Across the country, communities find themselves facing an onslaught of incarceration, racial discrimination, police brutality, unjust bail, and systemic injustices that have brutalized communities, stolen lives, and shattered families. For years, Black-led organizations have come together not just to fight back, but to deconstruct the systems that constrain them.
This work has been happening long before the months of protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police. We grieve for him, and for Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and the endless list of Black lives stolen due to the cruelly unjust criminal justice system that incarcerates more prisoners in the United States than any other country on Earth.
Movement Voter Project is expanding our investment in the grassroots organizations leading work to deconstruct the carceral state in the communities where they live. The Black-led organizing groups we partner with have already been working together for months, for years, to vote out prosecutors, sheriffs, district attorneys, and elected officials who have been supporting and perpetuating racial injustice and over-incarceration.
At MVP, we trust Black leaders to know what their communities need and will do everything we can to support their leadership. We are committed to funding Black-led organizing groups to not just win, but to defend those wins in the face of the systemic oppression of communities of color. They have already begun to defund police, close jails, elect officials willing to work towards new systems of safety and justice, and exercise true power to transform the places where they live.
The protests happening in all 50 states right now are only possible because of the work Black leaders have been doing for years.
Increased investment in Black-led organizing is crucial to sustaining this work. All donations to this fund are re-granted to the groups listed below.
This list focuses on local Black-led organizations within MVP’s criteria and priority states for 2020. Please also check out Black Voters Matter Fund, Movement for Black Lives, and other national Black-led organizations.
For more information or to discuss a customized giving plan, email [email protected].
Arizona Coalition for Change (C4C) & its (c)(4) sister organization Our Voice, Our Vote Arizona (OVOV) are member-led organizations based in Phoenix and Tucson committed to advocating for lasting progressive public policies that empower and equip our most vulnerable communities. They focus on building civic and political power in black and brown communities through voter mobilization & turnout, grassroots organizing, leadership development training, voter registration, electing champions into office, and holding elected officials accountable. By putting people first, they develop and lift up the voices of the New American Majority to take on the nations’ most pressing issues.
Black Phoenix Votes is an intergenerational, Black-led organization. They organize in the most marginalized communities; LGBTQ+, formerly incarcerated individuals, Muslim immigrants and refugees. They build black political power through political education, leadership development, policy advocacy, and electoral engagement.
Mass Liberation Arizona, and their partner 501(c)4 organization, Decarcerate Arizona, are building power to end mass incarceration and divest from the carceral system. They are led by directly impacted people in the struggle for liberation by building a movement in South Phoenix, one of the most disproportionately policed, incarcerated, and paroled communities in Arizona. And in South Tucson which exists in the modern legacy of segregation, redlining, and now threatened by displacement and gentrification.
Soul 2 Soul Sisters is based in Denver and is one of a few organizations in the country that unapologetically intersects Black faith/spiritualities, radical reproductive justice, increasing the power of Black voters, and reparations. They provide a Black Womxn-led, faith-based response to the anti-Black violence in the U.S and are leading a voter engagement campaign in 2020 focused on Black congregations organizing voter registration, education, and GOTV efforts.
Dream Defenders was launched by organizers fighting back after the Trayvon Martin shooting. In protest of the killing, they occupied the state capitol for over a month. As part of the Statewide Alignment Group, Dream Defenders helped win Amendment 4, restoring voting rights to more than 1 million Floridians. They have expanded and deepened their base to 8 counties, catalyzing Black and Brown youth organizing across the state with a focus on policing, bail reform, and advancing a collective statewide strategy around state attorney and sheriff races.
Faith in Florida is an influential network of multifaith congregations across 8 counties in Florida. They are focused on tackling systemic racial and economic injustice that includes winning a ‘Ban the Box’ measure in Broward County and they were instrumental in restoring voting rights to 1.5 million Floridians disenfranchised by a Jim Crow-era voting ban impacting more than 20% of African Americans in the state. In addition to leading Florida’s Souls to the Polls program, which had over 1,000 participating congregations in 2018, Faith in Florida’s ongoing work includes defending immigrant communities and know your rights education campaigns.
Family Action Network Movement (FANM) is dedicated to the social, economic, financial and political empowerment of low to moderate-income families.They train, educate, organize and mobilize grassroots citizens from the bottom up. FANM gives their community members the tools to contribute to their own transformation, enfranchisement, and liberation. FANM has led the fight to stop deportations of Haitians for more than 20 years. They are working to register 30,000 voters by the 2020 elections.
The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) brings together more than 70 organizations from across the state, including many grassroots groups. Led by returning citizens and formerly incarcerated people, FRRC has fought to return voting and civil rights to those caught in the criminal justice system and impacted by a Jim Crow-era lifetime voting ban. After leading the winning coalition to restore voting rights to more than 1 million Floridians, they are now working on educating, registering, and protecting new voters and their rights.
Georgia STAND-UP is an affiliate of the Strategic Alliance for New Directions and Unified Policies (STAND-UP). Made up of leaders representing faith, community, academic, labor, and business organizations, Georgia STAND-UP organizes and educates communities throughout the southwest to impact progressive public policy.
Ambitious effort working to transform the state’s political landscape. NGP has registered thousands and is conducting citizen academies to get more people educated on how elections and public policy processes work. In addition to more traditional outreach, they’ve also worked to improve election administration and protection and tested the impact of “parties at the polls” on turnout.
WOMEN ENGAGED is a social justice nonprofit that takes an innovative, hands-on learning approach to advancing women’s human rights, youth empowerment and civic engagement efforts in Georgia. Using a human rights framework, Women Engaged develops policy recommendations, conducts research and organizing initiatives paired with, leadership development, savvy communications outreach strategies and civic engagement opportunities for women and youth of color.
Black Lives Matter Lansing is the anchor for all Black Lives Matter groups around the state. Their voter engagement campaign is called “What Matters 2020”, launching in November. BLM is running a People’s Assembly process to build a statewide agenda.
A grassroots membership-based organization that fights for economic and social justice for low-income workers in Detroit through issue campaigns and voter engagement. They are affiliates of the Center for Popular Democracy.
The People’s Platform is a broad network of Detroit-based social justice organizations, activists, and residents committed to bringing about just transformation in economics and social dynamics through popular education, celebration, and organizing. DPP leads the city’s community benefits and land trust work. They won the creation of a community benefits ordinance in 2016. In 2020, they are targeting 5,000 Detroit voters.
EMEAC empowers the Detroit community to protect, preserve and value the land, air and water. They build community power through environmental justice education, youth development and collaborative relationship building. In 2020, they are the lead organization for an exciting environmental justice coalition called Frontlines Detroit, a multi-racial table that includes some of the largest environmental advocacy organizations in the state and aims to center most-impacted communities as they lead a collaborative voter education and turnout strategy.
MOSES organizes communities, develops faith leaders, and builds relationships to advocate for social justice through a group of diverse congregations. MOSES accomplishes this through training leaders in churches, synagogues, and mosques, teaching participants how to articulate their shared values and work with their constituents to take collective action in the public arena. This year, they are doing a large deep canvassing program focused on the metro Detroit suburbs.
A well-organized group of mothers advocating for affordable child care, birth justice, earned paid sick time, family medical leave insurance, and raising the minimum wage. They engage voters around issues of income fairness, lead advocacy work that amplifies the voices of mothers of color, provide leadership development that builds the next generation of mother policymakers, and create family-friendly activist spaces.
Oakland Forward’s motto is “Stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready”. P2C strives to be a conduit for political and policy initiatives for progressive change and social justice that leads to equity and equal opportunity. They have worked on Earned Paid Sick Time, One Fair Wage, Pontiac Youth Recreation Millage, Pontiac School District Sinking Fund Millage, and Full and Fair School Funding campaigns. They are working to expand their footprint to northern Oakland County this year.
For the past three years, the Southwest Michigan Urban League has been convening an African American Network in the greater Battle Creek area to increase the number of African Americans running for and winning elected office in Calhoun County. This year, they are expanding to build a multi-racial voter engagement and candidate recruitment effort with the Latino and Burmese communities. Together, they will make 10,000 attempts to engage voters in transforming our government and public priorities.
ACER is a nonprofit organization that engages African immigrants living in the north and northwest suburbs of Minneapolis to advance equity and eliminate disparities for the area’s large and growing African community. ACER also works regionally where it sees opportunities to make connections that improve the quality of life for African immigrants.
The Awood Center builds economic, political and organizing power among workers in the East African community of Minnesota. Awood has led a gound-breaking campaign to ensure Amazon workers in Minnesota have a voice and ensure that jobs at Amazon are quality, safe and reliable jobs.
Black Visions Collective is putting into practice the lessons learned from organizations who came before it in order to shape a political home for Black people across Minnesota. BLVC is building an organization with the capacity to change the policies, culture and leadership of Minnesota’s progressive movement in order to transform the lives of Black Minnesotans across the diaspora.
Established on the heels of Jamar Clark’s murder by police, BVM has been a force for change and increased civic participation, having registered over 2,500 voters. They lead rigorous voter education campaigns focused on key local races in St. Paul and Minneapolis. For 2020 they are scaling up a multifaceted effort of radio, print, and door-knocking to reach thousands of African-American voters.
A newer coalition of churches and community groups formed to meet a gap in African American civic engagement and organizing in Las Vegas. With planning support by Silver State Voices and seed funds from Movement 2016, FOA conducted voter registration at services, speeches from the pulpit, and provided the only non-partisan rides-to-the-polls hotline and service in the valley during the last election. They also made over 20,000 calls and knocked over 8,000 doors to educate voters. They’re now working to set up a c4 arm and are engaging on clean energy policy.
Advance Carolina stands for sustainable progress. It educates and mobilizes African American and progressive voters to take charge through inclusive, committed and authentic engagement organizing in order to advance community-based political solutions. It is running a savvy electoral program engaging voters through calls and deep canvassing in time for the November elections.
A collective of artists and activists whose mission is to build liberated communities through art, education and social justice.
215PA is a new multiracial collaborative led by parents, teachers, students, union members, and other Philadelphians coming together to make meaningful change. 215 People’s Alliance is lifting up issues of criminal justice reform and housing justice in upcoming elections.
Free The Ballot! Incarcerated Voter Family Network was started in 2019 as a project of members of the Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration. Over the past 5 years Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration has organized a statewide base of family members of incarcerated people in Philadelphia, York, Dauphin, Lancaster, Chester, Berks, Lehigh and Delaware Counties. Their main campaigns have been to win parole review for lifers and to ensure the rights of incarcerated people are respected by fighting against overly punitive and restrictive Department of Corrections policies. As they gained ground in these fights they realized the necessity of contesting for political power and formed Free The Ballot to fight on the electoral terrain.
This organization shines a light on the untold stories of organizing in the greater Philadelphia region. Using innovative media-based organizing strategies, MMP has an impressive track record of raising awareness around local social justice concerns and connecting communities across issues. This election cycle they will support the media and communications needs of electoral organizers and voting rights advocates.
The statewide branch of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, based in Pittsburgh with recent expansions into Philadelphia (and Ohio). They engage in leadership development and organizing to advance the health and well-being of Black women and girls, and the Human Rights of LGBTQ and marginalized communities, with services provided to over 50,000 people. Their Voice Your Vote! Project will reach a universe of 125,000 in and beyond Pittsburgh.
A faith-based PICO affiliate expanding statewide. POWER played a key role in winning a living wage ordinance for city agencies and contractors, and led a statewide faith coalition that successfully changed the state’s public education funding formula to correct long-standing racial bias and inadequacies. POWER will be focusing on municipal and county-wide races in upcoming elections.
She Can Win is a nonpartisan training program that provides support, mentorship and education to women–particularly Black women–who have a passion for civic leadership. Whether you are interested in running for Public Office, working on campaigns or becoming an advocate for a cause your passion about She Can Win can assist you with achieving your goals.
Faith in Action is a multi-faith and multi-racial group working on economic justice including preventing predatory lending, reducing medical debt and affordable housing, criminal justice coalition work including immigrant rights. They mobilize voters to the polls in Dallas county.
Polichic EF is an innovative emerging organization that focuses on turning out Texas women to the polls to make an impact on key public policy issues through civic clubs that provide voter education and leadership development opportunities.
BLOC is working to uplift Black citizens, leaders, and businesses in the community by investing in building long-term power, taking political action, and empowering Black leaders with tools so that their issues are represented at all levels of government. BLOC builds transformational relationships with communities of color through organizing, silent canvasses, conversation, and engaging Wisconsinites year-round. The major black voter engagement organization in Wisconsin, BLOC is rooted in Milwaukee’s core north side black community, with expansion plans to inner-ring suburbs, as well as black communities in Racine and Kenosha. In 2018, their first year in existence, BLOC made 173,617 door attempts and talked to 14,278 people. Their 2020 plans include expanding their grassroots organizing and political education about criminal justice through relational organizing. BLOC is also the creator of silent canvassing, a creative new approach to canvassing, where candidates remain silent and prioritize listening to community members.
A visionary non-profit engaging low to no-income communities of color in Dane County to achieve social justice through coupling direct service, leadership development, and community organizing. It seeks to end violence against women, children, gender-non-conforming, and transgender folks within communities of color by challenging root causes of violence, poverty, and racism. Currently leading immigration justice efforts and organizing voter engagement.
Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT) is a new organization led by youth of color. They engage in values-based issue and electoral organizing, direct action, advocacy for public policy, and leadership development. On campuses and communities in Milwaukee’s key geographies, they organize young people to build independent political power for social, racial and economic justice.
Black Voters Matter Fund is dedicated to expanding Black voter engagement and increasing progressive power. Increasing voter registration and turnout is an important aspect of building power, but this is just the beginning of their work. They advocate for policies to expand voting rights/access, including expanded early voting, resisting voter ID, re-entry restoration of rights and strengthening the Voting Rights Act as well as policies that intersect with race, gender, economic and other aspects of equity. They help develop an infrastructure where little/none exists. This includes staff training, candidate development and network development.
A vibrant member-based youth activist and civic engagement organization, at the forefront of the movement for black lives and connecting it with other social justice issues. They are combining leadership development, advocacy, direct action, and vote work to build political power.
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) envisions a nation in which all people have the tools to participate in the democratic process at every level. With state-based affiliate and Black Women’s Roundtable networks across several states, but primarily in the South, NCBCP is focused on maximizing the power and impact of the Black vote and collective leadership, with an emphasis on women, Millennials, Generation Z, and returning citizens.
SONG is a regional organizing hub for southern LGBTQ people led by people of color. With an appreciation for how racism, homophobia, transphobia, and geography are interrelated, they have been a driving force in building an organization, community, and world that bends towards full liberation. They created the first southern, LGBTQ-led, traveling Organizing School for small towns and rural places in the south and likewise have organized and lobbied for progressive legislation.