Black Resilience in Colorado (BRIC) Fund empowers Black led & Black serving organizations such as QueenShipp
Since 2020, the Black Resilience in Colorado or BRIC Fund of the Denver Foundation has granted more than $2 million to Black-led and Black-serving organizations.
This week, grantee QueenShipp held a homecoming celebration for the young graduates of its "Empowered Youth Summer Camp."
"Today is just a celebration of everything that they have learned," said QueenShipp Founder and CEO Tanaka Shipp.
The celebration included visitors from the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club Mile High chapter and step dancing by members of the Divine Nine Black Sororities and Fraternities.
Rising 7th grader Te'vyon Ramirez Gordon said the camp has boosted his confidence, "I've learned to use my voice. I should use my voice rather than violence. Because your voice will definitely get you farther."
Camp participants, known as Queenship Kings and Queens, were guided by young Black men serving as mentors. Shipp was intentional in this hiring. She sought dispel stereotypes.
Kaden Jones, a rising high school senior in Denver said, "The kids kind of changed knowing that we were someone they could actually talk to and we could help them or at least try to help them."
"I love the acronym BRIC. Black Resilience in Colorado. How powerful is that," Shipp said. "This program BRIC has poured into so many community organizations like QueenShipp where they see the work that we're doing pouring into young people."
BRIC Fund advisor Javon Brame said the fund was founded during the pandemic and unrest of 2020 to address racial inequities in the state.
Brame added, "We really arose to help small Black-led and Black serving nonprofit organizations. And QueenShipp embodies the best of that work that's happening in our community."
Providing a safe place to grow and have fun this summer. Over the past eight weeks, QueenShipp has provided so much more said Shipp.
"They learn to be very very proud in that Black skin that they're in. They have learned a lot of their history as it relates to even the song that they're going to perform today. Lift Every Voice and Sing. The Black national anthem."
Volunteer Angel McKinley Paige concluded, "Community philanthropy organizations are so needed. They are changing the narrative of what it means to be Black and to reinvest in your own community."
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