Racial Justice Fund to Drive Systemic Change

We must act now. Achieving racial equity is long overdue. We cannot allow inequities to continue and expect to thrive – as people or as a region. GCF has long embraced racial equity as the core of our mission; it has always been paramount. Now, the call to address centuries of systemic racism has been further amplified by the disparities revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial divide across our nation. Now is the time.

It’s clear: to attain racial equity, we must focus on racial justice.

In June, GCF’s Governing Board boldly responded to the call for immediate action by establishing the Racial Justice Fund. With an initial commitment of $5 million over five years, the fund is intended to advance justice and fairness in our community. Utilizing a concept from our Racial Equity Matters training, we are committed to “groundwater” solutions – those which get to the root causes of racial inequities created and sustained by structural racism.

The results of our studies All-In Cincinnati: Equity Is the Path to Inclusive Prosperity and Giving Black: Cincinnati – A Legacy of Black Resistance & Stewardship provided the roadmap – the steps we must satisfy on our region’s equity journey. We’ve covered lots of ground on that journey already, but we still have a long way to go. Over the past few months, we have talked to grassroot organizations already doing this work, listened to those most directly affected and identified our lead partner, Praxis Matters, a black-led research and consulting firm. Their most recent work has focused on the disproportionate effects the criminal legal system has on the Black community. Praxis Matters will engage in community conversations to identify key themes and develop recommendations for the fund and its focus. We realize we do not have all the answers, but we are committed to investing more resources to build the capacity of organizations working for social and criminal justice.

To amplify our impact and drive systems change, join us by visiting www.gcfdn.org/racialjusticefund.