Girls of color are leading climate justice
Across our country, girls and youth of Color are fearlessly leading climate justice efforts, including 750 mass marches across the globe leading into April and the celebration of Earth Month. From sustainable work within Indigenous communities to environmental education and advocacy, girls of Color are taking charge right now – building powerful, long-lasting movements to ignite change and protect our planet. It is also not lost on us that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and that for girls, femmes, and gender-expansive youth of Color the efforts to end sexual and gender-based violence are deeply intertwined with movements to achieve climate justice.
With Earth Day coming up on April 22, we celebrate the sheer resilience of our Earth and amplify the girls, femmes, and gender-expansive youth of Color who have taken it upon themselves to shift social, economic, and environmental progress. They deeply inspire us and remind us that resourcing them and their efforts, as well as organizations that recognize and support their wisdom and leadership, is an investment in our communities, our world, and our collective future.
This month, we share some updates from our team at G4GC, announcements, and what’s inspiring us. But first, we’re shining a light on G4GC grantee partners committed to strengthening climate and environmental justice movements. Learn more about them below.
G4GC grantee partners leading climate justice
SouthWest Organizing Project’s Con Mujerxs Gender Injustice — Led by young activists of Color, they advocate for racial and gender equality, social, economic, and environmental justice in the southwestern U.S.
susu CommUNITY Farm — An Afro-Indigenous stewarded farm and land-based healing center in Southern Vermont that elevates Vermont’s land and foodways. They offer community-centered and wellness programs for youth through their “Youth to Liberation” pipeline.
Young Women Empowered — Seattle organization cultivating the power of young Black womxn leaders and changemakers through programs that offer education on environmental justice, tech and coding, community leadership, and healing for Black folx.
Duk Duk Goose — Focused on teaching Chamoru children stewardship of the Guåhan and Marianas islands and ocean through cultural ownership — to protect and respect their home when they know, love, and feel a personal connection to it.
Pueblo Action Alliance — Indigenous organization promoting cultural sustainability and addressing environmental and social impacts across the 20 Pueblo nations in New Mexico. They invest in Indigenous youth and girls’ leadership through their “Cultivating Roots & Resistance Internship” and “Pueblo Youth Revolt.” Pueblo Action Alliance is a grantee of Seventh Generation Fund For Indigenous Peoples’ Grants for Girls’ Vitality, our partners co-creating our New Songs Rising Initiative to mobilize resources towards work that centers and supports Indigenous girls and their families and communities.
Climate Justice Initiative — This is the first Indigenous-women-led climate change organization in the U.S. to address climate change in Indigenous communities by preserving cultural heritage and ensuring a just environmental and economic future for women and girls of Color.
Indigenous Vision — They revitalize Indigenous communities in Phoenix, Arizona – culture, people, and land – by providing educational resources and promoting well-being. Their “Girls Empowerment” program offers spaces for Native girls to connect through storytelling, self-defense, song and dance.
Sharing wisdom at the White House
Our President and CEO Monique W. Morris was at the White House not once, but twice, last month. In early March, she joined two #1Billion4BlackGirls co-founders Joanne N.Smith (President and Founder of Girls For Gender Equity) and Fatima Goss Graves (CEO of the National Women’s Law Center) amongst many other phenomenal leaders (including the inimitable Dolores Huerta, photographed second to left) to honor Women’s History Month and ensure that girls* of Color are included in important conversations about equity.
On the last day of Women’s History Month, Dr. Morris escorted two of our phenomenal youth leaders who work with our grantee partners: 17-year-old Marley Dias (representing GrassROOTS) and 18-year-old Mahogany Morris (representing Justice For Black Girls) to a White House roundtable focused on girls and mental health!
Young women leaders and leaders of philanthropic organizations came together to share their experiences and policy recommendations to strengthen mental health services, programs and reduce the stigma of seeking help. We value the wisdom and leadership of girls of Color and welcome the opportunity to elevate their voices and make sure they join their due seat at the table, where their ideas are recognized and can be part of the solution. Watch excerpts of Mahogany and Marley’s wisdom.
Stay tuned for an exciting announcement from bgff
Check our social media channels this week for our latest round of Black Girl Freedom Fund grantees. We’re ecstatic about the number of organizations that have become our grantee partners across the country and territories. And, more importantly, we are honored to celebrate and recognize the work they do to elevate the leadership of Black girls and gender-expansive youth. We’ll be highlighting these incredible organizations with you throughout the Spring and Summer.
One thing we are proud to note is that our BGFF Grantmaking Council, made up of six Black and gender-expansive youth ages 14-22, is responsible for selecting the BGFF grantees! They contribute their insights and brilliance to the selection process. “We’re not even asked what kind of investment we need for ourselves and our communities. But who better to ask than us?” said Jamison Ford, a 14-year-old who sits on the BGFF Grantmaking Council. Read more about our intentional approach to funding and integrating the wisdom of Black and gender-expansive girls in the article “There’s a Black Girl Funding Gap – But Black Futures Are Worth Billions” written by Black Girl Freedom Fund manager Cidra M. Sebastien.
In partnership with Funders For Justice!
Funders For Justice (FFJ) is a national network and organizing platform of funders increasing resources to BIPOC grassroots organizations working at the intersections of racial justice, gender justice, ending criminalization, and building models for community safety and justice. Their FFJ Fellowship is an opportunity for fellows to deep dive into philanthropic advocacy and the racial justice, anti-criminalization, and abolitionist priorities at the foundation of their work, and Maheen Kaleem, our Vice President of Operations and Programs, was selected to participate in their 2022 cohort, made up of organizers, legal professionals, nonprofit leaders, and progressive grantmakers, like G4GC! We are proud to be an institutional member of FFJ — learn more at fundersforjustice.org.
Our dreams for philanthropy
“Our work is undergirded by a deep belief that there is no social justice movement that doesn’t uniquely impact girls, femmes, and gender-expansive youth of Color and that they are leading on the frontlines of the movements for racial justice, gender justice, environmental and climate justice, housing justice, and more,” explains Maheen Kaleem, Vice President of Operations and Programs at G4GC on a Q&A with our fiscal sponsors, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. Want to learn more about our impact in the last few years? Read the full article here.
Dancing for social change
Our grantee partners, Dancing Grounds (DG), and Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) present the Dance for Social Change 2022 Festival: Through Our Eyes, a four-day program on April 20-23, led by New Orleans youth that examines the mental health impacts of the pandemic and dreams of healing and recovery in our future. The festival includes a High School Field Trip Day, Premiere Party, Teen Night featuring Big Freedia, and Family Day. All events include Through Our Eyes DSC Teen Company’s new immersive multidisciplinary work and Overcharged, a Teen Visual Art Exhibition curated by DG and the CAC. Find more details and purchase a ticket here.
Funding Opportunity: Children’s Rights Innovation Fund
The Children’s Rights Innovation Fund (CRIF) has an open call for funding proposals from youth activist groups of Black, African, and/or African descent who are between the ages of 13-27 and reside in rural areas, or vulnerable urban areas. They are seeking applications for projects that address racism, colonialism, and related issues. Learn more about this funding opportunity and apply at crifund.org. Applications close on May 9th, 2022.
You deserve all of life’s joys!
The Hive Community Circle (The Hive) will host its annual SC Survivors Summit on April 30 in Eastover, SC. “This year, as survivors, we are holding ourselves in the highest regard, affirming our existence while journeying from a place of self-care to self-love,” they write, and invite you to join them “as we center ourselves and explore what it means to be in relationship with oneself, others, and our community.” Registration and details.
Calling young leaders!
Applications are live for The King Center’s newly established Beloved Community Leadership Academy! This 2-year program will focus on leadership and character development, entrepreneurship, and Dr. King’s nonviolent teachings for youth ages 13-18. Through One Million Black Women, they offer scholarships to deserving Black girls and will support a dedicated cohort with special monthly programming. Applications are due May 1, and the academy will start on July 5.
Are you a digital innovator?
Headstream is supporting innovators with digital solutions that transform the ways ed-tech, digital health, and social tech sectors prioritize youth wellbeing. The 5-month Accelerator is a place for innovators to co-create with youth, learn about alternative funding options, and deconstruct the unjust systems that exist for BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and multi-hyphenate individuals in the technology sector. If this sounds like something for you, apply now for this paid opportunity. Applications are open until May 8th.
Understanding your Organization’s Finances
A Bookkeeping Cooperative is offering many online financial education workshops. These workshops are meant to complement and build upon one another and can be taken together as a series or as standalone sessions. Tickets are limited to support participation. Upcoming Queer, Trans, LGBTQIA2+ Workshop spaces include: “Budget & Cash Flow Deeper Dive” on Thurs. April 28. To sign up or learn about more workshops, register on Eventbrite.
In case you missed it, our President & CEO Monique W. Morris, Ed.D., Kristi Matthews-Jones, Director of the DC Girls’ Coalition, and Washington Area Women’s Foundation Program Officer Chika Onwuvuche discussed the work and scholarship around Black girlhood to create a deep understanding of intersectionality. Black Girls and Black femmes are the backbone of their communities. They are caregivers and decision-makers and give the most, yet often receive the least. You can watch the full discussion here.
We RISE together
G4GC is inspired by and proud to support the RISE Together Fund (RTF), an initiative of the Proteus Fund, that works alongside impacted communities to advance their civil rights, fight for full inclusion, and promote their contributions to democracy, culture, and society. RISE Together Fund is the only national donor collaborative dedicated to supporting the BAMEMSA (Black, Arab, Middle East, Muslim and South Asian) communities. With the support of donor partners, grantees and other allies, we will all achieve Rights, Inclusion, Solidarity, and Equity (RISE) Together.
A display of Indigenous pride
“Everyone loved Willie Jack on Reservation Dogs. Actress Paulina Alexis brought such love and talent to that role, perfectly delivering jokes while managing to make me cry my eyes out with her relationship with her father and her memories of her cousin. I love that she continues to shine off-screen and am obsessed with her Critic’s Choice Awards outfit. I am filled with hope and inspiration by her choice to take pride in who she is and where she comes from, and love that she is using her platform to bring Native designers to the red carpet,” she said.
Turning Red and embracing adolescence
This heartfelt and hilarious film has swept the G4GC office. Many of our staffers are in love with the latest Pixar movie, Turning Red, which premiered last month on Disney+. It’s a coming-of-age story of a Chinese Canadian tween in 2002 figuring out how to keep her strong bond with her mother while forming an identity as her own person. The story is loosely based on the film’s writer and director Domee Shi’s real life as a teen.
A poem for our girls
Welcome to National Poetry Month! To honor this time of entering new growth, we’re choosing to nourish our souls with empowering words and this poem by inaugural poet and activist, 24-year-old Amanda Gorman, “At the Age of 18—Ode to Girls of Color.”
Know of an important, historical date or upcoming celebration? Share it with us at [email protected]
- Community Service Month
- Earth Month
- Sexual Assault Awareness Month
- Autism Acceptance Month
- Arab-American Heritage Month
- Celebrate Diversity Month
- 10: National Youth HIV & Aids Awareness Day
- 18: Youth march for integrated schools (1959)
- 18-24: National volunteer week
- 22: Earth Day
- 23: 16-year-old Barbara Johns leads student strike (1951)
- 26: Lesbian Visibility Day
- 2-8: National Small Business Week
- 5: Day bringing awareness to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in the U.S.
- 8: Mother’s Day
- 24: Pansexual and Panromantic Visibility Day
Does your organization have a funding opportunity, upcoming conference, or other celebration centering girls of Color you want to share with the G4GC community? Or an important date to be included in our upcoming calendar section? Email them to email@example.com for consideration 6-8 weeks before the event or date.
*When G4GC discusses “girls of color” we include any cis, trans, gender-expansive, non-binary and/or any girl- or femme-identified person age 25 and younger who identifies as Black, Indigenous, Latin, Asian, Arab, Pacific Islander, and/or other People of Color.