What will it take to create solutions that address racism in America?

Ten Black newspapers, with a long history of collaborating together, have joined forces with Local Media Foundation to launch the Fund for Black Journalism – Race Crisis in America campaign.

The fund is designed to support coverage and develop solutions for issues surrounding police brutality and disparities in education, health, employment and income.

It’s a nationwide collaborative, focused on solutions journalism, that requires funding from the philanthropic and business communities.

Participating media organizations include New York Amsterdam News, The Atlanta Voice, Houston Defender Network, The Washington Informer, The Dallas Weekly, St. Louis American, Michigan Chronicle, The Afro, Seattle Medium, and The Sacramento Observer.

Eventually, the group will grow to 50 or more and will include broadcasters and digital publishers. The work from the collaborative will be shared broadly with the industry at large.

With a goal of $25 million, the funds will be used in two ways:

• Shared resources for the 50 Black-owned publishers including a central project team focused on video, data and investigative reporting.
• Stipends that each media organization can use to enhance its coverage of these issues, by expanding the size or scope of their newsrooms.

Local Media Foundation is managing the project and serving as the fiscal sponsor of the fund.

Sonny Messiah Jiles, CEO of the Houston Defender Network, said, “For us, about us, and by us, the Black Press has been a trusted source serving as the advocate and historian of the advances and challenges the Black community has confronted: slavery, Harlem Renaissance, lynchings, civil rights movement, health disparities, education inequities, environmental racism, criminal injustice, police killings and more. Because we have shared these experiences, the Fund for Black Journalism will provide resources to expand solutions journalism and our mission to improve the quality of life for all.”

“The Black Press was the nation’s first Black business, starting in 1827 — 38 years before the end of slavery,” said Larry Lee, publisher, The Sacramento Observer. “It is one of the most important institutions that exists in the Black community. For nearly 200 years, we have not only chronicled our experiences but we have also inspired greatness within our communities. This moment requires greatness from our publications as the disparities and injustices are a matter of life and death. Black lives have always mattered to us. Our publications matter to Blacks. We hope that matters to you too. Please support this fund.”

Donate online now. Or if you prefer to donate by check or bank transfer, contact Local Media Foundation at flj@localmedia.org to discuss options.