Black-led Movement Fund 2018 Grantees Focus on Cross-Movement Collaboration

August 8, 2018

Borealis Philanthropy is excited to announce that the Black-led Movement Fund (BLMF) has awarded $875,000 in grants to its cohort of 14 grantees.

The BLMF is a donor collaborative that strengthens the capacity of the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) so that it can better shape policy agendas for Black communities, create viable alternatives to institutions that have been harmful to Black people, and build local Black community power.

“As we approach the anniversary of the killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson, we are reflecting on under investment in Black-led organizing by philanthropy, and how funders should hold ourselves accountable to the progress made possible by groups on the ground,” said Julia Beatty, Program Officer for the Black-led Movement Fund at Borealis Philanthropy. “2018 is also the five-year anniversary of the Black Lives Matter Global Network and Black Youth Project 100. Our ongoing support can help these groups and others in the M4BL build on the momentum they’ve created and translate wins into enduring victories.”

In 2018, BLMF grantees will anchor work on the M4BL’s visionary 2021 plan in their local communities, ultimately mobilizing and organizing people to amass power and win self-determination.

“We are proud to be a BLMF donor in this important political moment because supporting the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) is what will make long-lasting, systemic change possible,” said Alvin Starks, Senior Program Officer with the equality team of the Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs. “Because the M4BL inspires and engages with many different grassroots movements working across issue areas, investing in this ecosystem is a strategic means towards supporting organizing that will ultimately secure justice and equity for all of our communities.”

BLMF grantees will deepen their powerful cross-movement organizing in 2018, working with groups across the country to address the most pressing injustices of our time, such as inhumane immigration policies, mass incarceration, and criminalization of people of color.

For example, Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) will continue to work with Mijente and Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD) in Chicago to oppose harmful gang databases that criminalize communities of color. Southerners on New Ground (SONG) will work with Mijente on migrant justice advocacy, and will organize actions with Georgia Not1More Deportation Coalition to honor those whose lives have been lost as a result of mass incarceration.

“Through building intersectional coalitions, we mobilize communities in support of one another’s issues, combine resources and power to secure wins that impact multiple communities, and seed new models and innovative approaches,” said Mary Hooks, co-director at SONG.

As threats and harm to Black communities intensify, many grantees are also strengthening their healing justice work in order to create alternatives to punitive systems. BYP100 plans to operationalize a Healing and Safety Council, a member-led accountability body that leads internal conflict prevention, intervention, and resolution, and Blackbird will continue its work to elevate healing, justice, and support for women of color survivors in the #MeToo movement.

Since launching in 2015, the BLMF has invested approximately $3 million in general operating support for organizations participating in the M4BL, leadership and organizational capacity-building resources for Black-led organizations, rapid response funding to address urgent needs of Black communities, and funding for the M4BL ecosystem to support collective strategizing and power building.

The BLMF is a collaborative effort of the Open Society Foundations, Linked Fate Fund, and Anonymous Donors. To learn more about the BLMF and join the donor collaborative, please contact blmf@borealisphilanthropy.org.

Please see below for a list of BLMF grantees: