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When you’re barefootin’, you don’t have to have a plan worked out in advance. Barefootin’ means being open to the possibilities and being available to act when one possibility comes along. It means starting right where you are and learning as you go. Barefootin’ means believing in yourself and having faith.” 

–Unita Blackwell, Civil Rights activist and the first Black woman elected mayor in Mississippi

Named for Civil Rights activist Unita Blackwell, the Barefootin’ Leadership Consortium is the philanthropic arm of The Lighthouse that awards groups and individuals who are developing,or have recently developed, organizations or programs working toward the liberation of Black, Indigenous, women and girls, and gender-expansive persons of color.


In addition to receiving as much as $10,000 in mutual aid, grantees will be inducted into a cohort of nonprofits with access to a shared Lighthouse | Black Girl Projects central hub of resources , including professional and personal development for organization leaders, assistance in finding and obtaining additional aid, and access to a network of like-minded individuals.

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When awarding grants, we give preference to initiatives that are:

Run by Black women, women of color, or people of color who identify as gender-expansive. 

Located in the Southeastern U.S.

Just beginning, or still “barefootin’,” along their journey.

We are currently not accepting grant applications.

Our Grants

The ML Gordon Organizing Grant

Named after 20th century Black nationalist activist and southern organizer Mittie Maude Lena Gordon. This grant  provides  up to $10,000 for programs with a demonstrated commitment to organizing and civic engagement toward Black girls’ resistance, resilience, and liberation. Both registered non-profits and more informally-organized programs may apply. Funds must be used to support program delivery, and may not be applied to capital expenses or development campaigns. 

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