With so much disparity in the way that COVID impacts different communities and demographics, it is good to see many stories in the news about diverse women coming together to bring resources to those in need. In recent weeks, new funding efforts led by women of color have launched in several states across the country including Pennsylvania, Washington State, and Georgia. In addition, new national efforts have launched to help Black women entrepreneurs, and to understand and address the intersectionality of environment, race, and gender.
New Funds Seek to Address Racism, Sexism
Among these new initiatives is a new fund hosted by She Can Win, an organization started in 2013 in Philadelphia to support black women entrepreneurs. She Can Win recently pooled membership dues to create a new foundation and made four initial grants to organizations on the frontlines of reproductive justice, supporting young mothers, and helping survivors heal from injustice.
Another initiative that recently launched in Atlanta is seeking to bring more diversity to tech. Launchpad2X, an accelerator program for women entrepreneurs, recently announced it is partnering up with Zane Venture Fund, “a $10 million fund created to support founders with diverse teams.” The idea is to provide capital to women-owned and racially diverse technical start-ups, capital that is sorely needed, as current estimates suggest only 1% of venture capital goes to women and minorities.
In Washington State, four Black women leaders are launching the Black Future Co-op Fund in an effort to raise $25 million for funding of relief efforts for COVID. The Black Future Co-op Fund is starting off prodigiously, with $2.5 million in seed funding and matching funding from Jeff Bezos of up to $1 million.
In Texas, one of the more established Black women’s giving circles, the HERitage Giving Fund, made $23,000 in grants to six Black-led organizations to support their operations in the COVID crisis. HERitage is one of several giving circles hosted by Texas Women’s Foundation, a frontrunner in terms of fostering new strategies for women’s funds.
Broader Efforts Led by Black Women
Consider Something Better, a new initiative launched by Lauren Napier and Whitney Brown will encourage corporations to fund companies owned by Black women. According to an article in Today, Consider Something Better is asking corporations to donate $250,000 to the fund, with a goal of raising $5 million.
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, led by Alicia Garza among others, recently announced starting a new $12 million fund that will distribute grants of $500,000 to area chapters of the Black Lives Matter movement. This Black Lives Matter mission includes funding to support LGBTQ folks.
Another initiative that is springing into action: the Intersectional Environmentalist. Founded by Leah Thomas, also known as Green Girl Leah, the Intersectional Environmentalist seeks to “support intersectional environmentalism and dismantle systems of oppression in the environmental movement.”