Contact:  Gabrielle Beamon
gbeamon@fenton.com

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2020

 

SOUTHERN BLACK GIRLS AND WOMEN’S CONSORTIUM LAUNCHES BLACK GIRL DREAM FUND
The $100 million fundraising initiative will support making Black girls’ dreams a reality

ATLANTA – Today, the Southern Black Girls and Women’s Consortium (SBGWC) kicked off a 10-year fundraising initiative to raise $100 million to financially empower the goals of Southern Black girls and women in the United States through the Black Girls Dream Fund. The new Fund seeks to fundraise and shift current grantmaking efforts in the South, channelling greater resources toward organizations that are intentionally supporting and empowering Black girls and women.

According to a report, Black women and girls receive less than one percent of the $4.8 billion in philanthropic investments in the South. This new Fund seeks to change that and is powered by four Southern-based organizations led by Black women: TruthSpeaks Consulting, Black Belt Community Foundation, Appalachian Community Fund, and Fund for Southern Communities.

Inspired and informed by research conducted by SBGWC through listening sessions with hundreds of Black girls and women throughout the South, funding will be used to advance services and supports, ranging from affordable housing, entrepreneurial endeavors, legal assistance, mental and physical health, and more.

“We are radically reimagining how to support Black women and girls in the South,” said LaTosha Brown, founder of TruthSpeaks Consulting, based in Atlanta, Ga. “Through this new initiative, spearheaded by Black women for Black girls and women, we are breaking the traditional philanthropic model to develop a new approach to fundraising that centers our voices and allows us to play a leading role in shaping our own destiny. This is vision and self-determination in action because if we change the future of the Black girl in the South, we change the South.”

SBGWC raised $10 million in seed capital from the NoVo Foundation and has received additional contributions from Women Donors Network, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Lucy and Isadore B Adelman Foundation, Collective Future Fund, and the Momentum Fund. The Consortium is open to funding from both private and public sources.

“This year has presented a moment of social reckoning, but Black girls and women are still fighting for the rights, resources, and recognition they deserve,” said Felecia Lucky, president of the Black Belt Community Foundation in Selma, Ala. “Through the Black Girls Dream Fund, we aim to fill this vital funding gap and improve the quality of life for generations of Black girls and women.”

“During a time when the mainstream narrative of being Black and a woman in America can feel overwhelmingly negative, we’re proud to shift these racist and sexist ideals by investing in the goals and dreams of the millions of Black girls and women throughout the American South,” said Margo Miller, executive director of the Appalachian Community Fund in Knoxville, Tenn. “By investing in them and providing resources they have long been denied, we will enable Black girls and women to bring more of their magic into the world and fundamentally change the way the world views them.”

SBGWC has a range of activities it’s leading for both organizations and individuals. It is providing capacity-building support to partner organizations in 12 states throughout the South, and has distributed more than $300,000 to organizations providing resources to Black girls and women who are currently experiencing financial uncertainty related to COVID-19. Furthermore, SBGWC launched the #BlackGirlJoy Challenge to provide grants to girls who submitted videos or social media posts to show how they are spreading joy during the pandemic. Examples ranged from artwork for the elderly to a make-shift drive-in movie theater.

“We cannot ignore the injustices that Black women and girls face everyday,” said Alice Jenkins, executive director of the Fund for Southern Communities in Decatur, Ga. “In the South, Black girls and women experience social, political, and economic injustices at higher rates than their white counterparts, yet they continue to be left out of philanthropic investments. The needs are there, but the investments are not. We are committed to changing this dynamic.”

To learn more or make an investment, visit www.southernblackgirls.org.

 

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About the Southern Black Girls and Women’s Consortium

The Southern Black Girls & Women’s Consortium is coordinated entirely by a community of Black women in philanthropy, activism and girls’ work, who hold deep roots in movement-building throughout the southeast. The partnership recognizes their critical role and the importance of centering the lived experiences and leadership of those most impacted by deep-seated injustices. SBGWC consists of four anchor institutions including the Appalachian Community Fund, the Black Belt Community Foundation, the Fund for Southern Communities and TruthSpeaks Consulting. http://www.southernblackgirls.org/

 

About Appalachian Community Fund

The Appalachian Community Fund (ACF) funds and encourages grassroots social change in Central Appalachia (East Tennessee, Eastern Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and West Virginia). ACF works to build a sustainable base of resources to support community-led organizations seeking to overcome and address the underlying cause of poverty and oppression. ACF awards grants to community-based organizations working for social, economic, racial and environmental justice. They support communities with little or no access to other financial resources and grassroots groups which are often too small, too new, or working on issues that are too controversial for traditional funding sources. Since 1987, ACF has granted over $6.5 million dollars to more than 300 grassroots organizations working on social change in Central Appalachia. Many of those grants were for general operating support, as well as special projects, and over $100,000 of that funding was for technical assistance. Learn more at http://www.appalachiancommunityfund.org.

 

About Black Belt Community Foundation

Alabama‘s Black Belt stretches across the middle of the state from Mississippi almost to the Georgia line. Rich in human, religious, geographic and political diversity, the Black Belt got its name from the region’s rich, dark soil. It is also home to the highest percentage of African Americans in Alabama. Founded in 2004 with the idea that those living and working in the Black Belt best knew the area’s challenges and opportunities, the Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) actively puts needed resources into the region that make a lasting impact. Learn more at http://blackbeltfound.org.

 

About Fund for Southern Communities

The Fund for Southern Communities (FSC) is a public foundation that supports and unites organizations and donors working to create just and sustainable communities that are free of oppression and that embrace and celebrate all people.  Through grantmaking and related activities the Fund fosters social change initiated by community-based groups in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Since it began in 1981, FSC has awarded thousands of grants, totaling over $7 million. We work with small, grassroots organizations that often are isolated from the larger movement networks and rely on individual volunteers – people directly affected by the injustices they are addressing. Our grantees serve approximately 10,000 people each year. Learn more at www.fundforsouth.org.

 

About TruthSpeaks

Truthspeaks Consulting is a philanthropic advisory group and consulting business that specializes in professional facilitation, program design, organizational development, capacity building, resource development and technical assistance to foundations and non-profit organizations across the nation with a particular focus on the U.S. South with more than 20 years of experience in the field of social justice and social impact philanthropy. http://www.mslatoshabrown.com/