DENVER, CO (August 31, 2023) – During Black Philanthropy Month, the Black Resilience in Colorado (BRIC) Fund announced its new BRIC Legacy Fund and Liberation Investment Grant. Both initiatives fuel BRIC’s journey to accomplish its vision of breaking down barriers, building growth opportunities, and becoming a vital resource invested in long-term community outcomes. But more importantly, it illustrates BRIC’s commitment to helping Colorado’s Black-led and serving nonprofits expand, stabilize, and provide essential services that will continue to build stronger Black communities. The BRIC Legacy Fund will allow for the expansion of BRIC’s programs to address community needs and increase its community investments for years to come. The Denver Foundation kicked off the fundraising efforts for the BRIC Legacy Fund by committing to match all contributions to the fund dollar-for-dollar up to $250,000.
“The significance of these initiatives is great because when we own our past, leverage our resilience to create change, and invest in Black communities, we have the power to liberate our future,” explained LaDawn Sullivan, BRIC Fund executive director. “Today, we are reclaiming our story and defining our future, recognizing that what we do now can expand the legacy of our Black history, strengthen the vitality of Black communities, and create empowering stories we tell in the future.”
During the announcement, the BRIC Fund awarded the first Liberation Investment Grants to Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and the Collaborative Healing Initiative within Communities (CHIC Denver), each receiving $100,000. Since its inception three years ago, the BRIC Fund has awarded nearly $4 million to more than 300 Black-led and serving Colorado nonprofits. The BRIC Fund Liberation Investment Grant will be awarded to nonprofit organizations whose work is leading transformational efforts and projects to create systemic changes for Black people – that build community-wide opportunities, produce multi-generational impact and leave a legacy that benefits Colorado’s Black communities in the future.
2023 BRIC Liberation Investment Grant Recipient Overviews:
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CRPD):
CRPD is moving to expand the legacy and impact of arts in Black communities. The grant is being awarded to Cleo Parker Robinson Dance to support the purchase of the Shorter Building property, where the organization has resided for over 20 years. The ability to buy and expand the existing building will cement CRPD’s presence and impact in the Five Points community – allowing the organization to own its destiny – and providing a space to build and give back to the community through expanded programs and education in arts and dance. This investment ensures Colorado’s Black arts community has an anchor institution to be a proactive force to create an economic ecosystem to nurture Black artists, not limited to dance. This project will elevate the history and heritage of Black arts while expanding its community’s roots of creative artistry and sealing its legacy for generations to come.
Collaborative Healing Initiative within Communities (CHIC Denver):
CHIC Denver is taking the essential steps to understand the financial impact of decades of inequitable practices. The grant will support CHIC’s creation of a task force to determine the extent to which Black Coloradans have experienced and continue to experience racial discrimination linked to harmful practices, policies, and systems of the state. This work will quantify the generational economic impacts of those damages and create a platform to build viable solutions that could impact the outcomes of future generations. Findings from this research will help justify the recommendation of specific remedies for Black Coloradans in the form of housing, health, education, and criminal justice resources and programming.
Building the BRIC Legacy Fund:
This fall, BRIC Fund will roll out the 1619 Fundraising Campaign to support the growth of the BRIC Legacy Fund. The use of 1619 acknowledges the importance of that year in Black History, marking the beginning of race-based bondage that defined the African-American experience. However, In building for the future, the number 16 signifies independence, and the number 19 pays tribute to BRIC’s founding date while representing growth and expansion. People will be encouraged to donate to the BRIC Legacy Fund in amounts that include 1619 to support BRIC’s fundraising goal of $10 million by 2025.
About Black Resilience in Colorado 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 – to ensure Black communities aren’t left behind. Launched on June 19, 2020 (Juneteenth), BRIC is more than a fund. It’s a movement for change to address systemic racism and inequities that negatively impact Black communities throughout Colorado. Through the BRIC Fund, nonprofits can leverage community assets, build organizational capacity, and secure emergency relief resources in times of crisis. In three years, BRIC has successfully provided $200k in capital improvement loans, leadership and organization development programming to 200 plus BIPOC nonprofit leaders and has partnered with other entities to secure $33M in capacity grants for Colorado’s historically marginalized frontline nonprofits. BRIC strives to ensure communities can lead with solutions by them, for them, and with their needs in mind - to build Black communities BRIC by BRIC. The Denver Foundation fiscally sponsors the BRIC Fund. For more information, please visit www.bricfund.org.
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