Honoring Black Mothers

With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, we have been reflecting on the enormous strength, resiliency, creativity, love, and deep determination of Black mothers and birthing people in the face of countless systemic challenges. How can we collectively shape a society that centers, cares for, and protects Black mothers? This is the central question that our Founder and CEO Bilen Mesfin Packwood poses in a new piece for Better with Bilen, a new substack that focuses on individual growth and collective action. For answers, she points us to groups and efforts led by Black women doing transformative work in various ways.

Essential to improving material conditions for Black mothers and birthing people is ending mass incarceration’s harm on Black families and communities. This month, Essie Justice Group celebrated the 9th anniversary of their necessary and urgent work to build the leadership and break the isolation of women with incarcerated loved ones. They also led the 6th annual Black Mama’s Bail Out, part of the National Bail Out Campaign. Yesterday, Essie convened dozens of Bay Area leaders, community organizations, and advocates at the Alameda Courthouse in Oakland to call attention to the harm of mass incarceration on generations of women, families, and communities. This year, two Black mothers and caregivers will be bailed out so they can spend Mother’s Day with their children and families.

We encourage you to learn more about organizations like Essie Justice Group fighting for the safety and liberation of Black mothers and birthing people, and how you can support them in honor of Mother’s Day, and beyond.

Change Learning Hub

The Change Consulting team shares tips, tricks, wisdom, and lessons learned from working with changemakers to advance racial justice.

Mariah Cochran, a Senior Communications Manager on our strategy team who leads our work developing messaging for our partners, explains how creating a message platform, and using those messages as building blocks to develop all kinds of content, can make your work even more effective and memorable: “The more you infuse the same core messages into your communications, the ‘stickier’ they will become and the more people will associate these ideas with your work.” More at the Change Consulting blog at change-llc.com/why-organizations-need-messaging.

Client News

Congratulations to The Christensen Fund on the launch of their new website! Over the last year, the Christensen Fund team reflected on how to better communicate who they are, share more information about their partners’ groundbreaking work around the globe, and offer learnings from their work supporting Indigenous Peoples. The resulting site beautifully amplifies the work of Indigenous leaders and communities around the world. We encourage you to take a moment to explore the new site: www.christensenfund.org.


This week, California Black Freedom Fund, Black Equity Collective, California Black Power Network, and LIVE FREE California organized a community day of action as part of their Summer of Action. These leaders convened in Sacramento to uplift policy issues most impacting Black people including the California Black Freedom Fund state budget request. The coalition is calling for $100 million from the state budget over three years to create an endowment that supports Black organizing. According to Marc Philpart, Executive Director of the California Black Freedom Fund, “these resources will expand the important work the Black Freedom Fund has established, funding grassroots organizations throughout the state, ensuring they have the infrastructure they need to succeed.” More at Yahoo! News and the Sacramento Bee.

We are excited to announce that Unwavering: The Power of Black Innovation  is live! After the summer of 2020, Black-led organizations saw record levels of corporate pledges and charitable donations as the world reacted to heightened calls for racial justice. But as funding patterns have shown, interest in their work is already trending downward. Unwavering is a rare snapshot of the hard truths Black founders face in building stable social enterprises and features leading voices including Dr. Cory Greene, architect and activist Deanna Van Buren, Damon Packwood, Founder and Executive Director of Gameheads, and award-winning social entrepreneur and nonprofit leader Dr. Cheryl Dorsey. Watch the film today at echoinggreen.org/unwavering.

Coming Up

The East Bay Community Law Center will host a Juneteenth Block Party and Open House on Thursday, June 15, 2023, from 11:00am-4:00pm. In partnership with Berkeley Juneteenth Festival’s JUNETEENTH WEEK, EBCLC will provide free in person legal services and community workshops. More information at the EBCLC website.

Justice for Banko Brown

Our hearts are broken by what happened to Banko Brown and the lack of accountability of the District Attorney’s office, Walgreens, and the City of San Francisco itself. We honor Banko, his family and chosen family, and his community, by sharing his story and declaring that Banko’s Black Trans Life Mattered.