Protests against white supremacy and police brutality erupted throughout the country at the end of May, spurred by the police killing of George Floyd. In Philadelphia, actions took place nearly every day for the past two months. These protests focused on specific issues ranging from prison abolition to violence against Black trans women, but were all united in their fight to protect Black lives. Now, the Paul Robeson House in West Philadelphia has received a grant to document the many parts of this uprising.
The grant comes from the Independence Public Media Foundation’s Community Voices Fund. This fund supports projects that elevate community voices in the Greater Philadelphia area during the COVID-19 pandemic. IMPF prioritized funding projects which amplify the stories of vulnerable people, preserve community memory, provide compensation to community members, and address systemic inequality. Preference was also given to organizations led by people of color and with operating budgets under $1 million.
The Paul Robeson House received $33,500 to support its efforts to document the 2020 uprising. The project will consist of a time capsule book and a website of essays, photographs, and artwork preserving the community’s memories of the events of May and June 2020. The project will also focus on “intergenerational reflections of Black Philadelphians with an intersectional emphasis and attunement to the ongoing labor of ‘how we get free’.”
The Paul Robeson House was one of twenty awardees in this cohort of grants. Other organizations which received funding include First Person Arts, Jazz Philadelphia, and New Jersey Local News Lab Fund, among others. A full list of recipients can be seen here.