On Wednesday, Dec. 12, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks awarded $60,000 for six grants for collaborative community projects through its inaugural Springfield-Greene County Diversity and Inclusion Program.
The goal of the new grant program is to bring awareness of diversity and inclusion issues to public light while impacting and improving the quality of life for individuals who are underserved and/or underrepresented in the Springfield-Greene County community. The grants were presented at Timmons Hall in Silver Springs Park to the following organizations:
- Drury University and Grupo Latinoamericano: $14,999 to support a partnership to develop awareness of Hispanic cultures in Springfield and strengthen Grupo Latinoamericano’s mission and initiatives. Projects will be undertaken by a group of interdisciplinary Drury professors and students to support this work.
- FosterAdopt Connect and Fresh Start Furnishings: $4,334 to support efforts to provide safe, stable, furnished living environments for young adults transitioning out of foster care, reducing inequity due to underlying biases associated with young adults who have been in foster care.
- Friends of Timmons Temple, Springfield-Greene County Park Board, NAACP and other partners: $10,000 to provide funding for a free inaugural six-month cultural performance series at the newly reborn Timmons Hall in Silver Springs Park.
- The GLO Center, PROMO, Springfield Black Tie and Commercial Street Community Improvement District: $11,500 to expand the Ozarks Inclusion Project, which encourages businesses in Springfield and Greene County to move toward inclusivity by adopting policies and practices that support the LGBTQ+ community. This program includes connecting inclusive businesses with the LGBTQ+ community, as well as cultural competency training assistance for businesses in Springfield.
- Missouri State University and Facing Racism: $7,500 in scholarship assistance for nonprofit and public-entity employees to attend the Facing Racism workshop, a two-day institute designed to uncover racism and create understanding of its impact on individuals and the workplace.
- Missouri State University and Springfield-Greene County African American Heritage Trail: $11,667 to support the costs associated with three African American Heritage Trail markers. These markers will be located at Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery, the Sherman Avenue residential hub area, and the site of the former Graham’s Rib Station and Guest Cabins on East Chestnut Expressway.
These projects were selected from a total of 18 applications by a committee comprised of the following community representatives:
- Abram McGull II, Chair
- Kathy Munzinger
- Tim Rosenbury
- Summer Trottier
- Tez Ward
- Brooke Widmar
“We are delighted to launch this program and hope it increases visibility of the important work occurring in the fields of diversity and inclusion in our community,” said Bridget Dierks, Vice President of Programs for the CFO. “This work is important to the health of our community, and the CFO is proud to designate grantmaking assets to bring light to these efforts.”