Community organizers launches fund to provide stipends for Black Nova Scotians

Worldwide demonstrations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have encouraged Haligonians to get involved, with their wallets. David Gogan

As a response to COVID-19 hitting the province, four community leaders started the Black Lives Matter Solidarity Fund NS to support Black Nova Scotians, in March.

The fund provides community members with a one-time $100 stipend.

Lynn Jones, Twila Grosse, El Jones, and Rachel Zellars, created the initiative to support individuals impacted by the pandemic with costs like food, childcare and rent.

READ MORE: Canada’s lack of race-based COVID-19 data hurting Black Canadians: experts

It is also meant to support “artists, freelancers, and gig economy workers, seniors and the elderly, persons with disabilities and for those already facing daily challenges of capitalism and precarious housing,” according to the fund page.

The initiative includes an application for Black community members to fill out and receive their stipend electronically.

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The organizers started with a $10,000 goal. But now, over $220,000 has been raised.

Over half of the amount was raised in June, following the several Black Lives Matter rallies organized in Halifax.

Click to play video 'Halifax activists respond to U.S. anti-racism protests' Halifax activists respond to U.S. anti-racism protests
Halifax activists respond to U.S. anti-racism protests – Jun 1, 2020

“In the last week, the world has shifted beneath our feet forever. We have been grateful for your outpouring of support,” organizers said on the GoFundMe page.

Due to a sudden increase in donations, the organizers now offer the option to choose whether a donation goes to the grants or to larger community projects for Black people in Nova Scotia.

For accountability, the organizers also post periodic financial updates on the page.

More to come…