Throughout history, Black women have been the backbone of social justice movements. A new grant project has been launched to support this generation of activists as they evoke transformative change within their communities and beyond. The Black Future Co-op Fund has pledged to donate $1.05 million to Black women-led organizations on the frontlines fighting for justice.
Founded by civic leaders Andrea Caupain Sanderson, Angela Jones, Michelle Merriweather and T’wina Nobles, the fund—which is Washington state’s first philanthropy cooperative to be led by Black women—has a mission rooted in cultivating Black generational prosperity by uniting, uplifting and investing in communities of color. As part of their second round of statewide funding, the organization has launched the “We See You” grant program to financially back nonprofits in Washington that Black women head. Through the initiative, grant recipients will receive $50,000 in unrestricted funds to advance their impactful work.
Amongst the grant recipients are the Black Heritage Society of Washington State which is dedicated to preserving the history of African Americans in Washington, the Tacoma-based Multicultural Child and Family Hope Center, which is designed to provide culturally competent education programs for youth, Arte Noir, which was launched to empower Black creatives and the BIPOC ED Coalition, a collective of nonprofit leaders who are working to make wellness resources accessible for BIPOC communities throughout Washington state. Other grantees are leading efforts centered on eradicating homelessness and food insecurity, empowering children and addressing inequities within healthcare.
Sanderson says the grants will help address the disparities that exist regarding funding.
“The ‘We See You’ grants illustrate our confidence in women who lead but often do not receive adequate support to do the excellent work they envision for our communities,” she shared in a statement. “This is about helping our people and organizations across the state be self-determined, to own our own stories, to reframe the narratives about us.”
Efforts like the Black Future Co-op Fund’s ‘We See You’ project are imperative as research shows grassroots nonprofits led by Black women receive the least amount of funding from philanthropic endowments and governmental grants.