United Way increases grant funding to BIPOC-Led organizations to $1 million

United Way for Southeastern Michigan, has announced the recipients of the second round of grant funding for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC)-led organizations. These microgrants between $10,000 and $75,000 focus on leadership, lifespan development, economics, and reaching equity in emerging areas of the community.

The United Way for Southeastern Michigan Racial Equity Fund is designed to help all people experience authentic inclusion and have equitable access to resources and opportunities. Having already allocated $570,000 to the Racial Equity Fund, this additional funding puts the total support to date at nearly $1 million. The Fund was designed by a diverse and inclusive workgroup of community members during the summer and fall of 2021. The objective of the fund is to empower those most harmed by systemic oppression to thrive and reach their full potential.

“Our commitment to the communities we serve includes ensuring equitable access to training, support, and tools that will set them up for success. Through all our grantmaking and work, we want to reflect the communities we serve,” said Tonya Adair, chief people, equity, and engagement officer, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “We value all voices and want our entire community to be able to grow – together.”

The workgroup that developed The Racial Equity Fund was informed by the Centering Community Voice Blueprint, developed in collaboration with Detroit Future City. This blueprint proactively incorporates lived experience of people they serve into United Way’s grantmaking process. Every aspect of their decision-making is prioritized by the lived experiences of the community.

Funded organizations will provide programs and projects working toward eliminating racial disparities in pursuit of a more equitable and just community for everyone. Members of the original workgroup were chosen by United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team. Local organizations and community leaders with close ties to the community made the nine-week commitment to the discussion and selection process.

Here is a list of the newly funded organizations supporting their proposed projects/efforts:

To support this work financially and learn more about United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s Racial Equity Fund, visit https://unitedwaysem.org/about-us/equity-and-inclusion/.

About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan, a member of the United Way Worldwide network and an independently governed 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, works to help households become stable and ensure children have the support they need to thrive. For more than 100 years, United Way has been a leader in creating positive, measurable, and sustainable change in communities throughout southeast Michigan. United Way works in partnership with donors, agencies, corporate and municipal partners to help families meet their basic needs of housing, food, health care and family finances, and ensure children start school ready to learn and graduate ready for life. To give, advocate, volunteer or learn more, visit UnitedWaySEM.org.

Grantees from the first round of the Racial Equity Fund, announced in February of this year:

  • APIA Vote – They look to introduce programming to address a series of racial inequities observed within and surrounding the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community of Southeastern Michigan. They seek to address these inequities through a multifaceted youth leadership development program emphasizing learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion; workshop facilitation and education for community leaders and local businesses; and community engagement through a series of community dialogues and discussion tables.
  • Black Executive Director Alliance of Detroit (BEDAD) seeks to increase pathways of leadership development for Black Executive Directors in the Detroit nonprofit community. They seek to add a second and third cohort of Black Executive leaders working to ensure there is racial equity in the nonprofit sector. Their work seeks to further the interests of the Black nonprofit community by uplifting Detroit-based African American led nonprofit organizations whose aim is to achieve long-term holistic impact on minority youth in Southeastern Michigan.
  • Birth Detroit – Birth Detroit works to uplift and reclaim Black-led midwifery care, ensuring communities are healthier, stronger, and freer. By 2030 they envision: there has been a cultural shift in understanding Black midwifery as integral to our survival and celebrating Black birthing bodies and babies — and therefore celebrating all birthing bodies and babies.
  • Chaldean American Ladies of Charity dba United Community Family Services – Refugee women often have or wish to gain skills but need additional support to become selfreliant and advance economically. This program seeks to help refugee women overcome the multiple barriers to economic advancement and self-sufficiency.
  • Class Act Detroit – Their ‘House-of-Hip-Hop,’ changes the status-quo and allows youngsters from all levels of society to connect, heal, and grow under one entity – hip hop. Their effort empowers adolescents to be their most authentic selves in a space encouraging them, is well-resourced, and is designed for their wellness.
  • Detroit Heals Detroit – They look to work through collective liberation for all residents in Detroit – making sure the communities’ needs are heard. They want to help bring this about by taking a holistic approach to combating trauma and taking direct action to address social inequities and conditions impacting Black youth mental health.
  • Developing Kingdoms in Different Stages (KIDS) – Through their proposed program, they intend to address the racial inequities in our community: food insecurity, on-time high school graduation, poverty level, chronic absenteeism, and college/trade school entrance. Their activities will have a goal of combatting the number of children removed from their homes.
  • E-Community Outreach Services – The long-term impact of generational poverty has led to a scarcity mentality in the City of Pontiac, with little access to resources or a lack of support systems to help move residents to the next level. While there are existing resources available, the community does not have the support or ability to access them based on barriers in place from government agencies, larger organizations, etc.
  • Family Assistance for Renaissance Men – Family Assistance for Renaissance Men looks to reunite men with their children by reducing legal barriers such as revoked driver’s licenses, traffic tickets, and child support bench warrants. These barriers also prevent them from earning a stable income and resuming payment on their child support arrearages. In collaboration with over two dozen judges from county and circuit courts in Southeast Michigan, incarceration will be prevented, and fathers will be instead enrolled into the FARM (Family Assistance For Renaissance Men) program.
  • Heritage Works – Heritage Works looks to address the unfair distribution of material and nonmaterial access and opportunities to human capital development. They propose short- and long-term youth outcomes and experiences to develop a trained, equity-minded leader- and workforce to impact the outcomes of BIPOC-led organizations in our region.
  • The Michigan Hispanic Collaborative – In the US with a population of more than 18%, Hispanics are the largest minority yet remain disproportionately underserved. Their model is one of college access and persistence, and economic empowerment. This is a distinctive niche in program service delivery for the Hispanic community and a focus area that has been overlooked for decades.
  • Turning Point – Turning Point looks to address racial inequity in domestic and sexual violence – taking on racial injustice in staffing, service provision, and systemic responses.
  • Pontiac Community Foundation – Their program looks to improve equity gaps in Pontiac. The Pontiac Community Foundation is dedicated to addressing the critical systemic issues within the Pontiac community through all its focus areas and programs. Through a collaborative approach, they convene, organize, and mobilize community leaders and citizens toward innovative and strategic solutions for our community, in addition to funding initiatives and providing fiduciary services to help build capacity and steward resources for a better Pontiac.