An award for bold and courageous organizations that speak truth to power

Smith Bagley PicSmith Bagley, son of Arca Foundation founder Nancy Susan Reynolds, was an accomplished businessman, political activist and philanthropist who devoted his life to the fight for social justice. As the Arca Foundation President up until his passing in 2010, he demonstrated a deep commitment to making this world a fair and just place for all, admiring most those who risked their lives in defense of human rights and the fight against poverty. Like his mother before him, his brand of philanthropy favored risk-taking, cutting edge projects, and out-of-the-box ideas. Smith took on issues that, in his time, were all but impossible – abolishment of the death penalty, campaign finance reform, and U.S. relations with Cuba, to name just a few.

Launched in 2010, the Smith Bagley Memorial Grant celebrates one grantee each year that embodies the passion, spirit and creativity of Smith. Award recipients effectively employ the bold, innovative and courageous strategies essential for inspiring coordination, action and ideas that speak truth to power and driving change. In honor of our beloved Smith, please find a full list of Smith Bagley Memorial Grant recipients here.

Recent Smith Bagley Memorial Grant Award Recipients

  • Smith Bagley Grant Recipient
    2016
    Neighborhoods Organizing for Change is a grassroots member-led organization building power in under-resourced communities and communities of color across the Twin Cities, focused on the intersection of race, the economy and public policy.
  • Smith Bagley Grant Recipient
    2015
    ColorOfChange.org exists to strengthen Black America’s political voice, working to empower its members to make government more responsive to the concerns of Black Americans and to bring about positive political and social change for everyone.
  • Smith Bagley Grant Recipient
    2014
    Advancement Project is a next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization. Rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice, Advancement Project exists to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy, using innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change.
  • Smith Bagley Grant Recipient
    2013
    MEDICC is a non-profit organization working to enhance cooperation among the US, Cuban and global health communities aimed at better health outcomes and equity. MEDICC believes that healthcare, especially for underserved populations, can be informed by Cuba’s singular universal health system and its evolving health policies, practice, research and education and that the US and other nations’ experience in medicine can inform practice in Cuba and in the developing world.
  • Smith Bagley Grant Recipient
    2012
    Public Campaign is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics. Public Campaign is laying the foundation for reform by working with a broad range of organizations around the country that are fighting for change and national organizations whose members are not fairly represented under the current campaign finance system.
  • Smith Bagley Grant Recipient
    2011
    DC Vote is a national citizen engagement and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening democracy and securing equality for all in the District of Columbia. DC Vote envisions a fairer America where residents of the nation’s capital are first class citizens.