DMV Power

Through Disrupt, Move, Voice Power (DMV Power), the Weissberg Foundation supports organizations and efforts that build power of people of color in the District, suburban Maryland, and Virginia who are multiply impacted by political, economic, and social systems. With the changing of narratives around who can access power and breaking down systemic barriers that prevent people from doing so, we hope ultimately for a strong and sustainable culture and infrastructure of community power that advances racial equity.

DMV Power is dedicated to:

  • Combatting systemic oppression, in which racism is perpetuated by social systems and institutions that are structurally inequitable;
  • Recognizing the lived experience of community members experiencing racism by allowing them to speak first-hand about the ways in which their lives intersect with racial injustices;
  • Highlighting that racism is not one-dimensional, but instead that people of color live multi-issue lives in which inequity exists across overlapping and compounded issues such as housing equity, food scarcity, educational in opportunity, involvement in the criminal justice system, and a lack of/under-employment, among others;
  • Understanding that identities are intersectional in nature and that taken together components of identity reflect a spectrum of power and privilege along social strata such as race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion, etc.;
  • Underscoring the weight of historical oppression experienced by communities of color which speaks to the normalized and chronic exclusion and inequity that is intergenerational; and
  • Promoting an anti-racist stance that intentionally opposes racism and pushes for racial equity through actions and belief systems.

2020-2024 DMV Power Fund

The 2020-2024 DMV Power Fund in the inaugural grantmaking round of this program area. The fund supports organizations dedicated to building power – through advocacy, organizing, and civic engagement – by and for people of color in the District, suburban Maryland, and Virginia as a strategy to dismantle structural racism in pursuit of a more equitable region.

We seek the following outcomes through DMV Power:

For our communities

  • POWER: People of color who are multiply impacted by systems are more empowered to advance equitable outcomes for themselves, their families, and their communities.

For our grantees

  • VISIBILITY: Organizations giving voice and opportunity to historically marginalized populations – particularly those organizations closest to and led by members of the communities they serve – are more visible and attractive to talent, funders, and other potential collaborators.
  • STRENGTH: Organizations are better positioned to meet their goals to advance racial equity because they are better resourced to work effectively.

For our foundation

  • UNDERSTANDING: The Foundation deepens our knowledge about systems change to advance racial equity and grows our relationship with organizations and individuals working to advance it.
  • STRATEGY: The Foundation is better positioned to leverage a longer term, more comprehensive, and more effective strategy to support community-driven efforts to advance racial equity across the District, Maryland, and Virginia.

Our ultimate vision is the creation of a strong and sustainable culture and infrastructure of community power in the District, suburban Maryland, and Virginia that advances racial equity.

2020-2024 DMV Power Grantee Partners

In January 2020, the Weissberg Foundation awarded four-year grants to the following ten organizations. Though each grantee partner takes a different approach to how they disrupt, move, and voice power, each works to build leadership capacity and visibility of people of color; brings a deep knowledge of their communities and an expansive understanding of issue areas; advances a societal infrastructure that works to shift hearts and minds, while also pushing systems and institutions to be more racially equitable; strategically uses advocacy, organizing, and/or civic engagement to advance systems-level reform; and makes meaningful success in achieving goals, including making transformational progress in advancing racial equity and building power in communities of color.

Learn more about our DMV Power grantees.