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North Texas Community Foundation launches racial equality fund

🕐 6 min read

North Texas Community Foundation fundholders, the Rainwater Charitable Foundation, the Sid W. Richardson Foundation, The Miles Foundation, Colonial Savings  and Texas Bank and Trust drew together to establish the Fund to Advance Racial Equity in 2020 to deal with community-wide issues.

The fund has awarded $500,520 to a number of community organizations in the first round of funding.

“After Atatiana Jefferson’s tragic death, we sat down with local philanthropic leaders to think through how we could invest more intentionally to address racial inequities in our community,: said Rose Bradshaw, president and CEO of the foundation.

Jefferson was shot and killed by Fort Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean on Oct. 12, 2019, when he fired at her through a window of a home in the 1200 block of East Allen Avenue. Dean was charged with murder. He is awaiting trial.

Her sister, Ashley Carr, filed a federal wrongful-death lawsuit over the 28-year-old’s slaying against Dean, former Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus, Mayor Betsy Price and the city of Fort Worth May 17.

“We had a lot to learn about the health, education and economic disparities that exist for people of color in our community,” Bradshaw said. “With support from the fantastic team at Rainwater Charitable Foundation, we listened to local residents, donors and organizations across our community that have been engaged in this work for many years. They helped us identify two keys that are critical to success: relationships and resources.

“Together, we created the Fund to Advance Racial Equity, which supports nonprofits and municipal entities working to build understanding between racially diverse groups, strengthen bipartisan community leadership, and develop trust between residents and law enforcement,” Bradshaw said.

The North Texas Community Foundation said in a news release that the community is at its best when people come together to address the challenges it faces.

“From high-profile incidents between residents and police, to data shared in our 2016 Race and Equity in North Texas report, to the impacts of COVID-19 that have disproportionately affected people of color, our community and country have a long history of injustice and continued challenges with race relations and racial equity,” the news release said.

“We all want North Texas to be a place where everyone can thrive. What we’ve learned is that all the money in the world won’t make that happen. The overarching goal of our work is to build relationships across diverse members of our community so that pathways to opportunity are open for all of us,” Bradshaw said.

The goals of the Fund to Advance Racial Equity are three-fold: Build understanding between racially diverse groups to raise awareness of challenges as well as solutions related to racial equity; support community leadership that advances racial equity; and increase trust between residents and law enforcement to bridge gaps, heal historic divides, and develop new relationships.

An advisory council of approximately 20 diverse community members is providing feedback to inform the fund’s work, keep the fund accountable to its goals, champion the effort and help connect grantees to decision makers, the foundation’s news release said. A subset of that group served as the grant committee, reviewing proposals and making funding recommendations. Grant committee members did not serve on the boards of, nor were they employed by agencies seeking funding.

 “We are excited and eager to learn about your grantees’ projects and support their efforts to advance racial equity. Doing this work requires more than just financial support; it also requires building relationships and having access to resources that strengthen their efforts,” said Fund Liaison Donna James Harvey.

2021 Fund To Advance Racial Equity Grantees by category:

Building Understanding

– 619 Productions: For the Black, Brown and Blue arts education and musical production.

Alliance Child & Family Solutions: To support workshops for community members to increase understanding of racial inequities.

– Arlington-Mansfield Area YMCA: For the Y Brave Space Studios Advancing Racial Equity podcast.

– Diamond Hill Northside Youth Association: To facilitate workshops on effective dialogue around race, host an art contest for youth and fund a mural.

– Fort Worth Museum of Science and History: To support the Fort Worth and the Negro Motorist Green Book exhibit.

– Fort Worth Opera Association: To support A Night of Black Excellence; Past, Present and Future featuring international opera singers as well as other artists and musicians.

– Gladney Center for Adoption: To support Gladney University trainings on racial equity topics that relate to children, families, foster care, and adoption.

– Keller ISD Education Foundation: To support the Changemaker Summit, a collaborative art installation and the Agents of Change community service projects.

– March to the Polls: To support the Tarrant County Expansion Project to create life- long voters in historically underrepresented communities.

– Maroon 9 Community Enrichment Organization: To support the Second Annual Virtual Youth Enrichment Summit and summer programming.

– National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum: For the Youth Cultural Heritage Workshop program.

– Refugee Services of Texas: To support the Refugee Music Collaborative to build understanding of the refugee experience in the Fort Worth community.

– Rivertree Academy: For the creation and distribution of the We See Color book bundles that will promote education about diversity, inclusion and race relations.

– Tarrant County Black Historical & Genealogical Society: To support the hiring of the first Community Outreach Coordinator & Educator.

– Tarrant County Coalition for Peace and Justice: For salary support of the new Executive Director.

– Thank You Darlin’ Foundation: To support the Voice2Youth Program using the arts to foster connection and understanding between racially diverse groups.

– United Way of Tarrant County: To support the BRAVE/R™ TOGETHER collective impact strategy in the 76104 zip code.

– Unity Unlimited: For the media production of the Fort Worth Juneteenth Community Celebration.

– UNTHSC Foundation: To support the HSC RISE team including health disparity research projects, community education and outreach.

Supporting Community Leadership

– Arts Council of Fort Worth: To provide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access trainings to local arts organizations and independent artists.

– BoardBuild: To identify, train and place diverse community leaders on nonprofit boards.

– DNAWORKS: For salary support of the new Managing Director.

– Leadership Fort Worth: To support the next Leadership Class and LeadingEdge cohorts to inspire and equip leaders to drive change in Fort Worth.

– Leadership ISD: For the training of District Racial Equity Transformation Teams to address systemic change in school districts.

– Northside Inter-Community Agency: To develop a coalition of community leaders and residents to lift up the needs and resources of the Northside community.

Improving Neighborhood-Police Trust

– Community Frontline: To support the hiring of a Race Relations Coordinator and a Police Relations Coordinator.

– Fort Worth Office of the Police Monitor: To support two interns who will research policing policies and support community engagement.

“Our foundation is committed to applying these same principles to ourselves and our work. We look forward to working with our valued community partners to lay the foundation for a community that is strong for all, for generations to come,” Bradshaw said.

Fund to Advance Racial Equity Investors

NTCF Fundholders

ABBA Homan Charitable Fund

The Conerly Family

Fort Worth Advancement Fund

GWR Foundation Fund

Kristie and Brian Gibson Charitable Fund Hanley Family Charitable Fund Barbara Waldron Jiongo and Michael James Jiongo Charitable Fund Si and Buck Martin Legacy Fund Jeremy Smith & Family George C. and Sue W. Sumner Fund Lisa & Burch Waldron Charitable Fund The Sharon Ann McCulloch-Wells and John W. Wells Endowed Fund Doris C. and Harry K. Werst Charitable Fund Margaret Mann Wilson Fund Jack W. & Paula J. Winter Charitable Fund Other Donors Anonymous Colonial Savings Matthew Rainwater Rainwater Charitable Foundation Texas Bank and Trust

To view a Donor Catalog, which describes all the projects funded by 17 of community foundation fundholders and a handful of private foundations, visit: http://bit.ly/DonorCatalog

Paul Harral
Paul is a lifelong journalist with experience in wire service, newspaper, magazine, local and network television and digital media. He was vice president and editor of the editorial page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and editor of Fort Worth, Texas magazine before joining the Business Press. What he likes best is writing about people in detail and introducing them to others in the community. Specific areas of passion are homelessness, human trafficking, health care and aerospace.

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