Grants to 3 Black-Led Grassroots Organizations Go Beyond Abortion Rights
For immediate release: July 25, 2023
Contact: Aisha Woodruff, email@example.com
BOSTON — July 25, 2023 — Boston Women’s Fund (BWF) announced three new Movement Building Grants to grassroots organizations working on reproductive justice in Massachusetts, supporting birthing people of color as they decide to have or not to have a child, seek quality pregnancy care, and navigate the aftermath of childbearing.
BWF awarded Birth Equity & Justice Massachusetts, Melanin Mass Moms, and Propa City Community Outreach each a grant of $25,000 for their work tackling inequity in their communities. For each organization, BWF’s support marks their first-ever foundation grant.
“The fall of Roe v. Wade signaled a new era in the battle for reproductive freedom. There’s no time to wait. It’s not an understatement to say that we are in the fight for our lives,” said Natanja Craig Oquendo, Executive Director of Boston Women’s Fund.
“Reproductive justice goes beyond abortion and must include sex education, STI care, menstrual equality, pregnancy care and postpartum care for both parent and child,” Oquendo said. “While the federal government has yet to respond to the Black maternal health crisis, our 2023 Movement Building grantee partners work passionately in their communities to improve the pregnancy and post-pregnancy experience for Black and Brown and low-income women, girls, and gender-expansive people in radical ways.”
Birth Equity and Justice Massachusetts (BEJMA), a statewide organization co-chaired by Jallicia Jolly and Yaminah Romulus, elevates the voices and experiences of Black and Brown birthing people, advances maternal health policy, and builds community power through a lens of justice and equity.
Melanin Mass Moms works across the state to bridge the gaps between community resources and health disparities for mothers of color as they navigate all stages of motherhood. When founder Julia Lotin was pregnant, she was the only mother of color in her moms’ groups. She started Melanin Mass Moms to create a community of mothers of color who could share resources, ask for advice, and simply be there as a support network for one another.
Propa City Community Outreach, founded by Stephanie Crawford, is a pregnancy and infant loss support network for women of color, based in Roxbury. Through the lens of parents losing children, Propa City builds community, promotes mental health and positive healing, elevates issues of Black and Brown maternal health, and addresses medical trauma for women of color.
“We are deeply grateful for the generosity and support of the Boston Women’s Fund through its intentional investments in participatory grantmaking and democratic leadership. The Movement Building grant demonstrates BWF’s strong commitment to community-led grassroots work and leadership among women and gender-expansive individuals of color which is critical to our community,” said Yaminah Romulus and Jallicia Jolly, co-chairs of Birth Equity & Justice in a joint statement. “As a majority Black women-led reproductive justice coalition that aims to improve the health outcomes of birthing people in Massachusetts, this award will be instrumental in helping BEJMA develop a strong and sustainable foundation for authentic and meaningful coalition-building and engagement with pre-existing and potential partners organizing within the reproductive health landscape.”
About Boston Women’s Fund
Boston Women’s Fund (BWF) invests in women, girls, and gender-expansive individuals leading grassroots organizations working toward racial, economic, social, and gender justice. BWF envisions a world where power, opportunity, and access exist for those persistently marginalized, regardless of gender identity or gender expression.
Founded in 1984 by progressive women, BWF was the first women’s foundation in Massachusetts and is one of the oldest nonprofit women’s foundations in the nation. Through forward-thinking grantmaking practices, BWF predominantly supports Black and Brown leaders from communities persistently excluded from philanthropy, including LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, immigrant, refugee, disabled, low-income, and elderly communities. To learn more, visit www.bostonwomensfund.org.