The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is formally expanding a $3 million relief fund it launched earlier this month to help people struggling financially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Associated Press.
The foundation, which grew out of the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement nearly eight years ago, plans to give 3,000 microgrants of $1,000 each to people who it believes need it most.
The BLM foundation has already begun asking recipients to apply for the Survival Fund grants as it builds out its philanthropic arm. Those approved can have the money is deposited directly into their bank accounts or made available on prepaid debit cards, the foundation said — no strings attached.
As of Thursday afternoon, the foundation reported the response had been overwhelming and it was no longer accepting applications for the initial round of the fund.
To quote the Associated Press:
Patrisse Cullors, the foundation’s executive director, said that so far the Survival Fund’s first recipients have included the families of people killed by police or who died while incarcerated, grassroots community organizers, people who identify as transgender, single parents and formerly incarcerated individuals.
“This came from a collective conversation with BLM leadership that Black folks are being hurt the most financially during the pandemic,” Cullors said.“I believe that when you have resources, to hoard them is a disservice to the people who deserve them.”
During that time, mutual aid and direct assistance programs like BLM’s Survival Fund have increased in popularity. According to the nonprofit Town Hall Project, which created the Mutual Aid Hub to track various collective efforts last March, the number of mutual aid groups in the U.S. grew from 50 to more than 800 in 48 states by last May.
Black mutual aid efforts date back to antebellum times, when enslaved Americans pooled their money to buy each other’s freedom from bondage. In the 1960s, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense created programs in several stated where members provided groceries and breakfasts to the elderly and schoolchildren, as well as health care screenings through community clinics.
Cullors said the Survival Fund is a tribute to that legacy.
To read more: https://apnews.com/article/black-lives-matter-survival-fund-ad6c0c0777b3fdc44a4cd3aec8e09ccc
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