Gabrielle Anthony, ACLU of Louisiana Development Coordinator, and Reagan Peters-Roussell, Founding Executive Director of Better Futures Program. 

Grassroots leadership is the lifeblood of the movements for civil rights and racial and gender justice. While the ACLU of Louisiana works in the courts and the legislature to protect our most vulnerable community members, we also work in close collaboration with grassroots, BIPOC community leaders and organizations.

To honor and support critical allies in this work, ACLU of Louisiana's development department launched a Grassroots Partnership Initiative (GPI) in May 2022, through which we offered a $5,000 gift and 10 hours of fundraising mentorship per month to an emerging community organization. For the last six months, we've partnered with Better Future Program (BFP), a Black-, queer-, woman-, and youth-led organization with the mission of building a brighter global future for marginalized youth through education, awareness, and unity. This Giving Tuesday, we ask you to support BFP in their first-ever fundraising campaign: A matching challenge of $1,000, which you can contribute to at

Since 2016, founding Executive Director, Reagan Peters-Roussell (she/they), and BFP team members have been dedicated to educating their peers on various academic subjects, mental health, and social injustices that affect today's youth. BFP offers a Liberation Library with more than 3,000 free novels, movies, podcasts, and more to fulfill this goal, while also conducting virtual and in-person programming. They lead advocacy workshops and organize resource drives for items like eyeglasses, books, and gender-affirming clothing for high school students who lack access to these items.

A core principle of BFP's work is mutual aid, which the organization defines as "the cycle of providing goods and/or services to your community, knowing that one day you too will utilize the same resources." They view mutual aid as an act of solidarity that builds networks between neighbors to meet the needs of everyone in the community, especially when needs are high. Rather than a one-way relationship between an organization and its recipients, it creates an equal exchange between givers and receivers. Participants give what they can, and take what they need. 

The amount of collective grief and healing that has occurred in our communities over the last several years has been insurmountable. The complexity and magnitude of the social, political, and economic challenges facing Louisianians cannot be faced alone. Moving the needle requires concerted, collaborative action, and supporting youth, LGBTQ, and BIPOC leaders. This Giving Tuesday, we ask our ACLU of Louisiana supporters to consider a gift to the Better Future Program and grassroots organizations that will make our collective successes possible.