United Way Invests $1.3 Million to Support Innovative, Black-Led Ideas in Greater Cincinnati

United Way has announced the investment of $1.3 million into 60 Black-led projects and programs promoting social mobility, economic prosperity and systemic change through its Black Empowerment Works program.
September 2, 2022
BEW Class 3

Contact: Alex Horton 
ahorton@wordsworthweb.com | 513-578-8712


CINCINNATI (Sept. 6, 2022) — For the third consecutive year, United Way of Greater Cincinnati is giving grants to Black changemakers to fund creative ideas and impactful projects that help Greater Cincinnati communities address poverty and systemic inequality. In partnership with bi3 and P&G Always, United Way has announced the investment of $1.3 million into 60 Black-led projects and programs promoting social mobility, economic prosperity and systemic change through its Black Empowerment Works program.  

The work selected will provide a range of services to improve health, education, employment and economic well-being. The 2022-2023 class of 60 grantees includes a mix of community coalitions, nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses and individuals. Grants range from $10,000 to $25,000. Eighteen grantees are returning from the class of 2020 and/or 2021 to continue growing the capacity of their work. The full list of recipients is listed below and can be found, along with more information about the program, at uwgc.org/bew.



  • 2nd Chance Living ($22,000) to fund a group home to support recovery and provide housing and programming for male veterans and other men on their journey to become productive citizens after being impacted by the criminal legal system.
  • Agricademy Inc. ($25,000) to introduce community members to small-scale farming/agribusiness operations, offering technical assistance for program graduates to start their own successful agribusinesses.
  • As Told By Foundation ($25,000) to support Black youth (preschool through sixth grade) in becoming stronger readers by providing access to free books centering on Black stories, along with programming that includes story times, book clubs and parent education.
  • Black Boys in Tech ($14,046) to provide a 12-week drone course designed to expose Black boys to technology. Participants will be led through a series of technology- and engineering-related activities, including soldering basics, circuit board basics, mini-drone design and assembly, and 3D modeling using commercial drones.
  • Blossoms Florist Inc. ($24,000) to provide training necessary for participants to secure a professional floral design position or launch their own floral business in a sector where only 2% identify as Black.
  • Breastfeeding Outreach for Our Beautiful Sisters - BOOBS ($25,000) to help protect against infant mortality and morbidity via breastfeeding promotion and support, education, outreach and advocacy to Black mothers and other populations most vulnerable or at risk. (bi3 Health Equity Fund recipient)
  • Brick Gardens Foundation ($25,000) to educate teen boys, girls and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) young adults on how to use free resources and grow premium, high-end mushrooms to create opportunities for residual income.
  • Brown Hands LLC ($25,000) to host community-wide literacy events in African American communities to educate kids at an early age about historically black colleges and universities, using Black children's books, members of the Divine Nine, local authors, fun-filled HBCU activities and hands-on literacy interventions.
  • Butterflies in Heels ($25,000) to support the social, emotional and academic needs of girls by providing after-school programming centered on confidence-building, resiliency, community service and post-secondary education and career aspirations. (bi3 Health Equity Fund recipient)
  • Center For Healing The Hurt ($20,000) to provide free, trauma-based therapy for children and teens to help them to address, process and recover from traumatic experiences. (bi3 Health Equity Fund recipient)
  • Cincinnati Parent Empowerment Network ($20,000) to promote generational economic mobility through comprehensive family coaching, housing mobility, literacy and streamlined access to community resources.
  • Citizens of the World Charter Schools Cincinnati ($12,000) to fund family engagement workshops that address food insecurities through a farm-to-table series, celebrate cultural heritage through community-based events, and equip families with resources to advocate for equity-centered environments.
  • Developing Enriching Bettering Individuals (DEBI Home) ($19,000) to provide transitional housing and assistance for women and children experiencing homelessness.
  • DevonshireSmith Diversity and Education Solutions ($25,000) for an intensive 11-month program to develop and empower high school students of color to complete post-secondary education. Programming includes ACT/SAT prep, application and financial aid processes, career pathway exploration, adjusting to the new school and how to advocate.
  • Elementz Cultural Art Center ($22,000) to expose young people of color to and prepare them for creative college and career pathways. Young people will gain first-hand experience with the inner workings of the creative sector, from planning and production to performance. (P&G Always Confidence Fund recipient)
  • Emerging Cities International-ECI ($25,000) to address and improve the social and economic conditions of sub-Saharan African immigrants and refugees by providing resources and education in literacy (ESL/ESOL classes, digital/financial literacy) and personal development and advancement (citizenship, life readiness and career preparation).
  • Erica Easley Foundation ($19,850) to work with teens and young adults on the importance of responsible driving and education about vehicle safety.
  • EVERYBODY IS L.I.T.T ACADEMY ($25,000) for after-school programming for third-grade boys in Cincinnati. Using culturally responsive literacy aimed at restoring joy in the classroom for Black boys, they will be taught to read, write and express themselves creatively while discovering their talents and interests academically.
  • Gibson Financial Planning ($25,000) to educate 100 African American working adults ages 18 to 25 on the benefits of investing early by setting up bank and investment accounts.
  • Girls Health Period ($25,000) to promote understanding of menstrual health, eliminate stigma surrounding menstruation and provide access to products and resources.
  • GPD Creative Agency ($25,000) for Revive Black Cincy, an initiative that supports Black-owned businesses and Black-led organizations in developing a website at no cost.
  • Health Care Resources Plus Inc. ($20,000) to support strengthening the emotional and mental health of girls as it relates to “girlhood,” especially periods. This program includes a rite of passage, leadership development, creative exploration, self-advocacy and inner-narrative shifting. (P&G Always Confidence Fund recipient)
  • iCan Health LLC ($25,000) to partner with local Black-owned barbershops to facilitate and provide information regarding diabetes while also providing paid opportunities for Black nursing and public health students, exposing them to community health as a possible career option.
  • Ladies of Leadership-Ohio Inc. ($20,000) to sustain and build existing mentoring programming for girls in grades 2 to 12. Topics addressed include physical and mental health, academic achievement, developing social-emotional skills, creating financial stability and overcoming trauma.
  • MA’AT Business Consultants & Paralegals ($15,000) to combat high rates of minority recidivism by aiding returning citizens in forging a path to entrepreneurship so they can move effectively to social mobility and economic self-sufficiency.
  • M & R Performance LLC ($10,000) to provide a construction training program for 18-to-24-year-olds, leading to certification and employment opportunities.
  • Mentoring Young Minds ($25,000) to provide holistic support for African American students in grades 3 to 12, including individualized academic instruction, behavior and trauma supports, mentorship and skills development. (bi3 Health Equity Fund recipient)
  • Michelle Jarmon Financial ($25,000) for credit repair and credit education services intended to empower people in the Black community to have a better relationship with money.
  • Miller's Karate Studios ($20,000) for a Breaking Barriers program designed to take students on a journey of discovery and empowerment through martial arts. The nine-month journey has three phases: believe, achieve and breakthrough.
  • MY KIDZ ($20,000) to provide resources – including food, supplies, clothes and hygiene items – to children experiencing homelessness in the Cincinnati Public School district.
  • Next Is Now Plan ($25,000) for a program that provides 12th-grade students in Cincinnati Public Schools with 12 months of career-readiness training, financial stipends, upskill training for the workforce, industry credentials, employment partnerships and employment opportunities in health care and technology.
  • Next Level Dance and Drill Team ($19,000) to provide a safe environment for youth to express themselves through the art of dance while learning skills needed to be productive members of the community, including leadership, team building, discipline and conflict resolution.
  • Noble Barber & Beauty ($20,000) for The Gifted Event, a program to provide a dedicated day of professional barber services for children with various disabilities, including physical, developmental or intellectual.
  • Ohio Prisoners Justice League DBA Opportunities Peoples Justice Leaders ($25,000) to provide support to women previously incarcerated or directly impacted by incarceration.
  • Our Tribe ($25,000) to provide programming and events to connect, empower, educate and advocate for the Black Autism Community in Cincinnati. (bi3 Health Equity Fund recipient)
  • Parent Promise ($25,000) to host family resiliency support groups and family enrichment opportunities with a specific focus on single motherhood. (bi3 Health Equity Fund recipient)
  • Parents for Public Schools of Greater Cincinnati ($20,000) to advocate and provide training and engagement programs that influence quality of education and build relationships with parents, school and the community.
  • Poppy's Therapeutic Corner ($25,000) to host three eight-week transitional groups for young women as they move from high school into the adult world. (P&G Always Confidence Fund recipient)
  • Praise These Hands ($25,000) to host community dinners that bring people together with an emphasis on removing stigma and stereotypes about what it means to experience homelessness.
  • Preston Brown Foundation Inc. ($10,000) to provide virtual and in-person Youth Mental Health First Aid training/certification at no cost to 70 caring adults (teachers, coaches, social workers, parents, etc.) serving students in Hamilton County with majority Black representation. (bi3 Health Equity Fund recipient)
  • Purposeful Innovative Beautician ($20,000) to provide professional beauty services and education for Black foster children, leveraging stylists and technicians throughout the community.
  • Queen Mother's Market ($25,000) to establish a grocery store and provide locally produced and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color)-farmed food for local neighborhoods experiencing a food desert.
  • Radical ALLI Center ($10,000) to host the Institute for Justice, Inclusion, and Social Change for undergraduate student enrichment, which teaches participants to practice racial healing and teach anti-hate awareness.
  • RE-Assist ($15,000) to provide digital health outreach services to educate people with disabilities and seniors on post-acute care services and resource-finding techniques.
  • Sharing with Sheri ($10,000) to fund a documentary that focuses on mental illness, caregiving, and dementia within the Black community.
  • Soul Palette ($25,000) for the C.A.N.V.A.S. Mentoring Program, focusing on teens aged 12 to 18 with natural creative and artistic abilities looking to hone their skills and inspire their communities. Looking to foster the next generation of Black visual artists. (P&G Always Confidence Fund recipient)
  • Sowing Seeds in Omi Services LLC ($25,000), for the Postpartum Nourishing Program that provides meals and nourishment to Black birthing people for up to six weeks immediately after giving birth.
  • Step Higher Inc.-Nella's Place ($25,000) to provide a comprehensive health and wellness program supporting the mental health, academics, and basic life-skill needs of girls living at one of the organization's group homes.
  • Sweet Sistah Splash ($25,000) for its The Cincinnati Young Entrepreneurs and Business Fair, which promotes business creation, financial literacy, economic stability, and asset-building by working with teens and children to create their own business.
  • Teefah's Learning Center ($25,000) for the Mindfulness Project, designed to teach parents about social emotional learning (SEL) and how to raise more empathetic and passionate children by teaching mindfulness, trauma-informed SEL, SEL Yoga and managing emotions as parents
  • The Dr. Kim Experience LLC ($25,000) for working with Black teens and young adults to author and publish their own books.
  • The Heights Movement ($17,500) to improve the economic and social mobility of residents of Lincoln Heights and surrounding communities by providing out-of-school opportunities for youth to increase their access to STEM careers.
  • The Mothership Institute ($25,000) for creating community peer birthing circles for young women in high school, supporting them as they support one another and providing childbirth education and period products and resources. (bi3 Health Equity Fund recipient)
  • The Wright Institute for Transformative Change ($25,000) for its Liberated Black Leaders Academy, aimed at helping Black change agents, community-engaged clergy, and nonprofit practitioners experience freedom within as they work to create freedom and justice within their community.
  • Their Voice of Greater Cincinnati ($25,000) for the Respite Care program, which focuses on the needs of caregivers whose children have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. (bi3 Health Equity Fund recipient)
  • Trazana A Staples Alternative Stroke Recovery Fund ($23,000) for a seminar series created to educate individuals and families in Lincoln Heights on ways to prevent and manage health issues/chronic conditions (stroke, diabetes, hypertension, etc.) through lifestyle change and wellness practices.
  • TRIIIBE Foundation ($25,000) for the Ubuntu initiative, created to elevate and amplify Black artists and Black venues in Greater Cincinnati.
  • Tryed Stone New Beginning Church ($17,500) to start a community-based, youth-led prevention coalition around drug and alcohol use among teens.
  • Young People’s Liberation School ($25,000) to support its work affirming and celebrating Black youth transitioning into adulthood by building upon legacy and supporting youth engagement in liberation struggles in Africa and the African Diaspora.
  • Zion Global Missions ($25,000) to provide training for nontraditional job routes and apprenticeships for those coming out of school and interested in construction-based employment.

About United Way

For more than 100 years, United Way of Greater Cincinnati has developed, supported and strengthened social systems that improve lives in Greater Cincinnati communities. UWGC provides relief for families in crisis, supports families as they establish stronger foundations, and revitalizes systems of support for long-term economic resiliency. United Way is uniquely positioned to bring together and harness the collective power of social service agencies, governments, businesses, donors and more to tackle ingrained, persistent, community-wide problems in a coordinated, comprehensive way that maximizes donor dollars. The generosity of our community, combined with our more than 100 years of experience bringing people together, enables us to support families in a 10-county area across Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Additional information about our community impact is available at UWGC.org #LiveUnited

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About Black Empowerment Works

Black Empowerment Works promotes Black self-determination, social mobility and economic prosperity by resourcing and funding grassroots-generated, Black-led work.

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