Black and Brown Women Leaders: Why and How to Amplify Their Work

Tuti Scott
6 min readMar 30, 2023


In D.C., cosigning public feminist messaging with the brilliant women of Radiant Strategies: Hali Lee, Isis Krause and Letarik Amare.

Clarity of purpose marks the sixth decade of my life. The why of my work to uplift and support women leaders, and especially Black and Brown women leaders, has never burned brighter or hotter.

The Health and Wealth Gaps

Black and Brown women suffer the most from the impacts of racism, particularly when considering our society’s wealth and health gaps through gender and racial lenses. Historically, Black and Brown women have always led the vanguard of efforts to achieve equality for all, and are still doing so today. The following stark facts drive me to act in service of their objectives:

  1. The wealth gap, or the disparity of cumulative assets (real estate, retirement accounts, stocks, etc.) disproportionately impacts Black women. Black women’s wealth is 90% lower than White men’s, according to Goldman Sachs. A typical (median) Hispanic family owns 21 cents per $1 of White familial wealth, while Black families own 12 cents per $1 owned by White families (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis). Black, American Indian and Latino children are more likely (64%, 52%, and 40% respectively) to be led by a single parent than white families (40%). Since the majority of those single parents are women, the wealth gap disproportionately strains Black and Brown mothers.
  2. Black women’s health suffers the most from the effects of coping with racism, regardless of their economic status. Black women have the highest probability of experiencing “weathering,” which is defined as the premature mortality and morbidity rates among Black people due to the cumulative wear and tear, or “allostatic load,” of coping with racism’s daily stressors. (See Dr. Arline Geronimus’s research at the University of Michigan.)
  3. Black and Brown mothers bear the brunt of racism in our healthcare system. The black maternal mortality rate is 61% higher than that of white mothers. Within a Covid-strained system, the Black maternal mortality rate increased by 19% in one year (2020–2021). Black and American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) women die of pregnancy-related causes at rates of over three and two times higher, respectively, than White women.

Teammate and Co-Conspirator: Centering Racial Equity

These data points and realities accelerated my shift to “Move My Ball Forward” towards shared power and justice. I still coach hope, accountability, and action. My mission hasn’t changed — I still proudly boost women leaders in sports, philanthropy, and business — but the work has an additional lens of racial equity.

Today, I’m intentionally working in spaces as a teammate of, and advocate for, Black and Brown women leaders. My voice and talents serve their goals. My actions flow out of our shared values. Together, we model how our work of uplifting women’s leadership — both our own and that of others — nourishes our bodies, minds and spirits.

Once we decide to show up as allies toward racial justice, it’s wise to consider our spheres of influence and choose our entry points accordingly. For me, that means asking people in philanthropy and investing who are in charge of White people’s money to reflect on their practices. The best use of my talents and personal growth is to facilitate courageous conversations by inviting White investors and philanthropists to a new-to-them way of thinking, one I call Making Money Moves that Matter.

Current Collaborations and Values-Aligned Work

Here are a few of the spaces I am raising my voice to build shared power and accelerate values- and justice-aligned money moves. Read on and see where you can join in!

Values Aligned Giving and Investing Workshop: Move your Resources Toward Healing, Equity and Liberation I am excited to work with Gwendolyn Van Sant to offer this workshop at OMEGA (Rhinebeck, NY, June 23–25, 2023). The session is intended for philanthropists and investors of all genders seeking to make financial decisions that matter. Join us for a heartfelt introduction to gender lens and values-aligned investing:

  • Explore values, equity, and allyship in social finance and philanthropy
  • Gain new knowledge about the ecosystem of justice, money, and power
  • Learn language, tools, and practices that encourage values aligned investments

Freedom School for Philanthropy: Inspired by the Freedom Schools established during the Civil Rights era, and the brainchild of Radiant Strategies, The Freedom School for Philanthropy offers an immersive curriculum for donors who are eager to be in meaningful, relational partnerships with folks on the ground doing the work. Following a heart-mind-soul-body programmatic approach, participants develop a personal Freedom Journey that translates intentions into an actionable philanthropic commitment for the future. Email me directly at if you are or know of a bold woman donor who wants to join us in June in San Francisco.

Gender Smart Investing Deep Dive Course As a partner with Invest for Better, I’m facilitating an online course showcasing gender smart levers, products, and opportunities for people to align their values and money.

OMEGA Women & Power Conference. At this weekend summit, which is in its 21st year, I’ll join a roster of leaders to speak individually and co-lead conversations aimed at sparking hopeful change (Rhinebeck, NY, October 6–8, 2023). Join us to explore the questions that women are asking around power, compassion, joy, creativity while we stand strong for our rights and dream a new way into being.

In the projects above and elsewhere, Black and Brown women leaders are changing systems and/or building new models toward shared power. They are leading the work of uprooting the legacy qualities of white supremacy that stymie urgently needed action and the mobilization of money for near-term change. When I work with Gwendolyn Van Sant, Hali Lee, and Letarik Amare, I approach our collaborations as a team member, purposely aligning my contributions with their intentions. I pledge to follow their leadership, champion their accomplishments and projects, and boost their vision.

Buying, Giving, and Reading as an Ally

In addition, whenever possible, I buy goods and services from businesses owned by Black women. Databases offered by Black Woman Owned and Buy from a Black Woman help locate Black women business owners. And I’ll wear and gift anti-racist activist attire such as that sold by Mahogany Mommies.

As we all grapple with where we can lean into reproductive justice solutions, I will amplify the injustice of Black maternal health. The Black Mamas Matter Alliance, a network of Black-women-led reproductive justice organizations, compiled a resource covering everything from an overview of research to useful talking points for activists. To learn more, download their subject matter guide here.

Finally, I am amplifying a space where “Black women, girls, and gender-expansive people can come together to strategize, collaborate, and fellowship with other Black feminists.” Supporting the Black Feminist Agenda is critical and the Black Feminist Future is doing this in June in Baltimore, MD! For my White sisters and other allies, please fund, amplify and agitate for this community and work to flourish.

Asking the Urgent Questions

And I will live my highest purpose by showing up with my body nourished, my values intact, and my talents at the ready to serve… including by asking the urgent questions:

Can we recognize how racism doesn’t serve any of us, and clearly doesn’t serve Black people? When will we (White people) take necessary actions to change the systems that prioritize us?

Onward we march…and dance…to bring joy and rigor to this work of shared power!

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Tuti Scott

Strategic philanthropy & investing consultant. Convening conversations on women, money, justice, and power. Lifelong athlete, feminist, and gender avenger.