The Foot Locker Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation have announced a $3 million initiative aimed at empowering youth in Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities in twelve metropolitan areas where Foot Locker has a presence.
To be launched in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, the Community Empowerment Program will support the efforts of nonprofit organizations serving BIPOC youth, as well as those led by people of color, to bridge gaps in health, wealth, and opportunity driven by racial inequity. To that end, the program will award grants of at least $20,000 to organizations working to advance racial justice and equity, youth empowerment and career readiness, and community health, wellness, and recreation.
The effort is part of Foot Locker's Leading Education and Economic Development (LEED) initiative, a $200 million commitment focused on education and economic development in the Black community, and supports LISC's broad-based work to advance economic opportunity, including its decade-long Project 10X strategy. The Community Empowerment Program is aimed at addressing both the need for robust youth services and the fact that BIPOC-led organizations often have limited resources to devote to those services compared with white-led organizations.
"This is what we mean when we talk about the systemic underpinnings of inequality," said, LISC interim president and CEO Lisa L. Glover. "It isn't something that people recognize at first glance, but it absolutely impacts the nonprofit sector's ability to grow BIPOC leadership and serve people of color. And that has a ripple effect that runs through a host of social and economic concerns, essentially offering fewer opportunities for families and communities to thrive."