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Cleveland Black Future Funds awards nearly $2 million in grants to 49 Black-led, Black-serving organizations

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Posted at 11:04 AM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 11:04:57-04

CLEVELAND — Forty-nine Black-run and Black-serving organizations throughout Cleveland will receive a combined $1.89 million in grants from the Cleveland Black Futures Fund, according to the Cleveland Foundation.

The foundation received more than 220 submissions during the initial application period. More than 40% of those who applied were first-time applicants.

“The outstanding application response to the fund was not entirely unexpected because we knew the need is there, but now we know how great the need is in service of this work,” said Courtenay Barton, Cleveland Foundation program director for arts & culture and racial equity initiatives. “As our community continues to give generously to this fund, we will be able to support a wide array of organizations that are doing the hard work on the ground each and every day.”

The Black Futures Fund has amassed more than $4.3 million since its inception in late 2020 to support nonprofit organizations that are Black-led and serve the Black community.

One of the organizations to benefit from the latest round of funding is Hands on Health, an organization that specifically serves predominately Black areas and offers health screenings for blood pressures and glucose, even offering COVID-19 vaccinations.

When the founders of Hands on Health heard about the funding, they jumped at the opportunity.

"Knowing that grant-making to black communities has been declining at the same time that social disparities and life outcomes are widening, we had to take a look at what we are doing and make sure we are putting resources in the hands of leaders that have been doing work in this community for many many years," said a spokesperson for Hands-on Health.

Another organization, See You at the Top, which introduces Black children to the great outdoors, received funding.

"Everything that we do is just unapologetically for our community to help support us mental health-wise, assisting in releasing some of that toxic stress. So those black future dollars are literally going to our futures," said Erika Hood of See You at The Top.

A second round of funding will take place this fall.

Click here for more information on how to apply for future funding and to see the list of current recipients.

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