Grassroots efforts are the life force of systemic change. Community members are often the ones who identify injustice and initiate the work of rebalancing power. To do this work effectively, community members need access to tools and resources that will amplify their efforts.
In 2018, Mia Henry of Freedom Lifted and Matt Lechel of ONEplace, met with local organizations to explore the idea of a justice hub. Shortly after, they presented their ideas to local funders, including KZCF. In 2020, the Community Impact & Investment team began exploring solutions for aiding grassroots groups.
The Justice Hub (Hub), which began as an internal initiative of KZCF, is now a funded partner preparing to operate as its own nonprofit in the summer of 2023. The Hub will provide fiscal sponsorship, incubation and support services for grassroots projects addressing systemic oppression in Kalamazoo County. It will also serve as a central organizing space for social justice leaders.
“Removing barriers and lowering overhead will make space for more impact, creativity and bold work,” said Bailey Mead, lead consultant and project director for the Hub. The Hub aims to empower community members who have long carried the weight of being advocates for change without the proper support or resources.
The Hub is committed to expanding capacity by redefining and redistributing power. By using the strength of the collective, the Hub seeks to advance racial justice.
To read all of the stories from our 2022 Annual Report, click here.