A year-long initiative aimed at building a support network for Black womxm advocates, activists, organizers, and leaders of social justice organizations has just launched in Atlanta.
The Lola, a member’s only club and digital community for womxn, will provide a professional space to address racial inequity and the resource gap faced by Black womxn professionals and freelancers with its Creators + Social Justice (C+SJ) Partnerships Program.
The organization, which was launched in 2019, says it wants the program to ‘connect, support and uplift freelance and corporate Black womxn.’
Co-founders Martine Resnick and Eileen Lee have recruited 50 womxn from across Atlanta for the inaugural C+SJ partnership program including UrbanGeekz founder and CEO, Kunbi Tinuoye; India Hayes, C0-Founder and CEO of Mini City; Carolyn Pitt, Founder and CEO of Film Connx, and Twanna Harris, VP of Brand & Content at The Beltline, among others.
The program currently includes 50 new members from 39 businesses across various industries including art, coaching, community, construction, interior design, fashion, film, hospitality, jewelry, and wellness.
“Launching our Creators + Social Justice Partnership program to support Black womxn entrepreneurs and social justice organizations is just one of the ways we want to address the racial inequity and resource gap that many Black entrepreneurs and organizations face regularly, ” says The Lola co-founder Lee. “Being more inclusive and a space where all womxn belong will make our community stronger. When we focus and attune to the challenges of our least resourced sisters, we all benefit and progress together.”
“Last fall, we announced an open call for submissions to Black womxn entrepreneurs and Black womxn leaders and advocates of social justice organizations to share information and their interest to partner with The Lola,” adds Lee.
“We were thrilled by the response and selected individuals based on mission alignment, need, and desire to tap into our community and where we can make the most impact based on current challenges and needs. These 50 new Members joined our community in January and we couldn’t be more excited to be working with and supporting them this year.”
In lieu of paying the $165 per month fee, with an added initiation fee of $250, partners selected for the C+SJ partnership program will have free access to facilities and membership perks.
In addition to the regular benefits of The Lola membership, partners will also develop action plans at quarterly check-in meetings, be provided with a member buddy, and will be given access to grants and information about other funding opportunities.
Additional sessions will provide participants with key insights on financial, operational, marketing, capital raising, and legal training.
The physical club, located in Atlanta’s historic Old Fourth Ward, offers meeting spaces, lounges, mother room’s and a coffee bar amongst other amenities for professional, freelance and creative womxn.
However, The Lola will also offer members and partners an online platform for events, workshops and networking in an effort to adapt to a virtual environment.
Since August, Resnick and Lee have funded and supported anti-racism efforts by contributing $300,000 to Black womxn business owners and activists. The investment includes grants for startup costs, sponsorships, programming/events and access to The Lola facilities in an effort to amplify their voices and experiences.