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Our work to increase educational attainment nationally puts racial justice and equity at the center of all we do. To support this approach, our Racial Justice and Equity Fund directly supports organizations working to end systemic racism and achieve justice for Black, Hispanic and Latino, Native American, and Asian American and Pacific Islander populations.
We will invest $15 million into 2023 to address racial injustice. Overall, more than 80% of the Fund will be dedicated to supporting national organizations working to eradicate systemic racism, with the remainder supporting Indiana-based organizations. In our current grant competition, we plan to award up to 10 grants of $400,000 each.
We established the fund in 2017 in partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. We committed $2.5 million to support efforts to improve the racial climate on college campuses. We awarded these grants competitively in response to a violent rally by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. In 2020, after George Floyd’s murder by police, we set aside another $15 million to support efforts to dismantle structural racism that complement Lumina’s mission of creating a better-educated country.
Racial equity is achieved when outcomes such as the likelihood of having a degree or other quality credential, or being called for an interview, or being selected as a Lumina grantee or contractor cannot be predicted by a person’s race or ethnicity.
Racial justice will be realized when the policies, practices, systems, and root causes that lead to inequitable outcomes are eradicated.
Our work is aligned with these definitions.
At Lumina, we hold ourselves accountable for making a difference. We begin by explicitly addressing the role race plays in perpetuating unjust educational outcomes. With every passing day, we realize we can—and must—do more to lift our voices and elevate our actions to build a fair and just society for people who have long been prevented from realizing their potential.