Why the Grassroots Solidarity Revolution


We can only change the world if changemakers on the frontlines are recognised, resourced and supported!

It’s time to stand with grassroots activists

Grassroots activists are powerful changemakers working alongside their communities towards local empowerment. They help modify unfair laws, promote peace, human rights and equality, and are first responders during emergencies. Their work is undeniably critical, especially as social, political and economic injustices grow around the world, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Grassroots activists should have plenty of resources and solidarity to sustain their causes and themselves. However, the reality is different. Corrupt groups and institutions are suppressing, attacking and silencing activists, who work with dwindling funding and support.

Barriers between grassroots activists, donors and ally organisations (like international NGOs) hinder the flow of essential resources to the front lines of change. Many donors and allies struggle to understand, trust and connect with grassroots groups. Stigmas, different mindsets and power dynamics also get in the way. Unfortunately, there are no spaces where activists, donors and allies can build mutual understanding and meaningful relationships and alliances.

Their interaction is often limited to transactional grantmaking processes and consultations that do not nurture stronger connections.

This situation impacts the amount and quality of resources for grassroots activism. Most funding for civil society goes to organisations considered more stable, skilled, trustworthy and less “controversial.” On the other hand, the limited funds for grassroots activists are tied to excessive requirements, foster competition between activists and don’t always match local realities, values and visions. In addition, funds rarely support the livelihoods and well-being of activists or the basic needs of their groups.

Activists are forced to become more and more resilient, but this situation is not sustainable. They are asking for change!

Let’s start the Grassroots Solidarity Revolution! 

The Grassroots Solidarity Revolution is a grassroots-led call to break down barriers and overhaul the mindsets and power dynamics that stand between grassroots activists, donors and allies, blocking the flow of resources and restricting our collective power and impact. Our vision is to connect in radical solidarity, cultivating trust, new ways of thinking and meaningful collaboration between us.

In a challenged and socially distanced world, unity is needed more than ever. This revolution is the beginning of empowered alliances where changemakers on the front lines are valued, resourced and supported!

The Grassroots Changemakers team and CIVICUS are mobilising a global community to kick-start the revolution. These are the collective actions we propose to promote this change:

Our Contribuition

During this campaign we will advocate for and test spaces for connection between activists, donors and allies:

– The Grassroots Changemakers are hosting local dialogues in Madagascar, Mexico, the Philippines, South Sudan and Zambia with grassroots groups and donors.
– We will host a virtual global dialogue with small grassroots groups, international donors and allies focused on co-creating inclusive platforms for sustained dialogue.
– We are supporting grassroots activists in various countries to host vibrant virtual meetings called Jam Sessions, designed by and for activists to build relationships, promote collective healing and co-create grassroots-led visions around resourcing and organising.

We will also help amplify the voices of grassroots activists to place their visions at the center of this revolution and to celebrate and humanise their work. Lastly, we will share our journey and learnings to contribute to this movement.