BLACK EMPOWERMENT WORKS

Grants for community transformation, powered by Champions of Change

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: In light of the challenges and uncertainty resulting from COVID-19, we have made the decision to extend the deadline for Black Empowerment Works grant submissions to May 1. Please review the Important Dates section below for an updated timeline. Click here for more details on how we made this decision.

WHAT IS BLACK EMPOWERMENT WORKS?

Black Empowerment Works promotes Black economic and social prosperity through self-determination by resourcing and funding grassroots-generated, Black-led ideas, programs and projects. Essentially, it is an equity-focused grant and support program addressing poverty in Greater Cincinnati. 

WHY DOES BLACK EMPOWERMENT WORKS EXIST? 

Simply put, too many Black families and individuals in our region are experiencing poverty, and too few Black-led ideas, programs and projects (and by extension, Black leaders) receive funding and resources to address it. We are committed to changing that.

We believe that by investing in more Black-led ideas, programs and projects we can: 

  1. Bring a greater diversity of solutions and thought leadership into United Way’s work; 

  2. Gain a better understanding of the unique strengths, opportunities and challenges within communities; and 

  3. Collaborate on strategies that work to reduce racial disparities in outcomes

How can I be a part of Black Empowerment Works?

Are you passionate about Black-led ideas? Are you a Black-idea leader? Do you want to promote greater equity in philanthropy? Black Empowerment Works has three opportunities for you:

  1. Apply to be a grantee, grants will range from $2,500 to $25,000. Deadline: May 1
  2. Serve as a reviewer, helping to select the first round of grantees. Deadline: March 23
  3. Step up to be a mentor-supporter, providing guidance, resources and connections to grantees. Deadline: April 13

For more information and before applying, please review this information package.

HAVE QUESTIONS?

Important Dates

For Grantees:

  • May 1: Application closes.
  • May 19-25: Reviewer interviews with potential grantees.
  • June 1: Grantees selected and notified.
  • TBD: Community celebration and introduction to Black Empowerment Works Class 1.

For Reviewers

  • March 23: Application closes.
  • March 31: Reviewers are selected and notified.
  • Mid/Late April: Reviewer Training + Team-building
  • May 5-19: Application review
  • May 19-25: Reviewer interviews with potential grantees.
  • June 1: Grantee selection
  • TBD: Community celebration and introduction to Black Empowerment Works Class 1.

For Mentors

  • April 13: Application closes.
  • TBD: Community celebration and introduction to Black Empowerment Works Class 1
Black Empowerment Works

About Champions of Change

Black Empowerment Works is the product of the hard work and dedication of this first cohort of Champions of Change. A one-year leadership and design program by the same name, Champions of Change seeks to bring together community leaders with diverse backgrounds, skills and perspectives who are driven to advance Black-led ideas. In this pilot year, our Champions are: Retina Carter, Marquavius “Marq” Casey, Kendra Davis, Edita Dolan-Mayo, Alexis Trotter, Jalisa Harris, Reginald Harris, Terri Hurdle, Ronald Jackson II, Julius Jenkins, Chris Macklin, Rashida Manuel, and Jeremy Smith.

Champions of Change is a program of United Way of Greater Cincinnati, with support from Design Impact.