INDIANAPOLIS—Lumina Foundation has released the first grants from a $15 million Racial Justice and Equity Fund to national and Indianapolis-based organizations that focus on eradicating systemic racism in fields that align with or complement the foundation’s work.

“In the wake of George Floyd’s brutal death in police custody last year, Lumina reaffirmed our commitment to the Racial Justice and Equity Fund and pledged to support efforts to dismantle systemic racism,” said Danette Howard, senior vice president and chief policy officer at Lumina. “Some projects are focused on post-high school education, but others will address different aspects of racial inequity.”

Following racial violence at a “Unite the Right” rally in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the deadly counterdemonstrations, Lumina’s fund awarded more than $2.5 million to advance social justice initiatives. These projects were aimed primarily at improving the climate around race relations on college campuses.

Last July, Lumina announced an additional $15 million commitment during the next three years to fund a wider array of projects. The first of these projects include nearly $3.2 million to 11 organizations:

  • Prairie View A&M University ($500,000) To support its new Center for Race and Justice, which educates the campus community and the public on combatting racism and bias, provides support for governments and other organizations, and trains leaders who want to lead inclusively.
  • Report for America ($500,000) To elevate reporting on racial justice issues in local journalism. Recently featured on Morning Joe on MSNBC, Report for America will work with up to eight newsrooms in different states, including Indiana, to hire reporters who can effectively address structural racism through coverage they generate on a broad array of reporting beats.
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law ($325,000) To support post-high school educational efforts within the Educational Opportunities Project (EOP). Through the project, the Lawyers’ Committee the Education Opportunities Project (EOP) specifically works to defend race-conscious admissions policies, dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, promote school integration, and challenge discriminatory discipline practices.
  • Common Cause Education Fund ($200,000) To support the Student Action Alliance, student voter education, and civic education among students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), including North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, and Maryland.
  • Vote HBCU Initiative, a collaboration of The Collective Education Fund and Xceleader  ($200,000) To organize a national voter registration and engagement project at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
  • The Steve Fund ($200,000) To elevate the need for improved mental health services among college students of color.
  • National Congress of American Indians ($200,000) To support the Tribal Scholar/Leader Forum, to ensure that Native American scholars can do research across K-12 and higher education systems that document and elevate curricula and practices advancing Native American interests and priorities.
  • Pay Our Interns ($200,000) To support an expansion of the “Color of Congress” report and advocate for paid internships for students of color. Finding that congressional internships remain racially segregated and largely unpaid, Pay Our Interns advocates to ensure a more equitable internship economy across all work sectors.
  • Central Indiana Community Foundation ($500,000) To support the Central Indiana Racial Equity Fund, which aims to improve community-police interaction, reduce the disproportionate number of Black youth in the criminal justice system, and increase employment and wealth-building opportunities among people of color.
  • The Initiative: Advancing the Blue & Black Partnership ($100,000) To support efforts to improve community-policy relationships by broadening effective, race-conscious community policing and building partnerships.
  • Christian Theological Seminary’s Faith & Action Project ($250,000) To support the initiative, which works with organizations in Marion County, Indiana, to break the cycle of poverty.

About Lumina Foundation

Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. We envision a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Our goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.

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