Congratulations to our first round of 2021 BGFF grantees!

BGFF grantee announcement

Congratulations to our first round of 2021 BGFF grantees!

We are thrilled to announce our first round of grantees for Black Girl Freedom Fund (BGFF) and to extend gratitude to the youth who invested time, wisdom, and love to make the selections!

The #1Billion4BlackGirls campaign and The Black Girl Freedom Fund were launched in September 2020 in order to resource the braintrust, innovation, health, safety, education, artistic visions, research, and joy of Black girls, gender-expansive youth and their families. Black Girl Freedom Fund (BGFF), the largest initiative of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, is thrilled to announce our inaugural round of grantmaking since the fund’s launch. 

BGFF supports work that centers and advances the well-being and joy of Black girls, gender-expansive youth and their families, advocates for Black women’s equal pay, and advances the power of Black girls through organizing, asset mapping, legal advocacy, and narrative work aimed at eradicating structural violence impacting Black girls and Black gender-expansive youth. 

This spring, our first cohort of BGFF Youth Advisory Committee members came together to define what wellness and safety means to them, to share their wisdom to better serve Black girls and gender-expansive youth in philanthropy, and to co-create our vetting process for funding. 

Most importantly, they served as the final decision makers for this inaugural round. The six grant recipients are organizations that the youth agreed truly center the wellness and safety of  Black girls and Black gender-expansive youth.   

The six organizations that were selected to receive grants are: 

We are filled with joy to celebrate these incredible organizations! We chose to root this first round of grants in the wellness and safety of Black girls and gender-expansive youth because they have told us time and again that freedom work must be rooted in healing, and that it begins with listening to them, recognizing their wisdom, protecting them without diminishing them, and prioritizing their total wellness so they can show up as their true selves. 

“We affirm that Black girls are sacred, and are deserving of love and abundant resources to heal, grow, and thrive,” says Dr. Monique W. Morris, President and CEO of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, and cofounder of #1Billion4BlackGirls. “Black girls present some of the boldest, wisest, most creative articulations of justice in our society. We’ll all benefit when we listen to their experience and needs, and fund their solutions.” 

We are grateful to each of our donors for answering the call to co-invest with the Black Girl Freedom Fund into the lives of Black girls, gender-expansive youth and their families. 

This summer, we will reflect on our decision making process and the work of the first BGFF Youth Advisory Committee as we prepare to launch our next round of grantmaking. Future rounds will include an open application process for organizations that are committed to centering and elevating the brain trust, innovation, health, safety, education, artistic visions, research, and joy of Black girls, Black gender-expansive youth and their families. We invite you to stay connected with us via our social media, website, or email us at [email protected].

 

Take good care,

Cidra M. Sebastien

Manager, Black Girl Freedom Fund

There’s Officially A Congressional Caucus On Black Women And Girls

Three black women in congress made history on Tuesday when they announced the formation of the first and only Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls.

U.S. Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.) confirmed the news in a press release issued by the U.S. House of Representatives. The release described the caucus as a group devoted to creating public policy that “eliminates significant barriers and disparities experienced by black women.”

The formation of the caucus marks a hugely significant moment for minority communities as it is the first of 430 registered congressional caucuses and member organizations that is specifically designed to make black women and girls a priority.

Blurred Focus: The State of Black Women in the Rural South

Natalie A. Collier, Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative for Social & Economic Justice

Presentation Description: In a world that has its spotlight—for better and worse—shone brightly on boys and young men of color, their mothers, sisters and others who love them are often quietly working, overshadowed. Dreams for boys and girls of color are already typically far too small. For many southern, rural black women while coping with the trauma of poverty, its spheres and effects that have become second nature, they must also deal with their own issues and displaced dreams for not only their sons but their daughters and selves. The focus and conversation on uplift and reconnection to personal and community power cannot be either/or; it must be both/and. Continuing along this path of either/or, we systemically and grievously rob women of color of opportunities to exercise their right to dream for themselves and their children.

Black Girl Pushout

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

A groundbreaking look at the lives of African American girls by a powerful advocate who has been featured on MSNBC, Ebony.com, the Brian Lehrer Show, and in Essence magazine

Fifteen-year-old Diamond stopped going to school the day she was expelled for lashing out at peers who constantly harassed and teased her for something everyone on the staff had missed: she was being trafficked for sex. After months on the run, she was arrested and sent to a detention center for violating a court order to attend school.

Just 16 percent of female students, Black girls make up more than one-third of all girls with a school-related arrest. The first trade book to tell these untold stories, Pushout exposes a world of confined potential and supports the growing movement to address the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that push countless students out of school and into unhealthy, unstable, and often unsafe futures.

For four years Monique W. Morris, author of Black Stats, chronicled the experiences of black girls across the country whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judged—by teachers, administrators, and the justice system—and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish. Morris shows how, despite obstacles, stigmas, stereotypes, and despair, black girls still find ways to breathe remarkable dignity into their lives in classrooms, juvenile facilities, and beyond.

Read more.