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Northwestern continues Racial Equity and Community Partnership grants

‘Our first year of funded projects is already having an impact’

Racial Equity and Community Partnership
One of last year’s grant recipients provides children’s books featuring Black characters.

For a second year, Northwestern will offer Racial Equity and Community Partnership grants to support strategic, meaningful partnerships with community-based organizations.

The University will commit more than $500,000 toward this effort, with additional support from an anonymous donor.

The grants program is administered by the University’s Office of Neighborhood and Community Relations, advised by a committee of community members and representatives of Northwestern academic and administrative units. 

“Our goal is to fund partnerships that work to fix systems and address the root causes of inequities in Evanston and Chicago,” said Dave Davis, executive director of Neighborhood and Community Relations. “Our first year of funded projects is already having an impact, and we are excited to continue this commitment.”

One of last year’s grant recipients was Young, Black & Lit, an Evanston-based nonprofit that provides books featuring Black characters to pre-K through 8th grade youth and their families at no cost. Founded in 2018, the organization works with schools to provide students a book per month during the school year and five more in summer.

I know Northwestern is the first introduction to a university for many Evanston children.

Krenice Ramsey, co-founder of Young, Black & Lit

“We’re putting the grant toward our Lit Year program to help expand our number of partner schools,” said co-founder Krenice Ramsey. “This Racial Equity grant and partnership is important — as a born-and-raised Evanstonian, I know Northwestern is the first introduction to a university for many Evanston children.”

In 2022-23, up to 10 grants of $25,000 to $75,000 will be allocated for projects co-created and co-managed by a community organization and a Northwestern representative. Proposals should address health equity, economic and social empowerment or children and youth learning. 

Letters of intent are due Jan. 14, 2022. A review committee will identify applications to move on to a full proposal stage. Recipients will be announced in May 2022 for grants that begin July 1.

Learn more and see FAQs plus a list of the 2021 funded partnerships on the Neighborhood and Community Relationswebsite. Community/University partnerships can submit a letter of intent now.

In spring 2022, applications for Racial Equity Incubator grants also will be available. The incubator program is designed for community-based organizations seeking to deepen their commitment to racial equity and develop a partnership with Northwestern.

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