ST. LOUIS — The Deaconess Foundation has launched a $2 million fund to invest in community organizing and arts it says will heal trauma and change conditions that reinforce systemic racism. Forward Through Ferguson and Missouri Foundation for Health are also collaborators on the St. Louis Regional Racial Healing Fund.
They said $1.4 million has already been committed to the effort, thanks to a matching grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Other funders include Incarnate Word Foundation, Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, Midwest Bank Centre, St. Louis Community Foundation, St. Louis University’s Institute for Healing Justice and Equity, the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock and YouthBridge Community Foundation.
A news release described how funds will be distributed: "Through this participatory grantmaking process, a cohort of grassroots leaders, artists, creatives and residents of color will identify specific funding priorities and outcomes and distribute invested funds to a combination of mid-scale and grassroots organizations. These targeted investments, guided by a shared community-driven vision, aim to (1) heal individual and community trauma, (2) engage a broader range of residents in systems change work, (3) prepare leaders of color to organize for healing justice, (4) build local capacity to nurture support, and cultivate healing assets and (5) align resources for long-term sustainability."
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