Racial Justice

2021-2023 Community Foundation of Louisville Announced Grants for First-Ever Racial Justice Cohort

Innovative investment in 12 Black-led social change organizations

Funding Systems Change for Racial Justice

Most Americans aspire to live healthy lives, build wealth, fully participate in the democratic process, and excel to their fullest potential. Established policies, procedures, laws, and systems - intentionally and unintentionally - make it difficult for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other people of color to achieve these aspirations.

Recent data highlighted by the Greater Louisville Project shows longstanding and growing gaps in outcomes for Black Louisvillians. The challenges of 2020 further exposed and amplified these racial inequities. We are grateful for the contributions received for this initiative from Foundation fundholders, the James Graham Brown Foundation, the Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation, BrightSpring Health Services, and Glick Philanthropies to intentionally invest in Black-led social change organizations advancing and informing systems-level change for racial justice.

Addressing Racial Inequity

In recent years, the Fund for Louisville has supported capacity building for nonprofit organizations serving Louisville’s most under-resourced and under-invested ZIP codes. This work taught us that more intentional action was needed to address the challenge of entrenched, growing racial inequity.

Community Foundation Board of Directors approved that from 2021-2023, the Fund for Louisville: Racial Justice Cohort will support a group of nonprofit organizations in Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky that are working to change systems that result in unequal outcomes. We are guided by these beliefs:

  1. We believe systems need to change and are directing our available funds to support systems change.
  2. Our foundation can do more to support Black-led social change.
  3. We believe that social change is most effective when led by communities most impacted by racial inequity.

We intend to work in cooperation with other local calls to action such as, the Black L.O.V.E. Philanthropic Partnership and A Path Forward, to support Black-led social change organizations and movements.

What is a Black-led Social Change Organization?

We are drawing on the research of The Black Social Change Funders Network’s The Case for Funding Black-Led Social Change to define Black-led social change organizations, as those with predominantly Black board and executive leadership, staff leadership and constituents - if relevant - and whose primary organizational purpose is to work to build the political, economic, and/or social power of the Black community (including continental Africans, African Americans, Descendants of American Slaves, Afro-Caribbeans, Afro-Latinos, and people of mixed ancestry). So, “Black-led” is about the demographic makeup and racial identity of the leadership as well as a political purpose of building power to ensure that the Black community thrives.

Black-led Social Change Organizations were considered for this Nonprofit Funding Opportunity

The Foundation worked with 15 Black community members to design and execute an accessible and transparent process where community members are key decision makers.

The Funding Opportunity and the Scorecard

Learn about this funding opportunity and how the organizations were selected.

Design Work Group Process & Progress

For three months, we worked with Black community members to identify barriers to funding and develop an accessible and transparent grantmaking process. The following documents highlight key points in our work.

Why is the Community Foundation focusing on racial inequity?

The Fund for Louisville is providing renewable grant funding over three years to 12 Black-led social change organizations as an initial step toward dismantling systems preventing racial and economic equity while constructing new systems promoting justice. We invite you to explore these resources and share our learning journey.

Trust-Based Philanthropy Project

Black Funding Denied: Community Foundation Support for Black Communities

Black Social Change Funders Network: The Case for Funding Black Social Change

Overcoming the Racial Bias in Philanthropic Funding

A Focus on Poverty: 2015 Competitive City Update

15 Years Beyond Merger: 2018 Competitive City Update

The Flow of Community Investment: 2019 Competitive City Report

ABFE: We Must be in it for the Long Haul

For more information please send an email or call:

Ramona Dallum
Ramona Dallum
Senior Vice President, Community Leadership
[javascript protected email address]