Ignacio Martín-Baró Fund for Mental and Human Rights: Grants for Human Rights

OVERVIEW: The Ignacio Martín-Baró Fund supports human rights organizations that develop innovative ways to explore the links between mental health and social injustice.

IP TAKE: This grantmaker prefers to support grassroots groups that demonstrate an innovative approach to human rights. The fund supports a range of projects related to women’s rights, sexual violence and basic resource rights.

PROFILE: In 1989, Jesuit priest and social psychologist, Father Ignacio Martín-Baró was murdered at the Central American University in San Salvador. Martín-Baró’s death prompted friends and families to establish a foundation in his honor in order to continue the human rights and social justice work he began. Based in the Boston, the Ignacio Martín-Baró Fund intends to foster “[p]sychological well-being, social consciousness, active resistance, and progressive social change,” focusing on communities affected by violence, repression and social injustice.

The MBF has since moved its operation to Boston College's Center for Human Rights and International Justice.  The Boston College Committee, which includes longtime MBF staff, and the Executive Committee currently run the fund, which is volunteer-based. 

The fund supports groups that raise mental health awareness and recovery for people who have experienced institutional violence, repression, and social injustice. In this light, the fund supports rights organizations that explore the links between mental health and social injustice, rather than organizations that treat the matters as mutually exclusive.

While it funds large organizations, the MBF tends to fund grassroots organizations. Grant amounts rarely, if ever, exceed $7,000. To learn more about the types of organizations the fund supports or has supported, take a look at its Projects page.  

Martín-Baró does not pose geographical restrictions on its giving, but letters of inquiry must be in English or Spanish. It accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry throughout the year. Hard copy applications may be submitted to the address below, and electronic applications can be submitted to apply@martinbarofund.org.


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