“Joy Is Our Journey” events will kick-off with an exclusive, invite-only event during ESSENCE Festival of Culture and will continue with a six-week Dream Tour throughout Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas from August 20-September 18, 2022.

(ATLANTA, GA) JUNE 22, 2022: The Southern Black Girls and Women’s Consortium (SWBGC / The Consortium) has announced a summer of fun and funding fueled by a series of special events that will provide resources and safe spaces for Black girls and women to dream. Themed “Joy Is Our Journey,” the exclusive experiences will kick-off with an invite-only tea and brunch during the ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans. The affair will take place on Sunday, July 3, from 10AM – 12PM CT, at the New Orleans African American Museum (1417-1418 Governor Nicholls, New Orleans, LA 70116). Following the tea will be an exciting, month-long Dream Tour that will travel throughout Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas from August 20-September 18, 2022. Featuring experiential activities and educational moments, the tour will be an interactive experience that aims to provide a platform for Black girls and women to create, release and simply be their authentic selves.

“We are building a movement, changing narratives and shifting philanthropic support for Black girls and women in the south,” declares LaTosha Brown, visionary founder of the SBGWC and Black Voters Matter. “‘Joy Is Our Journey’ is not just an awareness effort to amplify who we are and what we do. It is a mission to raise $100 million to financially empower Black girls and women-focused organizations that seek to provide greater resources and opportunities in education, entrepreneurship, cultural exposure and more. Plus, we get to spread a little #BlackGirlJoy along the way!”

Fed up with reports confirming that Black women and girls receive less than one percent of the $4.8 billion in philanthropic investments in the south, a collective of activists, community leaders, funders and changemakers joined forces to form the Southern Black Girls and Women’s Consortium. Established in 2017, The Consortium was created to be a disruptor in grantmaking and become a catalyst to provide greater resources toward underfunded organizations that intentionally support Black girls and women. Powered by four dynamic Black women-led organizations – TruthSpeaks Innovation Foundation, BlackBelt Community Foundation, Fund for Southern Communities and the Appalachian Community Fund – The Consortium developed a 10-year initiative that seeks to raise $100 million to financially empower the goals of Black girls and women, and shift the way philanthropy is done in the south.

“Black girls and women are still fighting for the rights, resources and recognition they deserve,” says Felecia Lucky, president of the Black Belt Community Foundation in Selma, AL. “Through our work, we are able to fill this vital funding gap and improve the quality of life for generations of Black girls and women.”

To date, The Consortium has already awarded over $2.5 million to 71 organizations and special projects from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. These awards include over $373,000 for social justice projects and more than $120,000 for economic opportunity projects. They also include more than $940,000 in grants to support educational efforts and over $650,000 to organizations or projects geared toward safe, nurturing, preventive and curative healing experiences by trained health professionals (e.g. physical, mental, emotional and spiritual).

All awards were made possible through The Consortium’s four established funds:

  • Black Girls Dream Fund – Created to support the dreams of Black girls and women by awarding organizations that center them in their programming and initiatives.
  • Black Girls Defense Fund – Created to provide family and legal support for Black girls and women in need.
  • Innovation Fund – Created to provide startup funding for small businesses led by Black girls and women.
  • Collaborative Partnership Philanthropy Fund – Created to provide resources to support collaboration between like-minded organizations.

“We have done tremendous work that ensures our sisters are provided opportunities to engage in activities that improve and uplift their communities in the spirit of justice and equity, and support their self-determination,” declares Margo Miller, executive director of the Appalachian Community Fund in Knoxville, TN. “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.”

Alice Jenkins, executive director of the Fund for Southern Communities in Decatur, GA, adds, “We cannot ignore the injustices that Black women and girls face everyday. “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.”

The “Joy Is Our Journey” Tea & Brunch on Sunday, July 3, will be the first event this summer. Positioned within the epicenter of “Black Girl Magic,” the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture, the experience will be an exclusive, invite-only affair that intends to bring awareness to the philanthropic efforts and opportunities of The Consortium and establish deeper connections with influencers and notable voices who can help promote and amplify the mission.

The “Joy Is Our Journey” Dream Tour, will caravan to multiple destinations throughout southern states including Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. The tour will feature two different experiences: Dream Village stops, which will host interactive programming with multiple activities for Black girls and women of all ages that provide a safe space for fun, learning and healing; and Joy Stops, which will be short, pop-up experiences that are focused more on community engagement, featuring music, giveaways and more!

The tour will begin on Saturday, August 20, and will culminate with the 2022 Black Girls Dream Conference, which will take place in Birmingham, AL, Friday, September 16 – Sunday, September 18.

For more details on “Joy Is Our Journey” events, or for more information on how to support the movement through partnership, sponsorship and/or attendance, contact Malikah Berry-Rogers at 404-226-1212 or

For press inquiries and access for onsite coverage, contact Candace Ledbetter at 770-709-1509 or; or Kayla Tucker Adams at 214-403-9852 or

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The Southern Black Girls & Women’s Consortium (SBGWC / The 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 Fund, the Fund for Southern Communities and TruthSpeaks Innovation Foundation.


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.  Since 1987, ACF has granted over $6.5 million dollars to more than 300 grassroots organizations working on social change in Central Appalachia.


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 Community Foundation (BBCF) 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.


The TruthSpeaks Innovation Foundation is a social impact foundation committed to providing critical business and organizational infrastructure support to Black girls and women across the global south. Black girls and women are the backbone of the nation.  Yet, they are often overlooked, underestimated, and underinvested in. With the largest concentration of Black girls and women residing in twelve states throughout the South, TruthSpeaks Innovation Foundation will center our work on providing them with leadership, social, and financial investment.


The Fund for Southern Communities (FSC/the Fund) 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 $10 million to groups around the nation and internationally.   FSC works 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.   Grantee partners serve approximately 20,000 people each year.