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$1M in grants available through the African American Quality of Life Initiative

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — One million dollars in grant money is being offered to area nonprofits through the African American Quality of Life initiative, an initiative formed by a partnership between the Indianapolis Urban League, the African American Coalition of Indianapolis, and other organizations.

Grant money will be distributed to local organizations that can provide solutions to critical issues impacting the quality of life in the city’s Black and African American communities. Areas of focus include business and entrepreneurship, education, employment, health and wellness, housing and homeownership, and leadership and civic engagement.

Tony Mason, president of the Indianapolis Urban League, says poverty is a key concern for many members of Indiana’s Black population, and he believes it often stems from a lack of community investment.

“When you see the level of poverty that we have in our community…when we talk about 30% of African Americans [in Indiana] being being poor, that means that our neighborhoods are not invested in,” Mason said. “That means you don’t have access to jobs…you don’t have a health center, you don’t have a grocery store.”

Willis Bright, chairman of the African American Coalition of Indianapolis, says there is other work to be done, as well.

“[We] can work on the policy issues that keep people from also being able to access fair and competitive opportunities,” Bright said.

Bright says community involvement is vital.

“While we are a focal point to give some particular strategic direction, it is really a community effort,” Bright said. “That’s really required to improve the quality of life in the African-American community.”

The deadline to submit a proposal for grant funding is April 22.