For many, 2016 cannot end soon enough. After a prolonged campaign for the White House, fraught with racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, homophobic, ableist vitriol, we are eager to end this awful year.
But as we anticipate 2017, many of us are bracing ourselves for a president whose closest counselors include known White supremacists and a Congress and U.S. Supreme Court unlikely to offer checks and balances. For those scrambling for a place to make tax-deductible donations before the end of the year, Black women-led organizations offer a ray of hope in the fog.
Black women have been the backbone of many social justice efforts throughout the history of America. One movement, founded by Black women more than twenty years ago, will be more critical than ever for those living at the crosshairs of racial and gender discrimination in 2017: and that’s the reproductive justice movement.
Initially created in an effort to broaden the focus of the White feminist “pro-choice” movement beyond birth control and abortion to include the many issues that impact reproductive health and freedom for Black women, it has become the leading movement engaging women of color, low-income women, young people and LGBT people as grassroots activists on reproductive issues.
For decades, reproductive justice organizations have been instrumental in advancing reproductive freedom at the state and local level—now the number one battleground for protecting and advancing reproductive freedom in the current political context. Yet, these organizations often fall under the radar of donors.
Groundswell Fund makes it easy for donors to move money to grassroots reproductive justice organizations. In 2016, Groundswell provided $7 million in resources to more than 50 grassroots reproductive justice organizations working in 30 states, with 85% of its total giving going to women of color-led organizations and 25 percent of total giving going to Black women-led organizations.
Current Black women-led grantees include New Voices for Reproductive Justice in Pennsylvania and Ohio, Los Angeles-based Black Women for Wellness and Women Engaged in Atlanta, among others. These organizations are playing a leading role in engaging Black voters and fighting for the reproductive freedom of Black women. Groundswell also offers an interactive map and listing of organizations for donors who want to give directly to grassroots groups.
A lot is at stake for Black women in 2017. Already, Black women are paid just 63 cents for every dollar paid to White men—in comparison, White women earn 78 cents—face higher maternal mortality rates, and are more likely to be killed as a result of domestic violence. The new administration’s promises to further militarize Black communities, dismantle the Affordable Care Act, persecute Muslims, and attack reproductive freedom, will all have impacts on Black women. Black women-led organizations need our support now more than ever.
Supporting Black women’s leadership in the communities most impacted by injustice is where donors can make a big difference. If you’re considering making a donation before ringing in the New Year, please consider supporting the reproductive justice movement.
Vanessa Daniel is the executive director of Groundswell Fund, the nation’s largest reproductive justice funder. To make a tax-deductible, end-of-year donation to the Groundswell Fund, please visit groundswellfund.org/donate.
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