Black August is Black Philanthropy Month
Black August began in the 1970s with Black freedom fighters who were incarcerated in California prisons. They wanted to bring awareness to prison conditions and honor the lives and deaths of Black political prisoners killed by the state in the fight for Black liberation.
Black Philanthropy Month, founded by Dr. Jackie Bouvier Copeland with the support of Reunity, is a global celebration and concerted campaign to elevate African-descent giving and funding equity.
As we mark Black August and Black Philanthropy Month, Groundswell is committed to amplifying the urgency for philanthropy to respond to the number of attacks on progressive policies that support Black folks’ opportunity, safety, and rights in this country.
From SCOTUS’s reversal of affirmative action and rejection of student-loan forgiveness to the allowance of discriminatory business practices against LGBTQIA+ customers, these decisions have dire consequences for the communities we serve.
Our grantee partners have been actively working on issues around reproductive justice, economic justice, voter engagement, policy advocacy, and climate justice – work that will have a long-term impact on the social and political fabric of the United States.
Our grantees fight against the prison and immigration industrial complex; push back against gentrification; defend community members’ homes from developers and corporate giants; fight for the dignity and livelihood of trans and gender-expansive people; and continue to crusade for accessible and affordable healthcare and housing. Through their efforts, they are proving that the movement for social justice is a multi-issue, intersectional campaign, most often led by Black women, Indigenous women, and gender-expansive people of color.
Grassroots organizations need more support and resources to sustain their direct services, programs, and campaigns. Philanthropy must listen to organizers about what they need now … whether it’s more flexible funding, new areas of impact, general operating dollars, or connections to other types of capacity-building support.
Our job as funders is to listen, fund, and get out of the way.
While recent SCOTUS decisions feel like a powerful, well-orchestrated attack on ourselves and the people we love, we know that true power lies in the hands of our communities.
As one of the largest funders of the Reproductive Justice Movement, Groundswell is committed to funding Black leadership and advocating for all Black women, Indigenous women, and transgender and gender-expansive people of color to have the abundance of resources needed to succeed and thrive.
In our 2020-2025 Blueprint, Groundswell committed to moving 40-45% of our funding to support Black women-led organizations by 2025. As of 2022, we are at 42% of this goal and are on our way to meeting, if not surpassing, our original stretch goal of 45%.
What would happen if philanthropy invested in Black women-led organizing and funded to scale the organizations mobilizing people, building power, and creating community relationships for sustainable change?
Hard-fought victories would exponentially increase, and organizations doing the most liberatory work would help move us further on the path toward a multiracial, feminist democracy.
Join us and share your commitments to inclusive giving and bold action this Black August/Black Philanthropy Month!