From food drives, health fares, rent assistance and book drives, Black-led community service organizations are cornerstones in underserved communities. Throughout time, these organizations have provided Black and brown communities access to resources withheld due to systematic discrimination and oppression.

These groups’ efforts often address social issues, housing infrastructure, healthcare disparities, food insecurities and economic sustainability. The spirit of Black-led community service organizations is deeply rooted in unity and pooling together resources to fill a void.

The sense of morality and pride fostered through community service has a lasting impact on the community and its residents. Black-led community service resonates today through entities and programs serving not only minority communities but the entire country.

The nation’s second Black-owned bank, Mechanics and Farmers Bank, was chartered through the efforts of nine entrepreneurs, who continuously contributed their financial services to their community. The bank became the leading funding source for Black people throughout North Carolina. By 1923, Mechanics and Farmers had loaned over $200,000 to individuals, ensuring the continued Black ownership of over 500 properties.

The modern concept of free breakfast in schools was derived from the food program started by the Black Panther Party. shared a quote from a reporter from the Sun-Reporter stating before the Party’s Free Breakfast for School Children, many of the children had “never eaten breakfast before the Panthers started their program.”

With over 262 chapters nationwide, Jack and Jill of America is one of the largest mentoring programs for Black youth. Philadelphia native Marion Stubbs Thomas and 20 other mothers launched the organization in 1938 to provide cultural, social and educational opportunities for youth in the area. 

The value of Black-led community service has always been tied to enhancing the well-being of Black and brown individuals and their communities. These organizations help residents create pathways to success through education, financial literacy and personal development. Just as they did in the past, several Black-led organizations are continuing the work to create a more inclusive environment for people of color.

Check out the organizations below and learn how to get involved or support.

The Audre Lorde Project


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Audre Lorde Project (@audrelordeproject) • Instagram photos and videos

City Startup Labs


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City Startup Labs (@citystartuplabs) • Instagram photos and videos

The Loveland Foundation


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The Loveland Foundation (@thelovelandfoundation) • Instagram photos and videos

The Okra Project


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The Okra Project (@theokraproject) • Instagram photos and videos

Block Love Charlotte


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Block Love Charlotte (@blockloveclt) • Instagram photos and videos

ACCE Institute


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ACCE Action (@acce_action) • Instagram photos and videos

Richmond County Bail Fund


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Richmond Community Bail Fund (@rvabailfund) • Instagram photos and videos

Sankofa Community Development Corporation


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Sankofa Community Development Corporation (@sankofanola504) • Instagram photos and videos

Virginia Community Voice


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Virginia Community Voice (@vacommunityvoice) • Instagram photos and videos

Fresh Future Farm


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Fresh Future Farm (@freshfuturefarm) • Instagram photos and videos