Foundation offers ~$90,000 to serve black community

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Nonprofits serving Rhode Island’s black community have until Sept. 15 to apply for nearly $90,000 in grants through the new Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.  

“Our intent is to attract interest and applications from organizations that focus on the unique needs of the Black community in Rhode Island, including those organizations that have a tradition of serving the community,” Adrian Bonéy, the Foundation’s program officer for special programs said in a statement.

The new fund seeks applications from community-based organizations that provide youth development and mentoring opportunities to urban Black youth and Black, community-based organizations that support and promote the history and achievements of Blacks in Rhode Island, preserve the culture of the Black community and strive to uplift low-income Black Rhode Islanders. 

This will be the first round of grants awarded since the $2.5 million fund was created last year by the merger of the Foundation’s former Black Philanthropy Initiative (BPI) and the former Bannister House nursing home in Providence, which originally served retired African-American domestic workers.

“Since Day One, our goal has been to support positive and systemic change for the Black community. But, real change requires sustained resources. With this new partnership, our role as a perpetual source of support for the Black community grows even stronger,” said Linda Newton, the former co-chair of BPI’s advisory committee.

In addition to the grant program, the new fund offers scholarship assistance for black students who are pursuing or advancing a career in health care at an accredited institution and are Rhode Island residents who demonstrate financial need. 

The new fund is guided by an advisory committee comprised of BPI’s former leadership – Newton, Edward Clifton, Jason Fowler, Beverly Ledbetter and Walter Stone – and Brendan Kane of Bannister’s former board.

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