As Black communities in the U.S. once again battle lead exposure and water supply issues—and climate change intensifies occurrences of drought, wildfires, heat waves, and flooding across the world–we at the Black-Led Movement Fund (BLMF) are reflecting on two rarely acknowledged truths:
- Environmental disaster and its disproportionate impacts are not natural or inevitable, but rather the result of slack governmental oversight and sustained divestment in Black communities.
- The modern-day environmental justice movement is rooted in Black History, a legacy that we carry forward today.
The stewardship of land and nurturing of healthy food systems has always been a part of the broader Black liberation movement; and consequently, the organizing efforts of Black-led movements have consistently led to the creation of policies that benefit not only our people but our planet. We are indebted to our ancestors and elders, who centered land and food in their dreams of freedom for Black communities—and to BLMF grantee partners, who carry forward in this legacy of resistance and reimagining:
- Action St. Louis is building a future where every Black life can thrive by focusing in the areas of criminal justice and abolition, housing justice, and electoral justice.
- Black Trans Nation is leading housing justice organizing and supports its members to advocate within and against unjust housing and social service systems.
- The BlackOUT Collective is working to create a long-term movement strategy and concrete interventions towards Black liberation, reparations, and land reform, rooted in ecological justice and the long history of Black self-determination.
- BLM-Louisville is leading food justice work by supporting Black Market, a healthy grocery store focused on combatting food apartheid in the West End of Louisville, Kentucky.
- Drinking Gourd Farms is building a community of politically-aligned Black farmers, gardeners, and homesteaders in Arizona that are focused on the physical, mental, and spiritual health of Black people through movement building, agriculture, health and wellness, and environmental stewardship.
- Movement for Black Lives’ (M4BL) Black Hive is serving Black communities who bear the brunt of climate disasters and extreme weather events by proposing pro-Black climate policies and practices; building alternatives to current harmful systems; and offering resources, data, technology, communications, and disaster-response support to local communities and Black-led organizations.
- The National Black Food and Justice Alliance is engaging in broad-based coalition organizing for Black food and land, increasing visibility of Black-led narratives and work, advancing Black-led visions for just and sustainable communities, and building capacity for self-determination within food systems and land rights work.
- The People’s Advocacy Institute is acting as a resource and training incubator for transformative justice in the South, and coordinating to meet the needs of folks impacted by the Mississippi water crisis.
- Taproot Earth is building power and cultivating solutions among frontline communities advancing climate justice and democracy. This September, the organization is hosting an inaugural “Black Climate Leaders Summit” in New York City in coordination with UN week, where global policy discussions on climate are being held.
White supremacy is so deeply embedded into our systems, laws, and logics, that the reality remains: racism and climate change are inextricably linked. To secure our futures, philanthropy must urgently grow and resource Black leaders who represent disproportionately impacted communities and organize at the frontlines of the climate and environmental justice movements.
Today and tomorrow, the Black-Led Movement Fund exists to resource, elevate, and grow the movement ecosystem working for Black Liberation. It’s why we make long-term investments in movement building, including $6 million in renewal grants in 2022. It’s why we resource interconnected efforts—most recently, via a special opportunity grant to African Communities Together, Haitian Bridge Alliance, and UndocuBlack Network, whose coordinated advocacy led to the repeal of Title 42, the violent and xenophobic policy preventing migrants from seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. And it’s why we’re moving $1 million in rapid response funding to organizations that are connecting to other intersecting movements.
We invite you to join Black-Led Movement Fund and our creative, thoughtful, and future-focused grantee partners, who are co-creating a healthier, more beautiful world for us all. To learn more about how to partner with Borealis Philanthropy, email Maya at email@example.com.