Supporting Local Communities through AHA Grants

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

The American Humanist Association is running two grants this year to support community efforts and local aid projects. When the Humanist Relief in Action grant and the Empowering Action grant were first developed by the Feminist Humanist Alliance in 2020, they helped fund a variety of projects and community support efforts by individuals and humanist groups. Both grants were created with the intent of encouraging humanists to be more involved in their community and social issues.

The first grant, the Humanist Relief in Action grant, will provide multiple micro-grants, ranging from $10 to $500, specifically designed to help fund community responses to coronavirus. We know that a community crisis is best understood and responded to by people within the community and that underprivileged communities are often disproportionately harmed by community crises. Therefore, this grant program seeks to center those communities in our response, and especially encourage people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ communities, members of lower-income communities, and women to apply. For projects that meet COVID-19 related needs and can help rectify them with adequate funding, please apply today.

Last year, the Humanist Relief in Action grants funded the purchase of food for the Rome Alliance for Education’s expanded food closets in Rome, NY elementary schools, which became a food bank after the schools shut down for the pandemic. Among other things, the grant also funded food distribution at Auntie Helen’s thrift store in San Diego, CA, which has provided food to those directly affected by COVID-19 who do not qualify or have difficulty accessing governmental and community services due to physical and mental illness or disability. The grant also supported the collection and supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitation products for Central Florida Public School teachers.

To promote grassroots activism, the AHA is funding the Empowering Action grant in support of efforts that unite the community and demonstrate humanist values at protests, rallies, and other events highlighting social justice. Like the Humanist Relief in Action Grant, these micro-grants range from $50 to $500. The scope of this grant is intentionally broad because there should be a variety of avenues for activism. Those interested can apply for funding to go towards sign-making, water bottles and snacks to hand out at protests, masks to wear at demonstrations, supplies to wash out tear gas or treat wounds from rubber bullets, or something altogether different. The goal is to fund projects that use activism to bring together the community and share a humanist message.

The Empowering Action grant program was developed to fund the supply of protest and demonstration-related materials. Recently, this grant was used to fund PPE, water and snacks, tutoring, and signage provided by Standing4BlackGirls—a coalition of Black feminist and Black gender-justice organizations and community partners in Los Angeles—for survivor-focused community action and to speak out to challenge the erasure of Black girls in conversations about public policy and education on issues of sexuality and sexual violence prevention.

AHA was able to support many valuable programs last year and exhausted all grant funds last year. That’s why the program will provide additional assistance in 2021. Reopening these grants will allow humanists to continue to support their community. At this time, grants can only fund applicants residing in the United States and U.S. Territories. Applications must be complete to be considered. By submitting an application, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to the grant rules.

If you are interested in learning more or applying to these grants, you can do so here.