MAKING BLACK LIVES MATTER | BACKGROUND
The tragic killing Mike Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri sparked a Black racial justice movement the likes of which we have not seen since the Civil Rights era. Under the broad rallying cry of Black Lives Matter, this movement has reinvigorated public discourse and action around the impact of anti-Black structural racism in policing and a host of other issues that that constrict the ability for the Black community to thrive and matter in this country. Nevertheless, the prospects of achieving substantive institutional and policy change is limited by the relatively malnourished and under-resourced infrastructure for Black-led political and institutional power that currently exists. Black-led organizing and social change organizations have been under-resourced for decades, thereby reducing the capacity to secure substantive change in moments like this. As argued in The Case for Funding Black-Led Social Change, the philanthropic community needs to significantly increase its investment in Black-led community organizing and social change organizations. Philanthropy has an important role to play in helping to strengthen and build the power of the Black community to secure the institutional, political and social changes necessary to make Black lives matter and thrive in this country, and create a society where everyone can be free.