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July 24, 2020

Our Support for Racial Equity and Justice

Last month, we announced our intention to support organizations working directly on racial equity and justice. We understand that systemic racism is deep rooted and requires meaningful structural, community-based change and advocacy for justice and equality to be achieved. There is a need for coordinated, consistent and focused long-term efforts to address these conditions and systems that have long harmed Black lives. As we stand in solidarity alongside the Black community, we are making sure to contribute and support in a constructive, respectful manner.

Today, we are pleased to announce that as a first step, we have chosen to support organizations focusing on community level racial justice and equity efforts with the goal of building safe and healthy Black communities. The organizations we are supporting are:

Diverse City Fund

The Diverse City Fund was initiated in 2010 by a number of volunteer community activists and donors to support projects in communities of color throughout the District of Columbia. Over the years, they have nurtured community leaders and grassroots projects who have been organizing to meet the needs of their communities with limited resources and whom have the power to fight for justice in the city. Through small grants to grassroots social justice projects led by people of color and a community-led grantmaking process, the Fund works toward a vision for a DC that is as rich in its present diversity as in its history, grounded in respect for the work that has brought so many neighborhood institutions into being, and with a readiness to support a new generation of community leaders.

Read more here:

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights:

The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, named after Ella Baker, a brilliant, black hero of the civil rights movement, lives in her legacy by advancing racial and economic justice to ensure dignity and opportunity for low-income people and people of color. The center works with Black, Brown, and low-income people to shift resources away from prisons and punishment, and towards opportunities that make their communities safe, healthy, and strong. They organize everyday people to build power and prosperity in their communities through mobilizing with allies to demand that elected officials enact budgets that reflect values of black and brown communities, striving toward winning policies that reduce sentences, remove barriers, and restore opportunities and working toward changing the conversation about public safety.

Read more here:

Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative:

For nearly twenty-five (25) years, Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative (FSFSC) has worked to strengthen the lives of children and families across Ward 8 Washington DC. Their deep roots and community-driven approach allows them to work in coordination alongside residents to address immediate needs, while tackling the systemic causes of poverty, violence, and inequitable resource distribution. Through the development of impactful partnerships and the cultivation of critical resources and assets, they have worked to promote optimal economic, civic, and social well-being for thousands of children and families for over two decades. Through their community centered approach, FSFSC aims to:

  • Empower residents of Ward 8 to be actively engaged in identifying and addressing needs that support the resiliency and stabilization of individuals, families, and communities.
  • Deliver neighborhood-based and culturally responsive services that integrate existing government and community resources, leverage community assets and meet the unique needs of individuals, families, and the community.
  • Improve community functioning by increasing the five protective factors (i.e parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need, healthy relationships) decreasing violence and mitigating trauma to build on family and community strengths.

Read more here:

Youth Leadership Foundation

The Youth Leadership Foundation, based in Washington, DC, serves 350 students annually with its quality mentoring programs in seven school partners across the city. They work with third through twelfth grade students on programs such as one-on-one mentoring, formative talks about character, intentional engagement of parents and dedicated time for “community-making” (e.g., meal times, team-building & sports activity, etc.) Their mentors believe that a student grows as a person when parents are supported, students experience true friendship and belonging in community, and students learn to be generous according to their circumstances by giving back to others.

Read more here:

Take a look at our previous Black Lives Matter post here.

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