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Grants from Black Philanthropy Initiative will improve access, equity
By Lauren Paola / December 1, 2013 /   Loading Disqus...
Five nonprofit organizations that serve the African-American community will receive more than $38,000 in grants from the Black Philanthropy Initiative (BPI), a field-of-interest fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.

“Our goal is long-term, systemic changes that improve the lives of Rhode Island’s Black community. By funding initiatives that encourage equity and promote access, we are creating pathways to achievement and accomplishment,” said Linda Newton, who co-chairs BPI’s advisory committee.

The following organizations received grants:
  • The Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA) received $5,000 to increase equity in access to capital for Black-owned businesses. By improving access to loans and grants, RIBBA will make it easier for Black-owned companies to grow and increase revenue and hiring.
  • The Rhode Island Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW RI) received $4,178 to increase the assets of Black women and their families by expanding outreach around financial literacy. The NCBW RI Chapter reached 129 women in 2013 and plans to double that number in the 2014.
  • AS220 Youth received $8,614 to offer workshops using world myths to explore Black male identity, masculinity, family, and community for about 100 young men at the state youth detention center and in the Youth Studio. The collaboration with Alchemy Inc. also includes producing dedicated web pages and a special edition of the Hidden Truth, AS220 Youth's literary magazine, as well as a sustained mentor relationship with Alchemy trainers.
  • Amos House received $10,000 to provide fathers who are part of its transitional and permanent supportive housing programs with an extensive support system and household financial planning, healthy lifestyle changes, and positive family activities. Participants may be custodial fathers, non‐custodial fathers, or fathers seeking to reunite with their children.
  • Youth in Action received $10,477 to expand Project Success, which helps youth make informed decisions about their futures by giving them a tool kit of "hard" and "soft" skills. The initiative will help young people of color gain the skills they need to achieve both academically and personally while gaining comprehensive work experience by contributing to community initiatives that create positive social change.
These grants come as BPI launches an end-of-the-year fund-raising appeal. The fund is a permanent endowment dedicated to advancing equity and social justice for Blacks in Rhode Island.

“With your help, BPI can continue to support projects like these that will improve the economic security of Black Rhode Islanders. Your donation to this fund will provide a perpetual source of support for the Black community,” said Newton. Supporters can donate to BPI on-line.

Established in 2007, BPI is the first fund at the Foundation devoted exclusively to causes and issues affecting Black Rhode Islanders. Its initial round of grants targeted economic sustainability and the Black family, with a focus on housing, financial literacy and job training. In two years of grants, the fund has made more than $60,000 in awards.

In addition to Newton, the members of the BPI advisory committee are the Honorable Edward Clifton, Jason Fowler, Beverly Ledbetter, and the Honorable Walter Stone.
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