By: Black Leaders Collective
About Black Leaders Collective (BLC): Black Leaders Collective is leading a transformative intersectional movement in collaboration with more than 70 Central Texas leaders to dismantle systemic racism and create a more equitable community. We are building a mechanism for change that is Black-conceived and Black-led to define the priorities of the Black diaspora in Central Texas.
Why was the Black Leaders Collective formed and when?
The Black Leaders Collective was formed in 2020 as a response to the Central Texas community’s issues by members of the African Diaspora. Against the backdrop of the police killings of George Floyd and Mike Ramos, the widening wealth gap, as well as racial disparities in health, education and justice in Austin and surrounding cities, these leaders seek to build an intersectional, intergenerational and transformative movement that will sustain itself for many generations and beyond.
How has the Black Leaders Collective continued to serve its community through the pandemic, racial injustice and Texas snowstorm?
BLC coordinated efforts with local organizations to help house and feed BIPOC community members who were in dire need of assistance in Travis and Williamson counties. By partnering with Black-owned restaurants and the American Red Cross, the Black Leaders Collective served more than 9,000 community members through our Feeding the Village and Serving the Village initiatives.
Feeding the Village: BLC partnered with local Black-owned restaurants – the Gossip Shack, Rolling Rooster, The Avenue, Tater-Que, Anything’s Baked Potato, Emoji’s Grilled Cheese and the Cooks Nook to provide hot meals to families immediately after the storm. Thank you to each business for partnering with us!
Serving the Village: BLC served more than 18,000 households by providing resources such as hot meals, water, groceries, toiletries, baby necessities and cleaning supplies. BLC set up sites at Sims Elementary and Millennium Youth Entertainment Center for more than a week and did a pop-up drive at Sims Elementary to continue relief efforts due to the ripple effect of the storm. Special thanks to the American Red Cross for their support, volunteers and technical assistance with these efforts!
Tell us about the relationship between the Black Leaders Collective and the Moody Foundation.
The Moody Foundation has generously funded several local organizations, such as Black Leaders Collective, to support our projects and initiatives to help our community following Winter Storm Uri.
For instance, with the recent funds from the Moody Foundation, 10,000 Fearless First Responders purchased a 15-passenger van to transport individuals to shelters/hotels and other accommodations and purchased snowshoes for two vehicles to assist with rescue efforts. The Mount Carmel apartment complex, located in East Austin, is still without gas service. The Foundation provided hotel room stays and food resources for the residents. Survive2Thrive was also able to purchase generators for ventilation machines for special needs children. The Foundation also purchased a generator that can be used to power a hotel.
Where can the community find more information on how to donate and volunteer to support the Black Leaders Collective’s cause?