Open Society Foundations pledges over $40 million in grants to Asian, Arab, Muslim communities

Open Society Foundation

Advocacy groups in minority communities will be receiving a $42.5 million grant from nonprofit Open Society Foundations (OSF). 

Much-needed support: Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Muslim, Arab and South Asian (MASA) communities will be getting a financial boost over five years to aid their nonpartisan initiatives, reported Axios.

  • OSF, a nonprofit founded by billionaire George Soros, is the world’s largest private funder of “independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights.”
  • “We really do hope others join us,” OSF U.S. Co-Director Laleh Ispahani told Axios “Our investment won’t come close to meeting the needs of this community.”
  • Earlier this year, OSF also pledged $10 million over five years to organizations in Native American communities.

Where the money will go: The amount, reportedly among the largest the nonprofit has invested in the segment, is intended to go directly to 15 organizations “dedicated to and led by” members of AAPI and MASA communities.

  • The grant recipients reportedly receive very limited support in their advocacy efforts towards better governance, voter education, racial and social equality and civic participation, among others.
  • Among the OSF grantees is Emgage, a group that focuses on Muslim American empowerment. Emgage CEO Wa’el Alzayat said they can use the money to “strongly push back against redistricting, encroachment on voter rights, on policies that may harm marginalized communities.”
  • AAPI Civic Engagement Fund Director EunSook Lee said the grant will also be distributed among its “network of local groups,” noting that “If we don’t have strong local groups, we’re not going to have the ability to reach AAPI communities and enable them to participate in this democracy.”

Featured Image via Daniel Luu

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