Black August: How cultural grantmakers can reflect, learn, and connect with Black social justice

Black August, born out of Black liberation, resistance, and justice movements, is a month dedicated to critical learning and analysis, reflection and study of our roles in oppressive or liberatory systems, and an opportunity to grow, connect, and prepare for the challenging work ahead.

From the Black Liberation Movement and the Black August Hip Hop Project Black August Hip Hop Project to “Writing While Black” and how to fix classical arts, we invite you to join us this month in collective reflection where arts and culture are at the root of justice and liberation. As we are reminded by ABFE, A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities, “We must be in it for the long haul.”

We ask this August that cultural grantmakers look inward and listen outward, to invest in Black artists and communities, commit to listen, learn, and implement anti-racist practices, more widely amplify voices for change, and connect our work with the movement racial equity and justice. This month, GIA will share questions and proposals from our members on how cultural grantmaking can interrupt institutional and structural racism while building a more just funding ecosystem that prioritizes Black communities, organizations, and artists.

What We’re Reading

Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation, The New York Times Opinion by the late John Lewis

The Case for Funding Black-Led Social Change, The Black Social Change Funders Network A Project of ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities & The Hill-Snowdon Foundation

Dismantling White Supremacy & Anti-Blackness in Philanthropy and What is a Just Transition for Philanthropy?, Justice Funders

Healing Justice Guidance to Philanthropy During COVID-19, the Uprisings, and Beyond, by maisha quint, Libra Foundation; Cindy Alvarado, The Simmons Foundation; Claribel Vidal, Ford Foundation — members of the Funders for Justice Healing Justice Strategy Group

National Performance Networks’s LANE Honors Black August, by a cohort members of Leveraging a Network for Equity (LANE)

“Developing a Liberatory Consciousness,” Barbara J. Love in Readings for Diversity and Social Justice

Schomburg Center Black Liberation Reading List, Schomburg Center Staff, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Image: Jean Melesaine from the 2018 GIA Conference in Oakland, California