Northwestern announced that nine community projects will be funded this year through the Racial Equity and Community Partnerships Grants program.
Launched in 2021, the program is designed to help nurture mutually beneficial partnerships between community organizations and Northwestern University representatives who address the root causes of racial inequality and work toward structural change.
Northwestern’s Office of Neighborhood and Community Relations led the first Racial Equity and Community Partnership Grants program, providing $500,000 in funding to support ideas that help make our communities more equitable. An anonymous North West alumni donor has committed $500,000 in additional support, distributed in increments of $100,000 each year.
“Our first year of grant-funded projects is already having a positive impact on the communities of Evanston and Chicago,” said Dave Davis, executive director of the Office of Community and Neighborhood Relations. “This program shows how partnerships between North West organizations and community organizations benefit both and create deeper ways to address racial equity.”
A model of how universities work with their home communities
The first round of funding in 2021 supported a wide range of programs, including an effort led by Northwestern Medicine investigators to alleviate food deserts in Chicago, as well as a project to amplify the voices of black residents of Evanston in the design of a community remedy for racialized people in progress. damage and inequalities in education.
“We are excited to continue building this important initiative, which we believe could be a model for how leading research universities work with their local communities to advance racial equity and drive systemic change,” said Davis said.
One of this year’s grant recipients, Books & Breakfast is a before-school program that provides nutritious breakfast, homework help and emotional care to Evanston students in need.
“The ability we will have to recruit a team of racially diverse tutors through this partnership is priceless,” said Tasha Triplett, Director of Programs and Volunteers at Books & Breakfast. “Black and Latino kids need the connection and storytelling of the Black and Latino experience. And thanks to this grant, more tutors of color will care for these children every morning in Evanston Elementary Schools, making connections that can spark transformative change.
This year, Northwestern provided nine partnership grants that will have a structural impact on racial equity in Evanston and Chicago, focusing on three themes: health equity, children and learning, and social and economic empowerment.
Partnership grants of $25,000 to $75,000 support projects within an existing partnership between a community organization and Northwestern faculty, students, or departments.
“We are grateful for this grant because it gives us the time and resources to plan a truly equitable partnership with the Black Metropolis Research Consortium,” said director Rob Donahue, director of Northwestern’s Center for Civic Engagement. “Two of our graduating students will spend the next academic year working on projects that preserve black history through partnerships with the South Side Community Art Center, Newberry Library and Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project, which will open new access and investigation channels.”
Nine partnership scholarships awarded in 2022
Books & Breakfast
Create system change in Evanston District 65 by empowering racial justice advocates at the school and district levels, in partnership with Northwestern’s Division of Student Affairs.
Bright Star Community Outreach
Understanding and Improving Disparities in Palliative Care for African American Patients Living with Critical Illness, in partnership with Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine Palliative Medicine.
Cultivate the collective
An Assessment Partnership to Inspire a Healthier Southwest Chicago, in collaboration with Feinberg’s Osher Center for Integrative Health.
Equity and Empowerment for Evanston Families
Help young black men in Evanston find their passion and purpose by participating in intensive summer camp and year-round programming, in partnership with Northwestern Athletics.
Lighthouse Foundation and Metropolitan Chicago Institute of Public Health
Further develop the Black Queer Equity Index (BQEI), a tool to assess barriers to equity faced by Black Queer people in Chicago and highlight organizational pathways to positive change, in partnership with the Institute’s EDIT for the health and well-being of sexual and gender minorities in Feinberg.
Create identity-based bilingual curricula with Latinx youth, educators, performers, and scholars, grounded in diaspora performance traditions and in partnership with Latina and Latino Studies at Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences .
Second Baptist Church
Develop and implement intergenerational workshops and racial solidarity circles, in partnership with the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.
Women initiating new directions
Developing the Bridge program to help formerly incarcerated women become workshop leaders that empower other at-risk women in the community, in partnership with the Segal Design Institute of Northwestern Engineering and The Writing Place.
YWCA Evanston/North Shore
Breaking down racial barriers that prevent fair representation of black and brown women in technology and empowering minority entrepreneurs, in partnership with Northwestern Engineering IT.