Philanthropy isn’t known for being a quick and nimble sector. When change does come it’s the result of long and dedicated work by those in the field and their funder allies. From our founding, Schott has pushed philanthropy to adopt a race and gender equity framework, and a new generation of advocates and funders are joining a growing chorus.
In that spirit, this week a new fund was launched with an audacious goal. The Black Girl Freedom Fund is raising one billion dollars over the next ten years to address the myriad of interconnected problems facing Black girls and young women. As the fund’s open letter puts it:
We, Black women, and Femmes activists, artists, educators, organizers, and philanthropists, have come together at the historic time to call attention to the fact that Black girls in the United States are in crisis. From discrimination in education and healthcare to sexual assault and policing, the lives and livelihoods of Black girls and young women are notably absent in the public narratives, policies, and justice movements most crucial to addressing inequality and racial trauma.
Central to Schott’s work and perspective is the understanding that the most disadvantaged people live at the intersections of multiple overlapping oppressions and that support and solutions must be tailored to the specific experiences of those most affected by injustice. That’s why we originally lifted up the crisis facing Black male students, and why we have supported research and advocacy for girls of color, like the Black Girls Matter report and Girls for Gender Equity.
Schott joins the Black Girl Freedom Fund’s call for donors, large and small, to step up and “robustly invest in Black girls and women’s leadership, innovation, wellness, advocacy. This support is necessary for our collective freedom and to ensure that all Black Lives Matter, now and tomorrow.”
To learn more about the challenges facing Black girls and what can be done, watch our webinar with author and Black Girl Freedom Fund co-founder Monique W. Morris, and check out GGE’s report “The School Girls Deserve.”
See former Schott Program Manager Nakisha Lewis reflect on this important moment: