Community Foundation Invests Nearly $1 Million in Black-led Organizations Leading Systems Change

The Community Foundation is proud to announce an investment of $940,000 in 17 Black-led organizations in Greater Washington working in the critical area of systems change. These one-year awards will help support organizations’ immediate infrastructure needs, including staffing, strategic planning, marketing and communications, professional development, and more. 

Enabled through a generous $1 million gift from Facebook, The Community Foundation launched this new funding opportunity in April 2021. The following investments align with our new strategic focus, which prioritizes support for BIPOC-led and serving organizations and local neighborhoods where racialized socio-economic disparities are the greatest. 

“Discrimination and disparities based on race, income, and gender continue to threaten both the lives and livelihoods of people of color, especially Black residents. It is vital that we invest in organizations that are working to disrupt and transform systems perpetuating those inequities,” says Dawnn Leary, Senior Community Investment Officer at The Community Foundation. “I am thrilled this funding opportunity will support the immediate infrastructure needs of 17 organizations on the front lines organizing, empowering, and advocating with and for residents of Greater Washington.” 

African Communities Together, to support building an infrastructure for  member recruitment, retention, and leadership development, including a member phone bank and data clean-up project. 

Bread for the City, to support the hiring of a racial equity manager to drive efforts, that shift organizational culture to ensure racial equity. Funds will also support workshops for staff hosted by Service 2 Justice and the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.

Collective Action for Safe Spaces, to sustain and expand staff and board leadership through strategic planning, financial planning, and personnel recruitment.

Community Grocery Co-Op, to strengthen marketing and communications, fundraising, canvassing community stakeholders, hiring of staff, and leadership team development.

Concerned Citizens Network of Alexandria, to support fundraising, training and mobilization, and website and video upgrades.

 Critical Exposure, to support hiring a full-time Human Resources and Operations Manager, a key role to meet sustainability goals for the organization.

DC Justice Lab, to support organizational needs such as equipment for a home office/remote work, IT, marketing and communications, development and fundraising collateral, and staff/board professional development and training. 

Dreaming out Loud, to support the installation of a new CRM system, the implementation of public relations, and developing a comprehensive communications plan that improves community engagement. 

Harriet’s Wildest Dreams, to hire a second full-time staff member, and support cover artist and speaker fees at their vision salons. 

Life After Release, to support leadership development and wellness for a team of six organizers (five formerly incarcerated women and one man), the development of their organizational communications infrastructure, and office equipment for staff to work from home as needed. 

Mamatoto Village, to support data collection, leadership training, and marking and communications needs. 

Many Languages One Voice, to support MLOV’s investment in and building of a membership database in Salesforce, and  hiring a strategic communications consultant. 

ONE DC, to help re-open Black Workers and Wellness Center (BWWC) and resume activities housed in the center, namely Cooperation DC.   

Progressive Maryland, to invest in new AI technology, provide training, streamline processes, and expand contacts.  

Racial Justice NOW!, to support the development and implementation of a five-year strategic plan.  

Serve Your City/Ward 6 Mutual Aid, for the organization including, conducting a board assessment, and hiring a consultant to train the board on governance, fundraising, budget allocation, human resources management and strategic planning.

The National Reentry Network of Returning Citizens, to support the development of a community space hub focused on returning citizen visibility and leadership, and provide the critical infrastructure needed for their staff and programs.