“These are young men and women who have put their lives on hold to stand up for all of our freedoms,” Kweli said in a statement.
He added, “the overly militarized police force in Ferguson has attempted to criminalize them by harassing and throwing them in jail for exercising their right to peaceful protest.”
Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement, said the grant money from the Action Support Committee helps in providing bail for those arrested for peacefully protesting as well as other efforts not supported by foundations.
“It’s supportive in a sense that folks on the ground are doing work, whether they have money or not,” Cullors said. “It will help people to do more work on the front lines without having to worry about money.”
The first group will split $48,800 of the money that was received on Friday. This includes $35,000 going to Missourians Organizing For Reform and Empowerment (MORE). This organization provides bail funds and legal support for Ferguson protesters.
$2,000 will go to Freedom Fighters, which is a Revolutionary Reading Program focused on collecting historical Black literature for adults and kids.
Artists As Tutors will also receive $2,000. This organization provides Ferguson students with training in creative writing and other arts.
Kweli with St. Louis artist Tef Poe, and activist and curator Autumn Marie, helped launch an Indiegogo campaign in order to provide protesters with legal support.
The campaign raised $112,052, but $104,208 after 7 percent crowdfunding fees were added. The amount surpassed their initial goal of $25,000.
Read more at News One and find out how the remaining $54,000 Kweli provided in economic support will be divided among organizations.