Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Community task force promised $350,000

Foundation helps with funding

By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Greater Cincinnati Foundation has pledged a minimum of $350,000 to support the work of Cincinnati Community Action Now, the task force formed by Mayor Charlie Luken to address racial tension and economic disparity issues.

        The foundation's governing board met in special session twice during the past two weeks and voted to give the task force:

        • An immediate grant of $50,000 for startup and administrative costs.

        • Office and meeting space in the foundation's Fourth Street headquarters.

        • At least $250,000 for programs and initiatives

        • $50,000 to fund the work of the panel's special counsel, former city manager Sylvester Murray.

        The foundation wanted to be an example, said Kathryn Merchant, foundation president and chief executive officer.

        “Our board felt that if we made an early investment in this commission, then others would see it was a good idea and join in too.”

        The foundation also can help Community Action Now leverage other resources, she added, by collaborating with other local grant-makers, such as the United Way and KnowledgeWorks, to attract national sources of support.

        The foundation also is encouraging its donors to take an interest in the race panel and in other opportunities to promote racial healing.


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