The Call for Ideas for our 2023 Catalyze Fund grants closed on September 1,  2022.

The Catalyze Fund invests in a vibrant network of leaders who are addressing complex challenges that disproportionately target Muslim communities and, in doing so, catalyzing a more just, equal society for us all.

After a decade of grantmaking, Pillars found that Muslim communities were consistently telling us that their most pressing problems needed solutions rooted in three areas: mending public safety measures to protect everyone, championing Muslim mental health, and strengthening civic engagement. Beginning in 2020, we dedicated the Catalyze Fund to supporting these solutions through three focus areas:

  • Reimagining public safety – Everyone deserves to feel safe in their homes, schools, places of worship, and beyond. But all too often, our communities experience profiling and targeted policing that jeopardizes our safety. Pillars supports organizations striving to end the unjust criminalization of Muslim communities. This includes work that addresses issues like mass surveillance, racial and religious profiling, immigrant detention and deportation, prisoners’ rights, and money bail.
  • Promoting mental health and wellness – Access to adequate health care—including mental health care—is a basic human right. Yet, barriers to access prevent Muslims from receiving the mental health support they need, even as the demand for it grows. Pillars supports organizations building mental healthcare systems that better serve Muslim communities and reimagining what healing for Muslims can look like. This focuses on initiatives conducting research, awareness, education, and coalition-building.
  • Building civic power – A true democracy demands transparency and fully informed, engaged citizens. However, entrenched inequality in the United States has kept many communities out of critical decision-making processes that have real-life consequences. Pillars supports Muslim-focused organizations that are organizing communities, creating relevant civic media, training potential political candidates, mobilizing voters, and ultimately transforming our democracy to one that serves us all.

Curious to learn more about what kind of work falls within these categories? We’d recommend looking through our grant portfolio.

“Pillars Fund is at the front of a turn in philanthropy that’s recognizing that unless funders have real relationships with the people that they’re funding we’re actually just reinventing a very problematic top-down system that doesn’t actually lead to real change.” — KHALID ALEXANDER, Founder and President of Pillars of the Community, a Pillars Grantee


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