Hartford Foundation Announces $2.5 million Initiative to Empower Greater Hartford’s Black and Latinx Communities

At its virtual Greater Together 2020 event on Tuesday night, the Foundation announced a significant investment to dismantle structural racism and establish more equitable opportunity, economic mobility and social capital for Greater Hartford’s Black and Latinx communities. With the approval of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, in 2021 the organization will establish two, $1 million grants in the name of The Prosperity Foundation, a Black-led philanthropic organization, and The Hispanic Federation – Connecticut, a Latinx-led organization. These organizations will execute grantmaking and capacity building in the Hartford region. They will possess the agency and discretion to connect stakeholders in communities of color to a wide array of resources and build power to lead substantive change.

“In response to the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism, the Hartford Foundation has reflected on the perception of philanthropy as being a well-intentioned, powerful sector determined to “save” the community,” said Hartford Foundation President Jay Williams. “We acknowledge that this philosophy can lead to doing things to or for others, with a failure to include the voices of local leaders, organizations, and stakeholders. Rather than seeking to build local capacity, it can portray the Foundation as a hero rather than empowering others to become the heroes of their own stories. These investments are intended to galvanize our Black and Latinx communities and give them the agency and power to determine where resources should be spent.”

"We sincerely thank the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for sowing an important seed into the Prosperity Foundation to begin to address the grave wrongs against Black People due to over 400 years of systemic socioeconomic, psychological and physiological oppression,” said The Prosperity Fund Board Chair Howard K. Hill. “This $1-million investment into TPF is an important first step needed to bridge a 225-year wealth-gap when it comes to our whole health, education, economic development and overall sustainability for a people badly in need of the opportunity to heal, repair, restore and renew itself."

“Hispanic Federation applauds the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving’s (HFPG) bold leadership and commitment to achieving a more equitable and inclusive Greater Hartford Region. As Latinos have been disproportionately impacted by the current health pandemic due to historical inequities, we commend this unprecedented investment of $1M to advance the social and economic vitality of the region’s Latinx communities and in the Latino nonprofit sector,” said Frankie Miranda, President of Hispanic Federation. “This contribution is a prime example of HFPG’s stewardship - intentionally aligning with communities of color to serve the people they directly represent. At this notable juncture in history, we are proud to partner with HFPG and look forward to the work ahead.” 

In addition, the Hartford Foundation is establishing two five-year, $250,000 flex-funds to support the Foundation’s own key stakeholders of color through its Latino Endowment Fund and Black Giving Circle Fund. These additional resources will empower the two giving circles to increase their grantmaking capacity by up to $50,000 per year for the next five years and/or contribute up to $50 thousand per year to their endowment to increase their perpetual grantmaking capacity.

The Foundation also announced its intention to launch a fund aimed at dismantling racism that will seek to address the structural barriers that limit opportunity for our Black and Latinx neighbors. Starting in 2021, this fund will provide current and new donors the opportunity to help the Foundation expand and sustain its work. The Foundation will also host a series of opportunities to learn more about its efforts to dismantle racism, through discussions and convenings, focused on various aspects of structural racism, inclusive economic mobility and increasing social capital in the 29 towns of the Hartford region.

“The Foundation plans to “lean in” and engage with our donors, nonprofit partners, elected officials and residents across the region to connect and learn together how we can be true to our mission of “putting philanthropy into action to create lasting solutions that result in vibrant communities within the Greater Hartford region,” Williams said.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $785 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.