At Hope Tank, we aim to use our platform to educate, inspire, and activate our community towards awesome actions and organizations that are doing impactful work for our most marginalized residents. With that in mind, we want to address one of the age-old issues in the nonprofit and social sector- a glaring lack of Black and POC Executive Directors.
The nonprofit sector is not immune to upholding systems of oppression, ignoring or perpetuating micro-aggressions, racism, ableism, ageism, sexism, and bigotry. We are beginning to see more leaders of color at organizations, but we also continue to see those TOP positions filled by White people. We know there are lots of incredible White ED's leading amazing organizations, many of which we support at Hope Tank, but we wouldn't be doing our own anti-racism work if we didn't acknowledge that there is a big difference to an organization that predominantly serves communities of color, when a Person of Color is in the top position.
According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, "Among groups focused on improving life outcomes of black men, revenue at organizations with black leaders was 45 percent lower than at groups led by whites. African American leaders are well aware of these funding disparities, says Susan Taylor Batten, CEO of the Association of Black Foundation Executives. "Our organizations are underfunded and for that reason have smaller staffs, smaller budgets, and little to no operating reserves," she says. "We call it philanthropic redlining."
We put together a list of local organizations that predominantly serve Black community members, that are being led from the top, by people of color. We know this list is just a starting place, so please let us know who else needs to be on our radar! We encourage you to look these organizations up, donate, volunteer, lend your expertise, and most importantly UPLIFT THESE LEADERS OF COLOR!!
Over the next couple weeks, we will be adding lists of organizations with leadership that reflects the people and communities they serve, from our immigrant, refugee, Indigenous, LGBTQIA, and Latinx neighbors!
100 Black Men
Our platform of Mentoring Across a Lifetime has four pillars: Education, Health & Wellness, Leadership Development, and Economic Empowerment. We are a network of committed professional men who believe that "What they see is what they'll be." Therefore, we mentor by providing structure and guidance where it will benefit the growth and development of our mentees. We believe that by pouring our time and talent into the uplift of the youth of our community, we will contribute to more positive outcomes and assist in the development of more socially responsible and productive citizens.
We are changing the examples set before our youth, further we are reaching into our community to interact with the youth to let them know that there is the prospect of a positive outcome for their future as well. We are Real Men, Giving Real Time.
Black American West
The mission of the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center is to promote an understanding of the role that African Americans played in the settlement and growth of the western United States through its collections, programs and exhibits.
Black Lives Matter 5280
Working with residents and organizations in Denver, Black Lives Matter 5280 assists in building more loving and united Black communities while eliminating anti-Black violence and racism. To expose, address and eradicate structures and systems of oppression in Denver, BLM5280 uses a holistic racial justice approach that includes strengthening individual and community health and wellness, relationship-building, educational programming, and direct actions.
This chapter is part of a national movement, aligned in Black love, power, and liberation in order to embody the declaration that Black Lives Matter- regardless of gender identity, gender expression, sexual identity, immigration location or status, gang affiliation, profession, ability, economic status, and religious beliefs or disbelief. Also in keeping with the national movement, BLM5280 centers and celebrates the lives and leadership of Black women and girls, aligning all Black people in love, power, and liberation. Our work is to cultivate communities of abundant joy where all Black people are emboldened and empowered to lead, love, heal, and thrive.
The Black Actor’s Guild
The Black Actors Guild believes that every individual holds a unique story, and that telling that story can make a real difference. Whether it’s comedy, storytelling, improv or script-writing - we see it as our duty to use those mediums to create a better world. The Black Actors Guild hopes to empower every individual we meet to be the absolute best versions of themselves - whether they are a student, a fellow actor, or an audience member. We hope to enable everyone who takes part of our community to consider life in a new way, and to encourage them to strive to challenge the world around them.
The Black Business Initiative
The Black Business Initiative, a Public Benefit Corporation, aims to change the narrative by creating and supporting holistic solutions by working with community members, government, private partners, and organizations to deliver strong business acumen training, mentorship programs, cooperative and traditional pathways to access capital, increased patronage in Black-owned businesses, and sound policy that closes the economic chasm known as the “wealth gap.”
Any actors of color will know the daunting truth of “typecasting” - that the roles for the non-traditional looking actors are limited in scope. While we could spend our days trying to retool the old and forcing our way into scripts that weren’t meant to be played by us - we choose a totally different path.
The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library is the gateway to Five Points and the Welton Street Historic District. The building merges with Sonny Lawson Park via a plaza connecting the two. The Library has three spacious levels, each with its own unique purpose.
Level One: A Full-Service Branch Library. Entering Level One is an inviting experience. This space, awash in natural light, features a 5,800 square-foot gallery.The circulating collection includes books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and public computers with Internet access. The Library features individual areas for children, teens, and adults, and a circulating collection with items in English and Spanish.
Level Two: Collection Archives and Research Library. The Archives provide a wide range of primary sources including photographs, manuscript collections, letters, and diaries. It also features audio and video oral histories, including the Trailblazers series: a collection of oral histories from a cross-section of Coloradans.
Level Three: The Western Legacies Museum and Charles R. Cousins Gallery. From early pioneers to present-day heroes, follow the footsteps of African Americans who settled the West. An exhibition space spans more than 7,000 square feet and includes an African American Legacy corridor, a leadership hall and a replica of the Office of Former Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb. The changing Gallery highlights local Denver artists and exhibits.
Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center
Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center, founded in 1994 is located in the historic Five Points District in Northeast Denver—a space committed to fostering growth, strength, and voice in the community. These ends are achieved through the exploration of visual and performing arts, celebrations, and programs that inform and enrich people’s lives. The Cultural Center’s Award-Winning Open-Mic Poetry Set has been at the center of the growing national cultural arts movement and has hosted such literary notables as Amiri Baraka, Jessica Care Moore, Kevin Powell, Sonia Sanchez, and Haki Madhabuti.
The Center has also born the dynamic cast and production of Ego Trippin’, a program that fuses poetry, jazz, hip-hop, dance, and music in an exploration of pivotal social issues and ills. Committed to youth, the Cultural Center also sponsors an annual free summer lunch program for area children, providing sustenance, support, enrichment and fun for young people during the summer. The center hosts a variety of special events and celebrations that serve to ground community throughout the year including Juneteenth, Kwanzaa, and Black History Month activities.
Center for African American Health
The Center for African American Health offers African American and Black Metro Denver communities culturally responsive resources that support them in overcoming the root causes of health problems so they can maximize their individual and family health.
Center for Trauma & Resilience
The Center for Trauma & Resilience provides culturally and linguistically responsive programs, health promotion and crime prevention education. We provide services to those affected by crime and the resulting trauma, at no cost. The Center for African American Health is committed to improving the health and well-being of the African American community by offering community-based, evidenced-based, disease prevention and disease management programs, events, and services.
Check Your Head
Check Your Head utilizes creative expression to instill positive coping mechanisms, reducing violence, increasing self efficacy and self advocacy. Our vision is communities void of stigma centering cultures of creativity and wellness, especially for those most underserved.
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance leverages the universal language of dance to honor African American heritage, explore the human condition, and offer a transformative experience through physical movement.
There are four pillars of the organization, namely, the CPRD Ensemble, Academy, Theatre, and Education programs. Working in concert, CPRD programs have created an oasis where a varied population—by gender, race, age and ethnicity—gather to study and appreciate a modern, cross-cultural approach to creative community development. Housed in the historic A.M.E. Shorter Church in Five Points, CPRD serves as a convener of community, art and dance.
Colorado Circles of Change
TO CREATE A PATHWAY FOR OUR YOUTH TO DISCOVER SACRED RELATIONSHIPS WITH SELF, FAMILY, AND COMMUNITY, TO REDUCE JUVENILE VIOLENCE AND INCARCERATION SO THAT YOUTH CAN REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL.
Colorado Freedom Fund
Colorado Freedom Fund posts bonds for folks who cannot afford bail—no strings attached. We reduce harm to people impacted by bail & work to end money bail.
The Compound of Compassion
The Mission of the Compound of Compassion is to provide a self-sustainable environment created to encourage a safe place of healing for youth, young adults, veterans and seniors. Our goal is to meet them where they are and facilitate their metamorphosis and transformation through diversion, inclusion and redirection. We will provide access to housing, health care, education, life and job skills, financial literacy and child care assistance. In addition, we will provide disaster relief, humanitarian aid, and other tangible assistance to those in need.
To maximize our impact on current efforts, we may seek to collaborate with other non-profit organizations which fall under the 501(c)3 section of the internal revenue code and are operated exclusively for educational and charitable purposes. At times, per the discretion of the Board of Directors, we may provide internships or volunteer opportunities to gain involvement in said activities and programs in order to have a greater impact for change.
Curls on the Block
Curls on the Block is an enrichment program for girls of all curls and colors to embrace, explore and empower their natural selves while working to increase engagement, investment, and commitment to careers in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).
Denver Food Rescue
We increase health equity with Denver neighborhoods by rescuing high-quality, fresh produce and perishable foods that would otherwise be thrown away by grocery stores, farmers markets, and produce distributors. With the help of our amazing volunteers, the food we rescue is delivered (often biked!) to Denver neighborhoods for direct distribution at No Cost Grocery Programs (NCGPs). NCGPs are co-created with existing community organizations like schools, recreation centers, and nonprofits that are already established and trusted within the neighborhood, decreasing transportation barriers.
Residents of the NCGP community lead the distribution of rescued food, and many also help with food rescue shifts. This participation decreases stigma of traditional food pantries, empowering each neighborhood to create a program that is appropriate for their culture & community.
A basic principle of ecology is that diversity in an ecosystem fosters strength and resilience. Ecoinclusive provides training and resources for leadership at non-profits, cultural and environmental organizations to aid them in building a culturally diverse and culturally competent staff that reflects the populations that they serve.
A Performance Art Social Enterprise. Our mission is to gather the community to share stories and inspire action.
Front Line Farming operates as a multi-plot farm committed to providing food to people of all income levels by sustainably growing affordable local food in the Denver Metro Area. The mission of Frontline Farming is to create greater equity across our food system on the Front Range of Colorado. We specifically seek to support and create greater leadership and access for women and people of color in our food systems. We achieve these goals through growing food, listening, educating, honoring land and ancestors, policy initiatives, and direct action. Filling our neighborhoods with edible landscapes, and reducing the distance from farm to plate.
Girls Inc. Metro Denver
In partnership with schools, community organizations and at our center in West Colfax, we focus on the development of the whole girl. She learns to value herself, take risks, and discover and develop her inherent strengths. The combination of long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment, and research-based programming equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers, and grow up healthy, educated, and independent. Informed by girls and their families, we also advocate for legislation and policies to increase opportunities and rights for all girls.
GirlTrek is the largest public health movement for Black women and girls in the U.S. Through grassroots organizing and award-winning social media campaigns, GirlTrek mobilizes women to live their healthiest, most fulfilled lives through a habit of daily walking. GirlTrek is on a mission to inspire 1 MILLION Black women and girls to practice radical self-care by 2020.
GRASP (Gang Rescue and Support Project) is a peer-run, intervention program that works with youth who are at-risk of gang involvement or are presently active in gangs, helps families of gang victims, and serves as a youth advocate. GRASP works so well because it is primarily run by ex-gang members who broke free of the gang life-style and turned their lives around. The staff understands how difficult it is to make this transition and the challenges facing youth who do it. Established in 1991 after a tragic ‘drive-by’ shooting death of a teen, GRASP has evolved into a highly respected and successful program of Denver Youth Program, a non-profit organization, that for over 51 years has helped kids to better futures through one-on-one mentoring.
The HadaNõu Collective
HNC IS A PATHWAY FOR COMMUNITY-DRIVEN LEADERS TO BUILD HIGH QUALITY, SUSTAINABLE, EQUITABLE INSTITUTIONS. We believe that empowered community leaders are the most effective and profound force for reshaping our country into a more just, equitable, and humane society.
In our work towards this mission, we have explored many different approaches including creating new programs, supporting existing innovations, joining coalitions with other leaders, and even launching acommunity high school. Whatever we do, we do with communities—not for them.
From the outside, it looks like HNC’s work spans sectors—education, health, environment, arts, leadership development, community organizing, and so on. But from our perspective, we’re really just focused on one thing: creating a more equitable society by working with communities.
JMF Corporation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, whose mission is to celebrate freedom by engaging the community with the historical significance of Juneteenth to further strengthen ties between Denver, Colorado’s historic Five Points neighborhood and its neighbors. JMF Corporation utilizes its annual music event as a platform for educational and economic empowerment in youth and adults programs.
Lower the Barrier
Lower the Barrier, Not the Bar. Our Mission is to develop social enterprises that create economic opportunities for marginalized individuals.
Lower The Barrier Team is currently working on the following projects:Job Doctor Vocation Team offers decades of direct experience with formerly incarcerated, veterans, displaced workers, seniors and marginalized populations by offering tailor made facilitation of job readiness and career preparation workshops then subsequent employment placement for ALL individuals, NO MATTER what background into gainful part time and full time employment opportunities across the Denver Metro Area.
Make a Chess Move
Make a Chess Move disrupts the school to prison pipeline by developing tenacious learners, compassionate leaders, and ethically driven critical thinkers. Through the game of chess, MACM has designed a research-based curriculum that identifies and targets positive youth protective factors and the reduction of youth risk factors. The curriculum is delivered to youth ages 8-24 with an emphasis on developing staff and young leaders from program participants.
Mo' Betta Green MarketPlace
Mission: To provide fresh and affordable, Integris(TM) Foods to under-resourced neighborhoods along with the provision of education, demonstration, interaction, and innovation.
Background: MBG was launched 10 years ago in Five Points. From the beginning, our patent
“HEAL” (Health, Eating, Active Living) Framework has been in effect. We exist to break barriers to support new healthy habits. We have partnered with BIPOC Movement Leaders to provide a series
of no cost classes that include: Yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba, Aerobics, Pilates. Additionally, no cost
cooking classes are available that demonstrate easy, cost-effective, and YUMMY alternatives and answers to any kind of special diet or dietary need. In 2015, MBG’s urban farming entity “Seeds of Power Unity Farm” was established. Launching this entity expanded MBG’s ability to source organic heirloom vegetables; initiate a community-based, urban farming educational strand while introducing community members to an interactive, learning landscape. “Education, Preservation, and Food Self-Reliance” are the founding principles of Seeds
of Power Unity Farm.
National Black Lives Matter Week of Action
Black Lives Matter At School is a national coalition organizing for racial justice in education. We encourage all educators, students, parents, unions, and community organizations to join our annual week of action during the first week of February each year.
Park Hill Collective Impact
Our mission is to ensure that every single child in Park Hill is provided the supports needed to thrive academically, socially, emotionally and economically from birth through age 25.
We focus on recognizing the intersectionality between issues that are affecting a child's ability to thrive and organizing partners for engaging in continuous improvement in each area. For example, it is important to understand how unstable housing and economics have an affect on a child's nutrition and confidence to succeed in school or how community violence has an impact on a child's feeling of safety and health. Park Hill Collective Impact engages a wide range of partners and community members around five Action Committees, that include: Academics, Community Health, Economics & Housing, Juvenile Justice, and Emerging Adults/ Youth Leadership
Project VOYCE envisions a world with representative leadership for a more just and equitable society. Project VOYCE’s mission is to partner with youth to cultivate transformational leadership that addresses the root causes of inequity in underrepresented communities by training, employing, organizing, and building equitable youth-adult partnerships.
RISE 5280 is a mentorship program that teaches students the importance of self education and civic engagement. We provide students supports throughout their high school years to ensure they graduate high school and gain acceptance into a secondary institution. Twice a year we take students on tours of Historically Black Colleges.
Satya Yoga Cooperative
Satya Yoga Cooperative’s vision is to be a healing force by and for POC, using yoga as a tool for both personal liberation and social transformation. They are a network of consious yoga teachers of color who model and teach a liberation-oriented yoga that acknowledges systems that fracture wholeness. They integrate the innovations and wisdom of People of Color, offer economically accessible yoga classes, events, and educational materials.
Second Chance Center
Established in 2012, Second Chance Center, Inc. (SCC) is a Colorado based nonprofit organization determined to be the state’s premier community re-entry program and a model for the nation. SCC offers case management, mentoring, and vital resources to assist formerly incarcerated individuals in reestablishing their lives and becoming successful members of the community.
The cycle of criminal behavior is difficult to break and often involves a comprehensive approach to address a host of issues, including but not limited to substance abuse, violence, trauma and socioeconomic factors.
Sistahbiz Global Network
Sistahbiz Global Network is a nonprofit accelerator designed to close the equity gap in entrepreneurship and help Black women entrepreneurs become loan-ready, bankable and ready to grow scalable, sellable businesses.
Slam Nuba is an organization that focuses on literacy, mentorship and competitive, performance-based poetry. The mission of Slam Nuba is to promote the creation and performance of poetry and cultivate literary activities and engage community, focused on the power of the written and spoken word. Based in Denver, CO, the Slam Nuba collective of artists performs poetry throughout the nation, as well as teaches workshops locally in and around Colorado and the region. Since its inception, Slam Nuba and its members have consistently ranked among the highest in the nation in competitions.
Soul 2 Soul Sisters
Based in Denver, Colorado, Soul 2 Soul Sisters is a grassroots nonprofit that is informed by womanist theology. S2SS's womanist-based work includes Black Womxn-centered education, organizing, leadership development, as well as self and sisterly care and healing. S2SS strives to provide a sacred space for Black Womxn to rest, share their experiences, and develop and implement strategic plans for individual and collective peace, power and liberation.
- Attract urban young men’s consistent voluntary participation.
- Gain an understanding of our participants and their backgrounds.
- Help participants identify their opportunities, challenges, and goals.
- Build our brotherhood & leadership.
- Develop positive young men who understand how to balance aggression with respect, integrity, and ethics.
Struggle of Love Foundation
Struggle of Love Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Colorado based organization that provides opportunities for underprivileged youth and/or families to access year-round services and programs. These programs offer alternatives to those that may not qualify for other community-based assistance programs. Since it’s conception, SOL has assisted thousands of families through their community outreach events.
With diverse offerings such as competitive sports and mentor teams, school supply, food initiatives, toy drives, community picnics and mental health awareness, Struggle of Love collaborates with other local nonprofits to reach and educate under-served communities in the Denver metro area. During their annual backpack giveaway, S.O.L gives away more than 300 backpacks full of school supplies for children who need them. S.O.L also hosts an annual hot Thanksgiving dinner for children and families who are homeless. In addition, SOL has led efforts as violence interrupters by Co-chairing the RISE Network in Denver. They also provide mental health training and most recently opened the doors to the new community FOOD PANTRY located in the Montebello community.
As a Family Resource Center, The Center helps individuals and families overcome social, economic, and educational challenges and helps parents gain access to the skills, resources, and knowledge they need to provide a solid foundation for their children and families to thrive.
Therapist of Color Collaborative
The Element of Discovery Therapist of Color Collaborative was founded to serve individuals of color with therapeutic services that are culturally responsive, culturally sensitive, trauma-informed, and delivered with compassion to advance racial equity in the mental health setting.
By doing so, we will endeavor to remove the stigma around seeking mental health, racial injustices, and the lack of access continually experienced in communities of color. We believe that "when therapy looks like you", you feel safer to share your concerns without feeling misunderstood and feel a confidence in asking for the help that you deserve.
The Women's Foundation of Colorado
Women are the co- or sole-breadwinners in 45 percent of Colorado households. By maximizing opportunities for all women to have access to education, job training, and career placement that is needed to secure livable wages, achieve pay equity, advance in their careers, or even start their own businesses, we strengthen the economic engines of our communities.
Dedicated to supporting our QTBIPoC|QTPoC|LGBTQ communities. Our Mental Health Providers All of our clinicians are trained professionals. We offer a peer mentor support network. We offer support groups for parents and queer youth, social activities and summer programs.Youth Seen offers trainings, workshops, & presentations to organizations wishing to enhance their services and support for our QTBIPoC/QTPoC/LGBTQI community. We provide short-term case management for youth experiencing a variety of needs from medical & mental health to housing instability. Our staff can provide support, information or referrals for a variety of needs.