RIF awards $2.2M in grants, creates endowments for organizations addressing racial inequity

PROVIDENCE – Six local nonprofits have received $2.2 million in total grants from the Rhode Island Foundation to help take down causes of systemic racism impacting the state’s marginalized populations, the foundation announced Thursday.

The grants, from the foundation’s Racial Equity and Social Justice Grants program, were distributed to local organizations led by those who identify as Asian, Black, Hispanic or Latino, Indigenous or multiracial as well as people engaged in efforts that are grounded in the needs of diverse communities in Rhode Island, the foundation said.

Among the initiatives the grants will be used for include educating the community about immigrant and workers’ rights, addressing inequities in the criminal justice system, and incubating, supporting and connecting worker-owned cooperative businesses into a community economy network of good jobs, the nonprofit funder said.

The organizations that received the grants are:

- Advertisement -
  • Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE)
  • Economic Progress Institute Fuerza Laboral
  • Reentry Campus Program
  • Rhode Island for Community and Justice
  • SISTA Fire
  • Youth In Action

Additionally, the foundation said it has invested more than $1.2 million to create designated endowments for 14 local nonprofits led by individuals of color working to reimagine systems that are built on structural racism and inequity. The organizations received endowments ranging from $50,000 to $100,000.

“Our state faces an urgent need to be more inclusive and equitable, and this means breaking down barriers caused by long-standing structures that stand in the way of progress,” Foundation CEO and President Neil D. Steinberg said in a statement. “We prioritized organizations and efforts that have consciously strived to dismantle systems of oppression and to work towards a more just society.”

The organizations that received endowments are:

  • Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education
  • DARE
  • Elisha Project
  • Higher Ground International
  • Mixed Magic Theatre
  • Hope Community Center
  • Oasis International
  • Progreso Latino
  • Refugee Dream Center
  • Rhode Island Black Storytellers
  • Teatro ECAS
  • Tomaquag Museum
  • Women’s Refugee Center
  • Youth Pride Inc.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.