Funding Opportunities

JBC #WeSeeYouFund Call for Proposals
Applications Accepted May 11-May 29, 2020

The application period for the We See You Fund has ended.  Please join our mailing list for future opportunities.

In light of current events and in keeping with its mission to prevent and ultimately end child sexual abuse, Just Beginnings Collaborative (JBC) is launching the We See You Fund.  We are now accepting applications from within the United States for grants of up to $5,000 to fund immediate needs related to healing from and preventing child sexual abuse in communities most exposed to crises, public health and otherwise.

Child Sexual Abuse

The sexual harming of children is simultaneously a widespread and invisible issue. What information is available paints a complicated picture: despite 70% of all reported sexual assaults in the United States involving someone under the age of 17, there is an alarming lack of discussion, intervention, or prevention work occurring around this issue.  Add to this the potentially vast number of cases that go unreported.  Nearly 60% of children abused are harmed by a family member or someone trusted and close to the family.  Given that the prevailing “answers” to abuse are extraction and punishment, it is easy to see how children, families, and communities would be reluctant to report.  And among the greatest risk factors for experiencing sexual harm are being Black, Indigenous, queer, trans, and/or someone with a disability—all communities traditionally blocked from opportunity and access.

Ironically, many institutional responses to the magnitude of child sexual abuse can pose obstacles to interrupting, preventing, and ending it.  The narrative they perpetuate is one of inevitability (“Child sexual abuse will always happen; we can only react to it”) and binary (“There are only two players: perpetrator and victim”).  And while child sexual harm is devastating, it is not preordained, nor is it unalterable.  Intervening more effectively begins with cultivating a new habit of mind; one that sees the permeable, intersecting boundaries of our most vulnerable children as multiple in-roads for healing and transformation.

What is JBC?

Just Beginnings Collaborative is an alliance of funders and survivor-leaders dedicated to ending child sexual abuse and fostering a branching process of interconnection to get there.  We support survivor-centered efforts that propagate transformative practices in criss-crossing root systems.  We ally with funders who want those roots to penetrate the philanthropic world.  We advance a campaign to re-story child sexual abuse, not by following a single “source” of nourishment down, but by traversing the rhizome—a vast horizontal root web of influences.  Where others have seen only inevitability, we move in tremendous possibility.

Context and Necessity

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have widespread global impact.  The majority of our gathering spaces (public and private) have been shut down.  Social and medical services are even more limited.  And for those who do not have a safe, or perhaps even permanent shelter in which to “stay at home,” their exposure to illness and harm has increased.  Our children most multiply vulnerable to sexual abuse are at even greater risk.  Although these children are often overlooked by institutions, the support they may have had through their communities, extended families, and allies in the field is further limited.

But our current circumstances have prompted novel adaptations of the ways some have always turned to each other for help.  Many people traditionally blocked from institutional access or opportunity have used mutual aid and collective strength to thrive.  Now more than ever we must look to people who have been negotiating precariousness well before COVID-19—cultivating strengths and fostering safety within communities—in order to keep this window of greater visibility open.  During a moment when longstanding gaps in institutional solutions are seen and felt so clearly, we are called to act not only to aid the vulnerable, but keep systemic problems from retreating to the periphery again.

Eligibility Criteria

In Just Beginnings Collaborative’s work, we have always sought survivor-leaders and wise responders “on the margins.”  They and their communities are uniquely poised to generate swift and creative strategies beyond and astride institutions.  We believe that they have the solutions and strive to assist them in implementing them.  At a time that demands urgent intervention, JBC is reaffirming its deep commitment to survivor-centered, collective initiatives that promote healing from and ending child sexual abuse in those communities most affected by this public health crisis.  Our required core qualities for proposals are:

  • Initiatives created and led by survivors traditionally blocked from opportunity (QTBIPOC, BIPOC, those with disabilities)
  • Intersectional practices for approaching harm that confront bias and racism
  • Non-institutional responses that do not remove and punish those who cause harm

We are also interested in partnering with criss-crossing movements:

  • Movements to end the commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children
  • Work that is centering the experiences of children during this time
  • Ways of helping families keep children safe
  • At-home resources and novel methods of connecting
  • Helping incarcerated survivors of CSA

Ultimately, JBC’s way of understanding means radical openness.  We know that there is a world of unacknowledged connections between child sexual abuse and other issues.  With this call we invite you to contemplate and explore these relationships in your application.

Project Values

Among the essential values we uplift are:

    • Sidestepping binaries of good/evil, survivor/perpetrator, institutions/organizers
    • Embracing trauma-informed principles, resiliency, and accountability
    • Exploring gender socialization, the structural and historical conditions of child sexual violence, shame and worth, and impact on survivors
    • Breaking silence and cycles of offense
    • Ensuring that people responsible for harm, no matter how severe, are given the chance to hear the often wide-ranging and complex impact of their actions.
    • Challenging oppression of all kinds
    • Focusing on children as the nexus for ending cycles of violence
    • Restorative or transformative practices

Available Funding and Examples*

The kinds of projects we support during this crucial time may take many forms.  We are seeking proposals from a broad range of prevention, intervention, treatment, healing, arts, applied research, advocacy and community organizing programs.  We are accepting proposals seeking up to $5,000 in funding.  Possible examples include:

    • Grants for mutual aid efforts related to child sexual abuse (tools for families, community resources)
    • Assistance for efforts to provide health and safety resources for children and families
    • Grants to amplify campaigns raising visibility of the issue and those most multiply impacted by child sexual abuse and the public health crisis
    • Grants for digital organizing, or other adaptations to existing initiatives

We at JBC remain open to your creativity and your communities, and welcome the innovative and unexpected.

*In lieu of grants, past grantees are eligible for stipends to support shifting to virtual operations, remote work, and the associated technology.

Application Process

The We See You Fund grant application period has ended.