Black Women Tell the Truth About Corporate ‘Charities’, Ending Inequalities


I have been studying black philanthropy and fundraising since about the start of the pandemic and my research has led me to black pioneers like educator and civil rights activist Jean E. Fairfax and entrepreneur Madame CJ Walker. Their work serves as a role model for marginalized people seeking to invest in marginalized communities.

If this interests you, I highly recommend the biography of Walker and his “Gospel of Giving” by Tyrone Freeman, captioned “Black Women’s Philanthropy During Jim Crow”.

I also got to know the biases of American philanthropy and how it disadvantages black people, in particular. For example, a study released by the Ms. Foundation for Women last year found that donations to women and girls of color made up just 0.5% of the $ 66.9 billion donated by foundations in 2017. This meager amount says it all: the overwhelming majority of organizations that invest power in an indefensible way do not see black women and girls in their plans for the future.

We need to think about what a post-pandemic future might look like. Today we have the potential to shed inequitable systems – like the racist and sexist world of fundraising – and rebuild. With that in mind, I wanted to hear from black innovators about the pitfalls black women face when seeking funding for projects. Read their thoughts below. We will come back to this very soon.

Gabrielle Wyatt

Founder, The Highland Project

On what it really means to invest in black women:

“Co-powering with black women and girls. It’s like giving them capital to drive new ideas and scale what works. It looks like centering them in designing and implementing solutions. It feels like you’re not happy when we have one or two black women in leadership positions, but having a pipeline of black women leaders and strategies to maintain their leadership. “

The bottom line:

“Despite decades of underinvestment and under-consideration of black women and girls, our ancestors and modern leaders entered schools, saved democracy, developed the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine, piloted a guaranteed income to compassionately lift mothers out of poverty and Continued. Imagine the even greater progress that could have happened if our genius had been invested generation after generation after generation. “

LaTosha Brown

Community organizer; founder, Black Voters Matter

On the double standard that corporate donors use for black and white organizations:

“There is a different standard for black organizations than for white youth. You see white people with no track record getting millions of dollars in grants while black people basically have to donate their DNA. born for less. I want to broaden the way we think about investing in black women and girls – it has to be substantial. It can’t be just a few crumbs here and there. We are fundamental in the structural future from this country. “

What does investing in black women look like in social and political activism:

“We are not just workers. Everyone agrees with the work of black women – we can be the workhorse, right? But we are not just beasts of burden. supporting them means supporting them as creators and innovators.

Takirra Winfield Dixon

Media and public relations expert; Founder, Unapologetic Communications

On corporate hypocrisy and making real investments in black women:

“People love to pretend to talk to black women when it suits them or when we are saving democracy, or when our talents are being used for someone else’s profit – but no one in America is really going to show up for us. I think more people should step back and let us lead and make room for our visions – not just our voices. It shouldn’t be a radical idea. “

Bell Hooks said, “Sometimes people try to destroy you precisely because they recognize your power – not because they don’t see it, but because they see it and they don’t want it. exist. “This is what it is for us as black women and girls in America. ‘”

Dr Uché Blackstock

Founder and CEO, Advancing Health Equity

On what it means to invest in black women and girls in medicine:

“We need more black girls in the kindergarten medical pipeline, and we need more black women in college leadership, research, and entrepreneurship.”

On what Americans earn by investing in black women in medicine:

“We exist at the intersection of racism and sexism, and we have greater clarity than most about how systemic inequalities affect our communities. We even know how to fix them, but we haven’t had the opportunity to lead. Our presence would change how medicine is practiced, how patients are cared for and how services are accessed, as we would be the ones to determine which communities are centered, as well as which medical / health care issues are researched and treated . “

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