Community

The Community Foundation of Louisville is making changes to one of its major grantmaking programs to improve racial and economic equity.

It’s looking to re-envision the granting process for its Fund for Louisville. It announced Monday it will do so with the help of 15 Black Louisvillians. Established in 2014, the Fund distributes grants to help local nonprofits increase their capacity.

This newly created group of 15, which includes people from a variety of professional backgrounds, will meet several times in the coming months to talk about “how to dismantle current barriers” that exist in the nonprofit funding process, “identify characteristics of an equitable and accessible grant-making approach, and determine how to best identify Black-led nonprofit organizations that are advancing systemic change,” according to a Community Foundation of Louisville press release. 

The goal of the design team is to develop a more equitable approach that better serves Black-led and Black-serving nonprofits in the Louisville area. 

“We are focused on increasing our support and changing how we grant funds,” Ron Gallo, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Louisville, said in the release. “An essential starting point of our new strategy is to actively engage Black voices in decision making.”

Senior program officer Ramona Dallum Lindsey, said she believes Community Foundation of Louisville has put an emphasis on “equity and inclusion” in its grantmaking protocols, “yet we know there’s more we can do to be responsive to the needs of those most impacted by racialized inequality.” 

“Bringing new voices to define this approach allows us to share power with a talented group of community members whose diverse experiences, skills and perspectives can best inform our work.” Lindsey said.

The new design team, which was selected from an applicant/nomination pool of 46, consists of:

Stacy Bailey-Ndiaye, executive director and co-founder of nonprofit Bridge Kids International. She also has experience in higher education.

Leo Braddock, founder and executive director of nonprofit Children Shouldn’t Hunger. He also has a background in the hospitality industry.

Haley Brents, college student and youth advocate.

Patricia Carver, assistant professor of business administration at Bellarmine University’s Rubel School of Business.

Nannie Croney, business owner and nonprofit professional.

Eric Hawkins, who has experience in “reviewing funding proposals for state and corporate foundation funds,” according to the foundation’s release.

Ashleigh Hazley, an academic researcher and assistant director for the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of Louisville.

– Johnique Ison, a nonprofit board member and volunteer, and neighborhood liaison with Center for Neighborhoods. 

Angelique Johnson, CEO and founder of technology start-up MEMStim LLC and nonprofit board member.

Tialisha Lumpkin, political policy analyst, community organizer and volunteer.

Mahogany Mayfield, educator, racial justice advocate and nonprofit professional.

Cassandra Webb, community organizer and nonprofit professional.

Shawnte West, works with nonprofits, policy instructor, child welfare advocate.

LaToya Whitlock, co-founder and executive director at Decode Project, Inc.

Naiyana Williams, marketing and public affairs professional.

The foundation expects to unveil a new grantmaking approach for the Fund for Louisville in January, and award grants under this new model in spring 2021.

Stephanie Wolf is WFPL's Arts Reporter.