Social Justice and Equity

Because of the time-intensive nature of ZSR’s strategic planning process, Trustees decided to suspend grantmaking for the Foundation’s Spring 2017 grant cycle, which typically runs from November to May with a February 1 application deadline. As a result, ZSR staff will suspend our typical conversations regarding funding inquiries until Trustees announce the next grant cycle. We will provide more information regarding funding inquiries after June 1, 2017. To receive updates on the strategic planning process and the next grant cycle, please sign up for our quarterly update.

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The collective responsibility of a free and just society is to ensure that civil and human rights are preserved and protected for each individual regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, nation of origin, sexual orientation, class, physical or mental ability, and age. The Foundation is interested in supporting efforts to protect and expand civil and human rights and provide fair access to opportunities for all North Carolinians. 

The Foundation seeks to lessen and eliminate:

  • Prejudice and cultural divides in society which prevent groups and individuals from working together for the common good. 
  • Discriminatory rules, policies, and practices which perpetuate the disadvantageous treatment of individuals in some communities and disproportionally advantage individuals in other communities. 
  • Structural inequities that detrimentally impacts people of color, women, immigrants, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered people, and the economically disadvantaged. 

Funding Priorities and Issues

The Foundation prioritizes investment in organizations that have impact in the issue areas below at the state or local level.  Furthermore, the Foundation prioritizes investments that:

  • Increase the ability of organizations and communities to be more effective and impactful;
  • Involve a collaborative group of organizations attempting to address systemic issues in communities;
  • Promote and engage leadership, especially among people of color, immigrants, and women; or
  • Support coalitions of identity groups and allies engaged in broader movement building efforts.

Eliminating structural and cultural barriers

Removing structural barriers and cultural barriers in order to provide equitable access to important aspects of community life and to eliminate unjust and unequal treatment of:

  • women,
  • people of color,
  • immigrants, and
  • lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered people

Reforming the Criminal Justice System

To address the economic and racial disparities in the criminal justice system, the Foundation prioritizes funding in the following areas:

  • Eliminating or reforming the death penalty;
  • Reducing collateral consequences of criminal conviction including barriers that prevent successful re-entry of people previously incarcerated;
  • Addressing systemic issues leading to the over incarceration of people of color. 

Supporting Women’s Rights

Supporting statewide public policy efforts and local advocacy and capacity building in the following areas:

  • Reproductive options for women,
  • Adolescent pregnancy prevention in high poverty communities,
  • Sexual assault,
  • Domestic violence

Increasing Opportunities for Immigrants

Investing in local and statewide efforts that: 

  • Increase the advocacy, communications, and leadership capacity of local, regional, and statewide immigrant assistance organizations;
  • Expand opportunities and promote policies which advance the integration of immigrants into the civic and social fabric of North Carolina.

The Foundation will also provide limited support to programs aimed at providing access to important government and direct services. 

With rare exception, the Foundation does not make grants for the following:

  • Organizations that focus exclusively on direct services
  • Refugee and asylee support organizations
  • General operating support for local domestic violence and/or sexual assault centers
  • General operating support for local LGBTQ centers
  • Child abuse programs and organizations
  • After-school and youth development programs
  • Documentary and film projects
  • Arts organizations

Organizational and project support for:

  • Local re-entry programs
  • Mediation services
  • Substance abuse programs
  • Court alternatives programs
  • Services for the mentally or physically disabled

Review the complete list of uses, programs and activities to which the Foundation (with rare exception) does not make grants.