Rose Community Foundation Gives a Million Dollars to Local Groups Fighting Hate

The Rose Community Foundation gave out just over a million dollars in grant money to organizations working with vulnerable populations in metro Denver in 2018. The money, which came from donations and budget allocations to the foundation's Community Action Fund, went to 49 organizations.

In late 2016, the Denver-based charity introduced the fund as a way of combating growing hate toward vulnerable communities. The $1 million-plus figure is a large step up from the $223,000 it gave Denver organizations in 2017.

"Our board created this initiative in response to an uptick in hate crimes and concerns expressed by our immigrant and refugee neighbors about their safety and security," says Sarah Kurz, vice president of communications and outreach at Rose Community Foundation.

The 2018 grant recipients work with immigrants and refugees, the LGBT and Jewish communities, and other groups serving vulnerable populations that are susceptible to hateful rhetoric and violence.

One recipient is the Mountain States branch of the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that looks to counter anti-Semitic acts and speech. Regional director Scott Levin and his colleagues got two grants totaling $135,000 for programs designed to push back against anti-Semitism in metro Denver schools and to create a coalition of advocacy organizations to fight hate.

"Both of these grants enable us to do our work in meaningful ways. ... The fact that the Rose Community Foundation is willing to give a focus to organizations like ours shows that it's really about lifting all of us," says Levin.

In Colorado, the number of anti-Semitic incidents has risen in recent years. The frequency of hate crimes nationwide has also risen, according to the latest available data.

Organizations working in greater Denver to fight hate and discrimination can still apply for 2019 grant money from the foundation; the application can be found here.
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Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a staff writer at Westword, where he covers a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports.