News & Event
Members of the Ujima Legacy Fund – a giving circle created by and for African American men – announce two new grants of $20,000 each to The Literacy Lab and FRIENDS Association for Children. They will honor the recipients at a celebration on December 19th at the 1717 Innovation Center located at 1717 E. Cary Street.
The grant to The Literacy Lab will fund the first full school year (2019-20) of its Leading Men Fellowship in Richmond. The Fellowship recruits, trains and coaches local young men of color to serve as pre-K literacy tutors in high-need classrooms.
With seed funding from the mayor’s office, The Literacy Lab launched the Leading Men Fellowship in Richmond in Spring 2019. Fellows become full-time literacy tutors in pre-K classrooms across Richmond, providing daily research-based and evidence-proven interventions to 75 children who are not on track to be ready for Kindergarten. Each Fellow is embedded in a single pre-K classroom for the entire school year to implement a multi-tiered instructional strategy by providing one-on-one, small group and whole group literacy interventions. Before the school year, Fellows attend a 40-hour summer training institute led by Early Literacy Coaches with extensive experience in early childhood literacy. They also receive an additional 50 hours of professional development throughout the year along with ongoing coaching and classroom observation.
The grant to FRIENDS Association for Children (FRIENDS) will provide new kitchen appliances so the organization can continue serving meals in their centers for the next decade, ensuring that hunger is never a barrier to learning.
FRIENDS operates nearly 250 days per year, serving 3 meals to nearly 200 students each day, resulting in over 130,000 meals per year. Currently, the appliances at both centers are decades old and well beyond their life expectancy. Funds will be used to replace and upgrade equipment in the kitchens with high quality, energy-efficient, industrial kitchen appliances that will increase meal service efficiency, reduce kitchen operating costs and eliminate the risk of catastrophic failure. Additionally, the grant allows FRIENDS time to implement a life-cycle plan that includes 5, 10, and 15-year replacement objectives, along with the opportunity to secure funding for future upgrades.
Derrick Johnson, President of Ujima said, “These two organizations are great examples of the kind of nonprofits Ujima was created to support. Each in different ways exists to create a better world for the populations they serve. The men of Ujima are proud to fund projects that will positively impact underserved youth.”
In 2013, The Ujima Legacy Fund was launched to make philanthropy engaging and accessible for African American men in the Richmond region. Ujima is named after the third day of Kwanzaa and means collective work and responsibility. One of three giving circles created in partnership with the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, Ujima members pool contributions of $1,100 each to generate greater community impact. Together, they select at least one local nonprofit organization annually that they feel best demonstrates the ability to empower youth through education-related initiatives, with an emphasis on underserved youth. Since inception, membership has grown to 50 men and has awarded a total of $248,000 to 12 organizations.
Members of the Ujima Legacy Fund – a giving circle created by and for African American men – announced two new grants of $20,000 each to Children’s Home Society of Virginia and Partnership for the Future. The recipients were honored at a celebration held on June 12, 2018 at the 1717 Innovation Center located at 1717 E. Cary Street.
Jadien Jones Photography
The grant to Children’s Home Society of Virginia will support The Possibilities Project (TPP), a collaborative endeavor between Children’s Home Society (CHS) and the Better Housing Coalition (BHC) to address the needs of Richmond area youth aging out of foster care. By using trauma informed best practices, TPP provides: 1) safe, stable housing; 2) transportation; 3) employment and job/vocational training; 4) access to education; and 5) a variety of wrap-around services that help participants acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies needed to become self-sufficient adults, maintain healthy lifestyles, and successfully pursue their dreams. This is an innovative program that is having a transformational impact in the lives of youth aging out of foster care in our region.
The grant to Partnership for the Future (PFF) will support the PFF Institute, a week-long program which prepares rising sophomore high school students for successful internships and college by building their business and expected etiquette skills. Through a structured curriculum hosted by Randolph-Macon College, PFF students develop basic employment and communication skills for their summer internships. Time management, conflict resolution, business ethics, money management, and team building are some of the topics covered during the program. Students also participate in an intensive Microsoft Office training program that gives them the skills many employers will require when they participate in their internships the following three summers. During the PFF Institute week, the students also become familiar with the expectations future college peers, professors, and employers will have of both their business savvy and their social expertise.
“Children’s Home Society and Partnership for the Future are two inspiring examples of what can happen when you believe and invest in the potential of young people,” said Immanuel Sutherland, leadership team member, of Ujima Legacy Fund. “The members of the Ujima Legacy Fund are proud to make a collective investment that will help these organizations continue to grow and to provide young people from our communities with life-changing opportunities that will help them achieve in life.”
Learn more about the Ujima Legacy Fund
(RICHMOND, VA)…Members of the Ujima Legacy Fund – a giving circle created by and for African American men – announced two new grants of $20,000 each to Richmond Cycling Corps and Excel To Excellence. They honored the recipients at a celebration at the Richmond Cycling Corps Bike Park on June 2, 2016.
The grant to Richmond Cycling Corps will provide employment opportunities for youth who participate in this unique program that uses the bicycle as a tool to help youth in public
housing break free from systemic poverty. While the program has proudly produced the only two inner-city youth cycling teams in the nation, it also offers its youth participants a good dose of tough love. Central to its mission, Richmond Cycling Corps provides a range of case management services to help these young people navigate life and learn personal accountability. This year, with support from Ujima Legacy Fund, 6 young people will be offered summer jobs as assistant coaches, bike patrol members and maintenance staff for a large scale community garden project.
The grant to Excel to Excellence will allow the program to expand from two to four schools in 2016, reaching an additional 60 students. Developed by Richmond native and former NFL player Michael Robinson, Team Excel is an ongoing academic program that encourages youth to excel in the classroom throughout the school year. The program uses a “reverse” fantasy football concept in which students are coached by professional athletes and community mentors. Each week, youth participants receive individual and team scores based on their grades, attendance and community service. Aimed at bridging the achievement gap in Henrico County, Team Excel is designed to help students increase their classroom performance, learn life skills and explore career opportunities.
“Richmond Cycling Corps and Team Excel represent two inspiring examples of what can happen when you believe and invest in the potential of young people,” said Immanuel Sutherland, leadership team member, of Ujima Legacy Fund. “The members of the Ujima Legacy Fund are proud to make a collective investment that will help these organizations continue to grow and innovate and to provide young people from our communities with life-changing opportunities that will help them achieve in school and in life.”
In 2013, The Ujima Legacy Fund was launched as a way to make philanthropy engaging and accessible for African American men in the Richmond region. Ujima is named after the third day of Kwanzaa and means collective work and responsibility. One of three giving circles created in partnership with The Community Foundation, Ujima members pool contributions of $1,100 each to generate greater community impact. Together, they select at least one local nonprofit organization annually that they feel best demonstrates the ability to empower youth through education-related initiatives, with a particular emphasis on underserved youth. Since inception, membership has grown to 43 men and has awarded a total of $128,000 to six organizations.
Now in its fifth year, the Ujima Legacy Fund has harnessed the generosity of its 40 members to award two grants of $20,000 each to Higher Achievement and Mega Mentors. Created with the goal to increase the philanthropic impact of African American men in the Greater Richmond region, the Ujima Legacy Fund focuses its grant program on organizations working to empower youth through education-related programs. Cumulative grantmaking now totals $168,000 to 8 area nonprofits.
Higher Achievement closes the opportunity gap for underserved students through intensive after-school and summer programs that provide expanded learning, mentorship and opportunity. Scholars begin as rising 5th and 6th graders and remain in the program through 8th grade. Support from the Ujima Legacy Fund will allow Higher Achievement to grow in response to increased demand and high retention by scaling programming at the newest of their four sites – Binford and Wilder Middle Schools. It means that next school year more than 300 scholars will realize gains equivalent to an extra 48 days of learning in math and an extra 30 days in reading; and most importantly, they will be on track for college with the character, confidence and skills to succeed.
Mega Mentors was created in 2009 when then superintendent Dr. Marcus Newsome asked African American community leaders to be role models for students in Chesterfield County. While intentional about working with African American students, the volunteer-run program is designed to improve academic performance, increase graduation rates and reduce disciplinary issues for all middle and high school students who are underserved or disenfranchised. This year, 150 volunteer mentors work with 500 middle and high school students in 7 schools. Grant funding will support a part-time coordinator to help grow the program to serve more schools and students, provide greater consistency and build stronger partnerships and collaborations.
In 2013, Ujima Legacy Fund launched to make philanthropy engaging and accessible for African American men in the Richmond region. Ujima is named after the third day of Kwanzaa and means collective work and responsibility. One of three giving circles created in partnership with The Community Foundation, Ujima members pool contributions of $1,100 each to generate greater community impact. Together, they select at least one local nonprofit organization annually that they feel best demonstrates the ability to empower youth through education-related initiatives, with emphasis on underserved youth.
Learn more about collective giving networks
In their fourth year of awarding grants to local nonprofits that focus programming on African-American women and girls, in partnership with the Community Foundation, SisterFund announces two awards of $20,000 each, granted to Sport Backers and Assisting Families of Inmates.
SPORTS BACKERS: Fitness Warriors trains African-American women to be Warriors for health equity and teaches them to lead group fitness classes in their communities. Their mission is to inspire people from all corners of the community to live actively. During a one-year timeframe, the organization has impacted 1,964 individuals who engaged in their Fitness Warriors classes for the first time and 87% continue their healthy lifestyle because of their fitness instructors.
ASSISTING FAMILIES OF INMATES: Milk & Cookies Children's Program works to reduce trauma among children and their adult, female caregivers. Their mission is to provide opportunities for regular and meaningful visitation, referrals to community resources, and vital services that help families cope with incarceration and prepare for release and reunification. One hundred percent of their participants are African-American.
“We were so impressed by all of the submissions we received this year. Focusing on smaller grants allowed us to fund two worthy nonprofits and it also allowed us an opportunity to learn about so many organizations working in our focused area, but may not have had the capacity to administer a large grant at this time,” said Evette Roots, Chair of SisterFund. “Our plan is to work with some of these nonprofits to offer guidance to prepare them for future grant opportunities with our giving circle."
SisterFund represents the collective wisdom, service and philanthropy of 68 African-American women leaders who believe they can significantly make an impact on our community by working together. While many of its members have professions of service in our community, the giving circle is an opportunity to come together to broaden their collective desire to improve issues affecting African-American women and girls and to support nonprofits serving this population through education, workforce and leadership development.
Learn more about SisterFund, its membership and grant program by visiting www.sisterfundrva.org or contact Christina Mastroianni, Director of Civic Engagement at 804-409-5620.
Richmond, VA – October 25, 2017 -- The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia (TCF) and solar power company Secure Futures have partnered to support local governments and K-12 public school systems seeking to transition to solar energy. TCF donors established the RVA Solar Fund out of their common interest in advancing solar energy in the Richmond region. The fund will provide grants of up to $100,000 to support administrative costs, education and training, and related sustainability initiatives for public entities going solar.
Each grant recipient will engage in a solar power purchase agreement with Secure Futures to finance, install, own, and operate an estimated 15,000 solar panels at the recipients’ sites, for a total local investment of approximately $12 million. The public entities will pay no capital or maintenance costs for the equipment and will enjoy reduced total electricity costs by using the power generated by the panels. Together, this initiative represents an innovative public-private collaboration to build five megawatts of clean solar power – enough to power 700 homes — and avoid the equivalent CO2 emissions from burning 5 million pounds of coal per year.
“The Community Foundation is delighted to help local donors achieve their charitable goals by facilitating meaningful investments in clean energy,” said Sherrie Armstrong, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Community Foundation. “We believe solar energy will bring positive, long-term benefit to our community, our environment, and local taxpayers.”
The RVA Solar Fund provides a unique opportunity for public agencies in the 13-county, 4-city Richmond region to generate solar power on-site and save money at the same time.
All area K-12 public school systems and local governments are urged to apply as soon as possible. The $200,000 fund will be distributed among multiple grantees, with a maximum single grant amount of $100,000. Interested applicants must submit a non-binding Notice of Interest through The Community Foundation’s website by November 17, 2017.
“The Richmond region is well-positioned to become a national leader in sustainability and innovation, and the cost of clean energy is no longer an obstacle,” says Anthony Smith, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Secure Futures, a Virginia-based Certified B Corp recognized for its commitment to exacting standards for social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. “Solar’s time has come. And with this initiative, we can jump start local schools’ and governments’ transition to clean solar power while saving them money for decades to come.”
To assist with outreach throughout the Greater Richmond region, Charlottesville-based non-profit organization Generation 180 is collaborating on the project.
“We are dedicated to supporting a cultural shift in energy awareness and advancing the transition to clean energy,” says Tish Tablan, National Organizer, Generation 180. “And there is nothing more powerful for shifting mindsets in the future than children seeing solar energy being used in their own schools. We hope to see this partnership in the Richmond region spread to communities around the country who are dedicated to a healthier, cleaner future with a workforce prepared for the 21st century economy.”
Two additional non-profit organizations are supporting this effort: The Richmond Region Energy Alliance (RREA) and the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED). They are helping with outreach to prospective grant recipients and curriculum and training for schools, respectively.
About The Community Foundation
The Community Foundation is a public charity that serves its donors and community in Richmond and Central Virginia. Since 1968, TCF has been solving problems, preserving legacies and building permanent endowments. In the intervening years, TCF has granted more than $800 million to hundreds of local nonprofits with more than 900 funds of all sizes.
About Secure Futures, LLC
As a market and policy leader, Secure Futures builds, owns, manages and funds affordable US made Resilient Solar Solutions® for public purpose entities. Headquartered in Staunton, Va., the Company combines state-of–the-art solar technology with an innovative business model to make commercial scale solar readily affordable in Virginia, helping customers to realize the economic, environmental, and community benefits of solar energy. In 2017, Secure Futures became a Certified B Corporation®, having met the exacting standards for social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability established by the nonprofit B Lab®.
About Generation 180
Generation 180 is a non-profit committed to advancing the transition to clean energy and supporting a cultural shift in energy awareness through original content, digitally enabled campaigns, and an empowered volunteer network. We help people understand the trends that are moving us toward a more energy aware lifestyle, and the specific actions we can take to advance clean energy in our homes, schools, businesses and communities. Generation 180 helps schools across the country take advantage of the benefits of going solar with current research, resources and community volunteers.
Learn about giving through TCF
RICHMOND, VA – SisterFund, the newest giving circle created in partnership with The Community Foundation, has awarded a grant of $20,000 to Children’s Home Society. The grant will support the Possibilities Project, a collaboration between Children’s Home Society of Virginia and Better Housing Coalition. Funds will be used to provide trauma-informed supports including access to education, safe housing and life coaching for young women aging out of the foster care system.
“We are excited to partner with the women of SisterFund to produce better results for foster care youth in Virginia,” said Nadine Marsh-Carter, executive director of the Children’s Home Society of Virginia. “For youth entering the world without the supports of family or resources, this grant can be the difference between a path to incarceration or homelessness and a future in which they are empowered to live independently and become successful, thriving adults.”
The Possibilities Project addresses the young peoples’ emotional health as well as their critical need for lifelong connections. The long-term goal is to create a model based on best practices that can be replicated across Virginia and across the country.
“With so many compelling proposals, this was a hard choice,” said Evette Roots, founding member and marketing chair. “Ultimately, we were inspired by The Possibilities Project’s comprehensive approach and its long-term goals to affect systems change statewide. We felt we could make a difference financially, but also by staying informed and engaging in public policy.”
SisterFund was founded in October 2015 by several committed and passionate individuals including Veronica Fleming, The Honorable Cynthia Newbille, Greta J. Harris, Evette T. Roots, The Honorable Ellen F. Robertson, and The Honorable Delores McQuinn. Its purpose is to unite women around the power of collective philanthropy. In its inaugural year, 26 members came together to broaden their collective awareness about issues affecting African American women and girls and to support nonprofits serving this population through opportunities in education, workforce and leadership development.
“SisterFund is an experience that embraces all aspects of philanthropy. We are learning together, giving together and celebrating the joy of achieving greater impact together,” said Roots. “Now that we have made our first grant, we are extremely motivated to grow our circle and expand our support for community initiatives.”
Anyone who would like to join SisterFund or learn more about its grant program is encouraged to visit www.sisterfundrva.org or call The Community Foundation at (804) 330-7400.
3409 Moore Street
Richmond, VA 23230
P: (804) 330-7400
F: (804) 330-5992
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