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The Rockefeller Foundation & Calais Campbell Pledge Support for Black-Owned Businesses Across Baltimore

Funds will go towards providing capital to local small businesses impacted by Covid-19, supporting entrepreneurial mentorship programs

MARYLAND | December 14, 2020 – Today, The Rockefeller Foundation joined Walter Payton Man of the Year Calais Campbell in announcing its support for the CLLCTIVLY Covid-19 Baltimore Micro-Grant Fund, a campaign that provides financial assistance and strategic advising to Black-owned businesses in Baltimore that have been impacted by Covid-19.

A poll conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife found that two in three (66%) minority-owned small businesses are concerned about having to permanently close their business due to the pandemic versus 57% for non-minority small businesses. Additionally, it found that the number of minority-owned businesses expecting revenue to decrease in the next year has increased fivefold since early 2020.

As part of its continued commitment to expand equity and economic opportunity for low wage families and communities of color across the country, The Rockefeller Foundation has pledged $75,000 to support the program alongside Calais Campbell, who will be donating $125,000 with the CRC Foundation. Rockefeller joins the Baltimore Ravens’ defensive end in working to foster collaboration, increase social impact, and amplify the voices of Greater Baltimore’s Black and Latinx-led organizations.

“Black-owned businesses are the backbone of the Baltimore community and provide many essential services that are valued by all of us who are rooting for the success of Charm City,” said Campbell. “Unfortunately, these Black businesses have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic putting their survival at risk. By partnering with The Rockefeller Foundation and CLLCTIVLY, it’s my hope that we can not only provide financial relief but also draw attention to and celebrate these business owners and what their institutions bring to the city of Baltimore.”

Baltimore’s Black-led organizations are not only contending with the effects of Covid-19, but with significant under-investment and disinvestment as well. CLLCTIVLY seeks to end the long pattern of philanthropic neglect and under-investment in the infrastructure of Black institutions. The Foundation is thrilled to join them as they create an ecosystem to foster collaboration, increase social impact, and amplify the voices of Black-led organizations in Greater Baltimore.

Of the grant, CLLCTIVLY Founder Jamye Wooten says, “Covid-19 has helped to pull back the curtain and shine the light on the systemic and structural inequalities that have existed in America for far too long. We are honored to be a recipient of this generous donation from Calais Campbell and The Rockefeller Foundation. This investment will help us to fulfill our mission to be a resource for those that seek to find, fund, and partner with Black-led organizations serving in greater Baltimore.”

With support from the Foundation and Campbell, CLLCTIVLY will be assisting Baltimore’s businesses of color through micro-grants, and access to the following programs:

  • The CLLCTIV Soup Collaborative, which supports business owners of color through financial advising, monitoring and increased social connections.
  • The CLLCTIV Design Cohort Pilot is a capacity building and resource mobilization program designed to deepen relationships, trust, and foster collaboration among Black-led organizations.
  • The Baltimore Black Led Solidarity Fund, which aims to bridge the gap between capital providers and small businesses. Since March, CLLCTIVLY has provided over 100 micro-grants ranging from $500-2000 to Black-led businesses in the greater Baltimore area. With this funding from Rockefeller and Campbell, the organization hopes to provide one hundred additional $500 micro-grants and fifteen $1000 grants.
  • The Black Futures Micro-Grants program, a monthly contest designed to support Baltimore Changemakers – local leaders submit videos explaining their business or charitable organization, and community members vote to elect the micro-grant recipients.

CLLCTIVLY is a place-based social change organization using an asset-based framework to focus on racial equity, narrative change, social connectedness, and resource mobilization. Together, CLLCTIVLY, The Rockefeller Foundation, The CFC Foundation, and Calais Campbell will work to break down barriers to capital and credit and provide strategic advising to small Black and Latinx businesses in Baltimore. This program will distribute micro-grants to Black-owned businesses and connect Black entrepreneurs with additional support through CLLCTIVLY events.

“We are thrilled to join Calais Campbell in supporting this CLLCTIV in a critical moment for Baltimore’s Black-led businesses,” says Otis Rolley III, Senior Vice President of The Rockefeller Foundation’s U.S. Equity and Economic Opportunity Initiative. “While Covid-19’s impact on Baltimore’s already vulnerable communities of color is yet to be fully realized, the need for emergency services, food, rent, utilities, childcare assistance, and mental health services have exponentially grown. When Black-led organizations serving Baltimore’s Black community are needed most, they too are vulnerable to economic collapse and we take great pride in working to support these community leaders.”

About Calais Campbell and The CRC Foundation

In 2010, Calais and his family founded the CRC Foundation, named after his late father, Charles. The foundation is committed to the enhancement of the community by teaching life skills to assist with the development of young people. Through sports, the enrichment of creative talents, vocational skills, guidance of positive financial skills and quality health and nutrition; the foundation seeks to empower and provide self-awareness for future leaders. In 2019,Calais was presented the Bart Starr Award which exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community. The following year, the NFL honored Calais with their most prestigious award, Walter Payton Man of the Year. This achievement honors a player’s volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field. For more information visit,

About CLLCTIVLY is a place-based social change organization using an asset-based framework to focus on racial equity, narrative change, and social connectedness.

Their mission is to end the fragmentation and duplication of programs, to learn from and about each other, and to be a resource for the Greater Baltimore community that seeks to find, fund, and partner with Black social change organizations. The organization also offers no-strings-attached micro-grants of varying amounts. Jamye Wooten, a co-founder of Baltimore United for Change, launched CLLCTIVLY in 2019. To join CLLCTIVLY, apply for the Baltimore Black-Led Solidarity Fund grant or to shop at the Black Futures online store, visit

About The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas, and conversations. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.

The Foundation has been working to support Baltimore’s small businesses – notably Black-owned businesses, which have been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This grant follows the Foundation’s support of the Baltimore Health Corps, announced in June, which is recruiting, training, and employing more than 300 residents who are jobless during the pandemic to serve as contact tracers and care coordinators for Baltimore City residents.

Media Contact
The Rockefeller Foundation
Ashley Chang
+1 (917) 373-9530