Daily News

Community Foundation Grants $150,000 to Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley

SPRINGFIELD — The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) announced a grant of $150,000, spread over the next three years, to the Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley (HRIPV). The grant represents a significant contribution to the initiative’s capital drive to raise $1 million in commitments now to support and build capacity for the organization over the next three years.

The multi-year, strategic grant is part of CFWM’s ongoing commitment to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in workplaces and promote equitable growth in the region. The funding will support HRIPV’s capacity in engaging communities across the state of Massachusetts in its signature two-day training. HRIPV has been in existence since 2012, and more than 1,000 community members have participated in its programming.

Funds from the capital drive have also allowed HRIPV to develop a comprehensive online and virtual series of trainings and programming. The Healing Racism initiative will also be resuming in-person training sessions in July. Members of the community interested in participating can learn more and register online at www.healingracismpv.org.

The first $50,000 grant to HRIPV will occur in July 2021. According to the Community Foundation, the multi-year funding approach will guarantee revenue stability while HRIPV meets demands for its services and continues its capital-campaign efforts.

“As an alumna of HRIPV’s two-day anti-racism training, I know what a powerful experience it is,” said Katie Allan Zobel, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “I have seen firsthand the transformation in the community that HRIPV has catalyzed. That is why the foundation is investing in them to help expand their capacity for the future. We recognize the critical role HRIPV can play in creating shared understanding, connecting diverse members of our community, and dismantling systems that perpetuate inequalities. I’m optimistic about our partnership with HRIPV and encourage others to join us to work together toward a more equitable region.”

This award will also help HRIPV build its internal infrastructure and capacity to help ensure its sustainability efforts.

“The Healing Racism Institute is a recognized leader in promoting anti-racism within the Pioneer Valley,” said Paul Murphy, chair of the CFWM board of trustees. “We welcome the opportunity to partner with HRIPV in the expansion of its transformative program. We’re delighted to grant this funding as part of our commitment to invest and foster racial equity in our communities.”

The Healing Racism Institute is led by Vanessa Otero, one of the co-founders of HRIPV and an original member of the board until assuming the position of interim director in 2020.

Added Frank Robinson, board chair of the Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley, “we welcome and celebrate this crucial grant for the important work we are doing to create more equitable communities, and see the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts as a critical partner in that work.”