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Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, Oregon

Our focus on justice requires us to be pro-Black every day.

Dear Tides Advocacy Partners, Supporters, and Friends,

We are seeing a monumental wave of rising support for Black lives right now, and a concurrent recognition that our society needs to invest deeply in anti-racism. Along with our longstanding investments toward racial justice, Tides Advocacy is also aspiring to be a pro-Black organization.

Being pro-Black is a necessary expression of love, and is critical to Black resistance and liberation. We stand with Black people, communities, and leaders who are calling for investments in safety and justice. We stand with the Movement for Black Lives and all Black people organizing to dismantle our criminal justice and policing systems to rebuild a new reality for oppressed communities. 

For hundreds of years, anti-Black racism has been the blueprint for building systems of oppression in this country. We are exhausted by the treatment of Black folks, and our proximity to danger based on the color of our skin, our perceived criminality, and the invisible sense of wrongness in our existence. Our very breath is an act of courage and resilience. This was stolen from George Floyd in Minneapolis, Ahmaud Arbery in Glyn County, Nina Pop in Sikeston, Tony McDade in Tallahassee, and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, among too many others whose names are not forgotten.

White supremacy and anti-Blackness show up every day in philanthropy. From the way decisions are made to how resources are allocated to who is being left out of conversations, the power in our field has long been held by white people with enormous wealth looted from our Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color. Yes, we need to unlearn our biases, make bold commitments to anti-racism, and fund Black leaders. But this wake-up call requires us to do even more to support our partners and the communities put on the margins who have been called to serve. 

Here’s what being pro-Black at Tides Advocacy looks like for us:  

  • Governance: The Board will receive quarterly progress reports on racial justice goals that will be woven throughout the organization’s annual strategic plan. 
  • Diversity and inclusion: We will foster a culture in which Black people and people of color are able to fully participate and bring their authentic selves, as members of the Board of Directors, members of staff, project directors, employees, and/or volunteers within our network.  
  • Leadership: The CEO will have racial justice metrics as a part of the performance review process to ensure accountability and leadership across the organization. 
  • Voice: Tides Advocacy will leverage its external voice and urge for more investments in Black communities to build political power.
  • Policy: We will engage on a range of policy and practices within philanthropy as it pertains to Black political power-building efforts. 

The organization will engage in the following activities: 

  • Strategies: Center Black people and people of color as a part of racial justice and equity imperative for our annual plans and evaluation efforts. 
  • Training: Conduct racial justice training and decolonization education, including workshops on how we can more intentionally combat anti-Blackness and white supremacy. 
  • Data: Track racial, ethnic, and geographic distribution of our grantmaking and infrastructure support and report publicly, specifically on Black-led organizations.  
  • Vendors: Create a policy to ensure access to opportunity for consultants from marginalized groups. Review and increase the number of Black identified consultants, vendors, and contractor relationships that support our work every day. 
  • Infrastructure: Ensure our fiscal sponsorship services allow Black-led organizations to be successful in their community organizing models. 

Tides Advocacy remains steadfast in funding Black-led advocacy organizations who are building political power from Florida to California and everywhere in between. We are seizing this moment not just to push further against state violence but to bring us closer to a more just and equitable society. We will deepen our grantmaking and partnership in a critical election year, on local Sheriff and District Attorney races and ballot initiatives that transform our justice systems. 

  • Grantmaking: We will leverage at least $500K to be granted to Black-led groups in partnership with donor activists through the Healthy Democracy Action Fund. We will intentionally create a sustainable fund to support Black political power.  
  • Capacity building: We will provide free and subsidized fundraising, legal, and capacity resources to support Black liberation as a permanent and core tenet of our work for long-term movement building. 

We are sick of being tired, tired of being tired. And yet we continue to channel our fury into change. We recognize that there is a constant struggle to secure the humanity of Black communities, and we remain committed to Black liberation today and every day. 

In solidarity,
Vincent Jones, Tides Advocacy Board member 
Joseph Mouzon, Tides Advocacy Board member 
Bernard Coleman, Tides Advocacy Board member 
Romy Justilien, Tides Advocacy CEO