PFund Racial Equity Initiative – Seed Grant Opportunity in 2012
The PFund Racial Equity Initiative builds the capacity of LGBT people of color organizations and develops LGBT people of color leaders to be effective vehicles and voices within the LGBT movement in the Upper Midwest and broader movement for social justice.
“As national funding for the Racial Equity Initiative nears completion, PFund is using the remaining funds to bring in a responsive approach to support small groups of people of color lead efforts to make the changes needed for their communities. This is what our community leaders did in establishing the LGBT Communities of Color Endowment and it continues to be our focus as we build towards the future.” — Susan Raffo, PFund Foundation executive director
The REI seed grants provide grants of up to $1,500 to four to six emerging LGBT people of color groups and LGBT people of color led multiracial partnerships in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. This funding is part of our five-year Racial Equity Initiative and aligns with PFund’s overall grantmaking priorities to support effective social change work.
The deadline was June 4, 2012; the grant round has closed.
PFund’s work within LGBT Communities of Color
Racial inequities persist in every measure of well-being, including health and wellness, school readiness, economic success and civic participation. This is also true in our LGBT communities. Funding and supporting LGBT people of color organizations has been inadequate, profoundly affecting the health and sustainability of these organizations, and ultimately, the effectiveness of our broader movements for social justice.
LGBT Communities of Color Endowment
For this reason, in 2004, PFund launched the first ever LGBT Communities of Color Endowment. This endowment was created by PFund donors with the recognition that LGBT communities of color are one of the most under-resourced parts of our community. It is the first and only permanently endowed fund serving LGBT people of color in the nation and PFund takes great pride in the community efforts that made this a reality. The Endowment continues to grow, providing resources for grantmaking to LGBT people of color organizations.
“It truly was and is a groundbreaking effort, and our thanks belong to all the visionary individuals who have stepped up, helped launch and support the Endowment.”
— Donald Whipple Fox, former PFund Foundation board member
National Racial Equity Partnership
In 2008, 12% of the $107.2 million in grants awarded to LGBT issues nationally went to LGBT people of color organizations and projects. The national organization, Funders for LGBTQ Issues, launched the Racial Equity Initiative (REI) in order to shift this imbalance by directing more foundation dollars towards autonomous LGBT people of color organizations. Funders for LGBTQ Issues partnered with eight foundations across the U.S. to provide grant dollars and capacity building support to LGBT people of color organizations in their regions. PFund is a partner in this initiative.
“As national funding for the Racial Equity Initiative nears completion, PFund is using the remaining funds to bring in a responsive approach to support small groups of people of color lead efforts to make the changes needed for their communities. This is what our community leaders did in establishing the LGBT Communities of Color Endowment and it continues to be our focus as we build towards the future.”
— Susan Raffo, PFund Foundation executive director
PFund Racial Equity Initiative
Through PFund’s LGBT Communities of Color Endowment and our national partnership, the PFund Racial Equity Initiative supports LGBT communities of color in two ways: first, to increase funding to LGBT people of color organizations and projects and second, to develop LGBT people of color leaders in effective social change work in the Upper Midwest.
From 2007 to 2010, PFund designed and implemented in collaboration with Family & Children’s Service and Pillsbury United Communities a two-year leadership program to provide support for LGBT people of color leaders to enhance their leadership, promote networking and increase their capacity in our region. The REI leadership program was born out of a series of community conversations hosted at Marnita’s Table in Minneapolis with LGBT people of color leaders that identified the need to develop a local pipeline for LGBT people of color to become strong, effective leaders in social change work.
24 graduates in two cohorts participated in the program. They received peer-to-peer learning, support, skills-building and community engagement. It focused on two tracks, board leadership and community organizing. In the first year, participants built on existing leadership skills, explored their identities as LGBT leaders of color, created a learning community and expanded skills in building community and shaping their circles of influence and in the second year, the program used a more participant-driven approach to build on themes and skills from the first year.
PFund is committed to finding innovative ways of directing funding that result in targeted impact. Stay tuned – for PFund’s new strategic plan (released at the annual Cabaret on May 12, 2012) that outlines a commitment to increasing the ways in which community resources can meet LGBT community needs.