Rebuilding and sustaining African institutions and traditions
The Denver Foundation is pleased to invite qualified organizations to apply for funding from the Denver Reparations Fund. The Denver Reparations Fund grant program is focused on rebuilding and sustaining institutions and traditions that were affected, destroyed, damaged, or prevented from thriving as the result of the enslavement of African and African descendant people, and the oppressive aftermath of slavery.
Denver Black Reparations Council (DBRC) and Reparations Circle Denver (RCD) are working together to effect reparative change. RCD is a giving circle in Denver accepting new members; DBRC deploys funds raised by RCD and housed in the Denver Reparations Fund to provide reparative funding for the Black communities of Colorado.
Applicants must be Black-led and Black-serving 501(c)(3) non-profits in Colorado. Certain projects, led by non-Black-led non-profits, but related to preserving Black history or culture, etc., may also qualify.
Funds are awarded by DBRC in two reparative grant cycles per year. Awards are focused on rebuilding and sustaining institutions and traditions that were affected, destroyed, damaged, or prevented from thriving as the result of the enslavement of African and African descendant people, and the oppressive aftermath of slavery.
Grants from the fund range from $2,500 – $7,500 and are awarded in spring and fall grant cycles annually. There is a total of $50,000 available for each cycle.
- Your organization must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or have a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor.
- Your organization must be located in and do work in the state of Colorado.
- Your organization must be Black-led and Black-serving. For these grants, “Black” is defined as people of African descent. Organizations that fall outside of this definition but have a specific program that fits the fund’s priorities may apply for a program-specific grant.
- Your work must fit one or more of the priorities identified below:
- Build economic strength, generational wealth acquisition, and financial literacy.
- Preserve, provide access to, and expand Black history, culture, knowledge, and awareness.
- Enhance mental and physical health access and increase public health education.
- Provide quality education from early childhood through adulthood, including reimagination of career options and pathways.
- Enhance community building and advocacy that responds to the needs of Black residents.
- Provide access, including transportation, to critical life-sustaining services.
- Create openings for transformative change that are both systematic and relational.
Grant awards given in previous years are no guarantee of future grant awards.
Not eligible for funding:
- Organizational membership campaigns, drives, or events
- Debt retirement
- Endowments or other reserve funds
- Grants that further political activities or candidates
- Grants that further religious doctrine (community benefit programs qualify)
- Capital campaigns
- Grants to individuals
- Grants for re-granting purpose
This funding opportunity has two grant cycles. The spring cycle applications are open from April 1- May 15. The fall cycle applications are open from August 1- September 15.
Why reparations? Slavery was, and continues to be, fundamental to the foundation of the U.S. economy and wealth. “By 1860, there were more millionaires (slaveholders all) living in the lower Mississippi Valley than anywhere else in the United States. In the same year, the nearly 4 million American slaves were worth some $3.5 billion, making them the largest single financial asset in the entire U.S. economy, worth more than all manufacturing and railroads combined.
So, of course, the war was rooted in these two expanding and competing economies—but competing over what? What eventually tore asunder America’s political culture was slavery’s expansion into the Western territories.” – David Blight, author of Beyond Freedom: Disrupting the History of Emancipation.
The U.S. government has never fully accounted for the human rights violations of enslavement, thousands of lynchings, Black Code laws, Jim Crow segregation, the predatory practices of redlining, contract buying, blockbusting, or mass incarceration. Black Americans have experienced 246 years of slavery compared to 156 years of “freedom.” It is time for the U.S. – specifically European-Americans – to take action to repair the harms of slavery and its aftermath.
Not a 501(c)(3) but might otherwise qualify for a grant? Denver Black Reparations Council issues grants directly to individuals, businesses, and other Black-led and Black-serving groups. Please check DBRC’s website regularly for more information about our alternative funding opportunities