By Laila Mehta, Director, Civic Engagement Fund
In philanthropy we know that story-telling is a critical way to illustrate impact. Our new video — Post 9/11: The Impact of a Funder Collaborative – tells the tale of what we learned through the Civic Engagement Fund. The CEF is a collaborative fund that supports little understood communities that were propelled to the spotlight after 9/11, and remain so in mainstream America even today.
In the Bay area, a network of grantmakers recognized that there were Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities in their regions but did not know how they were impacted post 9/11 or what organizations existed to serve these communities.
Ultimately, the true value of the Civic Engagement Fund isn’t in the dollars distributed, but in the capacity built and relationships developed. We hope this video spurs conversation about how foundations are investing in these and other underserved communities that are a vital part of our regions and nation. We also hope it inspires grantmakers to strategically include and invest in AMEMSA visibility, voice, leadership and capacities. Our call to action is to develop meaningful partnerships with AMEMSA community leaders and organizations.