Collaborative fund strengthens and supports Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities
The RISE Together Fund is the first national collaborative, established in 2008, around an idea that was radical at the time— funding directly-impacted Muslim, Arab, and South Asian leaders and organizations to lead policy and social change efforts.
A Proteus Fund Initiative, RISE Together seeks to defend and uphold the Rights of Black, African, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (BAMEMSA) communities, leading to Inclusion in a just, multi-racial democracy; the fund recognizes that we must build relationships and Solidarity within the BAMEMSA field and with allies across social and racial justice movements in order to realize Equity and justice in America.
RISE Together’s focus areas include civic engagement, advocacy, and leadership development—three-quarters of RISE Together’s grantees are led by BAMEMSA women. They also seek to shift media coverage about BAMEMSA communities, to transform false and harmful narratives into ones that celebrate the diversity of this community and that reflect BAMEMSA’s’ belonging and inclusion in our society. Since 2017, RTF has funded resilience and leadership development resources for cohorts of women, queer, trans and non-binary leaders in the BAMEMSA field.
RISE Together is particularly effective for several reasons. First, the fund makes grants with an eye for emerging needs and trends and is often the first to take leadership in filling gaps. For example, finding regions where there is a growth in BAMEMSA communities, but limited funds (for example, South Dakota). Second, they take an intersectional approach in their work, bringing together a field of grantees and funding partners who are committed to racial justice and equity, and who may work on many different issues areas that overlap.
RISE Together also has tremendous expertise in the BAMEMSA field, and helps educate the more than 25 funders who are part of the collaborative, as well as others. And finally, they are nimble, with the ability to move and respond quickly. In the days leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision on the Muslim/Travel ban, RISE Together and its grantee partners helped advance a unified set of narratives that mobilized the field and key allies.
Unbound has been part of the RISE Together Fund since 2017; its work advances our Public strategy area.
Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, Democracy Fund, Emerson Collective, Doris Duke Foundation for the Islamic Arts, Kresge Foundation, Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, General Service Foundation, NoVo Foundation
At times it felt like we were drinking from a fire hose..after the Supreme Court of the United States scheduled oral arguments on the Muslim ban...Collaborating with RISE Together (RTF) provided an opportunity to use a campaign approach for the mobilization of local, regional, and national efforts...where national funders worked together and leveraged RTF’s relationships with the MASA field.
Mayra Peters-Quintero, Senior Program Officer at the Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice program at the Ford Foundation
Building the Muslim, Arab, and South Asian movement’s capacity and transforming harmful narratives about Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities
Total amount granted (to 501 (c) (3) organizations)
Meet Our Other Collaboratives
Photographer: Les Talusan, courtesy of RISE Together Fund
RISE Together Fund convening