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Black Wildflowers Fund Celebrates Inaugural Grants Awarding more than $500,000 to Black Educators and School Founders

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 7, 2023) — Black Wildflowers Fund awarded more than $500,000 to five Black-led schools and 18 individual Black educators through its School Start-up and Montessori Credential grant programs.

Grant recipients are located in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. Black Wildflowers Fund aims to put a national spotlight on the impact of Black educators and marks this moment as the beginning of a movement to support the vision and leadership of Black educators across the country. Black educators are closely linked to the success of Black children, and the Montessori method has been shown to improve life outcomes for all children.

"Our grantees are the greatest and dearest tool we have in dismantling systems of oppression,” explained Dr. Erika McDowell, Co-CEO of Black Wildflowers Fund. The fund is committed to advancing equitable education opportunities through all three of its grant programs. The School Start-up Grant for Black-led microschools aims to bolster the growth and establishment of identity-affirming learning environments. The Montessori Credential Grant is dedicated to removing systemic barriers to educational advancement and increasing the number of Black educators in the pipeline. The Ignite Grant program, scheduled to launch in early 2024, will provide Black school founders with “just-in-time” funding to accomplish projects and initiatives.

The completion of this inaugural round of grants signifies a meaningful milestone in the organization's mission to support Black educators in the United States. As Black Wildflowers Fund continues to work toward equity and investment in Black educators, it invites the broader community to join hands in fostering a brighter and more inclusive future for all learners. The fund is supported by Citybridge Education, Education Forward DC, Imaginable Futures, Wend Collective, Yield Giving by MacKenzie Scott, and individual donors.

Maia Blankenship, Co-CEO of Black Wildflowers Fund added, "Black educators have always been at the forefront of innovation and learning for communities. The fund will put a spotlight on the work and the educational leaders who are essential to this movement, in hopes to inspire more Black educators to invest in their leadership and what is possible for the communities they serve."

About Black Wildflowers Fund: Black Wildflowers Fund is a non-profit organization focused on creating a more equitable future for Black educators, children, and families in the American education system. Their goal is to raise $10,000,000 within the next three years to support direct investments in Black educators nationwide. The organization is led by co-CEOs Dr. Erika McDowell and Maia Blankenship and is a sister organization of The Wildflower Foundation.

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