In honor of Black History Month, read on for five Black-led, Arizona-based charitable organizations to support this month and beyond (including exciting events to put on your calendar).
With a mission to “close opportunity gaps within the Black community by building alliances and promoting education in the creation of sustainable solutions,” BASE Arizona was founded in Phoenix in June 2020. The organization aids in building a connection between community and culture; providing Black business support; offering youth development opportunities; and much more via its lineup of programs. BASE Worx is a Black business incubator, offering new entrepreneurs basic business principles needed to run a successful company, while AFRO Skoutz was created for children of African descent, inspiring development, leadership and socialization. On Feb. 24, check out BASE Food Truck Friday in Chandler, starting at 6:30 p.m. The free, family-friendly event is a Black History Month celebration featuring music and eats from Black-owned food trucks and vendors.
Contribute: To find out about volunteer opportunities or to donate, visit www.basearizona.org.
Black Mothers Forums
Founded in 2016 by Janelle Wood, Phoenix’s Black Mothers Forums’ focus is on the safety and welfare of Black children. Its core team of parent advocates sets out to dismantle the systems that negatively impact the Black community, aiming to improve the mental health of children and families, stopping violence and police brutality, and breaking down barriers to academic excellence. With education as one of its pillars, Black Mothers Forum Microschools are currently accepting enrollment for any student, kindergarten through 8th grade, at the Tempe and South Phoenix locations. Microschools are student-driven and family-focused with small class sizes of five to 10.
Contribute: To learn more or to donate, visit blackmothersforums.com.
Arizona Coalition for Change
Arizona Coalition for Change is a Black-led organization based in Phoenix with a mission to empower locals to transform their community via “civic power, leadership development and community collaboration.” The organization sets out to put people first, developing and uplifting their voices and ensuring that everyone has fair access to partake in democratic processes. Through programs like the Young Black Organizer Project and the Youth Democracy Initiative, Arizona Coalition for Change empowers the next generation of leadership.
Contribute: To find out about volunteer opportunities or to donate, visit www.azc4c.org.
100 Black Men of Phoenix
Since it was founded in 1994, 100 Black Men of Phoenix has acted as a mainstay of leadership in the Valley and beyond. The organization provides programs to enhance educational and economic opportunities for all people of color, impacting more than 100 youth per month. Its blueprint for mentoring spotlights four programmatic pillars: Education, Health & Wellness, Economic Empowerment and Leadership Development. In April, 100 Black Men hosts the return of its annual jazz fundraiser, taking place April 29 at Desert Botanical Garden.
Contribute: To find out about volunteer opportunities or to donate, visit 100blackmenofphoenix.com.
Arizona Center for African American Resources (AZCAAR)
Arizona Center for African American Resources’ mission to improve the quality of life of African Americans in the state. Since it was founded in 2007, AZCAAR has been a resource for those serving the African American community with a focus on eight areas: Civic Engagement, Communications, Criminal Justice, Economics, Education, Health & Well-being, Leadership and Racial Equity. Among its many accomplishments, AZCAAR’s flagship program, AzCAAC (Arizona Center for African American Children), was formed “to focus on the needs of African American children in Arizona in the areas of child welfare, education, health care and juvenile justice.”
Contribute: To learn more or to donate, visit azcaar.org/donate.