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The Metro Kansas City Census Equity Fund, an initiative organized by a coalition of private and public foundations to increase participation in the 2020 Census, has awarded grants totaling nearly $229,000 to 23 nonprofit organizations to mobilize hard to count and other vulnerable populations in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
The funded projects include census education and outreach to senior adults, parents of preschool age and K-12 children, youth and adults that are homeless, non-English language speakers, refugees and other population groups. The Census Equity Fund proposals included faith-based organizations, public libraries, housing groups, an early childhood education coalition and other nonprofit groups that have a connection to populations that are at risk of being under-counted.
“It has been exciting to see philanthropy come together to support plans for a complete count in our region,” said Denise St. Omer, Vice President of Grantmaking and Inclusion Initiatives at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, which is managing the fund.
“The concept for the Census Equity Fund emerged out of a desire to see all segments of our region fully represented in the allocation of public resources and future government decision-making,” said St. Omer.
The Fund was launched in August 2019 to engage trusted leaders and organizations working with historically under-counted populations and/or neighborhoods. The 23 organizations selected for funding include:
“A full and complete census count will have long-term implications for the bi-state region and health, education, social services, government and business development,” said Brenda Sharpe, President and CEO of the REACH Healthcare Foundation. “The 2020 Census will set the course for this region for the next 10 years, so it is paramount that we marshal our efforts today to ensure that everyone is counted.”
Grant applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed through May 2020 based on availability of funds. Grants range between $5,000-$10,000; larger proposals will be considered from multi-organization collaborations. Information on the online application process and funding criteria can be found here.