Sunday Spotlight: Omaha Community Foundation rolls out grants for African American led organizations

Sunday Spotlight: Omaha Community Foundation rolls out grants for African American led organizations

JONAH AND KALE. ALL RIGHT. THANK YOU CAITLIN. THE OMAHA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION IS TURNING TO OMAHA RESIDENTS TO HELP PUT GRANTS IN THE HANDS OF THE COMMUNITY. IT’S ALL THROUGH THE AFRICAN AMERICAN UNITY FUND. USING A RESIDENT LED APPROACH TO DECIDE WHERE THE DOLLARS GO FOR THIS SUNDAY’S SPOTLIGHT, WE’RE SITTING DOWN WITH THE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY INVESTMENT AND AND WE HAVE THE COMMITTEE MEMBER OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN UNITY FUND. KIMBERLY, WELCOME BACK AND THEN WELCOME, MAN. THANK YOU. APPRECIATE YOU. SO SINCE 2008 AND $3 MILLION LATER, HOW IS THIS HELPING THE COMMUNITY? I THINK I WOULD LOOK TO KIM ON THAT. YEAH. SO IT’S HELPING THE COMMUNITY IN A IN A GREAT WAY. UM, IT GIVES APPROXIMATELY ABOUT 250,000, 300,000 DEPENDING ON THE POT OF MONEY FOR THOSE THAT HAVE GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATIONS THAT REALLY NEED SOME START UP FUNDS TO ENHANCE THEIR PROGRAMING. SO IT’S A FABULOUS WAY TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY. AND THEN YOU MENTIONED THOSE ORGANIZATIONS, RIGHT? AND THEN ALSO ITS INITIATIVES. SO WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN OMAHA THAT HAVE RECEIVED THIS FUNDING OR LIKE, YOU KNOW, WHAT HAVE THEY DONE WITH IT? SO WE’RE SCREEN ROOTS IS ONE THAT HAS RECEIVED THE FUNDING, AND THEY ARE AN ORGANIZATION THAT’S REALLY GEARED AROUND, UM, GARDENING AND FUNDRAISING AND THINGS LIKE THAT. UM, WOMEN WILL RIVNE WELL READ. WOMEN OF NEBRASKA. I ALWAYS GET THAT WRONG, RIGHT. UM, IS ANOTHER ORGANIZATION THAT REALLY PROMOTES LITERACY FOR, UM, AFRICAN AMERICAN YOUNG GIRLS AS WELL AS ADULTS THAT ASPIRE TO, YOU KNOW, READ MORE TO GET MORE INFORMED ABOUT, UM, READING AND LITERACY. SO THOSE ARE TWO ORGANIZATIONS THAT COME TO MIND THAT I REMEMBER THAT WE, UM, ACTUALLY PROCESSED AND APPROVED FUNDING FOR. AND I KNOW THIS FUNDING IS HELPING AFRICAN AMERICAN BUSINESSES. HOW DID THIS COME ABOUT? WELL, ACTUALLY, TWO FUNDERS IN THE COMMUNITY DECIDED TO GET TOGETHER, AND THEY SAID, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM THE COMMUNITY ABOUT WHAT IS IMPACTING THEM, WHAT’S IMPACTFUL, HOW. HOW DO YOU WANT TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT WHAT WHERE MONEY IS DISTRIBUTED, WHO SUPPORTED? AND THOSE TWO FUNDERS GOT TOGETHER AND THEN OVER TIME, MORE FUNDERS ADDED TO THE PILE AND BECAME PART OF THIS MOVEMENT IN OUR COMMUNITY. AND THEN THERE WAS A QUOTE FROM ONE OF THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS, AND SHE SAID THAT WE MAY BE THE SAME COLOR OR THE SAME RACE, OR MAYBE EVEN NOT, BUT WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE AND DIFFERENT, YOU KNOW, UPBRINGING. SO I THOUGHT THAT WAS JUST SO IMPORTANT. SO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW THIS FUND REALLY PROVES TO BE CRITICAL. IT’S VERY CRITICAL BECAUSE MOST OF THE INDIVIDUALS THAT SERVE ON THE AFRICAN AMERICAN UNITY FUND HAVE LIVED EXPERIENCES. THEY ACTUALLY MOST OF THEM HAVE LIVED IN NORTH OMAHA. UM, THEY ARE AFRICAN AMERICAN. THEY’RE BLACK. AND SO THEY UNDERSTAND THE DYNAMICS THAT’S NECESSARY FOR PROGRAMING IN THOSE SPECIFIC AREAS. SO IT GARNERS A DIFFERENT TYPE OF CONVERSATION ABOUT HOW CAN THIS REALLY INFLUENCE THE COMMUNITY AND WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE. AND YOU HAVE TO SPEAK FROM A LIVED EXPERIENCE STANDPOINT TO ENSURE THAT THE PROGRAM SATISFIES THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY. SO THAT’S WHY IT’S VERY CRITICAL. AND I WANT TO ASK YOU, IS THERE ANY REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR THIS FUNDING? UH, YOU HAVE TO BE THE BUDGET FOR THE ORGANIZATION HAS TO BE UNDER $500,000, BECAUSE THE COMMITTEE IS REALLY LOOKING AT ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE EMERGING, UH, OR UM, AT THAT SMALLER LEVEL, UH, YOU SIOUX ORGANIZATIONS, UH, ALIGN WITH A NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY, BUT OTHER THAN THAT, ANY ORGANIZATION CAN APPLY THAT’S DOING WORK TO IMPACT THE COMMUNITY. ALL RIGHTY. THANK YOU SO MUCH. AND THAT’S WHAT MAKES THIS FUND SO TRANSFORMATIVE, RIGHT. ABSOLUTELY. WELL, FOR MORE INFORMATION, HEAD

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Sunday Spotlight: Omaha Community Foundation rolls out grants for African American led organizations

The Omaha Community Foundation is turning to Omaha residents to help put grants in the hands of the community. It’s through the African American Unity Fund, using a resident-led approach to decide where the dollars go. “It’s helping the community in a great way, it gives approximately $250,000-$300,000 depending on the pot of money for those who have grassroots organizations that really need some startup funds,” Kimberly Barnes, a committee member said. She said these funds help to enhance their programming or give them the boost they need to excel. Organizations like Whispering Roots and Well Read Women of Nebraska help be a catalyst of change within the community. “They promote literacy for African American and young girls as well as adults that aspire to you know read more, get more informed about reading and literacy,” Barnes said. Director of Community Investment with Omaha Community Foundation, Anne Meyensburg said it all started with two local funders. “They said we want to hear from the community about what is impacting them,” she said. “What’s impactful? How do you want to make decisions about where money is distributed?”Meyensburg said as time progressed, more funders came on board and became a part of this movement. “It’s very critical because most of the individuals that serve on the African American Unity Fund have lived experiences,” Barnes said. “Most of them have lived in North Omaha, they are African American, they are Black and so they understand the dynamics of necessary programming that’s for those specific areas.”Barnes because the committee members understand the community needs, they can better help distribute where the funds can be most impactful. The main requirement to apply is the budget for the interested organization has to be under $5,000. Also, organizations that align with the non-discrimination policy. Meyensburg said they are interested in organizations that are new and emerging, but anyone is encouraged to apply. The application is now open; it closes on March 1. To apply or for more information head to their website, omahafoundation.org.

The Omaha Community Foundation is turning to Omaha residents to help put grants in the hands of the community.

It’s through the African American Unity Fund, using a resident-led approach to decide where the dollars go.

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“It’s helping the community in a great way, it gives approximately $250,000-$300,000 depending on the pot of money for those who have grassroots organizations that really need some startup funds,” Kimberly Barnes, a committee member said.

She said these funds help to enhance their programming or give them the boost they need to excel.

Organizations like Whispering Roots and Well Read Women of Nebraska help be a catalyst of change within the community.

“They promote literacy for African American and young girls as well as adults that aspire to you know read more, get more informed about reading and literacy,” Barnes said.

Director of Community Investment with Omaha Community Foundation, Anne Meyensburg said it all started with two local funders.

“They said we want to hear from the community about what is impacting them,” she said. “What’s impactful? How do you want to make decisions about where money is distributed?”

Meyensburg said as time progressed, more funders came on board and became a part of this movement.

“It’s very critical because most of the individuals that serve on the African American Unity Fund have lived experiences,” Barnes said. “Most of them have lived in North Omaha, they are African American, they are Black and so they understand the dynamics of necessary programming that’s for those specific areas.”

Barnes because the committee members understand the community needs, they can better help distribute where the funds can be most impactful.

The main requirement to apply is the budget for the interested organization has to be under $5,000.

Also, organizations that align with the non-discrimination policy. Meyensburg said they are interested in organizations that are new and emerging, but anyone is encouraged to apply.

The application is now open; it closes on March 1.

To apply or for more information head to their website, omahafoundation.org.

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