In support of Asheville City Council’s Vision 2036 of an equitable and diverse community, the Office of Equity and Inclusion has launched a mini grant program to support existing projects in Asheville that promote racial healing, reconciliation, and/or transformation in Asheville communities. The communities of focus are those who were most impacted by government policies and practices that caused racial trauma and/or displacement. Our intent was not to initiate new projects, but to support those projects already established in the community. Funding was capped at $4,999 dollars per organization.
The funds are meant to provide flexible resources for local, community-based organizations focused on eliminating structural barriers and/or improving the quality of life for the City’s most vulnerable populations. These grants are intended to:
- Provide financial support to community members/groups who are already working toward racial healing.
- Build toward a more trusting relationship between City government and those who have been disenfranchised and under-invested in by local government.
- Inform a definition and vision of Equity for Asheville, including how the City of Asheville government should participate in the healing process.
The City of Asheville received the NC Innovation and Implementation Grant from the Government Alliance on Race and Equity to partially fund this project. GARE is a national network of government jurisdictions working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. The City is a member of GARE and has worked to train City staff on equity and inclusion to create more capacity for operating and decision-making with equity in mind.
City of Asheville Racial Healing Grants Awarded
The following community organizations were awarded mini grants as part of this initiative. In addition, the Racial Healing Final Report is available to review.
Burton St. Peace Garden
Upgrades for the Burton Street Peace Gardens.
Expand the work of creating a cultural oasis for racial healing at Liberation Station (our community center).
Center for Participatory Change (CPC)
Create a space for Black, Brown, and Latinx people to learn about each other’s languages, identities, and cultures; and build trust and meaningful relationships; and heal together through a 6 week series of workshops.
During the next several months we are planning to expand our community-driven leadership, establish a neighborhood association and collectively draft a community plan. We are requesting funding to host three events before June 2020 that will provide increased numbers of neighborhood residents the opportunity to be meaningfully involved in this process.
MLK Remembrance Coalition
The MLK Association has organized the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project. The coalition will be addressing racial healing through truth telling event, educational programming, reconciliation events, and transforming narratives that aim to provide healing opportunities from the silent trauma surrounding racial violence.
Support and train a team of healing justice service providers that will provide outreach, healing programs, workshops, services, and products to POC in the Asheville area
West Buncombe Community Organizing
The program will hold workshops and community forums on school plans/education policies providing insight on parent/student rights. Organize neighborhood resident councils/meetings. Provide communities the resources for basic needs and training. Facilitate community engagements with several community partners.
Umoja Health Wellness and Justice
The Collective will offer a safe space to the Black Community to become aware of the racial, inter-generational, historical traumas and to build a narrative of resilience.