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PRESS RELEASE: The DC Bar Foundation Receives Capacity Support for COVID-19 Relief Work

[District of Columbia, September 29, 2020] – The DC Bar Foundation has been awarded a $65,000 grant from the newly-formed Momentum Fund to continue its COVID-19 relief work supporting DC’s legal aid network and our neighbors in need of civil legal aid. According to the Momentum Fund, the DC Bar Foundation received this grant because of its focus on, “meeting the dire needs of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities that are hardest hit by the pandemic due to the impacts of centuries of systemic racism.” The application was met with “a very high score” from a team of external grant application reviewers. This grant was one of 129 grants, totaling $8.5 million, awarded by the Momentum Fund to nonprofit organizations managing COVID-19 relief funds, providing grants and other forms of direct support to organizations working with communities of color, historically marginalized populations, and other groups being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. “The Momentum Fund’s support is a crucial part of our COVID-19 response,” says DC Bar Foundation CEO, Kirra Jarratt. “It allows us to continue supporting and strengthening DC’s civil legal aid network as the crisis brought on by the pandemic continues to impact our most vulnerable residents, and it will raise the Foundation’s profile on several national online donor portals.” In July, the DC Bar Foundation awarded $135,000 in COVID-19 Response Grants to nine legal aid organizations providing free legal assistance to individuals with low incomes in DC. These grants support organizations as they assist clients with issues related to family law, employment law, and public benefits. As a result, families and their loved ones are able to continue receiving critical support as they navigate life-altering challenges that will continue to have an impact long after the pandemic subsides. “We are witnessing a historic and unprecedented level of suffering and need that must be addressed before this nation falls even further into a state of absolute humanitarian crisis,” said Amanda Misiko Andere, CEO of Funders Together to End Homelessness and Chair of the Momentum Fund Advisory Board. “It is essential that the philanthropic sector continues to dedicate itself to this work, which includes addressing the devastating and deadly human health, economic, and social impacts that are befalling millions of people of color and vulnerable families across the nation every day.” The Momentum Fund was launched in May 2020 with a vision of ushering in a new model of philanthropic giving that unapologetically centers racial equity and explicitly prioritizes the needs of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. The Momentum Fund is managed by United Philanthropy Forum. To view a complete list of Momentum Fund grantees, visit About the DC Bar Foundation: For DC residents in poverty, we make strategic investments to strengthen and expand our civil legal aid network, addressing critical needs and improving our community. As the largest funder of civil legal aid in the District, we are a steadfast community partner, committed to protecting access to justice in life’s most pivotal moments. 


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