In less than one week, through an amazing outpouring of support for Black lives from the Pride community, the Louisville Pride Foundation raised $50,000 for The Bail Project. “This funding will support our revolving bail fund and also our expanded community support for individuals released during COVID-19,” said Shameka Parrish-Wright, Operations Manager for The Bail Project-Louisville, “We’ve been assisting people with housing, cell phones, and transportation.”
Following this success, the Executive Committee of the Louisville Pride Foundation has created a new “Social Justice Fund,” which will make grants and awards to groups promoting social justice and human dignity, with a focus on anti-racist work. After the $50,000 is presented to the Bail Project, future fundraising will benefit multiple social justice organizations.
“We are excited to build on the success of the Bail Project fundraiser, and begin raising money that can support organizations like Black Lives Matter Louisville, Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice, Russell Place of Promise, the Kentucky Health Justice Network, and more,” said Louisville Pride Foundation Board Chair Ashleigh Donaldson.
Louisville Pride is using its Digital Pride Initiative to support the cause. The Republic Bank “Queens in Quarantine” Variety Show has featured discussion about the events in the community, and is being used to raise funds for the new Social Justice Fund. The Community Conversations video and podcast series is being used to amplify the voices of people of color and talk about solutions to police violence.
“The Queens In Quarantine show is a welcome release and is raising money for a good cause during this time of revolutionary change,” said Victoria Syimone Taylor, one of the show’s co-hosts, “I am happy to be working with the Louisville Pride Foundation to create social change and promote trans representation, visibility and community.”
Disbursements from the Social Justice Fund will be made by the Louisville Pride Board of Directors, based on recommendations from a committee formed for that purpose. The initial committee will be made up exclusively of people of color. “There’s too much gate-keeping in philanthropy,” said Louisville Pride executive director Mike Slaton, “The Social Justice Fund will be accessible and accountable.”