Today, the Disability Inclusion Fund is pleased to announce more than $2.6 million in grants to 34 organizations strengthening disability inclusion, rights, and justice. The Disability Inclusion Fund at Borealis Philanthropy is a $20M, 5-year Fund that supports U.S. groups run by and for people with disabilities to lead transformational change.

This group of organizations reflect the incredible wisdom and ingenuity of grassroots disability movement leaders. They include organizations from across the country doing a broad range of work, from deaf theatre and disability dance, to mental health services, to work at the intersection of racial, disability, and climate justice. Together, these organizations make it clear that disability justice is central to and cross-cutting with many other movements working toward freedom and liberation. 

The 34 2021 Disability Inclusion Fund grantees are:

As a fund, our grantmaking has always been rooted in our values of centering the experiences and wisdom of movement advocates with disabilities, especially leaders who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. As we shared earlier this year, the Fund uses a participatory approach to grantmaking, with a decision-making process led by grantmaking advocates with lived experiences that reflect the communities we serve. 

There is diligent, community-led, transformational work happening every day across the country. We are elated to be able to support more disability-led work with the announcement of a new $5 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the Disability Inclusion Fund. 

“We are thrilled to make this grant to increase our support for disability justice,” said Richard Besser, MD, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). “The incredible organizations and projects identified through participatory grant-making and supported through the Disability Inclusion Fund are truly advancing equity and inclusion for all, and we are so honored to join them in this journey.”

Dr. Besser, along with Darren Walker, Ford Foundation President, convene the Presidents’ Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy, a major funder of the Disability Inclusion Fund. 

“There is no better time than now for philanthropy to support the disability movement,” says Darren Walker. “The compounding effects of COVID-19, inequality, racial inequity and climate change have disproportionately impacted people with disabilities. We invite those in philanthropy to center disability in their grantmaking and operations and help move resources that will strengthen the movement.”

The Disability Inclusion Fund is a donor collaborative housed at Borealis Philanthropy. Current donors include the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, the Kresge Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, MacKenzie Scott, the Mina Foundation, The New York Women’s Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Open Society Foundations, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Tambourine Foundation, the Weingart Foundation, WITH Foundation, and anonymous donors.