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Ida B. Wells Fund
Powering Black Creatives Through Investment and Technical Support

Established in 2021, The Ida B. Wells Fund is in honor of American investigative journalist, educator, and early leader in the civil rights movement, Ida B. Wells. In 2020, Wells was posthumously honored with a Pulitzer Prize special citation “for her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching. The fund partners with Black creatives across 34 artistic disciplines in the creation of groundbreaking new work. Currently, the fund is capitalized at $250,000 to provide investment and scaffolding to filmmakers, creative place-makers, investigative journalists, visual arts, performing arts, literature, technology, and multidisciplinary practices, including socially- engaged work in all forms. Our model of investment also provides creatives with scaffolding and infrastructure support via professional development programs, networking opportunities, and educational resources.

A distinguished panel of film industry veterans and social justice activists including the Honorary Chair. Paula Giddings whose book, “Ida: A Sword Among Lions,” won the 2008 Los Angeles Times Prize for Biography other jurists include: Malcolm Spelman – writer, director and producer, Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte (“The Kids Are Alright”), an Academy and Emmy Award nominated, Golden Globe winning producer; Paula J. Giddings, 2014 recipient of the LA Times History Book Prize for “Ida: A Sword Among Lions” optioned by Disney; Ian Duff, actor – known for his roles in Judas and the Black Messiah, The Republic of Sarah, and New Amsterdam; Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Grammy winning and Emmy nominated director/producer of the critically acclaimed film “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am”; Jewell Jackson McCabe, feminist, business executive, and activist, Founder of The National Coalition of 100 Black Women movement; Julie Dash, award winning writer, director, and producer of “Daughters of the Dust”, which was the first full-length film by an African American woman to obtain critical acclaim and international theatrical release in the U.S.; and Gloria Steinem, writer, lecturer, political activist, and feminist organizer.

2021 finalists were: Christine Swanson and Aunjanue Ellis, “Sunflower: The Fannie Lou Hamer Story,” looks at modern-day voter suppression through the powerful words of the 60’s Civil Rights heroine; Lamard W Cher-Aime, “Captain Zero: The Animated Series,” speaks to the importance of mental health awareness in Black communities; Mylrell Miner, “Hang,” invites audiences to engage critically into the dynamics of gentrified communities; Renée Wilson, “HoneyPot,” is about Ella and her confidante, V., her chatty vagina; Jeff Campbell, “Hip Hop Saved My Life and Then Tried to Kill Me,” chronicles the creative birth, evolution and creative death of a hip hop star; Chuck Gomez, “Opus Pontis; A Symphony for Social Justice,” a documentary that highlights eight African-Americans as they call on an antiquated symphonic and operatic industry to create a more equitable institution;” Isaac Kinsey, “White Noise,” a sketch comedy show exploring race while blurring the lines between drama and comedy, reality and surrealism.