My name is Marti and I’m a volunteer at Margins. My role is maintaining our website, running our Twitter account, and most importantly, paying reparations in cash as often as possible.
A couple of years ago, I got a friend request from TJ Fountain, Margins’ founder (you can read about her on our About page). We were both part of a Facebook reparations group and had friends in common. She added me to a group chat made up of primarily white women and aimed at employing reparations to lift up and support Black single mothers. There were maybe a dozen of us at most, but together we funded backpack drives (with pizza!), Christmas shopping sprees, emergencies, free lunches, and more—mostly from within our numbers. Over time those numbers grew, and eventually TJ created a Facebook page called Margins: Women Helping Black Women, to allow more people to reach us for help and to help. Recently we launched our website (you are here!) and a Twitter account.
We’re still just a few volunteers following TJ’s lead, but we’re hoping to make a difference.
A Margins day looks something like this:
We nearly always manage to raise the needed funds, and that’s largely due to TJ’s ability to promise only what she thinks she can deliver and to remind her white ladies (us) that reparations 1) can help real people right now and 2) are our responsibility. And we pass that message on to our networks, and our community grows. Which is amazing!
But the reality is that most of our campaigns are funded by the same group of two dozen people—Margins core volunteers and supporters—i.e. the women in that group chat TJ added me to a couple of years ago. While impressive in its way, and sustainable at this level, this model severely limits the number of single moms we can help. We have to say “no” more often than we’d like. We want to do more.
And that’s where you come in.
By joining our community on Facebook and Twitter (and coming soon, Instagram!), you can be a part of Margins' mission to tip the scales of wealth toward some of the people who need it most: single Black mothers raising families. By paying reparations toward our campaigns, you can offset some of the damage our system has done and is doing to Black people. And you can feel confident that your dollars are helping us to chip away at that system by normalizing and perpetuating the idea that we don’t have to wait for the government to pay reparations to Black people—we can do our part today and every day.