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Two Major Grants Awarded as BRIC Marks its Third Year

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Photo by Joanne Davidson Special to Colorado Politics

DENVER, CO (August 30, 2023) – The Black Resilience Fund in Colorado Fund marked its third anniversary – and Black Philanthropy Month -- by awarding $100,000 each to Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and the Denver chapter of Collaborative Healing Initiative within Communities.

The grants are the first to be given through BRIC’s Liberation Investment Grant program and will be distributed in $50,000 increments over a two-year period.

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance will put its share toward the purchase of the historic Shorter AME Church property in Five Points that has been the company’s home for 20-plus years and to expand the legacy and impact of arts in Black communities.

CHIC Denver is to use its share to support the 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.” Findings from this research 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.”

Additionally, “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.”

The money was presented at an Aug. 29 reception held at Bruce Randolph School that began with a buffet supper catered by Big Jim’s Ribs and Two Sistahs Catering.

“The BRIC Fund was created by the people for the people and its success is our success,” said executive director LaDawn Sullivan. “Our purpose is to build our community brick by brick and change it from surviving to thriving.”

She added: “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. 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.”

Sullivan also announced the upcoming roll out of the 1619 Fundraising Campaign, an effort to support the growth of the BRIC Legacy Fund and its goal of raising $10 million by 2025. Javier Soto, president and chief executive officer of The Denver Foundation, kicked off the campaign by announcing that The Denver Foundation is offering a dollar-for-dollar match for BRIC Legacy Fund donations, up to $250,000.

About the organization: Founded on Juneteenth, 2020, the Black Resilience Fund in Colorado is the first Black-focused community fund established in Colorado to explicitly provide financial resources and support to Black-led and Black-serving organizations to ensure they aren’t left behind. Through the BRIC Fund, nonprofits can leverage community assets, build organizational capacity and secure emergency relief resources in times of crisis. To date, the BRIC Fund has awarded $3.5 million to more than 300 Black-led and Black-serving Colorado nonprofits. BRIC is supported by The Denver Foundation.

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