For Immediate Release

Contact: Jennifer O’Brien, Program Director

New London, CT -- The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Connecticut Social Equity Council (SEC) to support a Community Reinvestment Pilot Program, part of a $6 million reinvestment program. This funding is to be used for the purposes of developing, expanding, and supporting programs that uplift communities in Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIA) and strengthening families impacted by the “War on Drugs”.

The recipient organizations will administer reinvestment funds derived from Connecticut’s adult-use cannabis industry. Funding will be used exclusively for reentry/reintegration programs that support formerly incarcerated individuals and their families, and for youth education, recreation and arts programs that help promote physical and mental health wellness and empower young people in the future workforce.

“We are excited to give back to communities affected for so long by the failed war on drugs,” said Ginne-Rae Clay, SEC Executive Director. “This pilot program and first round of funding is intended to have a direct and immediate benefit to DIA communities and residents that are most vulnerable, our youth who are really struggling right now, and the reentry population who have probably been harmed the most.”

The six grant recipients under this inaugural round of funding, each receiving $1,000,000, include:

• Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut

• The Hispanic Federation

• Neighborhood Housing Services of Waterbury

• The Prosperity Foundation

• United Way of Coastal Fairfield County

• United Way of Western Connecticut

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut is the only community foundation in the state to be awarded this grant. Funding in Eastern Connecticut will specifically focus on New London, Norwich and Windham communities.

"We are honored to be selected for this groundbreaking pilot program," stated Community Foundation President and CEO, Maryam Elahi. "This initiative closely aligns with the Foundation's strategic goal of advancing equity and justice in Eastern Connecticut. We look forward to working with our nonprofit partners to make sure these programs are in place for the most impacted communities."

Additional information on the Community Reinvestment Pilot Program can be found online here.

About the Connecticut Social Equity Council (SEC)

The Social Equity Council was created to make sure the adult-use cannabis program is grown equitably and ensures that funds from the adult-use cannabis program are brought back to the communities hit hardest by the "war on drugs." The SEC oversees the verification of equity applicants, creates new programs to support cannabis businesses and businesses in other industries, and manages the more general community investments derived from the cannabis tax revenue. To learn more about Social Equity Council announcements, upcoming meetings, and adult-use cannabis information, visit Social Equity Council (

About the Community Foundation

Serving 42 towns and comprised of over 600 charitable funds, the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut’s vision is a healthy, thriving, sustainable Eastern Connecticut with greater equity for all. We collaborate with partners to put philanthropy into action to address the needs, rights and interests of our community in Eastern Connecticut. The Community Foundation manages a permanent community endowment and has awarded more than $90 million in grants and scholarships to nonprofits and students since its founding in 1983. To learn more, visit

# # #