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Black women leaders launch fund to bring 'transformational change' to Washington state

The new Black Future Co-op Fund aims to raise $25 million to back efforts to undo the harm of systemic racism.

SEATTLE — Four Black women leaders in Washington are joining forces and starting the Black Future Co-op Fund in an effort to bring transformational change.   

"We are paving the way so future generations, those who are not born yet, can realize better opportunities than we have today," said Andrea Caupain, the CEO of Byrd Barr Place, and one of the organizers of the fund.

"We are hoping that we will provide that sustainability to the infrastructure so that we can continue the work for the long term," said fellow organizer Angela Jones, the CEO of Washington STEM.

Jones, Caupain and the other two organizers, Michelle Merriweather, president and CEO of Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, and T'wina Nobles, president and CEO of Tacoma Urban League, are all leaders in the Black community.

Black Future Co-op Fund's purpose is to acknowledge the harm of systemic racism, and to serve as a hub to address the impact that systemic racism has had on the Black community.

According to the Seattle Foundation, the fund aims to raise $25 million toward these efforts, and has already secured $2.5 million through a wide list of philanthropists and foundations.

"Thanks to a partnership with the All In WA campaign and with generous support from Jeff Bezos, donations to the Black Future Co-op Fund are eligible to be matched dollar for dollar, up to $1 million per unique donation," the Seattle Foundation stated on its website.

"I am very grateful that folks who did not have this information before or did not listen to it before seem to be listening in a different way, and seem to be prepared to take action," Nobles said.

"When the cameras go off when the people are no longer protesting in the streets, when policies change, this is a part of what will last beyond this moment and will hopefully change generations to follow," Merriweather said.  

All in WA is an effort to help bring COVID-19 relief. The virtual concert features some of the biggest names in entertainment from Washington state to raise money to help affected communities. KING 5 and KONG will broadcast the concert on June 24, starting at 7 p.m.

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