Racial Justice Initiative

In June 2020, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s Board of Trustees approved a special three-year Racial Justice Initiative (RJI). Through this Initiative, the RBF is making explicit its commitment to racial justice as part of its grantmaking and to becoming an anti-racist, anti-sexist institution.

Between 2020 – 2022, the RJI will make $10 million in short-term catalytic grants to respond to public momentum and support structural change to further racial equity in the United States. The RJI will also support the incorporation of racial justice as a critical lens across all its grantmaking programs.


Through its grantmaking, the RJI aims to advance racial equity and racial justice in the United States. RJI grants will support efforts to transform formal and informal systems of justice, governance, economy, and civic culture that enforce racist norms and produce outcomes that oppress and undermine the success of Black, Indigenous, and people-of-color communities. Supported organizations will work to build genuinely inclusive and equitable social, democratic, and economic institutions that challenge the dominant normative value of whiteness and replace exploitative practices with an anti-racist ethos that values diversity and reinforces the dignity of all people.

The RJI will fund grants in five categories:

  1. Capacity-building support for programs or organizations that address multiple forms of oppression, including racism, that compound to systemically divorce people from their rights and/or alienate them from justice
  2. Capacity-building support for programs or organizations that examine and work to eliminate anti-Black racism
  3. Capacity-building support for Native American-led and Native American-accountable organizations
  4. Coalition development to support nascent cross-disciplinary, collective creativity focused on systemic transformation of U.S. political economy and/or digital technology focused on racial equity or racial justice
  5. Artistic projects that aim to transform racial narratives in the United States through the intersection of art, culture, and democracy in public spaces

See All Recent RJI Grants →


The RJI is a special initiative of the Democratic Practice–United States program. To inquire about the RJI, please email us. We are unable to accept grant proposals or letters of inquiry submitted by email.