Utile’s 2021 Justice & Freedom Donation Matching Campaign
Between Juneteenth and July 4th, 2021, Utile and its employees have donated a total of $14,761 to organizations committed to supporting BIPOC lives and helping to abolish systemic racism and white supremacy as part of our annual Justice & Freedom Donation Matching Campaign. These organizations were added to a comprehensive resource database, available below. Utile as a company matched $7,300, or $100 per employee, which was split amongst the top three organizations: Black Lives Matter, Sweet Water Foundation, and Equal Justice Initiative.
Utilians chose to support the following organizations over 2020 and 2021:
- Black Lives Matter: “#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.”
- National Bail Out: “National Bail Out is a Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists building a community-based movement to support our folks and end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration. We are people who have been impacted by cages — either by being in them ourselves or witnessing our families and loved ones be encaged. We are queer, trans, young, elder, and immigrant.”
- Black LGBTQIA + Migrant Project (BLMP): “BLMP envisions a world where no one is forced to give up their homeland, where all Black LGBTQIA+ people are free and liberated. We build and center the power of Black LGBTQIA+ migrants to ensure the liberation of all Black people through community-building, political education, creating access to direct services, and organizing across borders. Led by a directly impacted steering committee and staff and housed at the Transgender Law Center and, we build power, community, and knowledge in the U.S., while challenging the role the U.S. plays globally in creating the conditions that force us to leave our homes.”
- Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) “is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society” This is also the organization behind the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which “is the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence”
- The Okra Project “is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People wherever we can reach them. In this spirit, The Okra Project hopes to extend free, delicious, and nutritious meals to Black Trans people experiencing food insecurity.
Based on individual donations, The Okra Project pays Black Trans chefs to go into the homes of Black Trans people to cook them a healthy and home-cooked meal at absolutely no cost to our Black TGNC siblings. For those Black Trans folks currently experiencing homeless or whose homes cannot support our chef’s cooking, The Okra Project has partnered with institutions like Osborne Association and other community spaces to deliver foods.”
- Reclaim the Block “began in 2018 and organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety. We believe health, safety and resiliency exist without police of any kind. We organize around policies that strengthen community-led safety initiatives and reduce reliance on police departments. We do not believe that increased regulation of or public engagement with the police will lead to safer communities, as community testimony and documented police conduct suggest otherwise.”
- Youth Guidance, Becoming a Man “creates and implements school-based programs that enable children to overcome obstacles, focus on their education and, ultimately, to succeed in school and in life. Youth Guidance sees a bright and successful future for every elementary and high school student. Because we believe that success in school is not only possible but should be achieved and celebrated, we are present in the schools to facilitate an environment that truly engages students in the learning process, and through careful guidance, enables them to realize their full potential and graduate with a meaningful plan for successfully managing life.”
- Color of Change “is a progressive nonprofit civil rights advocacy organization. Formed in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Color of Change’s goal is to use online resources to strengthen the political voice of African Americans. “We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by 1.7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Our campaigns and initiatives win changes that matter. By designing strategies powerful enough to fight racism and injustice—in politics and culture, in the workplace and the economy, in criminal justice and community life, and wherever they exist—we are changing both the written and unwritten rules of society. We mobilize our members to end practices and systems that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward.”
- Embrace Race: “As US racial divisions and inequities grow sharper and more painful, the work of envisioning and creating systems of authentic racial inclusion and belonging in the United States remains work in progress. We believe that reversing the trend must begin in our homes, schools, and communities with our children’s hearts and minds. At EmbraceRace, we identify, organize – and, as needed, create – the tools, resources, discussion spaces, and networks we need to meet 4 goals: Nurture resilience in children of color; Nurture inclusive, empathetic children of all stripes; Raise kids who think critically about racial inequity; Support a movement of kid and adult racial justice advocates for all children.”
- Sweet Water Foundation “practices Regenerative Neighborhood Development, a creative and regenerative social justice method, that creates safe and inspiring spaces and curates healthy, intergenerational communities that transform the ecology of so-called “blighted” neighborhoods.
Sweet Water Foundation utilizes a blend of urban agriculture, art, and education to transform vacant spaces and abandoned buildings into economically and ecologically productive and sustainable community assets that produce engaged youth, art, locally-grown food, and affordable housing.
Since 2014, SWF has created a series of urban acupuncture inspired installations and projects that actively re-story and re-construct a neighborhood located at the nexus of Englewood/Washington Park. Within 5 years, SWF transformed 4-contiguous city blocks into a place known as The Commonwealth – a real-word, physical manifestation of how built spaces reflect and impact understanding of the common, the collective, and the constitutional. SWF’s practice of Regenerative Neighborhood Development, as demonstrated by The Commonwealth, offers a solution-oriented response that pushes the boundaries of blight and shed light on the collective consciousness by making a new lived reality possible.”
- The ACLU of Massachusetts “a private, nonpartisan organization with more than 82,000 supporters across the Commonwealth and over 100,000 online activists—is a state affiliate of the national ACLU. We defend the principles enshrined in the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, as well as the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Learn more about the history of the ACLU of Massachusetts, the range of issues we cover, and the national ACLU’s work and history.”
- Know Your Rights Camp “a free campaign founded by Colin Kaepernick to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment, and instructions on how to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios.
“Our mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.”
Know your rights (10 Po – You have the right to be free, be healthy, be brilliant, be safe, be loved, be courageous, be alive, be trusted, be educated, know your rights.”
- The Loveland Foundation “was established in 2018 by Rachel Cargle in response to her widely successful birthday wish fundraiser, Therapy for Black Women and Girls. Her enthusiastic social media community raised over $250,000, which made it possible for Black women and girls nationally to receive therapy support. Black women and girls deserve access to healing, and that healing will impact generations.
The Loveland Foundation is the official continuation of this effort to bring opportunity and healing to communities of color, and especially to Black women and girls. Through fellowships, residency programs, listening tours, and more, ultimately we hope to contribute to both the empowerment and the liberation of the communities we serve.”
- African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund “to encourage this growing movement, the National Trust and its partners are working to raise $25 million to create and invest in the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund—the largest preservation campaign ever undertaken on behalf of African American history. Our mission: to draw attention to the remarkable stories that evoke centuries of African American activism and achievement, and to tell our nation’s full history.
Indeed, the stories and places of African American culture and heritage have always existed, but too often have not been fully acknowledged for the integral role they play in the fabric of American society.
We are committed to crafting a narrative that expands our view of history and, ultimately, begins to reconstruct our national identity, while inspiring a new generation of activists to advocate for our diverse historic places.”
- The National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR) “is a non-profit organization providing technical assistance, consulting, research, and organizational development in the fields of juvenile and criminal justice, youth development, and violence prevention. NICJR provides consultation, program development technical assistance and training to an array of organizations, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, and philanthropic foundations.”
- Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness “will radically transform Black Women’s health by creating a world where Black women and girls live long, happy and thriving lives, defined by healthy minds, bodies and spirits.”
- National Lawyers Guild “is the nation’s oldest and largest progressive bar association and was the first one in the US to be racially integrated. Our mission is to use law for the people, uniting lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people by valuing human rights and the rights of ecosystems over property interests. This is achieved through the work of our members, and the Guild’s numerous organizational committees, caucuses and projects, reflecting a wide spectrum of intersectional issues. Guild members effectively network and hone their legal skills in order to help create change at the local, regional, national, and international levels.”
- ACLU “dares to create a more perfect union — beyond one person, party, or side. Our mission is to realize this promise of the United States Constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees.”
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund “is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 75 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments.”
- Planned Parenthood: “In October 2016, Planned Parenthood turned 100 years strong. Planned Parenthood was founded on the revolutionary idea that women should have the information and care they need to live strong, healthy lives and fulfill their dreams — no ceilings, no limits. Today, Planned Parenthood is a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide.”
- Campaign Zero: “Over 1,000 people are killed by police every year in America. We are calling on local, state, and federal lawmakers to take immediate action to adopt data-driven policy solutions to end this violence and hold police accountable.”
- Minnesota Freedom Fund “pays criminal bail and immigration bond for those who cannot afford to as we seek to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing.”
- Abundant Housing MA: “We stand up for abundant housing for all in communities across Massachusetts. We drive policy at the state and local level by identifying pro-housing changemakers, building the power of local organizers, and connecting a statewide network.”
- Alternatives for Community & Environment: “Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE) is a neighborhood based, environmental justice and transit-oriented development nonprofit. We organize Roxbury residents and work with community organizers locally, statewide and nationally to build platforms and offer resources that address systemic injustice. We work directly within the frontline communities that are most impacted bringing critical solutions that include advocacy, organizing, legal and regulatory campaigns. ACE is the first environmental justice nonprofit organization in Massachusetts and has defended the rights of Roxbury residents for over 25 years.”
- Assata’s Daughters: Assata’s Daughters (“AD”) first formed in 2015 as a volunteer-based collective of Black women, femmes, and gender non-conforming people, to address a shortage of programming and community for women-identified, femme, and gender non-conforming young Black people in Chicago.
AD was founded, planned, and operated by Black women, femmes, and gender non-conforming people to carry on the tradition of radical liberatory activism encompassed by Assata Shakur, to train up others in the radical political tradition of Black feminism, and to learn how to organize on the ground around the demand for Black liberation, particularly a demand for abolition.
In 2018, AD shifted from a collective-model to a formal organizational structure with a board and staff. At the bequest of those we served, the organization has now broadened its scope to provide lessons to young men and boys on toxic notions of masculinity, dismantling patriarchal systems of oppression, and understanding the impact of both on interpersonal relationships.
AD continues to be an abolitionist organization led by Black women using a Black queer feminist lens and relationship-based tactics to organize bases of young Black people in divested-from areas of Chicago.
- Black Voters Matter: “Black Voters Matter goal is to increase power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities. Effective voting allows a community to determine its own destiny. We agree with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he said, ‘Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.’ ”
- Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA): “Chinese for Affirmative Action was founded in 1969 to protect the civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the United States. Today, CAA is a progressive voice in and on behalf of the broader Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We advocate for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial and social injustice.”
- Chappaquiddick Tribe of Wampanoag Nation: “The Chappaquiddick Wampanoag Tribe is a historical Massachusetts tribe. Its ancestral homelands are Chappaquiddick Island, Cape Poge, and Muskeget. The Chappaquiddick Wampanoag were a tribe at the time of first contact, when the United States became a country in 1776, and when Massachusetts became part of the Federal Union in 1789. The tribe had two reservation areas on Chappaquiddick until the late 1800s. Today, Chappaquiddicks live in Martha’s Vineyard, the larger island next to Chappaquiddick, on the mainland in Massachusetts and Rhode Island (ancestral homelands of the Wampanoag Nation), and throughout the United States. The tribe filed several petitions to the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the State of Massachusetts over a period of years prior to 1869. Tribal citizens visit and use the traditional lands at Chappaquiddick Island, and many of them are or were parties to petitions to register land by non-Indians within the last 20 years.
Our tribe had two reservations on Chappaquiddick until the Massachusetts Indian Enfranchisement Act of 1869 was passed. At that time, our lands were allotted to Chappaquiddick Wampanoag individuals and Chappaquiddick Island was absorbed by the town of Edgartown. Our reservations are documented as the Cleared Lands Reservation on North Neck and the Woodlands Reservation south of Chappaquiddick Road; over 800 acres.
We have an extensive legislative history. Our Tribe filed petitions, acts and resolves to address Chappaquiddick grievances, issues and concerns with the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the State of Massachusetts from 1692 to 1870. Though our ancestral homeland is Chappaquiddick Island, our people routinely interacted with the Aquinnah, Mashpee and others on the mainland. All our enrolled tribal members descend from individuals on the Briggs Report of 1849 or the Earle Report of 1859.”
- City Life / Vida Urbana: “City Life/Vida Urbana is a grassroots community organization committed to fighting for racial, social and economic justice and gender equality by building working class power. We promote individual empowerment, develop community leaders and build collective power to effect systemic change and transform society.”
- Courageous Sailing: “Courageous Sailing is a nonprofit community sailing and youth development organization committed to providing people of all ages and backgrounds with opportunities to learn, sail, and enjoy Boston Harbor.”
- Design as Protest: “Design as Protest is a collective of designers mobilizing strategy to dismantle the privilege and power structures that use architecture and design as tools of oppression. Co-organized by BIPOC designers, we exist to hold our profession accountable in reversing the violence and injustice that architecture, design, and urban planning practices have inflicted upon Black people and communities. Design as Protest champions the radical vision of racial, social, and cultural reparation through the process and outcomes of design.”
- Designing Justice + Designing Spaces: “We are an Oakland-based architecture and real estate development non-profit working to end mass incarceration by building infrastructure that addresses its root causes: poverty, racism, unequal access to resources, and the criminal justice system itself. Our work counters the traditional adversarial and punitive architecture of justice—courthouses, prisons, and jails—by creating spaces and buildings for restorative justice, community building, and housing for people coming out of incarceration. We also operate the Concept Development Fund, a program which helps nonprofits and advocates transform their ideas for community infrastructure reinvestment into fully realized designs complete with budgetary outlines, imagery, and other concrete details. The Fund receives charitable contributions that are used to support the financial costs of the concept development process.”
- First Nations Development Institute: Our mission is to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities. We invest in and create innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities. With the support of individuals, foundations, corporate and tribal donors, First Nations Development Institute improves economic conditions for Native Americans through technical assistance & training, advocacy & policy, and direct financial grants in six key areas: Achieving Native Financial Empowerment, Investing in Native Youth, Strengthening Tribal & Community Institutions, Advancing Household & Community Asset-Building Strategies, Nourishing Native Foods & Health, Stewarding Native Lands.
- Museum of African American History: “The Museum of African American History inspires all generations to embrace and interpret the authentic stories of New Englanders of African descent, and those who found common cause with them, in their quest for freedom and justice. Through its historic buildings, collections, and programs, the Museum expands cultural understanding and promotes dignity and respect for all.”
- Marsha P. Johnson Institute: “The Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI) protects and defends the human rights of BLACK transgender people. We do this by organizing, advocating, creating an intentional community to heal, developing transformative leadership, and promoting our collective power. We intend to reclaim Marsha P. Johnson and our relationship as BLACK trans people to her life and legacy. It is in our reclaiming of Marsha that we give ourselves permission to reclaim autonomy to our minds, to our bodies, and to our futures. We were founded both as a response to the murders of BLACK trans women and women of color and how that is connected to our exclusion from social justice issues, namely racial, gender, and reproductive justice, as well as gun violence.”
- Massachusetts Bail Fund: “The mission of the Massachusetts Bail Fund has always been to free people from jail. We are a non-judgmental, abolitionist bail fund. We post bail for people regardless of charge or court history. Our self-imposed monetary limit has only ever existed to ensure our often resource-limited fund remains sustainable and predictable for people seeking our assistance. We have communicated publicly that, when asked and able, we post bails that exceed our cap. Currently, as we explain on our website, we are exploring the financial feasibility of posting higher bails. We do this work because pretrial detention is harmful and racist. Pretrial detention keeps people in cages for months or years, causing them to lose their housing, lose their jobs, lose their children, and potentially lose their lives. And throughout the Commonwealth, judges and prosecutors impose higher bails on Black and Brown people than white people for the same categories of offenses.”
- National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center: “Our mission is to provide national leadership to end violence against American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian women by supporting culturally grounded, grassroots advocacy.”
- Southern Poverty Law Center: The SPLC is a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond, working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements, and advance the human rights of all people.
- Stop AAPI Hate: “In response to the alarming escalation in xenophobia and bigotry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University launched the Stop AAPI Hate coalition on March 19, 2020. The coalition tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.”
- Trans Resistance MA: “Trans Resistance was formed in June 2020 by Athena Vaughn, Chastity Bowick, and a collective of trans and queer activists in the Boston area who built upon years of contention with the Boston Pride board for being trans-exclusionary in their process, vision, and work and failing to equitably represent the magical TQBIPOC community in Boston.
Trans Resistance builds off the work of the Transgender Emergency Fund, the only organization dedicated to supporting low income and homeless Transgender individuals in Massachusetts. The Transgender Emergency Fund assists with homelessness prevention, shelter assistance, nutrition assistance, prescription co-pay assistance, transportation and escort to medical appointments, etc. All services are contingent on the availability of funds.”
- Transgender Law Center: “Transgender Law Center changes law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.
Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation.”