Boston Ethical Community Announces Grantmaking Program

ESB-banner-text-3Today, we’re announcing the launch of a grantmaking initiative, the first in the organization’s history. We will begin accepting proposals on April 18, 2016, and expect to announce the award of the first grant this fall.

Inquiries can be sent to grants@bostonethical.org.

The grantmaking approach will favor projects having measurable impact on the broader community and the potential to create long-lasting change. For 2016, BEC has identified a broad set of areas of interest, including racial justice, climate change awareness, civil liberties, homeless advocacy, public health, and voting rights. Grants will range from $5000 to $10,000.

BEC is partnering with Associated Grant Makers of Boston (agmconnect.org) to facilitate the grantmaking process. AGM members can access the Request for Proposal on their site. Complete information on the grant initiative is also available at bostonethical.org/philanthropy.

“In launching this initiative, we’re using our financial resources to help other organizations carry out important programs that align with our core values”, said BEC President Brian King. “We believe this is the most effective way to expand our service to the wider community”.

We’re excited! If you are connected to a nonprofit based in Greater Boston that has a program that needs funding, please go to our philanthropy page to learn more.

BEC Members Attend State House Hearing on Death with Dignity

Submitted by Andrea Perrault

On Tuesday, October 27th, BEC members joined a packed State House hearing room in support of a bill filed by Representative Louis Kafka – “An Act affirming a terminally ill patient’s right to compassionate aid in dying”. As supporters of this legislation, the Board of Trustees of the Boston Ethical Community submitted written testimony in support of the bill, providing our voice to the Joint Committee on Health Care Policy chaired by Representative Kate Hogan and Senator Jason Lewis. 

Mothers Out Front

Mothers Out Front is  “building a movement of mothers, grandmothers and caregivers who use their collective energy and voice to convince elected officials and business leaders to push for a swift and complete transition away from fossil fuels, to clean energy.”

Click here to find out how you can get involved.mof_logo

Citizens’ Climate Lobby

The Citizens Climate Lobby is an activist organization focused on national policies to address climate change. Its stated purposes are:

  1. to create the political will for a stable climate and,
  2. to empower individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power.

It has proven to be one of the most effective organizations fighting to address climate change. To get involved go to http://citizensclimatelobby.org/options-for-action/.

 

350.org Massachusetts

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350 Massachusetts is a volunteer-led statewide climate action network. 350MA is made up of hundreds of engaged activists who work with the media, organize events, educate their communities, lobby lawmakers, and more. 350MA is currently focusing on campaigns to eliminate fossil fuels and to promote divestment of oil, gas, and coal companies from the state pension fund.

To find out you can get involved, click here.

Common Cause

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Common Cause is a “good government” organization, working on issues such as voting rights, campaign finance reform, transparency, and election modernization. They have a long track record of meaningful achievements in Massachusetts.

Executive Director Pam Wilmot was named ESB’s Humanist of the Year in 2009.

Common Cause actively seeks volunteers to help with projects and to take action on various issues. Click here to find out more.

MassVOTE

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 1.11.31 PMOn April 27, 2014, Professor Erin O’Brien of UMass/Boston addressed ESB on the issue of voter access in Massachusetts. We learned that our state has fallen behind many others. We have one of the highest rates of inequity in voter turnout between races. Although there are reforms in the works, our state has a long way to go to catch up.

Right now, it’s important to contact your state legislators, and urge them to support House Bill H3788 and  Senate Bill S1981. This bill has been passed and is now in a conference committee. The Senate version is preferred.

One of the groups that has played a key role in this reform is MassVOTE. MassVOTE works to educate, register, and organize voters across the state. Check their web site to see how you can get involved and support their efforts.

 

Action against Misogynous Cultural Practices

On March 30, Andrea Barron, an Adjunct History professor at George Mason University, spoke to ESB on the topic Combatting Religious Fundamentalisms and Misogynous Cultural Practices. She discussed female genital mutilation (FGM), which affects one-fourth of African girls and women; so-called “honor crimes” in the Middle East; gender segregation and forced marriages among ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel and the United States, and radical anti-abortion policies in Latin America as well as a movement in the U.S. to pass “personhood” amendments that would classify fertilized eggs as human beings. Andrea encouraged ESB activists to choose an issue(s) they care about and support one or more of the following organizations by signing a petition, receiving their newsletter or making a donation.

Walk for Hunger

Each Year, Project Bread sponsors the Walk for Hunger in Boston. From their site:projectbread

On Sunday May 4th, 2014 more than 40,000 Walkers, 2,000 volunteers, and a generous group of donors will join together in a community event like no other in America. Together, they will raise awareness around hunger in our state, make a powerful statement about our shared commitment to help people in need, and, importantly, raise the dollars that make it possible for Project Bread to develop, fund, and facilitate much-needed programs—programs that interrupt the cycle of food insecurity in our communities, programs that improve the lives of individuals and families, programs that provide hope.

To find out how you can join the walk, click here. If you can’t do the walk, but would like to help, you can sponsor ESB member Terry Goldzier who walks the Walk every year!

Mass-Care

masscareESB supports the Massachusetts campaign for a single payer healthcare system. Mass-Care is working with with doctors and legislators to make this happen.

On Saturday, April 12, 12 PM to 5 PM, Mass-Care will hold its annual Spring Gala at Ryle’s Jazz Club, 212 Hampshire St (Inman Square) in Cambridge. Don Berwick, candidate for governor, will speak. Check their web site for more information.

If you would like to get involved in supporting Mass-Care, check their activism page.