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Southern Black Farmers Community-Led Fund (SBFCLF)

The Southern Black Farmers Community-Led Fund (SBFCLF), a Community Advised Fund housed at RSF Social Finance, invests in the realization of self-determining and healthy Southern rural Black communities through their control of land, local and regional food systems, water, energy, cultural narratives, and legacy extension.


During the Covid pandemic and the (inter)national outrage at the police murder of George Floyd, our founding donor was spurred to rethink their philanthropic practice in order to more deeply invest in the redress of systemic racism. They sought to upend the power imbalance inherent in philanthropy by relinquishing control over grant allocation decisions to directly impacted people. With a history of funding in the food and farm space, they turned to experienced social justice funders, one of whom has a twenty year background funding farmer-led organizations, to conceive of and guide the fund’s development.

The design of the fund was grounded in the assertion that the food economy, anchored by Black Farmers, would serve as a powerful site for community wealth building and well-being. It was also decided that funding would be geographically focused in order to maximize impact. Recognizing that Southern Black communities have historically received a disproportionately small fraction of philanthropic resources, Mississippi and Alabama were proposed as the initial region. This area of the U.S., in which under-investment is the historical norm, was recognized for its rich resources that could be leveraged for impact, including and most importantly a long history of self-help organizing, cooperative development and social justice movement building.

SBFCLF emerged as a conduit for putting financial resources into the hands of leaders dedicated to catalyzing the region’s rich Black agrarian heritage and culture. Six organizations were invited and agreed to participate in the collaborative governance of the fund. The initial kick-off meeting was held in December of 2020. In 2021 the Fund Advisory Committee established a process and strategy (link) and began making grants (link).

"Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create even more fair, more just society." -John Lewis

Interested to work with us?

The fund now welcomes funding from a broad array of donors to continue to support rural Black community self determination throughout the Black Belt region. To learn more about how to donate click below. 


Dr. Jasmine Jackson

Co-Executive Director
National Black Food & Justice

Terence Courtney

Fund Co-Chair

Kolu Zigbi

WKZ Consulting LLC., Founder/Principal
Fund Coordinator