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Community Foundation of Greater Memphis announces $475K in grants aimed at housing, justice reform

The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis is making a bold move to tackle the city’s most pressing issues. The foundation recently announced $475,000 in grants aimed at reforming the housing and justice systems.

This initiative, approved by the Community Foundation’s Board of Governors in December 2023, marks a pivotal moment in addressing the root causes of challenges facing the Memphis community.

The grants, awarded from the FOREVER Funds, the Community Foundation’s community-voiced, community-centered investment in Greater Memphis, will be used strategically to drive transformational change.

Aerial Ozuzu, Director of Community Impact at the Community Foundation, explains, “Through the strategic allocation of FOREVER Funds dollars, the Community Foundation is committed to driving transformational change in Greater Memphis.”

The grants were decided by a diverse group of volunteer committee members and will empower local organizations to tackle critical issues and help create a more just and equitable region. The grantees include the Greater Memphis Housing Justice Project, an initiative of the Black Clergy Collaborative of Memphis and the Memphis Public Interest Law Center, receiving $165,000 to address the city’s housing crisis with a focus on renters’ rights.

Just City was granted $100,000 to work towards a fairer and more equitable criminal justice system for all. The Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope (MICAH) received $210,000 to address the root causes of inequality and ensure equal access and opportunity for every Memphian.

To further highlight the impact of these grants, Ozuzu will moderate a conversation with the grantees at the Community Foundation for Greater Memphis’ Annual Meeting on May 21 at 6:45 p.m.

The event will take place at the Crosstown Theater located at 1350 Concourse Avenue. The panel discussion will delve into the effects of housing disparity, inequities in the criminal justice system, and the crucial work of these organizations in driving positive change.

Panelists include Shirley Bondon, Executive Director of the Black Clergy Collaborative of Memphis, Jamie Johnson, Executive Director of the Memphis Public Interest Law Center, Josh Spickler, Executive Director of Just City, and Gisela Guerrero, Lead Organizer for MICAH.

The Annual Meeting will also feature an impact report by Robert Fockler, president of the Community Foundation. This year, the foundation has granted a cumulative total of $120 million, marking the 10th consecutive year that grants from the foundation and its donors have exceeded $100 million.

For more information on the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, visit https://cfgm.org.

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