Skip to content

Kresge commits $30M to support nearly 60 racial justice and community-led engagement and organizing efforts across U.S.

American Cities, Arts & Culture, Detroit, Education, Environment, General Foundation News, Health, Human Services, Social Investment Practice

Grants to local and national organizations underscore long-term and enduring commitment to racial justice movement

In a sweeping pledge to advance its long-term commitment to equity and opportunity, The Kresge Foundation announced $30 million in new grant commitments to support racial justice in cities across the United States. With investments in nearly 60 local and national organizations, Kresge seeks both to fortify the ecology of national organizations working to advance racial justice and to strengthen the ability of community-led organizations in Detroit, New Orleans, Memphis and Fresno to confront racial inequities in-place.

The scale and scope of this grantmaking suite underscores Kresge’s belief that the Foundation’s efforts to fulfill its mandate – expanding opportunity in American cities – requires directly addressing longstanding and insidiously persistent systemic racism and inequality. By adding to the Foundation’s existing portfolio of anti-racism efforts, these grants represent a sharpened focus and intensification of the Foundation’s longstanding racial justice and racial equity grantmaking work.

Approximately $7 million of the $30 million package will fund national racial justice organizations that provide resources to on-the-ground organizations for community organizing, communications, leadership development, research, and state and federal policy change. The other two-thirds – $23 million – is focused on direct support for those local organizations. These latter investments seek not only to augment community capacity to engage in this work over the long-term by providing no-strings-attached general operating support, but also to create a network of local racial justice organizations capable of sharing their efforts with one another and with national racial justice organizations.

“Our commitment to racial justice is enduring, and we at Kresge are standing with racial justice organizations as they translate mobilizing, marching and messaging into tangible progress,” said Kresge Foundation CEO and President Rip Rapson. “These new grants and social investments seek to ensure that racial justice activists and leaders have sufficient resources to make the lasting changes needed both nationally and in communities across the country. Our mission of expanding opportunity in America’s cities will not be met unless and until we contribute to building a machinery of social change rooted in the imperative of confronting and ending endemic and systemic racism. That is the explicit intent of these grants.”

Kresge’s $30 million investment comprises nearly 60 racial justice organizations that are working in urban communities and at the national level. The grants primarily provide general operating support over the next three years, representing a critical first step toward ensuring that these organizations will have significant and predictable resources as they enter the vitally critical next phase of the racial justice movement.  More than half of these organizations are entirely new grantees to the Foundation.

Mask giveaway: In response to the pandemic, the resulting mask mandates, and a recognition of the disparate impact of the virus on the African American community, the Urban League of Louisiana has and continues to host free mask giveaways for community members.

“Racial justice work begins in community and in place.  That is where the current spark of racial justice energies was ignited and where it will continue to take the most concrete, immediate and powerful form.  Kresge’s commitment to cities becomes a powerful platform from which to support those energies. All of our strategies, all of our tools, all of our institutional capacities must now align with them,” said Rapson.

“The Black Lives Matter movement has made abundantly clear that progress in our country requires a forthright acknowledgment of the longstanding and deeply entrenched impediments to full equality, justice and inclusion,” Rapson continued. “But it also makes clear that we must move further to dismantle – and substitute for – the insidious policies, practices, norms and attitudes embedded in virtually every facet of our society, our economics, our politics, our lives.”

“The organizations to which we lend our support today are doing that heavy lifting, and in the coming months, we will add to the cohort of organizations that we are announcing today,” he added.

These place-based and national-focused grants seek to support the following key strategies:

  • Supporting front-line racial justice organizations in place and nationally
  • Fortifying change led by residents of color
  • Strengthening economies in neighborhoods of color
  • Supporting small businesses owned by people of color
  • Integrating community systems and supports to facilitate large-scale, lasting transformation

In developing this grant package, Kresge identified three principles to guide its racial justice grantmaking strategy.:

  • Focusing on Place and Community – Providing financial resources to organizations working on the ground in U.S. cities to advocate for racial justice in place and around the country.
  • Supporting Representative Leadership – Supporting organizations led by people of color and those that are reflective of the cities in which we work.
  • Providing Long-term, Equitable Support – Committing to 3 year-long grant investments with greater equity in size of grant support.

National Grants

Black Business Community Development Corp. (African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs)
Orlando, FL

Black-Led Movement Fund
Minneapolis, MN

Black Trans Fund
San Francisco, CA

Center for Community Change
Washington, D.C.

Data for Black Lives
Cambridge, MA


Detroit Place-Based Grants

ACCESS
Dearborn, MI

American Citizens for Justice
Westland, MI (Detroit)

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (Michigan Justice Fund)
Detroit, MI

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (NEI)
Detroit, MI

Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
Washington, D.C. (Work in Detroit)

Live6 Alliance
Detroit, MI

Metro Solutions, Inc.
Detroit, MI

New Detroit, Inc.
Detroit, MI

Theaster Gates Studio (Marygrove)
Detroit, MI

Tides Foundation (Detroit Branch of NAACP)
Detroit, MI

Kresge staff is working remotely, and our offices are closed until further notice.  See our promise to partners during COVID-19.
+