Black-led migrant justice groups work at the intersection of many movements: fighting for a just transition because they’ve been forced by climate inaction to migrate; fighting for reproductive justice because our government restricts their personal dignity and bodily freedom; and fighting to build a better economy that recognizes the worth of every worker.

In centering Black communities moving across borders — especially Black women and Black trans folks — these groups honor every person who is caught in the crosshairs of our broken immigration and criminal justice systems.

Groups like The Haitian Bridge Alliance have shown up daily on the border for years, helping immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers from all backgrounds get access to safety, shelter and their legal rights.

Black Alliance for Just Immigration and African Communities Together have won civil rights victories for families across the African diaspora, strengthening protections for everyone in the process.

Louisiana Organization for Refugees and Immigrants has fought for fair vaccine access and disaster relief for people of color in urban and rural corners of their state with less than one full-time paid staff.

Unfortunately, philanthropy’s support of these groups – and the pro-immigrant and refugee movement as a whole – continues to woefully lag behind the powerful work that organizations and advocates do.

Between 2016-2020, only 1.8% of all grantmaking in the sector explicitly benefited immigrants and refugees. Pro-immigrant, pro-refugee movement groups engaged in organizing and advocacy receive much less than that – only 0.5% of all philanthropic funding.

An even smaller percentage of that drop in the bucket goes to Black migrant groups. Philanthropy can and must do better.

  • Funders should build power by giving flexible, multi-year dollars from across their portfolios to Black migrant justice leaders. One incredible opportunity is the Black Migrant Power Fund, a movement-created and -controlled fund seeking $10 million in seed funding by Juneteenth.
  • Funders should share power by doing their homework, reducing barriers to funding, ceding control over their grant decisions, and inviting Black migrant justice leaders into their spaces of leadership.
  • Funders should wield power by speaking out against deportations in their backyard, advocating for changes Black movement leaders want to see, and helping their peers understand that racial justice and migrant justice are forever intertwined.

Read the full article about funding to Black migrant groups by Ben Barge, Elbert Garcia, Jennifer Amuzie, and Stephanie Peng at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.