Established in 2019, Borealis Philanthropy’s Disability Inclusion Fund (DIF) exists to seed and expand the capacity of the disability justice movement and amplify the powerful grassroots leaders at its forefront. This month, the DIF is proud to announce $4,075,000 in awards to 58 disability-led organizations and organizers using disability justice, rights, and inclusion to build joyful futures free of ableism.
The DIF’s cohort includes organizations across the country engaging in a broad range of work—from affordable housing to voting rights, equitable access to assistive technologies, and supporting formerly incarcerated Deaf and/or disabled people—and working at the intersections of social justice movements.
Grantee Partners (from left to right) Abilities Dance Incorporated, Autistic Women Nonbinary Network, and Advocating Change Together are all recipients of the DIF’s Joy Grants,
To achieve their visions for a liberated future, DIF grantee partners are engaging in policy advocacy, grassroots organizing, mutual aid, and narrative change work. This year, the Fund also welcomes organizations that serve, support and uplift Black, Indigenous, and People of Color storytellers, performers, cultural workers, and writers. This decision acknowledges a gap in traditional funding for these groups and the role that these artists play in shaping civil discourse and moving us toward authentic democracy.
In funding this expansive work, the DIF seeks to resource new ways of inclusive participation, expand access to cultural, social, and economic power for disability communities, and strengthen cross-movement practices rooted in disability justice.
Since its inception, the DIF’s grantmaking has been rooted in its value of centering the experiences and wisdom of movement advocates with disabilities—especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Color leaders. Accordingly, the Fund employs a participatory approach to grantmaking, with a decision-making process led by grantmaking advocates and funders who possess lived experience with disability and reflect the communities the Fund aims to serve.
The DIF receives support from a number of foundations, including those whose leaders belong to the Presidents’ Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy and have committed to advancing disability inclusion within and beyond the philanthropic sector.
“Our movement leaders have demonstrated time and again: this is a moment to respond with greater boldness and clarity about our disabled truths – that collective access, sustainability, cross-movement solidarity, and other disability justice principles will continue to guide all of us towards liberation.”Sandy Ho, Director of Disability Inclusion Fund at Borealis Philanthropy
The DIF is deeply grateful for the support of the Presidents’ Council and its broader donor table—and encourages other funders to utilize the DIF as a mechanism to pool and distribute aligned dollars to bolster the U.S.-based disability justice movement. To learn more about how to partner with us, please email DIF@borealisphilanthropy.org.
2023-2024 DIF Grantee Cohort
* = New grantee partners
** = Disability x Tech Fund Grantees
- Abilities Dance*
- Advocating Change Together
- Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network**
- Black Phoenix Organizing Collective
- California Institute for Rural Studies*
- Center for Self Advocacy
- Center for Sustainable Journalism
- Chainless Change
- Citizen Advocacy & DeKalb, Inc.
- Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
- Coalition of Texans with Disabilities
- Communication FIRST**
- The Confess Project [Formerly L&J Empowerment]
- Count US IN
- Cyma Space**
- Deaf Hope
- Deaf Spotlight*
- Detroit Disability Power
- DIFxTech Fellowship Grant via Deaf Spotlight**
- DIFxTech Fellowship Grant via Legal Services of Philadelphia**
- Disability Dance Works – Kinetic Light
- Disability Justice Culture Club
- Disability Lead
- Diverse Ability Incorporated
- El Grupo Vida
- Fireweed Collective
- Gathering Strength, Inc.
- Generation Patient
- Health Justice Commons
- Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD)
- Inevitable Foundation
- Interrupting Criminalization
- Los Angeles Spoonie Collective*
- Living Hope Wheelchair Association
- National Pain Advocacy Center
- Native American Disability Law Center
- New Disabled South
- OPEN DOORS – a project of the Center for Transformative Action*
- Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies
- Peacock Rebellion
- People First Wisconsin
- Prism Reports, Inc.
- Project LETS, Inc.
- Recording Artists and Professionals with Disabilities (RAMPD)*
- Rogers Park Community Action Network
- Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered
- San Francisco Senior and Disability Action
- Sibling Transformation Project
- Sins Invalid
- Sound Theatre
- Surveillance Technology Oversight Project Inc (S.T.O.P)**
- The Keri Gray Group LLC
- United Hmong with Disabilities
- Urban Jazz Dance Company*
- Visionaries of the Creative Arts
The DIF is grateful for the support of the Presidents’ Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy and our broader donor table—and encourages other funders to utilize the Fund as a mechanism to pool and distribute aligned funding to bolster the disability justice movement. To learn more about how to partner with the DIF, please connect with us at DIF@borealisphilanthropy.org.