United Way of Washtenaw County awards $1.38M to local groups fighting racism, poverty

UWWC grants made through Community Impact, Justice funds

Photo: United Way of Washtenaw County

ANN ARBOR – United Way of Washtenaw County recently granted a total of $1.38 million to 51 local nonprofits and community groups working to address racism, poverty and trauma.

The money was gifted through UWWC’s Community Impact Fund and Justice Fund.

According to a UWWC release, 41 nonprofits and community groups will receive $1 million annually over the next three years through the Community Impact Fund.

The money will go toward general operating support for up-and-coming groups with small annual budgets to some of the county’s leading nonprofits. In total, UWWC received more than $4 million in grant requests.

A community review team selected which groups should receive the grants after undergoing implicit bias training. The volunteers hailed from various sectors, including business, human services and community as well as individuals who have accessed local social services.

According to a release, 100% of the funding for Community Impact grants comes from UWWC’s annual campaign and 66% of this year’s funds went to organizations in Ypsilanti and eastern Washtenaw County.

Grant awardees include:

  • Ann Arbor YMCA
  • Community Action Network
  • EMU Foundation - Family Empowerment Program
  • Food Gatherers
  • Foundations Preschool of Washtenaw Couny
  • Girls Group
  • Growing Hope
  • SOS Community Services
  • Telling It
  • We the People Opportunity Farm
  • Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels

“We’re excited to share that 67% of Community Impact grant funds will support 26 Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) led efforts addressing poverty, racism and trauma in our community,” Vice President of Impact and Advocacy Bridget Herrmann said in a statement.

Here’s how the funding breaks down to benefit local human services, according to UWWC:

  • School-aged youth: 33%
  • Wrap around supports to families: 23%
  • Housing and homelessness: 18%
  • Early childhood: 15%
  • Food security: 11%
  • Basic needs and literacy: 10%

“We know that programs help people beat the odds, but it’s equitable policies and practices that change the odds for people,” UWWC President and CEO Pam Smith said in a statement. “For this reason, and for the first time, we’re investing in local groups who will be engaging in public policy advocacy and systems change work.”

To see the complete list of grantees, visit www.uwgive.org/grants-awarded.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.