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Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is on the move — literally. As Greater Cincinnati’s leading community foundation, GCF recognizes its role as a community convener, and has found it increasingly challenging to carry out that mission in its current location at 200 W. Fourth St.
CINCINNATI (April 15, 2019) – Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is on the move — literally. As Greater Cincinnati’s leading community foundation, GCF recognizes its role as a community convener, and has found it increasingly challenging to carry out that mission in its current location at 200 W. Fourth St.
As a result, GCF sold that building and will move Aug. 1 into a dynamic new venue in the Sawyer Point Building at 720 E. Pete Rose Way. The Women’s Fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation and The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio will also move with GCF into the new space.
By consciously harnessing the power of place in a creatively designed space, GCF’s new location will provide energizing opportunities:
“As GCF has grown more integrated, focused and impactful, it has become clear that owning a building is not central to our mission,” said Ellen M. Katz, GCF President/CEO. “What is paramount to us is providing accessibility, flexibility and efficiency of service to all our stakeholders, which our new location will enable in exciting ways. We also believe that bringing people together in this thoughtfully connective space will inspire and accelerate our commitment to racial equity and economic opportunity for everyone in our region.”
GCF’s equity focus is also reflected in its choices of key partners to design and create the new space — all are minority or female-owned businesses. They include: DNK Architects, Inc.; Kolar Design; TriVersity Construction; and RCF Group.
“In this digital era of remote, often impersonal communication, it’s imperative to offer a place for people to connect face-to-face and interact in ways that promote awareness, understanding and insights,” said Christopher L. Fister, Chair of GCF’s Governing Board. “Our new facility will provide this crucial gathering place, where our entire Community as a community can take on the complicated yet immensely gratifying work of solving problems and identifying opportunities together.”
GCF’s welcoming front door, adjacent to the riverfront at the heart of its tri-state, eight-county community of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, will open onto a gathering space that is comfortable and inviting to everyone. The new location will be the embodiment of GCF’s mission of connecting people to realize Greater Cincinnati’s strongest, most equitable shared future.
About Greater Cincinnati Foundation
As the region’s leading community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation connects people with purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant Greater Cincinnati for everyone — now, and for generations to come.
All CPS students can have free broadband internet service from Cincinnati Bell through Connect Our Students program
CINCINNATI (August 25, 2020) — The Connect Our Students program has met its goal to provide free broadband internet access through Cincinnati Bell to every Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) student for the 2020-21 school year. The volunteer-led initiative primarily is funded by Accelerate Great Schools in partnership with GE Aviation; Fifth Third Foundation; Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, N.A., Trustee; Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF); and donors across the region.
One out of four CPS families don’t have broadband internet access at home. This equates to roughly 3,500 families and 8,500 children for whom school became inaccessible when education shifted online last spring at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This digital divide disproportionally affects Black and Latinx students.
“The Fifth Third Foundation is dedicated to supporting those who are in need, especially during times of distress,” said Heidi Jark, senior vice president and managing director of the Foundation Office. “We are closing the staggering digital divide by joining other organizations in providing broadband internet access – an educational necessity – to our local students.”
CPS recently announced that the district will have distance learning for at least the first five weeks of the upcoming school year and that all Pre-K through 12th-grade students will have devices. Students in grades pre-K through 1 will receive an iPad. Older students will receive laptops. Every CPS family can sign up for the Connect Our Students program. More than 1,700 CPS students have been provided internet service through the program so far.
“The digital divide is an especially challenging obstacle for urban school districts. We are grateful to all of the wonderful organizations and donors who have contributed to the Connect Our Students program, ensuring every child in our CPS family is able to effectively learn in a distance environment,” shared Laura Mitchell, superintendent of CPS. “We encourage all CPS families who don't have internet access in their homes today, to call and sign up immediately. If you've recently moved, please ensure your contact information is updated in our system by calling your school or our customer service line at 513-363-0123.”
Tens of thousands of public school students in Greater Cincinnati do not have reliable computers and broadband internet connections. After a successful pilot program this summer, Connect Our Students will improve digital equity through its partnership with Cincinnati Bell, which is providing low-cost internet connectivity to students across the region (less than $17/month or $200/year). Thanks to the generosity of the community, CPS families will get the service for free for one year, with no installation or equipment fees.
After signing up, families can install the service themselves or request a technician to install it for them in a matter of days. Cincinnati Bell will not hold past balances against any family. The service includes measures to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act to limit access to harmful content and ensure the safety of children.
“The digital divide widens opportunity gaps between students across Cincinnati. Without internet access at home, students lose valuable learning time during this period of distance learning," explains Brian Neal, CEO of the Cincinnati-based non-profit Accelerate Great Schools. "This initiative will help ensure that all Cincinnati students have equal access to remote learning this school year.”
“When generous organizations and people come together, we are a force to be reckoned with,” said Ellen M. Katz, president/CEO of GCF. “Thank you to the Fifth Third Foundation; Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, N.A., Trustee; Accelerate Great Schools; and our donors for creating an equitable playing field for our children.”
To sign up, call Cincinnati Bell’s dedicated Connect Our Students line at 513-566-3895.
Connect Our Students also is funded by The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. U.S. Bank Foundation; Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Interact for Health; Strive Partnership; American Sound and Electronics; Difference Maker Legacy Fund; United Way of Greater Cincinnati; Cincinnati Regional Business Committee; the Giovani Bernard Family Foundation; and Jenny and Tom Williams.
If you are interested in supporting this initiative, visit connectourstudents.org to donate to support parent outreach and technology support for CPS families.
About Accelerate Great Schools
Accelerate Great Schools (AGS) is a non-profit with the mission to ensure every student in Cincinnati – regardless of zip code – has access to great schools. Since 2015, AGS has invested in district, Archdiocesan, and high-quality, non-profit charter schools to ensure all families have great school options. GE Aviation provides funding to Accelerate Great Schools to support district investments.
About The Fifth Third Foundation
Established in 1948, the Fifth Third Foundation was one of the first philanthropic foundations established by a financial institution. The Fifth Third Foundation supports worthwhile organizations in the areas of education, health and human services, community development and the arts.
About Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee
Created in 1903, the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, N.A., Trustee, supports charitable or educational purposes; for relief in sickness, suffering and distress; for the care of young children, the aged or the helpless or afflicted; for the promotion of education, and to improve living conditions.
About Greater Cincinnati Foundation
As the region’s leading community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) connects people with purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant Greater Cincinnati for everyone — now, and for generations to come.
CINCINNATI (August 14, 2017) —The Greenlight Fund, in partnership with The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, announced today a multi-million-dollar initiative to fight family poverty in our region. Together, they are investing $2.4 million to bring the Family Independence Initiative—and its innovative model of trusting and investing in family solutions—to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. This includes a $1.8 million grant from The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and its donors, the single largest grant in the history of the Foundation.
“We know that thousands of families are struggling with poverty, and we need to rethink how we invest in families and their upward mobility,” said Tara Noland, Executive Director of GreenLight Cincinnati. “We are excited to have the Family Independence Initiative bring their model to our region and learn from their data on what Cincinnati families in our community need to escape poverty.”
“As our region’s community foundation, our role is to create a community where everyone can thrive,” said Ellen M. Katz, president and CEO of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “Our region is literally bursting with new energy and progress, yet we still have many in need. GCF and its donors are seeking new and innovative programs to help families in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky who have yet to benefit from that progress. FII is one such program and we’re excited to ensure we can rapidly deploy FII in our community.”
Founded in 2001, The Family Independence Initiative brings a new approach to fighting poverty by trusting and investing directly in low-income families across the nation so they can work individually and collectively to achieve prosperity. Families that partner with FII set goals they want to achieve, such as purchasing a home or continuing their education, and work together to help each other meet those goals. FII provides them with the technology platform to track their progress and then gives them access to resources, including cash, to accelerate the solutions that they’ve discovered themselves.
With sites in seven cities across the country, FII has partnered with more than 2,000 families investing in their solutions to escaping poverty. On average, during two years of engagement with FII, families report: a 23 percent increase in monthly income, 60 percent decrease in subsidies such as TANF and SNAP, a doubling of their annual income and assets, and increased education outcomes from their children.
Over the next four years, FII will work with community based organizations and other partners to reach 500 families in multiple neighborhoods across Cincinnati. They will be convening a launch team to help identify the neighborhoods they should focus on as well as families they should recruit.
“All families across America should have access to the resources and opportunities needed to achieve their dreams and we look forward to doing just that right here in the region,” said Jesús Gerena, Chief Executive Officer of The Family Independence Initiative. “While our initial goal is to reach 500 families, we hope to find more partners to double or triple that goal. Cincinnati benefits when all its families are economically thriving.”
In addition to the multi-year investment made by the Greenlight Fund and The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, FII’s expansion to Cincinnati is also supported by contributions from The Mayerson Foundation and SC Ministry.
Learn more about GCF's investment in the Family Independence Initiative
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The GreenLight Fund transforms the lives of children, youth and families in high-poverty urban areas by creating local infrastructure and a consistent annual process to: identify critical needs; import innovative, entrepreneurial programs that have a significant, measurable impact; and galvanize local support to help programs reach and sustain impact in the new city. Working in Boston since 2003, Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area since 2012, Cincinnati since 2015 and most recently Charlotte in 2017, GreenLight aims to grow a national network of GreenLight sites that learn and work collaboratively to find and spread proven nonprofit solutions that achieve meaningful and measurable impact in our communities on the issues that matter most. Founding investors in GreenLight Cincinnati include the Deaconess Associations Foundation, Bethesda Inc., the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee, Interact for Health, Procter and Gamble, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s, Duke Energy Foundation, the Cincinnati Business Committee, Bank of America and a number of individual investors.
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As an accredited community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $563 million.
CINCINNATI (January 31, 2018)—The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) has provided $25,000 in funding to support The Cincinnati Project, a community-engaged research initiative at the University of Cincinnati (UC). The funding will go to support projects that offer clear and direct benefit to women of color in Cincinnati.
“As GCF goes deeper on the complex issues of equity, we are intentionally investing in projects that support women of color in our community,” said Ellen M. Katz, president/CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “By partnering with The Cincinnati Project, we can support the many innovative projects they are tackling, and we are inspired by what they are doing.”
The Cincinnati Project was launched in 2013 by faculty researchers in UC’s College of Arts and Sciences. More than 12 University of Cincinnati faculty and students from their classes will be involved in these upcoming projects.
Funding will support:
“We are thrilled to partner with the Greater Cincinnati Foundation,” said Dr. Jennifer Malat, UC College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean of Social Sciences and co-founder of The Cincinnati Project. “With their support, and the continued support and collaboration of our other community partners, The Cincinnati Project will raise the voices of women of color and collaborate to recommend policies that will improve lives.”
“The support from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation is an important validation of the work that The Cincinnati Project has been doing for the last several years” said Dr. Ken Petren, Dean of the UC College of Arts and Sciences, “I’m confident that this partnership will not only help improve the lives of women in color in Cincinnati, but also provide hope and assistance to our other partners and organizations who are working for equity in Cincinnati.”
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $563 million.
Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF), in partnership with the Cincinnati Enquirer, is pleased to announce the 2018 Women of the Year:
Judith Harmony is the first female faculty member of Indiana University’s chemistry department. She was instrumental in the development of The Women’s Fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s first PULSE study in 2004. Harmony founded the Harmony Garden, an education center that strives to bring communities together to promote the health of young girls from underserved and disadvantaged communities.
Maria Ahmed Munir is the inaugural co-chair of the Festival of Faiths, a day of inclusion, education, understanding and building community. She established a scholarship fund at International Academy of Cincinnati for deserving students to get financial assistance. Munir was the first female PTO president at International Academy of Cincinnati and is a board member of the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati.
Nancy Eigel-Miller has dedicated her life to erasing the stigma of mental illness by founding 1N5, an organization that increases awareness and education about mental health. Through 1N5, she created the Brain Health Network as a braintrust around the successes and challenges of mental health programs. Eigel-Miller also created the first Youth Mental Health Innovation Challenge at the University of Cincinnati, a two-day workshop fostering a unique learning experience and professional development opportunity for high school students.
Kelly Dolan founded Thrive Impact Sourcing with the sole intent of bringing Cincinnati out of un/underemployment and into IT careers. Thrive is a business incubator dedicated to creating opportunity for diverse individuals to enter the IT industry, notorious for its lack of diversity. Dolan also founded Ingage Partners, Cincinnati’s first Certified B Corporation. She is an involved volunteer with Freeset USA, which sells clothes and bags made by women in India who were formerly working in the sex trade industry.
Mary Burke Rivers has been the executive director of Over the Rhine Community Housing since 1993, where she has excelled in creating and advocating for equitable access to housing for the past 25 years. She is a board member of The Finance Fund, Community Development Association of Greater Cincinnati, Affordable Housing Advocates, Coalition on Housing and Homelessness in Ohio.
Alandes Powell is the chair of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, where she has served as a board member and volunteer for eight years. She has been a board member of the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati since 2014 and was a YWCA Cincinnati Career Woman of Achievement recipient in 2013. Powell is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati Class 41 and Leadership Northern Kentucky. As Senior Vice President, Operations & Relationship Director of Citi Retail Services, she has also served as a mentor to colleagues and received the Citigroup Chairman’s Leadership Award in 2007. Powell is a board member of the Brighton Center and serves on the Elder Board of the Inspirational Baptist Church.
Mary Welsh Schlueter is the founr and CEO of Partnership for Innovation in Education, in partnership with Harvard University, which focuses on elevating student academic achievement, workforce readiness and experiential learning pathways in emerging careers. She is on the Harvard Business School Board of Directors (Ohio) and the Allegheny College, Alumni Board of Directors and teaching staff. Schlueter is an awardee of the Direct Energy Citizen of the Year, USA Chamber of Commerce WE Empowerment & New Business, Deloitte & Touche “100 Wise Women,” National Diversity Council Leadership Excellence, Venue Magazine Civic Leadership and STEM Difference Maker (Duke Energy).
Maureen France is a member of the West McMicken Improvement Association and was instrumental in re-opening the long-closed Warner Street steps leading to Fairview Park. She also has helped replace dilapidated playground equipment in the community. France was a key leader in the prevention of the destruction of part of her neighborhood during the reconstruction of I-75. She has used her photography, in collaboration with the Cincinnati Preservation Association and the Hillside Trust, to present ODOT and City Council with a book showing the vibrancy and closeness of her neighborhood.
Tillie Hidalgo Lima is a co-chair of the YMCA Academy of Career Women of Achievement. She was named Hispanic Woman of the Year in 2010 by the Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan in 2015 by the Ohio Commission on Hispanic-Latino Affairs and the Latino Empowerment Outreach Network. Her current board memberships include: United Way of Greater Cincinnati Board of Directors and Executive Committee, St. Elizabeth Healthcare Board of Trustees, Child Poverty Steering Committee and Cincinnati Women Executive Forum. Lima has been the CEO of Best Upon Request since 2003, where she co-created a groundbreaking new service, Maternity Concierge, to help new working mothers balance their quality of life.
Chandra Mathews-Smith is the chair of the Community Action Agency board. Dedicated to the improvement of the foster care system, she led the initiative to design the Hamilton County Department of Jobs and Family Services Emergency Therapeutic Foster Care Program, which served as the emergency shelter provider for some of the county’s most difficult-to-serve children and adolescents. Mathews-Smith worked with Cincinnati Public Schools to institute their Ujima program, which provided wraparound and day treatment services for CPS students with the special education designation of Severely Behaviorally Handicapped.
The Women of the Year award is given to 10 women in the community who have dedicated their lives to giving back. This award is among the oldest and most significant honors one can receive in Greater Cincinnati.
“These exceptional women are the embodiment of dedication, community service and compassion for their fellow citizens,” said Ellen M. Katz, GCF President/CEO. “We look forward to sharing their inspirational stories, but even more so, we look forward to watching our community prosper due to their passion and drive.”
The honorees will be recognized at the 50th annual Women of the Year Awards Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Friday, October 26, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati. To purchase tickets to the luncheon or learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit www.gcfdn.org/woy.
“As architects, we are honored to partner with GCF to plan and design their new office space,” said David Kirk, president of DNK. “We believe in their mission to inspire people to invest in Cincinnati through philanthropy. We also believe that design should respond to the reason for its use, but it is the experience of the space that matters. We want to create a work environment that is attractive and comfortable but yet responds to GCF’s culture. Their new corporate office should provide inspiration and spur a collective passion to continue their legacy of good work in the Greater Cincinnati community for years to come. “
As the region’s leading community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation connects people with purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant Greater Cincinnati for everyone – now, and for generations to come. As of 2017, GCF is the 35th largest U.S. community foundation with net assets of $649 million.
DNK is one of Cincinnati’s leading boutique design firms specializing in architecture, interiors, planning and landscape architecture. For over 30 years the firm has served clients - public and private with projects in the workplace, wellness/ healthcare, education and urban planning sectors. We creatively balance people, economics and the environment to produce transformative, sustainable solutions. The firm is a recipient of numerous awards for project design.
The firm has a wide range of strategic collaborative projects over its 28+ years including: Atricure, Cincinnati Children's, Oncology & Hematology Care (OHC), Graydon, The Cincinnati Park Board, Tavistock Development/Steiner + Associates, Mercy Health, TriHealth, Christ Hospital, The Ohio State University, The University of Cincinnati, Graydon, and Procter & Gamble globally.
About RCF Group
We provide tailored and comprehensive workplace solutions, gaining insight through listening sessions to understand your business culture, needs and challenges. Then, utilize our knowledge and expertise to help you exceed your goals, ensure accountability and responsiveness to form a long-term relationship, while delivering superior service. We create and deliver value in a world that is constantly changing. We learn your brand from the inside out to formulate a plan for your project and believe that extraordinary results can be achieved when an engaged client and our team work together toward a common goal. RCF Group is dedicated to a supportive environment that celebrates diversity and inclusion while working together for the long term benefit of our clients, business, and community.
Cincinnati Public Schools is aiming to increase third grade reading proficiency of students’ district-wide from 45 percent to 90 percent by 2020.
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