The Movement for Black Lives Convening in Cleveland, Ohio, in July was a huge success. Organizers brought together approximately 1,200 Black activist leaders from around the country for three days to sustain the momentum of the rejuvenated police accountability and Black liberation movements. Mark Winston Griffith of North Star Fund grantee Brooklyn Movement Center has written an excellent overview of the convening for the Nation magazine.
North Star Fund was proud to support the gathering with two grants totaling $20,000: a Rapid Response grant and a grant from our recently created Let Us Breathe Fund. North Star Fund launched the Let Us Breathe Fund in December following a groundswell of support from the North Star Fund donor community.
With these grants, North Star Fund supported both the overall convening and the ability of New Yorkers to travel to Cleveland to participate.
Although North Star Fund does not generally fund conferences, we made an exception in this case, recognizing this as a pivotal opportunity to support Black activists who are part of the national uprising fighting institutional racism and police violence.
North Star Fund grantees who participated in the gathering included long-time grantees such as Brooklyn Movement Center, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, and Audre Lorde Project, as well as newer grantees from the Let Us Breathe Fund such as Black Lives Matter NYC and the Black Youth Project 100.
To get more of a view of this historic gathering, you can check out the Colorlines photo album. Or listen to an NPR story featuring Nat Chioke Williams, of Hill-Snowdon Foundation and Maurice Mitchell, of Blackbird (and a former member of North Star Fund’s Community Funding Committee). The two men discuss the importance of the national convening and share the history of how convenings have launched historic movements for civil rights and liberation in the past and can again (the NPR audio clip includes a full transcript).
The Movement for Black Lives Convening is yet another step in the long-running battle to address structural racism and police violence. Get to know some of the grantees that we’ve supported with Let Us Breathe Fund grants in spring 2015.
We’ll be announcing the next round of Let Us Breathe Fund grantees in September, 2015.
Photo from Movement for Black Lives Convening by Adam Tillman-Young