Non-profit

Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD)

Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD) is a sub-organization and project of the left-wing Highlander Research and Education Center. BOLD was founded in 2010 to train left-wing activists for leadership roles in activist groups. These training courses take place online and at the Highlander Center’s retreat in Tennessee. [1]

BOLD and its leadership, including president and executive director Denise Perry, are associates of the left-wing Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. This relationship is extensive, with Perry participating in early BLM demonstrations. [2] BOLD’s vice president is Danielle Mahones, a California-based labor organizer and left-wing activist who previously worked with the Center for Third World Organizing, a left-wing activist organization which helped found BOLD. [3]

BOLD receives funding through the Highlander Center. Funding sources include the left-of-center Borealis Philanthropy, which offers logistics and support to other left-of-center and left-wing organizations, and from Gilead Pharmaceuticals, which in 2020 included BOLD on a list of BLM-affiliated organizations to which it intended to donate a combined $10 million. [4] [5]

Activity

BOLD was founded in 2010 following a research report published by activists at Social Justice Leadership and the Center for Third World Organizing recommended the creation of a school to train future left-wing activists. [6]

Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD) is a Tennessee-based political advocacy organization strongly associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. [7] BOLD is fiscally sponsored by the Highlander Center, a left-of-center activist training organization founded in 1932. [8]

BOLD training is broken into multiple different courses all set into a left-wing activist framework. Among their top-level course is the “Maroon Mastery” course, named after escaped slaves, in which participants are taught to lead organizations that are “capable of winning liberation” for black communities in America. [9]

Leadership

Denise Perry works as the President and Executive Director of BOLD. [10] Perry has worked as a professional activist for 25 years. In 1996 she founded Power U, a Miami-based organization which worked to promote left-wing thinking in the Miami-Dade County school system. [11] While director of BOLD, Perry worked closely with the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement as early as 2014. Together they participated in and led rallies following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. [12]

Danielle Mahones is a left-wing organizer based out of the UC Berkeley Labor Center. [13] She works as BOLD’s vice president. [14] She is a former executive at the Center for the left-wing Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO). While at CWTO, Mahones worked on the founding document for BOLD. [15]

Financial Organization

Donations directed to BOLD’s activities are channeled through the Highlander Center, BOLD’s sponsor organization; this masks BOLD’s expenditures, as they are reported as a portion of the Highlander Center’s. Nevertheless, details of BOLD’s donors became more visible in 2020 and 2021, as multiple private organizations and corporations pledged to support Black Lives Matter and BLM-aligned organizations, such as BOLD. [16] [17] In addition, some private donors have earmarked donations to the Highlander Center specifically for use by BOLD.

In 2019 the Highlander Center received $45,000 from Borealis Philanthropy, a left-wing organization that provides logistical and organizational support to other left-wing groups, including BLM, which has been a Borealis Philanthropy partner since 2016. [18] [19] Following the BLM protests in 2020 Gilead Pharmaceuticals pledged to donate $10 Million to a bundle of 20 left-of-center and left-wing activist organizations, including BOLD. [20] In June of 2021 mega-donor and Amazon shareholder Mackenzie Scott announced she would be donating to BOLD along with other left-of-center activist organizations. [21]

References

  1. “BOLD 2021 COURSES.” BOLD. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://boldorganizing.org/bold-2020-courses/. ^
  2. Carpentier, Megan. “’Things Will Never Be the Same’: the Oral History of a New Civil Rights Movement.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, August 9, 2015. ^
  3. “Danielle Mahones.” UC Berkeley Labor Center. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/people/danielle-mahones/. ^
  4. IRS Form 990, Borealis Philanthropy, 2019 ^
  5. “Gilead Announces Racial Equity Community Impact Fund to Support Black Communities Across United States.” Gilead Pharmaceuticals. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://www.gilead.com/news-and-press/press-room/press-releases/2020/12/gilead-announces-racial-equity-community-impact-fund-to-support-black-communities-across-united-states. ^
  6. “Our History Timeline.” BOLD. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://boldorganizing.org/history-timeline/. ^
  7. Carpentier, Megan. “’Things Will Never Be the Same’: the Oral History of a New Civil Rights Movement.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, August 9, 2015. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/09/oral-history-civil-rights-movement-ferguson. ^
  8. “Our History.” Highlander Research and Education Center. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://highlandercenter.org/our-history-timeline/. ^
  9. “BOLD 2021 COURSES.” BOLD. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://boldorganizing.org/bold-2020-courses/. ^
  10. “Staff.” BOLD. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://boldorganizing.org/staff/. ^
  11. “About.” poweru.org. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://www.poweru.org/about/. ^
  12. Carpentier, Megan. “’Things Will Never Be the Same’: the Oral History of a New Civil Rights Movement.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, August 9, 2015. ^
  13. “Danielle Mahones.” UC Berkeley Labor Center. Accessed July 1, 2021.  https://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/people/danielle-mahones/. ^
  14. “Danielle Mahones.” UC Berkeley Labor Center. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/people/danielle-mahones/. ^
  15. “Our History Timeline.” BOLD. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://boldorganizing.org/history-timeline/. ^
  16. “Gilead Announces Racial Equity Community Impact Fund to Support Black Communities Across United States.”  Gilead Pharmaceuticals. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://www.gilead.com/news-and-press/press-room/press-releases/2020/12/gilead-announces-racial-equity-community-impact-fund-to-support-black-communities-across-united-states. ^
  17. Hutzler, Alexandra. “MacKenzie Scott Donates $2.7B to Charity; Here’s Which Organizations Were Recipients.” Newsweek, June 15, 2021. https://www.newsweek.com/mackenzie-scott-donates-27b-charity-heres-which-organizations-were-recipients-1600947. ^
  18. ASSOCIATED PRESS. “Black Lives Matter Partners with Charity in a Sign of Growth .” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, September 6, 2016. https://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-black-lives-matter-charity-20160906-snap-story.html. ^
  19. IRS Form 990, Borealis Philanthropy, 2019 ^
  20. “Gilead Announces Racial Equity Community Impact Fund to Support Black Communities Across United States.” Gilead Pharmaceuticals. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://www.gilead.com/news-and-press/press-room/press-releases/2020/12/gilead-announces-racial-equity-community-impact-fund-to-support-black-communities-across-united-states. ^
  21. Hutzler, Alexandra. “MacKenzie Scott Donates $2.7B to Charity; Here’s Which Organizations Were Recipients.” Newsweek, June 15, 2021. https://www.newsweek.com/mackenzie-scott-donates-27b-charity-heres-which-organizations-were-recipients-1600947. ^

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