What happens in the Midwest over the next few years may determine the strength of our democracy. The region, like the country, faces a stark choice between multiracial democracy and encroaching authoritarianism.
In 2021, a group of MVP partners, strategists, and researchers with decades of experience in issue organizing and electoral campaigns across the Midwest produced a comprehensive report that argues for a new way forward, one that addresses the problem of power, despair, loss of faith in every level of government, and hope for the future.
The resulting analysis is based on the fundamental idea that politics happens in the context of community and belonging. It lays out a strategy for building multiracial governing coalitions and flipping the current formula away from sporadic engagement to a year-round integrated organizing and power building program in communities across the Midwest.
The report calls for deep and broad investment over the next 5 years in grassroots organizing in Immigrant, Indigenous and Black communities and among young people. And it outlines research-proven organizing strategies for reaching and educating white voters. We don’t need to choose one or the other. Multiracial coalitions need everyone.
MVP has supported this strategy every step of the way, since it dovetails with our funding priorities. We are proud to amplify the call to:
- Invest in strategic and independent Black, immigrant, and youth organizing
- Organize white voters with new and proven strategies
- Advance a Race Class Narrative
- Establish electoral programs through independent state ecosystems
MVP is a committed ally to the Organize the Midwest strategy. Our partners on the ground are doing this work now. We’ll continue to put our fundraising, capacity building and strategic leadership capacities behind them.
All contributions are re-granted to groups. The size and frequency of grants for each group are regularly assessed by MVP’s grant-making team and state advisors based on where additional funding is most needed. For more information or to discuss a customized giving plan, please email [email protected].
This fund is administered by Movement Voter Project, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit. Donations are not tax-deductible.
A strong youth-driven organization and Alliance for Youth Action affiliate, Chicago Votes has registered over 20,000 voters, distributed 100,000 voter guides connecting living wage and police accountability to local races, advanced statewide democracy reforms including Online and Election Day Voter Registration, and elevated the voices of black and brown youth in the local civic arena.
Formerly known as IndyCAN! it is a newer Faith In Action-affiliate doing unprecedented multi-racial organizing and coalition-building in Indianapolis. They defeated the outgoing Mayor’s proposal for a new $1.7B jail facility, and are working on a ballot initiative to expand mass transit and create economic opportunity. They plan to have 80,000 conversations with voters in the 12 weeks leading up to the election.
Detroit Action is a grassroots community organization building power for workers and Detroiters of color throughout the metro region. A consistent and deliberate attack on its institutions has made Detroit one of the most politically and economically marginalized cities in the country. Michigan Action is transforming the most vulnerable communities in Michigan by building the electoral power to fight back against these unjust policies.
Mothering Justice Action Fund is returning decision making power to the people affected by policy decisions the most. The ultimate goal of the C4 Plan is to identify, connect, and engage with 50,000 black women in select target areas across the state of Michigan. Mothering Justice will add new people to the voter registration rolls, educate voters about election issues, make sure new and unlikely voters actually cast their ballots, and ensure that misinformation and intimidation don’t inhibit people from voting.
Faith in Minnesota is building a multi-racial democracy in Minnesota by uniting people of faith in a people-centered politics that unapologetically exposes divide and conquer politics. Raising Black, Muslim and Latinx voter turnout with a clear mandate for bold leadership will expand the winning margins in Minnesota and encourage our elected leaders to lead boldly on climate change, healthcare, childcare, paid family leave, and dismantling mass incarceration and mass deportation. Faith in Minnesota is the 501(c)4 arm of ISAIAH, a multi-racial, state-wide, nonpartisan coalition of faith communities fighting for racial and economic justice.
UNIDOS is building power in the Latinx community in Minnesota and engaging new and young voters around immigration and educational justice. Unidos mobilizes people power and invests in leadership development of young Latinx people.
MOVE is a hub for statewide grassroots organizing that uses voter engagement to create social change. By equipping the staff and leaders of its partner organizations with training, data tools like VAN, and strategic integrated voter engagement skills, they build long-term statewide voter power and overcome the obstacles of episodic campaign cycles.
The strongest statewide community and voter engagement network in Ohio, bringing together community and faith organizations, labor unions and policy groups. OOC builds power for social, racial, and economic justice, and recently registered 150,000 Ohio voters, while organizing on issues including a minimum wage increase, ending mass incarceration, and combatting climate change.
BLOC uplifts Black citizens, leaders, and businesses across Milwaukee and southeast Wisconsin by investing in building long-term power, taking political action, and empowering Black leaders with tools so that their issues are represented at all levels of government. BLOC builds transformational relationships with communities of color through organizing, silent canvasses, conversation, and engaging Wisconsinites year-round. The major Black voter engagement organization in Wisconsin, BLOC is rooted in Milwaukee’s core northside Black community, with expansion plans to Racine and Kenosha.
Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT) is a new organization led by youth of color. They engage in values-based issue and electoral organizing, direct action, advocacy for public policy, and leadership development. On campuses and communities in Milwaukee’s key geographies, they organize young people to build independent political power for social, racial and economic justice.
The Wisconsin Farmers Union membership is made up of people from all walks of agriculture and life. From conventional to organic, rural to urban, their members find community in an organization that empowers them to have a voice in the issues that affect them. Wisconsin Farmers Union isn't just for farmers. They also welcome rural residents and consumers who want to participate in our programs and advocate for family farming.