For Us By Us: Racial Justice Champions Fund the Movement - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

For Us By Us: Racial Justice Champions Fund the Movement

Colin Kaepernick and Jesse Williams Show Up for Racial Justice

January 17, 2017
by Afrah Ali

In the 1960s, a multiracial coalition of athletes, entertainers and artists risked their careers, reputations and personal safety to fund the movement that would transform the civil rights landscape of our nation. Their collective and individual philanthropy helped community, faith and union leaders bring awareness to racial justice issues and win historic civil rights victories through organizing, litigation and strategic communications. It also spurred a renaissance of individual philanthropy that funded the infrastructure of the movement.

Today, the spirit of movement philanthropy is alive and well. Athletes like Colin Kaepernick are taking a knee to protest racial injustice and police brutality. They’re also pledging their financial support to build power in communities of color and dismantle institutional racism.

In the fall of 2016, Kaepernick pledged to give $1 million to community organizations over a 10-month period. Despite remaining unsigned to an NFL team in 2017, he made good on his promise and is inspiring others to give to community organizations tackling issues of the modern civil rights movement: ending the school-to-prison pipeline, policing reform, equal education and justice for Black and Brown lives. Despite the uncertainty of his own career and financial future, he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

Advancement Project learned it would become one of Kaepernick’s final awardees. His generosity inspired our board member, actor Jesse Williams, to match his gift. Williams and Kaepernick understand that one of the ways to show up for racial justice is to give dollars to support organizers, litigators and communicators working in the movement.

We’re extremely grateful for Kaepernick’s gift, but we’re even more grateful for the message and momentum he continues to create. Individual philanthropy has long been the backbone of social change in our nation. Individual philanthropy helps push forward progress on important issues like voting rights, immigrant justice and education equity.

What we often fail to realize is that we don’t need celebrity or millions of dollars to be racial justice philanthropists. We can start by giving whatever we can now and spreading the word about organizations like Advancement Project that are working to hold America to its promise of a just democracy.

We hope you will be inspired by Colin Kaepernick and Jesse Williams, and will give one of the most impactful gifts that can be given: an investment in the movement for racial and social justice.

What will you give for our freedom?

Afrah Ali is Advancement Project’s Manager of Major Gifts.

KEEP READING

“The Other America”: Celebrating MLK’s Legacy

  In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described an America with “a daily ugliness … that transforms the ebullience of hope into the fatigue of despair.” Join special guest Cathy Hughes, founder and chairperson of Urban One Media, the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation, for this annual event. King’s words, amplified by music and movement, remind us that this “other America” still exists for too many today. Dr. King’s words will be amplified by musical performances from Gospel artist JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise, Howard…

Read More
Advancement Project Files FOIA Lawsuit on Behalf of UndocuBlack Network Seeking Transparency on Visa Sanctions

“The public has a right to know about these policies that are very dangerous and harmful to members of these communities."

Read More
Advancement Project National Office, Leading National Civil Rights and Racial Justice Organizations Condemn Betsy DeVos’ Opposition to Recommendations of Federal Commission of School Safety

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation Racial Equity Anchor Group, which includes Advancement Project’s national office, has written a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to express its profound opposition to the recommendations of the Federal Commission on School Safety. Decades of research on school climate has consistently shown that safe schools are well-resourced and invest in the supports students need to thrive in and beyond the classroom. Supports like school guidance counselors, psychiatrists and high-quality teachers help create positive school climates and help address the root cause of violence. Read the letter…

Read More
Rescission of Obama-era School Discipline Guidance is an Attack on Youth of Color

National Education Justice Organizations Denounce DeVos’ Attack of Obama-era Guidance Aimed at Combating Discriminatory Treatment of Students of Color

Read More
Leading National Civil Rights and Racial Justice Organizations Condemn Backroom Ploy by Washington NFL Team to Get New Stadium Deal through Congress

Advancement Project is one of nine national civil rights and racial justice organizations condemning the NFL's Washington team ed location in the District of Columbia while keeping the “R-word” racial slur as the team’s name and mascot.

Read More
National Education Justice Organizations to Host a Day of Action Demanding Police-Free Schools

"The same police that are in schools are the same police shooting down unarmed people in the streets and deporting families."

Read More
Affirming and Uplifting Transgender People and Activists on Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today, Advancement Project acknowledges the 22 trans lives that have been lost this year and those prior. We mourn their deaths and honor the legacy of trans activists such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera by continuing to fight for a world that’s not only free of transphobic violence, but also actively embraces and uplifts the identities of transgender people everywhere.

Read More
Faces of Advancement Project

Get to know the folks who make our work happen.

Read More
Replacing Criminalization and Disenfranchisement with Citizenship and Voting Rights

Dissent is seen as a threat and we are getting into very dark times where hate is normalized and fascism is endorsed. This latest threat out of the White House is very dangerous and rooted in xenophobia and eugenics. At a time where the nation is reeling from a week of loss and hate crimes, when the world is experiencing the highest level of displaced people, Trump lashes out with intimidation. This is the erosion of the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act and takes us centuries back to the shameful beginnings of America.

Read More
NEW POLLING: Voting Behavior and The Impact of The Black Vote in 2018 Mid-term Elections

Washington, DC — Today, the NAACP and Advancement Project national office joined with the African American Research Collaborative to provide the first comprehensive analysis of how Black voters voted this cycle and why. The new poll of mid-term voters, conducted by the African American Research Collaborative (in collaboration with Latino Decisions and Asian American Decisions), examines African American voters across various competitive elections to determine how this electorate engaged in 2018 and how these findings might shape the future of elections. The key takeaway of this poll is clear: mid-term 2018 wins across the country were dependent on voters of…

Read More