The Love Is Healing COVID-19 Response Fund is providing one million dollars in grants to resource organizations and efforts addressing the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on girls, fem(mes), and nonbinary/gender expansive youth of color. The grant-making initiative represents Grantmakers for Girls of Color’s first grantmaking effort as an independent entity.
Monique W. Morris, Ed.D., newly appointed executive director of Grantmakers for Girls of Color (G4CC), notes, “In this moment and beyond, philanthropy must address the lack of diversity, quality, and responsiveness of capital directed to support girls of color at the intersection of their complex identities and experiences.” Morris adds, “Even before this pandemic, girls and gender expansive youth of color have faced interlocking forms of oppression that prevent their full participation in our country’s future.”
G4CC further notes that “first quarter unemployment statistics show that Black and Latina teen girls are disproportionately unemployed and experiencing educational disparities during this pandemic.” Employment has declined drastically in fields like food services that employ many girls of color. Moreover, crowded living conditions, lack of access to technology and other barriers have compromised the educations of many girls of color. “Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Middle Eastern and Asian Pacific American girls across the nation describe their mental health as on the decline, facing an inability to balance mental and emotional wellness, education, and personal safety,” writes G4CC.
The Love is Feeling Response Fund is focused on a COVID-19 response that is tailored to girls of color and includes related advocacy and immediate mapping needs; economic and educational response strategies; interventions to support systems-impacted youth or survivors of gender-based violence; and preventative or responsive mental, physical and emotional health strategies.
The Fund will provide one-time grants of up to $25,000 to 501(c)3 organizations (including those with fiscal sponsorship) and coalitions led by womxn or girls of color and/or with primary (demonstrable) mission to reach girls of color, fem(mes), and gender-expansive youth of color based in the United States or U.S. Territories. Applications are by invitation-only, and proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis online with funds distributed between May-November. Applicants will receive a decision within two weeks.
Grantmakers for Girls of Color began in 2015 as a shared resource across philanthropy and received support from the NoVo Foundation, Foundation for a Just Society, Ms. Foundation for Women, The New York Women’s Foundation, and the Communities for Just Schools Fund. It is now an independent entity, fiscally-sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
In addition to the grants, G4CC has also launched a webinar series to connect funders with frontline organizers and advocates, and improve the gender and cultural awareness of COVID19 relief efforts. Other resources on the site include the research project Start from the Ground Up: Increasing Support for Girls of Color, which points to ways to make philanthropy more equitable and accountable to girls of color.
Grantmakers for Girls of Color executive director, Monique W. Morris. Ed.D., is an award-winning author, educator and activist who has three decades of experience in education, civil rights, and juvenile and social justice. Morris has been a lifelong advocate for improving educational and socioeconomic conditions for girls and women of color. She served as executive producer and co-writer of the recently released documentary PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School, which is based on her eponymous book. Her other books include Sing A Rhythm, Dance A Blues: Education for the Liberation of Black and Brown Girls; Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century and Too Beautiful for Words.
Girls of color are particularly vulnerable to the fall-out from COVID-19, but so too are their mothers. Women of color are more likely to be employed in areas that are disproportionately exposed to the pandemic. Direct care workers employed in nursing homes, residential care facilities and private homes are a good example. The non-profit organization PHI, which performs research on eldercare and disability services and the direct-care workforce, notes that 86 percent of direct care workers are female, and 59 percent are of color, including 30 percent who are Black/African American, and 18 percent who are Hispanic/ Latino. Moreover, just over a quarter of such workers are foreign-born. Other high exposure areas, including grocery stores and pharmacies, also employ significant percentages of women of color
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