WITNESS Announces Grant from John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

WITNESS is excited to announce a generous two-year, $500,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation which will go to powering up our critical work supporting activists, civic witnesses, and social movements across the U.S. to better utilize digital video and tools to expose abuses, strengthen and elevate counter narratives from vulnerable communities, uphold human rights values, and mobilize for change.

The grant comes at an important moment when basic rights are under increased threat in the U.S. and reports of hate-related incidents are up around the country.

WITNESS has a 25-year track record of supporting activists and marginalized communities to amplify their voices and use the power of visual media and technology more effectively in their campaigns for change. As more people than ever have access to communications technologies, WITNESS is working to ensure their videos make an impact.

The MacArthur Foundation grant will help us work with more partners, networks, and grassroots movements in the U.S. focused on issues including fair immigration policy, women’s and LGBTQ rights, and police accountability.

Additionally, it will allow us to ramp up our outreach during moments of escalated activity or tension, when many people are suddenly taking part in civic witnessing, for example, after a police shooting or during widespread protests such as those organized around the presidential inauguration. During these times, WITNESS will distribute timely resources that can help to improve documentation and sharing in real time, increasing the chances that more eyewitness videos will lead to more rights, justice, reform, and constructive dialogues.

The grant, disbursed over two years, will facilitate targeted in-person trainings, creation and distribution of tailored training resources, and sharing of lessons across interrelated movements both in the U.S. and in WITNESS’ work in other regions globally. Monies from the grant will also be allocated to hire a Program Coordinator who will build upon our existing relationships with networks and movements within the issue areas listed above.
Staff for the U.S. program include: Jackie Zammuto, U.S. Program Manager; Tanya Karanasios, Deputy Director, Programs, Sam Gregory, Program Director.


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