News & Event
DECEMBER 16, 2020 — Members of the Ujima Legacy Fund – a giving circle created by and for African American men – announce three new grants ranging from $20,000-$40,000 to The Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia, ChildSavers, and Girls For A Change. They honored the recipients at a virtual celebration held on December 15.
The grant to The Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia (BHMVA) will support the development & implementation of Black history virtual learning opportunities for students with focus on African American youth and students of Richmond Public Schools. It is expected that 5,000-10,000 students will take advantage of the materials when they are initially released.
These virtual learning experiences about Black history will be tailored to elementary, middle, and high school students. While the programming is open and available to all students, African American students are poised to gain the deepest insight about the contributions of their ancestors to the tapestry of American history. Equitable treatment regarding things like education, economic security, health, and safety will be interwoven in the program. A key component for each module will be how the students can connect the historical people, places, and events to their lives today.
The grant to ChildSavers will support the creation of a pilot program offering group therapy for African American adolescent males ages 12-17 to address the mental health crisis.
This program will take place over a six-month period, facilitated by a member of ChildSavers’ school-based clinical staff. Four groups of 6-10 students will meet once a week for 8-10 weeks. The groups will meet to explore topics around families, bodies, self, ancestors, and the global community. The intent is for the group to become a pipeline, ultimately for the organization’s young professional board as they look to engage more members of the community they serve in all of their volunteer leadership.
The grant to Girls For A Change (GFAC) will support the 4th cohort of GFAC's premier workforce development program, Girl Ambassadors.
Girl Ambassadors is a four-year, workforce development program serving girls of color from 9th through 12th grade from the Greater Richmond area. It provides participants with tech training, certifications, mentors, and other experiences that support their mastery of 21st century skills. This exposure prepares participants to eliminate the “cement ceiling” that is in place to limit their access to leadership, innovation, and the financial rewards of gainful employment. The girls earn the opportunity to exhibit their newly acquired skills in local startups, nonprofits, and corporate settings.
“These three organizations epitomize the types of programs Ujima Legacy Fund was created to assist. They are educating and supporting our young people so they can realize their full potential. The men of Ujima are proud to support this work,” said Derrick Johnson, President of Ujima Legacy Fund.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday is a national day of service — and a time to re-commit to serving each other and our communities. The MLK Day of Service calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. It empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community.
Over the MLK weekend, the Community Foundation and its partners want to harness the power of individual and collective action through a series of events celebrating MLK Day. In 2020, the convergence of a global pandemic and a movement towards racial justice highlighted both selfless acts and shared humanity, but also deep divisions and disparities. In 2021, MLK Day takes on greater importance as we seek to move forward with intention and resiliency. Sign up to participate in the following activities and make this “a day on, not a day off” for you, your friends and family. More details and registration can be found on our MLK Day webpage.
Tuesday, January 12th, 1:00 pm
Education is a key step in the fight to end racism. Anneliese A. Singh, Ph.D., LPC, author, professor and Associate Provost for Diversity and Faculty Development at Tulane University, will help raise our race-consciousness by challenging stereotypes, reframing the history of racism and its impact on our lives, and share why healing from racism is an integral part of dismantling it. Click here to register.
Sunday, January 17th, 2:00 pm
Hear from the storytellers in “Heard,” a documentary about five people who grew up in Richmond’s public housing communities. Breakout sessions will explore the importance of sharing stories and listening to people with firsthand experience before taking civic action. Prepare for this event by watching "Heard" at the VPM website and click here to register for the discussion and breakout sessions led by Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.
All weekend (Saturday – Monday)
Sign up to participate in on-site or virtual service projects with community organizations serving the region. All in-person projects will enforce safety protocols as recommended by the CDC. Register for a community service project here.
Join our social media campaign to encourage more of our community to participate in service this year. Fill out a "Pledge to Serve" template with an act or type of service you plan to complete in 2021. Share your commitment as well as a blank template on your social media channels, encouraging others to make their own pledge. Use hashtags #MLKDayRVA and #PledgeToServe and tag and follow us at @cfrichmondva.
APRIL 15, 2020 — Just weeks after the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond and the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia activated the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund as a way to rapidly raise funds and align resources where they are needed most, the fund announces its first round of grants totaling $1.1 million to 25 organizations providing immediate support to those most impacted by the pandemic.
While the region is in the early response phase of this crisis, the fund is initially focused on ensuring support for those most likely to contract the virus or those whose health could be further compromised during this time because of barriers to food access, healthcare or stable shelter.
“While the pandemic has impacted the operations of virtually every organization in our community,” says Scott Blackwell, Chief Community Engagement Officer at the Community Foundation, “We are currently targeting those on the frontline that need to pivot and adapt quickly to an ever-increasing demand for their services. Some organizations have repurposed their buildings, others require additional staffing to make up for fewer volunteers, and others need to purchase additional cleaning supplies and PPEs to ensure the safety of their staff and clients.”
An advisory committee from the philanthropic, business and public sectors are reviewing and distributing grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund on a rolling basis. The first round of grant recipients includes:
For a full list of grants awarded thus far, click here.
“By working in collaboration with local officials and our many fund partners, we are tapping into deep community knowledge to ensure we are doing the most good for the most people throughout every phase of this crisis,” said Ben Ruppert, finance chair of the Emergency Management Alliance and a fund advisory committee member. “As funds are available, we will remain flexible to the evolving needs as the situation continues to unfold.”
To date, the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund has raised $4.25 million in contributions from foundations, businesses and individuals across the region. This includes a $100,000 matching grant from the United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg to incentivize new donations made through their website.
“Organizations stepping up to help will continue to need funding,” said James Taylor, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. “We are pleased to support this first round of grants, but we know there is a lot more to do. I encourage everyone in our region to join our local United Way in donating to the COVID-19 Response Fund.”
The campaign to raise funds and enlist support from the public continues as the impact from the crisis will likely stretch out for weeks and months. To learn more about how the fund works and how you can help response efforts, please visit www.togetheroneregion.org
APRIL 22, 2021 — In celebration of Earth Day 2021, the ConseRVAtion Fund has announced five new grants totaling $90,000 to support organizations and projects in Greater Richmond that focus on benefiting the environment, conserving natural resources and enhancing regional sustainability. Grants support a wide array of projects, from the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program to the 12,000 tree giveaway program during Arbor Day 2021.
“What makes this grant process exciting for me is seeing the different ideas that the community can come up with,” said Ron Felmus, a ConseRVAtion Fund advisor. “We try to give applicants a lot of room to get creative in finding new solutions for environmental sustainability.”
Darquan Robertson, Groundwork RVA’s landscaping crew chief, tends to a garden plot. Groundwork RVA is a local nonprofit that works with Richmond youth to facilitate environmental, economic and social wellbeing in neighborhoods by transforming blighted, neglected open spaces into public assets
This year marks the second grant cycle from the ConseRVAtion Fund, a donor advised fund of the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond. Grant recipients and descriptions are listed below:
Click here to learn more about the ConseRVAtion Fund.
DECEMBER 17, 2019 — 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.
January 6, 2022 — Members of the Ujima Legacy Fund – a giving circle created by and for African American men – announce three new grants of $20,000 each to Assisting Families of Inmates, Broken Men Foundation and Virginia Community Voice.
The grant to Assisting Families of Inmates will provide opportunities for regular, meaningful visitation, referrals to community resources, and other services that help families cope with incarceration and prepare for release and reunification through the MAC Boys Retreat program.
MAC Boys Retreat is an evidence-based, trauma-informed project designed to help participants cope with the incarceration of a parent or caregiver. Utilizing positive role modeling through mentorship, peer-based support, evidence-based therapies, group work, and recreational activities, the MAC Boys Retreat aims to increase resiliency, coping skills and emotional regulation; ultimately helping to mitigate the deleterious effects of trauma.
Support going to the Broken Men Foundation will be used to initiate a new program called Coach Them Up and Over. This program builds on the organization’s existing by adding a new element that will have a more intensive mentoring relationship for at-risk boys.
Broken Men Foundation is deeply rooted in academic achievement, the establishment of social skills, self-esteem and responsibility, citizenship, and community involvement. The goal is to make young men accountable for their actions, thus enabling them to become productive members of the community.
Ujima also supported Virginia Community Voice through this grant cycle. The award will help create educational programs so young people are empowered to reach their fullest potential, by putting youth at the center of designing those programs.
With this funding, Virginia Community Voice will engage 16 to 21 year-olds in a listening and design process, culminating in the launch of a bilingual South Richmond Young Leaders Fellowship. The fellowship will develop the technical research, community organizing and civic advocacy skills of young people who are Richmond's next generation of leaders.
“Ujima Legacy Fund is excited to support the work of these three organizations who are making a difference in our community and supporting young people to realize their full-potential ,” shared Derrick Johnson, Leadership Chair of Ujima. “We couldn’t be more proud.” The giving circle honored the recipients at a virtual celebration on December 16th.
The Community Foundation for a greater Richmond is excited to announce the selected participants for the 2023-2024 cohort of Emerging Nonprofit Leaders!
The Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program is a dynamic nine-month experience for the next generation of nonprofit leaders in the Greater Richmond region. In this engaging program, participants will have the opportunity to foster a deeper understanding of their leadership capacity, advance their understanding and practice of leading in the nonprofit sector, and strengthen their network of nonprofit colleagues. The program has demonstrated measurable results, building a cadre of over 200 talented leaders for the future of our local community for the nearly 20 years. The Community Foundation also supports the network of ENLP Alumni with programming and ongoing networking.
Nonprofit applicants were selected based on their potential to make a significant future contribution to the nonprofit community through assuming higher and increased levels of leadership, show substantive history of involvement in the nonprofit sector through employment, volunteerism, or board service and demonstrate a commitment to ongoing professional development, continuing education, and lifelong learning.
Alex Rooke, Director of Early Childhood Home Visiting, Family Lifeline
Alisha R. Saunders-Wilson, Manager, Early Childhood Development, Thrive Birth to Five
Amber Lancaster, Founder and President, Start 1 Spark
Amma Gatty, Founder / Executive Director, Culture Encounters
Antonio M. Villa Payares, Executive Director, La Casa De La Salud
Ariel Youmans, Manager of Smoky's Spay & Neuter Clinic, Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Benjamin C. Carr, Director of Recovery Services, Caritas
Benjamin C. Cronly, Executive Director, The Byrd Theatre
Caitlin Berry, Health & Wellness Outcomes Manager, Sportable
Carolina Lugo, Director of Programs, Sacred Heart
Christina D. Bonini, Senior Green Infrastructure Projects Development, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Elizabeth Nice, Associate Director of Real Estate Development, Virginia Supportive Housing
Elvira De La Cruz Macedo, CEO, Latinos in Virginia Empowerment Center
Katie Heishman, Pastoral Director, Richmond Hill
Kheila S. Jones, Executive Director, Atlantic Outreach Group
Kiaya N. L. Smith, Donor Relations Manager, Richmond Symphony
Kristen Walthall, U.S. Program Specialist, Children Incorporated
Kristin Riddick, Community Housing Programs Manager, Housing Families First
LaChelle M. Lewis, Director of Development, The Valentine
Laurie J. Hunter, Long Term Care Ombudsman Manager, Senior Connections, The Capital Area Agency on Aging
Patricia A Trotta, Housing Resource Line Program Manager, Partnerships for Housing Affordability
Shaletta H. Drawbaugh, Director of Operations, Urban Hope LLC
Susan M. Norkus, Donor Engagement Manager, Children's Hospital Foundation
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Richmond, VA 23230
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