Constructive change is afoot ... Let us be in step     - - 4/20/2021

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Important Information about our Priority in 2021 and going forward:


Cameras and spotlights have exposed the brutality of racism in our nation and in our cities.  We are outraged, and we join in protest.  You may have noticed the Black Lives Matter banner at the top of our website.  It is not an empty message, nor is it denial that every life matters.  In a year with grave needs and uncertainty, we are sure of one thing.  We place a premium on the local leadership of Black Americans, the Latinx community, and others who have been marginalized.    


In 2020, through 2021, and beyond, we will fund actions and initiatives that are bold, imaginative, resourceful, and ingenious aimed at dismantling systemic, institutionalized, cultural, structural, and abject interpersonal racism and corresponding methods of asserting hierarchy.  Violence and distortions have caused centuries of harm to Black, Latinx, Native, Arab, and Asian Americans in addition to groups targeted by misguided differentiation of sexual orientation, religion, disability, creed, and gender.  The wounds in our community have lasted all of our own and our ancestors’ lifetimes; and, they are acutely raw.  There has never been a more compelling time for steadfast resolve to effect radical change.  We have a threat from Covid-19 that both exacerbates the inequities and makes relevant action a matter of great urgency.


At the onset of grave illness in 2020, we named our focused response to a then new pandemic that is Covid-19.  We began with concern about the virus’s disproportionate effects on already vulnerable communities.  Make no mistake: we are not abandoning our concern for those affected by Covid-19.  Rather, we are honing and narrowing the definition of our focus yet again.  Data demonstrates the injustice that Black and Latinx communities have suffered grievous numbers of infections and deaths. The privilege of rooms in homes transformed into remote workspace rests disproportionately in white and suburban regions.  Urban neighborhoods have not experienced commensurate safeguards.


Mandates have defined “essential workers” who, in the delivery of services, are especially exposed to hazards.  The categorization of “essential workers” has included scores of “undocumented workers” who have been excluded from forms of federal and state assistance.  Families and individuals living in densely-populated spaces and apartment buildings have been unable to escape the potency of the virus’s spread.  Finally, persons repeatedly exposed to trauma have proven uniquely vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.  Violence inside homes and within neighborhoods has grown and intensified in large part due to social isolation, abuse of power, and depletion of resources. 


Our priorities are certain.  Where you are chiefly led by Black Americans and Latinx individuals in Hartford, you have our attention.  Where you are chiefly led to address long-standing racial inequities and wounds, you have our attention.  No one will be ignored, and our priority is incontrovertible.  We ask that you respond seriously to the central essay question of our grant application by telling us of what you are doing directly on point.  We emphasize the central essay question with words in bold type-face just above -- words which in fact re-direct you to this website. 


Important Information about our Process:

The application deadlines in 2022 for three [3] cycles of grantmaking are as follows:  

Monday, February 28, 2022 (at 11:59 pm)

Tueday, May 31, 2022 (at 11:59 pm)

Friday, September 30, 2022 (at 11:59 pm)

The application form on the website is distinct from what you have seen in the last six years.  It is shorter.  The online portal has not changed, hence your sign-in emails and passwords remain the same. 

As distinguished from inviting you to choose between composing a “project support application” or a “general operating support application” at the completion of the eligibility quiz, you will be directed to a general operating support application form.  It is our design to provide flexibility to those who are addressing our above-named priority.  We know some of you have not before now distinguished project titles and budgets on point. 

Please dare to teach us what has been laid bare and what you see as your next steps and our next steps.  Trust that we are inviting you to teach us, more than we need you to persuade us.

Furthermore, we have waived all former reporting requirements on 2019 - 2021 grants.  Would that you be afforded room to give undivided energy to all whom you serve. New opportunities to tell us what you uncovered and what you celebrate in your prior year will be available in your application processes.

The hundreds of earnest conversations we have shared in recent months via Zoom, phone, email, and other innovative means have been instrumental.  Thank you for shaping the priority of this foundation.  You have given your time generously in each call -- you have generated a response.   

Important Links for your Grant Applications:

Click here to begin a grant application for funding to the J. Walton Bissell Foundation


Click here to return to finish an already started application or to see a submitted application





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© J. Walton Bissell Foundation, Inc., 2021