Hartford Foundation launches $2.5 million equity initiative

Hartford Foundation launches $2.5 million equity initiative

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has announced a $2.5 million initiative aimed at creating greater economic mobility, opportunity, and social capital in Hartford's Black and Latinx communities.

The initiative includes $1 million in grants to establish funds administered by the Prosperity Foundation, a Black-led philanthropic organization, and the Hispanic Federation — Connecticut, a Latinx-led organization. Both funds will be focused on connecting stakeholders in communities of color to power-building resources they can use to create real change. In addition, the Hartford Foundation will support its own stakeholders of color with $250,000 "flex-funds" at its Latino Endowment Fund and Black Giving Circle Fund and will launch a fund focused on dismantling racism through convenings focused on various aspects of structural racism, strategies for developing inclusive economic mobility, and increasing social capital in the region.

"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 the foundation's 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."