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Lumina Foundation’s senior vice president and chief policy officer wrote those words in a piece released almost a year ago, as Lumina replenished its Racial Justice and Equity Fund with $15 million. Despite and because of everything that has happened within the past year, we remain hopeful and even more deeply committed to racial justice and equity. Those terms are not mere buzzwords. They have specific, deep meaning that drives our actions. Racial equity is achieved when race or ethnicity no longer predict the outcomes in people’s lives. And justice results when policies, practices, and causes of inequity have been eliminated.
We are excited to release this Request for Proposals for Lumina’s Racial Justice and Equity Fund. The RFP process is designed to support organizations committed to eradicating systemic racism and helping people who are Black, Hispanic, Latino, Native American, and Asian American, or Pacific Islander.
Lumina established the fund with $2.5 million in 2017 in response to the hatred displayed by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. Three years later, the foundation pledged another $15 million to support organizations and efforts focused on dismantling structural racism in ways that complement Lumina’s mission of increasing the share of adults in the United States with education or training beyond high school.
The fund has supported 23 organizations with grants totaling more than $6.3 million. These organizations address issues from voter engagement to policing reform to internship reform to policies that eradicate racist barriers. They are also working in diverse ways, from research to social movements to direct action. The common thread among these grantees is their commitment to eliminating unfair and unjust outcomes and advancing the cause of racial justice.
This RFP process will allow us to support even more organizations. We anticipate funding seven to 10 grants with up to $400,000 each over two-year terms, releasing a total of $3 million in funding. This grant support is flexible and can be used for programs, operating expenses, and capacity-building. Eligible organizations include those focused on communities, public policy or advocacy, social-movement building, and tribal issues, as well as centers within colleges and universities focused on racial equity and justice. Government agencies and for-profit organizations are not eligible.
This RFP process is also meant to support organizations committed—in their mission and work—to ending systemic racism. It is not a good fit for organizations looking to launch a new equity initiative, create a DEI program, or groups or institutions not explicitly focused on racial equity.
We know there are hundreds of organizations working diligently every day to improve the lives of those who have been marginalized systemically and treated unfairly. We are inspired by this work and by the people who do it. We hope that this process helps us reach these organizations and support their exceptional work.
Click here for more information about this opportunity. Join us for an informational webinar at 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Aug. 19. Register here.
Haley Glover is strategy director for state action and equity at Lumina Foundation, an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all.Back to News
Members of the Lumina Foundation staff are sharing our “equity narratives” – personal journeys around race in America. These are part of a collective effort to explore the country’s long history of structural racism and how these barriers affect the people we’re trying to help — and influence how and why we chose this work. Read more about the project.