Making a meaningful difference to combatting white supremacy and racial injustice in the U.S. means committing to supporting organizations that are rooted deeply in—and trusted by—the African American and people of color communities they serve. This includes organizations that are grassroots and community-based as well as larger, national organizations, many of which are led by people of color. MCF also recommends considering organizations that meet the following criteria laid about by Marcus Walton, President & CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations:

Frame the issue—acknowledging how institutional barriers to progress persist today;

Focus on root causes
—prioritizing the elimination of social and political barriers to progress that systemically and disproportionately prohibit thriving within historically marginalized communities;

Disaggregate data—illustrating through historical analysis that the concept of race in America remains a determining variable for inequity across identity groups, as reflected in disaggregated data (i.e. cataloguing data according to racial, gender, class, geographical, sexual orientation and other categories). 

Here are some of our recommendations for your consideration (with organizations led by a person of color noted by asterisk):

Racial Justice Organizations

Advocacy and Civic Engagement

Black Futures Lab works with Black people to transform communities, building Black political power and changing the way that power operates—locally, statewide, and nationally. It works to understand the dynamics impacting Black communities, build the capacity of communities to govern, and engage and include Black people in the decisions that impact their lives. *

Note: This organization is fiscally sponsored by Chinese Progressive Association.

Black Lives Matter
is a global organization in the U.S., U.K., and Canada whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities. *

Note: This organization is fiscally sponsored by Thousand Currents.

BOLD (Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity) is a national training, coaching and technical assistance program focused on strengthening Black social justice infrastructure by transforming the practice of Black organizers in the US to increase their alignment, impact and sustainability to win progressive change. *

Note: This organization is fiscally sponsored by Highlander Center.

Californians for Justice
is a statewide, youth-powered organization fighting for racial justice, with a special focus in Fresno, Long Beach, Oakland, and San Jose. It works to improve the lives of people of color, immigrants, those from low-income backgrounds, LGBTQ individuals, and those from other marginalized communities. It focuses its work on achieving relationship-centered schools, equitable school funding, and youth voice in democracy. *

Color of Change
is a national online effort, driven by 1.7 million members, to move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. They use an innovative combination of technology, research, media savvy, and local community engagement to build powerful movements and change the industries that affect Black people’s lives—in Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Wall Street, Washington, prosecutor offices, capitol hills, and city halls around the country. *

Equal Justice Society
transforms the nation’s consciousness on race through law, social science, and the arts. Its strategy aims to broaden conceptions of present-day discrimination to include unconscious and structural bias by using social science, structural analysis, and real-life experience. *

Movement for Black Lives
creates a space for over 100 Black organizations across the country to debate and discuss the current political conditions; develop shared assessments of the political interventions that are necessary to achieve key policy, cultural, and political wins; and convene organizational leadership in order to debate and co-create a movement-wide strategy. *

Note: This organization is fiscally sponsored by the Alliance for Global Justice.

The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
is a non-partisan organization dedicated to increasing civic engagement and voter participation in Black and underserved communities. It strives to create an enlightened community by engaging people in all aspects of public life through service/volunteerism, advocacy, leadership development, and voting. It includes a Bay Area chapter. *

Oakland Rising
educates and mobilizes local voters to speak up for and take charge of the issues impacting their lives. Their work focuses on three major goals—to build permanent political/electoral infrastructure, exercise and expand political influence, and align organizations and coordinate with other progressive forces.

Note: This organization is fiscally sponsored by Movement Strategy Center.

Race Forward brings systemic analysis to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity. It catalyzes community, government, and other institutions to dismantle structural racial inequity and create equitable outcomes for all. It is also home to a national network of local government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. Race Forward publishes the daily news site Colorlines and hosts the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice. *

RYSE Center
, located in Richmond, creates safe spaces grounded in social justice for young people to love, learn, educate, heal, and transform lives and communities. *

Young Women’s Freedom Center
is a leadership and advocacy organization led by systems-involved women and transgender and gender non-conforming people of color who have grown up in poverty, worked in the underground street economy, and been criminalized. By offering safety, sister and siblinghood, economic opportunities, education, and healing, the organization builds self-determination and self-worth for those impacted by cycles of poverty, violence, exploitation, and incarceration.

Civil Rights

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) works to promote the civil rights of people of color and to illuminate race-based discrimination, including its legal defense fund which fights for racial justice through litigation, advocacy, and education. *

National Urban League helps African Americans and others in underserved communities achieve true social parity, economic self-reliance, power, and civil rights. The League  romotes economic empowerment through education and job training, housing and community  development, workforce development, entrepreneurship, health, and quality of life. *

Criminal Justice Reform

Campaign Zero supports the analysis of policing practices across the country, research to identify effective solutions to end police violence, technical assistance to organizers leading police accountability campaigns, and the development of model legislation and advocacy to end police violence nationwide. *

Note: This organization is fiscally sponsored by We the Protesters, Inc.

Center for Policing Equity
aids police departments to realize their own equity goals as well as advance the scientific understanding of issues of equity within organizations and policing by producing analyses identifying and reducing the causes of racial disparities in law enforcement. They do this using evidence-based approaches to social justice and collecting data to create levers for social, cultural, and policy change. *

Community Justice Exchange (CJE) shares and experiments with tactical interventions, strategic organizing practices, and innovative organizing tools to end all forms of criminalization, incarceration, surveillance, and detention. It also hosts the National Bail Fund Network, a formation of over sixty community-led bail and bond funds that are part of campaigns to end pretrial and immigration detention and address the disproportionate impact of bail fees on low-income incarcerated individuals, a large percentage of whom are people of color. *

Note: This organization is fiscally sponsored by the Tides Center.

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights is named after Ella Baker, a brilliant Black hero of the civil rights movement. Following in her footsteps, the organization organizes with Black, Brown, and low-income people locally, statewide, and nationally to shift resources away from prisons and punishment and toward opportunities that make our communities safe, healthy, and strong. *

Equal Justice Initiative works to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the U.S., challenge racial and economic injustice, and protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. *

The Innocence Project works to free the staggering number of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to reform the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.

We the Protesters, Inc
. is focused on ending racism and police violence in the United States. This organization is building the most comprehensive database of police violence information in the nation, using that data to identify effective policy solutions, while supporting movement organizers to enact these policies at every level of government. *

Health and Healing

Community Healing Network mobilizes Black people across the African Diaspora to heal from the trauma caused by centuries of anti-Black racism, free people of toxic stereotypes, and reclaim dignity and humanity as people of African ancestry. Its vision is a world in which all Black people have moved beyond surviving to flourishing and are enjoying life in all its fullness—in body, mind, and spirit. *

The Loveland Foundation provides financial assistance that allows Black women and girls nationally to receive therapy support. *

National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network is committed to transforming mental health for queer and trans people of color (QTPoC). They work at the intersection of movements for social justice and the field of mental health to integrate healing justice into both of these spaces. *

Note: This organization is fiscally sponsored by Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs.

Legal Rights

American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) is a nonpartisan, 1.5 million+ member public interest organization devoted to protecting the civil liberties of all people in the United States. Recognized as the nation's premier public interest law firm, the ACLU works daily in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The ACLU addresses a wide range of civil liberties issues, including immigration, voting rights, criminal justice, racial justice, free speech and more.

Note: The ACLU is a 501(c)(4) organization that cannot be supported with a grant from a DAF. However, The ACLU Foundation can, as it is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps fuel the ACLU’s litigation, communications, advocacy, and public education efforts. 

Southern Poverty Law Center
fights hate and bigotry and seeks justice for the most vulnerable members of American society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the organization works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality. * 


Center for American Progress is an independent nonpartisan policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. Their aim is not just to change the conversation, but to change the country by developing new policy ideas, challenging the media to cover the issues that truly matter, and shaping the national debate.

PolicyLink advocates for groundbreaking policy changes that enable everyone, especially people of color, to be economically secure, live in healthy communities of opportunity, and benefit from a just society. They do this by weaving together four essential functions—advocacy, applied research and communications, constituency and network engagement, and implementation capacity. *

Urban Strategies
works to transform neighborhoods through collective action partnerships, working with family systems through intense case management, citizen-directed planning and resident engagement, and results-based leadership. It operates in 24 cities and more than 40 neighborhoods across the nation and serves more than 30,000 families through community revitalization. *

Arts and Culture

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
, located in Harlem, is one of the world’s leading cultural institutions devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences that illuminate the richness of global Black history, arts, and culture. *

Note: This organization is fiscally sponsored by the New York Public Library.

Youth Speaks uses the intersection of arts education and youth development practices, civic engagement strategies, and high-quality artistic presentation to create safe spaces that challenge young people to find, develop, publicly present, and apply their voices as creators of societal change. *


Organizations Based in Marin County

Community Action Marin breaks down the barriers to community members being able to support themselves by providing support to families and children through safety net services, access to mental health, nutritious meals, and economic opportunity. *

Hannah Project boosts the academic proficiency and college attendance of Marin City and other low-income youth of color by working in partnership to promote a community culture that encourages achievement, celebrates heritage, and equips families and students with the knowledge, skills, and strategies to fulfill dreams and ambitions. *

ISOJI a Nigerian word for renaissance, revitalization, or rebirth. Since 2000, ISOJI has been a forum for Marin City residents, community leaders, and friends to gather, discuss, and  strategize next steps toward greater community well-being, social equity, and self-empowerment. *

Marin City Health and Wellness Center provides innovative health and wellness services to all, with the goal of African American health equity. Its Marin Family Birth Center in San Rafael provides perinatal, water birth, and midwifery services as Marin County’s only  freestanding birth center. *

This is a robust though not exhaustive list of organizations that address racial justice issues. Inclusion on this list does not indicate that MCF has a prior relationship with an organization.


Selected Readings & Viewings

Ava DuVernay, 13th is an American documentary film (2016).

Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Book, 2014), Just Mercy (Film, 2019)

Nikole Hannah-Jones, NYT’s 1619 Project, America Wasn’t a Democracy, Until Black Americans Made it One (Article, 2019)

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (Book, 2015)

Robin J. DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism (Book, 2018)

Ibram X. Kendi, How to be an AntiRacist (Book, 2019)

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