Kaki Friskics-Warren

2023 Grant Announcements

The 15th year of grantmaking at the Maddox Fund was an exercise in unlearning. Instead of reverting to traditional practices, we stretched ourselves to live more intentionally into our vision of a world in which people and planet flourish together in regenerative systems free from oppression and threat. Unlearning isn’t easy. Imagining a liberated world hidden behind a veil seems impossible, but with practice we have a chance to glimpse that longed-for future for which we strive.

This year the Grant Committee noted that words like budgets, outcomes and measurements gave way to the more relational language of trust, co-creating, healing and justice. These North Stars were centered in every discussion, as was our priority to fund more organizations that have been historically and systemically starved for the funding they need to bring about change in their communities.  Our funding areas—youth and the natural environment—remained unchanged.

In the spirit of transparency, you can find the last 5 years of grantmaking on our website—including 2023. So that data can become knowledge that transforms our actions, we offer this analysis of our 2023 grants to date in comparison to our 2018 grantmaking:

 Total GrantsAdvocacyBIPOC-led
2018$2.1 million8% of funding17% of funding
2023 YTD$1.4 million33% of funding77% of funding

The Maddox Fund will also have two participatory grant processes later in the year. $100,000 will be allocated to the community by HBCU students and an additional $100,000 will be distributed to area nonprofits by LGBTQI+ young people. To stay informed, follow us on ​Facebook and Instagram.

The Maddox Fund was disappointed that we did not receive more applications to support LGBTQI+ led advocacy organizations working with young people — only 4% of our funding year-to-date went to address this pressing need.   For that reason,   the Maddox Fund has set aside an additional $100,000 to support LGBTQI+ advocacy. Clearly, a mere 4% won’t bring justice for a community under attack.

Liberation is only as permanent as our practice. The Grant Committee knows there is more internal work required to ensure that equity, justice and liberation are normalized, formalized and woven into the fabric of the Fund. As a learning organization, we are convinced of and committed to the relentless pursuit of that practice.

2023 RFP Grant Partners

Organization Name Grant
Conexion Americas $ 40,000
Equity Alliance $ 60,000
Futuro Inc $ 40,000
Launch Pad $ 55,000
Music City Construction Careers Inc $ 20,000
Nashville Freedom School Partnership $ 50,000
Nashville International Center for Empowerment $ 30,000
One Willco $ 30,000
Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi $ 30,000
Salama Urban Ministries $ 40,000
Southern Movement Committee $ 60,000
Sunrise Movement $ 50,000
Tennessee Educators Of Color Alliance $ 62,000
Tennessee Immigrant And Refugee Rights Coalition $ 50,000
Tennessee State University Foundation (Environmental Career Exploration) $ 25,000
Tennessee State University Foundation (Nashville Environmental Justice Initiative) $ 40,000
The Education Trust $ 25,000
Waterbear $ 25,000
Why We Can’t Wait $ 30,000
Women of Color Collaborative $ 30,000

2023 Grant Announcements Read More »

Where We’re Headed: Learning and Unlearning

As we pilot our re-designed grant program, it is tempting to recount the Maddox racial equity journey with you—charting our work from 2017 to now, both our learning and unlearning. But instead, I’ll point you to the timeline on our website and the series of blog links that appear below. Suffice it to say, change has come through intentional and ongoing struggle.

What will remain the same going forward is our mission—to make Middle Tennessee a better place through partnerships that improve the lives of young people and protect the natural environment. What will change are our grant strategies and practices in hopes of contributing to a more equitable, just and liberating tomorrow.

Where We’re Headed: Learning and Unlearning Read More »

Needing More Than a Fresh Coat of Paint

For more than 25 years, I worked with nonprofits providing affordable housing. We were always on the hunt for a house or an available apartment building. I learned to love the smell of fresh paint but also knew to bring an experienced inspector with me.  New paint looks good but frequently covers a myriad of structural issues.  Only by looking beneath the veneer of fresh paint could we know the integrity of the house’s foundation and framing.

On the surface, Maddox has made progress living into our racial equity imperative. Our 2021 grant analysis reveals that we are supporting partners with more diverse boards and more organizations led by and for BIPOC communities (Black, Indigenous and People of Color).  We have added partners committed to the movement building essential to systemic change.  Even our Opportunity (out-of-cycle) Grants have grown to be more responsive to the unique challenges faced by Black and diverse leaders.  Our 2021 Young Professional Scholarships at CNM will focus on BIPOC leadership development.

But upon deeper inspection, the Maddox Fund’s policies and practices have perpetuated racial inequity. Examining our most recent 5-year comparison, we found that:

  • The 5 organizations that have received the largest cumulative levels of funding since inception are all white-led organizations
  • Out of the 9 organizations receiving more than $200,000 in total funding, none are BIPOC-led*
  • Out of the 33 organizations receiving more than $100,000 in total funding, only 3 of them are BIPOC-led

Needing More Than a Fresh Coat of Paint Read More »

Tools to build our equitable future

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” Maya Angelou

I spent the better part of the first two decades of my professional life as the Executive Director of direct service organizations. During that time I witnessed a commitment to improving services, often returning from trainings with a new best practice or working to make program adjustments based on client feedback. The nonprofit community has often been ready to interrogate its assumptions, adapt and move into action—we lean into change.

Not surprisingly, as we wake up to how systemic racism functions in our organizations, nonprofits are responding with a determination to tear down oppressive structures and to build new, liberating systems in their place.

Tools to build our equitable future Read More »

2020 Anti-racism Series

Over the past several weeks we have witnessed the violent deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. Closer to home Jocques Clemmons and Daniel Hambrick are remembered, along with the disproportionate number of our black and brown neighbors who have died from COVID-19. These are the individual faces reflecting the oppressive systems that envelop everyone in their path—no one escapes; the only way forward is together.

Believing each of us wants to be liberated individually and to advance racial justice in our organizations, the Maddox Fund is sharing resources that we have used in our racial justice learning.

2020 Anti-racism Series Read More »

Deep Roots Connect Us

Picture of a broken tree with a text overlay that says, "Deep roots connect us."

Trees are on my heart these days. The scarecrow remains of a once noble walnut, all but the trunk and a few branches torn from it by the tornado. My son’s tire swing was roped around that tree. The mounds of limbs and torsos at curbs unceremoniously hauled away by hulking clawed machines. To say nothing of the many fallen trees that have caved-in the roofs of homes they’ve sheltered for generations.

Deep Roots Connect Us Read More »

Maddox Sponsors Anti-Racism Training at Center for Nonprofit Management

“Not everything that is faced can be changed,  but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin

“If not now, when?  If not us, who?”    John Lewis

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”   Hopi Nation Elders

Over the past year, the Maddox Charitable Fund has been talking about equity. While we are early in our journey, we are convinced that we can’t walk alone; we need partners to create a strong movement for change.

The Maddox Charitable Fund, along with the HCA Foundation, The Healing Trust and the Metro Arts Commission, is partnering with Center for Nonprofit Management to bring Crossroads’ anti-racism training back to Nashville.  Education is the first step in order to chart a transformative course.

We invite our partners to consider an available training in 2019 (see descriptions and registration below).  If you need scholarship assistance to participate, please contact us.  Don’t let registration fees stand in your way.

Later in the year, we will be hosting Maddox Listening Meetings to hear directly from our partners about your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plans.  We want to learn from your ideas, directions and work, as well as listen to your concerns.  Please sign up for a session when the invitation is sent.

The Maddox Charitable Fund’s mission is only possible with strong nonprofit partners.  We’re thankful for your companionship on the road ahead.

Maddox Sponsors Anti-Racism Training at Center for Nonprofit Management Read More »

Maddox Stands to Protect the Clean Water Act. Join us!

Please join us by following this link and add your voice by submitting a public comment to protect our water before April 15.

Middle Tennessee’s waterways are plentiful and diverse.  We depend on our rivers and streams for drinking water, commercial navigation, recreation and the rich array of plants and animals that give our region its character and make it our home.  The Maddox Charitable Fund is opposed to any changes to the Clean Water Act or to definitions of “waters of the United States” that would remove existing protections of major waterways, their tributaries, adjacent wetlands and ephemeral streams.

Maddox Stands to Protect the Clean Water Act. Join us! Read More »