Greater Cincinnati Foundation Racial Justice Fund announces $1M in grants to area nonprofits

Fund's goal is to advance fairness and justice
Posted at 3:32 PM, Sep 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 15:32:05-04

CINCINNATI — Six area nonprofits will be receiving a total of $1 million from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s new Racial Justice Fund.

The foundation established the fund in June with a commitment of awarding $5 million over five years. The goal is to advance fairness and justice with a focus on systems that affect the Black community, particularly criminal economic and social justice. The fund seeks to address the root causes of systemic racism through policy change.

RELATED: New Racial Justice Fund aims to pave path to equity

A news release issued Thursday said the Racial Justice Fund grant recipients are:

  • Ohio Justice & Policy Center, which will receive $500,000 over five years to support the center’s operations and capacity building.
  • Ohio Transformation Fund, which will receive $75,000 over three years for grantmaking.
  • National Development Council’s Technical Assistance program, which will receive $250,000 to support women-owned businesses and solo entrepreneurs.
  • MORTAR, which will receive $50,000 to support small business grants to MORTAR’s network of alumni entrepreneurs facing closure and income loss because of COVID-19.
  • The Heights Movement, which will receive $50,000 over two years to support operations, advocacy efforts and help in moving the Cincinnati police shooting range out of Lincoln Heights.
  • Queens Village of Cradle Cincinnati, which will receive $75,000 over three years to support operations and growth.

In choosing the grant recipients, the foundation used its own data and research and spoke directly with social justice organizations and community members about the region’s most pressing needs and the work underway that could be sped up with more support, according to the release.

“Our initial grants signal the beginning of what is a multi-year commitment by the GCF Governing Board to address the root causes of inequity within our community,” Delores Hargrove-Young, the foundation’s governing board chair, said in the release. “We hope to inspire other funders and donors to join us in this effort.”

The Racial Justice Fund aims to empower nonprofits to use their own expertise to apply multi-year investments to the programs or initiatives that will make the biggest difference in Greater Cincinnati.

“We are inspired by these passionate organizations that are on the ground, rallying against injustices and moving our community forward,” foundation President and CEO Ellen Katz said in the release. “Through the Racial Justice Fund, we are excited to amplify their work.”

In addition to the initial investments, the foundation has identified Black-led research and consulting firm Praxis Matters as its lead partner in the Racial Justice Fund’s work. Praxis Matters will host community conversations between now and the end of the year with grassroots organizations and residents to better understand the challenges around racial justice work. The firm will work with the foundation to identify focus areas, need and investment priorities to ensure that the Racial Justice Fund has maximum impact moving forward, the release said.

Anyone interested in contributing to the Racial Justice Fund can do that online.