Honoring Black History Month: Investing in Black Leaders in the Immigrant and Racial Justice Movements

Four Freedoms Fund (FFF), a collaborative fund of NEO Philanthropy, is proud to honor Black History Month this year with the release of its recommendations on how philanthropy can strategically and broadly strengthen the Black immigrant, refugee and asylum seeker organizing ecosystem.  

FFF’s “Investing in Black Leaders in the Immigrant and Racial Justice Movements” recommendations are based on interviews with Black-led immigrant, refugee and asylum seeking organizations building the movements for immigrant and racial justice.  These Black-led organizations have played an outsize role in pushing the immigrant justice movement to center racial justice, as well as being visionaries pushing the boundaries for a more just and equitable future in our country.

“Through our work to strengthen the immigrant justice movement, and as part of a growing strategy to grow the power and capacity of Black immigrant communities, FFF has had the honor of getting to know extraordinary Black immigrant, refugee and asylum seeker leaders and organizations from across the nation,” said Anita Khashu, Four Freedoms Fund Director.  “In being called upon to meet the needs of their communities, as well as serve in multiple coalitions and advocacy spaces, Black immigrant, refugee and asylum seeker leaders and organizations are playing crucial roles in advancing immigrant and racial justice, yet remain some of the most under-resourced organizations in these movements.”

Black immigrants are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. immigrant population, notes FFF.  In 1970, one in 100 Black Americans was an immigrant; currently one in 10 Black Americans is an immigrant.  Yet for this community, systems of over-policing, Islamophobia, immigration enforcement, criminalization and incarceration have a disproportionate, disparate, and layered impact on Black immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers and their families.

FFF makes seven strategic recommendations for how funders can support Black immigrant, refugee, and asylum seeker-focused and led organizations in building their own power toward self-determination and equity.  

Read the recommendations and full report here.

Also, to mark Black History Month, FFF honors the Black-led immigrant, refugee and asylum seeker organizations it currently supports.  These include:  African Communities Together; Black Alliance for Just Immigration; Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project; CAIR-MN; Families for Freedom; UndocuBlack Network; Haitian Bridge Alliance; Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees; Refugee Congress; and Women Watch Afrika.

“We believe these grantees represent a sample of the many courageous leaders and inspiring organizations in Black immigrant communities across the country,” said Khashu. “We welcome funders to join us as we deepen our own investment and engagement in building an ongoing and deep commitment to this indispensable community of Black leaders and advocates.”

Learn more about FFF’s Black Immigrant, Refugee and Asylum Seeker Power-building initiative here

Four Freedoms Fund is a national funder collaborative launched by NEO Philanthropy in 2003. FFF strengthens the capacity of the immigrant justice movement to ensure all immigrants, regardless of immigration status, have dignity, power to shape change, and agency to determine the quality of their life, community, and future. To achieve this goal, FFF believes we need a robust and powerful infrastructure of organizations leading the transformation of our country’s systems to be inclusive, fair and just, and grounded in racial, economic, and gender justice.

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