Ten Black leaders who represent the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia area will be selected to receive monetary and meaningful support to assist with their activism. Each fellow will receive a personal grant of $30,000 to support their living expenses for a year. The nominations for the first cohort are now open and can be submitted via an online form at www.blackjusticefellows.org.
The initiative is being led by visionary committee leaders Angela Rye, Linda Wilson, Tonia Wellons, Cherrelle Swain, and Darius Baxter.
“Black leaders have been actively working for years to create a more just America, yet too many are underestimated, underfunded, and underrepresented,” says fund co-chair Baxter in a written statement. “We declare the success of Black leaders will not be determined by how much they can fundraise or their proximity to whiteness.”
Co-Chair Wellons also states, “Historically, we know that there has been an under-investment in Black leaders who are on the front-lines of fighting for justice and equality. We are excited to help scale the work of emerging leaders in the Greater Washington region by providing financial support so they can continue to live while they lead. This initiative will help elevate the voices of Black leaders and invest in solutions led by Black leaders to fuel their efforts to address structural and systemic racism.”
The Black Voices for Black Justice Fund (DMV) has been funded by the Bridge Alliance Education Fund and Greater Washington Community Foundation. This local initiative stemmed from the national Black Voices for Black Justice Fund, which was launched from a partnership between many philanthropic organizations across the country.
“We are pleased to support communities and leaders in the Washington, D.C. area by partnering with the Greater Washington Community Foundation to provide resources to Black leaders at the forefront of community work that is strengthening our communities and our nation,” says David Nevins, chairman of the Board of Bridge Alliance Education Fund.