Dear friends and community members,

This Black History Month we want to celebrate the tradition of “call and response” which has been a vital aspect of African-disaporic/Black communities for generations — serving as a means of communication, expression, and community development for people of African descent for millenia. This tradition has been a quintessential element and fuel for the Foundation for Black Communities’ journey over the last 3 years. We have witnessed the power of community, wherein individuals from all walks of life come together to create a collective voice that resonates with energy and strength and allows us to support each other in our times of need.

Our community has consistently demonstrated its commitment to supporting each other and making a positive impact in our country through call and response. This was evident in the contributions you all made to our ground-breaking Unfunded Report, the rally to encourage the creation of a historic $200 million Black-led philanthropic fund in Budget 2021, and the co-designed granting programs that have invested over $2.5 million dollars in community-led initiatives to date. These efforts have led to substantial changes in the philanthropic sectors’ support of Black communities and will continue to allow us to confront the needs and challenges of our community.

When we called for assistance, our community responded with tremendous enthusiasm. This was most recently demonstrated by the overwhelming support we received from over 800 organizations and individuals in response to our submission for the Black-led Philanthropic Fund. This was an important reminder that the work of the Foundation for Black Communities is your work and that indeed, your work — is our work.

These achievements are a testament to the power of call and response in our community and the unwavering commitment of our members to creating a better future for us all. We can be proud of the impact we have made and the positive changes we have inspired through our collective efforts. As we continue to work together, our community’s call and response will continue to be a driving force for progress and change, and we look forward to building an even brighter future for all Black communities.

In the near future, we hope to have some positive news to share as to the next steps for the Foundation for Black Communities. And in that future, you can be certain of one thing, when our community calls, we will respond!

We look forward to continuing to work closely together to support a future where all Black people have the resources, infrastructure and agency to thrive and define our own futures! Happy Black History Month!

Gladys Ahovi
President & CEO