On April 15, 2021, Myo Myo Aye, a prominent labour rights activist, was taken from her office and taken to a police station for interrogation before being transferred to Insein prison.
JASS is excited to announce that we have been awarded a one-time unrestricted gift by author and philanthropist, Mackenzie Scott. This substantive contribution comes at a crucial time in the world when philanthropy needs to be ambitious, imaginative, and expansive in how it meets and supports the needs of social justice movements fighting inequality and violence.
As a global feminist movement support organization, we know that women have always been at the forefront of crises and change, organizing communities often with little resources and at great risk to themselves and yet generating sustainable solutions that benefit us all. This gift is a validation of that bold movement leadership and the transformative contributions it offers our world. In trusting women at the forefront of change to know what is needed, this both cedes and seeds power and will contribute to sustaining and multiplying women’s organizing efforts so they can grow and flourish to the scale and reach we need.
It takes many different kinds of resources to build the future we imagine, among them: people and relationships, different kinds of intersectional feminist and movement knowledge, learning from history and memory, organisational building savvy, creativity and boldness, laughter, music –and money. We see this kind of giving as a bold step in the right direction but it will require even more. What’s needed, as Shereen Essof, JASS Executive Director says, is “ A much more honest conversation about who we are, how we are positioned and how we show up in a configuration that allows us to do something together – drive a big shared agenda for structural transformative change.” At its heart is a conversation about power, trust, and a commitment to political principles of redress, putting those who are the most marginalized in every respect at the center of agenda-setting and solution-making.
In this spirit, last October JASS invited five women of color, all of them working on social change funding, to engage in a rich and candid conversation about what needs to change in how movements are resourced and about whose resources they are to begin with. We will share insights from that discussion next week – look for the Provocations! Follow JASS on our social media.