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  • Writer's pictureAlli Myatt

Day 6 of #29LoveLettersToBlackWomen: Amber Hamilton

Amber Hamilton knows that money plays a huge role in liberation and justice. Wealth disparity and inequitable access to financial resources are a HUGE barrier to equity. And Amber is doing something to address the money game. At Memphis Music Initiative, Amber and her team invest in youth development through music engagement. Part of their work includes capacity building and investing in nonprofits by providing operational funding. Now if you work in the nonprofit sector, you can understand how HUGE this focus is. This funder is actually helping nonprofits pay for the things most funders refused to pay for.

And y'all, maybe these funders don't realize this, but the electric company needs money to keep lights on. The rent has to be paid. Salaries aren't funded by magical money giving elves. As my father liked to FREQUENTLY tell me, money doesn't grow on trees. SOMEBODY has got to fund operations. It's wild to me that funders with really fancy offices, and good salaries, and mountains of money force nonprofits to operate in ways that extract financially from employees and lead to burnout. And when you think about the fact that the origins of much of this money comes from extractive and exploitative business practices that actually cause the inequities nonprofits are trying to address, you can see how completely out of pocket some of this funder behavior truly is. And I really appreciate the work Amber is doing to change how funders think about supporting the nonprofit sector.

My favorite part of how they get this message out to their fellow funders is through humorous musical skits (You've got to check out MMI's YouTube channel - there are so many gems.) Amber uses her musical skills and humor to speak truth to power and I am here for it!

This #BlackHistoryMonth, I'm celebrating 29 Black women who have influenced me through the ways they pursue their own liberation. Black women's work is often unrecognized and not cited, and this month I'm determined to pass out a few flowers to Black women. #Day6 #29LoveLettersToBlackWomen #GiveBlackWomenTheirFlowers

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