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Community Foundation Launches Racial Equity Fund to Battle Racism and Inequity

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville announced today the launch of the Racial Equity Fund to provide discretionary grants for nonprofit organizations who are on the front lines addressing the issue of racism and inequity in our community.

The Community Foundation believes we live in a great community and also believes that all residents in our community should have the opportunity to fulfill their highest potential.  “When we tackle existing equity gaps, we will expand opportunities to many people across our community,” says Melissa Thompson, CEO and President of the Community Foundation. “Only then can we experience the changes necessary to be a place where all residents can learn, work, and further contribute to a healthy, thriving, and prosperous place to call home.”

Because this issue is not one that will be resolved in one year or one grant cycle, the Racial Equity Fund will support both current year grantmaking, as well as serve as a permanent source of funding to address the ongoing needs for racial equity.  Fifty percent of all donations will be deployed for current year grants, and fifty percent of all donations will be added to the Racial Equity Endowment to provide a lasting legacy of support for this issue, addressing equity gaps in the following areas:

  • Criminal justice system
  • Education and job readiness
  • Health and wellness
  • Income and wealth creation
  • Neighborhoods and communities

The inaugural grant cycle for this fund will open in July and will be administered by a Grants Committee comprised of a diverse group of community members with more than half of the members representing racial and ethnic minorities. 

The Racial Equity Fund was made possible through seed funding from many generous donors. Donors with gifts of $5,000 or more were added as signatories to the fund agreement to represent their commitment to equity. The Community Foundation recognizes with gratitude the following Founding Donors:

  • Pam and Joe Alexander
  • The Boeing Company
  • Bobby Bradley and Charley Burruss
  • CADENCE Bank Community Reinvestment Fund
  • BG (R) Philip and Mrs. Sharlene Coker
  • ERC Helping Hands
  • James and Violet Gilbert
  • Gregory Gum
  • Little Drummer Girl Fund
  • Mike and Patty Lowe
  • Todd and Zara Lowry
  • Bob and Cindi Ludwig
  • Thomas and Anne Marie Reidy
  • Chris Russell and Sharon Doviet
  • Sangeeta and Ashok Singhal
  • Toyota Alabama
  • Joe and Lynne Berry Vallely
  • Hunter and Nancy Washington Vaughn
  • The Widener Family Fund
  • Frank Williams
  • Other anonymous donors

Other donors who wish to be included as Founding Donors to the Racial Equity Fund may contribute by June 30.  Together we take purposeful action to combat the harmful and deeply rooted challenges surrounding racism and inequity that have affected our community for generations. All donations to the Racial Equity Fund are welcome at