“The Revolution will not be funded!” INCITE! Women, Gender Non-Conforming, and Trans people of Color* Against Violence
It turns out that empowering oneself in a capitalist system can get pretty expensive. Even for all-volunteer organizations the daily costs of food and office supplies adds up over the months and years it takes to make real change. While we do have a massive non-profit industrial complex that is supposed to help fund community empowerment, much of this money ends up staying in foundations. In fact, foundations are only required to spend and small portion of their endowment on charity. Many family foundations are merely vehicles for tax evasion as family members sit as vice presidents in order to draw large salaries and very little money actually goes to fund non-profits.
Perhaps even more depressing, when the money does make it to hands of organizations on the ground, the overwhelming majority goes to charity and service providers, not organizing for systemic change. Even new age techies who value data based “radical philanthropy” are still funding band-aid solutions. Not only is this waste of money in many cases, it can also be counter-productive as history has shown that services are bad for people.
The service provider model generally sets a false dichotomy of “experts” [who are often poorly trained, economically and racially privileged volunteers] and “clients” [who are generally told that all the solutions to their problem lie outside their community in institutions they have no control of].
The little money that does trickle down into on the ground organizing or community empowerment is often filtered through a racist and sexist lens. Funders tend to not trust people of color led organizations or female led organizations with money. This puts organizations that are working to empower Black Trans* Women, Black Women and Girls in a bind.
This is why it is so important that we fund organizing in our own communities and support projects and campaigns led by directly effected people. This is why, on the second day of #ILoveBlackWomen, I’m asking you to donate to organizations that empower Black Girls, Black Trans* Women and Black Women. Again, I must confess my inability to give an overview of the best organizations to donate to. You will have to do your own research!. But I can provide a few organizations for you to consider:
The Black Youth Project 100:
“Black Youth Project 100 is an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do this through building a network focused on transformative leadership development, non-violent direct action organizing, advocacy, and education. Members of BYP 100 do all of their work through a queer feminist lens. Chapters across the country, including the DC chapter, are organizing around the Agenda to Keep Us Safe, which seeks to end the criminalization of young black people.”
DONATE to DC Jobs With Justice:
DC Jobs with Justice is an organization led by their amazing Executive Director, a brilliant young Black Woman named Nikki Lewis. They are a dynamic anti-racist coalition of labor organizations, community groups, faith-based organizations, and student groups dedicated to protecting the rights of working people and supporting community struggles to build a more just society.
They are committed to the creation of living wage jobs, support of economic and social justice here and abroad, and maintaining pressure to demand corporate accountability in our communities.
In its work, DC JwJ gives priority to the struggles impacting the most vulnerable workers in our community: low-wage workers, immigrants, people of color, women, youth and seniors. They are committed to creating an organization that is fully inclusive and welcoming to everyone.
DONATE: Calvary Women’s Services
“Calvary Women’s Services offers housing, health, education and employment programs that empower homeless women in Washington, D.C. to change their lives.” Located in Anacostia in S.E Washington D.C. most of their community are Black Women. They do an amazing job of empowering these women to be powerful self-advocates.
DONATE: CASA Ruby.
“Casa Ruby is the only Bilingual Multicultural LGBT Organization providing life saving services and programs to the most vulnerable in the LGBT community. A large number of our clients have incomes of less than $15,000.00 per year.
Our Mission is to create success life stories among Transgender, Gender Queer and Gender Non-conforming Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual people.
Our vision is to create a world where Transgender, Gender Queer, and Gender Non-conforming people pursue their dreams and achieve success in their lives without fear of discrimination, harassment, or violence due to their sexual orientation and or Gender Identity/Gender Expression.” –From the Casa Ruby Website
While Casa Ruby doesn’t work exclusively with Black Women and Black Trans* Women, they are doing phenomenal work in DC for LGBT people of color. Unfortunately, in DC, working with low income populations means working primarily with Black people. Due to that fact, and Casa Ruby’s active support of the Black Lives Matter movement through working with local groups such as Black Lives Matter DMV and BYP100 DC makes them a great organization to donate to for #ILoveBlackWomen.
Again, this nowhere near an exhaustive list of the organizations doing great work for Black Women in DC. This list is also bias towards organization that I could find donate pages for or who responded to my e-mail inquiries by this morning. Please do you own research! Look into ThinkMoor which is a local BLM group founded and led by Black Women. BeautifulU, which is a SE DC based, Queer Black Women led youth empowerment organization that wonderful work here locally. Please feel free to add organizations in the comment section and check this page for updates through out the week.