Leading for Liberation

What does it mean to be a “liberated leader” as a Black or Indigenous person or a person of color? At Building Bridges, it means having your needs met, your voice heard, and your opinions matter. You have what you need to excel, to thrive, to claim your power.

The need for liberation has amplified for our community – especially those who identify as people of color. The pandemic we’re experiencing hurts Black and Indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC) at higher rates than white people. And the uprising against police brutality makes plain the deep pain, rage, and fear so many of us feel in the face of structural racism.

Investing in Liberation

In addition to our programs, we believe it’s time to invest financial resources to address systemic barriers where we can. We launched the Liberated Leaders Fund to provide cash grants to BIPOC leaders in our BB community to be used to further their work.

In May 2020, The Denver Foundation selected Building Bridges to join the Racial Equity Landscape Cohort. This included a $10,000 grant to use to invest in Building Bridges’ racial equity efforts. Though we could have decided to put it all towards salaries or other expenses, we committed $5,000 dollars to seed the Liberated Leaders Fund to make direct cash grants to leaders of color in our network to be used to address financial barriers.

In June 2020, we invited our community to match the funds we’d already committed – and you DID. In a big way. This initial crowdfunding campaign raised more than $6,000 additional matching funds to get the Liberated Leaders Fund off the ground.

As of July, we have more than $11,000 (and counting!) to offer to Building Bridges participants, alumni, and staff who identify as BIPOC. This is not a charity fund. This is about mutual aid – we are giving back to the people that gave us their ideas, voices, stories, and time.

Liberating Ourselves, Liberating Each Other

As we continue to struggle with the challenges posed by the global pandemic, we remain committed to leveraging our position and resources for equity and inclusion.

There are two ways you can join us in this mutual aid work.

Donate directly to the Fund here.

Or apply for a grant from the Fund here. We review applications on a rolling basis, providing a response within 10 days of submission.

If you have questions about the Fund or ideas about how we can grow it, please email Hameeda Abdul Kadir at hameeda@buildingbridgesshift.org.