Grantee: Center for Community Change
Ranking: 13th highest grantee, 2005 — 2009
Type: Activist Development, Grassroots Mobilizing, Coalition Building Foundation
Issue: Immigrant Rights, Youth Voting, Mortgage/Foreclosure Activism
About: Center for Community Change is a Washington DC based non-profit, established in 1968 with the self-described mission of building the “power and capacity” of low-income people to “change their communities and public policies for the better.” Over the years, its mission has moved from organizing primarily in black communities to increase access to mortgages (in coalition with ACORN) to serving as a coalition-building hub for Mexican immigrant activism, including youth voting outreach (Generation Change).
Having played a central role in creating the subprime banking crisis, the CCC is now lobbying for mortgage bailouts for the poor, while moving into the leadership of the illegal immigrants rights movement.
CCC trainers help grassroots groups “mobilize,” and “enhance their leadership, voice and power.” In addition to “community organizing” with individual groups, the CCC holds trainings and conferences designed to build nationwide coalitions. According to their website, the CCC “bring[s] together the most creative thinkers from the grassroots to the ivory tower to develop innovative solutions and a vision for an America where we’re all in it together.”
In 2000, the CCC launched FIRM, the Fair Immigrant Reform Movement, an organizing committee with 30 member groups (mostly state-level coalitions of smaller groups) in 20 states. They coordinate protests, petitions and lobbying to oppose enforcement of immigration laws and advocation for “comprehensive reform” of immigration policies. Movement activists are concentrated in cities including Los Angeles and Oakland, California; however, their reach in nationwide. In 2010, the CCC spent nearly $4 million on directed programming for FAIR and an unknown amount of their nearly $3.8 million general organizing budget on immigration issues.
Mission Statement: The mission of the Center for Community Change is to build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to have a significant impact in improving their communities and the policies and institutions that affect their lives. The Center for Community Change strengthens, connects and mobilizes grassroots groups to enhance their leadership, voice and power. We believe that vibrant community-based organizations, led by the people most affected by social and economic injustice, are key to putting an end to the failed “on your own” mentality of the right and building a new politics based on community values. Founded in 1968 to honor the life and values of Robert F. Kennedy, the Center is one of the longest-standing champions for low-income people and communities of color. Together, our expert staff and dynamic partners confront the vital issues of today and build the social movements of tomorrow.
Soros Funding: In 2006, George Soros began to direct more money to CCC and specifically to voter and immigrant rights projects through the Fair Immigration Reform Movement Network. This transition to channeling more money to issues of illegal immigration and discrimination against legal immigrants illustrates an important shift in his giving patterns at this time.
*executive committee members
Former Officers and Board Members: