The Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative on Tuesday announced it is accepting applications for the first time from organizations that are seeking grant money.
The initiative is a partnership between the Indianapolis Urban League, the National Urban League and the African American Coalition of Indianapolis, and is funded with a $100 million Lilly Endowment Inc. grant awarded in August 2020.
“We’ve been working tirelessly for the past year conducting research and meeting with community members to identify where the needs lie and how to best address them,” said Indianapolis Urban League president and initiative co-director Tony Mason in a written announcement. “Launching our application process is the first step in our efforts to develop and introduce programs that will improve the quality of life for African Americans throughout our city.”
The grants will be aimed at business and entrepreneurship, education, health and wellness, employment, racial equity in housing development, and home ownership and economic mobility. Each area has an associated request-for-proposal document outlining community needs, project goals and strategies, eligibility criteria and other background information. All are on the initiative’s website.
The partner organizations have said the program is intended to both address the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on Indianapolis’ Black residents and historic inequities.
“The disparities within the African American community continue to widen and create unprecedented obstacles for our families,” said Willis Bright, chairman of the African American Coalition of Indianapolis and initiative co-director. “We can change the lives of future generations who will call Indianapolis home. I encourage all organizations ranging from grassroots to grass-tops to apply.”
Written questions will be accepted through March 28, with all responses posted on the initiative’s website April 2. Proposals are due April 22 and award announcements are scheduled for June.
The second round of funding will be announced in the fall, with more rounds in 2023 and 2024.