United Way awards $275k to equity-focused organizations

This includes programs targeting disparities in the Quad Cities.
United Way officials on Friday announced they are awarding $275,000 to equity-focused...
United Way officials on Friday announced they are awarding $275,000 to equity-focused organizations and programming targeting disparities in the Quad Cities.(KWQC)
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 11:21 AM CST
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(KWQC) - United Way officials on Friday announced they are awarding $275,000 to equity-focused organizations and programming targeting disparities in the Quad Cities.

The Quad Cities Community Foundation supports the United for Equity Fund, which helps to strengthen families, empower youth and educate.

The United Way Quad Cities will award the money in grants to local organizations to help reduce and prevent racial inequities in education, income and health.

You can read more from their release below.

“The United for Equity grants will help 25 nonprofits, grassroots organizations and social entrepreneurs provide access and opportunity to people of color in the Quad Cities by focusing on three primary goals — empowering the next generation, strengthening families, and educating and equipping the community.

“In these turbulent times, issues of racial equity and social justice have been magnified. And, our region is at a pivotal moment of renewal and rebuilding,” said Rene Gellerman, United Way president and CEO. “When I speak to people from various sectors, communities and of differing viewpoints, the one thing we agree on is that in order to build a stronger, more equitable Quad Cities, we have to do more together to put opportunity in the hands of every Quad Citizen, regardless of race or ZIP code.”

“The Quad Cities Community Foundation and more than 25 local corporate partners joined United Way in launching the United for Equity Fund, aimed to drive equitable community change. The themes for these grants were the result of the input from the 400 Quad Citizens who participated in the October 2020 Quad Cities Equity Summit.”

Community Foundation doubles $50K investment

A large share of funding for the grants came from the Quad Cities Community Foundation, which announced a second Transformation Grant of $50,000 to match an investment of the same size announced in November.

“Members of our community have the solutions to the challenges our region faces. They just need the resources to start or expand them,” said Kelly Thompson, vice president of grantmaking and community initiatives at the Quad Cities Community Foundation.

“Our board of directors, our staff, and our donors are so proud to support the United for Equity Fund with this second $50,000 Transformation Grant because we know that, through these grants from the United Way, there will be meaningful, innovative and intentional work happening through the community, by the community, to address the systemic challenges that people of color experience on a daily basis.”

“The United Way and the Quad Cities Community Foundation have a strong partnership, a history of working together and pooling resources to make a bigger impact. The challenges facing our region can’t be solved alone.” Gellerman said. “Through these two Transformation Grants totaling $100,000, the Quad Cities Community Foundation has nearly doubled the opportunity we have together to help change lives and create a more equitable community.”

Focused on inclusivity

Among the grant recipients were 14 organizations or groups which have never received funding from United Way before. Beginning with the United for Equity grants, the nonprofit expanded the pool of eligible applicants by encouraging local social entrepreneurs and grassroots organizations to apply to reach underserved communities within the Quad Cities.

“United Way stands for using its resources and connections to bring the best people, ideas and projects together to create opportunities for all Quad Citizens,” said Dr. Burl Randolph Jr., Colonel U.S. Army, Retired, and chair of the equity fund review panel.

“By bringing the spirit of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and innovation to the grant application process, United Way has shown it’s committed to finding and funding fresh ideas to address deep-rooted challenges that have gone unanswered for too long.”

Grant recipients include:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley - $12,808
  • Child Abuse Council - $2,500
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. - $4,999
  • The Gene Garden Project - $2,500
  • Iowa Black Doula Collective - $4,999
  • Iowa Jobs for Americas Graduates (iJAG) Inc. - $25,000
  • Liberte Educational Consulting - $4,999
  • The Martin Luther King Jr Center - $25,000
  • The Minnie Fridge - $4,999
  • Narratives QC, Inc. - $4,999
  • NEST (Nourish Everyone Sustainably Together) - $3,000
  • Project Renewal - $15,600
  • Putnam Museum and Science Center - $45,000
  • QC Haven of Hope - $8,350
  • QC Women In Action - $4,500
  • Quad Cities Community Broadcasting Group - $10,000
  • Quad Cities Heat Track Club - $3,000
  • Quad Cities Open Network - $4,500
  • STEAM On Wheels - $4,999
  • Tapestry Farms - $20,750
  • TMBC @ The Lincoln Center - $4,999
  • Well Suited - $4,999
  • WVIK Quad Cities NPR - $7,500
  • YouthHope - $30,000
  • YWCA of the Quad Cities - $15,000

For more information on United Way, and for details on the United for Equity Grant awards, please visit”

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