Monique W. Morris, President & CEO of Grantmakers for Girls of Color (G4GC) shares her insights on the meaning of Black History Month and the lasting impact that investing more than $10 million in over 200 organizations across 50 states, Washington, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico has had for girls and young women of color.
Dr. Morris also highlights G4GC’s 2nd annual Black Girl Freedom Week (Feb. 14-20). Hosted by the #1Billion4BlackGirls campaign and Black Girl Freedom Fund, an initiative of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, Black Girl Freedom Week is an annual week-long celebration of, and action for, Black girls, femmes and gender-expansive youth* which amplifies the artistic vision, leadership, and genius of Black girls. They welcome numerous youth activists, including 17-year-old Marley Dias, as well as Tracee Ellis Ross, Rashida Jones, and Sanaa Lathan. Join them this February 17th for a day that will focus on investing in Black girls across the globe.
Black History Month is a time for reflection, recognition, and commemoration of African Americans’ historical and contemporary experiences in the United States, and a time to celebrate the leadership and power of Black girls. Launched in February 1926 — as “Negro History Week” by Carter G. Woodson — Black History Month is more than just a time to elevate the names of prominent Black people who have overcome deep structural bias to advance this nation’s promise of financial wellbeing. It is an opportunity for us to mobilize our resources and networks to interrogate our involvement in remedies to anti-Black racism and broader manifestations of racial injustice.
Noting the roots of Black History Month is important because it elevates the reality that we cannot acknowledge that which we do not know – or remember. Black girls have long been some of the nation’s most clear and consistent articulators of justice in the U.S. For generations, Black girls have been active in social movements, innovation, and enterprises that advance access to institutions, structures, and visions that lead to their liberated futures. Knowing about this history is critical to understanding the importance of Sankofa, a West African principle that insists on the notion that the past informs the future.
Sankofa is an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana. The literal translation of the word and symbol: “it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.”
For Grantmakers for Girls of Color (G4GC), as the nation’s only philanthropic intermediary exclusively focused on resourcing organizations led by and focused on girls and femmes of color, this is our raison d’être, the essence of our existence. In just under two years, we have been able to mobilize millions toward these liberated futures—in 2021 alone, we granted more than $10 million to more than 200 organizations across 50 states, Washington, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico.
“Our Black Girl Freedom Fund (BGFF) remains a core fund associated with the #1Billion4BlackGirls campaign, which is a collective effort to mobilize a $1 billion investment in Black girls by 2030. Our investments extend beyond grantmaking. To implement our engagement of “reciprocity as praxis,” G4GC invites a participatory framework that also works toward a redistribution of power in which girls of color can locate themselves.”Monique W. Morris, Ed.D., President & CEO, Grantmakers for Girls of Color
This week, as we use the wisdom of Sankofa to celebrate the 2nd annual Black Girl Freedom Week (Feb. 14-20), join us for Black Girl Freedom Week as we amplify the artistic vision, leadership and genius of Black girls, particularly within the beauty and fashion industries, and welcome numerous youth activists, including 17-year-old Marley Dias, as well as Tracee Ellis Ross, Rashida Jones, and Sanaa Lathan. We would especially invite you to join us on February 17th, a day that will focus on investing in Black girls.
Thank you for being in community with us.
Monique W. Morris, Ed.D.
President & CEO
Grantmakers for Girls of Color
P.S. Join us on social media this week for Black Girl Freedom Week by using the social media kit and the following hashtags: #1Billion4BlackGirls #BlackGirlFreedomWeek #BlackGirlFreedom
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