Last week, the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) published a detailed and ambitious policy agenda, with a long list of “demands” that are attempts to match systemic problems with transparent solutions. One subsection of the agenda, “End the War on Black People,” takes on the criminal justice system. Another, “Reparations,” asks for specific remedies from corporate, government, and educational systems for harms related to slavery, and more recently, redlining in housing, education policy, mass incarceration and food insecurity.
The document is strong, clear, detailed and unflinching. And diverse: the movement is led largely by young black women and men, queer people of color and immigrants. The mix is reflected in the language and the issues.
For some, the agenda may help dispel the myth that the movement itself is set on violence. For others, it will confirm their worst fears. But no matter where you sit on the issues, the very existence of the manifesto is a confirmation of the power of distributed leadership, amplified by new technology and organized around a clear cause.
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More than 50 organizations have already registered their support, but one, in particular, stands out. The Ford Foundation added their voice to the growing chorus of supporters, in the strongest possible terms.
But the foundation is also planning on studying and underwriting what it calls a “new and dynamic form of social justice leadership and infrastructure,” by investing in the Black-Led Movement Fund, (BLMF) a pooled donor fund designed to support the work of the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), and led by Borealis Philanthropy.
Here’s some language that would make anyone sit up straighter if they read it in a pitch deck:
Ellen McGirt writes Fortune’s raceAhead, a newsletter about race and culture.