IPA News

IPA Facilitates Launch of the $2.2 Million Central Indiana Racial Equity Fund

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Indiana Philanthropy Alliance has helped facilitate the creation of the Central Indiana Racial Equity Fund by engaging funders and other Indianapolis-area stakeholders in a coalition focused on addressing racial inequities in the criminal justice system.

The coalition of local stakeholders has established the fund with an initial investment of more than $2.2 million to advance effective solutions to racial inequality in Indianapolis and its surrounding counties. The fund will work with organizations to support efforts to improve interactions between the Black community and local police in Indianapolis; address the disproportionate number of Black youth in the juvenile and criminal justice system by providing positive alternatives for education and employment; and increase employment, health and wealth opportunities for communities of color.

The fund was established by the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Lumina Foundation and Central Indiana Community Foundation, with contributions from the Anthem Foundation, Buckingham Foundation, Dorsey Foundation, Rick Fuson and Karen Ferguson Fuson, Marianne Glick and Mike Woods, Glick Philanthropies, Herbert Simon Family Foundation, High Alpha, The Indianapolis Foundation, Indianapolis Power & Light Company, and Lilly Endowment Inc., and Pacers Foundation.

The Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) will also serve as the fiscal agent and project manager. The intent is to grow the fund with additional commitments from companies and other organizations across Indiana.

“We knew then and we know now that we cannot do this work alone. Collaborating with our philanthropic and corporate leaders in our community to create this fund is a huge step forward.”

“Lilly and the Lilly Foundation are committed to action in addressing the systemic injustices in America that disadvantage people of color, with a special responsibility to Indianapolis, home of our headquarters for 144 years,” said Tiffany Benjamin, president of the Lilly Foundation. “This is the first distribution of the Lilly Foundation’s $25 million commitment over five years to decrease the burden of racial injustice on communities of color, including health, education and economic inequalities.”

The Central Indiana Racial Equity Fund will support organizations focused on having difficult conversations about Indiana’s and the Nation’s complicated past; building additional capacity within the not-for-profit sector to address issues of racial inequity, in particular relating to the criminal justice system; and advancing effective, data-driven solutions at the local level.

“In 2018, CICF changed its mission and made the generational commitment to dismantle systemic racism in our community,” said Pamela Ross, vice president of opportunity, equity and inclusion at CICF. “We knew then and we know now that we cannot do this work alone. Collaborating with our philanthropic and corporate leaders in our community to create this fund is a huge step forward in our fight for creating a community where everyone has an opportunity to thrive—no matter place, race or identity.”

The fund will be led by a community-driven, multigenerational steering committee:

  • Darryl Lockett, executive director, Kennedy King Memorial Initiative
  • Jasmin-Shaheed Young, president and CEO, RISE Indy
  • Jordan Maitland, regulatory consultant, Eli Lilly and Company
  • Kai Wells, executive director, Voices Corporation
  • Nick Ison, corporate giving manager, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana
  • Valerie Davis, community ambassador, Near Eastside neighborhood, Central Indiana Community Foundation
  • William Shrewsberry, founder, Shrewsberry & Associates LLC

To learn more, visit RacialEquity.fund.

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