Black Philanthropy Initiative funds top $1.2 million
USAA grant expands investment in Arizona’s Black-led business community
Funds held by the Black Philanthropy Initiative (BPI) at the Arizona Community Foundation have doubled to $1.2 million in less than six months.
“Reaching the $1.2 million milestone is a great accomplishment for BPI,” said Davonte Davis, Black Philanthropy Initiative Co-Chair. “We are grateful to the visionaries including Jean Fairfax and Michael Kelly who made our community a priority and recognized the importance of health and well-being within Arizona’s Black community.”
The BPI Social Justice Fund, established in 2018, brought in the bulk of that investment. Intended to fund projects and programs that address inequalities and support economic stability for Black-led businesses in Arizona, the BPI Social Justice Fund was awarded a $600,000 grant from USAA to help advance racial equality.
The grant dollars will be used to support the creation of an Arizona Black Business Directory and provide funding to local nonprofits to train, mentor, and resource a cohort of 20 Black-led businesses over 24 months. The grant was made possible through USAA’s three-year, $50 million commitment to help improve racial equality and positively address the employment, educational, and economic disparities that exist within communities of color and low-income military communities.
“USAA supports the vision of the Black Philanthropy Initiative in Arizona and looks forward to the work that will be done over the next two years to support and improve the economic outlook for Black-owned businesses,” said Greg DeBernard, USAA Regional Vice President for Arizona. “The proposal BPI presented to USAA aligned well with our work of strengthening the communities where our members are living and raising their families.”
“BPI believes in the philosophy, ‘each one, teach one,’” said BPI Co-Chair Tonya Norwood. “It is in that spirit, as good stewards, that we made the commitment to document and share best practices with other community leaders. The Black Philanthropy Initiative will continue to strive for higher ground and justice for disenfranchised communities until equity is achieved.”