Martin Luther King Junior March on Washington

Support Black Nonprofits On 8/28 Give Day

The Young, Black, and Giving Back Institute established this day to elevate Black nonprofits that are committing themselves, day-in and day-out, to improving and enhancing the lives of Black people in this nation.

Today is Give 8/28 Day! Originating in 2018, Give 8/28 is an entire day dedicated to charitable giving for Black-led and Black-benefiting nonprofits. The Young, Black, and Giving Back Institute established this day to elevate Black nonprofits that are committing themselves, day-in and day-out, to improving and enhancing the lives of Black people in this nation.

Four significant events occurred on August 28th from 1955 to 2008 that led the Institute to select this day to commemorate.

On August 28, 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was murdered by two white men. Emmett, who was originally from Chicago, Illinois, was visiting family in Mississippi when he was dragged out of his great uncle’s home. Emmett was accused of talking to and whistling at a white woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham. The gruesome murder of this young boy was covered nationwide. His mother, Mamie Till, purposefully held an open casket funeral to inform the world of the brutalization her son endured due to racism and hatred in the United States. Emmet Till’s death became a pivotal event that accelerated energy within the civil rights movement. In 2017, 62 years later, Carolyn stated that her original allegations against Emmett were untrue and she was never arrested for her connection to Emmett’s murder.

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to vocalize his dream for the future, even in the midst of brutalization and discrimination of the Black community. The “I Have a Dream” speech is a memorable piece that describes the oppressive structures that Black women, men, and children faced in the United States. Dr. King was joined by over 250,000 people who participated in the March on Washington. The March included a list of demands: desegregate public accommodations and schools, redress the violations of constitutional rights, and expand the federal works program to train employees.

On August 28, 2005, a catastrophic event occurred that disrupted and impacted many Black and Brown people in New Orleans, Louisiana. That night, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the city. The hurricane contributed to leaving many families and children who were already living in poverty now homeless, hungry, and devastated as their homes and possessions were destroyed or washed away. The damages caused by Katrina exceeded over $100 billion. The Coast Guard rescued more than 35,000 people from the hurricane, but additional government relief was delayed, leaving many to live in unsafe conditions for weeks.

On August 28, 2008, Barack Obama became the first Black-American to be selected as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. He made history again when he was elected as the first Black-American President less than three months later.

So why support Black-Led nonprofits on this historic day? Those most affected by an issue must be at the forefront of resolving that issue. We believe that helping to build sustainable Black-led nonprofits will best ensure action on the changes necessary to create thriving Black communities and to dismantle anti-Black structural racism.

If you are interested in supporting Black-led organizations this Give 8/28 day, we encourage you to consider giving to the Black Equity & Excellence Fund, which is working to support Black-Led nonprofit organizations here in Central New York.

The Community Foundation recently established the Black Equity & Excellence Fund in response to the tragedies and ensuing national conversation on race that has brought to light a common truth – that anti-Black racism is still woven into the fabric of our country. The Fund supports community-based projects for the Black community of Central New York that promote and encourage self-sufficiency and improve the physical and economic conditions that affect quality of life. It also encourages dialogue that will strengthen race-related matters and support social and educational growth in the community.

The Community Foundation is committing to invest $1 million over the next few years in this effort and your contributions will help us do more. You can donate online now or mail gifts by check to Black Equity & Excellence Fund, c/o Central New York Community Foundation, 431 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13202. For other giving options, contact Thomas Griffith at (315) 883-5544 or tgriffith@cnycf.org.

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