Targeted disenfranchisement, economic inequity, health disparities, violence, and genocide are rooted in centuries of systemic racism, sexism, colonialism, and slavery. 

The Skoll Foundation supports social innovations that address inter-generational oppression, remove systemic barriers that limit opportunity, and elevate oppressed voices and narratives to shift attitudes and behavior.

NDN Collective launched the LANDBACK campaign on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, 2020. | photo by Willi White

Investing in Proximate Solutions

Last year we invested in efforts to advance racial justice in the U.S. that focus on partnering with and elevating the voices of those closest to the challenges. NDN Collective builds Indigenous power and strengthens resilience within the Native/Indigenous community through its storytelling, community building, and grantmaking. As a proximate grantmaking organization, NDN Collective increases the Foundation’s proximity to Native-led and Native-focused innovations and social enterprises. As COVID-19 disproportionately affected Native and Indigenous populations throughout the U.S., it became even more important for the Foundation to support NDN’s efforts to build trusted and sustainable health systems for its communities.

Supporting Civic Participation

The Foundation’s investment in the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund, another proximate grantmaker, helps build durable, local organizations and alliances within and beyond the diverse Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. These grassroots organizations reimagine social narratives, promote civic participation, and build anti-racist coalitions at local and regional levels. As a longstanding champion of multiracial solidarity, AAPI Civic Engagement Fund’s research and movement building efforts uplift voices across communities.

Members of the Asian American Commission gather in Massachusetts to condemn racism. | photo via Getty Images
For Freedom's billboard in partnership with Equal Justice Initiative in Virginia in advance of the 2018 U.S. midterm elections.

Helping Elevate Voices & Narratives

For Freedoms encourages civic engagement through artist-driven discourse and direct action. The Skoll Foundation’s investment increases the organization’s capacity to re-orient historical memory and elevate oppressed voices and stories. This work eventually leads to greater interest in understanding of non-White communities and their place in the American narrative. Its 50 State Initiative put billboards in every state—including in Virginia in partnership with Skoll Awardee Equal Justice Initiative—to infuse nuanced, artistic thinking into public discourse in advance of the 2018 U.S. midterm elections. Through voter toolkits and public events, For Freedoms also explores how arts and culture are vital to an active, participatory, inclusive, and free democracy.

Stories of Impact

Social Innovators

Equal Justice Initiative

The United States has the world’s highest incarceration rate, with nearly a third of young black men under some form of criminal justice control. Seeking freedom for the unjustly imprisoned…