At United Way for Southeastern Michigan, we are committed to deconstructing systemic racism and institutional bias while promoting diversity, equity and inclusion as core values in every aspect of our work. Our objective is to empower Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and people most harmed by systemic oppression as we center their lived experiences in our efforts to help all people experience authentic inclusion and have equitable access to resources and opportunities to thrive and reach their full potential.
As part of those efforts, United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team is sponsoring the Racial Equity Fund, which will disburse at least $500,000 in flexible grants to local organizations. Those eligible for the flexible grants must have an executive leader who is Black, Indigenous or a person of color (BIPOC) and a mission and vision dedicated to racial equity.
The request for proposals (RFP) process begins around Nov. 1, with funded partners notified on Dec. 7. Funded initiatives must be directed toward addressing racial inequities in the community.
The RFP process is informed by best practices catalogued in the Centering Community Voice Blueprint. This document was built in partnership with Detroit Future City and prioritizes the lived experience of the community in every element of the decision-making process.
A diverse and inclusive group of community members will co-create the Racial Equity Fund grant process, including the RFP language, funding priorities and rubric. The workgroup will set funding priorities for the Racial Equity Fund centered on the lived experience of community members; determine RFP evaluation metrics and reporting guidelines; and develop a process to ensure a diverse applicant pool, including outreach to under-resourced and/or unfamiliar organizations.