GCF to Participate in Equity Network

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.