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Photo of Romy Justilien speaking at a podium with her arms raised

When survival isn’t enough

Right now we’re seeing how our country is willing to sacrifice the most vulnerable, the elderly, Black and Brown bodies, the homeless, and the poor to protect capitalism at all costs. Our safety nets are not enough, philanthropy can’t fill the gap, and nonprofits are barely hanging on. When the very lives of our communities are in jeopardy, when do we say “enough”? Survival can’t be our end game, but best believe it is absolutely critical – not only for the families and communities we care about, but the long term infrastructure and mutual aid needed. 

Aren’t you tired of the perpetual beating? It’s time to fight back like never before. We need to activate and flex our political muscles when it comes to economic, social, and health policies and institutions. We need to bring the fight for our lives to our legislators, the ballot box, the Census – this is about elevating our advocacy, refining or pivoting our strategies and funding.  Progressives have to build political power with and for the people most affected by injustice. Communities of color and those at the margin have the experiential wisdom and policy solutions we need in this moment. 

Time to Reimagine

As one of the largest fiscal sponsors in the political space, Tides Advocacy has been reimagining our commitment to communities of color and movement infrastructure to advance political power. This is the time to be fierce, bold, and tireless in our support of political advocacy, from running candidates, to litigation, digital campaigns, ballot measures, legislation, boycotts, and other mechanisms of influence. 

As the new CEO of Tides Advocacy, my lived experience informs my expertise working with advocacy groups and philanthropy. I am Black and womxn, and I can’t help but have the drive to bring about a radical future of justice and liberation – one I’ve never seen. I’m proud that Tides Advocacy has centered womxn of color in our leadership, with Black, Latinx, and AAPI power represented in our management team and board.  Our collective wisdom and commitment to communities on the margins energizes us to power progressive campaigns and movements that secure political wins and center community well-being. 

Building a Radical Future

When we feel the pressure, it is so easy to retract, to be immobilized, to give up. But what I’ve learned is that social change does not fit in a grant cycle, we need to have a 10, 20, 30 year plan to design, build, and actualize a radical future: 

  • A healthcare system focused on healing, 
  • Elected officials that reflect the values of our communities, 
  • A justice system that does not cage people, 
  • An economy that protects and values workers, 
  • Affordable and safe housing infrastructure for everyone, and 
  • An education that allows all children to thrive.

Let’s be honest, this is the work of several generations. Over the years, we’ve engaged our partners, movement donors, and other grassroots organizations on how we lean into the hard work ahead.  

As we move forward, we will continue to: 

  • Engage in authentic relationships with movement leaders on their funding needs and nonmonetary resources,
  • Reconfigure our movement infrastructure and capacity-building to center leaders of color and those in underrepresented communities,  
  • Leverage our voice and networks to increase critical resources for communities of color and marginalized groups, 
  • Back policies and legislation that advance equity with our partners and progressive funders, and 
  • Collaborate with funders and advocacy groups on their political strategy and legal possibilities.

Join Us

As a progressive funder, we are launching the Healthy Democracy Action Fund, with seed funding of $1 million dollars to provide general operating, multi-year 501(c)(4) funding to existing and new advocacy groups seeking to build political power in underrepresented communities. We believe electoral victories and policy wins are more critical than ever. If you’re a funder who wants to join this effort, connect with us here

While our reality has changed, our commitment to a radical future and an equitable democracy has not. The mission is the same – build political power where it is needed most. 

Tides Advocacy is all in. Will you join us?