Black Lives Matter network dedicates $12M to grassroots organizing grants
© Bonnie Cash

A foundation within the Black Lives Matter organization has established over $12 million in funds to help groups fighting racial injustice.

The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation announced Wednesday that it is dedicating $6 million in donations to aid black-led organizing groups, The Associated Press reported. The foundation also announced a $6.5 million fund last week to help grassroots organizations.

Affiliated chapters will be able to apply for funding of up to $500,000 in multi-year grants, according to a statement from the organization last week.

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“In this watershed moment for black power building ... it is critical that we democratize giving to ensure all of us have access to the resources we need to reverse centuries of disinvestment in black communities, and invest in a future where we can all be connected, represented and free,” Kailee Scales, managing director of the foundation, told the AP.

Black Lives Matter has 13 chapters in cities across the United States, including: New York City; Washington, D.C.; Nashville; Detroit; and elsewhere. It also has official chapters in Canada, although many groups in the U.S. and around the world unofficially use the slogan “Black Lives Matter” or “BLM."

Patrisse Cullors, co-founder and chairwoman of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, said that the foundation is also looking to support "mutual aid organizations, direct service and organizations focused on creating sustainable improvements in the material conditions for all black people.” It will also go to black LGBTQ+ organizations.

The foundation confirmed to the AP that it has received over 1.1 million donations since the death of George Floyd last month. Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after a former Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes during an arrest. 

The foundation said that the average donation was $33 per gift following Floyd’s death. The organization’s global network had $3.4 million in net assets last year, the AP reported.

In the group’s Los Angeles chapter, donated funds funds will allow the organization to help families who need legal aid, public communications and other services if their loved one is killed by a police officer, organizer Melina Abdullah confirmed to the outlet.

The Black Lives Matter movement was sparked after the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012. 

The Hill has reached out to Black Lives Matter for comment.