Resourcing Black Feminist Organizing in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Letter to Our Readers

Philanthropy has overlooked Black feminist movements in Latin America and the Caribbean, but there are boundless opportunities to change this landscape. Please join us.


Led by Black women academics, artists, and activists from Latin America and the Caribbean, this research explores Black women’s activism across the two regions.

  • Interviewed 276 Black women across 17 countries who speak Spanish, Portuguese and Kreyól;


  • Mapped 309 Black women-led initiatives. Of these, 57% comprise Black women only; 33 percent, Black women and men; and the remaining 10 percent, LGBTQI. Organization types include collectives, associations, community-based organizations, unions, cooperatives, and networks as well as NGOs. Many are not registered.


  • Observed 25 spaces of Black activism using participant observation at conferences, educational forums, and workshops, both on and offline;


  • Interviewed representatives of Latin American women’s funds;


  • Interviewed 20 academics, activists, artists, healers, therapists and guardians of Black memory;


  • Consulted 102 reports or articles about racial and gender justice; and,


  • Commissioned several articles from prominent thought leaders in trans, decolonial, and Black feminist activism.

FJS and Wellspring thank all who have been involved in this project. In particular, we thank lead researcher Jeannette Tineo Durán and the team of 16 researchers from the regions. We also thank Carla Murphy and Chriss Sneed for the summaries and interviews with private foundations; translator of the summaries Miluska Martínez Sarson and copy editor Cindy Bello; Rochelle Jones and Sarah Gunther for the development of this microsite content and philanthropic strategy; artist Goga for the incredible artwork that underpins the content; designer Astrid Da Silva and project manager Zavé Martohardjono for bringing this site to life; microsite copy editor Nebila Abdulmelik; current and former FJS staff (Jewel Antoine, Félix Endara, mónica enríquez-enríquez, Meghan Huppuch, Erin Malone, Maitri Morarji, Nicky McIntyre, and Somer Nowak); Wellspring staff (Betsy Hoody, Manisha Mehta, and Lucille Renwick); and all others who devoted energy to this project along the way.


What Does Black Feminist Organizing Look Like?

The research shows that Black feminist organizing in Latin America and the Caribbean is diverse, unique, and strong – flowing across multiple movements and touching on every issue of relevance to philanthropy.

  • Black women’s organizing strategies are diverse, from political advocacy for inclusion in the State to decolonial approaches that challenge the very existence of the State. 


  • Black women’s organizing flows across many movements – anti-racist, feminist, defense of land/territory, climate, economic justice, and more. Their relationship with feminism is tenuous, since mainstream feminist movements are often dominated by white-mestiza leaders and agendas.


  • While flexible and long-term funding is needed for all strategies and types of work, Black feminists name cross-border organizing as a particular priority so they can build autonomous movements across Latin America and the Caribbean and connect with the wider diaspora. 


  • Power imbalances, especially between white-mestiza and Black feminist movements, as well as multiple systems of racialized and gendered oppression impact the visibility of Black women’s organizing and their access to funding. 


  • Contending with racism in white-mestiza feminist spaces and sexism in ‘mixed’ spaces with Black men, Black women call for the protection and expansion of their own autonomous Black feminist spaces. Facing another layer of othering, Black lesbian, bisexual, trans, and non-binary activists call for the same. 


  • While the landscape is rapidly changing, a coherent funding ecosystem for Black women-led organizing in Latin America and the Caribbean does not yet exist. Across both private and public philanthropy, funders are not meaningfully reaching Black feminist groups. 


  • Gender-focused funding tends to center areas of interest for white-mestiza feminism, without attention to Black women’s particular experiences and needs. Black feminist organizing also falls through the cracks among funders working on a range of social justice and human rights issues.


  • As a result, Black women-led initiatives have extremely limited access to funding. Most rely on self-generated resources to enable their work.


What Action Can Funders Take?

Every funder has a role to play in resourcing Black feminist organizing. Whether you are funding feminist movements or advancing an issue-based strategy, there is an entry point for you.

  1. Provide flexible, long-term core support funding directly to Black women-led groups.

  2. Create and resource funding mechanisms dedicated to Black women-led organizing in Latin America and the Caribbean.

  3. Develop systems for collecting and tracking disaggregated grantmaking data that count Black women as a unique population.

  4. Assess your portfolio: How effectively are you reaching Black women-led organizing and accounting for their needs, realities, and priorities?

  5. Engage in political education and find ways to build trust with Black feminist organizers.

  6. Fund with care.

  7. Commit to anti-racist study in your institution.

  8. Do this work in partnership with other funders.

Connect to 300+ Black Women-Led Organizations

This research mapped over 300 diverse Black women-led initiatives in 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, including collectives, associations, community-based organizations, unions, cooperatives, networks and NGOs.