Today the Raikes Foundation announced nearly $1 million in funding to support the dismantling of anti-Black racism. The Black Leadership & Power Fund is separate from the foundation’s established strategies and provides unrestricted funding to organizations elevating Black leadership, bolstering Black political engagement and leveraging community-based organizing to advance anti-racist policy change across the nation.
“This extraordinary moment requires setting aside business as usual and fully living into our commitment to racial justice,” Dennis Quirin, executive director of the Raikes Foundation, said. “We hope to accelerate the great work already happening in these organizations, and to learn from them so that they can shape how we fund the movement for Black lives in the future.”
The Black Leadership & Power Fund is a direct response to the wave of activism sweeping the country in the wake of countless deaths at the hands of police officers, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and Elijah McClain.Read More
The events of the past several days make clear that America can no longer turn a blind eye to the effects of hundreds of years of racism on its people.
This is a crisis that needs immediate, ongoing attention including, as a starting point, a recognition on behalf of white leaders and people in this country that racism is real, deep, and structural. It's more than a handful of biased cops. Anti-black racism is deeply rooted in our systems, our laws and our very attitudes and beliefs. Pleas for calm in this crisis sound empty when unaccompanied by action that matches the reality of our history and the despair evident in the current moment. This country must change. We must expel the stain of slavery that continues to haunt us to this day.Read More
For Teacher Appreciation Week, I interviewed Chris Chatmon, Executive Director of Kingmakers of Oakland. I wanted him to share what makes his program, his Kings and, especially, Black educators special.
Kingmakers’ innovative strategies are improving academic outcomes for Black boys and helping them build a sense of belonging in school and community, and an essential part of what makes Kingmakers work is its unwavering commitment to recruit, train and retain a new generation of Black male teachers.
My interview, lightly edited, is below.
Gisele C. Shorter: Tell me about the origins of the African American Male Achievement Initiative. How did that work eventually evolve into Kingmakers of Oakland?Read More
Building Changes and Raikes Foundation call on donors and philanthropies to support vulnerable communities impacted by pandemic
Today, Building Changes and the Raikes Foundation launched the Washington State Student and Youth Homelessness COVID-19 Response Fund. With schools now closed through the end of the year, the Fund aims to ensure that communities impacted by COVID-19 are able to respond rapidly to the urgent and growing needs of homeless students and youth across Washington state.
As many as 50,000 students and unaccompanied youth experience homelessness each year in Washington, and 62 percent of students who experience homelessness are people of color. As COVID-19 threatens to push even more young people into unsafe living situations while potentially causing long-term disruptions to their education, the pandemic is exacerbating an already precarious situation.Read More