From media to corporate outreach, there are plenty of statements being put out there today — some sincere and some seemingly more about posturing than progress — in support of Black entrepreneurship and innovation. But real advocacy is about action, and it appears Atlanta “neighborhood work club” Switchyards is offering a full year of membership to 100 nonprofit organizations led by African-Americans.
“We built Switchyards for everyone,” the announcement says. “As we’ve witnessed violence against Black people at the hands of police, examined our own complicity in the structures and systems that perpetuate racial injustice, and because we believe that Black lives matter, we’ve wondered what exactly we can do to help. We have to pursue justice for our Black neighbors right now while also ensuring that the necessary conversations on racial equality move forward in our city and beyond.”
Former Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed took note and offered his support on Twitter.
Proud but not surprised by this launch. @switchyards is a very special creative space. I am pleased more people will be able to share it. Strong work @tavani. 💪🏾 https://t.co/7qokYDF9Z3
— Kasim Reed (@KasimReed) July 7, 2020
Interested nonprofits can submit through a very quick online application process. Just fill out your name, email address, the name of your nonprofit, and brief details of what your organization is working on. Then provide a URL to where your organization can be found on the web, and describe how you intend to use the Switchyard space to accomplish your goals.
With all of this heavy on our hearts, we’ve decided to invest in those people who are working day-in and day-out on these most challenging social inequities.
Helping Black-led nonprofits in Atlanta is just the beginning, the statement says. “Our city has a long history of deep impact created by these organizations, and we are called to do our own small part to support this essential work.” Switchyards also acknowledges that the work of nonprofits is “tough and sometimes thankless.”
“It’s our belief that people do their best work when they have a place to focus, get inspired, and be around others. And our spaces at Switchyards provide just that.”
Atlanta has no shortage of Black-led nonprofits. From the Georgia Black United Fund to the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the city has a deep and rich history of volunteerism and community action. Thrillist Atlanta recently published a story on organizations worth supporting, and there are more and more organizations launching in this moment where important work still needs to be done to bolster the causes of social justice, racial equality and economic mobility.
You can find and fill out the form here. Be sure to share this story if someone you know can benefit from this initiative!