Black-Led Social Change Organizations Receive Historic Multi-Year Investments

Louisville, Ky. (November 1, 2021) – Metro United Way (MUW) is announcing 19 funded partners for a program empowering those affected by racial inequities, by making historic investments in Black-led social change organizations. The Black L.O.V.E. Philanthropic Partnership (BLPP) is part of MUW’s move towards a trust-based philanthropy model, shifting the power back to communities, investing in grass-roots leadership capacity-building and addressing the inherent power imbalances in grantmaking. Funded partners were determined based on specific criteria for eligibility, including field engagement, strategy, mission and program evaluation.

MUW’s shift to a more equitable process is being accomplished by introducing multi-year, unrestricted funding, investing in the voices, needs and desires of the local community and ultimately equipping organizations with the power and capital to generate lasting change in the Greater Louisville region.

“We know that Black leaders have always been proactive, influential members of our community, leading innovative movements that advance the aspirations to live, own, vote and excel,” said Daryle Unseld, Chief Equity Officer at Metro United Way. “This historic investment marks an opportunity to not only recognize these leaders, but build their capacities and create transformational change in our community. I want to thank the many community stakeholders that stepped up to make this happen – from those that helped shape BLPP through the advisory committee to our MUW board that has backed this initiative from the start.”


BLPP priorities are as follows:
Live: Access to affordable and healthy food, equitable justice, safe and efficient transportation, health and human services, parks and green spaces.
Own: Affordable, safe housing and home ownership, public safety, economic development.
Vote: Increase of Black voter registration and turnout.
Excel: Equitable access to quality education, living wages, job training and strong neighborhoods.


Funded partners across MUW’s seven-county region will receive a total of $1 million over a two-year period. Based on the priorities outlined by Black L.O.V.E., the volunteer-led committee selected the following organizations (10 are brand new partners to MUW):


  • Joshua Community Connectors provides mental health therapy with weekly therapist sessions, weekly case manager interactions, job training through the Tech Louisville Program and the Kentucky Career Center in West Louisville, job security and placement assistance and housing advice and assistance.
  • MMHP works with community partners to provide mental health resources and education. It engages in public policy and advocacy to empower Black and Brown individuals, families, and communities in Louisville and its surrounding communities who have historically faced multiple barriers to accessibility, affordability, and availability of culturally-appropriate mental health practitioners.
  • 2Not1 Fatherhood & Families, Inc. promotes the safety and well-being of children by implementing strategies to keep fathers involved and families together.
  • Play Cousins Collective provides meaningful children's programming at community events and meetings to support an active citizenry where parents can organize and advocate for their families without experiencing the barrier of childcare.
  • Black CDC creates collaborative partnerships with faith-based groups, city and county government, the Federal Department of Labor and a host of agencies to increase the quality of life for our communities in West Louisville.
  • Somali Community of Louisville helps the more than 10,000 Somalis in Kentucky obtain necessary resources, services, information and skills needed to build productive and self-sufficient lives.


  • The HJW Career and Financial Literacy Institute is an approved housing counseling agency and 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created to increase public awareness of nonprofit activities, improve the spiritual, physical and psychological well-being of local communities, and promote family strength, youth development and positive family growth.
  • For 57 years, CASI has supported and empowered individuals, families and communities to reach self-sufficiency, providing a comprehensive approach to addressing the needs of vulnerable citizens while helping them achieve economic security.


  • Within the Shelbyville Area, the NAACP branch works to ensure political, educational, social and economic equality of the rights of all people with the aim to eliminate race-based discrimination.


  • Built in 1891 for the education of African American children in Indiana, the Leora Brown school now stands as the oldest and only standing segregated school for African Americans in Indiana. Today, the space is an event hall and historic site open to the public, with a mission to rebuild a Black presence in surrounding neighborhoods.
  • AMPED hosts free music programs throughout Louisville at both schools and community centers, empowering young people and their families to work as a team and learn to express themselves effectively and productively as members of the local community and the world.
  • BrainSTEM University is an EdTech startup that provides online and in-person STEM education for students K-12, increasing STEM access and exposure to students, parents, schools and community organizations.
  • For more than 40 years the Center For Neighborhoods has cultivated grassroots leadership, provided leadership education, partnered with neighborhoods in community planning efforts, facilitated civic dialogue among stakeholders and actively participated in neighborhood-based development & improvement projects.
  • Decode Project’s mission is to eliminate inequities in education by fostering a diverse community of learners prepared to navigate the world. It provides training in evidence-based, multi-sensory structured information, teaching kids to read at grade-level proficiency, and developing a network of advocates to ensure all students have access to the necessary resources to become skilled readers.
  • MOLO Village CDC is a grassroots organization committed to engaging residents of the Russell Neighborhood, particularly from Beecher Terrace, in holistic approaches to community development.
  • Nativity Academy is an independent Catholic middle school that transforms the lives of students who have a commitment to achievement and whose families demonstrate financial need.
  • Roots 101 African American Museum promotes understanding and inspire appreciation of the achievement, contribution, and experiences of African Americans using exhibits, programs, and activities to illustrate African American history, culture and art.
  • Sowing Seeds with Faith is a Louisville-based private tutoring service, which uses a Village approach to provide the highest caliber of educational support to students of K-12 in every subject. Though Sowing Seeds with Faith particularly excels in math, reading comprehension and Black history, its team is committed to helping students achieve their academic goals no matter the subject.
  • Founded in 2012, The Pinwheel Group is a social justice behavioral health firm focused on removing the stigma around mental health and making mental health conversations more relevant with young Black men.

In an effort to equip organizations with capacity-building to ensure longevity, all 68 nonprofits that applied for BLPP funding will be provided resources and training for outcome tracking, storytelling, best practices and technology to diversify boards, constituent bases and staff.

The BLPP was open to eligible nonprofits in the Metro United Way seven-county service area, which includes Jefferson, Bullitt, Oldham and Shelby counties in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd and Harrison counties in Indiana.

For more than 100 years, Metro United Way has empowered individuals and families to achieve their fullest potential by generating meaningful and lasting change in our community. We use data-driven insights to identify and prioritize the community’s greatest needs with a focus on equitable outcomes for all. Together, we fight to improve the disparities that persist in education, income, health, housing, and racial equality in Jefferson, Bullitt, Oldham and Shelby counties in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd and Harrison counties in Indiana. We invite you to stand with us and be a part of transforming Greater Louisville.


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