Why do we invest in Black, Brown, and Indigenous organizations? – Shondrea McCargo
The Baltimore Children and Youth Fund (BCYF) was created to support community-led initiatives that improve the well-being of Baltimore’s children and youth. BCYF recognizes the importance of investing in Black, Brown, and Indigenous organizations, which is essential in the community for several reasons.
BCYF invests in Black, Brown, and Indigenous organizations to address systemic inequalities. Many communities have historically faced discrimination and marginalization, particularly in Baltimore, leading to disparities in access to resources and opportunities. Investing in these communities can help address these inequalities and provide opportunities for growth and development. Additionally, investing in these organizations can help promote social justice and equity, ensuring that all children and youth in Baltimore have access to the resources they need to thrive.
With a population that boasts predominantly African American residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 estimates, investing in Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian organizations is crucial to demonstrate and cultivate representation of the communities served. In addition, utilizing the knowledge and research of Black, Brown, and Indigenous organizations can ensure that the programs and services provided are culturally relevant and responsive, accurately reflecting the community’s needs, challenges, strengths, and aspirations. With this insight, the community can continue to provide programs and services that meet the demands of its residents while ensuring that those closest to the issues are leading the efforts to address them.
In addition, investing in Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian organizations uplift community engagement and ownership. BCYF supports organizations that are deeply rooted in the community and have established relationships with community members. By investing in these organizations, BCYF fosters a sense of ownership and engagement among community members. Additionally, investing in these organizations can provide opportunities for community members to develop leadership skills and become community advocates, building the capacity and leadership of these communities, and allowing them to take greater ownership of their futures.
In conclusion, investing in Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian organizations is essential for the success of the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund to address historical and systemic inequalities, provide a more accurate reflection of the community’s needs and aspirations, and empower these communities toward ownership and engagement. Moreover, investing in these organizations can help create a more equitable and just society where all children and youth have the opportunity to thrive.