Headwaters Foundation for Justice Relaunches Emergency Fund for Black Lives

Contact: Maria De La Cruz

Our Response to Recent Events: July 2016

The killing of Jamar Clark in Minneapolis and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights have catalyzed a conversation about racial and economic justice in Minnesota. Organizers on the ground are demanding that our law makers and other leaders address issues like criminalization, state violence, and public safety. Young, queer, Black, Indigenous, and other people of color are leading the movement by putting their bodies, often literally, on the line.

Headwaters Foundation’s mission is to amplify the power of community to advance equity and justice. We put race at the center of our work, and fund organizations that apply an intersectional lens to their community organizing, policy advocacy, and civic engagement strategies.

After the death of Jamar Clark, Headwaters launched the Emergency Fund for Black Lives – a two-and-a-half-month campaign to raise money to support organizers and activists who were occupying Minneapolis’ 4th Precinct and developing a larger racial justice agenda. Ultimately, we raised over $104,000 from 102 donors, including the Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color and Hill-Snowdon Foundation. Headwaters use the dollars we raised to make grants to Black Lives Matter Minneapolis (BLM-MPLS) and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC).

Just months later, our state is left saddened, outraged, and shaken by the killing of Philando Castile, a 32-year-old cafeteria worker. Headwaters grantees – BLM-MPLS, NOC, and others – are, again, taking to the streets and working together to address the racism that permeates our society.

In response, Headwaters has developed three action steps that provide immediate and long- term support to movement leaders.

Immediate Response

  • Headwaters is re-opening the Emergency Fund for Black Lives as an option to donors and institutional funders who prefer to work with an intermediary to provide rapid response dollars to organizers on the ground. We will direct money given to the Emergency Fund for Black Lives to our grantee partners NOC and BLM-MPLS.
  • We encourage individual donors to continue to give directly to BLM-MPLS and NOC for immediate needs. NOC is hosting a fundraising link on their website: www.mnnoc.org/justice_for_philando.

Long-Term Support

  • Headwaters Foundation is in it for the long-haul. We believe that the work for equity and justice requires a deep investment in movement building and infrastructure. In January 2017, we will launch the New Majority Fund (NMF), which will support organizations led by and for communities of color. The NMF will provide 2-year general operating grants.