BLACK GIRL FREEDOM FUND AND THE #1BILLION4BLACKGIRLS CAMPAIGN
Black girls and Black gender-expansive youth have been on the frontlines of fighting for racial and gender equity, but their stories and lives are often overlooked or erased. Investing in Black girls, young women, and Black gender-expansive youth is necessary, urgent, and just—for our collective freedom and to ensure that all Black lives are viewed as valuable today and tomorrow.
In September 2020, our President and CEO, Dr. Monique W. Morris joined with a group of Black women leaders to launch the Black Girl Freedom Fund (BGFF) and the #1Billion4BlackGirls campaign, a call for the philanthropic investment of $1 billion in Black girls over the next decade.
The co-founders are:
- Dr. Monique W. Morris, President and CEO, Grantmakers for Girls of Color
- LaTosha Brown, Southern Black Girls and Women’s Consortium
- Tarana Burke, Founder, ‘me too.’ Movement
- Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO, National Women’s Law Center
- Joanne Smith, Founding President and CEO, Girls for Gender Equity (GGE)
- Dr. Salamishah Tillet, Co-Founder, A Long Walk Home
- Scheherazade Tillet, Co-Founder, A Long Walk Home
- Teresa Younger, President and CEO, Ms. Foundation for Women
According to the Ms. Foundation for Women landmark study on philanthropy, women and girls of color account for 0.5% of $66.9 billion given by foundations, totaling just $5.48 per woman and girls of color in the United States. In 2017, one of the latest years for which comprehensive data is available, less than $15 million was specified as benefiting Black women and girls.
The fund aims to support work that advances the well-being of Black girls and their families, including work that centers and advances the power of Black girls and gender-expansive youth through organizing, asset mapping, capacity-building, legal advocacy, and narrative work that seeks to eradicate structural violence enacted against Black girls and gender-expansive youth. Grants will be strategically made to organizations led by Black women and girls, as well as non-Black led organizations that seek to build their capacity to better respond to the needs of Black girls. Grantmakers for Girls of Color is engaging Black girls and gender-expansive Black youth to inform and co-create our grantmaking process.
The launch date of the #1Billion4BlackGirls Campaign, September 15, was an intentional choice. On that day, 57 years earlier, four Black girls — Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley — were murdered by a Ku Klux Klan member who bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Their tragic deaths further galvanized the Civil Rights Movement, ultimately leading to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. BGFF honors these girls as we work towards building a world that protects, nurtures and empowers Black girls.
We invite you to join us in investing in the brain trust, innovation, health, safety, education, artistic visions, research, and joy of Black girls and their families through the Black Girl Freedom Fund.