“We know we cannot plant seeds with closed fists.
To sow, we must open our hands.”
-Adolfo Pérez Esquivel
When you think about what it takes to demand clean water and healthy air, to preserve our children’s future, and to protect the wild places of the earth that nourish our soul and our planet – do you open your hand or clench your fist?
We’ve devoted our careers and much of our lives to defending our communities and our environment. We know the power of raising our voices, and sometimes our fists, of standing to resist injustice, of refusing to give up or step aside until we win. For the past 25 years Rose Foundation grantees have fought hard, standing with vulnerable people and defending special places. And as we look back over the years, we’ve had many proud moments. One of our proudest was supporting Earth First! to help save some of the last of the ancient redwoods.
What do you believe is worth defending?
Your generous tax-deductible donation today defends community health, natural places, and civil liberties in 2019.
Then and now – we and our grantees have been at the heart of defending our planet and communities. Greenaction is keeping the spotlight on the unfolding community health threat at the closed Hunters Point Shipyard, where falsified soil samples and radiation counts have spurred community members to demand accurate and responsible monitoring for radiation in the soil their homes are built on. Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center is resisting industrial geothermal development at the magnificent Medicine Lake Highlands – part of the Pitt River Tribe’s sacred homeland and one of the pure aquifers that supplies the Sacramento River, and drinking water for more than 25 million Californians.
By donating to the Rose Foundation, you are advancing climate justice with our grantees like Friends of the Columbia Gorge, key members of the coalition that stopped construction of the largest oil-by-rail project in North America. The project would have transported 360,000 barrels of volatile crude oil every day along the banks and estuary of the Columbia River in Washington State. They took on the oil company, and won!
You are helping to defend civil liberties and strengthen our democracy with the Center for Digital Democracy, which is tackling issues of privacy, discrimination, and manipulation that enabled Big Data marketing to influence the 2016 election. These are the types of grantees giving us hope for a just and livable planet for all of us.
Over the years, along with our grantees and community partners, we have won our share of victories to protect communities and the environment. But the last couple of years of national electoral politics have underscored the basic lesson that fighting is not enough. We are proud to be part of a national resistance movement standing up for the environment, for equity and for justice, defending climate and communities, and of conservation and human rights. But we also know that we have to do more than simply fight and defend, we must reach out and build an informed community.
We have to plant seeds for the future.
In unincorporated Del Rey, near Fresno, a community that some of California’s lowest-income and most underserved people call home, Rose Foundation is supporting California Rural Legal Assistance to educate residents and help them take action to improve their drinking water –now contaminated with the carcinogen 1,2,3, Trichoropropane. Reaching out in both Spanish and English, CRLA is pushing aside past barriers to community participation, ensuring residents have the knowledge they need to help steer cleanup efforts today, and build power for clean water and community health now and for future generations.
In Oakland, our New Voices are Rising youth leadership program is catalyzing youth action for environmental justice. This fall, our students have been busy tackling air quality issues. On Halloween they were in West Oakland, using the holiday to talk to residents about why local air pollution is scary — building momentum around solutions and honing their skills as young organizers.
Our national political climate can feel threatening and uncertain. But at the local level, we know that investing in grassroots organizing builds long-term people power, and that training grassroots activists fundamentally strengthens environmental and social justice movements. These are the investments in community power that we can make together to build the future that we all want.
Beyond offering financial support, we help our grantees build their organizational power by providing resources and training in skills and systems they need for long-term success. Our training programs encompass mini-grants for targeted needs, full-day group trainings and long-term engagements with small “cohorts” to boost long-term capacity to conduct their programs. With your help, we can keep doing these vital trainings in 2019.
Your tax-deductible donation today helps build this kind of community power to win here in California, and across the country – now, and in the future.
Over our careers, we’ve been honored to learn from some of the leaders of our time, and lately we’ve said goodbye to too many – most recently to our honored ally and teacher, Ron Dellums. We all have had our mentors in life. We ask you now to join us in reaching back for what your mentors have taught you to help us pay that forward – so the next generation can stand on our collective shoulders and see farther than we ever have. That’s the goal that inspires us to support emerging organizations that many other funders think are too new, too small, too remote and too “risky.” And that’s why we started New Voices Are Rising and why we continue working directly with youth.
Please help us defend the forests, and plant the seeds with an open hand – for justice, health and grassroots change.
Thank you for your generous support that allows all this to happen,
Tim Little Jill Ratner
Executive Director Board President
PS: One of Martin Luther King’s enduring lessons is that we must never lose infinite hope. 25 years ago, we launched the Rose Foundation as an expression of our infinite hopes for communities and the environment. Our hope for a just and sustainable future is stronger now than ever before. Please join us, and let’s create that future together. Make your donation TODAY at www.rosefdn.org/donate
- Oil train fire in Mosier, OR. Photo Credit: Paloma Ayala
- Group photo with banner. Photo Credit: Save California Salmon