Our 2021 Annual Report is inspired by mangrove trees and the systems they nurture and connect. We selected the mangrove because it’s a metaphor for our work to build bridges and create enabling environments across philanthropy and the movements that we support. Mangroves, like the people who comprise the Astraea community, transform and strengthen ecosystems.
Like trees growing surely and steadily in a forest, the movements Astraea supports have been laying their foundations, strengthening their roots, and planting new seeds for years. Our 2020 Annual Report is a celebration of care and its ability to transform. Our movements have shown us time and time again that when we act collectively and from a place of deep care, we not only keep the forest alive, we support it to grow and to thrive.
It takes an ecosystem to create lasting change, to build thriving, connected, resilient communities, to fight for the liberation we know is possible. In 2019, Astraea began to imagine what our most ideal ecosystem would look like, in order to continue building and shifting power to our movements. We are at a pivotal time at Astraea, and we are taking the time to pivot so that we can thrive.
This year, we challenged ourselves to consider what we are fighting for, not just what we are fighting against. We turned toward the innovative, collaborative possibilities that this contentious political moment actually offers us. We accompanied our movements beyond funding; in addition to making grants, we strategically invested in LGBTQI movement building, supporting activists by co-creating collective spaces to heal, learn, and grow. We lifted up grassroots organizing, prioritizing the holistic safety and healing of activist communities around the world. We connected beyond oppressive structures to harness the power of ancient and new technologies, online and offline, providing solidarity in critical times.
Today, Astraea sits at the nexus of 40 years of grantmaking. We sit at the nexus of 40 years of movement-building. True to our beginning, Astraea pledges to meet the urgencies of now and fortify the generations to come. Our latest Annual Report details significant Astraea and grantee partner achievements over the last year, and highlights some of the grantee partners, donors, staff, and board who make Astraea and its community what they are today!
We were made for this moment. Astraea was founded in and for times precisely like this one. From our first cycle of grants in 1980, we’ve existed to retaliate and to expand the very spaces that white supremacy, capitalism, xenophobia, economic injustice, and sexism seek to shutter. Because attacks on our bodies, our rights, and our freedoms have been perpetrated against us since the founding of this country, we know how to respond: we listen, we partner up, and we support each other.
So much of our work is centered on long-term systemic change. Still, there are moments when our reach across borders, movements, stakeholders and strategies provides immediate insight that our unique role is not only neces- sary but working. It was a joy to lead Astraea though a year when the seeds of collaboration, advocacy, artistic intervention, research, travel, and community organizing bore so much fruit.