Organization embarks on month long celebration highlighting its work in equity space
Louisville, Ky. (January 24, 2023) – Metro United Way (MUW) will present multiple initiatives in February as part of Black History Month as a way to further support their ongoing work in equitable giving. Through a series of events and initiatives, Metro United Way is offering the community an opportunity to engage, learn more about their work and further understand the need to recalibrate philanthropic work in an effort to align the community and business practices and serve as a beacon of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging for all people.
“Black History Month is an excellent time to allow us to illustrate our work to create a more equitable philanthropic environment that includes everyone,” said Adria Johnson, president and CEO of Metro United Way. “Although these programs are ongoing and our work continues, we remain proud of the work we are doing and will continue to do until we see a more equitable community that will result in a stronger and more robust region.”
Here are several Metro United Way initiatives taking place during February, Black History Month:
Youth Success RFP
This Youth Success RFP is aligned with our educational success work and open to all youth-serving nonprofit organizations in Jefferson, Bullitt, Oldham, and Shelby counties in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd, and Harrison counties in Indiana, serving individuals ages 6 – 24 and in priority zip codes.
To achieve gains in educational success in our region we must improve and co-create healthy systems that produce equitable outcomes for all our community’s youth. After months of learning, research, listening sessions, and feedback from community partners and leaders, Metro United Way has identified three domains in which to focus: school, home, and our community as we understand that the responsibility of learning and development is not solely on school systems; it takes an ecosystem.
Learning happens across a wide and diverse range of settings embedded into systems like the public library, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, homes, afterschool programs, and many more. All settings matter. Every setting a young person encounters must be adequately resourced and a safe place for them to learn and grow. However, we see the effects of the inequities within our systems that impede progress on creating healthier systems for young people to successfully navigate. Submissions due by Friday, February 10.
Learn more: https://metrounitedway.org/youth-success-rfp/
Racial Wealth Gap Simulation
More than 4,000 individuals have participated in our Racial Wealth Gap simulation that takes people and organizations on a historical journey to wealth building in America, pausing on 13 federal policies that most powerfully accelerated or impeded progress based on race. It’s been one of the most powerful things we’ve done because it helps us all understand the racialized impacts of laws that have determined access to opportunity, resources, and power for generations and highlights what we can do to change them. In partnership with Bread for the World, this Metro United Way developed this training in the fall of 2019 and have since shared it with many different audiences. Our staff has been trained to execute the simulation and offer a safe, confidential and engaging space to help elevate the conversation around policies that have been in place for decades that have affected generations of families in our community. The program has transitioned to virtual simulations to ensure the safety of all participants. The public is invited to register for the next Racial Wealth Gap simulation, scheduled for Tuesday, February 21 from 3-4:30 p.m. (Space is limited)
Beyond Buzzwords is a Metro United Way speaker series on diversity, equity and inclusion that is designed to provide thoughtful and meaningful discussions about important topics that promote thinking as well as personal and institutional application. The next session will feature Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of many highly acclaimed books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, making him the youngest ever winner of that award. He had also produced five straight #1 New York Times bestsellers, including How to Be an Antiracist, Antiracist Baby, and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-authored by Jason Reynolds. In 2020, Time magazine named Dr. Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He was awarded a 2021 MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as the Genius Grant. His next two books, coming out in June, are How to Raise an Antiracist and the picture book, Goodnight Racism. Dr. Kendi will speak on Wednesday, February 22 from Noon – 1:15 p.m. (Space is limited)
Learn more: https://metrounitedway.org/beyond-buzzwords/
Metro United Way is partnering with FundBLACKFounders to provide $25,000 matching crowdfunding grants to 15 Louisville-based founders. This innovative program will support early-stage startups founded by Black entrepreneurs, helping them to bring their ideas to life and grow their businesses. The grant program will be open to all eligible startups, regardless of industry or stage of development. Applications for the matching crowdfunding grants will be open on Monday, February 6. Interested entrepreneurs should monitor Metro United Way’s social media for updates or visit metrounitedway.org/fundblackfounders for more information.
Learn more: https://www.fundblackfounders.com/
Black LOVE Philanthropic Partnership
Metro United Way continues to follow and monitor grant recipients of the Black LOVE Philanthropic Partnership – which invests in Black-led social change nonprofit and advocacy organizations. This initiative works to support Metro United Way’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, addressing how inequities unfairly restrict individuals and communities in terms of access, opportunity and resources. The goal of the Black L.O.V.E. Philanthropic Partnership (BLPP) is to listen to and empower those affected by racial inequities through historic investments in Black-led social change organizations, defined as those with predominantly Black board members and executive leadership, staff and constituents.
Learn more: https://www.metrounitedway.org/blacklove