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  • Writer's pictureGerri Gomez Howard

Black Resilience in Colorado Fund Becomes a National Model for African American-Focused Philanthropy

BRIC celebrates a milestone on Juneteenth having granted more than $2 million to 136 Black-led and serving nonprofits in two years.

(Denver, CO., June 16, 2022) Black Resilience in Colorado (BRIC) Fund, the first Black-focused community fund in Colorado, has raised nearly $3 million and granted more than $2 million to 136 Black-led and Black-serving nonprofit organizations — establishing itself as a national blueprint for Black-focused community funds and initiatives, which have been created in Washington, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Oregon, California, Connecticut, Ohio, and North Carolina.

BRIC, a fund of The Denver Foundation, was established on Juneteenth (June 19, 2020) to address systemic racism and inequities that negatively impact Black communities.

“As we celebrate Juneteenth and two years of the BRIC Fund supporting Colorado’s Black-led and serving nonprofit organizations, we’re proud to play a significant role as a collaborator and leader in the Black philanthropic community,” said LaDawn Sullivan, director of the BRIC fund. “True to our mission, we continue to be a conduit for Black leadership and community support that is invested in shifting Black nonprofits from surviving to thriving and building Black communities—BRIC by BRIC.”

Across the country, BRIC has become a national model and a blueprint for Black-focused community funds and initiatives. Together, they are establishing a strong community-focused thought leadership network, innovative programming, and a pipeline of financial resources to support and strengthen local organizations.

"The BRIC Fund has been an inspiration to our efforts in Greensboro, North Carolina,” said Athan L. Lindsay, vice president of grants and community impact for the Black Investments in Greensboro (BIG) Equity Fund. “It has been affirming to know that there is another Black-led philanthropic fund that demonstrates the power of Black philanthropic leadership."

In addition to its grant-funding program, BRIC has developed new ways to support Black-led and serving nonprofits, and Black, Indigenous People of Color in nonprofit leadership roles.

BRIC has partnered with the Urban Land Conservancy to establish The BRIC Loan Program, which was created in recognition of the historic barriers of systemic racism Black nonprofits and the Black communities they serve face in accessing capital financing. This new program offers low-interest loans to support capital projects or other improvements for Black-led and serving nonprofits across the seven-county Metro Denver region.

BRIC also spearheads the Executive Directors of Color Institute (EDCI), a two-year leadership development and organizational capacity-building program for BIPOC nonprofit leaders. Monthly peer-led learning sessions strengthen the individual leadership and capacity and collective impact of BIPOC-led nonprofit organizations across Colorado. EDCI seeks participants looking to grow and expand their skill sets; contribute to a dynamic network of peers; and work to inform, shape and maximize the opportunities in today's nonprofit sector while working to make the sector more inclusive, equitable and just.

BRIC’s grant recipients represent diverse community interests, from education, farming, and racial justice advocacy to the arts, technology, and support for people experiencing homelessness. The organizations provide a range of services to Black communities, including access to homeownership, youth to career programs, basic needs and food security, and mental health and healing services.

Learn more about the grant recipients here.

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About Black Resilience in Colorado (BRIC) Fund

Black Resilience in Colorado (BRIC) Fund is the first Black-focused community fund established in Colorado, explicitly providing financial resources and support to Black-led and serving organizations. Established on Juneteenth (June 19, 2020), BRIC is more than a fund; it’s a movement to address systemic racism and inequities that negatively impact Black communities throughout the seven-county Metro Denver area and beyond. Through BRIC, organizations can leverage community assets, build capacity, and secure emergency relief resources during times of crisis. Together with diverse donors, emerging philanthropists, community networks, partners, and national peers, BRIC provides valuable resources and programs that strive to dismantle systemic racism while reinforcing the resilience and sustained growth of Black-led and serving organizations and their work in community - BRIC by BRIC.

The Denver Foundation

The Denver Foundation is a community foundation that inspires people and mobilizes resources to improve life in Metro Denver. In 2021, the Foundation and its donors awarded $115 million in grants. The Denver Foundation has three roles: stewarding an endowment to meet current and future needs for Metro Denver, working with community leaders to address the core challenges that face the community and managing more than 1,000 charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families and businesses.

Media Contact:

Gerri Gomez Howard

Gomez Howard Group

(303) 748-3933

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