September 12, 2016

Headwaters Foundation for Justice Relaunches Emergency Fund for Black Lives

Contact: Maria De La Cruz, 612-400-6263

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:

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.
February 28, 2020

NFG Newsletter - February 2020

February is Black History Month and, in this newsletter, NFG honors Black resistance. Given the persistence of structural racism and the legacies of segregation, NFG has mobilized philanthropy to support POC-led organizing for equitable development since our start 40 years ago. Through our member-led and local advisor-led programming, we are lifting up how Black communities are reclaiming land ownership and addressing the racial wealth gap through grassroots power building.

At the beginning of the month, NFG’s Amplify Fund staff and steering committee spent a day with local organizers, non-profit leaders, and organizations in Charleston and Edisto Island, South Carolina — one of Amplify’s eight sites. Both national and local grantmakers learned alongside some of Amplify’s grantees, including the Center for Heirs’ Property PreservationLow Country Alliance for Model CommunitiesCarolina Youth Action Project, and South Carolina Association for Community and Economic Development, which are bringing together Black, Latinx communities and youth in the region to fight for community power, land rights, and environmental justice in the face of corporate power, criminalization of communities of color due to gentrification, and land theft.

This week, NFG’s Democratizing Development Program (DDP) hosted a two-day Health, Housing, Race, Equity and Power Funders Convening in Oakland, California. Over 100 participants grappled with how anti-Blackness and xenophobia fuel the complex housing & health crisis and community trauma, and heard examples of concrete organizing wins led by Black women from Moms 4 Housing and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. Organizers from around the country urged grantmakers to significantly invest in long-term general operating support, community ownership models, POC leadership, and 501(c)4 funding for Black, Indigenous, and POC communities engaging in policy and systems change around housing affordability and justice. 

From Amplify’s funder collaborative to the DDP convening’s planning committee, funders organizing other funders has been a key part of our work. Funder members: how are you stepping up as an organizer and moving more resources for power building in Black, Indigenous, and POC communities? We invite you to connect with NFG staffprograms, and upcoming events — including our National Convening — and be part of our community where we bring funders together to learn, connect, and mobilize resources with an intersectional and place-based focus. 

The NFG team

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January 23, 2020

NFG Newsletter - January 2020

Animated fireworks with the text "40 Years Strong"

This year marks NFG's 40th anniversary. During our early years, NFG was one of the few spaces in philanthropy specifically focused on people of color-led, grassroots organizing, and power building as the key to effective social change strategies. Today, NFG continues to be many funders' political home at a time when moving resources to struggles for justice is critically important: communities of color are bearing the brunt of the housing crisis, growing wealth and income inequality, and climate change; white nationalist backlash is rising; and our democracy is profoundly threatened. NFG is a space to draw support, deepen relationships, and find co-conspirators as we propel philanthropy to shift power and money towards justice and equity.

In 2020, the NFG network is continuing to explore structural racism in health and housing, racial capitalism, migrant worker justice in rural areas, reimagining community safety and justice, and more. We will also return ‘home’ to NFG’s founding city — Washington, D.C. — for our 2020 National Convening.

As we celebrate 40 years, our dynamic community of grantmakers and grassroots leaders is what makes us strong. This newsletter spotlights The Libra Foundation, an NFG member that shares our commitment to organizing funders in moving more resources to frontline communities and movements.

Keep reading below for more opportunities to engage with NFG. Whether you are new to NFG or a long-time member, we look forward to collaborating with you to accelerate racial, gender, economic, and climate justice.
The NFG team

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