Meet the New Grantees of the Black-Led Movement Fund at Borealis Philanthropy

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Meet the New Grantees of the Black-Led Movement Fund at Borealis Philanthropy

The Black-Led Movement Fund (BLMF) at Borealis Philanthropy is excited to announce it has awarded $915,000 in grants to 16 new grantees advancing Black liberation across the country, in addition to the Groundswell Fund’s Black Trans Fund in its inaugural year.  

Launched in 2016, the BLMF is a donor collaborative that invests in the ecosystem of the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) by resourcing the powerful local organizations that anchor this movement infrastructure. Collectively, these organizations shape policy agendas for Black communities, create alternatives to institutions that have been harmful to Black people, and advance Black community power to build the liberatory future we all need. 

The Fund’s grantmaking is guided by priorities set in alignment with the M4BL. Organizations receiving BLMF support center the leadership of Black women, girls, femmes, queer, and trans people, apply a Black, queer, and gender justice lens to their work, are focused on power-building in the South and Midwest, and play a core role in anchoring the M4BL ecosystem. 

“I became a donor to the Black-Led Movement Fund through the Women Donors Network in order to support grassroots Black-led organizations doing transformative work in local communities,” said Becky Liebman. “The Fund has expanded me. I learn from the Black-Led Movement Fund team at Borealis: the staff identify, build relationships with, and recommend support for groups that I would not otherwise be aware of. I believe it is effective organizing— and the right thing to do—to entrust resources with Black people who know best what their communities need.” 

Since the Fund’s launch in 2016, the Fund has focused on sustained general operating and capacity building support for its inaugural grantees. This year, for the first time, the Fund is bringing on additional, new grantees leading intersectional, power-building organizing in their communities. 

BLMF grantees are making connections between a wide range of issue areas: housing justice and tenants rights, decarceration and decriminalization, ending deportations, pretrial detention, and police violence, advancement of policies that redefine public safety, and policies protecting the rights of sex workers, among others. 

These organizations employ diverse strategies in their advocacy, including base-building, voter registration, political education and organizing trainings, participatory budgeting, projects developing Black land and community food infrastructure, and responsive legal advocacy for Black communities. In addition, some grantees are focused on community-led data collection to better understand and meet the needs of those they serve—for example, gathering qualitative and quantitative information about the experiences of Black, queer migrants and Black, informally employed workers....

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