LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative has announced its 2022 grant winners. It’s a community-advised committee with the Blue Grass Community Foundation that’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in Central and Appalachian Kentucky through closing equity gaps.
What You Need To Know
- Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative has announced 10 Lexington nonprofits that will receive grants
- Nonprofits that won the grant money advance racial equity, close gaps in Fayette county
- Lauren Parsons serves as Blue Grass Community Foundations Director of Communications & Strategic Initiative
- Grants awarded are $5,000, $10,000 and $50,000
The grants are awarded to organizations advancing racial equity and closing gaps in Fayette county. Between the Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative, Walton Family Foundation and the Blue Grass Community Foundation, $150,000 in grants will support 10 nonprofit Lexington organizations.
The grants award nonprofits that live up to a mission to advance racial equity and close Black equity gaps in Fayette County. Lauren Parsons serves as Blue Grass Community Foundation’s Director of Communications & Strategic Initiative.
“This is just one way we’re doing that,” said Parsons.
The Bluegrass Community Foundation, Walton Family Foundation and the Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative pooled $150,000 in grants.
$50,000 grant recipients include:
$10,000 grant recipients include:
$5,000 grant recipients include:
- American Spiritual Ensemble,
- Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning,
- CivicLex, Lexington Public Library Foundation,
- Living Arts & Sciences Center and
- Rafiki Center.
“It is their life. They are living this life every day and they’re making this community great, doing all of this programming,” said Parsons.
One of the ten grant recipients is the Rafiki Center, recently renamed the Marafiki Center — a story Spectrum News 1 has covered for the last year. They’ll receive a $5,000 grant for future projects and activities.
It’s led by 27-year-old Elisha Mutayongwa and it’s one of the 10 Swahili learning centers in the state. In June, he expressed the importance of his nonprofit’s work.
“I think our kids play a big role. I think when you’re a first-generation immigrant or a refugee who speaks Swahili, and it’s only your parents that’s speaking, what about the generation that we’re leaving behind? Are they holding up to their language?” said Mutayongwa.
He’s happy to receive the grant and looks forward to putting it toward programming efforts during the school year and the summer for Swahili Day. The Marafiki Center is now part of history that dates back to 1967, which is when the Blue Grass Community Foundation was founded.
“We’ve been doing this work for a long time and we are really excited for the possibilities for the future,” said Parsons.
A future Parson’s hopes that will mean giving more grant money to nonprofits in Lexington for the betterment of the community.