Foundation commits $8.5M to address racial disparities

Rhode Island Foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Foundation on Monday committed $8.5 million to address racial equality and eliminate racial disparities across the state.

The first aspect of the three-year initiative will be the establishment of the Equity Leadership Initiative, which will identify, cultivate, mentor and seek access and opportunity for people of color to help prepare them to be future leaders, the foundation said in a statement.

“The reality is that this work has been underresourced in Rhode Island, and a communitywide focus on tackling these challenging issues has been lacking,” foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg said in a statement. That begins to change with this investment. There’s no doubt about it, to achieve a better future for all Rhode Islanders, we must provide opportunities to eliminate disparities and close achievement gaps.”

The Rhode Island Foundation, founded in 1916, is the state’s largest funder of nonprofit organizations. It awarded $56 million in grants in 2019.


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