Vibrant Pittsburgh and Urban Affairs Foundation offering mini-grants to address systemic inequities

SABRINA SAUNDERS MOSBY, President and CEO of Vibrant Pittsburgh

Two Western Pennsylvania champions of diversity — Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Urban Affairs Foundation, which is a part of the Community Relations Council (CRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh — have joined forces to implement this year’s Mini Grants Initiative: Systemic Inequities in the COVID-19 Era, the New Pittsburgh Courier has learned.

This fund will promote diverse communities in the Pittsburgh region. Each organization has committed $25,000 to create a $50,000 pool to fund projects that address the impacts of the pandemic on marginalized groups and/or systemic inequities in the greater Pittsburgh region.

Sabrina Saunders Mosby, President and CEO of Vibrant Pittsburgh, said in a release: “Building a more diverse and inclusive region is challenging work, but we don’t have to do it alone. In order to harness lasting change, we work in collaboration with inclusion partners like the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. I’m confident in the impact of our joint efforts to build a more just and equitable region because we are investing directly into communities in order to yield greater results. With the spotlight on systemic inequities and COVID-19 recovery, the 2021 Mini Grants initiative will provide much needed funding to communities doing the inclusion and equity work our region needs to pivot, thrive, and grow.”

Larry Lebowitz, chair of the Community Relations Council (CRC), described the partnership between the Urban Affairs Foundation and Vibrant Pittsburgh, in a release: “The mission of the Jewish Federation’s Urban Affairs Foundation is ‘to foster amicable relationships among ethnic, racial, national, religious, and other groups in our community.’ We view this partnership with Vibrant Pittsburgh as a way to support diverse communities and their contributions to the vitality of the region.”

Funding through the Vibrant Pittsburgh-Urban Affairs Foundation’s Systemic Inequities in the COVID-19 Era initiative will be available to applicants selected through a competitive proposal process. Lead organizations must maintain a physical presence in the Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton Combined Statistical Area and have 501(c)3 non-profit status. Organizations can partner with other nonprofits, academic institutions, religious organizations, community groups, businesses and employee resource groups.

Projects eligible for Mini Grant funding should:

• Create opportunities for civic engagement that result in a more inclusive and engaged multicultural region, and

• Be collaborative by engaging diverse communities, organizations, or partners.

The term of proposed projects should be one year. The typical range of a grant award is $500-$7,500.

Completed grant applications are due by Friday, June 11, and should be submitted electronically at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s grantmaking portal: https://grantmakingportal.smapply.org/

Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Urban Affairs Foundation will announce Mini Grant awardees in August. Past Vibrant Pittsburgh Mini Grants have funded health and human services, housing, education, mentoring, professional networking, social support, welcoming initiatives, and job-connection programs for refugees and immigrants.

Completed grant applications are due by June 11 and should be submitted at:
http://grantmakingportal.
smapply.org

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