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As Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) continues to expand its focus on racial equity, we are committed to pursue opportunities that advance those goals. We are excited and proud to share the latest steps on that path: GCF has been selected, through a competitive process, to participate in Community Foundations Leading Change’s (CFLeads) second annual Community Foundation Equity Network.
The cohort, built on the knowledge that peers learn best from each other, will include six foundations — Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Jackson Community Foundation, Rochester Area Community Foundation, Seattle Foundation and Waco Foundation, in addition to GCF. The year-long learning opportunity was developed in response to community and national foundation interest in advancing equity through deeper understanding of the issues involved.
“As we work to advance equity in our region, we are honored to participate with this cohort of other community foundations to learn and share innovative ideas and best practices that will inform our work, leading to even greater impact and, ultimately, a more equitable Greater Cincinnati,” said Harold D. Brown, GCF Vice President, Community Strategies.
Two to six participants from each team — including their CEOs and at least one board member — will meet over the course of a year to institutionalize capacities needed to advance equity both within the organizations and in their communities. Among the topics to be discussed: data, policy, grantmaking and internal policies and practices. GCF participants will include Ellen M. Katz, President/CEO; Harold D. Brown, Vice President, Community Strategies; Meghan Cummings, Executive Director, Women’s Fund; Rickell Howard Smith, Director, Community Strategies; and Delores Hargrove-Young, Board Member, Chair/Community Strategies Committee.
Equity has been a long-standing organizational priority for GCF. Since the early 2000s we have made intentional choices in our strategic initiatives, community investments and internal operations to ensure that everyone in our region has opportunities to succeed.
From GCF’s support of the creation of the Collaborative Agreement and Community Problem Oriented Policing in 2003 to the convening of the All-In Cincinnati Equity Coalition in 2017, we have become known for supporting equity initiatives through both community leadership and convening and financial investment. That investment has included GCF’s largest single award in the history of the foundation — a five-year, $1.8 million grant to the Family Independence Initiative to support participants as they determine, together, their paths to move beyond poverty.
Most recently, our equity work has brought to life two impactful research reports commissioned with local and national partners and released last year: All-In Cincinnati: Equity is the Path to Inclusive Prosperity and Giving Black: Cincinnati, A Legacy of Black Resistance and Stewardship.
This year, we are convening multiple Racial Equity Matters sessions throughout the year (www.gcfdn.org/rem). As a gift to the community, GCF and its generous partners and donors are underwriting first-year trainings costs to build community awareness about the program’s value to advance impactful communication.
GCF is grateful for the support of our generous donors and stakeholders as we make strides toward an equitable future for everyone in our community. Thank you for taking the journey together with us.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation believes progress in reducing racial disparities is critical to the community's future and that philanthropy can have a unique and important role to play. Since April 2001 when Cincinnati erupted in civic unrest, GCF has played an increasing leadership role advancing racial equity with a number of partner organizations that share our values. As we reach our 50th Anniversary, it is appropriate to look back at this important work.
In 1992, GCF provided start-up operating support to the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati’s African American Leadership Development Program (AALDP). A second grant in 2008 helped AALDP expand to support a fulltime director. The Foundation also provided funding in 2006-2008 to help launch the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati's Rising Star Board Leadership Program which emphasizes racial awareness and justice.
In 2008, Partners for a Competitive Workforce, the former Greater Cincinnati Workforce Network, was convened by GCF to help fill jobs that are in demand and help adults get the training they need to do these jobs. GCF has awarded grants of more than $600,000 to help close the employment gap in our region.
Soon after the 2001 civil unrest, Cincinnati's mayor announced plans to create the Cincinnati CAN commission to work on the underlying causes of racial disparities. GCF provided financial support and office space for CAN's operations, and committed $250,000 to help launch high-priority initiatives arising from CAN's community work.
In 2003, Better Together Cincinnati (BTC) was formed to help implement CAN's recommendations. With
GCF's leadership and a commitment of $500,000, a group of local funders provided more than $7 million in grants over a period of eight years to key initiatives in police/community relations, education and jobs to achieve greater equity in our community. The collaboration and lessons learned through BTC continue through the work of the Community Police Partnering Center, Partners for a Competitive
Workforce, The Strive Partnership, Place Matters and United Way of Greater Cincinnati's Success by 6®.
The Community Police Partnering Center (CPPC) grew out of the work of Cincinnati CAN. Through Better Together Cincinnati, GCF provided start-up and multi-year operating support for CPPC, and was part of the community team that tapped the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati as the permanent home for CPPC. In total, $2.25 million was invested by the BTC funders over more than a decade to improve police and community relations.
Since 2004, the Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) has helped more than 35 businesses more than double the size of their workforce. An initiative of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, the MBA helps minority-owned businesses grow strategically and access supply chain opportunities. A start-up grant from Better Together Cincinnati got the MBA up and running for its first three years of operations. In 2012, GCF provided additional grants and a loan to help launch The L. Ross Love GrowthBridge Fund which will provide "patient" capital to grow MBA portfolio businesses and jobs.
"The leadership role played by GCF in the 2001 civil unrest helped to calm the community and to bring about positive change embracing and celebrating our differences as well as our shared dreams for this great place we all call home."
GCF's former President/CEO
Published in The Greater Cincinnati Foundation's 2012 Annual Report
Equity training sessions will explore causes of racism, ways to pursue constructive dialogue
CINCINNATI (April 11, 2019) – Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is committed to bringing people in our community together to learn about racial equity through conversations that foster understanding and move us forward in impactful ways.
To advance that transformational goal, GCF is joining with community partners to host Racial Equity Matters, beginning with 10 learning opportunities throughout 2019. Racial Equity Institute (REI) will conduct the two-fold racial equity training: Groundwater, the half-day, recommended introductory content on racial equity that uses stories and data to illustrate the structural and cross-sector nature of racism; and Phase 1, a two-day session that provides talking points, historical factors and an organizational definition of racism.
“Because we believe the pursuit of racial equity is the work of our generation, GCF is investing in research, strategies and programs that show promise in reducing disparities,” said Ellen M. Katz, GCF President/CEO. “A key component in addressing these issues is understanding and getting comfortable talking about the impact of systemic racism. Racial Equity Matters will advance our collective understanding. The quality and depth of the content is truly impressive.”
Research — including the recent All-In Cincinnati report, produced in partnership with PolicyLink, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Interact for Health and community leaders — demonstrates that racial inequality hinders growth and economic mobility. As the region’s community foundation, GCF seeks to help build a stronger region where everyone can thrive, which is critical to Greater Cincinnati’s economic future.
Racial Equity Matters sessions will present thought-provoking material meant to open hearts and minds to new perspectives on race. The conversations sparked by that information, while at times demanding, can also lead to breakthrough, inspiring insights. GCF encourages organizations to sign up and attend in cohorts for the shared experience.
Past participants speak to the transformative power of the presentations:
“I participated in the Phase I training in the fall of 2018 and it was an immersive, eye-opening and deeply moving experience about what equity truly means,” affirmed Clare C. O’Brien, Treasurer of Impact 100 and Vice Chair of the May We Help Board. “One precious benefit of the training is that I’ve been connected with a group of passionate, diverse people and we are moving forward together in a shared journey of learning, support and empowerment.”
“Be prepared for an extraordinary educational experience that will fundamentally transform the way you approach and think about your work, personal relationships and community,” added Marla Morse, Program Coordinator, HealthPath Foundation of Ohio.
There is no charge to participate in Racial Equity Matters sessions. As a gift to the community, GCF and its generous partners and donors are underwriting first-year trainings costs to build community awareness about the program’s value to advance impactful communication.
Groundwater sessions — recommended to be taken prior to Phase 1 — will be conducted 1 to 4:30 p.m. on April 22, June 10, Sept. 25 and Nov. 20. Phase 1 sessions will be conducted 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 23-24, June 11-12, Aug. 22-23, Sept. 16-17, Oct. 21-22 and Nov. 21-22.
The April and June trainings will be held at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Registration for all sessions is open now. For more information and registration, visit www.GCFDN.org/REM.
CINCINNATI (May 6, 2019) – All-In Cincinnati is pleased to announce the hiring of Denisha Porter as the first Director of the All-In Cincinnati Equity Coalition. All-In Cincinnati is a community-led racial equity coalition that seeks to co-create and implement an equity action plan to transform our tri-state community, and Porter will be the driving force leading the coalition’s work to shape that vision.
Porter will be responsible for directing policy and advocacy actions promoting the All-In Cincinnati mission; building strong relationships with local nonprofits, city officials, government agencies and community partners; and facilitating meetings, communications and recruitment with the All-In Cincinnati Core Team and Coalition members. In addition to supporting the All-In team, members and relevant subgroups, she will provide leadership to align the efforts and resources of community partners.
“I couldn’t be more pleased to have Denisha’s leadership as we begin implementing the important work of transforming our community into a more equitable place to live and work,” said longtime community leader and activist Eileen Cooper Reed, an original member of the Core Team. “Her skills and background will provide All-In with the strategic focus and capacity at just the right time.”
The All-In Cincinnati Report, championed by Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) in partnership with Interact for Health and United Way of Greater Cincinnati, was released in October 2018. Built on the framework of the All-In Cities Initiative of PolicyLink, a national research and action institute dedicated to advancing racial and economic equity, the report outlines a local policy map to navigate and accelerate those goals.
Porter will be based at GCF. She comes from the Cincinnati Health Department, where she served since 2010 as the Director of Health Promotion and Worksite Wellness and the Creating Healthy Communities Program. She was responsible for coordinating health initiatives in schools, worksites, communities and healthcare settings.
Additionally, Porter co-authored a health education curriculum and worked as a public health educator. A registered sanitarian and a healthy homes specialist, she was recognized as the City of Cincinnati Employee of the Year and inducted into the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health. Porter is a graduate of Miami University, and received her Master of Public Health degree from Wright State University in 2006 and a Certificate in Field Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina in 2010. She served as a board member of the National Association of County and City Health Officials and is currently a board member of the Mill Creek Alliance, Outdoor Adventure Club, go Vibrant and Interact for Health.
About All-In Cincinnati
Guided by a core team of civic leaders, the All-In Cincinnati Equity Coalition is creating a local policy roadmap to be released in 2018 based on the framework of PolicyLink’s All-In Cities initiative. The project aims to strengthen relationships and build trust between individual local leaders working on multiple, intersecting issues.
Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is committed to conversations about racial equity that build connections and move us forward with enhanced insights and shared purpose. To help advance that imperative goal, GCF will offer a series of community-wide equity education events, conducted by the Racial Equity Institute (REI), to focus on understanding and addressing the root causes of racism.
“In our efforts toward a more equitable community for all, we know that where people work and where they live are fundamental. Through our investments, leadership, convenings, advocacy, education and awareness building, GCF is committed to advancing equity in housing as a critical step to insuring that everyone has an opportunity to thrive in our community.” — Harold Brown, GCF Vice President, Community Strategies
As we enter our 56th year as a trusted and connected community partner, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) continues to make strides along the pathways of racial and economic equity. The most recent result of that purposeful and strategic focus is a series of community leadership grants to five organizations engaged in impactful equity work.
GCF launched a redesigned community impact strategy in 2017 to spotlight equity issues. In response to a preponderance of challenging data — provided, in part, by extensive research by GCF’s Women’s Fund — we know that in our region, three out of four children living in poverty are being raised in single, female-headed and disproportionately women of color households. Cincinnati has the third highest child poverty rate in the nation, with 180,000 children growing up in families living below the self-sufficiency line. As a region, 72 percent of jobs pay less than self-sufficient wages, which lands us in the lowest bracket of upward mobility. Furthermore, there is a 40,000-unit gap in affordable housing, the result of which is that 60 percent of low-income households spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing (much more than the recommended 30 percent or less).
That is why GCF is committed to prioritizing a deep, concentrated focus on housing stability and economic mobility for people of color, and particularly low-income women. We revised our organizational community investment strategy, adopting explicit equity approaches that are also reflected in our grantmaking and directed funding opportunities.
Aligned with that mission, GCF made the single largest investment in our history — $1.8 million, together with our generous donors — to partner with the Greenlight Fund in 2017 to the Family Independence Initiative (FII) to Greater Cincinnati. The innovative, data-driven program empowers families to determine their own goals to move out of poverty. To date, more than 200 families have enrolled in the program.
GCF’s recent, concentrated community leadership grants also exemplify that vital equity strategy. They include:
Through these and future grants, GCF is determined to move the needle on housing stability and economic mobility in life-changing ways that benefit all of us with a more vibrant, inclusive community.
GCF is championing the All-In Cincinnati initiative in partnership with Interact for Health and United Way of Greater Cincinnati. We invite you to join us on October 19 for the research release event, A Path to Inclusive Prosperity in Our Region, which will feature Dr. Michael McAfee, PolicyLink President and CEO.
The research has been compiled, and it’s ready for release. We’re excited to reveal the ground-breaking work of the All-In Cincinnati Equity Coalition — in coordination with research and action institute PolicyLink — to determine the essential investments, policies and opportunities needed to address persistent inequalities in our community.
All-In Cincinnati, quite simply, is the recognition that striving for equity throughout our beloved community enriches all of us. PolicyLink, a national research and action institute, defines equity as “just and fair inclusion into a society in which all, including all racial and ethnic groups, can participate, prosper and reach their full potential.” It advocates for identifying and overcoming the systemic barriers to achieving equity through intentional action.
At Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF), we understand that our “tale of two cities” presents dueling realities. While Cincinnati is rightly recognized as a city on the rise — with a substantial array of Fortune 500 companies, universities and cutting-edge healthcare organizations, along with a re-emerging urban core — we continue to chart one of the highest child poverty rates in the nation, especially among African Americans. It’s a familiar story across the U.S., say the experts at PolicyLink, and changing the narrative is the goal of their All-In Cities initiative. GCF is championing the All-In Cincinnati initiative in partnership with Interact for Health and United Way of Greater Cincinnati.
We are excited to announce the release of the All-In Cincinnati research, which provides the foundation for creating a local policy roadmap built upon PolicyLink’s framework. A Path to Inclusive Prosperity will feature keynote speaker Dr. Michael McAfee, from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, October 19, at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 East Freedom Way, downtown. Dr. McAfee, president and CEO of PolicyLink, joined the organization in 2011 as the inaugural director of its Promise Neighborhoods Institute.
The All-In Cincinnati research project was guided by a broad-based team of community stakeholders and volunteers who convened as the All-In Cincinnati Equity Coalition. They include the AMOS Project, Black United Front, Child Poverty Collaborative, Cincinnati Health Department, Cincinnati Union Cooperative Institute, City of Cincinnati Department of Economic Inclusion, Housing Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati, Intersections, Invest in Neighborhoods, LISC Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, Women’s Fund of GCF and several other organizations.
GCF is inviting you to be All-In, too. Please join us at the All-In Cincinnati research release event on October 19. Admission is free; doors open at 3:30 p.m. Register Today!
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