2020 has been a rough year, for everyone. Compounding global issues has been an ongoing pandemic, divisive politics, and increased violence against Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). We’ve seen the worst of humanity splashed across the nightly news, making things seem gloomier with every passing day. But that doesn’t mean giving up. It means digging in and taking a stand for the things we care about most.
Girl Museum has been lucky this year – thanks to CaptainIzzy and his streaming community, we were able to reach our fundraising goal for the year. So instead of asking you to support us, we want to spread kindness by showcasing charities and causes that could use your help. If you’re looking to increase your charitable tax deduction (which is a max of $300 for most tax filers in the USA, and potentially more for those who itemize), here’s how you can use those dollars for good.
Our first spotlighted charity is the Black Girl Freedom Fund. The charity is focused on investing $1 billion over the next 10 years to support Black girls and young women in America. These girls are often on the front lines of fighting for racial and gender equity, but entrenched racial discrimination keeps the media from showcasing their stories and lives and has kept funding for Black girls and women heart-wrenchingly low – just 0.5% of the $66.9 billion given by Foundations in 2018 was directed towards women and girls of color.
That has to change.
Black Girl Freedom Fund was begun this year by eight Black female leaders and activists hoping to inspire – and fund – this change. They are: Tarana Burke, who coined the #MeToo phrase; Salamishah and Scheherazade Tillet, founders of A Long Walk Home; Dr. Monique W. Morris, Executive Director of Grantmakers for Girls of Color and author of PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools; LaTosha Brown of the Southern Black Girls and Women’s Consortium; Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center; Joanne Smith, Founding President and CEO of Girls for Gender Equity; and Teresa Younger, President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women.
Once the money is raised, Black women-led organizations that focus on the experiences and needs of Black girls will receive a portion of the funding first. Organizations across the nation will work collaboratively with some of the funds, almost like sharing one big pot.
“It’s really about a cultural reshifting of thinking about dollars going towards girls […] It’s important to say to Black girls, ‘You deserve a fund like this; you deserve a billion dollars.’ It seems like such a high number, but it’s also putting a value to the work and the labor that they have been doing to get the resources they need.”Scheherazade Tillet, as quoted in the Chicago Tribune, October 13, 2020.