By Kendra Garrett
Investing in nonprofits that serve the Black community is crucial to advancing economic security and equity, and transforming systems in and around Austin. By supporting these nonprofits, we can build a more inclusive and prosperous region for all residents. The Black Fund is doing just that by awarding $355,000 to 21 organizations working to improve life for Black people in Central Texas.
In 2022, Black leaders in Central Texas, in partnership with Austin Community Foundation, launched The Black Fund, a collective giving network that exists to harness the power of Black-led organizations and uplift solutions to benefit the Black community. Driven by data and community voices, The Black Fund strives for an equitable, just society that nurtures the growth, economic security, and wellness of Black people.
As a co-founder of The Black Fund, I’m honored to serve as chair of the 2023 Grants Committee. The committee is comprised of Black leaders from varying backgrounds, expertise, and experiences who worked together to review 92 grant applications, narrow down the semi-finalists and select the winning finalists.
A priority of the inaugural grants cycle of The Black Fund was to provide flexible, general operating or project-based support specifically to Black-led and Black-serving nonprofits. The criteria included qualifying organizations to have a Black-identified executive director, CEO, or project lead, and at least 50% of the organization’s board is Black-identified, or at least 50% of staff is Black-identified.
Serving on this committee has been a unique and rewarding volunteer experience that exposed me to dozens of amazing change-making organizations that are consistently innovating to meet the needs and opportunities in our community.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This African Proverb speaks to the work of The Black Fund because it’s an opportunity for everyone to invest in the Black Community as we collectively continue to break down barriers and push for a better world.
In this grant cycle, we selected four winning finalists to receive a $40,000 multi-year grant over 2 years, eight semifinalists to receive a $20,000 one-time grant, and four runner-up nonprofits to receive a $5,000 one-time grant. Additionally, the Grants Committee decided to award $3,000 grants to five grassroots organizations.
I’m excited to share the complete list of organizations selected to receive grants from The Black Fund listed by impact area:
- Excellence & Advancement Foundation – $40,000
- Changing Expectations – $20,000
- Roslyn’s Novel – $20,000
- The Man in Me – $5,000
Health & Wellness
- Black Mamas ATX – $40,000
- Allure Alliance – $20,000
- Black Trans Leadership of Austin – $20,000
- Austin Black Physicians Association – $5,000
Power Building, Organizing, & Advocacy
- African American Leadership Institute (AALI) – $40,000
- Family Preservation Leadership Council/Change1 – $20,000
- Grassroots Leadership – $20,000
- Maternal Health Equity Collaborative – $5,000
- Austin Urban Technology Movement – $40,000
- Black Makers Market – $20,000
- Capitol View Arts – $20,000
- Black Mamas Village – $5,000
Committee’s Choice Grants (each receiving $3,000)
- Dream Out Loud Experience of Texas
- Real Queens Fix Each Other’s Crowns
- Tomorrow’s Promise Foundation
- We Can Now
For more information about The Black Fund and to donate, visit austincf.org/TheBlackFund.
Kendra Garrett serves as the 2023 Chair of The Black Fund Grants Committee. Garrett co-founded The Black Fund along with Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette and Meme Styles.