Press Releases

NoVo Foundation partners with Southern Black Girls & Women’s Consortium to support growing movement for Black girls in the Southeastern U.S.

New collective will deepen regional grantmaking and capacity-building infrastructure to advance movement for Black girls and women in the Southeast

New York, NY – The NoVo Foundation today announced a new partnership with the Southern Black Girls & Women’s Consortium, a new collective of funders, activists and community leaders working to advance the movements for Black girls and women in the Southeast. The consortium will co-create an infrastructure for regional grantmaking and movement building, providing resources to locally-based organizations that work directly with Black girls, including those outside of traditional non-profit organizations.

In addition to direct grantmaking, the consortium will coordinate efforts and support opportunities to provide spaces for healing, political education, and capacity building for movements that center and are led by Black girls and women.

The consortium, coordinated by LaTosha Brown of TruthSpeaks Consulting, is comprised of a community of Black women in philanthropy, activism and girls’ work and is supported by the following foundations:

“Through this exciting opportunity of the launch of the Southern Black Girls & Women’s Consortium we seek to create a new funding model that will be shaped by the very people that have been most marginalized and impacted in the region by poverty, racism and homophobia — Black girls,” said LaTosha Brown. “This new partnership with NoVo Foundation provides a great opportunity for us to reimagine a South where Black girls are supported, safe and soaring to new heights.”

The partnership follows an announcement NoVo made in April 2017 about its grantmaking strategy for a seven-year, $90 million commitment to support the movement for girls of color in the United States. The strategy was informed by NoVo partners and a year of listening sessions in 2016, where girls, activists and community leaders across the country shared how best to support movements that center girls of color in the United States. The listening sessions were held in multiple regions across the country, including in the Southeast, a region with a vibrant history of intersectional movement-building and home to notable activists such as Rosa Parks, Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hammer and many others. Despite this rich history of movement building, the region remains largely overlooked by philanthropy. Only 5.4 percent of all foundation funding in the South went to programs focused on women and girls, and less than 1 percent went to those focused on Black women and girls.

“Social movements and our communities have always been led and transformed for the better by the investment in the leadership of Black women and girls. How blessed we are to be in community with each other to continue that long tradition of mutual respect, support, and development through the Southern Black Girls and Women’s Consortium,” said Ash-Lee Henderson, Co-Director of the Highlander Center, a prominent cultural and learning center for activists based in the Southeast.

From the listening sessions, leaders identified key priorities for their movements, including a strategy to develop regional partnerships to support the grantmaking, capacity-building and convening of regional resources. As a result of this deep listening, NoVo launched an open request for proposals nationally to find a partner who could meet the challenge of resourcing the movement for girls of color in the Southeast. After receiving and carefully reviewing over 60 applications and engaging an advisory committee comprised up of activists, philanthropists and movement leaders based in the Southeast that center girls in their work, NoVo selected the Southern Black Girls & Women’s Consortium as the core partner.

The consortium is coordinated entirely by Black women-led philanthropic organizations, who hold deep roots in movement-building throughout the Southeast. The partnership recognizes their critical role and the importance of centering the lived experiences and leadership of those most impacted by deep-seated injustices.

“Movement leaders and activists in the South have had a tremendous impact on our country’s history but have not received the philanthropic support they deserve,” said Pamela Shifman, Executive Director of the NoVo Foundation. “We trust their leadership and approach to growing the movement for girls of color throughout the U.S. and are excited about collaborating together.”

For the next twelve months, the consortium will partner with girls and those who center girls in their work to design an infrastructure that will manage grantmaking and additional capacities needed in the Southeast, while supporting and strengthening social movements for Black girls. The consortium’s leadership team will work cohesively to create a strategic work plan.

For more information about the consortium, please contact LaTosha Brown at latosha@southernBlackGirls.org.

For more information on NoVo Foundation, please contact Keith Brooks at kbrooks@novofoundation.org.

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About Girls of Color

In the United States, girls of color face deep-seated disparities. From birth, girls of color are more likely to face poverty than white girls: over 60% of girls of color are born to families living on low incomes or below the poverty line. They’re also more likely to suffer child sexual abuse, be sexually harassed on the street and at school, and experience dating violence. Distinct differences in the ways in which class, race, immigration status, sexual identity, youth, and other identities intersect in the lives of girls of color also drive unique disparities. Black girls, for example, are six times more likely to be suspended in school than their white peers. Native American girls experience the highest rate of physical assault by an intimate partner. For more data, research and other resources, please visit www.grantmakersforgirlsofcolor.org

 

About the NoVo Foundation

The NoVo Foundation is dedicated to building a more just and balanced world. Founded in 2006 by Jennifer and Peter Buffett, NoVo has become one of the largest private foundations in the world to support initiatives focused explicitly on girls and women, including dedicated focus on ending violence against girls and women and supporting adolescent girls.  NoVo also works to advance social and emotional learning, support Indigenous communities and promote local living economies. Learn more at www.novofoundation.org.

 

About Appalachian Community Fund

The Appalachian Community Fund (ACF) funds and encourages grassroots social change in Central Appalachia (East Tennessee, Eastern Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and West Virginia). ACF works to build a sustainable base of resources to support community-led organizations seeking to overcome and address the underlying cause of poverty and oppression. ACF awards grants to community-based organizations working for social, economic, racial and environmental justice. They support communities with little or no access to other financial resources and grassroots groups which are often too small, too new, or working on issues that are too controversial for traditional funding sources. Since 1987, ACF has granted over $6.5 million dollars to more than 300 grassroots organizations working on social change in Central Appalachia. Many of those grants were for general operating support, as well as special projects, and over $100,000 of that funding was for technical assistance. Learn more at http://www.appalachiancommunityfund.org.

 

About Black Belt Community Foundation

Alabama‘s Black Belt stretches across the middle of the state from Mississippi almost to the Georgia line. Rich in human, religious, geographic and political diversity, the Black Belt got its name from the region’s rich, dark soil. It is also home to the highest percentage of African Americans in Alabama. Founded in 2004 with the idea that those living and working in the Black Belt best knew the area’s challenges and opportunities, the Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) actively puts needed resources into the region that make a lasting impact. Learn more at http://blackbeltfound.org.

 

About Fund for Southern Communities
The Fund for Southern Communities (FSC) is a public foundation that supports and unites organizations and donors working to create just and sustainable communities that are free of oppression and that embrace and celebrate all people.  Through grantmaking and related activities the Fund fosters social change initiated by community-based groups in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Since it began in 1981, FSC has awarded thousands of grants, totaling over $7 million. We work with small, grassroots organizations that often are isolated from the larger movement networks and rely on individual volunteers – people directly affected by the injustices they are addressing. Our grantees serve approximately 10,000 people each year. Learn more at www.fundforsouth.org.

 

About Truth Speaks
Truthspeaks Consulting is a philanthropic advisory group and consulting business that specializes in professional facilitation, program design, organizational development, capacity building, resource development and technical assistance to foundations and non-profit organizations across the nation with a particular focus on the U.S. South with more than 20 years of experience in the field of social justice and social impact philanthropy.