Rhode Island Foundation awards $75K in grants to local nonprofits

Black History Month

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Foundation has awarded $75,000 in grants to local nonprofits that serve the state’s Black community.

The grants are made possible through the Rhode Island Foundation’s Philanthropy Bannister Fund, according to President and CEO Neil Steinberg.

Steinberg said the timing of these grants couldn’t be better.

“It’s part of the foundation’s broader effort to support across the board the communities of colors that are such a vibrant part of our Rhode Island population,” Steinberg said.

Thirteen organizations are receiving grants, each ranging anywhere between $5,000 to $7,500. The funds are supporting a variety of nonprofits including ones focused on youth development, mentoring, education and camps, as well as groups that preserve local history.

Rhode Island Slave History Medallions is one of those groups, and Director Charles Roberts said they will use the grant to place more medallions across the state. Each medallion aims to raise awareness of Rhode Island’s history with slavery.

“The foundation has been extremely supportive in terms of helping us tell the stories of African and Indigineous people, and their contribution to the state of Rhode island,” Roberts said.

Some of the other groups include Women’s Refugee Care, The Everett School and The Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading Committee.

The fund is also offering scholarships for Black students who are pursuing a career in health care.

“I think there are a lot of needs, a lot of opportunities and we want to broaden support, grant dollars are hard to come by especially in an environment like this, where you got the economy and COVID,” Steinberg said. “There are economic opportunities, education opportunities, health, reducing achievement gaps, the disparities we see in health and COVID exacerbated a lot of these issues, but the issues were there.”

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