4

John Hickenlooper co-founded Chinook Fund says stay tuned, social justice not controversial

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

"Change. Not Charity." That's the mantra at Chinook Fund, the nonprofit devoted to social justice that John Hickenlooper -- then an unemployed geologist thinking about opening a brewpub -- co-founded over two decades ago. Because of its ties to Hickenlooper, the charity is in the news, including a recent Denver Post article that prompted this:

"Unlike the Denver Post, we don't find it 'controversial' to fight for social justice," reads the "Chinook in the News" section of a recent e-mail from Chinook to its mailing list. "Chinook stands by our incredible grantees and the progressive movement in Colorado.... STAY TUNED for our response to this article and for ways to continue supporting our powerful work!"

In the meantime, here's more background on Chinook from its website:

The Chinook Fund is a movement-building organization. We are recognized throughout the state of Colorado for our pioneering support of organizations that work to create a just, equitable and free society by transforming oppressive and discriminatory political, social and economic systems and institutions. Chinook supports organizations which are challenging the root causes of oppression, rather than treating the symptoms. We believe the root causes of our most serious social problems include entrenched, systemic, and institutionalized racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, ableism and ageism.

Our mission statement reads:

"The Chinook Fund is committed to the transformation of society into one that promotes social justice and freedom from oppression, including but not limited to: racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ageism, and ableism."

Unlike most traditional nonprofits, Chinook's board and donors do not dictate where any grants are going. That's done by a group of community activitists. (Nora Bashir, Chinook's new co-executive director, was on the grand-making committee for several years.) And that's a concept many traditional donors have a tough time grasping.

As the website explains: "Gandhi once said 'you must be the change you wish to see in the world.' Chinook seeks to create a just world not only by funding social change organizations, but also by how we fund them. A diverse group of activists make all of our funding decisions. This means that Chinook is led by, and accountable to, the communities we serve -- just as we require our grantees to be."

Stay tuned.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.