View FAQ here.

1. How does We Build Community work?
We Build Com­mu­ni­ty will pro­vide sub-grants to five (5) NCSO mem­bers of $10,000 each and train­ings in order to strength­en their abil­i­ty to engage more deeply in pro­grams, part­ner­ships, orga­niz­ing, advo­ca­cy and mobi­liza­tion relat­ed to effec­tive coali­tion build­ing and alliances around racial jus­tice, immi­gra­tion jus­tice, gen­der jus­tice, and/or LGBTQ jus­tice. We espe­cial­ly encour­age orga­ni­za­tions that work with LGBTIQ com­mu­ni­ties, or orga­ni­za­tions that seek to work more close­ly with LGBTIQ com­mu­ni­ties to apply and to artic­u­late your vision and plan for coali­tion-build­ing.

2. Why is capacity and infrastructure building the focus of We Build Community?

Since the found­ing of the NCSO in 2007, NCSO mem­bers have con­vened at two Nation­al South Asian Sum­mits to share insights about chal­lenges and iden­ti­fy need­ed resources. Time and again, capac­i­ty build­ing has emerged as the key obsta­cle to meet­ing orga­ni­za­tion­al goals. SAALT heard this need, devel­oped We Build Com­mu­ni­ty to help address this gap, and sought fund­ing sup­port from the Ford Foun­da­tion; Open Soci­ety Foundation’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty and Human Rights Cam­paign Equal­i­ty and Oppor­tu­ni­ty Fund; and Atlantic Phil­an­thropies, all nation­al foun­da­tions who are inter­est­ed in infra­struc­ture and field-build­ing among immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties

Through We Build Com­mu­ni­ty, orga­ni­za­tions can direct the sub-grants they receive towards train­ing, tech­ni­cal assis­tance, con­sul­tants, and plan­ning relat­ed to areas such as: resource devel­op­ment; human resources; board devel­op­ment and man­age­ment; member/volunteer man­age­ment and super­vi­sion; pro­gram doc­u­men­ta­tion, eval­u­a­tion, and report­ing sys­tems; effec­tive fis­cal man­age­ment; and devel­op­ment and main­te­nance of tech­nol­o­gy.

3. What do We Build Community trainings look like?

  • SAALT pro­vides train­ing and sup­port DSC01731to the We Build Com­mu­ni­ty cohorts in a vari­ety of ways. This mul­ti-pronged approach is designed to offer a fuller spec­trum of sup­port for capac­i­ty-build­ing needs.
  • One-on-one quar­ter­ly calls with each cohort mem­ber to pro­vide ongo­ing tech­ni­cal assis­tance and sup­port around pro­gram­mat­ic work and orga­ni­za­tion­al capac­i­ty-build­ing needs; iden­ti­fy new oppor­tu­ni­ties for tech­ni­cal assis­tance and sup­port; and ensure bidi­rec­tion­al avenues of com­mu­ni­ca­tion are main­tained for an effi­cient and effec­tive col­lab­o­ra­tive process.
  • Tech­ni­cal assis­tance for cohort mem­bers around devel­op­ing We Build Com­mu­ni­ty work plans, mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion process­es, and sub-grant agree­ments.
  • Quar­ter­ly NCSO webi­na­rs address­ing top­ics such as finan­cial lit­er­a­cy, civ­il and polit­i­cal engage­ment, and oth­er orga­ni­za­tion­al capac­i­ty-build­ing and pro­gram­mat­ic areas.
  • Two-day cohort con­ven­ing in Wash­ing­ton, DC on March 21–23, 2014 to pro­vide in-depth indi­vid­ual and orga­ni­za­tion­al skills train­ing on con­sis­tent­ly iden­ti­fied top­ics of need, such as board devel­op­ment, grant writ­ing, and com­mu­ni­ca­tions and how these skills can be used to strength­en work around racial jus­tice, immi­gra­tion, and/or nation­al secu­ri­ty. Train­ings facil­i­tat­ed by SAALT staff, con­sul­tants, and oth­er experts. The con­ven­ing also pro­vides a space for robust peer learn­ing and exchange.

4. Why is We Build Community focusing on racial justice, immigration justice, gender justice, and/or LGBTQ justice through effective coalition building and allyship?

Two key issues com­pound the prob­lems fac­ing South Asian com­mu­ni­ties in our coun­try today: first, the ongo­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion and hate vio­lence that com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers face, which are com­pound­ed by mul­ti­ple lay­ers of iden­ti­ty (gen­der, sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion, immi­gra­tion sta­tus, and reli­gious affil­i­a­tion); and sec­ond, the lack of infra­struc­ture and capac­i­ty of South Asian orga­ni­za­tions to address these issues.

South Asians occu­py a unique racial space in the Unit­ed States. The “mod­el minor­i­ty Economic Justice_DACAmyth” per­pet­u­ates the per­cep­tion that our com­mu­ni­ties have new needs or concerns—masking tremen­dous dis­par­i­ties in terms of pover­ty and income lev­els, edu­ca­tion­al attain­ment, and lan­guage bar­ri­ers fac­ing com­mu­ni­ty members—and cre­ates an envi­ron­ment of racial bias towards South Asian Amer­i­cans. Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001 was a piv­otal moment for South Asian in the US, result­ing in a sig­nif­i­cant and more vis­i­ble shift away from the assump­tion of mod­el minor­i­ty toward racial tar­get. In a post‑9/11 envi­ron­ment, South Asian Amer­i­cans have suf­fered unprece­dent­ed back­lash, includ­ing hate crimes, pro­fil­ing, employ­ment dis­crim­i­na­tion, bias-based bul­ly­ing, and oth­er forms of harass­ment.

For many South Asians, racial injus­tice is under­scored by the con­flu­ence of addi­tion­al char­ac­ter­is­tics, such as reli­gious faith, gen­der, immi­gra­tion sta­tus, or sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion. Near­ly three-quar­ters of the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty is for­eign-born, and a grow­ing num­ber of South Asians are undoc­u­ment­ed. As a result, anti-immi­grant sen­ti­ment and immi­gra­tion enforce­ment mea­sures have seri­ous impact on South Asian com­mu­ni­ties. Fur­ther­more, many South Asians have long endured hate vio­lence and dis­crim­i­na­tion due to their sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion, gen­der iden­ti­ty and gen­der expres­sion. These mul­ti­ple lay­ers of dis­crim­i­na­tion and oppres­sion make it dif­fi­cult for South Asians to exer­cise a range of rights – from report­ing hate crimes to access­ing ser­vices and care to reach­ing out to their own com­mu­ni­ties for sup­port.

Through We Build Com­mu­ni­ty, we hope that NCSO orga­ni­za­tions with an inter­est in engag­ing more deeply around racial jus­tice, immi­gra­tion jus­tice, gen­der jus­tice, and/or LGBTQ jus­tice through effec­tive coali­tion build­ing and ally­ship will be able to do so in order to bring more diverse and inclu­sive com­mu­ni­ty voic­es and issues—reflective of the com­plex and inter­de­pen­dent inter­sec­tions of iden­ti­ties in our communities—to the fore­front.

5. Who is eligible to apply for We Build Community?

Appli­ca­tion to We Build Com­mu­ni­ty is open to cur­rent NCSO mem­bers who have 501c3 sta­tus or a fis­cal spon­sor.

6. What is the deadline for applying to We Build Community?

Inter­est­ed appli­cants should sub­mit appli­ca­tions no lat­er than October 14, 2013. Pro­pos­als may be sub­mit­ted as sin­gle PDF doc­u­ment­by email to kai@saalt.org with the sub­ject line “We Build Com­mu­ni­ty 2013–2014 Appli­ca­tion.” Down­load appli­ca­tion here.

The call for appli­ca­tions for We Build Com­mu­ni­ty 2013–2014 is now closed.