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5 Black-Led Nonprofits Making Change In Their Communities

From helping single parents get their degrees to tackling homelessness, these Black-led nonprofits are transforming their communities. Support them this Black History Month and beyond!


 

1. H.O.P.E.

A woman with her arms around her young son sits in front of a brick building with a windowPhoto: H.O.P.E. graduate Ruby and her son. Taken as part of the project, “Help a Mom Finally Finish Her Bachelor's Degree,” by H.O.P.E.

Kenita Smith started H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People be Empowered) based on her life story. Despite wanting to be a doctor from the age of 6, Kenita faced roadblock after roadblock on her journey to becoming a nurse practitioner as a single mother. Now, Kenita is helping other single parents access the resources she couldn’t through H.O.P.E. The nonprofit offers Black single parents in Atlanta supportive services like financial assistance for childcare and life skills training to ensure they can graduate with college degrees.

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2. The National Coalition for the Homeless

A group of people stand in front of the White House holding a banner for the Bring America Home Now project of the National Coalition for the homelessPhoto: Team members stand outside the White House advocating for change in national policies. Taken as part of the project, “Bring America Home Now,” by The National Coalition for the Homeless

Most people of color living in the United States, especially Black and Indigenous people, experience homelessness at higher rates than white Americans. Why? Most experts point to the lingering effects of historical and structural racism as the primary explanation. That’s why The National Coalition for the Homeless takes an advocacy-based approach to end homelessness. Donations help strengthen their movement led by people who have experienced homelessness, including their current Executive Director, Donald Whitehead Jr.

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3. Pointters Community Initiative

A family and nonprofit staff wearing face masks stand in a gymnasiumPhoto: Taken as part of the project, “Keep Hope Alive for Single Black Mothers,” by Pointters Community Initiative

Pointters Community Initiative, led by Dimeji Tomori, was formed to build a more inclusive, equitable community in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley. They stepped up in huge ways during the COVID-19 pandemic—which disproportionately impacted Black communities across the US—by providing job training, mental health support, and financial assistance to 250 single Black mothers.

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4. CAN I LIVE, INC

A group of mothers stands together holding certificatesPhoto: Taken as part of the project, “One Million Moms OFF Welfare (1MMOW)Strategic Plan,” by CAN I LIVE, INC

CAN I LIVE’s mission is to advance affordable housing, economic inclusion, and personal responsibility through education, civic engagement, and entrepreneurship. Formed by Racquel Williams-Jones, who speaks openly about the emotional wounds the welfare system left on her, CAN I LIVE, INC addresses those challenges through research, education, career training, and policy changes.

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5. Ms. Foundation for Women

A group of women from Ms. Foundation for Women stand with Gloria Steinem in front of a red and white backdropPhoto: Taken as part of the project, “Supporting Women & Girls of Color to Innovate,” by Ms. Foundation for Women

The Ms. Foundation for Women was formed as a vehicle to build women’s collective power in the US by investing in women-led movements, particularly those by women of color. The foundation was one of the first funders of domestic violence shelters and sexual-assault hotlines in the 1970s. Today, this Black-led nonprofit continues to support organizations working to end all forms of gender-based violence and works at the intersection of race and gender with Teresa C. Younger as President and CEO.

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Featured Photo: Support Black Lives in Atlanta Through Education by H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People be Empowered)

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