“What breaks your heart?”
That was the question career coach Julie Bauke asked me as we taped an episode of her podcast last week. “Hunger,” I answered, because that’s always been the truth.
Today, I would answer differently. This weekend broke my heart. It broke for the Floyd family and for all the victims of racial injustice that came before, and will, sadly, come after.
It broke for the small business owners in this country, who took a chance opening pharmacies, restaurants, barber shops and everything in between, only to see them ransacked and looted. It broke for people who tried to protest peacefully but found themselves in a mess of violence and hatred. On a personal level, it broke for my mother, a block away from the looting in Philadelphia who collapsed into tears at what was happening in the city she loves.
And when my son, who was born with a heart condition, dismissed my concerns that he not join the crowded protests because of COVID-19, with: “They’re killing black people. Some things are more important,” I was struck by the fact that my fear for his safety was just a fraction of the fear that Black mothers feel every day when they ask their kids to run an errand or send them off to school. And I was ashamed of that.
So what do we do? We can try to say the right things – fearing that they might be wrong – but we try anyway. We can try to show up for our communities – with the understanding that precautions must be taken because we are still in the middle of a pandemic. But we can also give.
That is what Tim Cook – in a beautifully written email to Apple employees – is doing. That is what I am looking for ways to do personally – I started four days ago when I clicked on a link in the often delightful, often poignant Twitter feed of Broadway’s Patti Murin that took me to the GoFundMe for George Floyd’s family (it set out to raise $1.5 million and is currently at $9.1 million and growing) but I’ve also been seeking out organizations that will help the Black community during this time. At HerMoney, we put together a list of charities that are aiding Black protesters, elevating Black entrepreneurs, promoting Black women’s voices and careers, and so much more. HerMoney has made donations to each of these charities, and we hope that you’ll join us in giving however and wherever you can. And if you’re looking for other ways to support justice, I found this post full of ideas to be inspiring.
Standing with you, and taking time to listen, reflect, and learn,
Minnesota Freedom Fund
The Minnesota Freedom Fund is working to free the state’s protestors who were arrested and jailed for exercising their first amendment rights. This local nonprofit will use your donations toward bail costs and other legal fees that jailed protestors may face. Last week alone, the organization received $20 million in donations, compared with the $80,000 they’d raised during the entire year thus far. They are also encouraging those who want to help to contribute to other groups providing supplies and services in the field, such as Black Visions Collective, Reclaim the Block, and Northstar Health Collective.
Girls For A Change
For 20 years, Girls For A Change has been empowering Black girls to ignite their leadership skills and promote social change through personal projects that affect their own lives. Their goal? “To end the prejudice, poverty and lack of resources that leave Black girls and young women vulnerable at the margins of society.” Their programs introduce young women to leadership skills and financial literacy, among other crucial tools that will help them establish a bright future.
Know Your Rights Camp
Started by Colin Kapernick, Know Your Rights Camp aims to “advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.” Located in 6 U.S. cities and one European city, these camps aim to educate black individuals on what their rights as Black Americans are. You can either donate to the camps, which helps to keep them in session worldwide, or you can donate to the legal fund, to aid those arrested in the Minnesota protests.
Suppression of Black voters is an issue that caught the spotlight in 2018, but it’s hardly a new one, nor is it limited to Georgia. Fair Fight promotes fair elections in Georgia and around the country, advocates for election reform at all levels, and encourages voter participation in elections. Fair Fight Action engages in voter mobilization and education, and the Fair Fight PAC has programs that support voter protection and help elect pro voting rights, progressive leaders.
The nonprofit CODE2040 gets its name from the year when minorities are projected to become the majority in the United States. Its Fellows Program places Black and Latino college-level computer science students in internship programs at top tech companies, and its Residency Program helps Black and Latino entrepreneurs build companies and cultivate diversity in their own communities.
digitalundivided fosters economic growth in Black and Latinx communities through women entrepreneurs. In 2012, their report on Black women in tech entrepreneurship, ProjectDiane, revealed that Black and Latinx female founders receive less than .2% of all venture funding. To date, digitalundivided’s funding initiatives have helped women of color raise more than $100M in investment, and following the release of ProjectDiane, the number of startups led by Black women have tripled, and funding for black women-owned ventures increased by 500%.
Black Girl Ventures
Black Girl Ventures helps women of color and scale tech-enabled, revenue-generating startup businesses. Since their inception in 2016, the organization has funded 41 women of color, held 25 Pitch Programs across 8 cities, and served 168 participants.