The York County Community Foundation (YCCF) is dedicated to taking the necessary steps toward advancing racial equity in our community and one step is the creation of a grant fund dedicated to support meaningful, positive action to advance racial equity.
YCCF used $125,000 of its unrestricted dollars to establish a racial equity fund that will have an initial pool of resources to make grants now as well as a permanently endowed fund that will generate annual grants for racial equity initiatives year after year. Decisions for this fund will be in the hands of a new advisory committee of volunteer community members. This new committee will determine the purpose, parameters, process for grant selections and will evaluate and select grant recipients.
However, grant applications are not being accepted at this time, as those parameters are still being designed. More information will be posted at www.yccf.org\grants.
YCCF’s vision is that York County is a growing, prosperous and united community where all have unsurpassed opportunities to thrive. This vision cannot be achieved when members of our community have limited access to healthcare, educational opportunities, and financial well-being, as a result of their race.
YCCF is home to over 650 different endowed funds that were created by donors to generate annual grants to benefit the charities and causes they are passionate about. Our Fund for York County tackles challenges that hold our community back such as improving educational outcomes for children, increasing access to job training and placement, and revitalizing neighborhoods and downtowns. Our staff reach out to community organizations to identify projects that can have meaningful impact and a diverse group of volunteers evaluate and award grants.
YCCF recognizes that we must work in new ways to address the chronic challenges of our community. A May, 2020 report by the Bridgespan Group called Racial Equity in Philanthropy reported that the two biggest factors that hold back philanthropy’s quest for social change are: understanding the role of race in the problems philanthropists are trying to solve; and, the significance of race in how philanthropists identify leaders and find solutions.
We heard this same feedback from community leaders of color when we recently held discussions about how YCCF can better support communities of color. They urged us to look for and eliminate bias in how we work and be intentional about incorporating equity into our grantmaking. They called on us to address the root causes of economic and educational disparities and to ensure those most impacted by racial disparities are at decision-making tables.
Creating a dedicated grant fund is an important first step to creating real change. We understand that reversing the impacts of racial injustice will require persistent effort and continued financial support for many years to come. YCCF will actively seek other funding partners to leverage these funds with other sources. We encourage everyone to contribute to the racial equity fund to support this important work. No amount is too small; small steps can lead to big changes. To make a donation, click here.
Lisa Kennedy – Family Peer Support Specialist, York County Department of Human Services and York City School Board Director
Timothy Warfield – Chairman, PA Community Development & Finance Corp.; member of the YCCF Board of Directors; and retired from the National Association for State Community Services Programs.
Natalee Colon – VP of Human Resources, York Water Company
Jamiel Alexander – CEO of E5 Enterprises and Senior Fellow: Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions
Jose’ Santiago – Director, YMCA New American Welcome Center
Kim Brister – Senior Director of Talent Acquisition, Diversity & Inclusion, WellSpan Health
Delores Penn – Educational Consultant; retired from the School District of the City of York