As the Foundation enters into its fifth year, we’re excited to welcome three new partners—Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), OutRight Action International, and Women for Women International.
“The last two years have been catastrophic for so many, and disproportionately challenging on vulnerable populations around the globe,” says Bart Volkmer, president of Dropbox Foundation. “In particular, we wanted to invest in organizations working with women and children, and strengthen our support in LGBTQ+ rights. These new partners, along with our existing partners, have been working in overdrive to support not only those affected by the pandemic, but the many people who fight for their basic human freedoms. Seeing their impact and ingenuity has brought incredible light in a challenging time and we’re proud to be able to support them.”
The new partners are joining our existing organizations BeLonG To, Environmental Justice Foundation, Mockingbird Society, Human Rights Law Centre, and RAHEEM, which we’re renewing partnerships with for another year. Allies Against Slavery and Physicians for Human Rights will join the alumni cohort as we close out their three-year funding grants, but we’ll continue to support them through skills-based volunteering and product donation.
KIND is devoted to protecting unaccompanied and separated children wherever they are in their migration journeys throughout the United States, Central America, Mexico, Europe, and the United Kingdom. Their mission is to create a world in which every unaccompanied child on the move has access to legal counsel, and has their rights and well-being protected as they migrate alone in search of safety. KIND provides holistic care that includes pro bono legal representation, and access to essential medical and mental health care, educational opportunities, crisis intervention, and more.
“KIND is a lifeline to the thousands of children who come alone to the United States seeking safety,” says Wendy Young, president of KIND. “Fleeing gang- and gender-based violence, persecution, abuse, human trafficking, exploitation, and natural disasters, these children face myriad dangers and barriers to protection on their journey and in the United States. KIND is a safety net that helps ensure the well-being of these children at every stage of their migration.”
Since its inception in 2008, KIND serves thousands of children annually in partnership with more than 700 law firm, corporate, law school and bar association partners.
“We’re looking forward to meaningful engagement with the Dropbox Foundation, whether it’s a partnership on social service projects or getting help during the times of the year when our clients need extra support,” says Young. “We’re eager to explore the potential of this partnership.”
OutRight Action International’s mission is to combat the systemic violence, persecution, and discrimination that LGBTIQ people face around the world. Since 1990, OutRight Action International has worked alongside LGBTIQ activists and organizations, diplomats and policymakers, and other key partners to advance community-focused solutions to create lasting legal and social transformation.
“Human rights belong to everyone by virtue of being human,” says acting executive director Maria Sjödin. “Unfortunately, for LGBTIQ people, too often and in too many places their very existence is denied, and their inherent rights are not recognized and violated.”
With consultative status at the United Nations, OutRight Action International can help advocate for, inform, and influence decisions, norms, and international law standards. The organization also serves as secretariat of the UN LGBTI Core Group and acts as a watchdog on all 193 world governments. OutRight concentrates on regions where they see the greatest potential for significant improvement or threat, possibility for a ripple effect due to the country’s relationships and reputation, and opportunity for international intervention and influence.
“OutRight’s partnership with Dropbox goes beyond building brand awareness and credibility,” says Sjödin. “It’s centered around elevating purpose and mission through social impact work. Through this partnership, we’re excited to elevate our visibility with new stakeholder audiences to communicate our values, bridge gaps in expertise and knowledge, and leverage Dropbox talent to the benefit of our programs.”
Women for Women International invests where inequality is greatest by helping women who are forgotten—the women survivors of war and conflict.
“In conflict-affected countries, women are left without basic resources like food, water, and safety, and their needs and voices are put last,” says Laurie Adams, CEO, Women for Women International. “We support them in learning the social and economic skills they need to transform their lives. We have seen time and again that when women use their power, they reinvest it in their families, their communities, rebuilding not just their lives but those around them.”
Since 1993, Women for Women International has helped half a million women use their voice, form support networks, learn to earn an income and save, and gain knowledge and resources about health and their rights.
“We’re very pleased to have been selected as a new Dropbox Foundation grantee,” says Adams. “This partnership will help us strengthen our mission and will go a long way towards our goal of reaching another 30,000 women in 2022.”