Madison’s M Adams and Markasa Tucker-Harris of Milwaukee were both honored and supported with $150,000 grants from the Open Society Foundations earlier this month.
Open Society Foundations are an international organization that works “to build vibrant and inclusive democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens,” according to their website.
“As part of a larger, long-term effort to empower Black communities, the Open Society Justice Rising Awards seeks to recognize and support individuals who play a critical role in the fight for racial justice,” according to the Justice Rising Awards website. “The awards celebrate 16 leaders across the United States and its territories for their capacity to inspire, innovate, and mobilize people in the face of considerable odds, and their tireless commitment to civil rights. Open Society has granted each of these individuals an award with no strings attached, to use as they see fit, in recognition of the many professional and personal sacrifices involved in the demanding work of building movements.”
M Adams is a longtime community organizer and co-executive director of Freedom Inc, which provides direct services and advocacy for Black, Hmong, queer and other marginalized people.
“I think being part of a movement means that you take seriously the responsibility of making the world better,” Adams said in a video released by OSF.
In making the world better, she uplifts Black, queer, trans, and intersex folks, as well as women and girls and survivors of sexual and partner violence. https://t.co/Jx1H4QuZnV pic.twitter.com/e2gEoLDInK
— Open Society Foundations (@OpenSociety) February 18, 2022
Markasa Tucker-Harris is the executive director of the African American Roundtable (AART), a nonprofit that advocates for social justice. In 2019, she helped co-found the LiberateMKE campaign, asking for investment in Black communities and an equitable city budget.
“We are building and developing leaders to help change the trajectory of the lives and the conditions on the ground in the city of Milwaukee so we can thrive to our greatest potential,” she said in a video released by OSF.
“We are building and developing leaders to help change the trajectory of the lives and the conditions on the ground in the city of Milwaukee so we can thrive and live at our greatest potential.” – @MarkasaTucker https://t.co/TGAsET7Pjp pic.twitter.com/O0zOaGqXMO
— Open Society Foundations (@OpenSociety) February 22, 2022
The awards come with no strings attached. “As an investment in a collection of leaders who together represent an expansive range of experiences, as well as past achievements in their respective areas of expertise, the Awards are made with a trust that these leaders will continue their efforts towards advancing racial justice both now and going forward,” according to the OSF website.
Awardees did not apply for the awards, but were nominated by OSF staff across the United States and selected by a staff committee.