The Center on Community Philanthropy at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service announced the Sunflower County Freedom Project and Arkansas Community Foundation as the recipients of the 2022 Advancing Equity Award on Tuesday, January 18.
The recipients were announced during a virtual reception celebrating the National Day of Racial Healing. More than 40 organizations and individuals from across the country submitted letters of interest for the 2022 Advancing Equity Award.
“It is a privilege to present these two organizations with the 2022 Advancing Equity Award,” said Dr. Charlotte Williams, Professor and Director of the Center on Community Philanthropy. “They are trailblazers in their commitment to community, philanthropy, and racial equity.”
Presented to organizations using innovative solutions to address racial inequalities in their communities and advance progress toward inclusion, recipients were awarded $7,500 to support and enhance their efforts.
“Congratulations to Dr. Charlotte Williams and the Center on Community Philanthropy team for all of their hard work on another outstanding year of the Advancing Equity Awards,” said Clinton School Dean Victoria DeFrancesco Soto. “The work that they do is unique in higher education and central to the mission of the Clinton School of Public Service. This year’s awardees are impressive, and I am excited to see how they will continue their efforts in addressing racial inequalities in their communities.”
The National Day of Racial Healing is an opportunity for people, organizations, and communities across the country to call for racial healing, bring people together in their common humanity, and take collective action to create a more just and equitable world.
The National Day of Racial Healing is a part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation effort – a national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.
Launched in 2007, the Center on Community Philanthropy at the Clinton School of Public Service was created to focus its teaching, research, and policy-making exclusively on the emerging field of community philanthropy, the idea of giving and sharing time, talent, and treasure from within one’s own community.
Below is more information on the 2022 Advancing Equity Award recipients:
Sunflower County Freedom Project
Located in Sunflower, Miss. the Sunflower County Freedom Project is committed to developing leaders in the Mississippi Delta. For over 20 years, the organization has provided rigorous college-preparatory, after-school, and summer programming for students in Sunflower County.
Founded by Teach for America alumni, the Sunflower County Freedom Project engages youth in the rich civil rights history of the Delta to teach them about the adversity their ancestors faced and how they can apply those lessons of triumph in their communities today. The organization aims to address the deep inequalities in Sunflower County and advance progress towards academic and social inclusion for its youth.
Arkansas Community Foundation
Based in Little Rock, Ark., the Arkansas Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission to engage people, connect resources, and inspire solutions to build Arkansas communities. Since 1976, the Foundation has provided support and partnered with thousands of people and communities to help them improve their neighborhoods, towns, and state. In 2021, the Arkansas Community Foundation partnered with a local collaboration to support Black-led and Black-serving nonprofits – explicitly designed to impact Black communities.
In addition, the Arkansas Community Foundation published a special edition of their ENGAGE magazine called “Arkansans Working to Close the Equity Gap” where they featured nonprofits, individuals, small business owners, and local community leaders working to identify inequality and move toward racial equity. The Foundation pursues to provide support to Black-led and Black-serving organizations in one of the state’s poorest areas – the Arkansas Delta.