Blue Grass Community Foundation Announces Creation of Equity Fund
June 30, 2020 (Lexington, Ky.) — In response to an outpouring of requests from donors, the Blue Grass Community Foundation’s (BGCF) board of directors has created a non-endowed charitable fund for racial equity and anti-Black racism. This new fund has been established to combat financial disparities, address racial bias and promote healthy, sustainable Black communities.
“We are living in a deeply unsettling and transformational moment in our nation’s history,” said Fran Taylor, chair of BGCF’s board of directors, in announcing the creation of the new fund. “The horrific consequences of systemic racism are all too evident. People across our community, our commonwealth and around the world have taken to the streets to protest.”
“Many of our friends and neighbors are looking for ways to take action,” continued Taylor. “They want to fund projects and organizations that fight for equity and advance true justice, and we want to grow charitable giving to address these issues by directing resources to projects and organizations working to make Lexington a more just and equitable community.”
An advisory committee of local leaders, co-chaired by Lisa Higgins-Hord, assistant vice president for Community Engagement at the University of Kentucky, and Dr. Tiffany Daniels, D.C., owner of Chiropractic Care of Lexington, will determine the fund’s name and how to achieve the greatest good through grantmaking. Higgins-Hord is an immediate past member of BGCF’s board, and Daniels is a newly elected board member.
“There is a passionate movement transcending our nation with millions of people of all races calling for change,” said Daniels. “We hear their cries. The generous expressions of support from donors across the state of Kentucky have been heartfelt. I am honored to co-chair this initiative, and I look forward to working with the committee to devise programs that will foster an inclusive environment in Lexington.”
“Across our nation and globe, we are bearing witness to human beings speaking out against racial injustice and boldly challenging our systems to be reformed,” said Higgins-Hord. “We are moving beyond the calls to rewrite community leaders’ and organizations’ scripts of empathetic mourning and newly adopted policies. What we seek is action and accountability. I am honored to co-chair this fund because it is a direct investment into Black communities, and it is our expectation it will yield a positive impact. We have work to do, and a talented group of committee leaders ready to identify ways in which this fund can be a part of creating sustainable, healthy and vibrant Black communities.”
The fund will launch with $100,000 from Blue Grass Community Foundation, Thomson R. Bryant, Jr. and Betty R. Bryant Fund and Knight Foundation Donor Advised Charitable Fund, all at Blue Grass Community Foundation. Knight Foundation Donor Advised Fund’s $50,000 contribution is being offered as a dollar for dollar match challenge to encourage others to contribute to the fund.
“The Community Foundation, through its initiatives like On The Table and (RE)IMAGINING CHEAPSIDE, has learned that inequity and the painful vestiges of slavery, Jim Crow and segregation run deep through our community,” said Lisa Adkins, president and CEO of BGCF. “Issues of social justice are among the most important in our community and region, according to the results of a 2019 survey BGCF conducted in conjunction with On The Table. Justice does not occur on its own. It requires vigilance, healing and hard work. We want to be a catalyst to grow that work and its impact.”