Community

First round of SET Task Force grants intended to curb youth violence awarded in Cedar Rapids

Freshman Eviyon Richardon dries the ink on Humanize My Hoodie T-shirts printed by her fellow students during and event with Born Leaders United founder and owner Andre Wright  at Iowa City High on Friday, January 18, 2019. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Freshman Eviyon Richardon dries the ink on Humanize My Hoodie T-shirts printed by her fellow students during and event with Born Leaders United founder and owner Andre Wright at Iowa City High on Friday, January 18, 2019. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Social justice awareness apparel, youth development programming and a mural project are among the recipients of the first round of awards tied to recommendations from the Creating Safe Equitable Thriving Communities Task Force, which was formed in the wake of a fatal shooting involving a teenager in 2015.

The board of directors of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation approved $40,000 in grants to eight nonprofits from the Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities Fund. The fund was created in October in partnership with the city of Cedar Rapids, Linn County and the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

“We were pleased with the collaborative ideas and grant applications we received for the first cycle,” Rachel Rockwell, program officer at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, said in a news release. “We were looking for innovative ideas to reach youth who might not otherwise participate in summer programming, and many of these programs will involve youth in programming design and implementation.”

The grants come more than two years after the task force of citizens and officials from various sectors of the community submitted its final report and recommendations. City and county leaders struggled to agree on a way to advance the recommendations for much of 2018.

The Community Foundation ultimately was brought in to help administrate a grant program with the help of a policy board and a grant board.

The organization received 15 applications seeking a total of $125,000. Another grant cycle will be scheduled for the fall, according to a news release.

Initial grants include $6,600 to the African American Museum of Iowa for the Humanize My Hoodie project, $5,130 to the Boys and Girls Club of Cedar Rapids for the Junior Staff Academy, $4,000 to Eastern Iowa African Diaspora for its Youth Development Program, $2,643 to Eastern Iowa Arts Academy for It Takes a Village Mural Project, $6,547 to Jane Boyd Community House for Challenge Camp, $4,814 to Kids First Law Center for Youth Restorative Justice, $5,000 to LBA Foundation for Professional Customer Service Workshop, and $5,266 to Tanager Place for Glenbrook Apartments Drop-In Program.

l Comments: (319) 398-8310; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

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