Hartford Foundation Announces More Than $250,000 in Grants to Support Efforts to Dismantle Structural Racism and Achieve Equity in Social and Economic Mobility

In 2021, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving launched its Access Grants opportunity to support nonprofits aligned with its strategic priorities to dismantle structural racism and increase social and economic mobility for Black and Latinx residents of Greater Hartford. Over the course of two rounds of funding in 2021, the Foundation awarded more than $1.1 million to 33 organizations. Today, the Foundation announced its first round of 2022 grants, awarding more than $250,000 to eight nonprofits.

“The Hartford Foundation’s Access Grants allow us to support nonprofit partners in the effort to break down decades of structural racism,” said Hartford Foundation Director of Community Impact Grantmaking Megan Burke. “This latest round of grants was awarded to organizations with leadership and staff that reflect the community and have deep relationships in traditionally marginalized communities.”

These eight Access Grants were fully funded by dollars from the Foundation’s Action Fund for Racial Justice. The Action Fund was created last year to engage community-minded residents in supporting local organizations on the frontlines of advancing racial justice. Donations to the Action Fund are paired with funds from the Foundation’s endowment expanding the support available for a wide variety of grants in areas such as youth development and employment, community college completion, and a more inclusive Greater Hartford arts sector. 

In this round of Access Grants for 2022, Foundation staff reviewed 25 requests of up to $50,000, for work to be carried out over one year. The eight awarded grants include new approaches to address inequities in our community, including projects seeking to integrate trauma-informed care in youth enrichment and arts programming, to leverage Hartford’s rich history to prompt community conversations around social justice issues, and to introduce capital through mini-grants and loans for BIPOC-owned small business startups in Hartford. While initial grant awards cover a one-year period, this work will require sustained efforts. Access Grant recipients that can demonstrate progress and the potential for impact beyond the grant period will be considered for continued support.

Organization Name

Project Description


Boys & Girls Club of Hartford


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: To help young people (aged 6 and older) and Club staff to demonstrate the personal and social leadership that creates a Club environment of inclusion and unity. This includes convening a DEI Youth Summit and other cultural activities.


Charter Oak Temple Restoration Association

Charter Oak Youth Arts Institute trauma-informed and ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Aware program provides focused care to students to improve access to mental health services and overall mental health. Proposed outcomes include self-regulation, decreased trauma responses, and improvement of overall long-term health.


End Hunger CT!


Core operating support for the organization’s work to increase food security among Greater Hartford families while supporting policies that move families toward self-sufficiency, including through federal food assistance programs.


Harriet Beecher Stowe Center


Seeing is Revealing: Nook Farm Then and Now: To inspire positive change on social justice issues by creating vibrant discussions within the community, including by connecting the life and writings of Harriet Beecher Stowe on American slavery to structural racism today.


International Hartford, Ltd.


Racial Equity in Commercial Lending: Micro-investments and counseling to BIPOC entrepreneurs to overcome barriers to capital access. Provides gap-filling capital mini-grants, loans, and technical assistance for 10 BIPOC start-up businesses in Hartford that require seed support. 



Culture Matters: Pilot program to introduce a new audience to Indian culture using thematic performances. The project seeks to reach audiences of different ages and ethnicities in safe family spaces, build a racially conscious society and inspire other people of color to share their cultures, potentially giving more opportunities to artists of color.


National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ)


Core operating support for youth programs, including the expansion of yearlong school partnerships that provide prejudice reduction and leadership development education to high school-aged youth.


Spectrum In Motion Dance Theater Ensemble, Inc.


Core operating support for an organization that creates, performs, and presents original, professional, contemporary dance celebrating the music and movement of the world’s cultures; and provides a dance education for Hartford’s children who could not otherwise access this learning experience.


The Foundation is now accepting applications for the second round of 2022 Access Grants until August 5, 2022. Nonprofits that were not successful in the first round will have the opportunity to receive staff feedback and resubmit their applications for consideration for Fall awards.  An informational session for potential applicants has been scheduled for Thursday, May 26th from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. For more information, contact Tara Sundie at 860-548-1888 or tsundie@hfpg.org or visit hfpg.org/nonprofits/access-grants.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding towns. Through partnerships, the Foundation seeks to strengthen communities in Greater Hartford by putting philanthropy in action to dismantle structural racism and achieve equity in social and economic mobility. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $894 million since its founding in 1925. For more information, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.