Funder is celebrated for modeling how to provide timely, flexible resources and a simplified application process to get urgent migrant funding needs met.
WASHINGTON, DC – At a time when frontline migrant justice organizations grapple with increasingly hostile environments and limited resources, the immediate help and collective advocacy organized by the Black Immigrants Bail Fund has been crucial in helping Black immigrants navigate the country’s increasingly harsh immigration detention system.
That is why the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) is honoring the foundation with its 2023 “Get Up, Stand Up” Award for Rapid-Response Grantmaking. Their no-cost support and aid to Black immigrants fleeing hardships and seeking a better life is key in supporting local communities and ensuring that this country remains true to its democratic ideals and vision.
“The Committee chose the Black Immigrants Bail Fund for their extraordinary work providing free legal assistance and relief to Black immigrants who are wrongfully held in ICE detention,” said NCRP Executive Director Aaron Dorfman. “Their intersectional work to eradicate the mass incarceration of Black immigrants and to level the playing field of equity in due process is not really being done by anyone else.
Despite the heightened awareness of the systemic racism and other obstacles present in both the immigration detention and criminal justice systems, traditional philanthropic support of Black migrant groups and the pro-immigrant and refugee movements remain unjustifiably low. Last year, NCRP researchers reported that of the $364 billion dollars of foundation giving through 2020, only $23 million went to Black migrant groups. That’s approximately 1.4% of the 1.7 billion foundation funding that benefited immigrants and refugees, .04% of funding granted for Black communities, and less than 0.01% of all foundation grants given in that time frame.
“The Black Immigrant Bail Fund is a critical undertaking that we have embarked upon to tackle the deep-seated issues of mass incarceration and systemic injustices,” said BIBF Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director Dr. Seydi Sarr. “We seek to address the inequities in due process and discriminatory practices that disproportionately impact black migrants in a fair and just manner. We aim to promote equitable practices, create inclusive spaces, and cultivate community support.”
Established by the Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) and the African Bureau for Immigration & Social Affairs (ABISA), the BIBF offers support and aid to Black immigrants across the United States as they navigate the country’s immigration detention system. They provide bond payments directly for those in need and no-cost legal representation during bond arrangements. In recent years, they have increased their wrap-around services, even covering transportation after release and support services for sponsoring families of detainees nationwide.
“We wish our work didn’t have to be done, but the urgency of the moment demands that we immediately address the dual threat that the criminal justice and immigration system poses to Black immigrant families,” said BIBF Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director Guerline Jozef
The Black Immigrants Bail Fund is one of five honorees that will be honored on October 18 in Los Angeles, CA, at the 2023 IMPACT Awards. The biennial celebration of philanthropy’s best actors will take place at the 2023 CHANGE Philanthropy Unity Summit, a three-day conference that looks to create a diverse and safe space to gather and deepen individual and institutional practices that advance equity with an intersectional lens and community at the center.
Urgently Meeting the Needs of Black Migrants
NCRP’s “Get Up, Stand Up” Award for Rapid-Response Grantmaking goes to a funder that provides timely, flexible resources and adjusted processes to respond quickly to urgent movement needs, especially those of smaller grassroots frontline groups.
In serving the immediate needs of Black migrants in nationwide detention centers, BIBF immediately prioritizes the urgent needs of families seeking financial and legal help to get loved ones out of detention. Working with individual donors, ex-detainees, mutual-aid groups, religious denominations, and several foundations, they quickly get the money out the door to those who need it.
Between 2020 and 2022, the BIBF paid nearly $1.01 million in bonds, secured $1.02 million in bond payments from its partner, the Minnesota Freedom Fund, and helped liberate over 232 individuals from detention.
The results are staggering for an organization of its capacity. However, more must be done for the organization to meet the additional needs of over five million pending bond requests.
A 2022 Freedom for Immigrants report from several groups (including NCRP member organization Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)) finds that while Black immigrants represent 6% of the population of people detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), they made up 28% of the accounts of abuse in ICE detention.
“Every funder who cares about racial equity and justice should be supporting frontline, immigrant- and refugee-led movement groups,” said NCRP Field Director Ben Barge. “There’s a direct line between migrant justice and the progress we want to see in our democracy, health and education equity, broken criminal justice systems, and so much more. It’s past time for the dollars to match that reality.”
“We stand with our colleagues across a number of trusted movement organizations who know that the more of us who are quickly resourced to lend a hand, the greater the chance that we can bring about a system that gives communities an equal opportunity at the better life we all deserve,” adds Jozef. “Anpil men, chay pa lou! (Many hands make light work!)”
Click here to read more about the work of the Black Immigrants Bail Fund and why they were chosen to be NCRP’s 2023 “Get Up, Stand Up” Award for Rapid-Response Grantmaking.
The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) has served as philanthropy’s critical friend and independent watchdog since 1976. We work with foundations, non-profits, social justice movements and other leaders to ensure that the sector is transparent with, and accountable to, those with the least wealth, power and opportunity in American society.
Our storytelling, advocacy, and research efforts, in partnership with grantees, help funders fulfill their moral and practical duty to build, share, and wield economic resources and power to serve public purposes in pursuit of justice.
ABOUT THE 2023 IMPACT AWARDS
Since 2013, NCRP has awarded 29 Impact Awards to grantmakers in recognition of support, leadership and partnership with grassroots organizations and community leaders around LGBTQ rights, minimum wage, environmental justice, health equity and other critical issues. This year, we will add a fifth, the Pablo Eisenberg Memorial Prize” for Philanthropy Criticism, in honor of NCRP’s founding board chair.
The biennial event has been traditionally held on the last night of Change Philanthropy’s Unity Summit. This year’s edition is slated to be held in Los Angeles, CA, the first in four years to be held in person. (The previous event was held virtually in 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns)
ABOUT THE CHANGE PHILANTHROPY’S UNITY SUMMIT
This year’s Impact Awards — and the 2023 Unity Summit in general — are expected to be the biggest yet, with over 1200 people expected to attend the conference from Oct. 16-19th. The three-day conference will explore strategies for utilizing power to advance philanthropic equity, with emphasis on how philanthropic institutions and individuals working in philanthropy can shift their practice. Across various session types and formats, summit participants will explore shifts in internal organizational practice that consider organizational climate and culture as well as realizing intersectional racial equity within philanthropic organizations; and external practice that examine use of capital, ways of engaging with accountability to community, and methods for leveraging collective power.
For more information on the 2023 Unity Summit, or to explore past Unity Summits, visit https://www.changeunitysummit.info/
CONTACT(S): Russel Roybal, rroybal[at]ncrp.org
Elbert Garcia, egarcia[at]ncrp.org