The holidays are the season for giving—a time when many people open their hearts and wallets to support charitable organizations. In that spirit, the Internet Archive’s Development Department collaborated with a generous donor this year to invest both in the people at the archive and in local communities led by black entrepreneurs.
The anonymous donor gave a $150,000 gift to the Internet Archive, choosing to pay a portion of it forward to IA employees. Why? Because he has witnessed firsthand how hard nonprofit employees work, and understands the critical role staff play in providing a better ecosystem to thrive in. As an entrepreneurial leader and philanthropist who has worked for the largest tech companies and launched a variety of startups, this donor feels passionately about giving back to the community and volunteers some of his time to inspire future entrepreneurs and students to reach their dreams.
Each employee at the Internet Archive will be given a $100 gift certificate to use at one small business or nonprofit to complete the “pay it forward” wish of our anonymous donor. Every business on the list below is Black-owned and operated, and the nonprofits pursue a variety of social justice missions. By supporting both small entrepreneurs and well-respected charities, we’re giving back to our communities and expressing solidarity with groups that focus on diversity and minority equity. Our focus is on making a difference for those who keep economies and communities healthy and whole.
We encourage both our employees and supporters everywhere to please give your patronage and pay it forward in your community—because paying it forward isn’t about the size of the gift, but about the act of kindness. And we could all use a little more kindness this year.
Pay it forward: To repay a kindness received with a good deed to someone else.
CultureFit is body-positive activewear for the culturally conscious woman. Founded in early 2018 by a group of West African descendent women, they believe in a place “where wellness, womanhood, and global consciousness intersect with comfort, body positivity, and the pursuit of a healthy, active lifestyle. Featuring leggings, tops, and yoga mats, CultureFit strives to celebrate not just various cultures but all shapes and sizes. They are small and still growing, but over time, you can expect to see a range of sizes added to each collection. https://www.culturefitclothing.com
Farms To Grow
Farms To Grow is an Oakland-based non-profit dedicated to working with Black farmers and underserved farmers around the country. Farms To Grow focuses on sustainable farming and innovative agriculture practices that preserve the cultural and biological diversity and the agroecological balance of the local environment. Subscribers can sign up for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program for local delivery or pickup of their non-GMO and chemical-free CSA Harvest Bag, available once a month on every 2nd Saturday. https://www.farmstogrow.com/
Harlem Chocolate Factory
Harlem Chocolate Factory is an artisan chocolate company where they convey the various cultural experiences and stories of Harlem through their chocolate products. Founded in 2015 by Jessica Spaulding and Asha Dixon, their confections feature the names of some of Harlem’s most historic sites, and ingredients sourced by Fair or Direct Trade, or locally from upstate New York. The Harlem Chocolate Factory is a featured product on the 2020 Oprah’s Favorite Things list. https://harlemchocolatefactory.com
McBride Sisters Collection
McBride Sisters Collection is not only the largest Black-owned wine company in the United States, but among the most inclusive, accessible, socially aware, and sustainable. Founded by two sisters Robin and Andréa McBride, their signature wines are inspired by the endless pursuit of all women who are making their dreams a reality and breaking barriers daily. Their wines include the fun, fab, and eco-friendly SHE CAN and the Black Girl Magic collection. https://www.mcbridesisters.com/
OUI the People
OUI the People is a beauty brand dedicated to fighting the traditional negative tropes of the beauty industry. Rather than pursuing flawlessness, the company aims to build efficacious products, designed thoughtfully, that help you feel great in the skin you’re already in. Whether it’s dry skin, razor burn, or ingrown hairs, OUI the People’s line of sustainable beauty products aims to feel as great on your skin as it does on your psyche. https://www.ouithepeople.com/
Red Bay Coffee Roasters
Red Bay Coffee Roasters is committed to beans that are not only high-quality and sustainable, but a vehicle for diversity, inclusion, social and economic restoration, entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability. Founded in 2014 by Keba Konte, Red Bay seeks to create unity by hiring and serving people of all backgrounds, striving to be diverse and inclusive of those who have traditionally been left out of the specialty coffee industry—especially people of color, the formerly incarcerated, women, and people with disabilities. https://www.redbaycoffee.com/
Savor Blends Seasoning
Savor Blends is a collection of savory salts, rubs, butters, and sauces. Founded by Dulani, Lisa, and Myles Spencer, each artisanal batch is handcrafted with love right from their kitchen. From the Black Garlic Vampire Butter to the “Brown Sugar, Baby” rub, these flavors are sure to spice up your meat and potatoes dinner. https://www.savorblends.com/
Uncle Nearest Whiskey
Uncle Nearest Whiskey celebrates the history and craftsmanship of Uncle Nearest, a former Tennessee slave who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey and is credited as Daniel’s first master distiller. Founded by Fawn Weaver, she built the company to ensure that the legacy of Nathan Green, aka Uncle Nearest, lives on through whiskey. Their premium spirit is the most awarded American whiskey two years running and is a featured product on the 2020 Oprah’s Favorite Things list. https://unclenearest.com/
United Negro College Fund: https://uncf.org/
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: https://naacp.org/
Black Girls Code: https://www.blackgirlscode.com/
Ignite Mental Health Services: https://www.ignitemh.org/
Black Thrive: https://www.blackthrive.org.uk/