June 18, 2021

What can we do to make sure that every child, every person and every family will thrive? This is the question that the Community Foundation asks every day.

It involves acknowledging that not everyone has the same opportunities, that the barriers are greater for some than others and that many of the systems and policies in place do little to nothing to mitigate that…and in fact, contribute to it.

The Community Foundation has always been about opening doors. After the last year in which these inequities shined through with glaring urgency, we are even more intentionally determined to continue on our journey together towards greater justice for all.

We hope you’ll be with us as we help to dismantle the structural racism that prevents so many people from enjoying the promise of the founding ideals of our democracy.

Today, on the eve of this historic Juneteenth, the Community Foundation announces the establishment of the "Fund for Racial Justice." Through this Fund, we will advance racial equity, support racial justice grassroots organizing and advocacy, and allocate flexible resources to organizations and movements led by Black, Indigenous and people of color in Eastern Connecticut.

If you’d like to help the Community Foundation get behind these and similar initiatives (examples below), we invite you to join us. Please consider a gift to our Fund for Racial Justice.

"We have a moral obligation to reach out and support members of our community who have been the subject of generations of injustice.” -- Maryam Elahi, CFECT President & CEO

As part of the Foundation's commitment to this cause, we have awarded recent grants for new efforts that increase equity and deepen awareness of social injustice, especially in healthcare, housing, education, job training and culture throughout Eastern Connecticut. Here are some recent initiatives:

URU The Right to Be
The Our Humanity initiative to directly reach and educate Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous communities about the coronavirus, slowing its spread and strengthening communities of color against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Connecticut Legal Services/Willimantic
A two-year grant will fund a dedicated attorney to help Willimantic area families avoid eviction and displacement in the wake of the pandemic.

Desegregate CT
Since funding the statewide Zoning Atlas for Desegregate CT, the Foundation has helped lead advocacy for eliminating zoning regulations that perpetuate inequity in a state with the greatest wealth disparities in the country.

The One Million Jobs campaign aims to employ formerly incarcerated men and women in jobs to earn livable wages. Additionally, the Foundation is funding the Norwich Branch NAACP to lead initiatives that encourage equity in the arts, early education and youth development.

Public Art for Racial Justice Education (PARJE)
A movement throughout Southeastern CT bringing activists and artist together to public use art as a means of education on racial justice issues. The Foundation is supporting the Sister Mural Project in Norwich-East Lyme and New London-Old Lyme.