Before the onslaught of COVID-19, approximately 1.6% of philanthropic giving in the United States was designated for programs aimed at helping women and girls.
Now with COVID-19 ravaging families and communities that have historically been exploited, it is clear who is at higher risk for suffering the effects of the pandemic.
Those who exist at intersections of race, gender and other identities face the brunt of the devastation from the virus just like they did the brunt of society’s devastation before COVID-19.
It is imperative that we ensure support both through formal and informal giving to women of color living at the intersections.
If you have $5 to spare or possibly the capacity to donate all or some of the $1,200 stimulus check, here are some women of color organizations in Dallas and beyond that could use support. Consider this a guide on how to give hyper-locally, to women of color in your community.
Young Women of Color
Young women of color are largely left out of the COVID-19 response. Yet they are positioned to suffer long term consequences with halted abortion access in Texas, limited access to stimulus checks, and essential job careers that put them and their families at greater risk. Both Abide Women’s Health Services and Afiya Center, black-women led reproductive justice organizations, are providing practical support to young women of color in historically disinvested communities.
Undocumented Women and their Families
Undocumented women and their families do not qualify for stimulus checks. Despite millions of undocumented workers holding essential jobs, paying their taxes, and even those with U.S. born children, many are not receiving relief. In Texas, the Workers Defense Project – Proyecto Defensa Laboral has set up an emergency fund for families in Dallas, Austin and Houston.
Imprisoned Mothers and their Daughters
Being incarcerated could be a death sentence with COVID-19 spreading up to 77% faster in jails than it does in the public. About 80% of women jailed are mothers and 64% of women jailed are disproportionately women of color. Faith in Texas is one organization taking charge to ensure the safety of all of our incarcerated; support their efforts here. To support families, Girls Embracing Mothers has adapted their program for daughters of incarcerated mothers to help ensure they stay in contact in lieu of cancelled in-person visits; support their efforts here.
Trans Women of Color
Trans women of color before COVID-19 were already facing an epidemic of violence, unemployment rate 4 times the rate of the general population, and lack of access to affirming, quality healthcare. COVID-19 will only amplify these disparities. The Trans community of color in Dallas is beautiful and resilient thanks to several organizations including, but not limited to, the House of Rebirth and Abounding Prosperity.
Immigrant and Refugee Survivors of Family & Domestic Violence
Due to COVID-19 distancing measures, many shelters are at capacity and not accepting new clients. However, increased isolation and economic strain from the virus are sure to spur more abuse. Now shelters are in need of additional funds to provide hotel vouchers to new clients. Consider supporting Mosaic Family Services, a community based organization (CBO) that provides assistance in many languages and with cultural sensitivity.
While this is not a comprehensive list, it can serve as a short guide for those in Dallas, Texas, or elsewhere, on women of color organizations to support. These organizations serve as immediate and long-term safety nets, and if they are unable to operate and serve women during crisis, entire communities will suffer.
The final effects and outcomes from this ongoing global pandemic are unknown. The long-term effects are yet to come. But the best of efforts can happen now.
Roselle Tenorio is the Grants & Programs Coordinator for the Texas Women’s Foundation and a Dallas Public Voices Fellow through The OpEd Project.