Recognizing Local Black-Led Organizations

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Black History Month is a time to recognize, appreciate, and learn about Black culture – including the sacrifices and contributions Black and African Americans have made to our county. This month, Santa Barbara organizations collaborated to create a calendar of around 30 virtual events with the theme of “The Black Family: Representation, Identity and, Diversity.”

We’re celebrating Black History Month by recognizing local Black-owned businesses and Black-led organizations who contributed to our local events this month, but who also are using their diverse programs and leadership to uplift the Black and African American communities all year round.

Read on to get to know the organizations, and find a directory of Black-owned businesses in our community.

1. African American Women in Santa Barbara County

AAWSBC provides opportunities for African American Women to come together in the form of networking and support to build a strong well-connected community.

2. Coffee with A Black Guy

CWABG is a social impact movement launched by SB resident James Joyce III to counteract the racial tumult around the world by sharing stories and learning from fellow citizens.

3. Endowment for Youth Committee

The EYC is dedicated to the educational success and advancement of Black and African American youth by providing educational, cultural, social, and recreational programs.

4. Gateway Educational Services 

Gateway Educational Services is SB County’s only nonprofit learning center providing services for students grades K-12 and a College Readiness Program for first-generation underrepresented students.

5. Healing Justice Santa Barbara

Healing Justice SB works to uplift all Black and African-Americans and affirm that they are deserving of safety, love, equity, respect, and joy.

6. Juneteenth Santa Barbara

Juneteenth SB hosts annual events that bring community members together to celebrate Black culture and honor local Black artists and organizations.

7. Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee of Santa Barbara

The MLK Committee of SB fosters positive relationships between diverse groups in the community and exemplifies the teachings of Dr. King by sponsoring programs and events.  

8. Santa Barbara Black History Month Virtual Culture House

Co-produced by Darrell McNeill of Black Rock Coalition Inc, and Sally Foxen-McNeill, Culture House is a pop-up event space that hosts live music performances, video screenings, and discussions centered around the richness of Black culture. The Black Rock Coalition, founded in 1985, is the nation’s only 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to championing the work by progressive/alternative artists of color whose work goes largely underrepresented by mainstream media outlets and the music industry. 

9. Santa Barbara Young Black Professionals

SBYBP creates and fosters positive relationships which empower young Black professionals through opportunities for professional development, social enrichment, and community service.

Honorable Mentions

We’ve also included some “Honorable Mentions” in our List. These are not specifically Black-led Santa Barbara organizations, but the following three organizations have contributed to our commuinty’s Black History Month celebrations, and do work towards creating greater racial equality within Santa Barbara.

1. El Centro

El Centro is a community space that uplifts POC, womxn, youth, indigenous and queer communities in building critical dialogue and action for justice and equity. 

2. National Association For the Advancement of Colored People

Founded in 1909, the NAACP addresses existing racial disparities with a mission to secure the social, political, educational, and economic equality of rights for all by removing barriers to ensure well-being. The NAACP has two branches serving our county: Santa Barbara and Santa Maria-Lompoc.

3. Santa Barbara Public Library

SB Public Library provides information services, reading materials, and educational resources to all residents with a goal of educating, captivating, and connecting. For Black History Month the library hosted film screenings, civic forums, book clubs, and presented a celebration of the life and works of Toni Morrison.

Looking to Support Black-Owned Businesses in our community?

Browse a list of Black-owned businesses in Santa Barbara County at the following directory.

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