The purpose of the Black Feminist Fund is to significantly increase the resources available to Black feminist movements, contributing to strengthening their sustainability and resilience. The BFF aims to create an unprecedented funding mechanism connecting Black women donors to grassroots Black feminist movements; and to model for the philanthropic sector, and beyond, the kind of solidarity funding Black women in all our diversities deserve.
The Movement Leadership Council (MLC) was created as the inaugural Board to ground, guide and propel the Black Feminist Fund. The MLC is made up of Black feminists from a diversity of experiences, perspectives and geographies. The MLC will lead the visioning, strategizing, outreach and visibility for the Fund.
Members of the MLC will come together to assess the movement landscape and ecosystem, contribute to the guiding principles that will inform the infrastructure of the BFF, and make defining decisions about the texture, nature and shape of this new, bold and pivotal fund.
As the founder and Executive Director of the Initiative for Strategic Litigation Africa (ISLA), Sibongile has served her community as a public interest lawyer for over twenty years. She focuses on what is important to her; litigating gender and sexuality before the African human rights system, and supporting litigation before national courts.
Sibongile had spent considerable time designing capacity strengthening programmes. Her goal is to develop a pool of African feminist lawyers who can litigate on women’s rights issues. Her savvy networking skills allow her to collaborate with other lawyers who provide quality legal representation to people who face violations because of their sexuality.
Gay brings extensive and varied experience in the field of human rights to her position at the Black Feminist Fund. As the first UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, and a recipient of the prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Award, Gay has spent her career working on issues of race, gender, and economic justice in the global context.
She is an independent expert for the UN Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, and she is currently a Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Leitner Center on International Law. As Special Rapporteur on the issue of systematic rape and sexual slavery practices in armed conflict, she presented a ground-breaking study calling for international legal standards for the prosecution of such acts. She was one of five international members of South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission, which successfully organized and administered that country’s first non-racial elections.
Born and raised in Martinique, Sharlen developed a political awareness of racial and gender-based inequalities from a young age. For over 10 years, she has opposed domestic violence and gender-based discrimination at the Union des femmes de la Martnique (Union of Women of Martinique) and Culture Egalité (Culture Equality). She remains committed to defending the sexual and reproductive rights of all women and girls, and her activism has kept her involved in the fight against police violence within grassroots collectives in France.
Sharlen believes that feminist and political Generation Equality Forum cannot be achieved without the full and complete participation of those women most affected, or without concrete government commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality.
Maie Panaga Babker
Maie has spent her time providing women with an opportunity to express themselves outside the confines of the society in which they live, and enable them to develop an imagination that extends beyond their daily realities. She assists women in exploring how they express (or don’t express) themselves during various stages of their lives and during different political eras.
As a Sudanese woman based in Cairo, Maie is the co-founder and co-editor of the Cairo-based Ikhtyar Feminist Collective. “Ikhtyar” meaning choice in Arabic, aims to promote and educate the community on gender and sexual equality. Since 2014, Maie has been devoted to feminist knowledge production in Arabic, covering areas of: feminism, sexuality, reproductive health and rights, and feminist Internet.
“My dream is Black feminist movements being able to organize, knowing they’re supported in the long term. Because the problems aren’t going away any time soon.”
With a long and broad activist career of 18 years, Mukami has worked at the intersection of organizational development, human rights and social justice, and her career has particularly focused on the resourcing organizing for and by LGBTIQ persons and sex workers.
She is currently the Co-Executive Director of UHAI EASHRI, the East Africa Sexual Health and Rights Initiative, an activist LGBTIQ and sex workers fund. Mukami also serves on the boards of the: Global Philanthropy Project, the East African Philanthropy Network, the African Philanthropy Network Board, and the Sex Worker Donors Collaborative.
Yannia Sofia Garzon Valencia
As a Black Woman and community weaver, Yannia has worked for nine years in Columbia with the Process of Black Communities. Between 2013 and 2017, she invested her time into coordinating and facilitating several youth and women’s training spaces. The mobilization of black women for the care of life and ancestral territories remains among her largest schools of political training
Yannia has been a part of the methodological and negotiation teams of the Black movement and the popular movement, and she is also a workshop leader and lecturer in numerous local, national and international spaces. She has centered her interests in the organizational processes of Black women who propose and conduct anti-racist and political realities and practices centered on the care of life.
Kym is a Writer, Speaker, Expert Lecturer, Sex & Dating aficionado, Peer-reviewed Vegan Food Critic, Consultant, and Professional Cackler, with an international and diverse list of credits within Academic, Corporate and Media spaces. Including the University of Oxford, NASA, Estee Lauder Companies, UNFPA, BBC and AJ+. Kym is also the ‘Official Goddess’ for The Triple Cripples – a platform dedicated to highlighting the narratives and increasing the visibility of Black Women & Non-Binary People, living with Disability.
A queer, Black, Montserratian & Ghanaian, 6’1″, thinker, Kym uses the pronouns They/Them as a rejection of white supremacist binaries and to honour the ancestors of all expressions, who live vibrantly within Kym’s DNA and are celebrated through Kym’s existence. With a mission to create the research necessary to serve and protect all Black Women and children on the globe, Kym is determined to be the change they wish to see. They are dedicated to illuminating their ‘lived experience’ with a multivariate long-term condition; examining its psychological, emotional, practical, social, cultural, spiritual, structural and interpersonal effects, in order to create a blueprint for a more equitable future for our planet.
A multifaceted creative, deep lover of Anime and Nollywood villain hopeful – Kym spends umpteen hours staring at a screen talking to an invisible, future audience. Ironically, they happen to be a qualified Personal Trainer & Integrative Health Coach, who spends most of their days lying in bed, feeling poorly and promising themselves that “tomorrow ” will be the day that they “eat better & go to the gym”…