreate systems of displacement wrought by racial capitalism and colonization?
  • How can philanthropy resource this work and support coalitions piloting these solutions  in places like  Minneapolis and East Los Angeles?
  • How are organizations imagining opportunities for more people to share equity and create more social safety, predictability, and land tenure?

If you would like to connect with the speakers or myself, please contact me directly for an introduction:

Resources and Member News

Reflections on Vienna’s Social Housing Model From Tenant Advocates
Last winter, researchers, advocates, and community-based organizers visited Vienna to learn about ways to invest in decomodified housing. This article includes reflections from participants about what policies that promote social housing could look like in the United States and what it reveals about opportunities for advancing housing justice.

Housing Leadership Lab digs deep at Strategy Workshop
I had the pleasure to participate in Local Progress’ Inaugural Housing Leadership Lab Strategy Workshop. Elected leaders and community organizers committed to co-governance models learned about affordable housing solutions with fellow elected leaders. If your institutions supports power building, policy advocacy and civic engagement or co-governance, check out this blog post to learn about their work to stem the tide of rapid gentrification and displacement in some the country's most contested places.

On March 7th, I’m attending Confluence Philanthropy 13th Annual Practitioners Gathering in Boston, Massachusetts. This year’s conference theme is Emergence. As our communities face coinciding climatic, economic, and political crises we find ourselves in an emergent moment. Despite the uncertainty, there’s no denying that a new economy is forming and that each of our institutions can play an important role. This new economy can be shaped by active ownership, transparency-based investment frameworks, disruptive companies, and by equitable financing structures. If you’re there, I would love to see you!

Job Openings Across Philanthropy -The Virginia Funders Network (VFN) seeks an experienced professional as CEO, who will provide leadership for all aspects of the organization including management of the strategic plan. Review the job posting.

Additional NFG Announcements

  • On March 2nd at 11:30am est our colleagues at the Midwest Organizing Infrastructure Funders are hosting an interactive, dynamic learning session entitled- The Power of Our People: Building Long-Term Community Power in Wisconsin. Speakers will offer a clear, strategic blueprint for how to build long-term community power in a deeply segregated state facing white supremacist agendas that threaten to undermine the self-determination of BIPOC and low-income communities. Register here.
  • NFG is excited to announce Rooted: NFG Political Education Series where funders can grow together as we build towards communities of color having the power to self determine. Join NFG for this political education and funder organizing space launching March 7 9am PT / 12pm ET with a session on the importance of community organizingRegister here.
  • Funding in Las Vegas or Thinking About It? Check out NFG's new content about Las Vegas on our Building Power in Place microsite!
  • Know an outstanding worker justice leader? Nominate them for the 2023 Discount Foundation Legacy Award! The Discount Foundation Legacy Award annually identifies, supports, and celebrates an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and contributed significantly to workers’ rights movements in the United States and/or globally. Through public recognition and a $20,000 stipend, we hope to recognize and amplify the work of individuals at the intersections leading the way toward justice for low-wage workers of color.
  • On January 25, 2023 I joined NFG’s Integrated Rural Strategies Group for its third annual Multiracial Rural Equity Summit. The summit offered a space for NFG members and partners to identify strategies for investing in rural organizing and power building. Subscribe to IRSG’s newsletter to stay up to date and review their website to learn more about their work last month! 
  • Welcome to Leanne Sajor (she/her) as the Senior Program Manager of the Funders for a Just Economy program! She comes with a wealth of experience in philanthropy and international feminist organizing and DDP can’t wait to work with her and support her leadership. Check out her welcome message here!