$350,000 in Grants Approved in Response to Family Separation at the Border

The Libra Foundation has approved and disbursed $350,000 in rapid response grants to seven organizations addressing the unjust family separation policies of the current administration. The Libra Foundation board, appalled by documented human rights abuses at the border and elsewhere, requested staff research and recommend groups for immediate funding. Staff identified potential grantees through Libra’s existing network of grantees, as well as through funder collaboratives such as Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees and Solidaire. Libra staff conducted their own due diligence, enabling these organizations’ leaders to stay focused on their work to reunify families and protect their human rights instead of completing onerous paperwork. The board initiated and approved this docket and notified the organizations of their awards in less than three weeks.

“We believe the Trump administration’s actions and policies at the border are an affront to human decency,” said The Libra Foundation’s executive director, Crystal Hayling, “working with our board and allies in the field, we are honored to support organizations aligned with our focus areas of social justice and women’s rights that are strategically addressing both the immediate needs of immigrant families as well as longer term immigration policies.”

With this docket, the foundation has prioritized support for networks of organizations that are working to end family separation; organizations that amplify human stories to help the greater public understand the consequences of this crisis; and organizations that are leading national campaigns to advance pro-immigration policy change.

The seven organizations that received responsive grants are:

The Center for Gender and Refugee Studies protects the fundamental human rights of refugee women, children, LGBT individuals and others who flee persecution in their home countries. CGRS has been tracking the impact of the administration’s removal of domestic violence asylum protections and developing impact litigation on behalf of immigrant women and families.

The Emergent Fund is a collaborative fund that helps move resources quickly and strategically to communities that have been under attack since 2016. In response to the family separation crisis, The Emergent Fund and its advisory committee of advocates identified frontline groups along the border that are providing support for immigrants and building community power through organizing and legal and policy advocacy.

Innovation Law Lab gathers data and stories that help its legal partners gain public support, win their cases, and institute changes in policy. It maintains a broad database about the status of immigration cases involving detained children and adults and shares that information with immigration attorneys and advocates across the country.

Mijente is a national hub that organizes and empowers the Latinx community to advocate for culture and policy change. In response to the family separation crisis, Mijente is working with its partners to organize a mass mobilization of young activists to demand an end to the criminalization of immigrants.

National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and We Belong Together created a six-month, nationwide campaign, Families Belong Together: End Family Separation, focused on activism and narrative change to end family separation and the criminalization of immigrants. Families Belong Together organized the action on June 30, when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in more than 700 locations to call for family reunification.

Neta is a Latinx-led, bilingual, progressive media platform based in the Rio Grande Valley. It builds community power by amplifying local narratives and perspectives from the border and inspires young people to act. Neta has gathered stories from separated families and information about detention conditions that have been highlighted in major news outlets across the country.

Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) uses legal advocacy to empower Texas communities and create policy change. The legal staff and volunteers of TCRP have been in the courtrooms in McAllen, TX, interviewing as many separated parents as possible to provide support for families and share their stories with partner organizations in the border region and beyond.


The Libra Foundation is a family foundation with an endowment of approximately $300 million invested for impact. The Foundation is committed to social justice work in the United States in the areas of criminal justice and drug policy, environmental justice, and women’s rights. Over the past decade, the foundation has granted approximately $42 million to more than 100 grantee partners.

Contact: Laurie Kappei.e. communications.

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