Black Collective In Idaho Creates Emergency Fund, Awarding Over $13,000 To Black Families

Black Collective In Idaho Creates Emergency Fund, Awarding Over $13,000 To Black Families

An Idaho collective of Black students has fought eagerly to continue its mission of transforming higher education institutions for the betterment and safety of all Black students.

Today, in light of the pandemic, this group is now committing its resources to support the marginalized community in Idaho. Meet the Black Liberation Collective.

According to KTBV 7, the collective launched the Black Mutual Aid Fund to provide financial assistance to Black families affected in the Gem State. As the pandemic forges ahead, the impact on the Black community sheds light on the 0.9% Black population in Idaho.

“We’ve had a Black community no matter how small in Idaho for a very long time,” Black Liberation Collective of Idaho Founder Alyssa Wainaina told the news outlet. “We are a very underserved community because we are small and a very marginalized group.”

While making up the small percentage in Idaho, the Black community has taken a significant hit due to the pandemic surge. Statistics indicate that the number of cases and deaths in the Black population surpassed those in the white, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native communities, as per The COVID Tracking Project.

Additionally, Black families had higher economic and mental health hardship rates than other groups. COVID-19, like most states across the country, resulted in higher unemployment and the loss of housing and food security.

Wainaina said, “Our biggest goal is to give Black people money with no strings attached. “We’ve seen a lot of attention when it comes to the mutual aid applications. We’ve most recently ran out of funding in four minutes.”

The Black Liberation Collective, dedicated to empowering the Black community through unity and collaborative effort, launched the emergency fund in 2020, which has since distributed $13,525 in the community. The funds are allocated through grants from the Social Justice Fund Northwest, the Pride Foundation, and community donations. Wainaina says each family can receive up to $300 contingent upon the approval of fund applications.

“As we continue to expand the work we are doing, we’d love to get more support from white folks and nonblack folks monthly. Like a $10 or $50 donation so that we can have consistent support and not just when there is something like extreme violence that happens towards Black people in our community,” said Wainaina.

Although currently closed, the fund application will open in the future to assist more families monthly. Check here to see if you qualify. People are also encouraged to donate directly via Venmo, CashApp, and PayPal.