Dodge’s Imagine A New Way transformation launches with new grants

April 13, 2021

Trustees approve $2.8M toward an equitable and just New Jersey

The Center for Environmental Transformation’s youth program participants and the market manager sell produce in the Waterfront South neighborhood of Camden.
Photo courtesy The Center for Environmental Transformation

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Board of Trustees met virtually this March and approved more than $2.8 million in grants toward an equitable and just New Jersey. The grants include more than $350,000 in new Imagine a New Way grants, representing Dodge’s latest step towards our commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization and centering racial equity and justice in our work. 

“Weeks after the Atlanta attack marked a turning point in the rise of anti-Asian hate and violence, the latest in our country’s history of white supremacy, systemic racism, and gendered violence, it is more clear than ever that we cannot return to the way things were,” said Tanuja M. Dehne, Dodge Foundation President & CEO. “Dodge’s Imagine a New Way transformation has begun to change what we do and how we do it to achieve our vision of an equitable and just New Jersey so that New Jerseyans of all races and communities have what is needed to realize a quality life.”

With a focus on racial equity and justice and putting trust-based philanthropy values into action, Dodge made $350,000 in Imagine a New Way grants to five organizations and projects that are using strategic tools to tackle barriers and finding solutions to New Jersey’s most intractable problems. These include:

  • $100,000 to the Fair Redistricting in New Jersey Fund at the Princeton Area Community Foundation to support public engagement, transparency, and community representation in the state’s redistricting processes.
  • $25,000 to New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, a statewide membership-based coalition which uses the power and strength of its member organizations to ensure that New Jersey’s immigrant communities are leaders in the development of policies that impact their lives and the lives of all New Jersey residents.
  • $100,000 to New Jersey Institute of Social Justice, a leader in the advocacy field in New Jersey. The Institute’s cutting-edge work is focused on providing policy solutions that empower people of color by building systems that create wealth, transform justice, and harness democratic power from the ground up in New Jersey.
  • $100,000 to New Jersey Policy Perspective, a nonpartisan think-tank whose research drives policy change that advances economic, social, and racial justice throughout New Jersey.
  • $25,000 to Salvation and Social Justice, a grassroots community organizing network for social and racial justice in New Jersey that engages the Black Faith-rooted community across the state.

“These organizations are all driven by local community needs and have created deep relationships with one another,” said Marianna Schaffer, Dodge’s Vice President of Programs. “We are eager to support and amplify the collective effort of these organizations.”

After awarding more than $2.6 million in pandemic response grants in 2020, Dodge Trustees approved in March a $200,000 grant to the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund, which provides critical financial support for arts and culture organizations and individuals impacted by the pandemic. The Fund, housed at the Princeton Area Community Foundation, has awarded $2.6 million in grants, about half of the $4.2 million raised to date. 

Dodge also made two new grants to the Community Foundation of New Jersey for park improvement projects in New Jersey. A $50,000 project support grant to the Boonton Reservoir Enhancement and Access Project enables Open Space Institute to conduct engineering, geotechnical, archaeological, and environmental assessments, and continued stakeholder engagement in adjacent neighborhoods and Jersey City. A $50,000 project support grant to the Branch Brook Park Alliance Fund enables the installation of a wi-fi network and provides ongoing support for the park’s annual upkeep.

In addition, Dodge awarded more than $2.2 million in grants, including 29 totaling $932,750 in Arts, 20 totaling $1,205,000 in Environment, and grants totaling $90,000 in Technical Assistance and other areas.