Class Counsel have released details about what will happen to the leftover settlement funds…
The Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation website indicates that the undistributed leftover settlement funds amount to approximately $12,000,000.00. Class Counsel has announced that the funds will be placed in a “Cy Pres Fund” and “will be made to eligible tax-exempt nonprofit organizations serving African-American farmers and/or ranchers according to the intent of the Consolidated Case Settlement Agreement.”
This means that individual claimants have no more access to the leftover settlement funds.
The Cy Pres grants will be made in two phases. The first phase, intended to award about $4,000,000.00 from the cy pres fund, requires eligible organizations to submit a request for proposal for a grant by September 29, 2017. Class Counsel indicates that “[t]he purpose of Cy Pres Phase I Grants is to stabilize and/or grow the capacity of nonprofit organizations with both a historic (prior to December 31, 2012) and a current record of providing meaningful agricultural, business assistance, and/or advocacy services to African-American farmers and/or ranchers operating in rural/non-urban areas of the United States. Law firms, legal service entities, and educational institutions are not eligible per the Consolidated Case Settlement Agreement.”
After the Phase I grants are distributed, the remaining $8,000,000.00 will be allocated in Phase II grants. Lead Class Counsel will seek to engage African-American farmers and ranchers, advocates, and allies to identify strategic funding priorities for the Cy Pres Phase II Grant recommendation process, likely beginning with a convening of leaders in early 2018 in the South.