In July, the Foundation trustees approved a special grant program designed to support local nonprofits who wished to foster and expand their understanding of racial inequities and further their inclusion efforts.
In August, 27 organizations received a total of $66,500 in funding through the 2020 Racial Equity & Inclusion Mini Grant Program.
- Fifteen agencies will use the funds to focus on board, staff and, in many cases, volunteer education and understanding, and to examine internal policies and processes.
- Eight organizations will offer community-wide education programs and workshops.
- Four agencies are planning a combination of internal and external activities.
The majority of grant recipients will undertake the work with guidance from an outside facilitator or consultant and the majority of the projects will be completed before the end of the year.
Recipients include: Acton-Boxborough United Way, Advocates, Inc., A Place to Turn, ātac, Bethany Hill Place, Discovering Hidden Gems, Discovery Museum, Doc Wayne Youth Services, Foundation for MetroWest, Framingham History Center, Framingham State University, Friends of the Assabet River NWR, Greater Framingham Community Church, Jewish Family Service of Metrowest, The Learning Center for the Deaf, Metro CDC, MetroWest Legal Services, MetroWest Mediation Services, MetroWest Nonprofit Network, MetroWest YMCA, Neighbor Brigade, Open Spirit/Edwards Church, OUT MetroWest, REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, South Middlesex Opportunity Council, SPARK Kindness and Sudbury Public Schools and the Lincoln Metco Coordinating Committee.
We acknowledge the leaders of these recipient organizations who were often brutally honest in sharing their missteps and shortcomings around racial equity, and appreciate their commitment to do better.
As one executive director said, “We are a historically white-led organization currently operating with all white leadership. The fact that we exist within an extremely diverse environment and have, as of yet, failed to reflect our community has been a long-standing concern.”
Said another, “Our need to act was propelled by the current reckoning, and current and former constituents of color who have publicly come forward with anecdotes related to their experiences of racism within our organization.”
One of our goals in running this mini grant program was to act quickly to capitalize on the momentum for change. We are encouraged by the volume of activity and the number of people in MetroWest who will be listening, talking, reflecting and acting on these issues over the next few months and beyond.
Recognizing that anti-racism work demands much more than a one-time, mini-grant program, the Foundation plans continued investment in equity and inclusion efforts. We join our grant partners in committing to doing better.