It’s tax season and some of us will be getting a nice return in the mail. We recognize that this is a difficult economic time for many, and not everyone is in a position to give. However, if you have the means, donating is one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to contribute to a cause.
If you’d like to put your tax refund toward positive action for the Black community, we’ve gathered and vetted ten organizations below for you to consider. We’ve included national organizations whose names you will recognize, as well as smaller, more local initiatives addressing a range of causes, so you can support what is most meaningful to you.
- The George Floyd Global Memorial
The outrage over George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Derek Chauvin and the Minneapolis Police was a catalyst for a renewed racial justice movement across America and beyond. For the people of Minneapolis, it was a tragedy that has forever changed the local landscape. Ever since, people from all over the world have been bringing tributes in the form of flowers, art, protest signs, and more, turning the site into a living memorial.
Floyd’s family and the local community work to “preserve these creative expressions of pain and hope of the people for the people.” To help keep the George Floyd Global Memorial going so that we never forget and continue to fight for justice in his name, donate here.
- The Martha P. Johnson Institute
MPJI works to defend the rights of Black transgender people through leadership development, community organizing and advocacy. Taking its name to honor transgender activist and key figure of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, Martha P. Johnson, MPJI is and always will be Black trans-led.
Their COVID-19 relief fund has supported over 500 Black trans or non-binary people. They also offer fellowships for Black trans artists and community organizers. To support MPJI in their ongoing work, donate here.
- National Black Disability Coalition
NBDC aims to bring together Black people with disabilities and foster opportunities for the community. The organization is “a response to the need for Blacks with Disabilities in America to organize around issues of mutual concern and use our collective strength to address disability issues with an emphasis on people who live in poverty.”
The work they do is broad and far-reaching. It includes campaigns to recreate Black literature in accessible formats, creating networks among disability organizations, advocating for rights and services for Black disabled inmates, mentoring family members, and so much more. If you are interested in supporting the fight for inclusion for Black people with disabilities, donate here.
- Village Arms
Village Arms focuses on keeping families together and raising awareness of Minnesota’s African American Family Preservation Act. This initiative was started by Kelis Houston, who has worked in social services for over a decade and seen firsthand the racial disparities in child welfare processes. In Minnesota, Black children are placed in out-of-home care at a rate 5.3 times higher than white children with similar cases, and remain in the system longer.
Houston is fighting bias in the child protection and child welfare systems by bringing cultural awareness training to welfare staff, educational resources to parents, and more. To help Village Arms protect African American families from trauma, donate here.
- The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF)
LDF’s mission is a hefty one: “to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.” As the oldest and most prominent civil and human rights law firm, they are in the best position to achieve this goal. Founded in 1940 and led by Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice, LDF has litigated some of the most important landmark civil rights cases, among them Brown v. Board of Education (1954).
LDF pursues justice by defending the progress we’ve made so far and pushing for equity through litigation, advocacy and education. They have fought for criminal justice reform, economic justice, education, voting rights, and more. To support this strong tradition of fighting for racial justice, donate here.
- Color of Change
Color of Change is an online racial justice organization that began in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. They commission research into systems of inequality and they design campaigns and actions to move toward solutions. By harnessing their seven million members, they are able to “move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.”
Their campaigns have included registering new voters, protecting voting rights, demanding justice for victims, and engaging with Hollywood leadership to tell Black stories. To help support their work, donate here.
- Advancement Project
Advancement Project prides itself on being a multiracial civil rights organization. Their founding team is made up of veteran civil rights lawyers, and their focus is policy change through grassroots organizing.
They draw from their collective skills and wisdom to provide legal, communications, and strategic campaign resources for communities who are organizing on the ground. They also use their national contacts to connect individuals and organizations doing like-minded work. They tackle issues like the school-to-prison pipeline, justice for immigrants, access to education and more. To further cultivate Advancement Project’s vision of “a future where people of color are free and safe,” donate here.
- The James Beard Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans
In acknowledgement of how “the American food system was built, literally and figuratively, on the backs of Black and Indigenous Americans,” the James Beard Foundation started an ongoing fundraiser to support food and beverage businesses that are majority Black-owned or Indigenous-owned.
The food industry has suffered greatly during COVID-19, and many restaurants shuttered their doors. As BIPOC individuals often have less access to the capital needed to create and sustain restaurants, the hope for this fund is that it will keep important Black and Indigenous food/beverage businesses running through the pandemic and beyond. To be a part of this effort, donate here.
- The Bail Project
The cash bail system keeps people who cannot afford it in jail pre-trial. This contributes to the economic and racial disparities in mass incarceration, and unfairly keeps people from their lives and jobs as they await trial. The Bail Project provides free bail assistance to thousands of people in need each year.
You can read more about bail reform on the ACLU’s website. During seasons of protest, you or your neighbors may be in need of bail support as well. You can find your local bail fund to donate to here, or donate to The Bail Project here.
- Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter is a movement, a rallying cry and a global organization in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. It began in 2013 in the form of #BlackLivesMatter after George Zimmerman was acquitted of Trayvon Martin’s murder. Started by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, this movement is now 40+ chapters strong.
In the renewed racial justice movement that resurged after George Floyd’s death, Black Lives Matter has been a key leader in the fight against systemic injustice and white supremacy. Some have co-opted the BLM name to raise money for unrelated causes, as seen in this Buzzfeed report, so double-check that your donation is going where you intend it to. Read the official Black Lives Matter 2020 Impact Report, and donate here to keep the momentum going.
It’s important to remember that a donation alone doesn’t dismantle systemic racism. To be strong allies, we each need to be doing the internal work of dismantling racist thinking in ourselves; speaking to our families and communities about racial justice, learning our histories of solidarity; and reading, watching and listening to the work, concerns and stories of the Black community. The dollars we give, no matter how many or few, will only go as far as the progress we’ve made collectively.
Mochi magazine’s Black Allyship @ Mochi column is an ongoing project that urges an awareness of racial injustice in the United States, particularly the oppression of Black people in America. The articles, resources and opinions we share are a call to action, an open discussion, and a place to take a stance against anti-Black racism. Read more about the column here.
We want Black Allyship @ Mochi to spark productive conversation. We want to know how we can do better: Feel free to email the co-editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover image: United Nations COVID-19 Response//Unsplash