Black Lives Matter unveils $3M pandemic relief fund

Black Lives Matter unveils $3M pandemic relief fund
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The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has launched a $3 million relief fund aiming to support Black families and communities hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Associated Press reported Thursday that the Survival Fund was launched quietly earlier this month by the foundation, which was formed in 2013. 

The organization told the AP that it plans to give up to 3,000 microgrants of $1,000 each to people most impacted by the pandemic. 

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Individuals may apply to receive a microgrant on the foundation’s website, which states that the fund “is open to anyone who identifies as Black, with special consideration for people who are transgender, single caregivers, or formerly incarcerated.”

The group said that, if approved, the grant is deposited directly into a recipient's bank account or sent to the recipient on prepaid debit cards. 

Patrisse Cullors, a Black Lives Matter co-founder and the foundation's executive director, told the AP that the fund “came from a collective conversation with BLM leadership that Black folks are being hurt the most financially during the pandemic.” 

“I believe that when you have resources, to hoard them is a disservice to the people who deserve them,” she added.

The grants are being administered through UpTogether, a project of the Family Independence Initiative, which provides direct investments to low-income families and young entrepreneurs to combat poverty. 

The AP reported that at least 300 people had already been approved for grants as of Thursday.

Financial documents shared with the AP earlier this week revealed that the foundation raised more than $90 million in 2020 in its efforts to fight against police brutality and racism amid months-long, nationwide protests over the deaths of George Floyd and other Black Americans. 

Cullors told the AP on Tuesday that “one of our biggest goals this year is taking the dollars we were able to raise in 2020 and building out the institution we’ve been trying to build for the last seven and a half years.”