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Ford Foundation invests $15 million in first global fund addressing key issues facing black women

March 31, 2021

The Ford Foundation has announced its commitment of $15 million in seed funding to help launch the Black Feminist Fund, a new philanthropic fund developed and led by a core group of Black feminists who sit at the nexus of feminist organizing, advocacy, and philanthropy globally.

Ford’s initial investment will be vital to help jumpstart the fund’s work to create a network of support around key issues that impact Black women around the globe.

The Ford Foundation’s $15 million seed investment is from the proceeds of the foundation’s unprecedented social bond launched in 2020 in response to the pandemic. The new funding to the Black Feminist Fund is in addition to Ford’s ongoing support for organizations working to advance racial and gender equality around the world.

The foundation’s increased commitment recognizes that Black women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

“All around the world we’re seeing that women—specifically women of color—are bearing the brunt of the pandemic and its domino effect of consequences. We also recognize that the very same women who are the most impacted are the ones leading transformative movements that create positive change in our communities,” said Ford Foundation president Darren Walker . “We are proud to support the incredible leaders behind the Black Feminist Fund as they launch this one of a kind venture and urge others to join us.”

“As the world marks another Women’s History Month recognizing women and their immense contributions and gifts to society, we must remember recognition alone is not power,” said Ford Foundation International Program Director for Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice Nicolette Naylor . “The Ford Foundation is proud to support the Black Feminist Fund as a major step toward putting the power in the hands of the trailblazing advocates leading movements across the globe, and giving them the resources and support they need to continue to do this work expertly.”

'The Black Feminist Fund emerged from decades-long conversations with Black feminists around the world wanting to remove one of our steepest barriers—funding,” said Hakima Abbas, Black Feminist Fund co-founder . “Black feminists are changing the world and we deserve resourcing that matches the boldness of our visions. The Fund will help make that a reality and we’re grateful to Ford for supporting this work.”

The Black Feminist Fund will provide grants to organizations in Africa, North America, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, and whose work benefits and engages Black women, girls, trans, intersex and gender non-conforming people.

The Fund will also serve as the first global resource hub for Black feminist organizing and philanthropy. As a networking vehicle, it will connect Black women donors and their allies to organizations rooted in Black feminist principles and centered on Black women and their intersecting communities.

The Fund will focus on grantmaking to grassroots Black feminist efforts, research and knowledge production, growing a base of Black women donors and resource mobilizers, and building a conduit for learning and exchange for partners across all of its work. The Fund is looking to raise $100 million in total in its first year.

The Black Feminist Fund is led by an international group of feminists with extensive experience working with a wide range of intersecting issues.

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