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ACF awards nearly $100,000 to support local diversity, equity and inclusion programs


Total Community Response Fund for Nonprofits funding reaches nearly $700,000 during final round of funding 

The Community Response Fund for Nonprofits at Akron Community Foundation has provided $673,763 in funding since it was established in March 2020. Originally founded to provide flexible resources to area nonprofits facing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund has since expanded to help direct changes that encourage greater community inclusion and equity for all in the region.  

During the eighth and final round of grants from this fund, $98,965 was awarded to 37 local nonprofits, all to support local diversity, equity and inclusion-focused projects and programs. 

This round of funding includes a $3,500 grant to South Street Ministries to support the "Across the Lake" video series and further inform Project Ujima facilitated discussion circles. 

The "Across the Lake" project will highlight a series of candid video interviews with residents exploring the past, present, and future of the Kenmore and Summit Lake neighborhoods. The project will also expand Project Ujima's discussion circles with Kenmore and Summit Lake residents and educate the broader Akron community about historic and current racial and economic realities within the area. 

An additional $3,000 was awarded to Leadership Akron to support intentional outreach to increase the diversity of nonprofit boards across our community. 

Through deliberate discovery within members, employees and leadership of local community organizations, companies and nonprofits, Leadership Akron aims to form a nonprofit culture in Greater Akron in which the boards are representative of the communities they serve.  

For more information about the Community Response Fund for Nonprofits or to see the full list of grants it has distributed since its establishment in March 2020, visit  

Below is a complete list of the eighth round of grants awarded:   

Akron Art Museum, to support the Akron Art Museum's accessibility audit and evaluate institutional accessibility needs, $2,500 

Akron Civic Theatre, to support the Akron Civic Theatre board and staff's engagement in IDEA training and assessment, $3,000 

Akron Community Foundation, to attend Equity in the Center's "Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture" staff training, $3,215 

Akron Roundtable, to support a virtual forum in June featuring public academic writer and philanthropic innovator Rachel Cargle, $1,000 

Akron Soul Train, to support the "Reshaping the Narrative" project, featuring stories of Akron's immigrant families, $2,500 

Archbishop Hoban High School, to support creating a more diverse space ensuring a safe and stronger school community, $2,500 

Art Sparks, to support accessible engagement in arts experiences that bring diverse populations together, $2,000 

CASA Board Volunteer Association, to support recruitment of Black volunteers and stakeholders, $3,000 

Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy, to support DEI training for team members who engage directly with the public, $2000 

Dreams Academy International, to support a diversity, equity, and inclusion program for high school seniors, $2,500 

First Congregational Church of Hudson, to address racism through a collaborative approach between an urban and suburban high school, $2,500 

First Tee of Akron, for diversity, equity, inclusion training and implementation for staff and board, $3,000 

Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, to support the Girl Scouts Social Justice Seeker Challenge with lessons to understand privilege and representation, recognize racist language, and empower girls to be actively antiracist, $2,500 

Global Ties Akron, to support the Youth DEI Participatory Video (PV) project for community action and problem solving, $3,000 

Greater Akron Hindu Sewa Samittee, to support Summit County outreach and alleviate the sociocultural and educational challenges faced by the Nepalese-Bhutanese community in Greater Akron, $2,000 

Humane Society of Summit County, for staff training to identify and mitigate the effects of implicit bias within the organization, $3,000 

Leadership Akron, to support intentional outreach to increase the diversity of nonprofit boards across our community, $2,500 

League of Women Voters Akron Area Education Fund, to support voter education and registration to Summit County's immigrant and new citizen population, $2,000 

NeoStem Ecosystem, to support DreamSTEM, promoting visibility/accessibility of STEM professions to students of color, $4,000 

North Hill Community Development Corporation, to support a DEI art installation at North Hill Heritage Courtyard on Howard Street, $2,500 

OPEN M, to provide employment services to people of color seeking employment in a post-COVID economy, $2,500 

The Packard Institute, to support a Summit County indigenous healing and recovery center, $2,500 

Pregnancy Solutions & Services Inc., to support its mobile medical unit to promote access to prenatal care for African Americans, $3,000 

Red Oak Behavioral Health, to support development of a JEDI (justice, equity, diversity & inclusion) strategic plan for staff and board, $2,500 

Ronald McDonald House Akron, to support staff training in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), $2,500 

South Akron Youth Mentorship, to empower disadvantaged youth of color living in poverty through mentoring, education, and work initiatives, $2,500 

South Street Ministries, to support the "Across the Lake" video series and further inform Project Ujima facilitated discussion circles, $3,500 

Stewart's Caring Place, to support education and outreach for those on a cancer journey, $2,000 

Students With A Goal (SWAG), to develop a strategic plan to encompass racial equity within the organization and for students served, $3,000 

Summa Health, to support dialogue circles about race and unconscious bias for health care providers, $2,500 

Summit Artspace, to support the development of Summit Artspace's racial equity and inclusion plan, $3,000 

The Summit County Historical Society of Akron Ohio, to support Summit County diversity outreach, $2,500 

Summit Metro Parks, to support the building of the Sojourner Truth statue, $5,000 

Tri-County Jobs for Ohio's Graduates, to support integration of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in programming and training, $2,500 

Truly Reaching You, to support the "Working It Out: Personal Stories of Reentry and Overcoming the Odds" project, $3,250 

Walsh Jesuit High School, to create and share the "Courageous Conversations" podcast to help bring authentic understanding to the experiences that marginalized communities face, $2,500 

Western Reserve Playhouse, to sponsor a production showcasing the many challenges of cultural stereotypes and systemic racism that people of color face, $2,500 

About Akron Community Foundation 
Celebrating 65 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. It is a philanthropic endowment of more than $272 million with a growing family of more than 730 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation's funds have awarded nearly $194 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit

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