RIF awards $130K to organizations serving African-American community

THE RHODE ISLAND FOUNDATION is awarding $130,000 in grants and scholarships through its new Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund. From left, Beverly Ledbetter, Linda Newton, Brendan Kane and Edward Clifton serve on the fund’s advisory committee. / COURTESY RHODE ISLAND FOUNDATION
THE RHODE ISLAND FOUNDATION is awarding $130,000 in grants and scholarships through its new Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund. From left, Beverly Ledbetter, Linda Newton, Brendan Kane and Edward Clifton serve on the fund’s advisory committee. / COURTESY RHODE ISLAND FOUNDATION

PROVIDENCE – In recognition of black history month, the Rhode Island Foundation is awarding $130,000 in grants and scholarships to the local African-American community through its $2.5 million Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund – the first awards to come from this new fund.

“Providing the black community with the resources to thrive goes to the core of commitment to equity and our vision for ensuring that the future is bright for a changing Rhode Island,” said Adrian Bonéy, program officer for special programs and manager of the fund.

This new fund was formed in 2017 when the former Black Philanthropy Initiative merged with the Providence-based Bannister House nursing home and is now worth $2.5 million. It targets nonprofit organizations that provide youth development and mentoring, promote African-American history and achievements in Rhode Island, preserve that community’s culture and work to secure better futures for low-income African-American Rhode Islanders.

The inaugural awardees include 14 organizations across Cranston, Newport, Providence and Woonsocket that received grants ranging in size from $5,000 to $10,000:

  • AS220 (Providence, $5,000)
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State (Cranston, $5,000)
  • Boys & Girls Club of Newport County (Newport, $5,000)
  • Boys & Girls Club of Providence (Providence, $10,000)
  • Choir School of Newport County (Newport, $7,500)
  • Everett: Company, Stage & School (Providence, $7,000)
  • Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence (Providence, $7,500)
  • National Coalition of 100 Black Women – Rhode Island (Providence, $7,500)
  • New Urban Arts (Providence, $5,000)
  • Opportunities Industrialization Center (Providence, $9,620)
  • Providence Promise (Providence, $5,000)
  • Rhode Island Black Storytellers (Providence, $5,000)
  • Youth In Action (Providence, $5,000)
  • YWCA Rhode Island (Woonsocket, $6,100)
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In addition, $43,000 in scholarships was awarded by the fund to African-American students who are Rhode Island residents pursuing career tracks in health care at accredited institutions and demonstrated financial need.

The Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund is guided by an advisory committee comprised of Edward Clifton, Jason Fowler, Brendan Kane, Beverly Ledbetter and Linda Newton.

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email, gowdey-backus@pbn.com.