Community Leadership

Now is the time for racial equity

Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s Community Leadership is our community change strategy.  Specifically, this is the area where GCF serves as a community leader by acting as a catalyzing force that creates a better future for all by addressing our region’s most critical or persistent challenges. 

As a foundation – part of our mission is to build a community where everyone can thrive and fulfill their full potential.  Racial equity is the overarching goal for our community leadership work because we believe that a racially equitable community is the ideal state for our region.

Now is the time to address the racial divide and we're doing so by targeting investments in the black community. 

Data-based insights

Hamilton County is projected to become majority people of color by 2040, yet the Cincinnati MSA is one of the most racially segregated metropolitan areas in the United States. Our research points to numerous systemic barriers, from employment to access to affordable housing, that inhibit our Black neighbors. A key finding – Hamilton County would be $9.9 billion stronger if we closed the wage gap between Black workers and their white counterparts.

Achieving racial equity is our region's greatest opportunity for growth. GCF is on a mission to address racial inequities in our community, creating a region where everyone thrives.

Our Vision for Our Community

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. This promise must be realized for everyone.

We believe in a city of open doors and futures. A place where none of us are limited by our zip code. A region where we make each other stronger and we prosper together. We believe in a city where every little girl and every little boy can reach their full potential. To laugh, learn, dream, and achieve.

We believe in racial equity and won't stop until we get there, together.

Our Focus and Strategies

Greater Cincinnati Foundation focuses on advancing systems change as the most effective way to advance racial equity and opportunity in our region.

As a foundation, we use multiple strategies, including grantmaking, impact investing, research, advocacy, education and technical assistance. We award grants and make multi-year investments in high-impact efforts. We convene to spark conversations and incubate innovative new initiatives. Below is our current systems change strategy and approach through grantmaking:

Advance the upward mobility of Black women with targeted investments in where 'she lives' (housing stability) and where 'she works' (quality jobs).

Investments to ensure justice and fairness across all systems so people of color have voice power access and opportunity.

Investments that support and build the capacity of Black led and Black serving organizations to boost their effectiveness and amplify their impact.
Ensure equitable access and experiences for people of color through investments in sectors of our donors’ interest – such as arts, education, basic needs, environment, and support for the differently abled.

We are always interested in hearing about innovative ideas in the community that align with our strategies. Tell us what you are working on by filling out an inquiry form.

Inquiry Form

Learn more about how our nonprofit partners are driving this work by reading our community stories.

Community Stories

Finally, review our list of resources to help you on your racial equity journey.


Annual Fund

Fuel Our Mission

If this work inspires you, take an active role in creating a more vibrant and equitable region for all by fueling our mission and amplifying our impact. Your generosity will improve lives today while investing in a brighter tomorrow.

Let's make change, together.

Our Initiatives

Thanks to your support and our Empowering Community Annual Fund we are leading this work. Our community needs hope. We are convening partners and changemakers to create that hope and amplify impact. Join us.

Racial Equity Matters is educational series that provides history and facts to provide the tools needed to have hard conversations about race. 

Housing Our Future ensures that vulnerable residents of our region, especially women and people of color under 200% poverty, can live in housing that is safe, secure and affordable.

Commitment to the All-In Cincinnati Equity Coalition, a community-led group of individuals working to pave the road to inclusive prosperity. Together, creating a movement dedicated to systes and policy changes in Hamilton County. 

Giving Black Cincinnati is an initiative that celebrates the legacy and future of Black philanthropy and recently launched its first Giving Black Giving Circle.