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Lansing opens applications for racial equity grants

Flickr - Corey Seeman

Lansing is accepting grant applications to support nonprofits working to make the city more inclusive.

The program was initiated by a city ordinance in 2021, dedicating a tenth of Lansing’s general fund to address the “root causes of racism” and to advance equity.

The appropriation, called the Racial Equity Fund, is being managed by Lansing’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion office and is prioritizing organizations that serve BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) communities.

“Our goal is to have people come up with creative, innovative opportunities for people in the city,” said Lansing DEI Officer Michael Hopson.

“There’s nothing that we would consider a barrier to stop them from putting forth an application to utilize these funds.”

Hopson oversees Mayor Andy Schor’s Racial Justice and Equity Alliance, as well as an advisory board made up of residents to push for diversity efforts.

Lansing's DEI office will lead groups in reviewing applications for the Racial Equity Fund, allowing nonprofits to access between $5,000 and $50,000 in grant funding.

Hopson said there are specific areas of community engagement the city is focusing on. Applicants can only apply to one of these six categories:

  • Access to Health and Wellness
  • Economic Stability
  • Inclusion of People with Diverse Abilities
  • Inspiring Arts and Culture
  • Sustainable Environment
  • Thriving Youth and Families

The deadline to apply for grant funding is June 24, and there is an informational meeting about the Racial Equity Fund on June 6.

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