The Boston-based Barr Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $2 million in support of activities focused on vaccine equity.
As part of a multimillion-dollar commitment with six other funders, the foundation awarded $1 million to the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers in support of its efforts to direct resources to community-based health centers in the state as they expand their vaccination programs. And in partnership with the Boston Resiliency Fund and Klarman Family Foundation, the foundation awarded $475,000 to four community-based coalitions — the Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition, Chinatown Collaborative, Greater Boston Latino Network, and Center to Support Immigrant Organizing — in support of nearly three dozen organizations engaged in community-based outreach and education efforts centered around vaccine equity.
In alignment with its funding for organizations serving populations in the greater Boston area, the foundation also awarded grants totaling $500,000 to the Essex County, Greater Worcester, Western Massachusetts, and SouthCoast community foundations in support of regranting efforts focused on vaccine equity. Between them, the four community foundations serve twenty cities in the state disproportionality impacted by COVID-19. In addition to the recently announced grants, the Barr Foundation will support the advocacy efforts of the Vaccine Equity Now! Coalition, which comprises ten civil rights, racial justice, and public health organizations working to shape recommendations for state officials that address race-based disparities in the vaccine rollout.
"In making this new set of grants, we went to the leaders of these various organizations and coalitions and asked them how we could help, what funding they needed, and how best to structure grants and reporting to support them," said Barr Foundation president and trustee James Canales in a blog post. "We also moved with the dispatch that this moment requires of us all — grateful for the focused, responsive, and dedicated leadership of these organizations, and their unwavering commitment to ensuring an equitable rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. We are in their debt and proud to support this work."
(Photo credit: Gettyimages/Mongkolchon Akesin)