HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville announces today that Facebook is investing $20,000 in the Racial Equity Fund, becoming its first Sustaining Donor of 2021. Sustaining Donors are individuals, families, or companies that commit to donating $5,000 or more to the Racial Equity Fund, which strategically addresses equity gaps that affect quality of life.
The Community Foundation’s Racial Equity Fund was launched in 2020 with the financial support of 70 Founding Donors to provide community capital to address equity issues. These Founding Donors were invited to be honorary signatories to the fund agreement to represent their ongoing commitment to equity in our community and are permanently commemorated on the Community Foundation’s website. Funds granted in the first grant cycle totaled $115,000 for thirteen local nonprofit organizations to support programs and projects that span the five focus areas of the Racial Equity Fund:
- Education and job readiness
- Health and wellness
- Income and wealth creation
- Neighborhoods and communities
- Criminal justice system
Because this issue is not one that will be resolved in one year or one grant cycle, the Racial Equity Fund provides a lasting legacy of support for this issue. This goal is achieved in two primary ways. Fifty percent of all donations are used for current year grantmaking, and the balance is endowed to provide a permanent source of funding to address the ongoing needs for racial equity. Additionally, the Community Foundation seeks annual Sustaining Donors who share a vision for equity in our community.
In honor of Black History Month, the Community Foundation will raise additional funds to support the strategic work of the Racial Equity Fund each February. The 2021 fundraising goal is to secure at least 28 Sustaining Donors in the 28 days of February. These donors will be announced across the Community Foundation’s social media channels, added as 2021 Sustaining Donors on the Racial Equity Fund webpage, and receive a Racial Equity Fund seal. Facebook’s Huntsville Data Center steps up as the first investor in the “28 Days. 28 Donors.” campaign with a generous investment of $20,000.
“Facebook stands against racism and in support of the Black community and all those fighting for equality and justice every single day. The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville is doing important work that directly benefits our community, and we are proud to be a Sustaining Donor,” said Katie Comer, Facebook Southeast Regional Community Development Manager. “We invite other companies and organizations in the Greater Huntsville region to join with us in supporting the Racial Equity Fund.”
Facebook has been a member of the Huntsville community since 2018 when it announced that an advanced, energy-efficient data center would be built here. The company supports initiatives that promote greater economic and health equity, diversity and inclusion, including partnerships with community foundations across the US to support the work of hundreds of nonprofits serving Black communities.
Funds raised in February will be included in the grant cycle for this fund which opens in March, and local nonprofits serving within the focus area are encouraged to apply by April 15. Grants will be administered by a Grants Committee composed of a diverse group of community members with more than half of the members representing racial and ethnic minorities.
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 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.”
Together we take purposeful action to combat the harmful and deeply rooted challenges surrounding racism and inequity that have affected our community for generations. For more information about this fund, the grant process, or to become a Sustaining Donor, please visit CommunityFoundationHSV.org/Equity.