The Community Foundation of Louisville’s Racial Justice Cohort was created this year to bring into sharp focus local Black-led, social change organizations. The October 2021 Foundation newsletter introduced 12 organizations that were selected for the inaugural Racial Justice Cohort. Each will receive $40,000 in renewable, unrestricted grants, and technical support. The funding is renewable for three years.
Allow us now to introduce 13 other organizations, out of the total 25 finalists, that the selection committee also found to be doing important work in the community. These deserving and unsung Black-led nonprofits, sometimes on the tiniest of budgets, are assisting individuals and families in physical, economic, or spiritual need, or worse, to overcome barriers to their success. They did not receive funding through this process, as the allocated funding from the Foundation’s Fund for Louisville and a handful of partners limited grants to the cohort of 12.
So, as we come to the close of another difficult year, we decided to bring these 13 marvelous Black-led nonprofits to the attention of the wider network of our donors, partners, and grant makers. Our sincere hope is that you will add one or more of these 13 organizations as part of your charitable giving. We’ll be glad to introduce you, but urge you to reach out to their representatives and visit their website and social media to see for yourself the work that they do. We believe, as we were, that you will be inspired and impressed.
The Foundation places a high value on the “lived experiences” of the constituents and founders of Black-led, social change organizations in Louisville Metro. So, we asked leaders of a few of the 13 organizations to briefly share their highest aspirations for their constituents. The other nonprofits are listed below by name with their contact information.
Tanisha Frederick, Founder and Executive Director, BAYA “Beautiful As You Are” Corporation: Young women and girls are often marginalized, undervalued, and underestimated. Girls in our program are given tools to help them accomplish all their hopes and dreams despite the limitations society tries to place on them.
Tianna Barnes, Executive Director and Affiliate Leader, Derby City CARES Mentoring Movement: We aspire to transform Black children’s lives by inspiring, recruiting, and mobilizing masses of caring Black adult mentors. Our goal is to ensure they have the resources/tools needed to address the social determinants of health and counteract the negative impacts of growing up in poverty and communities impacted by systemic inequities.
Nicole Hayden Founder and President, Friends of Nicole 50/50 Mentoring Collaborative Inc.: My aspiration is for Black girls to be inspired through mentoring relationships. Girls of color, ages 13-24 years old in our community are suffering due to violence, loss of connection to schools, social injustice, and regression of learning. Having women who look like them as mentors helps to fill that missing link between where they are and where they’d like to be.
Sarah T. Graves, Chief Development Officer, The Louisville Urban League aspires for a day when ALL of our community has full access to the America we know is possible. One where quality jobs, housing, and education are the norm, and where systems that have historically broken the backs of Black communities are, instead, transformed to reflect our highest ideals.
Text LUL to 243-725 or give at lul.org/donate-now
Felicia Alfred, Executive Director, St. Benedict Center for Early Childhood Education: The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that only 48% of children living in low-income households are kindergarten-ready by age 5. Unfortunately, children that start behind typically stay behind and almost never catch up. St. Benedict Center helps to break the cycle of educational underperformance through high quality early childhood instruction.
George Sanders, Chairman, Fund Raising Committee
Haven Harrington III, Chief Executive Officer, Main Event Leadership Academy: I want our youth to know that they have agency and power in their communities to make lasting change, and that by sharing their stories and shedding light on issues that concern them they can have a profound impact.
2Not1 Fatherhood & Families Inc.
Shawn Gardner, Chief Executive Officer
Change Today, Change Tomorrow
Talesha Wilson, Community Engagement Director
Life Development Corporation (CDC of Kingdom Fellowship)
Monica Ridgeway, Volunteer
Saturday Success School aka Urban Louisville Chess/Kentucky Chess Ambassadors
Corbin Seavers, Founder/Director
Simmons College of Kentucky
Von Purdy, Director of Community Engagement and Development
(502) 776-1443 Ext 5149
West Louisville Women’s Collaborative
Mariel Gardner, President
Contributor: Betty Winston Bayé is a former columnist and editorial writer for the Courier-Journal.