Read About the Visionary, Power-Building Work Supported by the Black-Led Movement Fund

January 15, 2020

We are excited to announce that Borealis Philanthropy’s Black-Led Movement Fund (BLMF) has awarded $315,000 in renewal grants to seven organizations anchoring the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL). In addition, the Fund is supporting the growing international ecosystem of the M4BL with a $45,000 grant to Coalizão Negra por Direitos (Brazil Coalition for Life).  

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

“Supporting the Black-Led Movement Fund is a critical way for us to support the sustainability of an ecosystem of grassroots organizations building power for Black people,” said Jessica Mowles, Human Rights Program Officer at The Overbrook Foundation. “The groups anchoring the Movement for Black Lives build local power and coordinate national efforts to organize across issue areas. It is more necessary than ever to ensure that these organizations are strong and have the resources they need to expand the reach and scale of their visionary work.”

Organizations funded by the BLMF play an active leadership role in at least one of the M4BL national coordinating bodies and center particularly marginalized members of Black communities, including Black women and girls, queer and trans people, and migrants.

Each of the BLMF grantees plays a unique and necessary role in the M4BL ecosystem. For example, BlackOUT Collective is the only Black-led direct action training program in the country for Black activists. Blackbird supports rapid response narrative interventions and helps coordinates The Majority, multiracial movement alliance building work. Additionally, UndocuBlack informs the next iteration of the M4BL policy platform through its leadership in organizing undocumented Black migrants.

In its latest grantmaking cycle, the Fund also awarded a $45,000 grant to the Brazil Coalition of Life, to support the M4BL’s growing international solidarity across the global Black diaspora. The BLMF is directly funding this organization in response to a need identified by the M4BL Resource Table to disrupt traditional gatekeeping practices by U.S. philanthropy in the Global South. The Brazil Coalition of Life will build a trans-national alliance between Black movements, organizations, and activists to confront Black genocide and racism and guarantee the life and dignity of Black people. 

Since launching in 2016, 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.

During this grantmaking cycle, the Fund also awarded $60,000 in small grants to organizations doing important work in Black communities, to support them in their ongoing work. 

The BLMF is a collaborative effort of the General Service Foundation, the Linked Fate Fund at the Common Counsel Foundation, the Moriah Fund, Open Society Foundation, the Overbrook Foundation, Women Donors Network, a donor advised fund at the Tides Foundation, a donor advised fund at NY Community Trust, 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 and the work they will lead in 2020:

  • Blackbird: In 2020, Blackbird will continue to build the infrastructure of the Majority and build upon momentum to address state violence, anti-Blackness, reparations, and the need for structural economic change.  
  • BlackOUT Collective: BlackOUT will engage in direct action opportunities with the M4BL and train organizers to respond to the 2020 political moment.
  • Black Youth Project 100: BYP100 will increase Black youth voter turnout, continue to hold elected officials accountable, expand their She Safe, We Safe campaign, and highlight how Black communities have kept each other safe without involving law enforcement.

  • Coalizão Negra por Direitos (Brazil Coalition of Life): Through actions and mobilizations for justice that confront Black genocide and racism, the organization will build a broad national alliance between the various Brazilian movements, groups, collectives and Black personalities, around a political project of “one future” that guarantees the life and dignity of Black people in Brazil.
  • Freedom, Inc. : Freedom, Inc. will continue to build a strong base of Black leadership in Madison, grow their internal capacity, and advance their No Cops in Schools campaign, including rapid response support.
  • Southerners On New Ground: SONG will engage in base-building and expanding the skills of its membership, register incarcerated people to vote, and connect their Black Mamas bailout campaign to a larger strategy of ending money bail and pre-trial detention.
  • UndocuBlack Network: UndocuBlack will continue to challenge the administration’s new rule on public charge, an attempt by the government to criminalize poverty and prevent immigrants receiving federal benefits from obtaining legal status. The organization will also build its internal capacity.