Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF) and the Black Equity Initiative of the Inland Empire (BEI-IE) announced $740,000 to 16 nonprofits in the first round of grants from the IE Black Equity Fund. These grants will provide resources and capacity-building support to Black-led organizations working to end systemic racism as well as building economic and political power for the Black Community. Individual grants ranged from $15,000 to $80,000.
BEI-IE centered their funding decisions on nonprofits focused on systems change work in these priority areas: civic engagement, criminal justice transformation, housing justice, health equity, education equity, and economic liberation.
The inaugural IE Black Equity Fund grantees are: Curls, Coils, Crowns; Youth Action Project; Magdalena’s Daughters; IE Rebound; Youth Mentoring Action Network; The B.L.A.C.K. Collective; IE Black Worker Center; Community NOW; The Empowerment Center; Nehemiah Charitable Fund; CEEM - Cooperative Economic Empowerment Movement of the Inland Empire; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; Starting Over, Inc.; Clay Counseling; Sigma Beta Xi; and Victor Valley Family Resource Center.
In September, nonprofits applied for one of three tiers of the Fund grants that addressed “learning,” “emerging,” and “scaling up.” The funding gave organizations, whether at the beginning of this work or scaling up existing programs, the opportunity to grow their capacity to advance racial equity in the Inland region.
Using the guiding principles of the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, which recognizes “the inherent power imbalance between foundations and nonprofits,” the Fund worked with regional nonprofit leaders in a planning process to develop a grant program to: 1) give multi-year, unrestricted funding; 2) center IE Black Equity Initiative leaders in decision-making; 3) simplify and streamline paperwork; 4) be transparent and responsive; and 5) offer support by participating in peer learning with BEI-IE leaders to improve Black equity in funders’ overall grantmaking practice.
The response to the first round of grant applications was overwhelming stated co-founder of BEI-IE and Associate Director of C.O.P.E. Felicia Jones. BEI-IE received more than 50 applications to the IE Black Equity Fund.
“While we were only able to award a modest number of grant awards at this time, it was really nice to get to know many of the organizations for the first time and to learn about their work,” said Jones. “We are grateful that this process surfaced organizations that would not have otherwise been on our radar.”
For more information or to donate to the IE Black Equity Fund, visit iegives.org/ieblackequityfund.
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