From The Executive Director
Dear Friends of PRA:
Welcome to PRAccess, our newsletter for friends and supporters. We have much news to share with you. Here you’ll find an expanded Staff in Action article describing various PRA presentations; PRA in the Public Eye, with recent media mentions; important additions to our staff; and more. First, though, I’d like to take a minute to share some exciting new developments.
New Foundation Partnerships
The end of 2007 brought us a torrent of good news and opportunities. Several PRA initiatives have received very promising foundation interest, and two foundations and one organization came to PRA—because of our expertise and reputation—to request proposals for exciting work that fits nicely with our mission.
Our new Right Web project, which tracks militaristic foreign policy advocates, including neoconservatives, was launched earlier this year. PRA was invited to take over this working project from the International Relations Center (IRC), which recently closed its doors. Right Web came to us with 2008 funding and the two consultants who have led Right Web for years. The Right Web homepage is http://rightweb. irc-online.org.
U.S. Right’s Support for Anti-LGBTQ Leaders at Home and Abroad
This project was proposed by a foundation that has provided general support funding for PRA’s LGBTQ work for many years. Now funded, this new project will explore how the U.S. Right is crippling the progressive work of mainline Protestant denominations on LGBTQ justice in the U.S. and overseas. Foundation funding includes support for a project director and at least one field researcher.
PRA took the initiative last year to develop a proposal for an urgently-needed project on defending civil liberties. PRA will research, analyze, and expose the collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies with Joint Terrorism Task Forces to carry out domestic surveillance that threatens the civil liberties of all residing in the U.S. Several foundations have expressed high interest in providing grants and we anticipate funding decisions in the summer. Project support will include funding for several new research staff and for our local organizational partners.
Antisemitism and Islamophobia
The foundation of several long-time individual major donors to PRA asked us to explore and submit a proposal to address the interrelated problems of antisemitism and Islamophobia on college campuses. PRA expanded on the foundation’s concept and proposed a more comprehensive project. The foundation had a very positive reaction; funding is anticipated in a few months and will support a project leader and other relevant program positions.
Organizational and Budget Impact
These four new projects will double PRA’s revenue and triple its research staff! PRA’s challenge now is to secure additional general operating support to build our communications, development, and administrative staff to ensure we can adequately promote these extraordinary programs. The Board of Directors, staff, and I are thrilled and energized by these new challenges and opportunities, and we hope you are too.
What Made This Success Possible
PRA’s growth results from the steadfast support from friends like you and the exceptional work of the Board of Directors and staff—as well as the strong foundation Jean built. Donors who invest in our work—the Leaping Left members who have pledged $50,000 a year for three years; other generous pledgers who make it possible for us to plan with greater confidence and accuracy; many current as well as new individual donors who have jumped in to support our work; and our critical foundation donors—all of you make a difference, and we can’t thank you enough.
As we strongly and powerfully move forward in 2008, I look forward to hearing from you with any thoughts, advice, and your own pledge or renewal. If you share my excitement, please tell your friends about PRA. Please also know how grateful all of us are for all you’ve done to bring PRA this far.
- Katherine Ragsdale
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