During Black History Month, it’s important to use this time to reflect and give to organizations and businesses that directly impact marginalized Black communities. Here are a few of our suggestions, all of which use Pledgeling as a way to raise money and awareness in new ways:
The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation - This nonprofit organization was founded in 2018 by actress Taraji P. Henson and is led by Executive Director, Tracie Jade Jenkins. The foundation is named after Ms. Henson’s father, Boris Lawrence Henson, who suffered with mental health challenges as a result of serving during the Vietnam War. They aim to change the perception of mental illness in the Black community by encouraging those who struggle to get the help they need. Today,as 1 in 5 Americans suffer from mental illness, Black Americans are the least likely to seek treatment due to common societal misperceptions and mistrust with the medical community as a whole.
Through the foundation’s work, the hope is it will ensure cultural competence in caring for Black Americans who struggle with mental illness by providing scholarships to minorities that seek a career in the mental health field, offer services and programs to young people in urban schools, and combat recidivism within the prison system.
You can donate to The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation by texting NOSTIGMA to 707070.
Profound Gentleman - Currently only two states across the nation have a high school graduation rate of 80% for boys of color. Studies show that when boys of color have male educators of color, they are more likely to graduate from school, experience increased self-esteem, and have a greater chance of pursuing a 4-year higher education. Unfortunately, only 2% of teachers in public schools are men of color. Although there are efforts to recruit men of color into education, schools and districts struggle more with retaining them than recruiting. Currently, this cohort is five times more likely to leave the education profession than any other group.
Profound Gentlemen is on a mission to change that by building a community of male educators of color who provide a profound additional impact on boys of color and seek to dismantle the cradle to prison pipeline by establishing a cradle to career pipeline. Current and aspiring male educators of color can join PG through their website and based on the location, are placed in small-sized groups of educators in their regions led by an Impact Leader who serves as a coach. Here they will receive an Impact Professional Development plan where he establishes goals and chooses an education leadership pathway to further impact in their community. Across the country, our educators serve as mentors, advocates, and role models for students and boys of color. They give their time to create a pipeline for these children to ensure that they are college and career ready, while uplifting their own communities to do the same.
To donate and support the life-changing mission of Profound Gentleman, text PROFOUND to 707070.
Goodie Nation - No entrepreneur can succeed without a strong network of support. But because of how access and opportunity have traditionally been distributed, diverse social entrepreneurs and founders are less likely to have connections to people from top colleges and companies than their counterparts. This means they have a less robust network to draw on for advice, customers, funding and professional development.
Goodie Nation exists to eliminate the relationship gap that stands in the way of success for too many promising entrepreneurs, especially those who are people of color, women, or aren’t located near major cities. By making sure that every entrepreneur, no matter background or location, can access relationships they need to thrive, they are able to build a more sustainable and prosperous future for all. So far, the organization has been able to introduce 150 founders into the program, inclusive of 500 experts in the work, with 165 large company pilots and over $8,000,000 capital raised and awarded.
The organization also created a “Black Founders Fund,” in partnership with Google for Startups, that includes $5M in non-dilutive cash awards to Black-led tech startups from across the US. In addition to the valuable capital, recipients of the fund will receive wrap-around support from both Goodie Nation and Google for Startups in the form of network connections, high-value content, and marketing opportunities to help them advance their companies.
To learn more, visit here - and to donate, text GOODIE to 707070.
And make sure to tune in to our chat with the founder of Goodie Nation, Joey Womack, this Thursday, February 18th at 10am PT | 1pm ET through the OnZoom platform followed by a chat on Clubhouse at 2pm PT | 5pm ET. For more details and to find out how to RSVP, follow us on social media!
Do you know of any Black-founded or Black-led organizations that could benefit from Pledgeling’s donation platform? Anyone can access our free fundraising products through our Nonprofit Access page, or fill out our Contact Us form to get in touch with our Impact Partnerships team.