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Racial Equity Grant Awards $150,000 in Grants to Support Racial Equity Work in Dallas

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Racial Equity Grant Awards $150,000 in Grants to Support Racial Equity Work in Dallas

“This support for racial equity nonprofits shows Communities Foundation of Texas’ commitment to the hard work and the heart work of truth, racial healing and transformation.”

On January 17, the National Day of Racial Healing, Communities Foundation of Texas announced that a total of $150,000 was distributed across 35 nonprofits to help them facilitate storytelling or implement practical solutions to race-related challenges in Dallas.

“Allowing people the space to tell their stories and experiences of bias and discrimination and providing opportunities for others to hear those stories and be touched by them is the first step toward healing. Additionally, offering grants specifically in support of those working diligently on issues of racial equity allows CFT as an organization to learn more ourselves about what needs to be changed across our community, and to get to know all those involved more deeply.” – Sarah Cotton Nelson, CFT’s Chief Philanthropy Officer

“Cara Mia is now better able to promote racial healing:  its cutting-edge theatrical performances are now coupled with community conversations, youth engagement processes and healing circles,” Ernest McMillan, curator for community action for Cara Mia Theatre.

“This support for racial equity nonprofits shows Communities Foundation of Texas’ commitment to the hard work and the heart work of truth, racial healing and transformation,” Joli Robinson, manager of the community affairs and outreach unit of the Dallas Police Department and co-chair of Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation.

CFT board members approved this unique racial equity funding opportunity to complement the new Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (D-TRHT) effort. Dallas is one of 14 places in the country receiving $1 million in grant support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to implement D-TRHT, which will be customized for Dallas with input and leadership from the community. CFT is proud to be one of the many organizations contributing to TRHT in Dallas.

Racial Equity Grant Recipients:

  • Abounding Prosperity – Abounding Prosperity provides services to address health, social and economic disparities among African-American men, with a focus on the gay, bisexual and transgender community in Dallas county. Project SAFE will aim to highlight local service providers who offer “best fit” services for racial and ethnic minorities with regards to cultural sensitivity, awareness, and humility.
  • Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at UT Dallas – The Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at UT Dallas is an internationally-recognized center focused on teaching the history and legacy of the Holocaust. Funding will be used to support “Confronting Our Histories, Changing Our Future,” a collaborative and interactive citizen history project that will explore, document, and curate the history of hate and racial/ethnic violence in DFW.
  • Bachman Lake Together – Bachman Lake Together is an early childhood collective impact initiative committed to serving the families of the Bachman Lake community through dual generational programming and parent-led community leadership. By activating their Community Action Network to engage in storytelling exercises, Bachman Lake Together plans to have courageous discussions about race and racism.
  • Border Crossers – Border Crossers’ mission is to train and empower educators to dismantle patterns of racism and inequity within public school systems, and the communities they serve. The “Talking About Race in the Classroom” training program equips educators with the skills, tools and analysis to deepen their knowledge on the history and impact of racism, as well as how to incorporate racial equity into school communities.
  • Buildingcommunity WORKSHOP – buildingcommunityWORKSHOP works directly with residents to document neighborhood narratives and provide a platform to share these stories. Funding will be used to support Neighborhood Stories, a research and storytelling project that celebrates community identity and culture by showcasing neighborhood histories and giving voice to marginalized experiences, as well as to support Tenth Street Neighborhood Resource Center.
  • Cara Mia Theatre Company – Cara Mia Theatre Company presents critically acclaimed plays and experimental works, while also developing innovate and educational youth arts programming that is reflective of the Latino experience in the U.S. Funding will be used to partially fund the salary for the Curator for Community Action.
  • Chocolate MINT Foundation – The Chocolate MINT Foundation was created to address the lack of affordable enrichment programs for children whose parents had little to no economic resources. Funding will be used to support collaborations with DeSoto ISD to provide regularly scheduled college entrance examination workshops.
  • Community Alcohol Drug Aftercare Program – Community Alcohol Drug Aftercare Program serves the communities in the Southern Dallas region from the Trinity River south to the Dallas County/Ellis County line. Funding will be used to purchase technology to support a digital story-telling facility that will allow the community to create and share their own visual stories of racial inequities and proposed solutions.
  • The Concilio – The Concilio was created to advocate and enhance the quality of life for Hispanics in Dallas. Funding is for a Restorative Circle experience for staff and board members that will help them to better serve their community, and also create a space and opportunity for staff to discuss their own personal and professional experiences.
  • Dallas Black Dance Theatre – Dallas Black Dance Theatre is a contemporary modern dance theater presented as through the African-American experience. Funding will be used to support “Uncharted Territory,” a new multimedia work that presents Southeast Asian culture through choreography to engage the audience in exploring cultural influences on issues relating to social constructs and identity.
  • Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance – The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance teaches the history of the Holocaust and advances human rights to combat prejudice, hatred and indifference. The “Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in WWII” is a special gallery exhibit that begins in the 1920s when African Americans experienced segregation and discrimination in daily life, going through Jim Crow laws restricting civil liberties in every part of society, including the military.
  • Education Opens Doors – Education Opens Doors works with students throughout high school, using a data-driven approach to help them navigate successfully to either the college, career or post-secondary option of their choice. Funding will help Education Opens Doors contract a consultant to assess the organization’s hiring practices as well as how leadership pipelines are developed. This will help the organization implement a racial equity lens for use in both the hiring process and board recruitment. Funding also supports student interns.
  • Faith in Texas-PICO – Faith in Texas works with churches and other faith communities to train teams of lay leaders to work in their communities to identify systemic issues and move their communities to action through the use of storytelling, empathy and shared action across the boundaries of race, religion, class and ideology.
  • Girls Embracing Mothers – GEM was started to help children with incarcerated mothers overcome the stigma of having an incarcerated parent. The organization empowers girls to see their own worth and value, ultimately breaking the cycle of incarceration from generation to generation. Its #AmplifyHER campaign highlights the needs and struggles of incarcerated women, providing impacted families with the opportunity to tell their stories, giving voice and understanding to the experience of this underserved population.
  • Inclusive Communities Project – Inclusive Communities Project works for the creation and maintenance of thriving racially and economically inclusive communities, expansion of fair and affordable housing opportunities for low-income families, and redress for policies and practices that perpetuate the harmful effects of discrimination and segregation. Funding will support the “Voices of Opportunity” StoryCorp Project and “Moving Voices” Racial Healing Circles.
  • Institute for Urban Policy Research at UT Dallas via The University of Texas Foundation – Young Leaders, Strong City launched in 2014 as a pre-conference to Race Forward’s Facing Race conference in response to the lack of youth inclusivity and voice. Funding will go toward support of the 4th annual Young Leaders, Strong City Racial Justice Summit.
  • Junior Players Guild – Junior Players provides free arts education and encourages intellectual growth, mental well-being and life skills development through creative expression and drama. In partnership with youth members, staff developed the Junior Players Student Council to guide a long-term strategic plan to use arts to address social issues such as racial equity and inclusion.
  • KERA – KERA is launching a series of personal stories, online content and programming (similar to the highly successful “One Crisis Away” series) that is focused on the topic of race within our local North Texas community. To increase the impact of the stories, these reports will be broadcast on air and online within the existing key news content areas of education, health/science/technology, poverty and arts.
  • Make Art with Purpose – Make Art With Purpose provides an innovative platform for artists, designers and architects to engage with the wider community to address social and environmental concerns. Funding suppors the Hablemos program. Hablemos program participants co-create a bilingual publication with visual and written stories about their lives and neighborhoods. Hablemos also includes leadership workshops focused on community building and mobilizing to increase Latino participation in the civil sector.
  • Project Row Houses – Project Row Houses is the fiscal sponsor of Trans.lation Vickery Meadow, created in 2013 to showcase the cultural diversity of the Vickery Meadow neighborhood and provide an economic outlet for its talented artisans. Trans.lation has grown from a single event into a neighborhood organization that works at the intersection of arts and community organizing. Its political education program engages neighborhood youth to learn about racial equity issues and design community workshops to build awareness and conversation.
  • Project Unity – Project Unity is a collaborative, faith-based movement focused on building and sustaining community through dialogue, community-building events and activities, education, and empowerment. The “Together We…” series includes different types of events and ways for the community to engage and participate with each other, through food, prayer, sports, arts, and other creative forums. Funding will be used for general operations and marketing, to hire staff positions and maximize the programmatic reach, as well as executing the Year of Unity (Y.O.U. activities).
  • Social Venture Partners Dallas – Social Venture Partners is a mentor-driven social innovation fund committed to improving lives and maximizing social impact. Funding supports its Equity in Action conference and community conversations and equity trainings.
  • Soul Rep Theatre Company – Soul Rep Theatre Company offers African American theatre productions and arts education based out of the South Dallas Cultural Center. Soul Rep aims to help students access theater through its Educational Program Access Fund. Funding will provide transportation, workshops and compelling conversation with experts to students from local public elementary and middle schools.
  • St. Mark’s Episcopal Church – In 2016, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church discovered “Shelton’s Bear Creek Cemetery” — one of Texas’ oldest slave and emancipated-slave burial sites in their area — overgrown and needing serious attention. Their project will restore this historic cemetery; complete genealogy research and notify family members; and through the process, give voice and understanding to a marginalized population and its history.
  • St. Philip’s School & Community Center Teach for America – St. Philip’s School and Community Center serves 220 pre-K – 6th grade students and an additional 4,500 community youth and adults with social service programs. St. Philip’s hosts community meetings once a month to help build positive interactions and relationships in their South Dallas neighborhood. Funding will support “A Seat at the Table,” a workshop to create space for story sharing and racial equity training for South Dallas community members, St. Philip’s board members and a few key stakeholders such as police officers and preachers.
  • Teatro Dallas – Teatro Dallas is a non-profit professional theatrical institution focused on international theater through the Latino experience. Funding will be used to present “Little Mexico,” collected stories by Mexican Americans from the 1950s through present day.
  • Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation – Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation provides educational, outreach, interfaith and social services to empower and support all women and their families. In 2011, TMWF leadership helped establish the Islamic Arts Revival Series, an art exhibit in all art media, to educate and allay stereotypes and misconceptions about the Muslim community in Dallas. Funding supports the exhibit.
  • Texas Organizing Project Education Fund Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation – Texas Organizing Project Education Fund improves the lives of low and moderate income families by building power through community organizing and civic engagement. Funding will support community conversations between TOPEF Community leaders and other groups to increase understanding of the stories of others, experience healing and build mutual support across communities.
  • Village United Methodist Church – The Village United Methodist Church began in 2010 and has quickly grown its predominately African American congregation to its current location in DeSoto. Funding will support its pilot project to partner with Cockrell Hill United Methodist Church, a predominately Hispanic congregation, and The Woods United Methodist Church, a predominately Caucasian congregation. The partnership will allow about 120 congregation members to engage in activities that promote racial equity and cultural understanding in the southern sector of Dallas County.
  • WaterTower Theatre – WaterTower Theatre was established in 1996 to create innovative, diverse theatre that builds community by fostering empathy and dialogue. WaterTower commissioned actress and playwright Regina Taylor to produce Bread, a story about an African American family in Oak Cliff and their stirring and timely story of identity and family. Bread will be the first work toward a larger strategy of developing new plays, providing opportunities for local artists and creating innovative, diverse theatre that encourages examination of racial inequality on a personal level.
  • YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas – After the tragic shooting in July of 2016, the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas hosted a Youth Forum on Unity to address racial tensions in the community. Because of the positive response and reception by the youth who participated, staff decided to continue to hold youth forums between teens and adult community leaders to spark challenging but respectful conversations.
  • Young Women’s Preparatory Network – Following the 2014 Dallas Faces Race Conference, YWPN students and staff recognized a need to bring the conversation about bias and discrimination into the classroom in a formal way. YWPN developed Respect Starts Here, a multi-year curriculum for middle and high schools students focused on teaching anti-bias and racial equity. Funding supports the program, which also includes teacher training to help teachers successfully facilitate challenging issues and conversations
Celeste Arista Glover
Celeste Arista Glover
Senior Community Philanthropy Officer

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