What You Need to Know: Arthur Blank

Blank Foundation donates $470K to groups fighting systemic racism

Continuing its commitment to fighting racial injustice and supporting the democratic process, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation announced that it was making an additional $470,000 in grants to several organizations Thursday. 

The organizations are focused on creating systemic change and ending the disenfranchisement of blacks, indigenous people, and all people of color, according to the foundation.

“Ending systemic racism in our communities, our country and our world is long overdue,” said  Arthur Blank, chairman of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and Blank Family of Businesses in a statement. “The recent and tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George FloydBreonna TaylorRayshard Brooks, and far too many other Black men, women and children, make it clear that we all must thoughtfully listen and respond with meaningful and sustainable actions. The grants we are announcing today are part of an ongoing commitment for racial justice by me, my family, our Foundation and our businesses. We will amplify the voices of these grantees and other enduring partners like the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Equal Justice Initiative and New Georgia Project. Together, we will work to find common ground for all citizens to enable lasting and positive change.”

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is making the following grants in Georgia:

  • Southern Center for Human Rights. $150,000 will support a dual focus on stopping the spread of COVID-19 in correctional facilities and helping youth transform systems causing harm in the cities of Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Brunswick and Savannah.
  • NAACP Georgia. $100,000 will support policy work needed for police reform.
  • Color of Change. $50,000 will support the #JusticeforAhmaud campaign.
  • Movement for Black Lives. $50,000 will provide financial, communications, organizing, and direct service support to Black organizations unifying for real change in response to George Floyd’s death.
  • Blue Institute. $25,000 will train young people of color to lead campaigns that reflect constituencies critical for winning new voting blocs.
  • Out of Hand Theater. $20,000 will support the July 2020 launch of the Equity Design & Innovation Institute created by Out of Hand Theater to pilot a program to train individuals to become Equity Ambassadors by providing them with the skills to disrupt and change inequitable systemic policies and cycles of discrimination, inequality, and inequity.

The Foundation is making the following grant in Montana:

  • Montana Racial Equity Project. $75,000 will increase racial equity through workshops and to expand police reform work throughout the state. This work builds on the Blank Family Foundation and the Blank Family of Businesses efforts to combat hatred and discrimination by partnering with the Equal Justice Initiative and engaging in educational programming that explores the legacy of slavery, racial terrorism, segregation and contemporary issues of mass incarceration, excessive punishment and police violence.

The foundation said it recognized that money alone will not solve “centuries of systemic racism” and that the financial investments represent an initial commitment to long-term, meaningful efforts to achieve a more equitable and just society.

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