Eight minutes and 46 seconds.
On Tuesday, May 28, 2020, the video of a police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for eight minutes and 46 seconds was viewed across America. That image will forever be engrained in the soul of this nation along with the cries of slaves, lynched people, and others who have died at the hands of another human being, due to the color of their skin. We all heard Mr. Floyd’s cry.
George Floyd’s murder moved people of all races to raise their voices in solidarity calling for justice. The Black Future Co-op Fund was formed in recognition of this powerful moment and the opportunity for transformational change. Its architects are four Black women leaders with long histories working to support the Black community across Washington state: Michelle Merriweather (Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle), Andrea Caupain (Byrd Barr Place), Angela Jones (Washington STEM), and T’wina Nobles (Tacoma Urban League).
About the Black Future Co-op Fund: COVID-19 and its effects have had a disproportionate impact on the Black community, nationwide and in Washington state. The purpose of the Black Future Co-op Fund is to acknowledge the harm that systemic racism has done to the Black community in our state. The Fund will be a collective hub for efforts to eradicate poverty, build generational wealth, preserve Black Culture, and celebrate the incredible resilience of the Black community. It will uplift the Black community across Washington through intentional investments in areas such as health, housing, education, art, criminal justice reform, and civic engagement.
The Fund will also invest in technical assistance, “back-of-house” support, and administrative support to the underresourced nonprofit and community-based organizations that have worked for decades in support of the Black community, providing the infrastructure they need to sustain their critical efforts. It will invest in future generations of Black children born in Washington state—so that they may have an opportunity to not only survive, but to thrive.
In the months ahead, the Fund’s leadership plans to visit and listen to Black communities around the state to understand their needs and craft the Fund’s grantmaking approach, supported by a $150,000 capacity grant from Seattle Foundation. The first grants will likely be made in early 2021. While the Black Future Co-op Fund came together in a specific moment of history, its architects intend for it to provide ongoing support statewide for years to come.
Support the Black Future Co-op Fund: By supporting the Black Future Co-op Fund, housed by Seattle Foundation, donors have the opportunity to invest in both the hope of the present and the promise of the future for the Black community in Washington state. Thanks to a partnership with the All In WA campaign and with generous support from Jeff Bezos, donations to the Black Future Co-op Fund are eligible to be matched dollar for dollar, up to $1 million per unique donation.
Initial Supporters & Donors: The Fund aims to raise $25 million, with over $2.5 million secured to date, including support from corporations and philanthropic institutions such as Microsoft Corporation, Seattle Seahawks Charitable Foundation, The Ballmer Group, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Puget Sound Energy, Zillow Group, The Starbucks Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Virginia Mason Health System, and Laird Norton Family Foundation.
There is an impressive and growing list of individual philanthropists who pledged their support as well, including (listed alphabetically): Robert W. Andrade Jr., Paula Boggs, Randee Fox and Jada Boggs, Adriane and Darryl Brown, Phyllis Campbell, Ray and Katie Conner, Garret and Nikki Daggett, Craig Dawson, Trish Dziko, Nick and Leslie Hanauer, Bruce & Joann Harrell, Latisha and Eric Hill, Shaunta and Al Hyde, Angela Jones, Mary Knell, Gary Locke, Regina Malveaux, Susan Mullaney and Shari Kauls, Gordon McHenry, Jr., Leslie Harper-Miles and Nate Miles, Julie and Erik Nordstrom, Roger Nyhus, Hyeok Kim and Michael Parham, Diana Birkett Rakow and Jeff Rakow, Constance and Norm Rice, Mary Pugh and Michael Scoggins, Jill and Rajeev Singh, Marilyn Strickland, Brad and Danielle Tilden, H.S. Wright III and Jessie Woolley-Wilson.
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