Guess Which Major Organization Is Funding Black Lives Matter?
Black Lives Matter is pushing to turn its message into an organized mission and recently released its Movement for Black Lives policy agenda with goals that range from reparations to changes to the U.S. justice system. The agenda has attracted some big name monetary support, and among the more than 50 organizations that have announced support of the movement is the Ford Foundation.
“That’s why now is the time to stand by and amplify movements rooted in love, compassion, and dignity for all people. Now is the time to call for an end to state violence directed at communities of color. And now is the time to advocate for investment in public services—including but not limited to police reform—together with education, health, and employment in communities and for people who have historically had less opportunity and access to all those things,” announced the foundation on their blog.
Ford has invested in the Black-Led Movement Fund, (BLMF) a pooled donor fund organized by the efforts of the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), and led by Borealis Philanthropy, reports Fortune magazine.
According to the Borealis website, “The BLMF’s strategy is supported by two other components: The first is the Blackprint Strategy, a collaborative process underway to identify movement needs and resource priorities to bring $100 million in new resources to the Movement for Black Lives. The Movement Strategy Center’s Blueprint Philanthropies Project is facilitating this effort. The second component is the BLMF Organizational Development Initiative supported by Benedict Consulting and focused on supporting the organizational capacity building needs of a rapidly growing movement.”
The Ford Foundation, it seems, has been involved in other Black movements. According to Karen Ferguson, an Associate Professor of History and Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University and author of Top Down: The Ford Foundation, Black Power, and the Reinvention of Racial Liberalism, “At first glance, the Ford Foundation and the Black power movement would make an unlikely partnership. After the Second World War, the renowned Foundation was the largest philanthropic organization in the United States and was dedicated to projects of liberal reform. Black power ideology, which promoted self-determination over color-blind assimilation, was often characterized as radical and divisive. But Foundation president McGeorge Bundy chose to engage rather than confront Black power’s challenge to racial liberalism through an ambitious, long-term strategy to foster the ‘social development’ of racial minorities. The Ford Foundation not only bankrolled but originated many of the Black power era’s hallmark legacies: community control of public schools, ghetto-based economic development initiatives, and race-specific arts and cultural organizations.”
So it seems the partnership with BLM and the Ford Foundation might be more than productive.