Barr Responds to Family Separation Crisis With Grants, Gifts

Barr Responds to Family Separation Crisis With Grants, Gifts

The Boston-based Barr Foundation has announced grants and gifts totaling $1 million in support of immigrant families affected by the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" and family separation policies.

Although the foundation's grantmaking is focused on New England and issues unrelated to immigration, its latest grants will support organizations working to reunite the nearly three thousand children and their parents affected by the family separation crisis along the nation's southern border. The funding includes $500,000 that the foundation had allocated for special initiatives and an additional $500,000 in personal gifts from its founding trustees, Barbara and Amos Hostetter.

Recipients of the grants include the New York City-based National Domestic Workers Alliance, which was awarded $250,000 in support of its campaign to end the administration's zero-tolerance policy through grassroots mobilization activities and strategic communications efforts; NEO Philanthropy, which will receive $200,000 to bolster the Rapid Response Fund at the Four Freedoms Fund and support high-priority legal and other human services for children and parents affected by the crisis; and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Boston, which will receive $50,000 in support of its efforts to reunite immigrant children with their parents. The gift from the Hostetters will be split between NDWA and the Four Freedoms Fund.

Last month, the Barr Foundation joined with other foundations as a co-signer of a statement issued by Grantmakers Concerned for Immigrants and Refugees that stated in part: "Together, we stand firm in shared values of fairness, compassion, and family integrity that underpin our work in philanthropy and our very identity as a nation."

"As a nation of immigrants with a proud tradition of welcoming those from all parts of the world, it is unconscionable that our country's policies have created the unfolding tragedy at the border," said Barr Foundation president James E. Canales. "While the primacy of strategic, focused philanthropy remains central to Barr's work, we must also balance that focus with flexibility to take action when our values are threatened. This is such a moment, and we cannot sit idly by."