Local Foundation Increasing Fundraising for Black Community

POISE Foundation will reward two types of grants for Black-led and Black-serving organizations


Even in the early stages of the pandemic, studies indicated that the COVID-19 virus was disproportionality impacting the Black community. In Allegheny County, as well as other parts of the country, Blacks, Latinos and other races are nearly twice as likely to get the virus.

To coincide with the start of Black Philanthropy Month on Aug. 1, the POISE Foundation is launching a new grant program to assist local Black-led organizations to deal with the impact of the pandemic.

The funds come from an expansion of POISE’s Human Equity and Justice Fund, which was created in 2018 following the death of Black teenager Antwon Rose by a white police officer in East Pittsburgh.

The expanded grantmaking will provide relief from the impact of COVID-19 on the Black community and help with social justice reforms following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others at the hands of police. 

“We are in a moment where our country recognizes the inhumanity that has existed for centuries cannot continue,” POISE Foundation CEO Mark S. Lewis says in a statement. 

Rapid Response Mini-Grants of $2,500 will go to Black-led organizations that are helping Black communities deal with the pandemic. Racial Equity Seed Grants will give $5,000 to community organizations that work with youth leadership and social justice programs.

POISE recently received contributions of $50,000 from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation and $10,000 from McAuley Ministries.

“We also recognize that moments fade. We need to ensure that this moment becomes a movement with no end until human equity is achieved. This fund seeks to support both this moment and building capacity for the movement,” says Lewis.

Read more about how to apply for funding and how to donate to the fund here.

Categories: The 412