Institute Of The Black World 21st Century Awarded MacArthur Grant

The Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) (organization president Dr. Ron Daniels shown above) was awarded a general s
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Photo: IBW

New York, NY — The Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) (organization president Dr. Ron Daniels shown above) was awarded a general support grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to promote the concept of cultivating a culture of collaboration to heal and empower Black families and communities.

IBW believes nurturing collaborative relationships, building collaborative structures, and launching joint initiatives is vital to creating just, safe, wholesome, equitable, and sustainable communities.

The grant is part of roughly $80 million in awards MacArthur announced today to support the foundation’s Equitable Recovery initiative, centered on advancing racial and ethnic justice. The initiative is funded by MacArthur’s social bonds, issued in response to the crises of the pandemic and racial inequity.

Dr. Ron Daniels, President and Founder of IBW said: “We are particularly pleased that the MacArthur Foundation decided to support reparations in this historic moment of racial reckoning in America and the World. We applaud the Foundation for taking this bold step. The general support grant, which we are pleased to accept, will dramatically strengthen IBW’s capacity to build out its portfolio of collaborative initiatives with a special emphasis on supporting the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) as an evolving authoritative voice in the national and international Reparations movements.”

Commenting on the need for collaboration among leaders and organizations in the reparations movement, Dr. Daniels continued; “We are pleased to lock arms with the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA), Black America’s reparations legacy organization, to maximize the potential to achieve reparations in this extraordinary moment in the cross-generational struggle of African Americans for reparatory justice.”

“As we emerge from this moment of crisis, we have an opportunity to improve the critical systems that people and places need to thrive. Our systems and structures must be rebuilt,” said MacArthur President John Palfrey. “We are committed to ensuring that our response to the pandemic is focused on supporting the reimagining of systems that create a more just, equitable, and resilient world.”

IBW is one of 37 organizations receiving grants to advance Racial Justice Field Support, with a focus on combating anti-Blackness, and supporting Black-led and -focused philanthropic organizations. MacArthur also will take a leadership role in positioning reparations and racial healing as issues that philanthropy helps to address meaningfully.

To advance racial and ethnic justice, MacArthur is supporting work in that focus, as well as three other areas:

  • Self-determination of Indigenous Peoples supports uplifting Indigenous communities to enable the autonomous pursuit of a recovery guided by their priorities, cultures, and practices.
  • Public Health Equity and COVID-19 Mitigation and Recovery support improving access to resources for immediate health challenges while advancing new policies, models, and structures to support a more equitable and resilient public health sector in the future.
  • An Equitable Housing Demonstration Project supports restoring communities and reducing incarceration and housing instability by generating an array of housing solutions that can help to permanently end the use of jails and prisons as housing of last resort.

MacArthur identified the areas through a participatory process with a diverse group of external advisors, [1] who informed its strategic approach. The participatory process aimed to center the voices of communities affected by the Foundation’s decisions and stake in the grantmaking outcomes.

This is the first time IBW has received a grant from MacArthur. Almost two-thirds of the awards represent new grantee relationships, and most of the organizations are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led or -serving. The grants also reflect MacArthur’s global reach: 45 percent of the new funding supports work outside of the U.S., including 12 percent in India and 14 percent in Nigeria, where MacArthur has offices.

Equitable Recovery Initiative

In the fall of 2020, MacArthur established a $125 million Equitable Recovery Initiative. The Foundation deployed $40 million of bond proceeds through 24 grants. Initial grants focused on strengthening voter mobilization and election protection, addressing anti-Black racism, and supporting Native Americans impacted by COVID-19. Grants also supported Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous arts organizations in Chicago, technology and justice, and a fund for social entrepreneurs advancing racial equity.


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